Category: Politics

The Latest Trump Flop

I can’t say I’m surprised that Trump has now flipped his opinion on immigration, now supporting a plan that is not a mile distant from the plans promoted by Rubio and Bush, which he previously denounced as amnesty. In fact, his speech on this change used many of the exact same words Bush used (this isn’t amnesty, they will pay back taxes, etc.). Trump has no deeply held positions; he has a series of publicity stunts. And now that he’s down in the polls, he’s trying to tack left to pick up votes from moderates. Or, equally likely, pick up wavering conservatives who were bothered by his rhetoric on immigration.

What makes this really delightful, however, is that he did this on the same day that Ann Coulter released her latest book “In Trump We Trust”. Coulter has been having a fit over on Twitter. Viz:

If Trump did this just to fuck with Coulter, I may have to reassess my opinion of the man. That would be Olympic caliber trolling.

Some Final Lochte Thoughts

The basically whole lot of nothing scandal is over, so now NBC doesn’t have to waste anymore air time on those bad boy Americans and can now just loop Usain Bolt clips over and over and over again like they have been doing all week. Re: the robbery and the aftermath (I am still calling it a robbery because it had all the elements of a robbery) I think the way it was handled was just terrible. More on that in a moment but first I want to spend a few moments trashing NBC. I know that they spent a boatload of dough getting the rights to broadcast and I know ratings are way down (look at all the empty seats in the venues)but after the first few days I can’t watch it anymore as aired. I tape the broadcasts, then blow through all the commercials and fluff, leaving me about 40 minutes worth of actual watchable content out of the 4 hours aired each night. The typical pattern is thus; let Bob Costas bluster for a few minutes, show about 2 minutes of actual competition, go to about 5 minutes worth of commercials, then come back with the 6000th airing of Usian Bolt winning a medal. This pattern has not varied. I have read many complaints about NBC touching all these bases. I can’t really say their avarice has cost them my viewership since I never watch them in the first place.

Now that we have believable testimony on what actually transpired that night, I am outraged at how our guys were treated. I watched that Rio press conference and I did not believe very much of what was said, mainly because of the source. All those stories you read about corrupt Mexican cops, the same stories are told about the Rio police.The whole press conference revolved around what the officials said the swimmers supposedly (?) told them. There was no audio from any of the cameras and large gaps where we don’t know what happened at all. I wanted to hear what the swimmers said away from the threat of sitting in a stank filled jail cell. Now we know.

Let’s look at some of the inconsistencies;

The press conference said there was only one security guard (off duty Rio police officer), now we know there were 2. They said a bathroom mirror was trashed but Bentz said it was an outside metal wall frame. They said the guard was there to insure that the swimmers did not leave and waited for the police, yet as soon as the guards took their money, the swimmers were released. Factor in the language barrier (how did the swimmers know they worked for the gas station, did they work for the gas station or were they just off duty cops looking to take off some Americans, did they tell the swimmers to wait for the police, what happened during those camera laps?)

No doubt once released they just wanted to get back to their rooms and forget about the whole affair. And if not for Lochte’s big mouth the next day, talking to a reporter about the incident, that would have been the end of it. No police report was filed, the police only heard about it through social media. Yet, they got a judge to issue an arrest order to pull 2 of the swimmers off of their flight to go home, talk about judicial overreach (where was our State Dept. in all this and why didn’t they file a formal protest and demand an apology for this gross act of overreach?) The police had no right to either take them off the plane or detain them in any manner, all on the word of some drunken swimmer talking to a reporter?

Back to the robbery angle. We don’t know what was actually said (or implied since there was a language barrier) at the gas station. 2 guys approached them with badges and pointed guns demanding money (not a specific amount, mind you, to pay for any damages, no, they wanted whatever the swimmers had in their wallets), then when the money was paid the swimmers were allowed to leave. No reporter at the press conference pushed this issue, if the guns were drawn to make sure the swimmers did not leave until the cops arrived, why were they allowed to leave once money changed hands?

Even though most of what Lochte said could be true, the MSM back home has just crucified him, lying Lochte. You would think he sodomized a local alter boy, for everything that has been written about him. He certainly should shoulder much of the blame, acting like a douche at the gas station then yammering about it the next day, but as usual with these sort of events, there is enough blame to go around for both sides.

