Category: Politics

Gorsuch Hearings Start Today

The confirmation hearings for Gorsuch will start today. So far, I have been impressed. I doubt I will agree with him on everything, but he seems to have a sharp mind and a strong judicial philosophy.

The Democrats are in a bind here because their base wants them to hold their breath until they turn blue but they don’t really have a reason to oppose him. They’ve been trying to go through his decisions and even some of the legal arguments he made as a lawyer but nothing has stuck. I expect some hysterics. But ultimately, I expect him to be confirmed. Say 65-35.

All that wolf crying…

Is not really going to go anywhere, and that is because as many of us that saw the hysteria sans any evidence pointed out: it was all bullshit. There is no way that if this story even had an inkling of a chance of being true – based on evidence, that is, not the pipe dreams of a bunch of idiots with an agenda to deflect from the real issues – that we wouldn’t have been given the facts by now. The democrats play dirty. They care not a damn if they destroy the country if it keeps them in power, so if they had proof, that proof would already have been released by their operatives in the deep state bureaucracy.

This Russia thing was started as a distraction from the revelations of how corrupt the DNC and the Clinton campaign were, and it got legs after the people in the Obama administration that tapped the Trump campaign – to find dirt no doubt – started pretending there was something going on there. We now know that the democrat delusion and their knee jerk reaction after losing an election they felt certain they had already stolen, was all bullshit. Oh sure, they are still talking about Trump being a Russian stooge, despite the fact that unlike them he has been though with Russia and is pro fracking – something that impacts the economy of Russia which is mostly centered around the sale of oil and natural gas far more than anything we could do otherwise in a real negative way – because the objective here has from the start been to deligitimize his election in the eyes of the low information voter. The usual dnc operatives with bylines were more than happy to go along with the bullshit because they too wanted some magical event to give them president Hillary. After the attempts to coerce the electoral college, convince people that we should suddenly look at the popular vote and not the legal election, and a bunch of other madness (remember this doozy?) all went nowhere and the left was left unable to steal the election, they decided that they needed to undermine the presidency.

As I pointed out before, only to have our resident trolls all go batshit on me for daring to say so: nothing will hurt the left more than Trump being successful at rolling back the nanny state, firing up the economy, and doing foreign policy different than the cock suckery of the Obama years. Any success is damaging to that moron Obama’s legacy (and those that defended it), and more importantly, to the left’s dogma. The left wants to believe they are the experts. The only ones that know what is right and how to make things work. Note I said want to believe, because any observation quickly should dissuade anyone but the most partisan or stupid person from any such delusion. Hence that Krugnuts prediction about economic doom turns into real stories like this, this, and this. The people that grow wealth all feel that things are going to get better. Even the ones that spout idiotic leftist shit all the time.

And do you remember Obama telling us we couldn’t drill ourselves out of high gas prices? Well, despite his administration’s best efforts, it is precisely the drilling – well, fracking – done in the US and Canada, that has driven down the price of oil, while preventing hostile countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and even that leftist tropical paradise of Venezuela from making like bandits at our expense. What about all that bullshit bracket filling during March madness? I sure as hell don’t miss that crap. And so on.

Anyway, back on topic. The left is desperate to make you believe only they are qualified to be in charge. hence this idiotic play to deligitimize the Trump presidency, of course for many of us it feels more like this. Me, I hope these morons keep at it. Be hysterical idiots. Throw tantrums and act all bitchy. Cry wolf. Sure low information voters might fall for it now, but more and more people are realizing what’s going on. The fact that the dnc operatives with bylines destroyed any credibility they might have had left alone is a major victory for freedom loving people. But the left refusing to accept their fantasy world has run into the real one, is priceless. This is gonna be great to watch. Pass the popcorn please.

Budget Blueprint Out

Trump released a blueprint of his budget for discretionary spending today. It includes a big increase in military spending but balances it with massive cuts to other agencies, particularly the EPA, NIH and HUD. Real cuts, not “slowing growth” cuts.

There is little chance that the Congress will pass this budget. In the end, they will come up with their own plan. There is a lot that alarms me. The big cut to NIH would be a blow to public health and scientific research, including the research we need to deal with things like Ebola. Cuts to EPA sound good but unless you’re also cutting regulations, that just means longer delays in EPA evaluations and clearances. The budget also guts climate science since we apparently don’t have to care anymore.

Other cuts, like HUD and that National Endowment for the Arts, seem more reasonable. The gripping hand is that, with big increases in military spending and no entitlement reform, even Trump’s budget does nothing to get our debt under control.

