Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

With Hurricane Florence on the minds of people on the southern Atlantic coast, many eyes are focusing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. To say the men and women who staff FEMA are under a lot of pressure is like saying Nikki Minaj is a talentless hack: it’s accurate, albeit understated. And when you have so many people directly and indirectly affected by what you do, you are expected to perform well under that pressure. Even one screw up can mean you turn into a pariah.

I’m looking at you, Michael “Brownie” Brown. These days he’s managing a Fryalator at the Regional Shanty of Flapjacks (their motto: Try our Possum and Pancake Combo Because ‘Murca.)

Leftists seem to have a love/hate relationship with FEMA. On the one hand, they have an incredible amount of power as a result of tragedy and have people relying on them for help. On the other, occasionally FEMA is run by a Republican, which makes their statist wet dreams a bit less enjoyable, but gives the Left an excuse to exploit tragedy to further their own political ends. So, any day ending in “day.”

Let’s take a closer look at FEMA, shall we?

FEMA

What the Left thinks it means – a competent federal agency that works well when a Leftist is running it, but is a failure when a conservative or Republican runs it

What it really means – a government agency that both fulfills a need and infuriates small government types

And, yes, I am one of those small government types. Having said that, there are some problems that can only be handled at the federal level because of the sheer logistics necessary to resolve them. Imagine renovating a large house. Even if you are a Ron Swanson-level handyman, there are going to be some jobs you are going to need to hire out to do. You know, like if your house is lacking a floor…on every floor.

This is what FEMA does, in essence. They are the people who get hired to handle the big jobs we can’t do ourselves. And just like with every job, there are people who will go the extra mile, and there are people whose greatest effort of the day is walking over to the coffee pot. Think Congress with tool belts.

We saw the impact of this recently in Puerto Rico. Although President Donald Trump called FEMA’s reaction to Hurricane Maria “an incredible unsung success,” the visuals make it hard to take the President’s word for it. Many parts of Puerto Rico are still without power, people are sick and dying, and food and water isn’t getting to the people who need it. Even though Trump has a point about the successes of the response getting overlooked in light of the devastation, we can see where there are areas of improvement.

Therein lies one of my problems with FEMA: we keep seeing these areas of improvement without seeing anyone addressing them. Whether it was the FEMA trailers going unused and the misuse of federal funds to subsidize porn (you read that right, kids) after Hurricane Katrina to case after case of bottled water and food going unused because they weren’t distributed, you would think FEMA would be better at the logistics than they appear. Granted, whenever you deal with people, there are inefficiencies built in, but when your job is literally to help get areas affected by natural disasters up and running, the expectation is that you should be good at it.

This issue isn’t made any easier by adding politics into the mix, as the Left is wont to do with, oh, everything. It always amazes me how inept FEMA is when there is a Republican President and how exceptional that same agency is when there is a Democrat President, at least according to the Left, even though we keep seeing the same problems regardless of the party of the President. Pointing fingers may help the party, but it doesn’t matter to someone whose house was destroyed by a hurricane.

What we need is accountability at FEMA. Considering we are still cleaning up after Katrina in spite of the fact it occurred over a decade ago tells me there is room to improve, but that won’t happen in the current environment. America deserves a FEMA that not only delivers on the expectation of addressing issues after a disaster, but does so with an attention to the money being spent and how it’s being spent. And there has to be follow-through. When Puerto Ricans are dying because they don’t have access to bottled water, it shouldn’t take a year to find out about it and address it.

Maybe it’s time for a FEMA for FEMA. Instead of assuming the next disaster will be the one FEMA gets right, let’s prepare for success before it happens. Weather is unpredictable, but the response shouldn’t be. Figure out how non-government entities address disaster responses and replicate that at the federal level. Maybe take a cue or fifty from insurance companies who do at a smaller level what FEMA does on the federal level.

But perhaps the best thing we can do to help FEMA is to be thankful they’re there. Flaws and all, FEMA does a lot right and it shouldn’t be overlooked in the name of political points or personal drama. Let’s make it easier for FEMA to do their jobs without the hoops and bureaucracy that make the simplest tasks an exercise in futility, red tape, and forms in triplicate. The easier we make it for FEMA, the better the responses will become.

And if you’re in Florence’s path, stay safe.

 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

During the recent confirmation hearings for Brett “the Hitman” Kavanaugh, reporters became fixated on a particular gesture, not by Kavanaugh himself, but by a woman sitting behind him. She was caught on camera making what appeared to be the “OK” sign with her hand. Which means, according to Leftists, she was a white supremacist because the “OK” sign has been co-opted by white supremacists. Therefore, according to Leftists, Kavanaugh cannot be confirmed because…white supremacists.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the Left is seeing white supremacists under every rock, bed, and bedsheet? (Well, in some cases, they can be found under bedsheets, but not that often.) Even though the woman in the video, Zina Bash, is Mexican, Jewish, and had grandparents who were Holocaust survivors, she has to be a white supremacist. I mean, who else would work in the Trump White House, right?

This week’s Leftist Lexicon will delve into white supremacists and see whether the Left may be onto something. Or if they’re just on something.

white supremacists

What the Left thinks it means – racist alt-right conservatives who have been emboldened by Donald Trump’s Presidency to come out and cause trouble

What it really means – a small group with bullhorns convincing people they’re bigger than they actually are

One of the great Leftist narratives against President Donald Trump is that he is a white supremacist because he hired Steven Miller and Steve Bannon, both of whom either identify as or hold views similar to white supremacists. Of course, his years of being lauded as a friend to blacks gets, pun unintended, white-washed with this approach, but when you have a narrative to push, facts just get in the way. Hence, guilt by association.

