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Posts Tagged ‘GOP

This sounds familiar

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Having put up a message from the embattled National Party I feel obliged to also post a piece on what I think is their central problem in this time, even more so than poor candidate selections and the extreme MSM bias against them.

The problem is almost a philosophical one, though it is often cast as a managerial and political one.

What is National to do in government?

I thought about this while reading an article in the US magazine, The Federalist, There’s A Reason DC Democrats Are Always Winning, Even When They Lose. First the “good” news:

Washington Republicans are excited for the 2022 elections, and they have reason to be — they’re going to do well. They’re heavy favorites to take back the House of Representatives; and despite a very bad Senate map, it’s a coin flip they’ll retake that too.

There’s a certain amount of “so-what” about this since the Presidential party almost always loses seats in the mid-terms after they win a Presidential election (the Bush 9/11-powered mid-term of 2002 being the exception), and since 1994 when the GOP finally broke the forty year stranglehold of the Democrats on the House, those mid-term election results have meant not just slimmed down majorities but the Opposition party coming into power.

As a side note, I’m always amazed that people who think they know American politics have no idea that the Democrats held the House between 1954 and 1994, which meant they controlled the Budget and all the legislative mechanisms of internal state power via their subsequent control of House Committees. With forty years in the saddle the leadership of those became almost like a royal family, with power passed down like an inherited nobility. The Senate and the Presidency get some input into those areas, and they have their own domains of Constitutional power, but if you control the House you control the machine.

But it’s what you do with that power that matters. Nancy Pelosi knows this:

She’s thrown away a House majority before, back in 2010. But guess what? Before she did, she changed the entire country with Obamacare. That was her exit bomb; that was the sacrifice she made. And now she’s back, Obamacare is still the law (because of the Republicans and the legacies), and the temptation is going to be to return to laughing at her when she loses again in 2022.

Except that if she gets her $3.5 trillion spending bill that GOP laughter will be hollow.

But if she gets this budget through, well then who cares. Her legacy will be remaking the role of government and its interactions with an increasingly dependent class of citizens in the most major way since President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society 60 years ago.

At this stage it’s hanging by a thread – not because of the Stupid Party, which has effectively voted for it – but because of a handful of “moderate” House Democrats and two moderate Senate Democrats (with a few others hiding behind them). The likely driver for those Democrats is that they come from so-called “Purple” districts or States, but that’s the point of this article:

Democrats know that if they can get those policies implemented now, many of them will remain forever. They’ll lose Democrats in the process, but so be it — there will be more Democrats in the future. It’s impossible to watch politics professionally for over a decade, through some of its liveliest battles in a long time, and not come to the understanding that Democrats in general do politics differently.

Here’s how this dynamic plays out: When Democrats are legislating on something major, they look around the field and say to themselves, “Yeah, we’re going to take some casualties on this one, but we’re going to change America.”


And then they blast right through it. Pelosi is going to lose members for this overhaul of our country and she knows it — she’s just decided that given the trouble they’re already heading into, it’s worth it.

By contrast what does the GOP do with its time in power?

When it matters, Republicans look around and say, “Oh no we can’t do that, we’d lose a man. The Democrats would take seats.” They are virtually a majority for the sake of being a majority. They just want to polish it up, put it on the shelf, and look at it. 

To put it simply, Republicans approach politics like America fights wars: They don’t want to lose a single man. Democrats, on the other hand? They look at politics like the Russians looked at Stalingrad: The congressman in front votes now; when they fall the next man gets elected and he will vote too.

I loved Bob Hoskins as Nikita Khrushchev in Enemy At The Gate (not a great movie) and I can see Pelosi with that mindset.

So you see a repeating pattern to American politics: There isn’t a true back-and-forth. Instead, Democrats change the country a lot while they’re in power. Then Republicans hold power and push the pause button. There’s no rollback that a new executive order can’t undo.

Maybe they cut taxes; bring back the Mexico City policy; junk a regulation that Democrats created but didn’t manage to implement; but that’s about it. When was the last time Republicans passed a huge law — one that changed America forever the way Democrats do every time they hold serve in American politics? You don’t see it.

Similarly here. The one “big” pro-active thing I recall from the Key National government was flogging off 49% of an SOE power company, but that was merely the last gasp of the reforms of the 4th Labour government. Also note that it was only 49%; the cultural and political winds had shifted and National have a great nose for such.

