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Showing posts from April, 2017

Little Donnie is at it again

Early in her political career, radical Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) made an inappropriately big deal of the tiny amount of Native American blood in her veins. She has been mocked by Republicans as "Fauxahontas" ever since.

That's fair. It's the bogus nature of the claim, and Sen. Warren's  minuscule amount of Native American ancestry, that the nickname mocks. But Donald Trump, whose (very) offensive weaponry tends more to the bludgeon than the rapier, prefers "Pocahontas,"  an actual, out-and-out racial slur.

The reference sort of misses the point that Warren's claim to be a Native American is bogus. But the biggest problem is that it's racist. Can you imagine calling an African-American politician "Uncle Remus," or a Hispanic senator "Speedy Gonzales?" Using racial and ethnic stereotypes for political opponents is beyond crude and boorish. But of course, President Crotch Grabber is himself beyond crude and boorish. It wou…

March on, Macron!

Emmanuel Macron, a former socialist running as the candidate of a party which seeks to unite Frenchmen of various ideologies and backgrounds, will apparently face Trumplike nationalist Marine Le Pen in a runoff election for the French presidency May 7.

At 3:19 PM CDST, with about half the votes counted, Marcon is projected as receiving 23.8% of the votes to Le Pen's 21.7%, with 19.8% for conservative François Fillon,  19.2% for leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, six and a half percent for Socialist Benoît Hamon, five percent for Gaullist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and slightly more than one percent for Jean Lassalle, an activist on behalf of the people of the Occitania region of southern France.

Marcon has attracted the support of many Right and Center-Right Frenchmen, His party, En Marche!("Moving!"), seeks to transcend ideological polarization and unite rather than to divide. I'd like to think of Macon as a kind of French Evan McMullin, even if the Frenchman is a man of the …

The issue with Trump isn't Republican vs. Democrat, or liberal vs. conservative.

The issue is freedom.

The issue is a delusional and grandiose authoritarian who openly and very clearly states a desire to take away our freedoms, and those who either refuse to listen to what he says so clearly and so openly and let themselves be used by him or who embrace with all deliberation the dark agenda he himself advocates out of mere narcissism.

This is about what kind of a country we are, and what kind of a country our descendants are going to live in.

Chaffetz won't seek re-election in 2018, opening the door for McMullin

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the head of the House Governmental Oversight Committee who has attracted heat from his constituents for refusing to initiate an investigation of President Trump's ethics, conflicts of interest, and ties to Russia, has announced that he will not seek re-election.

The powerful Republican has not ruled out a run for Utah governor or for the U.S. Senate in 2020 but says that he will not be a candidate "for any office" in 2018.

The move opens the way for a rumored race for Chaffetz's seat by former CIA clandestine officer, House GOP policy director, and 2016 independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, who has emerged as the leader of the conservative opposition to President Trump.

Birds of a feather goosestep together

President Trump, who seems never to have met a contemporary dictator or authoritarian he didn't like, has made it a point to call and congratulate Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the narrow (and possibly fraudulent) passage of a referendum which grants him vast new powers and  spells the end of any credible pretence that Turkey is a democracy rather than the kind of authoritarian state Mr. Trump seems to admire so much.

Why would an American president do that? It was an internal Turkish issue; POTUS wasn't required by protocol to officially even notice it. If nothing else, the signal it sends amounts to a renunciation of everything the United States has stood for in the world since the nation's founding.

And the American deniers of Mr. Trump's authoritarian contempt for basic American values keep hallucinating on...

Trump shows his contempt for the Constitution yet again

Those of us who have paid attention- and who care- noticed almost immediately when Donald Trump entered the presidential race that he not only has far too thin a skin to be the leader of a democracy but has the unsettling habit of threatening those who disagree with him. While a lot of people seem to miss this none-too-subtle point, that is kind of a bad habit for the leader of a free people to have. And it's also the thing which- while granting the tremendous positive involved in having Justice Gorsuch on the Court, with the prospect of more like him- makes him kind of not really better than Hillary would have been. Not, at least, if you value the Constitution.