Funny how that doesn’t go in a different way, say…oh, I don’t know…with a religion that has members who are violent and want to kill people who are different than them. Oh, well, #NotAllMuslims and such.

Depending on who you ask, white supremacists are either popping up in greater numbers or are inspiring other white supremacists to become emboldened and embrace their hatred. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been keeping track of white supremacist activity for decades and they’ve been some of the ones who have lead the charge to let people (read: Leftists) know about the wave of white supremacy across the country. Granted, this is the same Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled the TEA Party a hate group, but had to be shamed into including black, Muslim, and other racist groups in their hate watches, but hey. Credit where credit is due.

While the SPLC tends to have a hair trigger when it comes to white supremacists, it is safe to say there are such people out there in America right now. Whether they’re as prevalent and as pervasive as some on the Left suggest is subject to debate. Personally, I don’t see white supremacists as frequently as Leftists do because, well, I’m just not that bat-crap cray-cray. The Left has taken themselves so seriously that they can’t recognize when they’re being trolled.

And that’s the case with the “OK” hand sign. Contrary to Leftist belief, it didn’t originate with white supremacists nor was it coopted by them. As with many things these days, this idea started with the Internet and a group called 4chan. They created an operation titled “Operation OKKK” where they tried to convince people the hand sign was a symbol for white power. And, buddy, it caught on like wildfire! No matter how many times it’s debunked, the Left (and certain members of the white supremacist movement) treat it as gospel.

Remember, kids, the Left are the smart ones who only want facts and say reality has a liberal bias.

In spite of their relative small portion of the population as a whole, let alone the white portion of it, white supremacists are getting more attention. But it’s not because they’re getting bolder and don’t have to hide anymore in the era of Trump. It’s because Leftists give them the attention in the first place! By looking for white supremacists everywhere under the sun, the Left has given them the opportunity to perform for them (or at least give the appearance of performing). And given how the Left doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good crisis narrative, I wouldn’t be surprised if real white supremacists felt they had to come out and correct the record, if you’ll pardon the expression.

But being more prominent doesn’t mean actual numbers. That’s where I think the Left gets it completely wrong by design. They need white supremacists to be numerous to justify their “Trump is a white supremacist” narrative, and they have the tools (read: the media and political figures) to make it seem real. Frankly, though, I think it goes deeper than that.

Think about it for a moment. What ideology promotes the idea that “The Man” is keeping minorities down while never actually investing in the futures of those minorities? What ideology promises to empower people of color while never really giving them positions of power? What ideology has white people claiming to be “woke” without them giving up anything of value to the people they believe are being oppressed?

Can you say “Leftist”? I knew you could.

Maybe the country’s biggest white supremacy group is the DNC and its Leftist allies.

 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

This past Thursday, 350 newspapers joined in an editorial writing campaign lamenting President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press. And because it’s a social media age, it came with a hashtag, #FreePress. These editorials and the hashtag are designed to make people aware of the vital role a free press is to maintaining a healthy democracy.

Or at least that’s what they say.

Freedom of the press is a hot-button issue, partially because of President Trump’s seemingly endless attacks on the press, and partially because the press has earned quite a bit of scorn in recent years. (I’m looking right at you, Jim Acosta and April Ryan.) Whether you consider reporters to be brave warriors against an oppressive government (which begs the question of why they’re allowed to report if the government is so oppressive) or stenographers for the Left, it’s a good time to discuss freedom of the press again.

freedom of the press

What the Left thinks it means – the freedom for the press to publish what it wants without government interference

What it really means – the freedom for the press to publish facts and let the people decide without government interference

The Left loves to conflate what they think freedom of the press is with what it really is because, to them, a free press should be unfettered by editorial, social, or political norms. And for a long time, it was. Where the two concepts part company is that the former doesn’t take said norms into consideration anymore when deciding whether to run with a story or sit on it for a while. Remember, some of the same people who decry Trump’s attacks on the press were pretty silent during the Clinton and Obama years in spite of the egregious acts those two Presidents took against the press.

Or was it that the press allowed themselves to ignore?

There’s the rub. (Settle down, Mr. Clinton.) The media have immense power to create a perception of reality simply by deciding what deserves our attention and how it’s presented. The free press are gatekeepers of information and can either promote or kill a story with a single editorial decision. Such power needs to be used judiciously and impartially as possible. Unfortunately, the free press has decided to abuse that power to cater to an ideologically-driven audience. And it worked for a long time.

Then, talk radio, Fox News, and the Internet came into being. Although they too fall into the same trap the press has, they provide an alternative view to what is being presented by other sources. You know, like the 350 newspapers parroting the same editorial about how freedom of the press is important? The Left has always seen talk radio, Fox News, and the Internet as one-offs that can be ignored/discarded/mocked, but they miss one important element: these sources are also branches of the free press tree. Just because they’re ideologically different from you doesn’t make them any less factual or balanced.

And speaking of balanced, who do you think is the most balanced news network in reporting on President Trump? That would be…Fox News, with a smaller difference between positive and negative coverage than the rest of the free press. MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and others have made it a personal vendetta to spew as much negative news about Trump as they can. Trump could walk on water and they would say it’s because he’s afraid to swim.