Not only were the other 3 swimmers illegally detained (who knows what went on in that interrogation room, and no doubt our State Dept. has contacted all of them with warnings to not say anything to the press detrimental to harmonious Brazil/American relations, e.g. if they threatened you or coerced you into saying something against your will, keep it to yourself), but one of them had to pay 11 grand just to leave the country. Yep, just like the Mexican cops.

Thank God no underage hookers were filmed spilling out of that taxi at the gas station. And Lochte will be hurt financially for this little bit of indiscretion re: endorsements but the Rio cops could have handled this much better. A simple statement of ,”We are not aware of any robbery that took place at that gas station that night. Until the American swimmers contact us to make a formal report, no action on our part is required. We do not act on social media reports, thank you”. That would have worked just fine.

I knew it had to somehow be Boosh’s fault!

And as usual, the tards don’t let me down:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told federal investigators that Colin Powell, a former secretary of State, advised her to use a personal email account, the New York Times reports.

The newspaper said the information, from a three-and-a-half-hour interview with Clinton in July, is included in notes the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave to Congress on Tuesday.

The NYT also cites a book by political journalist Joe Conason that says during a conversation at a dinner party hosted by another former secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, in Washington in 2009, Powell advised Clinton to use her “own email” except for classified communications.

The newspaper says it received an advance copy of the book, called Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton.

“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat,” Conason writes in the book, according to the NYT.

“Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”

“Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department,” Mr. Powell “thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages,” the extract continued.

That emphasis is mine. Because this scumbag Clinton is again trying to confuse the issue by pretending what she did was the norm, which is that she had used her personal account- as advised – to conceal the nefarious and criminal activity of that Clinton foundation funds – but ignored the most important part of that advice she got: EXCEPT FOR CLASSIFIED COMMUNICATIONS!

If you for a second doubted that Clinton being let off was political and an act of corrupt government, note how others are not given the same latitude for far less. But that’s what the US has become after the last 8 years: a banana republic.

My best guess is…

That when you look at this story, even if the grievance mongers manage to subvert this in court, happened. I have never met a bunch of people that is more prepared to see insult in anything and everything than the left’s grievance money making machine, except for those in government. I have personally witnessed these grievance mongers shout down people that dared to go against the edicts of the left.

From calling people that dared to walk off the slimy left’s plantation Uncle Toms to referring to any gay person that doesn’t agree with the left as gay traitors, I have seen SJW types go apeshit over those that didn’t agree with and push the narrative. One of my favorites is still the proggie that told a bunch of rednecks – his feelings about them – that they were and would remain trailer trash because they voted against their own interests (meaning not for proggies).

I am a Redskins fan. I have always been a Redskins fan. I saw my first football game in RFK Stadium in 1973 and been a fan since then. I have always been told that the name was in honor of the Native Americans and you can imagine my surprise when I saw my first grievance mongering industry proggie (and this was not a native American) imply that the name was offensive. Like with every single one of these stunts, it is about power and money, and it usually is some kind of a financial shakedown (pay me to shut up, or else). I find it poetic justice that someone on the other side is now shaking down one of the grievance mongering industry proggies.

The Baltimore Mess

As you may have read, the final charges were dismissed in the Freddie Gray case a few weeks ago, after the first four trials ended in acquittal. What strikes me about the Freddie Gray case is the staggering incompetence of the prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby. In Freddie Gray, we had a man who had not committed a crime, was bound up and tossed in the back of the van and emerged with his neck fatally broken. You would think you could at least get something out of that. But through a series of blunders — concealing exculpatory evidence, overcharging (murder instead of negligent homicide or manslaughter) and other incompetent idiocies, Mosby got nothing. Well, she got her face on TV, which seems to be what mattered most to her.

Mosby is running around insisting that if she’d only had a jury trial, she would have won (ignoring that the first jury deadlocked). She’s wrong:

A prosecutor who evaluates cases based on evidence and appropriately applied laws is actually charged with seeking convictions over justice, not the other way around. Mosby admitted to the nation she was not looking for convictions. The only other explanation was that she was looking to appease the angry citizens of Baltimore.

That would seem noble, except it’s not. Prosecutors have a serious job that comes with serious power. And the way they wield that power is extremely important. Politics and criminal law don’t mix well. That’s been on full display as Mosby’s prosecutors keep spinning wilder legal theories and, not surprisingly, keep getting handed acquittals.