Of course, the Left, being the Left, has decided to focus their criticism as stupidly as possible. They are claiming that Trump is canceling Meals on Wheels.

Are they right? Is Trump canceling Meals on Wheels? No he isn’t.

One of the cuts in the budget is longer overdue cutting of the Community Development Block Grant Program. The CDBG is a $3 billion program that ostensibly goes to developing poor communities but mostly goes to graft, corruption and waste. It blows massive amounts of money on wasteful projects, sees a huge chunk disappear into administrative costs and, unsurprisingly, sends most of its funds to wealthy communities around DC that can, frankly, fund their God-damned white elephants.

(Note: this is typical of programs that purport to develop communities up to and including the grandaddy of all “community development” pork barrels — public subsidies for sports stadiums. It’s odd how often governments decide that the best way to develop a community is to throw money at their rich friends.)

With such a juicy slice of government pork-barrel spending in danger, the Democrats had to find some way to save it. And so they scoured the budget until they found something. It turns out that one of the many things the CDBG program gives money to is Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels is a great program. But their national program only gets 3% of their funding from government grants. Almost all of the rest of their funding comes from private sources. And a huge amount of its costs are covered by volunteers. So even if Meals on Wheels never saw another red cent of federal money, they would still be able to do almost everything they do right now.

This nonsense is typical of attempts to cut government spending. The federal government does not run a Federal Cat Kicking Program or a National Dog Beating Program. Almost all of its programs have noble intentions. Or at least noble labels. So even if a program is wasteful, it purports to fight illiteracy or feed the hungry or build communities. The people who benefit from a federal program — in the case of CDBG, that would be rich DC-area governments — are very invested in making sure it stays funded. By contrast, the people pay for it — that would be the rest of us us — only see a tiny part of their paychecks go to that particular program. And so Trump’s proposal to kill the wasteful CDBG program are cast as, “DONALD TRUMP IS TRYING TO STARVE SENIORS AND THIS PROGRAM ONLY COSTS YOU TWO CENTS A DAY!!” And, of course, our worthless media repeat that lie until the program is saved.

This is why we ended up with the sequester. Because the alternative to a dumb misguided across-the-board spending cut was no spending cut at all. Trump would be far better off simply setting a cap on how much discretionary spending he will accept before a veto and then let Congress squabble about where the money’s going. And if the Left really cares about Meals on Wheels, they can pony up another 3% of its funding themselves.

First Return Out

So Rachel Maddow had a HUGE announcement tonight that she had secured two pages of one of Trump’s tax returns, apparently leaked to MSNBC in violation of federal law. I didn’t watch her broadcast since I have a low tolerance for her smugness. I knew how it would go: twenty minutes of connect-the-dots condescending intro, a dud of a revelation and back-patting for the remainder. Well, I was right:

Donald Trump earned more than $150 million in the year 2005—and paid just a small percentage of that in regular federal income taxes. Daily Beast contributor David Cay Johnston has obtained what appear to be the first two pages of Trump’s 2005 federal income tax return, and published an analysis of those pages on his website, DCReport.org. The Daily Beast could not independently verify these documents.

The documents show Trump and his wife Melania paying $5.3 million in regular federal income tax—a rate of less than 4% However, the Trumps paid an additional $31 million in the “alternative minimum tax,” or AMT. Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax.

This is less than a nothingburger. This almost makes Trump look good. So much so that almost everyone in my feeds think that Trump himself was the source of the leak (the White House responded almost instantaneously to the report). 2005 was the last year Trump has a big business deal, selling off two of his assets. It was also before several sources insist he became entangled with Russian interests.

A large segment of the Left, having realize what a dud this was, are now praising Maddow for “keeping the issue at the forefront”. Pfft. The issue was never a big deal for Trump’s supporters. I think we can now make the argument that Trump should release all of his tax returns. But that argument has not changed.

Faster please!

Trump’s new proposed budget leaves no doubt he is reprioritizing government and downsizing it, which can’t happen fast enough for me, but has the chattering class and the nanny staters all in a tizzy, is out.

President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce.

This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.

The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.

The cuts Trump plans to propose this week are also expected to lead to layoffs among federal workers, changes that would be felt sharply in the Washington area. According to an economic analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, the reductions outlined so far by Trump’s advisers would reduce employment in the region by 1.8 percent and personal income by 3.5 percent, and lower home prices by 1.9 percent.

“These are not the kind of cuts that you can accommodate by tightening the belt one notch, by shaving a little bit off of a program, or by downsizing a few staff here or there,” said Robert Reischauer, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “These are cuts that would require a wholesale triage of a vast array of federal activities.”