The #FreePress situation is a self-inflicted wound from people who keep turning the handle of the Gatling gun pointed at their feet in the hopes a bullet will ricochet and hit their target. Their main problem unless they change their tactics is they’ll either run out of bullets or run out of feet without even getting in a shot on their target. Say what you will about freedom of the press, but what we are seeing now from the press isn’t something that necessarily should be shrouded in the concept of a right. What the free press is doing currently is a disservice to the bedrock principles that made freedom of the press worth fighting for in the first place.

When I was just starting to learn about how to be a reporter, my journalism professor drove it into my head to leave my feelings out of what I saw and report on what happened using the best judgment available. The example he used was whether a newspaper would be okay to run the picture of a dead body next to a story about a gruesome murder. Would the picture be newsworthy? Absolutely. Should it be run? That’s a tough call. The editor making that decision would have to balance the benefits of running the photo against the negative implications that would arise from running it.

Today’s loudest defenders of freedom of the press have their thumbs on the scale of that decision, and it has created an environment where there are people who actually do want to limit the freedom of the press, including our President. And last time I checked, the President has access to nukes, so it might be a good idea to slow your roll a bit.

Having said that, freedom of the press isn’t under assault as much as those proclaiming it is are trying to make it out to be. Unless, of course, you consider being held to a level of accountability to be oppressive, which news flash…IT ISN’T! Journalism isn’t an occupation for the faint of heart, and those who take up that line of work deserve a level of respect until they try to take shortcuts, either out of laziness or out of allegiance to an ideology. And if it’s not one, it’s the other.

If the #FreePress crowd is really concerned about the negative image they’ve cultivated (admitted with President Trump’s help), they need to take a step back and do an honest accounting of what they’ve done and continue to do. Take the emotions and politics out of it and deal with the facts. If you can’t do that, you are part of the problem and you need to relearn Reporting 101. If you can and you feel you did nothing wrong, see the previous point. If you can and you can’t take pride in what you’ve done and do, then fix it and encourage others to do the same. To borrow a different hashtag with a similar sentiment, #WalkAway.

And to the reporters, editors, and media types jumping on the #FreePress bandwagon under the guise of protecting freedom of press, remember one thing. Freedom is a constant fight. You don’t get it by virtue of your occupation or ideology; you earn it by working to preserve it. A hashtag and a constant stream of negativity towards a President you don’t like in defiance of the truth, or conversely a constant stream of positivity towards a President you do like in defiance of the truth, doesn’t cut it. Earn the respect you seek.

 

Are We Sure CNN Isn’t the Enemy of the People?

A provocative, clickbait title from me? Yep! But unlike the other clickbaity things you’ll see on the Internet, this one actually has some meat to it.

CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz tweeted that the judge in the Paul Manafort trial will be hearing a motion by media types (lead by guess who) to allow the unsealing of the names and addresses of jurors, as well as other secret parts of the trial not yet unsealed. Let me put it another way. CNN (who really isn’t a party in the trial aside from reporting on it) filed a motion with a judge (who has the legal authority to make rulings on motions by parties involved in a trial) to reveal information about that trial, including identifying information of the jurors charged with giving a verdict on that trial.

Anyone else see a biiiiiiiiig problem with that?

Under the current legal set-up, jurors are allowed to speak to the press if they choose after a trial is over, which is fine. Often this provides valuable insight into the trial, such as why some people shouldn’t serve on juries. The important part of this is choice. Jurors aren’t required to speak or justify their decisions to anyone.

With one motion, CNN wants to strip away that choice under the auspices of a need to know. And the judge agreed, saying, “A thirsty press is essential in a free country.”

Good to know we have such thoughtful judges serving in our judicial system, huh? (By the way, that was sarcasm.)

This is bad precedent and even worse policy in today’s hyper-partisan environment. It wasn’t that long ago that a lunatic decided to shoot Steve Scalise over an ideological difference. Heather Heyer was run over and protesting while protesting against white supremacists in Charlottesville. And let’s not forget our good friends Antifa and BLM in this conversation. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s becoming dangerous to have an opinion.

Good thing juries aren’t in the opinion business, right? Oh, wait!

Regardless of when CNN and the rest of the media get the jurors’ information, it will have a dangerous effect on jury trials going forward because it will be used by everyone from CNN to the Podunk Super Shopper to get information they have no legitimate claim to in the name of a story. That will put pressure on anyone called for jury duty to come to the “right” decision if only to preserve his or her security. Imagine serving on a jury where the facts state the defendant is guilty, but public opinion says he or she is innocent and the press will let people know who you are and where you live. The pressure would be unbearable and will lead to unjust decisions based on emotion, not on facts.

Granted, our judicial system makes bad decisions all the time, but that isn’t a justification for taking the step CNN took. There is no legitimate need for them to have juror information and other sealed documents from the trial.

But here’s the M. Night Shyamalan twist CNN and the media haven’t considered. If the judge rules in CNN’s favor, Paul Manafort’s legal team has solid grounds for a mistrial and/or an appeal. The judge has already shown an inability to be impartial by entertaining CNN’s motion and the pressure on the jurors to come up with a particular verdict to try to appease a partisan audience all but guarantees an unfair trial.

But, hey, who cares about the rule of law, amirite?

 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

It’s been a bad stretch for CNN over the past couple of years. Once they were the beacon of news reporting, able to get the hottest stories before anyone else and bring it to their audience with solid facts and analysis. Today they are getting beaten in the ratings by The Food Network. How did CNN go from the #1 news source in the world to making The Weekly Reader look like they have gravitas by comparison?

Do what Leftists do: blame Donald Trump.

Although Trump’s use of “fake news” to describe CNN has a lot to do with it, there are several other factors that play just as important a role. I hope you brought your hazmat suits because this one’s gonna be toxic!