The problem is how much longer this can continue, especially given the love of Big Business (and Big Government)? As another article, The Revolution Will Be Bureaucratized, pointed out:

It’s boring and sounds tired, I know, but ballooning state power is not a silly fear of “Zombie Reaganites” and insufferable libertarians. It’s a vehicle of cultural tyranny as much as economic. It’s a tool for the political establishment to bulldoze our culture from their sad office buildings here in Washington.

Elites love corporate power, but they also love federal power. (Unless, of course, Donald Trump is exerting it.) Note that the Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable both supported Biden’s vaccine requirements.

That last will be true here also, although in New Zealand’s case it doesn’t matter because we really don’t value our freedoms and civil liberties as much as most Americans do. We’ve proved that in the last eighteen months.

From Biden’s “child tax credit” extension, which conditions nearly all families to depend on the federal government every month for aid, to his extension of the federal eviction moratorium, this president and his elite champions are not worried about these power grabs. The blueprint for Democrats’ infrastructure bill is more proof of that. Their goal is to create a leftist elites’ utopia, blending cultural leftism with neoliberal economics and imposing it on America by any means necessary.

I did appreciate the last two sections of that second article:

Mocking libertarians is a conservative tradition, made all the more fun in recent years as many reflexively defend Big Tech and woke capital. But reflexively dismissing their dry warnings about liberty does not serve conservatives well in this perilous moment.

Simply put, we’ve let our government become very big as its stewards have become very radical. It’s a vehicle for their cultural revolution, not a distraction from it.

A vehicle for cultural tyranny is exactly right, even when it presents as supposed economics – measures on control of water and “fighting Climate Change” likely being the focus of such here in NZ.

We didn’t used to be like that but now that we are, any future “Right Wing” government that claims it’s a “Big Tent” for conservative, classical liberal and perhaps even a slight tint of libertarian thinking, owes its voters to not just slowly reduce government employee numbers but reduce the number, size and regulatory power of the state institutions they inhabit.

If they don’t then they’ll just be weaponised further with vast sums of money and bodies by a future Labour-Green government. Incidentally – for those National people who only care about government spending as a % of GDP and taxes – that will also put paid to any future tax cuts. Actually that’s almost the case now: the giant spend-fest of lockdowns means you can probably look forward to new taxes and tax increases from a future National-ACT government. They’ll have no choice because they’ll have allowed Labour-Green to make the big choices for them.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 15, 2021 at 4:26 pm

Flyover State

The term “Flyover country” was invented by US Progressives some years ago as a pejorative smear against all the rubes living in the USA between the East and West Coasts, over whom the Advanced Thought Leaders jet back and forth on their way to making the world a better place.

Other such descriptors are “Jesusland” and my personal favourite, “The Land Of The Low Sloping Foreheads”.

😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅 Oh those English graduates. Such wit.

Incidentally the reporter who coined that term died of cancer and heart disease just a while later after collapsing in the newsroom of The New York Times, which seems very appropriate when you consider that this attitude had been around long before, as this famous 1976 New Yorker cover shows.

But what else could you expect from a magazine for whom this cover became its logo.

“Flyover Country” has stuck and even rebounded on them a bit in recent years, particularly after the mid-term elections of 2010 that booted Nancy from power after just four years when she thought had twenty, and of course in 2016.

I say rebound both in terms of the shock the Coastal Progressives suffered at discovering those people still mattered and had power, plus the inland yokels grabbing the term and starting to wear it with pride.

However, the one thing never considered was that it might be applied by any Democrat Progressive to their own State. Yet that is exactly what the idiot Governor of California did just the other day in a staggeringly brain-dead admission he made while being interviewed by The Atlantic magazine for their article on his recall election, What California’s Recall Election Says About America:

Still, he had to get moving—he was driving to Los Angeles, not flying, so that he could make stops along the way and talk with voters on his own. Flying over California his whole life, he had “never fully absorbed and appreciated it,” he told me. He’s hoping that the state cares enough to appreciate him, at least a little longer.

Incredible, and this guy is sold as “smart”. This is what happens to disconnected politicians; they don’t even realise how disconnected they’ve become from the voters. This guy was born and raised in the state and has never even driven between San Francisco and Los Angeles? That’s flyover country to him. No wonder the I-5 and CA-99 are in such shocking states of disrepair; the local pols don’t drive them, don’t know and don’t care.