All I hear is that he plans to roll back Leviathan, and then focus on government doing the things it is told are its responsibility in the constitution, but I am sure that the usual members of the vote-buying credentialed elite class, seeing their own lucrative scheme come under attack, will be howling in anger that this is happening. of course, I suspect – as the article points out – that Trump’s biggest challenge to get this done will come from the biggest bunch of freeloaders out there – congress:

Still, budget experts said it was unclear what the precise impact on many agencies might be because the departments could choose to implement reductions in a variety of ways.

Administration officials have also stressed that discussions are ongoing between budget officials and agencies, and that the size of the budget cuts remains fluid. Moreover, the cuts cannot take effect unless they are authorized by Congress, which could prove difficult. Lawmakers routinely rebuffed budget requests from President Barack Obama, leading instead to protracted negotiations between both sides.

Already, Democrats have vowed to fight Trump’s proposals, and some Republicans have also expressed unease at the size of the reductions.

The White House declined to comment publicly, but administration officials have signaled for weeks that large cuts will be part of the budget.

That the democrats – which have never seen either a government entity that is large enough or pisses away too much of the tax payer’s money on crap that adds no value but buy democrat politicians votes – would react to this plan like vampires would to holy water, holy symbols, or sunlight, was expected. But the added bonus here is that it will expose the democrat-light nanny staters in the republican establishment, for what they are. These politicians on the republican side need to stop acting like they care about fiscal responsibility and small government when they are no better than the democrats, and we need to know who they are so we can vote them out as well.

I hope he wins this fight and forces congress to show its hand. And I hope every budget that follows this one repeats the cycle. The best thing to prevent the current tyranny of the nanny state is a small government with little power outside of the duties the constitution allows it. A lot of our problems will fix themselves when you don’t have the political class, and an entire political party, selling favors with other people’s money.

BTW, for the people all confused by why suddenly after the democrats lost the election things like employment, consumer confidence, and future economic outlook are off the charts in positive territory, it is things like this that are driving that. People want less intrusive and abusive government, and most of us definitely want government out of the business of picking winners and losers.

No, Guys, This is Normal

So the Trump Administration announced that they have asked 46 of the US Attorneys to resign. There’s been some moaning from the Left but as no less than Vox reminds us, this is normal. Janet Reno asked all the USAs to resign when Clinton did office. So did Bush 43. Obama waited a few months but eventually replaced them all. The USAs are political appointees. Most administrations will let them hold over long enough to finish any important business and for a replacement to be chosen. But all Presidents want the 94 USAs to reflect their law enforcement priorities. Trump won the election, he gets to pick his prosecutors.

There was a mini-scandal when Bush fired some USAs midway through his term. That was a bit different as he was firing his own appointees, apparently for not moving fast enough on cases against his political opponents. Several members of the Justice Department ended up resigning over it, including AG Gonzalez. But Trump’s firing are not that. This is typical house-cleaning for a new Administration.

Today, however, USA Preet Bharara decided to make his bid for jumping into politics. That’s the only reason I can think of that he decided to tell the press he would refuse to resign. This was somewhat unprecedented. USAs serve at the pleasures of the President and he can ask them to resign at any time. He was apparently miffed that Trump told him he’d be allowed to stay on, then changed his mind.

Bharara has been immediately proclaimed a hero in some quarters, with many calling for him to run for public office. But as I pointed out on Twitter this was not “bold defiance”. This was a USA refusing to follow lawful instructions to make himself look like a hero. I said Trump should fire his ass.

Well, Bharara just tweeted out that Trump fired his ass. Good. Trump is perfectly within his rights here. I only hope the replacement is better. Bharara may sound familiar to you. He was the overreaching prosecutor who tried to force The Best Magazine on the Planet to reveal the identities of blog commenters who said things he didn’t like, then silenced Reason about even the existence of the subpoena. Anyone who would abuse his power that way does not belong in government. And the Left should not try making this guy into a hero just because he stuck a thumb in Trump’s eye.

Hawking says that without world government tech will destroy us!

That’s the claim he makes <a href=’http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/stephen-hawking-world-government-stop-technology-destroy-humankind-th-a7618021.html” target=”_new”>in this article. Meh, globalists are getting desperate and even people that are supposed to be intelligent are now talking out of their asses. I find it not just naive but ridiculous to put faith in an entity that couldn’t do the job even at the micro level of states. What, incompetent credentialed bureaucrats like the ones running the EU or the UN will suddenly discover the secret to doing things right? Talk about being delusional. Shit, if the tools that will be running the global government don’t kill us outright themselves, they will use this tech to enslave us. Maybe Hawking thinks that is preferable to his imagined alternative, but I don’t.