CNN

What the Left thinks it means – a news network targeted by conservatives and Trump supporters for telling the truth about Donald Trump

What it really means – a news network that has lost its way in the pursuit of being liked by Leftists

Although CNN has been around for a couple of decades, people really took notice of it during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s. They had reporters on the ground (including one Wolf Blitzer whom we’ll be talking about here in a bit) giving up-to-date reports on the fighting in Kuwait and how our military forces fared against Iraq’s military. That impressed a lot of viewers, myself included, and it made me proud to be learning the journalism trade at the time.

Shortly after the Gulf War ended, CNN went back to reporting the news, and giving airtime to a certain Democrat President who wowed audiences, ate Big Macs while being seen jogging almost every day, and seemed to echo what the media wanted to hear. Yes, CNN had a serious man-crush on Bill Clinton, and that crush grew into another arm of the White House Press Office. Slick Willie could do no wrong in their eyes.

After Clinton left office, CNN remembered “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be watchdogs against the government?” and went back to reporting hard news. When Barack Obama was elected, those watchdogs went back to being lapdogs and had a new man-crush to impress. Now, we’re back to CNN being watchdogs, albeit deaf, dumb, and blind ones. Although I do hear they sure play a mean pinball.

Today’s CNN bears little resemblance to the CNN of the early 1990s. Here are a few of the current “stars” on CNN.

Wolf Blitzer – a reporter who cut his teeth in Iraq, but got stomped like a new kid in a rough school during an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy where the questions were dumbed down

Jim Acosta – a Sam Donaldson clone washed in hot water, always shouts questions at the President even when told not to, gets threatened by people chanting “CNN sucks” and flipping him the bird

Brian Stelter – host of a program “Reliable Sources” but gets so many facts wrong people are thinking his show is ironically named

April Ryan – a White House correspondent whose questions rival those of Jim Acosta at asking ideological “gotcha” questions based more on fee-fees than facts

Chris Cillizza – a political editor who is concerned about the incivility against the media in this country while unwittingly contributing to it

And there are many, many more. Right now the only passible journalist at CNN is Jake Tapper, and he’s 50-50 at best. Still he has a higher batting average than the bulk of CNN reporters and newsreaders.

Put simply, if CNN were a theatrical production, it would definitely be a Greek tragedy because they keep harming themselves unintentionally while in the pursuit of looking like they’re on top of their reporting game. And they have their enablers…I mean fans who will defend them against any insults slung their way by Trump supporters and other people who don’t think CNN’s doing a good job.

Guess which group I’m in.

And before the Left goes to their default excuse, my disdain for CNN has nothing to do with Trump. It does, however, have everything to do with what I consider to be professional malpractice. I studied journalism in college, so I know how the way reporters are supposed to do their jobs. What we’re seeing out of CNN in 2018 is The Resistance with press passes. Oh, they’ll claim to be doing their jobs and wrap themselves in the First Amendment, but they don’t realize when people tell them CNN sucks or flips them the bird, those people are exercising their First Amendment rights. The same Amendment that gives CNN the right to report on the news of the day gives people the right to react to that reporting, or in many cases the lack thereof.

Just look at how Jim Acosta and his cohorts have reacted to a recent Trump rally in Florida where people were very expressive with their disdain for CNN. They and many others painted those Trump supporters as a hate mob fueled by the President saying CNN was the enemy of the people. Well, here’s a thought: maybe you’ve earned that designation by playing favorites instead of playing fair. There are limits to this, though. The minute you physically attack a CNN reporter, you have taken this disdain too far. Flipping the bird to Jim Acosta isn’t nice, but it’s not violence, nor does it provoke violence (except possibly for the target).

Let me give CNN a piece of free advice. Get back into the reporting business. It’s Journalism 101: the reporter should never be the story. Remember Dan Rather? Although he’s a darling of the Left now, he let himself become the story when he tried to make George W. Bush look like a draft dodger who went AWOL. The problem? The facts didn’t match up with the reporting and Rather had to resign and be forever tainted as a liar. Apparently, lying about a Republican is a resume enhancer to the Left.

Instead of learning from Rather’s mistake, CNN is doubling down and making themselves look foolish in the process. (Which I’m perfectly fine with, by the way.) But if CNN wants to be taken seriously as a news network in the future, it needs to dump the Rather reporting method and go back to what got them to being a respected news organization in the first place.

If not, expect reruns of infomercials to beat CNN in the ratings.

 

Book ‘Em Danno

Forbes recently ran an opinion piece by an economist who said we no longer needed public libraries because people have Amazon and Netflix. Considering my wife is a public library director, you can guess I thought he was…how can I put this…out of his pea-pickin’ mind! So many people disagreed with the notion that the piece was eventually taken down, but not before the writer’s popularity went down faster than the Titanic.

As utterly disturbing as this economist’s views were, some of the comments in opposition to them were equally disturbing because the commenters decided to inject politics into the discussion. And guess who they blamed for this economist’s views. Donald Trump. After all, Trump is the source of all evil in the universe (after beating out the Loknar in the Intergalactic Electoral College vote), so why wouldn’t he be to blame for people thinking public libraries are worthless?

Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s because…Trump has nothing to do with that point of view. It’s a stretch, I know, but it’s one I’m willing to make.