Governor Hair Gel rose in politics because he was a Democrat in a One Party state and because he was mates with some of the richest families in San Francisco (Nancy Pelosi’s being one of them).

At the RedState news site there’s also an excellent summary of both The Atlantic article and a similar one from The Economist (“The Trials of Gavin Newsom“), where both are stripped apart for being nothing more than perfect reflections of Newsom and his class. On The Economist article:

It is interesting how these lefty writers always view it from their filter, rather than from the actual filter of the people who have spoken out in favor of recall. Did this writer bother to watch that heart wrenching video of Angela Marsden of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill? Did this writer bother to interview any of the mothers whose children were shut out of school for almost two years? How about the mothers who had to quit their work to manage their children on Zoom?

I loved the following Tweet response to that news of Newsom’s fly-not-drive:

If you’ve wondered why Trump made serious gains with Hispanic and Black voters across the USA, that Tweet sums it up.

I subscribed to The Economist in the 1990’s because detailed news of the world can be hard to come by in the US, but clearly it’s gone well to the Left and shallow. RedState notes a reference to the awful “Recall” actions as “They should try to fix the quirk”, and points out that:

It is a 110-year old provision baked into the California constitutional republic. The fact that it has only succeeded once in 110 years shows the solidity behind its intent. The persistent dismissiveness of it shows that the Left has no issue with the Recall law, as much as they have issue that it has been successfully used against them.

Something the useless Economist writer should have known. The Atlantic writer gets the same treatment for ignoring the very real and genuine factors driving Newsom down in the polls:

However, this writer prefers to fixate on what he knows: Trumpism, COVID hysteria, and why Republicans are so stupid. He touts an unspecified poll about how people blame the unvaccinated for this latest surge (so original). When, according to Hair Gel, 80 percent of California is fully vaccinated. The major population centers (read Los Angeles, Ventura, and Alameda counties) are still restricted and masked to the hilt—so how is it possible that the unvaccinated are causing this surge? But, the Left loves their narratives, and they are not going to let this one go. Always in need of a bogeyman instead of actually looking at their failed policies.

It’s that last part that is the reason I’ve paid so little attention to this election to date. Even if Newsom is recalled and replaced by a Republican, the failed Democrat policies will remain in place because the Democrats have overwhelming control of the State House and Senate. For almost twenty years now they’ve been able to pass whatever laws they wanted and override the Governor’s veto. It’s why Arrrnuullld (RHINO) was turned into a pussy so quickly when he became Governor after Gray Davis’s recall – although judging from comments in recent years, there was not much difference between him and the Democrats anyway.

It’s possible that Larry Elder, a Black Conservative talk radio star, might actually win the election. Certainly he’s viewed as the Number One Danger by the LA Times, who went so batshit insane that they produced this headline, complete with a pure Post-Modernist argument explaining why.

As to the election itself, it seems to be moving along the lines of a Preference Cascade. People who six months ago did not consider recalling Newsom and probably thought the petition to do so a waste of time, have seemingly come to think that now they have the opportunity they may as well give him the boot. The polls have shifted dramatically from “will never happen” to “almost certainly will happen” – hence all these worried Lefty reports on Newsom and his sudden transition from dismissiveness to flop-sweat efforts at currying favour with the voters.

Either way, for the rest of the USA the following warning will still apply.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 30, 2021 at 2:30 pm

It’s 25th Amendment time – or something?

Readers will know that I have a very low opinion of US Vice President Kamala Harris, the person who started in the Democrat nominations as the Female Barack Obama and ended as the Black Hillary Clinton.

Her inadequacies are extensive, as I noted in The unbearable lightness of Kamala Harris. She’s shallow, nasty, tin-eared, incompetent as both a politician and a manager, and utterly devoid of principles beyond her ambition to crawl to the top of the American political world. She was so awful that she dropped out of the Democrat race even before the first votes were cast in Iowa. The Biden team rescued her from the well-deserved obscurity of failure.

But right now she has one overwhelming thing going for her.

She has a functioning brain.

The current POTUS does not.

Biden has always been a dim-bulb gaffe-meister and a fabulist liar who lacked Clinton and Obama’s slickness but made up for it by being bald-faced and attacking people when they called him on his bullshit. Also he could get away with this as a Senator, although it caused him to fail in two runs for the Democrat Presidential nomination. But given how senile he has become in the last two years none of that history applies now. For months, on numerous issues, it has become quite clear that he’s simply following instructions written down for him in precise detail:

“Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC…”

It’s just more evidence that Biden is not actually running the show.