Of course, you could make the case that she would have subverted the Constitution through her Supreme Court nominations. But saving a step in doing that and having a president who subverts it personally is not necessarily a good thing.

A president does not, to coin a phrase, "support and defend the Constitution of th…

The retail crisis is a big deal

Are stores closing in your neighborhood, too? Is the local mall featuring more and more shuttered spaces where thriving businesses used to be? Well, there's a reason for it- and it's having a huge impact on the lives of a great many Americans.

The American consumer economy is in transition. We used to buy things in stores. Now, we buy them online. Warehouses, not local retail businesses, are meeting our needs. And the result is the dislocation of a huge number of Americans who used to wait on us, ring up our purchases, bag the things we buy, get things from stock, and in short do all the things the pickers and packers at Amazon and its ilk are doing right now.

The retail crisis is putting an awful lot of people out of work. People who are out of work can't buy things, and that puts even more pressure on the retail sector. If there's a segment of the American workforce that's in trouble these days, it's retail workers. And the problems involved in transitioning …

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Is Trump coming to his senses about America's role in the world? We can at least hope so.

I have a lot of respect for Charles Krauthammer. I really hope this article is right. I really hope that whatever naive, archaic isolationist noises President Trump may have made in the past or may make in the future, they are only noises.

I really hope the sudden and bizarre reversal of direction by the Trump administration required for the attack on Syria to take place signals a new awareness on the president's part that in the modern world "America First-" which was never really an option even in the past- is simply not a realistic foreign policy. The foreign policy Mr. Trump has consistently advocated since the day he declared his candidacy is the very foreign policy that gave us World War II. Any actual deviation from that course can only be good.

I really hope that the attack on Syria and whatever signal the symbolic gesture the American "armada" headed for the Korean peninsula sends to Kim Jong-Un means that the administration now intends to take Americ…

The fulcrum of history

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before it…

'The biggest story' that wasn't a story at all, and those lies about Susan Rice

"I think it's going to be the biggest story," POTUS tweeted a while back about his unsupported allegations that the Obama administration had him wiretapped. "It's such an important story for our country and the world."

Um... no. There remains absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support the president's bizarre claim, and it seems that charges Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice broke the law by making inquiries into the identities of Trump campaign officials with improper connections to Russia are also products of the president's always active imagination.

In fact, House and Senate members from both parties have reviewed the reports cited by House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes in support of the claim that Rice "may" have acted illegally in seeking the "unmasking" of Trump campaign officials under official investigation, and say that they have found no evidence that any such thing happened.

National Review dismisses Rice&#…

Baghdad Sean: "Even HITLER didn't use chemical weapons!"

The Susan Rice story is a scam. The FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign is not.

Trump supporters generally fall into one of two categories. Either they're tinfoil hat-wearing Alt-Righters, or they're in denial.

The lengths to which Trumpers will go to deny reality are amazing. You've probably come across some demanding the FBI's and CIA's evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC, or that the president is compromised by his contacts and those of his campaign with the Russians. Well, here's a chance to call their bluff.

Louise Mensch is a reporter, a naturalized American citizen who was born in Britain. In fact, she's a former MP! She has covered the story since its inception; her sources, as you might imagine, are awesome. She's the one who broke the story about the FISA warrant granted to the FBI in connection with its ongoing investigation into the matter.

She has a blog where she has posted her findings, along with conjecture about where the investigation is going. Some of her conjecture has already proven true. Some of this in…

Sorry, but the Gorsuch confirmation does NOT tilt SCOTUS to the Right!

Reuters article: "Trump's pick Gorsuch sworn in, restoring top court's conservative tilt."

Excuse me? On what planet has the United States Supreme Court ever in recent history had a "conservative tilt?"

I'm used to hearing that bizarre assertion from the Left, who somehow have the idea that Anthony Kennedy, sometimes described as the "swing vote" on the Court, is a conservative. He is indeed often a "swing vote,"  and has been known to often vote on the conservative side on First and Second Amendment issues. He dissented from the Court's ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare and provided the decisive vote in striking down the District of Columbia's restrictive gun law.