The problem with discussions like whether public libraries still have worth in a society where our phones we carry around can look up anything under the sun is that it far too often becomes muddled in tangential ideological muck that takes our focus off the issue. I’m not a Trump fan, but even on my worst days, I wouldn’t dream of blaming him for said days. Ditto when Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and so on were President. (Although I suspect Jimmy Carter may have had a hand in me losing my lunch money on a class field trip to the zoo back in 1978, but I don’t have any concrete proof…yet.) In short, if you’re using this or any other issue that has nothing to do with politics as a soap box to make a political statement, just don’t! Not everything is political, and not everyone has to be on ideological point all the time.

As far as the economist’s viewpoint on public libraries, he’s off the mark by…let’s just say a lot. Amazon and Netflix are great, but they both require a little something the kids like to call the Internet. And as technologically saturated as we are, there are people across the country who do not have reliable Internet service. And, no, this is not a plea for there to be universal Internet access. But there is one place in just about every community that has Internet access: the public library.

Aside from using the Internet, public libraries provide other services ranging from photocopying to access to books and movies to educational programs for young and old alike, and that’s only scratching the proverbial surface! Public libraries provide much more than the tax dollars necessary to keep their doors open and their lights on. They provide a means to expand our minds, open our hearts, and maybe just escape our normal lives for just a bit. Put another way that is sci-fi related (since I’m a sci-fi geek from way back), your public library is a TARDIS that can take you anywhere and anywhen you want to go.

I know “anywhen” isn’t a word, but work with me people, okay?

Call me old fashioned (or just old, for that matter), but I always get a thrill when I walk into a library and just browse the aisles for old favorites and potential new favorites. And it’s for that reason I will always be an ardent champion for public libraries.

That, and the fact my wife knows where I live.

 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Recently, President Donald “Sick of Winning Yet?” Trump met privately with Russian President Vladimir “No Beans for Me Because I’m” Putin in Helsinki. And as expected, the Left reacted like they usually do on a day ending in Y: they lost their collectivist minds. After decades of telling us we should be more like Russia, the Left pulled a 180 and said Russia was our enemy. (Couldn’t have something to do with the fact Russia may have had a hand in exposing the DNC as a corrupt bunch of morons, could it? Naaaaaaaah!) And because Trump met with Putin in private, there is a new word that has formed on Leftists’ lips: treason.

Seven little letters, one big accusation.

Although I’ve covered this topic before, in light of the current Leftist freakout du jour, let’s take another look at treason to see what all the fuss is about.

treason

What the Left thinks it means – helping an enemy to undermine America at any time

What it really means – a highly-charged term that is being waaaaaaaaay overused right now

Since we’re dealing with a political/legal term, let’s take a look at what the US Code says about treason. Title 18 of the Code states the following:

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Death or imprisonment and fines? There go my summer vacation plans…

Seriously, the US Code opens up a lot of questions pertinent to the current discussion of whether Trump’s meeting with Putin rises to the level of treason. The first question is what constitutes an enemy of the United States. Well, that’s open for debate. For example, I would consider Michael Bay to be an enemy of the United States because he doesn’t know how to make a good movie. Furthermore, anyone who keeps going to his movies are giving him aid and comfort by encouraging him to make more Transformers movies. Others (presumably Mr. Bay himself included) would disagree.

In the current scenario, the Left wants us to see Russia as an enemy, which would support their claim Trump committed treason. The reality, however, is a bit more complicated. Russia isn’t quite our enemy. They do things that make it look and sound that way, but they are still considered to be somewhat friendly towards us. And make no mistake, I trust Putin slightly more than a used car salesman at Uncle Sleazy’s Auto Emporium (where their motto is “205 Fraud Convictions Don’t Stop Us From Making Great Deals”). My personal misgivings aside, Russia and the US have maintained a tolerable relationship. To call Russia an enemy is like calling Bill Nye the Science Guy a source for accurate information on climate change: it might be right, but not often enough.

Leftists also point to Trump’s frequent criticisms of our intelligence agencies as proof of his treason, but even that’s a stretch thanks to a little thing the kids like to call the First Amendment. Although Trump’s mistrust of intelligence (both literal and governmental) can be harsh and undeserved at times, he has a right to speak his mind and to redress grievances with the government. And that includes the intelligence community. For the Left to be right…err correct on this, they would have to say the President exercising his First Amendment rights is tantamount to treason.

Let that sink in for a moment. Then get a really stiff drink to steel yourself for the next sentence.

This is what the Left is going for in lieu of a message for the midterms.

Even though Trump’s not running, the Left is using the “Treason Summit” as a means to hold Republican candidates accountable for what the Left says Trump did. Granted, the Right does this, too, but it’s stupid no matter who does it. And with the charge itself being more tenuous than the plot of a murder mystery written by Joe Biden, it makes the Left look unhinged. That may be what the cool kids are doing, but outside the DNC bubble, it doesn’t play well to test audiences. That’s why #WalkAway is a thing now.

Pushing the treason argument is a calculated move, but one that reeks of desperation. As much as the Left keeps talking about a “Blue Wave” in November, the current environment isn’t conducive to a wave, blue or otherwise. The DNC is losing donors, money, and long-time candidates at an alarming rate, so they need something to fire up their base to try to stop the bleeding. And apparently their solution involves accusing Trump of treason because…well, they’re still working on a reason that sounds better than “because we want him removed from office for beating Hillary Clinton.”