Tech won’t doom humanity. Idiots thinking that only they are qualified and know what is best in charge of tech is what will doom humanity, and you are far more likely to get that with a global government than you are without. You want a bunch of social engineering idiots that think their will can bend the laws of nature, humanity, and physics to be in charge? Shit, Obama had the intelligence people spying on everyone, including his personal and political enemies. The Eu is a bunch of unaccountable douchebags that have been screwing over the people of Europe while they live a high life. And the UN, well that is one of the world’s biggest criminal organizations ever. Why the fuck would anyone trust an even larger and more intrusive government to do anything but make things worse for us?

I guess this “cri de coeure” by Hawking is just another desperate attempt at replacing the panic inducing shit other pro-globalization types push, like AGW, to sell their shit sandwich. The globalists are freaking out that their dream is dying, but I see it as a great thing that it is. Credentialed tools should not be calling the shot based on the horrible performance they have produced so far. That’s the real threat to humanity.

CIA Pogroms Russians

The “Russian under every bed” hysteria displayed by Tweedledee and Tweedledum (The MSM and the Democrats, tied at the hip) might, after months of ghost chasing, be coming to a sad end. Sad for me, because this constant (hollow) rant has beclowned them to the point of derision and mockery, and naturally I would like the spectacle to continue.

As discussed here several times in the last few months, any “Russian” investigation should, as it’s primary mission, find out by what means they hacked into the DNC and Podesta’s emails (Yes, ridicule them for having shitty protection security) and to what extent they (the Russians) interfered with our election process. If, in the course of this investigation, they find malfeasance or collusion present with the Trump campaign, air it out. Having something, anything, beside bubkiss would as least lend some credibility to all this Russian hysteria.

One thing I remembered about the first wikileak dump Re: the Hillary campaign, was that Assange said, more than once, that he did NOT get his info. from the Russians. This has been lost on all those reflexive Russian spotters. But a new batch of wikileak dumped files surfaced, did the CIA do a one-two skidoo on the Russians;

WASHINGTON—WikiLeaks released a massive trove of documents and files Tuesday that it says exposes how the Central Intelligence Agency hacks smartphones, computer operating systems, message applications and internet-connected televisions, in what would be one of the biggest breaches in the spy agency’s history.

The group, which was behind the leak of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee during last year’s presidential campaign, said the release consists of 8,761 documents and files from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence. It called the unauthorized disclosure, which it dubbed Vault 7, the “largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency,” laying bare some of the CIA’s most sensitive secrets.

Also in the dump, we find out about Umbrage:

The CIA can hide its own fingerprints from its hacking exploits and attribute blame to others, such as Russia and China, according to WikiLeaks’ Year Zero confidential data release.

Every hacking technique leaves a “fingerprint” which, when collated, can be used to connect different attacks and tie them to the same culprit.

The CIA’s Remote Development Branch (RDB)’s Umbrage sub-group collects an archive of hacking exploits created by other actors, like Russia and other hackers, and leaves this false trace for others to detect.
—-
Umbrage captures and collects keyloggers, passwords, webcam captures, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

This allows the CIA to not only steal other’s hack techniques, but falsely apportion blame to those actors.

Very sneaky, pin it on the Russians.

I’ve often wondered (not really, I know that answer) that if Hillary won the election, knowing the Russian connection she and her campaign had, actually provable connections, not the “mountain out of an imaginary molehill”, would the Republicans now be seeing Russians under the bed and screaming for a special prosecutor? We always knew about their lobbying connections, but now we learn about Podesta’s brother;

The entire “Trump Russian scandal” narrative is complete utter nonsense. Democrats are so desperate to stop Trump, they’re clinging to a Saturday Night Live comedy skit- with the full cooperation of their liberal lackeys in the mainstream media.

They’ve just made a YUGE mistake. And it’s all going to blow up in their face. There is a “Russian influence scandal.” It just has nothing to do with President Trump.

It belongs to Hilary and the Democrats.
—-
Because it turns out that Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary’s national presidential campaign manager John Podesta is a super lobbyist who took huge money from the Russians in order to end U.S. government sanctions against Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.

Which begs the question to those most vociferous Russian chasers on this blog, would same twisted panties be just as bunched if Hillary had won? You know who I’m talking about.

