It Must Be Summer

One of the most evergreen topics for any out-of-power party is the gas prices this time of year.

Here’s a hint – the sitting president has almost nothing to do with fluctuations in spot gas prices (and no, I said pretty much the same thing when gas prices rose to $4, twice, during the Obama years; long-term prices are another matter, but the fracking boom blunted Obama’s efforts there).

Anyway – it‘s a new administration, and a new minority party,  and it’s baaaack:

Now it’s evidently Democrats’ turn again. The Daily Beast reports Monday that they plan to make rising gas prices the centerpiece of their summer election-year attacks against President Donald Trump. Already Chuck Schumer has taken to the Senate floor to attack Trump on the issue, blaming the price increases on his decision to pull out of the Iran deal (an Iran deal Schumer supposedly opposes, but good luck figuring that one out).

But as with the attacks against Bush and Obama, the attack on Trump lacks teeth. Economists widely accept that presidents have only minimal control over gas prices. As University of Chicago economist and Obama advisor Richard H. Thaler noted in 2012, while most Americans think presidents can control gas prices, “any respectable economist” will tell you they cannot.

It’s not like there’s no real news out there, I mean…

The Eighteen Month Tantrum

A year and a half of Donald Trump is bringing out “Progressivism’s” innate tendency toward violence:

Insidiously and incrementally, we are in the process of normalizing violence against the elected president of the United States. If all this fails to delegitimize Trump, fails to destroy his health, or fails to lead to a 2018 midterm Democratic sweep and subsequent impeachment, expect even greater threats of violence. The Resistance and rabid anti-Trumpers have lost confidence in the constitutional framework of elections, and they’ve flouted the tradition by which the opposition allows the in-power party to present its case to the court of public opinion.

Instead, like the French revolutionaries’ Committee on Public Safety, the unhinged anti-Trumpists assume that they have lost public opinion, given their venom and crudity, and are growing desperate as every legal and paralegal means of removing Trump is nearing exhaustion. Robert Mueller is the last chance, a sort of Watergate or Abu Ghraib that could gin up enough furor to drive down Trump’s poll favorability to the twenties and thereby reduce his person to a demonic force deserving of whatever it gets.

And while the genie was never really in the bottle, it’s going to be much harder to get control of “them” when we finally have to.

If we ever do.

Grandfathered

Now, I’ll cop to two facts: First, I’ve gone back and forth about Kanye West – he’s a talented rapper (yes, there is such a thing, and if you haven’t tried to do it, by all means do before you let your aesthetics and subjective preferences drive you to write a rhetorical check facts can’t cash) and a gargantuan ego; an open Christian (in a way similar to Prince, in some ways) and a deeply profane person; he interests and repels me in equal measure, depending on when you catch me.

Second:  I’ll profess some bemusement at all the conservative figures who’ve adopted him as a hero in the past week, since he came to the defense of Candace Owens, a black conservative woman who’s been mixing it up with Back Lives Matter.

As we’ve noted in the past – if there’s one thing Big Left hates more than its enemies, its apostates.  Lenin killed the Mensheviks before he got to the White Russians; Hitler had to deal with Ernst Röhm before he went after the dissident clergy, gays and Jews.  ISIS kills “apostate” Muslims before they bother with Christians and Jews.

And American “Progressives” have to slime women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays or any other of “Their” groups who leave the One True Political Faith.

Which, it would seem, Kanye West did in defending a Trump-supporting black woman; Big Left is fully engaged in tearing down what they think they built.  (Yes, West is a provocateur, and it’s entirely likely his “conversation” to “supporting” a conservative will last just as long as Charles Barkley’s did.  But that’s not the point, here).

It’s true for little left, too.

Jamar Nelson – who is a talk show host on the lesser talk station – had this to say about Kanye West yesterday:

I tried to ask Mr. Nelson – who is one of the MNDFL’s leading public intellectuals, and I mean that sincerely – who determined what was “at the expense of the black community”?  And if perhaps unthinking loyalty to a party that’s earnestly worked to keep that community in poverty for two generations now might not be an “expense” to that community as well.

I got nothing, nor will I, but as the great journalist Gretzky said, you get no answers to 100% of the questions you don’t ask.

I’m just trying to find a unit if time short enough to measure how long it’d take to get a Salem host off the air who wrote something like that.