But the author of the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges is very far from being a predictable conservativeNo reasonable person would describe Anthony Kennedy as an originalist, or a "strict constructionist," If the Court has a Center, …

McMullin may run for the House or Senate in 2018

Evan McMullin, who ran as a rational alternative to Donald Trump last year and has become the defacto leader of anti-Trump conservatives since then, is considering challenging either Rep. Jason Chaffetz or Sen. Orrin Hatch next year.

Which is more than fine with me- just as long as he doesn't do it as a Republican.

Both incumbents are unpopular. Chaffetz is the chair of the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee, and recently had a stormy encounter with constituents at a town hall meeting over his refusal to investigate former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's ties to Russia. Hatch, 82, has served seven terms in the Senate and had previously announced that he would retire next year. But he is said to be reconsidering, given the importance of his position as chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. There have been reports that he favors former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his successor if he doesn't run himself. Former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, who …

BOTH sides are dominated by fanatics

This morning while having my coffee, I happened to pick up a copy of The New Yorker.

Living as I do in that backwater known variously as "flyover country," "the Middle," and "the United States of America," The New Yorker is not the essential tool for living for me that some think it is in, for example, New York. It is available, but I have to admit to being such a philistine that when I glance at it I'm usually looking for its superb cartoons, perhaps unequaled in any other American publication. The ones which are drawn in pen and ink, and, not usually the ones masquerading as articles.
I had forgotten what an echo chamber The New Yorker is. I'm not necessarily referring to its understandably Manhattancentric view of the world; after all, there are relatively few articles in Chicago or DSM about New York or the Eastern seaboard. But this morning's encounter was a salutary reminder that even in the Age of Trump the Left is just as insulated from …

Trump made the right call on Syria, but he's dangerously erratic

I've made it a point to praise actions by President Trump when he does something right, and I plan to continue to do so.

Well, he did something right tonight in Syria. It's especially impressive in view of his ties and those of senior members of his administration to Russia and Vladimir Putin, who are almost as deeply in love with Bashar al-Assad as Mr. Trump is with them.

Putin will not be pleased. Good.

But there's still a problem. Only a week ago Mr. Trump was vocally opposed to any American military action in Syria. Having a man as impulsive and erratic as Donald Trump in the White House is dangerous. World leaders need to know what to expect from the President of the United States. As much as I approve of Mr. Trump's action in Syria, this is one more example of the kind of instability on Mr. Trump's part that does not bode well for the international order and world peace.

This is just nuts

American college campuses have long since ceased to be places where free inquiry and the debate of ideas is welcomed. Instead, they've largely become institutions for indoctrinating students into far left political viewpoints. That one can flunk a course for disagreeing with a professor's politics, while unconscionable, un-American, and a violation of everything that higher education is supposed to be about, is a well-established reality on American campuses. But this......

It seems that a professor at Washington State University, Selena Lester Breikss, "corrects" students who refer to others as "men" or "women" and will penalize and even fail them if they persist in such "oppressive" and "hateful" language. And she has plenty of company among faculty members at her institution prepared to abuse their authority to punish people who happen not to hold their extreme, bizarre social and political attitudes.

Remember, this is a st…

On being the Christian Church in a post-Christian culture

We live in an emotion-driven, post-rational age. Christianity is confused with "moralistic therapeutic deism" by MOST American Christians. Biblical, church historical, and theological illiteracy has reached incredible levels even among professing believers. We as a society have redefined marriage, and are in the process of even trying to redefine gender! Theological orthodoxy exists in profound disjunction with basic Christian compassion for the poor. It seems that both within the Church and without, we've lost contact not only with the substance of Christianity but with the notion that we are under any particular obligation to reality!

As our culture drowns in biblical ignorance, hedonistic libertarianism and individualism run amok, and the media and public education become devices for propagandizing our youth and catechizing them in the faith of secularism, how should- how can- Christians respond? Here Pastor Todd Wilken and Eastern Orthodox author Todd Dreher discuss…