Ah, but there’s the problem. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the emotion without taking a moment to ask whether a private meeting between two world leaders constitutes treason, you’re going to get really disappointed when people outside of your circles aren’t willing to join you in your quest. Face it, kids. Crying “treason” right now isn’t going to help you win back the House and Senate, and it may wind up hurting you in 2020, which is going to be the next time you will have a chance to beat President Trump. Impeachment has gone nowhere. The Mueller investigation has gone nowhere. And treason will go nowhere, and for the same reason as impeachment and “Mueller Time”: a lack of discernable evidence that can’t be reasoned away.

In the meantime, let’s grab some popcorn and a cold drink and watch the fireworks!

 

Russia Influence in 2016 Election

 

18 months after the 2016 Presidential Elections and Russian influence is still being talked about across the media outlets and social media platforms. I know for a fact that my vote in 2016 was influenced by Russia. And I voted for Donald Trump.

Given the international events of the proceeding decade, the United States was not getting anywhere on the global stage. We had lost our leadership position in the world. The once proud nation of America has become a front parlor joke at international conferences. A nation to push around and to bully.

Our friends and allies across the world no longer trusted us. Our enemies no longer feared us. And terrorism was on an increasing rise and even sleeper cells and home grown terrorism was beginning to raise its vial head.

At home, our economy was on a downward spiral that was going to cause another depression if it kept going. Our capitalist ideals were being scoffed. Businesses were “too big” to fail. Jobs were hard to come by and the thought of loosing one was very frightful. It would be the end of any American family.

With all these things Russia played a role in what could happen to the United States. It played a role in what direction the United States was heading. Russia influenced my vote in the 2016 election.

I could have voted for Hillary Clinton. But her stated policies would have made the dire situation worse. We would become a 3rd world country under that Clinton banner. Today’s Liberal mindset is anti-American values of free enterprise, hard work, being the best you can be and living the American Dream. Today’s Liberal mindset is anti-Christian. They would rather see the morals of our Founders who used the Holy Bible as a guidebook in the formation of this great nation tossed to the four winds. And Christian values discarded and replaced by all the evils of the world. So Russia influenced by vote there as well. We would become more like Russia under a Clinton Administration.

Hillary Clinton also lacked her husband’s charisma and the qualities that everyone liked about Bill Clinton. They are completely absent in that self-serving evil creature that ran for president on the Democratic ticket.

Of course I could have not voted. That is always an option but I think it’s a terrible one. That never helps anyone really. And if you don’t vote you loose your right to complain about the situation. So here even Russia influenced me to vote and not stay home that November.

Voting 3rd party is better than not voting. And someday we might get a 3rd party that can move ground. But for now we don’t have that option.

So that leaves me only with casting my vote for Donald Trump in 2016. The private citizen of Donald Trump has his flaws. Just as everyone else does. But his flaws were not as bad as Hillary Clinton’s. Having seen Donald Trump in various settings, I knew that he was a man of his word. He was not a “which way the wind is blowing” politician. He is very much like our Constitution. Says what he means and means what he says.

President Trump has a great track record of keeping his promises despite the opposition from both parties in Washington. Russia did make me vote for Donald Trump and because of that, there is peace in the world and prosperity at home.

 

Concise Conservative Comebacks for Loony Leftist Lines

With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy, Leftists have been throwing out all sorts of arguments why we (meaning they) can’t allow this to happen. Don’t you wish you had a handy dandy guide to help you refute those arguments?

Well, I’m going to try to provide one. Granted, I try not to think like a Leftist for too long because it makes my head hurt and I might not come back, but for you, I’ll make an exception. Let’s take a look at some of the Left’s arguments (which I have put in bold to separate them from my responses) and some of my responses (which I have not put in bold to separate them from the Left’s arguments). Yes, I know that last one was redundant, but when dealing with Leftists, it’s best to make absolutely sure. Where applicable, I have tried to make it into a back-and-forth conversation, but if the Leftist jumps to a different argument than the order in which I have written responses, just jump to the appropriate response and go from there.

Ready? Here we go!

Donald Trump shouldn’t be allowed to nominate a Supreme Court Justice while he’s under investigation.

What investigation is that?

That he conspired with Russia to help him win the Presidency.

Oh, that investigation! Seems former FBI Director James Comey and special prosecutor Robert Mueller, both of whom you’ve lauded in the past, have both said Trump is not under investigation. In fact, of the indictments to date, none have been against Trump, nor have they been linked to Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign. All the accusers have at this point is guilt by association, which doesn’t stand up to legal scrutiny.

But what about all of those connections between Trump and Russia? Surely they prove collusion!

Not quite. Much of what you’re focusing on occurred before Trump was President. It could be argued the terms of impeachment spelled out in the Constitution, along with Article 1 Sections 9 and 10 which prohibit actions that punish an individual retroactively (a little thing the kids call ex post facto), mean Trump’s alleged actions would not be legal grounds for impeachment. As a private citizen, which Trump was at the time of the alleged collusion, Trump could conduct business with anyone he chose, even the evil Russians (which people like former President Barack Obama defended against allegations they were bad folks). And, on top of all that, collusion isn’t expressly illegal. That’s where the bar of “high crimes and misdemeanors” comes into play. If no laws were broken, impeachment isn’t a good and true option.

So what? If Trump gets to pick the next Supreme Court Justice, he could be picking someone who would rule on any case involving him!

Strangely enough, you have half of a point here. Appointing a Supreme Court Justice means that Justice might have to hear cases involving the President who appointed him or her. That’s why it’s expected any judge with conflicts of interest recuse themselves from any case that they have a personal stake in the outcome.

See? You’ve just made my point for me!