Gipperish

I’ve been pretty up front about the fact that I’ve always been deeply ambivalent about The Donald.

But this line was almost Reaganesque:

And for all the lace undies’ set’s caterwauling about The Donald’s style, it’d be hard to miss the impact he’s had.  Glenn Reynolds notices:

FOR ALL THE TALK ABOUT TRUMP BEING AN INCOMPETENT TODDLER, I notice that Saudi Arabia is liberalizing at a previously unimaginable pace, other Asian countries are siding with us against China, and now Trump’s going to meet with Kim Jong Un, which if he were a Democrat would be celebrated as a masterstroke no matter what the results.

The idea that after a year of saber rattling, Kim Jong Un is suddenly making nice with the ROK is completely novel…

…for whose utterly ignorant of history and in dealing with tyrants and bullies.

 

Proportion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Dow dropped the most points ever!  Trump should stay away!
Rubbish. The Dow dropped 666 points to close at 25,520.   An article from Obama’s time, 2015, shows the 10 worst drops in history.  His was number 10.
The analysts are using points instead of percentages which makes it sound scary but is it really?  If the Dow was at 10,000 points and dropped 1,000, that’s a 10% drop but if it’s at 20,000 points and drops 1,000, that’s a 5% drop, only half as bad.  Trump’s drop of 666 on 26,000 is 2.5%, not the worst in history, doesn’t even make in the top 10.   It’s a blip.
Why do you suppose an English major can figure that out, but all the sophisticated market analysts in the media cannot?
Joe Doakes

Make no mistake – they can figure it out.

But the Demorat messaging plan is “Say whatever we need to; our audience is either in on the line, or isn’t smart enough to bother”.

Lions Lying Down With Lambs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

58 Democrats in House vote to impeach Trump for bigotry, racism, and generally being deplorable.  Nancy Pelosi says no, they should wait until they have evidence of an impeachable offense.

When Nancy Pelosi is your party’s voice of reason . . . .

Joe Doakes

Pretty sure it’s more red meat for the left’s gullible hordes – but Joe’s right.

Stage IV Pauline Kael Syndrome

Katha Pollitt is sort of a gender affirmative action project; Big Leftymedia has Jonathan Chait, so the need a female version (pardon the redundancy).

She never disappoints, which is another way of saying if you have any hope that our coastal elite can be salvaged, she disappoints intensely.

In this case, Pollitt “writes” about the rage that’s been buiding in her since…well, that day last November:

Unlike my friend’s, my life has changed a lot in the year since Trump was elected. Not materially, except for the fact that my stepson and daughter-in-law moved to Canada partly because, as non-citizens, they worried for their futures here in the US.

Er, right.  That’s why they moved.  Not to be rid of their ninny mother in law. Nosirreebob.

I mean psychologically. I sometimes feel like I’m a different person now. I’m fidgety and irritable and have trouble concentrating.

I have little doubt that the affliction is real; she hands out straight lines like after-dinner mints; either she’s so addled by her rage, or so secure in never being challenged by her audience:

My work seems trivial: Given what we are facing, what difference does one more Nation column make? I might as well be an ancient Egyptian scribe logging production figures for cat mummies.

Katha:  your work is trivial.  Even when your guy was in power, you were a joyless scold who served only to fluff your social class’s sense of self-importance.

Today, you are the same thing, plus depression born of unrequited entitlement.  Mazel tov.

In the old days, the days before Trump, it bothered me that so many people loved things I thought were stupid. Now I just think, Go ahead, enjoy yourself. Maybe your Batman DVDs will comfort you when we’re wandering around in the ashen hellscape of whatever apocalypse Trump will bring down upon us.

Katha:  Sylvia Plath called.  She told you to buck up and quit being such a downer.

But the main difference is that I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump.

Of course you hate people “now”, Katha.

People who do their own “research” on the Internet and discover there that President Obama is a Muslim and Michelle Obama is a man. People who use the n-word and can’t even spell it right, because—have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell. Well-off people who only care about lowering their taxes. People who said they couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her emails. Excuse me, sir or madam, can you explain to me what an email server even is?

The real question, Katha, is can you?

No.  You can’t.

If you want to see example 25,695 on why Trump/Pence are going to win re-election in 2020, look no further.