The larger pity of this is that the acquittal overshadows some very serious problems in the Baltimore PD. The Justice Department recently issued the results of its investigation in the BPD. Balko, who calls the DOJ report “the worst I’ve ever seen” goes through it point-by-point. BPD has been told to make large numbers of stops and arrests, regardless of whether someone is committing a crime or not. Unsurprisingly, these arrests are concentrated in a handful of poor black neighborhoods. People are frequently detained, questioned and searched without probable cause (95% of them turn out to have no contraband or outstanding warrants). People have been strip-searched in public without probable cause, arrested without probable cause, made to “justify” their presence in public areas. Of thousands of complaint of excessive force, only a tiny number were investigated and only one resulted in discipline. BPD officers are routinely instructed to use excessive force, including being told to point their guns at people in non-violent situations to exert control.

This passage in particular is just jaw-dropping.

During a ride-along with Justice Department officials, a BPD sergeant instructed a patrol officer to stop a group of young African-American males on a street corner, question them, and order them to disperse. When the patrol officer protested that he had no valid reason to stop the group, the sergeant replied “Then make something up.”

Just so we’re clear, the sergeant not only instructed a subordinate to violate the men’s constitutional rights by concocting a lie, he did so while knowingly in the presence of DOJ monitors. That’s some serious cultural and institutional rot. In another incident, the report describes how several officers detained a man whose only offense was to be in a “high-crime area” with his hands in his pockets. (The DOJ report notes that it happened to be a cold January morning.) After repeated questioning, the officers found a (perfectly legal) kitchen knife in his possession. They then illegally arrested him. When he resisted, they beat and Tased him to the point that he needed medical care. He was never charged with a crime. In his report, the supervising sergeant praised the officers for their “great restraint and professionalism.”

Notorious police-state bootlicker Heather MacDonald posted a response that basically ignored everything in the report. It amounts to, “well, most crimes are committed by black people.” That’s true, but it does not justify routinely detaining, searching, arresting and harassing black people. It does not make standing on a corner being black probable cause. It does not justify ignoring almost all complaints of police brutality and misconduct. This is not either-or. It is perfectly reasonable to note that black people commit an astonishingly high proportion of crimes and that the BPD is engaging in astonishing unconstitutional practices that are tinged with racial bias.

One of the things we have seen is that when riots erupt, there is often a history. That does not justify the riots, obviously, since the riots only do more damage to the community and discredit the cause. But the Rodney King riots erupted after years of complaints about Darryl Gates’ LAPD. The Ferguson riots erupted after years of the city sustaining its unsustainable budget by fining and ticketing the shit out of its black citizenry. This report shows that the Baltimore riots erupted in a city engaging in incredibly aggressive policing that makes its citizens feel under siege.

Balko:

I can’t imagine what it must be like to get stopped by the police 20 or more times every year — to be arrested and jailed for nothing at all, to be stripped nude and searched in public for a traffic offense, or to be told it’s basically illegal for me to merely exist in public. I can’t imagine trying to have a life under those conditions, to raise kids, to just function as a human being — much less rise above my surroundings. I suppose defenders of these tactics will say that black neighborhoods are disproportionately targeted because that’s where most of the crime takes place. I don’t doubt that may be true. But your constitutional rights aren’t determined by the behavior of people who look like you, or by the behavior of the people who live in your neighborhood. Neither should the dignity and humanity afforded to you by the people who are supposed to be protecting you.

This, of course, only makes the riots all the more tragic. Peaceful demonstrations would have done a better job of highlighting these problems without alienating everyone*. But the violence doesn’t change the reality that BPD has a serious problem in its policing.

(*Possibly. The might also, as we’ve seen in several cities, provoked a militarized response anyway.)

That was the plan from the start

For those that don’t get it, the people that foisted the Obamacare monstrosity on us see this as a feature, not a problem:

When Aetna Inc. announced that it would withdraw from three-quarters of the states where it offers Affordable Care Act exchange plans, the move wasn’t entirely unexpected: The company had signaled its woes early this month.

But the decision by one of the nation’s largest health insurers AET, -0.20% to withdraw from 11 of 15 state exchanges follows similar moves by UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -0.38%, the largest U.S. health insurer, and Humana Inc. HUM, +0.00% , another large health insurer.

The string of bad news marks a tidal shift for the ACA. Where insurers, including Aetna, had once planned on exchange expansions next year, many are instead curtailing their coverage.