I’m not finished. Just because you should recuse yourself doesn’t mean you will. In my lifetime, there have been cases where a Justice should have recused himself or herself and didn’t. Clarence Thomas should have recused himself during cases involving health insurance since his wife works in that industry. On the other side, Justices Kagan and Sotomayor should have recused themselves from any rulings on Obamacare because both had direct impacts on it. And let’s not forget Justice Ginsburg, who officiated a same-sex wedding before she ruled on a Supreme Court case involving same-sex marriages. If you’re afraid of a Justice being influenced to vote a certain way because of who appointed him or her, you’ve had plenty of opportunities to say something.

But Kennedy’s son was Trump’s banker!

So what?

So that means Trump could have put pressure on Kennedy to retire early! Doesn’t that trouble you?

The operative words are “could have.” Trump could have talked Kennedy into retiring, or Kennedy could have come to that conclusion on his own. Without plausible evidence to confirm the President pressured Kennedy into retiring, we have to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. Well, that and the fact further evidence shows Kennedy’s son did not do business with Trump directly. The bank he was working for at the time did. That’s like blaming Ford for having trouble with your Chevy Volt.

Let’s go back to the appointing of the Justice ruling on a case Trump’s involved in. How can you reconcile that?

Easy. Precedent states the President cannot be charged legally with a crime while in office. That leaves impeachment as the means to remove Trump, and of all the Supreme Court Justices that would be involved, it is only Chief Justice John Roberts who would be involved, since the Constitution states the Chief Justice presides over the Senate portion of impeachment. And since Roberts was appointed before Trump was even a nominee, there is no conflict.

What about Mitch McConnell denying a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland? Shouldn’t we wait until the elections are over, as McConnell said in 2016?

There’s a big difference between a Presidential election and a mid-term election. In 2016, McConnell relied upon what is loosely called “the Biden Rule”, but one that is backed up by Senate history. Traditionally, no Supreme Court nominations are made in Presidential election years since there is a chance the incoming President would not get to choose a nominee, which undercuts the power of the Presidency as outlined in, surprise surprise, the Constitution.

This year, there is no Presidential election; only the election of House and Senate members. There is no affect on Presidential powers, so there is no reason to hold off on the process. Not to mention, there is a current Supreme Court Justice who was appointed in a mid-term election year. Elena Kagan was appointed in 2010…with support of Republicans. Not liking who is President is not an excuse to delay the process.

Okay, okay, but shouldn’t Merrick Garland get a hearing, given how Senate Republicans sat on his nomination?

I actually have no problem with this, mainly because it’s pretty much a guarantee Garland wouldn’t get out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But Garland never got a hearing! That’s a stolen Supreme Court seat!

In order for something to be stolen, it must first be owned. The Supreme Court is not owned by any one President or political party, so President Obama didn’t get an automatic appointment because he was President at the time the vacancy occurred. Thanks to a bit of Senate history, Supreme Court Justices aren’t nominated in Presidential election years. Only when that bit of history comes back to bite the Left in the ass does it become an issue.

To go even further into this, the Constitution states the Senate gives “advice and consent” for judicial nominees. Nowhere is there a requirement for any nominee to go through a confirmation hearing. Really, the hearing is for grandstanding politicians to look like they’re doing something when they’re acting like hams.

Well…okay, but what about Brett Kavanaugh? Don’t you right wingers want Roe v . Wade overturned?

First off, Kavanaugh said he considers Roe v. Wade to be settled law and would not consider overturning it. Even if he’s changed his mind, there would need to be a legal challenge to Roe that would need to get through multiple judicial layers before it would even reach the Supreme Court. Will that happen? We don’t know.

Even if Roe gets overturned, the decision to allow abortions would go back to the states. We can argue whether that’s good or bad, but it’s a discussion that should be welcomed by all parties involved. Until Roe comes back before the High Court, though, it’s still just theoretical.

But Kavanaugh is a practicing Catholic! Don’t they want abortion outlawed?

Nancy Pelosi is a practicing Catholic, and she doesn’t want abortion outlawed.

Kavanaugh’s faith plays no role in determine whether he’s fit for the Supreme Court. Remember, the Constitution states there is no religious test to serve, so he could be an atheist and still not be disqualified.

What about gay marriage, civil rights, and other important issues? Kavanaugh will set us back on those and a lot more!

Again, there has to be a legal challenge that makes its way through the courts before it even gets heard by the Supreme Court. And that process isn’t quick, kids. It might be years before such a challenge gets heard.

Didn’t Kavanaugh say a sitting President shouldn’t be indicted or tried?

He did.

So, why should he be a Supreme Court Justice if he feels that way? No President should be above the law.

Because in that same piece you’re quoting from, he goes on to say Congress should change the law. In other words, Kavanaugh feels the current system needs to be changed and wants the body charged with making laws to do it, just as the Constitution dictates.

You keep talking about the Constitution. That’s outdated and should be revamped to reflect current values.

The Founding Fathers already accounted for that. If you can get enough support for your ideas, you can call for a Convention of the States and have the Constitution changed. With today’s political climate, I wish you the best of luck.

Even if you don’t want to go through the trouble of amending the Constitution, it should be pointed out the Constitution has already been interpreted to address many of the issues you hold dear. You may not feel like it’s progressive or conservative enough, but the judicial branch can be persuaded. How far those interpretations deviate from the source material may be an issue, but to call the Constitution outdated is to ignore the framework it provides us to change with the times.

Well, the Constitution doesn’t say how many Supreme Court Justices there need to be, so we should add more Justices so there is a better balance of ideologies.