Marketplace Of Dumb Ideas

A longtime friend of this blog writes:

With all the talk of Trump being too impulsive to have his proverbial finger on nuclear weapons, Trump hasn’t really done anything rash. He says some annoying things, getting the goat of many people in this country. But, despite all the uproar, he has pretty much stuck to not doing anything to us.

However, the constant focus on his brash style of speaking has me most concerned about what the Democrats are going to produce next Presidential election to counter this. It has been speculated that Franken may run. He has already written a book, which usually signals interest. Last night, I had a nightmare that he announced. His pen will likely be a little more impulsive in doing to us.

Yeah, that thought’s crossed my mind.  I can just see the meeting at the DNC:  “So the people want loudmouthed, brash and incorrigible?  Let’s give ’em really loudmouthed, brash and incorrigible!”

If Franken doesn’t run, they might go with Dennis Rodman.

Narrative Check

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump claims John Podesta barred the FBI from looking at the DNC computer.

You remember that computer – not the one in Hillary’s bathroom that she wiped with a cloth, this is the DNC server that supposedly got “hacked” by the Russians to steal the Democrats’ emails, which the Russians then released to the public through their shill, Wikileaks, in an effort to make Hillary look bad so voters wouldn’t like her, all the while colluding with the Trump campaign to steal the election from Hillary.   Trump claims the FBI never saw it.

Naturally, the Liberal media is covering for the Democrats.  Politifact rated Trump’s claim a LIE:  John Podesta did NOT bar the FBI from looking at the DNC computer.  Somebody else did that.

Missing the point, people!  The essence of the claim remains true: the feds never saw the computer.

The only evidence the Russians had anything to do with the massive leak of embarrassing emails comes from the private IT firm hired by the Democrats.  The leak could just as easily have come from a disgruntled DNC employee, perhaps an IT specialist who downloaded the emails and offered them to Wikileaks right before he was murdered in a ‘robbery gone bad’ in which nothing was stolen, that the D.C. cops refuse to investigate.

Since when does the FBI out-source criminal investigations or national security breaches?  But the Democrats assured James Comey the Russians did it, and that’s good enough for old Jimbo. And the rest of the nation blindly follows the false trail down the rabbit hole.

Joe Doakes

If Democrats defended this nation like they defend their narrative, ISIS would be hiding under a rock in the Hejdaz.

I’m Not Sure…

…what struck me the most about President Trump’s speech in Warsaw.    The fact that it was an excellent speech – presidential, inspirational – but that showed he’s got an interest in Making Western Civilization Great Again…

…or the fact that Big Left found a way to poo-poo the value of Western Civilization:

In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.

… The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.

And here we go.

Yep. The society that first recognized the value of the individual, that figured rights were endowed to us by our creator and not government, that decided every government rules by consent of the governed, happened to be caucasoid and Christian; elements of western history and Christian faith make both amendable to those ideas.

What do critics like Peter Beinart want?  To make Western civilization more like all those non-western, non-Christian civilizations?

Have the left learned nothing?

Genius?

While I cringe at some of what comes out on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, I’ve often wondered if it isn’t cringe-y like a fox, if only because so much of the Mainstream Media runs chasing after rhetorical squirrels every time he sounds off.

I’m not the only one:

President Donald Trump frequently comes under criticism for tweeting, even from his own advisers.  But tweeting is probably the smartest thing he has done as president. He is able to speak directly to the American

The whole thing is worth a read.

Peek A Boo

Johnny Deep wants to know when the last time a President was shot by an actor.

My question; does Depp know when the last time an actor was chased into a barn and died in a hail of gunfire?

But I”ll take it easy on Mr. Depp.  He’s been too busy assassinating his own career for the last few years.

I Thought About Doing An “Avery Librelle” Dramatization…

…of a smug, entitled, East-Coast fop “analyzing” the blue-collar white people who put Donald Trump in office – the line “Shut up, you worthless sister-boinking Budweiser-drinking white trash” Avery explained” croxsed my mind – but in the end, I figured this piece in (where else) Slate by (who else?) Isaac Chotiner parodied itself far beyond my feeble talents.

Shot:

If there is one thing everyone should be able to agree on about the past seven months, it is that the white working class can no longer be described as “forgotten.” Beaten-down? Racist? Mistreated? Angry? Victimized? Sure. We have read and heard the white working class described in all of those ways. But the election of Donald Trump has ensured that we are discussing this group ad nauseam.