Another thing I wanted to touch on briefly was the Rosenstein confirmation hearing yesterday, anybody catch any of that? The cabal of obstructionists all wanted Rosenstein to commit to hiring a special prosecutor to investigate the Russians, he was having none of it. Saying he was not on the job yet and did not have all the facts (fact’s, we don’t need no stinking facts).

Appointing a special prosecutor is unnecessary, this isn’t Iran/Contra, Watergate or even Valery Plame, it is (so far) an empty suit, superfluous flummery, a nothingburger with a side of hypocrisy.

And He Is Supposed To Be On Our Side

As mentioned before, the foot dragging exhibited by the dems re: cabinet and sub cabinet nominees is just shameful, and a more nimble deft GOP majority should have seen this coming and worked around it, they didn’t. But what is really bugging me is the snails pace we see our side in The Congress moving in implementing Trump’s core policy proposals. I am talking about just 2 here, tax relief and Obamacare;

1) Obamacare- Ryan’s A Path To Prosperity and A Better Way is old news, but it shows us they have been thinking about it. They have had 8 years to come up with a alternative, many congress critters are doctors, Tom Price is a doctor, they have had time to wrestle with options of repeal, alter, or replace entirely;

In the past few years, the House has voted more than 60 times to repeal or alter Obamacare, but Republicans had no hope a repeal would become law as long as Obama was president and could veto their bills.

OK, so they knew Nov. 7th that they were finally going to get their shot, time to put up or shut up. You would think, given all the ruminations about Obamacare imploding before our eyes, that on Jan. 20th, a well thought out workable plan, crafted and debated by those GOPers who were screaming ,”Put me in, coach”, would with bow attached, be sitting on Trump’s desk. Yet still we sit here, wondering if this golden opportunity of Republican majorities is going to be wasted.

2)Same with tax relief. Everyone was on the same page, essentially with slightly differing brackets, but what was not in dispute was the need for a corporate tax overall. Personally, I would have preferred this tackled before Obamacare replacement. Trump’s number one pledge was jobs and the economy, nothing would have ignited a resurgence in both more than a corporate tax cut, making us more competitive in world markets, that and repatriating American dollars held overseas back home at a discounted rate. This was job one. Even doing this now, then revisiting the individual rates after the Obamacare replacement bill, I could have lived with that. But now I hear that instead of getting any of this done by summer, it may now be 2018 and I don’t like it one bit. Trump has 2 years to put his agenda in place, we have the majorities now, and if he dicks around and waits until after midterms, who knows what numbers he will have then. Many Trump supporters (myself included) have little patience for dawdling. He said he was a deal maker, well, start dealing. If the Congress is wimping out, go over there and crack some heads.

Now, given the task at hand, you would think that Republicans would be laser like focused on moving their agenda forward, some aren’t;

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is proposing a federal law that would require all candidates for president to release their 1040 personal income tax returns, including President Donald Trump. But such a law should not survive a court challenge, because it would be unconstitutional.

What a good idea, lets spend valuable seated time and capital on stupid shit like this, what a moron, I guess he was sick those days in law school where they talked about the Constitution. Yes, Trump should release his tax returns, but that is not the issue here. A monumental task lies ahead with an anxious nation waiting for results, and he wants to spend his time on the periphery, pulling lint out of his naval and doing the opposition’s dirty work.

I would like to put both Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins on waivers, for a couple of draft choices to be determined at a later date.

Tapping Trump

So this happened:

President Trump on Saturday angrily accused former president Barack Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap the phones at his Trump Tower headquarters last fall in the run-up to the election.

While citing no evidence to support his explosive allegation, Trump said in a series of four tweets sent Saturday morning that Obama was “wire tapping” his New York offices before the election in a move he compared to McCarthyism. “Bad (or sick) guy!” he said of his predecessor, adding that the surveillance resulted in “nothing found.”

This appears to be a result of internet telephone. Last summer, Louise Mensch revealed that the FBI (not Obama) has sought a FISA warrant to investigate members of Trump’s team’s ties to the Russians (this was after it was discovered that a server in Trump tower was communicating with Russian banks). The FISA Court rejected the initial warrant, then granted one more narrowly focused on four members of the Trump team. These details have been reported on many times. A few days ago, Mark Levin did one of his connect-the-dots pieces alleging a conspiracy to derail Trump. It showed up today on Breitbart and thus went into Trump’s brain.

If that’s all there is to it, Trump is being incredibly stupid here because he is reminding the public that his campaign staff were under investigation for espionage owing to credible accusations that they were working with the Russians to enable Trump’s election. If there’s more, then Trump needs to provide the evidence because warrantless wiretapping by Obama would indeed be a gigantic political scandal.