That is a good point, actually. However, that has the potential to backfire. Remember, when you allow one President to do something, future Presidents can pick up that permission and run with it. Want to see 25 Antonin Scalia-type judges sitting on the High Bench?

Well, maybe we should put term limits on Supreme Court Justices.

Although it might seem like a good idea to limit the terms of Justices, the reason Justices have lifetime appointments is to avoid political favoritism. And when we look at the current Supreme Court makeup, the Justices who lean Left put their ideology above the Constitution. The Justices who lean Right tend to do the opposite. Besides, if we put term limits on Justices, we might be looking at another Merrick Garland situation, especially if the terms are to be 19 years, as is what is being suggested. Then, we might be right back where we started from and nothing will be solved.

Stop talking to me you racist/sexist/homophobe/bigot/Trumpster/insult-du-joir!


And there we have it. Use this as a guide, and may the fates be ever in your favor!

 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

To hear the Left talk about the upcoming midterm elections, it’s a lock. They will take back the House and Senate and finally put President Donald Trump in his place (and out of the White House, if they have anything to say about it). Yet, with all great plans, there is a fatal flaw.

And this one starts with a hashtag because why not.

Started by a former Democrat, #WalkAway has caught on among people who saw their party get nuttier than squirrel poop and no longer represented their views. In response, current Democrats acted as they normally do…and started calling the #WalkAway movement names.

Unlike Leftists, I’m willing to give them a fair shake (and a little publicity, perhaps) by exploring their movement in greater detail than the Left can be bothered to muster.

#WalkAway

What the Left thinks it means – a hashtag movement created by Russians, Republicans, and/or Trump to cost the Democrats the midterm elections

What it really means – a group of former Democrats and Leftists who are finding their way out of the Leftist morass

I truly understand what the #WalkAway movement is about because it wasn’t that long ago I was just like them. I was a proud Leftist, believing every word, fighting for every cause, and generally living my life according to the Leftist model. And it sucked. Imagine the worst day of your life, a day when you were at your lowest and most touchy. Now, imagine living that same day over and over again. That’s what being a Leftist feels like.

Eventually, it got to a point where I couldn’t be a Leftist anymore and I struck out on my own politically. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. It’s like being the black sheep of the family, only with a lot less wool. Moving away from the Leftist promises of utopia and into an uncertain ideological world was one of the toughest things I ever chose to do, but it was also one of the most fulfilling.

To put it mildly, Leftists hate free thinkers more than Hillary Clinton hates the Electoral College. They need people to believe only what they’re told, no matter how bizarre or out of character it seems to be. They don’t start right with normalizing extreme positions; they try to get you to build up to it (with their “help” of course) so you can’t back away from the end goal. If you deviate even one micron from the script, they will harangue until you conform or get cast out.

Guess where the Left is right now with the #WalkAway movement, kids. That’s right! They’re in the haranguing stage. Art Bell couldn’t come up with the sheer number of conspiracy theories the Left has devised to explain the movement away. They’re connected to Russia. They’re not really Democrats. They’re Republican plants. They’re angry Bernie Sanders didn’t win. They’re turning frogs gay. (Sorry, that last one was from Alex Jones, but I was on a roll.)

Many people put in that situation crack under the pressure, but some use that hardship to stiffen their backbones and stand up. Granted, everyone has a different “trigger” as it were, but a lot of accounts I’ve watched and read come down to one central event: the #WalkAway folks got turned off by the current crop of Leftists running the Democratic Party. When your party’s freshest face is a 28 year old former bartender turned fully avowed “democratic socialist”, you know your party’s taken the bullet train to What Can We Advocate That Will Guarantee We Will Lose Elections-ville.

But that’s the beauty of the #WalkAway movement. It’s not about politics as much as it is about wanting a better America. Many have become Trump supporters, while others are still deciding what their next ideological step might be. But their stories have a similar ring of truth to them. They all got turned off by the direction of the party they supported and decided to stop chasing broken promises of Leftist utopia and start chasing their version of the American Dream.

Time will tell if #WalkAway becomes a driving force in politics or if they fizzle out like Err America. But one thing is for certain: the Left is scared. That means they’ll throw everything they can at them to make the #WalkAway movement submit or be so discredited as to become pariahs. Ask Alan Dershowitz about his last trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Eye-opening stuff.

While the Left seeks to consolidate its power before the midterm elections, it is starting to look like an exclusive party where only some people are let in and given power. And although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 by around three million votes (just ask her), that number is starting to contract at the worst possible time for the Left. They need every single vote (even the posthumous ones) to try to check President Trump legislatively and seek revenge for the ultimate sin: making Leftists look like the unhinged asshats they truly are.

As much as I disagree with the President, it cannot be understated how his election to the Presidency created the environment that gave us Maxine Waters becoming a national figurehead for the Democrats and the #WalkAway movement becoming a real threat to the Party of Aunt Maxine. The road ahead will be dangerous for both sides of that equation, but moreso for those who have chosen to walk away. Coming out as a recovering Leftist can be more harrowing than coming out as gay or letting Anthony Weiner use your laptop, and with the kinds of things Leftists are known to do and justify doing to Trump supporters, that danger is real.

But, I urge the #WalkAway movement to be fearless, for the greatest weapon the Left has against you is your emotions. They will make you out to be only slightly more popular than jock itch as a means to bring you back in line. Threats of violence, doxing, or other modern tortures await you if you choose this path.

But you won’t travel alone. As long as I have breath in my body, I will #WalkAway with you. J

ust not so fast. I’m not as young as I used to be and I have missed my cardio workouts for, oh, the past 3 decades.