Aetna’s pared-down 2017 exchange participation “raises further questions about the long-term viability of the ACA marketplaces,” said Susquehanna analyst Chris Rigg.

Aetna explained the decision as a way to “limit our financial exposure moving forward,” after pretax losses of $200 million in the second quarter and losses totaling $430 million on individual products since January 2014. The company did not specify what portion of the losses was attributable to individual public plan offerings.

The company criticized the ACA’s “inadequate” risk-adjustment mechanism, which is meant to limit insurers’ losses as they start covering sicker individuals. It’s a common criticism from health insurers, which have long said that the risk-pool program isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, though others say big insurance companies should instead change their model to keep costs down.

You know what? Even though I have investments in Aetna funds, I can’t say I feel sorry for them. They were stupid enough to buy the lies the crooked democrats told them, and this is on them. There is no way to make a system that allows people to not join and pay until they have a serious condition – and the penalty never comes to the level of pain one faces buying this shit because of the over regulation of this product – work financially. Why the fuck would someone young not opt for the penalty and only sign up whenever the shit hits the fan later in life, huh? And Aetna should have remembered this, but they bought the nonsense and figured they would somehow make it work. Idiot the lot of them.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that all this hand wringing, now that Obamacare is doing exactly what those of us had pointed out it was designed to do when we saw it being put together, is bullshit. Obamacare was designed from the start to destroy the American healthcare system. All that talk about cost reduction or containment, helping people out, and especially making things better while allowing those of us that were happy to keep what we had, was just that: talk. The plan the left has been running with is single payer healthcare controlled by an all powerful government from the start, and this monstrosity was put together to facilitate that while fucking over the people that would otherwise never accept the single payer idea until the system had fallen apart.

Clinton Cash from College

Wow:

Bill Clinton netted $1.6 million last year from a pair of for-profit education companies that caused controversy for the future president during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state.

Laureate Education paid Bill Clinton nearly $1.1 million in 2015, according to tax returns released by his wife’s campaign Friday. GEMS Education, a Dubai-based firm, paid him more than $560,000.

Both companies are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Bill Clinton’s lucrative consulting contracts with the corporations have raised questions about how closely his personal fortune is linked to his philanthropic activities.

Not only are both companies donors to the Clinton Foundation, the CEO heads a company that got millions in State Department grants. Over the years, Bill was paid over $15 million to be the honorary chancellor of Laureate.

The moniker “for-profit” colleges is a bit misleading. The problem with “for-profit” colleges is not the profit. All colleges and universities are multi-million or multi-billion dollar operations that pay six figure salaries to their administrators. The President of “non-profit” Harvard, for example, pulled in a cool $900,000 last year. No, the problem is that some of these colleges bring in working and middle-class students, get them to take out massive amounts of federally-backed student loan debt and then give them a poor education. In their way, they are far worse and more insidious than Trump University. John Oliver talks about it here.

In fairness, none of the college singled out by Oliver are part of Laureate. But four of their six US campuses are being monitored by the Department of Education and one of their Chilean campus lost accreditation. Walden University is being sued by a group of people hoping to eventually make a class action. You can read more about the Laureate Scandal here

Don’t let Trump’s awfulness let us forget that the Clintons are pretty awful too. Even if we assume that everything Laureate is doing is peachy, this would still be a scandal for any Republican.

An Observation from PA

I live in Pennsylvania. It is traditionally a battleground state. Although it has gone blue in recent Presidential elections by comfortable margins, it has also elected GOP Congressman, Senators, state legislators and governors (we would still have a GOP governor if Corbett hadn’t been such a jackass).

All week, I’ve been watching the Olympics. The Olympics draws large audiences and traditionally draws lots of political ads. I have seen plenty of ads for Pat Toomey, the incumbent GOP senator who is facing an uphill battle for re-election. I have seen plenty of ads for Hillary Clinton (which, ironically, make me glad I’m not voting for her since they taut her tax and spend “economic” plans). So how many ads have I seen for Trump?

One.

And that wasn’t really a Trump ad. It was from an anti-Clinton PAC.

Donald Trump is now running around saying that if he loses Pennsylvania it will be because the election was “rigged”. I’m sure, at some point, he’ll claim it was sarcastic. Whatever. All the commentary has focused on the notion that Trump is undermining faith in the system and indulging in conspiracy theories. And sure, there’s that aspect to it. There’s a certain faction of the Right Wing that pores through district-by-district voting data to claim … something.