Chaser:

I spoke recently by phone with [author Joan Williams], who is also a distinguished professor of law at University of California Hastings College of the Law. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed Trump’s view of his own voters, the role of racism in class resentments, and whether there is any way to avoid being “condescending” to Trump’s supporters.

 

Go head, read it.  And as you do, just note – that sound you’re hearing is Donald Trump measuring the drapes for his second term.

Coup D’Etat

Did Trump do anything wrong?  We don’t know – that’s what trials (and the whole “innocent until proven guilty”) thing is all about.

But the firestorm of agitation that Big Left and the Media are whipping up, in the absence of any hard evidence, has nothing to do with right, wrong or justice, says Kurt Schlichter:

The blizzard of lies and distraction blowing through Washington is not just any routine stuffstorm, but a calculated attempt to bring down a president – our president, not the establishment’s president. And more than that, it’s an attempt to ensure that we never again have the ability to disrupt the bipartisan D.C. cabal’s permanent supremacy by inserting a chief executive who refuses to kiss their collective Reid.

This is a coup against us. It’s a coordinated campaign by liberals and their allies in the bureaucracy and media to once and for all ensure their perpetual rule over us. We need to fight it, here and now, so we don’t have to fight it down at the bottom of this slippery slope.

There are times I wonder if this nation shouldn’t just call it quits and split into 2-5 other nations, and let the coasts rot in their own splendid filth.

The Devils And Angels In My Nature…

…got into an argument over this past weekend’s festivities in Berkeley, where Real American pro-free-speech activists banded together to deter, and occasionally, where necessary, necessary meet, “anti-fascist” fascist violence at a pro-Trump rally.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Oh, God, I am so freaking happy to see that the good guys – any good guys, people who try to express their views peacefully, fought back against the Blackshirts and other neo-fascist thugs.    Those little upper-middle-class fops are bullies, every one of them.  They sucker-punch, they gang up on lone people, they use weapons like sticks and pepper spray against the unarmed and unsuspecting, they throw smoke bombs at old ladies and punch out teenage girls – but I’m gonna guess every one of them crapped their pants when they saw Real Americans lined up to stare their snowflake asses down.

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  Yeah, it’s tempting to cheer.   But remember – if 200 Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers or Trumpkins go to the hospital, it’ll warrant not a single headline – but the moment Joshua Micah Gildersleeve from Oberlin gets his face scuffed up, it’ll headlines across the entire mainstream media, and the left will make “right wing thuggery” a chanting point forevermore.

Because you know it as well as I do, Mitch’s-inner-devil; the only damage the media and the people who set our society’s opinions care about is damage to the kids who look like their kids.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  So we should sit still and be placid, passive victims and punching bags for those worthless bullies?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  That’s not what I’m saying.  But let’s be realistic; if a couple black guys punched out a Klansman in self-defense in 1920, it was a tree falling in the forest that was used by the bullies to justify even more violence.  Hell – they’re trying to provoke violence, so they and their patsies and enablers in the MSM can tell the gullible general public “Look at what these big bag righties did to our best and brightest!”

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Bu you know as well as I do they don’t even need any kind of resistance to their “resistance” to “Justify” any of that.   And..

(Devil notices Angel removing halo, donning a Gadsden Flag t-shirt, and picking up what looks like a stuffed sweat sock).

Er, Angel?  What is that?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  It’s a sweat sock with a big russet potato in it.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Er…what the…why?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  Hits like a truck full of bricks, doesn’t leave a mark.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  Um…again, why?

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  (pulls stocking cap low over head).  I’m heading down planetside.  I’m gonna find the next snowflake anti-Free-Speech rally.  If they try to bully anyone else into silence, I’m gonna go all Old Testament Angel on them.

Devil (on Mitch’s left shoulder):  But…you’re the angel of Mitch’s better nature…

Angel (on Mitch’s right shoulder):  I’m an angel.  I’m not an idiot.

(And SCENE).

Unclear On The Concept

File this under “Evidence of a shoddy education”: around the world, (we are told) the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” is being screened…

…to “protest Donald Trump“.