But the recent disaster in Afghanistan put him and his staff in a position they could not control as they had for the last eighteen months; calling “lids” (no outside contact) early on many days, and keeping him either in his basement as candidate or in the White House once he was President. He now had to front the Press and the American people often.

It has only made things worse. I make a point of not watching politicians or listening to them nowadays because I don’t want to be distracted by their voice or mannerisms. I recall Lefties going beserk about Bush 43’s “smirk”, Righties about Obama’s uplifted nose (caught so well by cartoonist Michael Ramirez), and now NZ Righties about Adern’s speaking manner and facial expressions. Much better to just read the transcript – and not some “journalist’s” paraphrasing of it either.

So it’s only been in the last couple of days that I’ve gone back to look at the pressers that Biden has held on the Afghanistan situation in the last two weeks.

They’re godawful. The first ones seemed strange enough with him just walking away and taking no questions: this after literally days of hiding while things unwound. Perhaps realising this wasn’t doing the trick they put him a one-on-one with ABC TV’s George Stephanopoulos, senior aide to Bill Clinton through his ’92 campaign and first term and a solid, partisan Democrat. About the friendliest interviewer Biden could have found.

It went okay until people (even CNN) began noticing the incredible number of facts that Biden got wrong and that contradicted what he’d said earlier, sometimes just days earlier, as well as the anger when Stephanopoulos gently challenged him. Once again he did not come across well. All such TV interviews are edited for time so there are always things left out. But when the full transcript was released people were stunned by this answer that did not make it to screen. For context, Stephanopoulos asked what Biden thought of Veterans wondering if it had all been a waste and why the US could not have “left with honour”:

That is not even coherent as spin. He simply lost the thread of the answer, as he has before. And while it’s one thing to forget the names of members of his cabinet, as he has done in pressers, it’s quite another to forget his son’s rank, which service he was in, and even where he was stationed, especially since he’s employed this shroud-waving deflection before.

But the last two pressers were the worst.

On August 24 he was five hours late, which was unprecedented enough to get the MSM talking. When he did show he looked awful, his eyes bloodshot and glazed over. At times you could not even see the whites of his eyes. The teleprompter presentation was cold, robotic and tone deaf as he started by yakking about his “Build Back Better” plan. No empathy. Then he once more turned his back and walked away again with his little-old-man pitter-patter gait, taking no questions, clearly unable to physically and mentally do so.

Then on the 26th, after the bombings, after hours had passed with no word from him, the presser showed him slurring so badly it was if he was drunk. One of the more bizarre moments occurred when he stopped talking and stared down at the podium while his right arm jerked spasmodically behind it, as if he was fishing for a stick of gum in his pocket. It got worse from there:

Near tears at one point, Biden was seen hunched over the podium, clutching his briefing binder with both hands, his face a sea of grief. 

My first thought was that he looked like a beaten man. 

My second thought was that beaten men make terrible presidents and disastrous commanders in chief. 

Barely had that passed when he had to meet the new Prime Minister of Israel. Watch.

To appease the fact-checkers, I’ll note that I can’t tell for sure that he’s asleep here. Perhaps he’s just resting his eyes? But certainly there is nothing normal about him hanging his head for more than 30 seconds in this way that we’ve all seen with elderly relatives, instead of having his attention locked on the head of state he’s there to speak with. At one point, the video zooms in and you can see that his eyes are closed.

Something is badly wrong with this president, not just mentally but now physically and there’s no way it can be ignored anymore. Moreover, more people are noticing what the rest of us have seen for two years but which was dismissed as nothing more than partisan attacks. Biden is a man in steep physical and mental decline. Further, that decline is affecting his emotional health as well, with angry outbursts becoming more common.

It’s so bad that even the NeverTrumpers at Ye Olde Staid Right-Wing magazine, National Review, finally noticed with an article, Something Is Wrong with the President:

Somewhere along the way of the last few years, Biden transitioned from “young old” to “old.” Veteran reporters describe the transition in code. “He’s lost a step or two.” Or: “he’s lost something off his fastball.”

You’re not supposed to talk about it. If you do, and you’re a Democrat, you’re scolded for aiding and abetting the enemy. If you do, and you’re a Republican or (God forbid) a MAGA voter, you’re a horrible hate-mongerer, trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election (and you probably watch Fox News to boot).

The problem is that it’s there for all to see. Pretending not to see it is untenable.