But I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. I don’t think Trump gives two shits about whether he undermines faith in the system. He’s simply laying the groundwork in case he loses. His pattern in business is to blame his failures on everyone but himself. We’ve seen in this election that Trump can’t be bothered to do the hard work of actually, you know, running a campaign. He has far fewer staffers, has raised far less money and has far less of a ground game than Clinton. Read this report about how how Trump is just now throwing together a slapdash operation a critical swing county in Ohio.

He’s not trying. If he were trying, I’d be seeing ads. I’d be seeing signs, volunteers and bumper stickers. I would know exactly where to go if I wanted campaign materials. I’ve heard similar things from friend and acquaintances from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh: Trump isn’t trying.

Maybe he has an idea that he can get by without these things and just coast on celebrity and speeches. But I am extremely dubious. Winning an election is about more than speeches and issues. It’s about getting people to the damned polls. This stuff matters. This is how the sausage is made. This is why you hire professionals who know the districts down to the house level and will work tirelessly to wring every single vote out of a district. At this point, with less than three months to go, I’m not seeing a lot of effort in that direction. It’s not over by any means; but it’s getting awfully late.

So no Trump isn’t “destroying Democracy”. He’s simply crying that the other team cheated to cover up his own failings.

Trump Stomps On Another Bad Clinton News Cycle

So the big political news story yesterday was supposed to be the Orlando shooter’s father turning up at a Clinton rally. I don’t generally care for the “guilt by association” game, especially when it’s guilt-by-association-by-association. But I did think it was odd to have him so appear so prominently at a rally. Any reasonable political organization would have realized the bad optics and prevented it (it’s not like Mateen is an unknown).

What’s really fun about this, however, is watching sites like LGF, which have played the guilt-by-association game for years, scramble to explain why this guilt by association means nothing. The online Left will go through lists of Trump followers on Twitter to find racist shitbags and claim that their following of Trump means … something. Had the Charleston shooter’s parents, grandparents, neighbors or college roommates turned up a Trump rally, they’d be going absolutely batshit. But when it’s Clinton, suddenly that game is no longer valid.

Uh-huh.

But as he usually does, Trump couldn’t let Clinton self-immolate.

Donald Trump suggested at a rally Tuesday afternoon that the “Second Amendment people” could do something about Hillary Clinton choosing judges if she is elected president, a comment some took to mean he was implying violence against the Democratic nominee.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” he said at a rally in Wilmington, N.C., to boos from the crowd. “Although the Second Amendment people … maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The comments came as Trump was discussing Clinton’s position on gun control measures, with Trump repeating his frequent claim that Clinton would “essentially abolish the Second Amendment.”

Trump senior communications advisor Jason Miller said in a statement that Trump was referring to the political power of Second Amendment supporters at the ballot box, not to any sort of violence.

Now the outrage over this is a bit overblown. Trump was making a bad joke. He was not literally calling for Clinton to be shot. It wasn’t a criminal act. And it’s the sort of thing Sarah Palin has said on several occasions. Still … it’s not something a Presidential candidate should be saying. We have a Secret Service for a reason and Trump has a bad history of winking at violence from his supporters. But no, it was not a literal call for assassination.

However … Trump keeps making these gaffes. He is constantly drawing the attention of the media from whatever Clinton is doing: lying about her e-mail investigation, failing to defend the Libya intervention, calling for massive tax hikes. A President unable to stay on message, a President who can’t get through a speech without causing a furor is a problem. Yeah, liberal media, etc. They have often been unfair. But Reagan didn’t feed the liberal media this kind of crap (well, except for that one time, which was an off-camera joke). Nor did Bush. Nor did Romney. Nor did McCain. They understood that Republicans play on an unfair field. And the only way to win the game is to Stay. On. Message. We should be talking about Clinton’s terrible track record, Clinton’s terrible plans, Clinton’s petty vindictiveness. Instead, we’re talking about Trump riling up the media again. That might be fun for people who hate the media, but it doesn’t win elections.

Presidents do need to extemporize at times (one of Bush II’s best moments was both spontaneous and deeply moving). But Trump’s improvisation is doing nothing but enabling Hillary. It’s continually distracting from her numerous faults so we can debate whether what Trump said was a joke or whether it was serious or what it means. Sorry, the carny act is getting tiresome. We have three months left. Is he ever going to campaign like he wants to win?