Forget for a moment that Orwell wrote the book as a satire of contemporary British far leftists snd their tendency to eat each other, not to mention the horrors of the Stalinist regime that they were busily sweeping under the rug at the time.

No.  The funny thing, I’m going to bet, is that the “progressives” – who will no doubt need to buy two tickets to the screening to save a chair for their self-righteousness and indignation – after the election we just had, will no doubt will see themselves as Winston Smith, rather than O’Brien.

Foreign And Domestic Abuse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When the man in the muscle shirt screams at the woman laying bleeding on the floor: “Now look what you made me do,” we know he’s in the wrong.  There is nothing she could have done that would justify his violent response.

 Unless she was a Trump supporter.  That’s provocative, like the Nazis marching in Skokie.  Then he had no choice but to respond with violence.  He was totally justified, it was her own fault, just as Liberals are justified in responding to conservative campus speakers with violence.  It’s our own fault for provoking them.

 Joe Doakes

We should all know better, shouldn’t we?

Straws

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There’s an internet video telling people they must “accept the deed” in order to perfect title to their homes.  Until you accept the deed, you’re merely a tenant at sufferance with no rights.  But once you accept the deed, then you become the assignee of the prior owner’s title, and his prior owner’s title, all the way back to the United States government land grant. That’s important, because original land grants give “allodial title” which is title free from all encumbrances.

 And that means the bank can’t foreclose your mortgage.  It’s not an encumbrance on the land.  You might owe the money on the note, but they can’t use the mortgage to take away your home.

 It’s ridiculous, of course.  Yes, the original land grant was allodial in the sense that it was free of any claims from the federal government.  But once you acquire the land, there’s nothing saying you can’t encumber it yourself by, for example, giving a mortgage to pledge the land as security for a loan.  You gave up the allodial character of the land when you signed the mortgage.

During the foreclosure crisis, we had people showing up at the County Recorder’s office wanting to “accept their deed” so they could stop the foreclosure.  Desperate people grasp at straws, they believe there’s got to be a way to save the house, got to be a form they can file, some legal trickery that will allow them to hang on just a little bit longer and maybe even turn this thing around.

 Speaking of whom . . . .

 Joe Doakes

She’s like “Elmer Gantry” without the style.

“Wiretapping”

“The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.
”  — Salena Zito

When Donald Trump claimed “Trump Tower had been wiretapped”, the media – awash in images of sweaty, donut-dust-stained cops hunched over in a 1974 Ford Econoline amid amplifiers and reel to reel tape decks, concentrating on conversations through headphones.  And they laughed – nobody’s done that since the ’80s!  Har di har!

Roger Simon connects some  dots – inconvenient ones, for the agenda-driven media:

What appears at this writing is that Trump transition team members and possibly Trump himself had their identities revealed, were “unmasked” in the parlance, while foreign diplomats were being surveilled. The identities of American citizens were not sufficiently “minimized,” as they are required to be by law. This is a crime one would assume would put the perpetrators in prison. So far it hasn’t. More than that, such behavior is a grave threat to a free society, to all of us.

In effect, Trump was wiretapped — if not in the corny, old sense of the word, something very close. Technologically, he was wiretapped, as were several (actually many) others.

A fair amount of this happened not long before Barack Obama suddenly changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, for the first time ever allowing the NSA to share its data with 16 other intelligence agencies, thus making the dissemination of said data (i. e. leaking) many times more likely. That was done on January 12, 2017, just three scant days before Trump’s inauguration. Why did the then president finally decide to make that particular change at that extremely late date, rather than on one of the previous seven years and three hundred fifty-three days of his presidency? You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes or Watson to smell a rat. Something’s rotten somewhere — and it’s not Denmark.

The whole thing is worth a read.

NPR On Al Capone’s Vault Trump’s Tax Return

On “Morning Edition”.

NPR Reporter:  “…if it weren’t for the “Alternative Minimum Tax”, Trump would have paid a net tax rate of 3%”.

NPR Anchor:  “Right – but there was an alternative minimum tax, and he paid a net rate of about 25% – considerably higher than Barack Obama and double what Bernie Sanders paid.  So why the pointless “what if?”   You’re “reporting” a complete nothingburger, here.”

(UPDATE:  The anchor never said any of that.  It was just a dream.  The “reporter’s” line is pretty accurate, though).