Great. Those clowns pretended up to this point and snarked at other Right-Wingers pointing to the lack of Emperor’s clothes. But now they’ve been given permission to discuss this by the Respectable Idiots of D.C.’s laptop classes that they soiree with every day.

There’s no way Biden can lead the USA any longer, something that’s become abundantly clear over the last two weeks, and if the people running this guy had any shame, they’d get him to resign. The thing is that they’re not the only ones with a say in this, and as Tucker Carlson noted, The Knives May Be Out For Biden:

Some of Biden’s most senior appointees are contradicting him in public. If you cover politics, it is shocking to see that. It’s a violation of the first and most ruthlessly enforced rule in any White House, which is don’t diminish the boss.

But suddenly, they’re doing just that and they’re doing it openly.

Or it could just be the same general incompetence shown in other areas, this time in message control.

Assuming a forced resignation won’t happen what are the other alternatives for getting Biden out? There are only two it seems: Impeachment and the 25th Amendment. The former is a non-starter while the Democrats control the Senate and House, even with the barest majorities.

The latter is not well known because it was only passed in 1967 following the assassination of President Kennedy. But ironically enough it has been discussed a lot in recent years – specifically by Democrats during the Presidency of Donald Trump with his “erratic governing style” (heh, good times, good times…). But it’s not so simple as the movies have portrayed, as this detailed article in 2018 explained:

The amendment’s less-interesting inability provision, Section 3, has been used three times by presidents about to go under sedation. Simple and straightforward, Section 3 allows the president to declare himself disabled and pass power temporarily to the vice president. Then, whenever the president declares himself recovered, he retakes power.

So section 4 has to be used. The thing is that it has never been used, it’s multi-layered, each layer has complexities and more importantly…

It was designed to ensure that there is a conscious, communicative person in charge of the government, not to stop unfit or even unbalanced presidents (as today’s Section 4 advocates view Trump) from doing bad things.

[It was not designed to] remove inept presidents who are doing a disastrously bad job. Section 4’s language is broad enough, arguably, to apply in such situations. But its design ensures that it can cover such situations only in the rarest of cases.

The history of Presidents being replaced due to death pre-25th is interesting, especially in the case of Garfield, who lingered for two months after being shot in 1885, and of course Woodrow Wilson with his strokes in 1919. In both cases the VP’s were reluctant to take over in case the Presidents recovered, so effectively the nation didn’t have a President. It was Eisenhower, spurred by the age of nuclear deterrence, who pushed for it, and Kennedy’s shocking death swung the argument since Kennedy might also have lingered in a coma had his wounds been a little less lethal.

You can read all the detail and history in that article as it’s fascinating stuff, but the synopsis as follows.

Advocates would have to convince a majority of the cabinet and a supermajority of the Congress (2/3s as with Impeachment) that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” – not politically, but as a matter of medical fact. That isn’t going to happen here since Biden (or more precisely his staff) has the power under the amendment to counter “that no inability exists,” and would not go along with it. Kamala Harris, who would have everything to lose if she failed in the attempt, has never shown she takes such risks. And Congress, which would be called upon to follow through in the unlikely event the cabinet pulled the trigger, is not going to vote for it, even if the GOP holds the Senate and House after the 2022 elections.

In short, it’s not a replacement for impeachment, which is specifically designed to remove and replace a President.

For the GOP this is actually good news, since it means the Democrats are tied to these sinking ships into the 2022 and 2024 elections: an increasingly brain-dead President and a VP of cackling, obnoxious, incompetence, both of whom are sinking in the polls for many reasons. If Biden becomes comatose or suffers a stroke (he’s suffered two brain aneurysms) then it’s a different ballgame as he would be incapable of objecting. But there’s a big difference between those physical .states and even advanced senile dementia.

But it’s not good news for the USA and the rest of the world. Terrible as she is, Kamala needs to take over as President.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 30, 2021 at 6:00 am

The Stupid Party strikes again

It’s an entirely standard attack line of the Left that their Right-wing opponents are stupid: lacking in IQ points, ignorant, religious, inclined to conspiracy theories – like the one that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.

Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats circa 2016-2018, with some still bitterly clinging to their Steele dossier and their windmills.

Nevertheless, the thing that the US Left in particular might be amused to know is that Republican voters actually do often refer to their own party as “The Stupid Party”.

The rationale behind their epithet is entirely different of course. It refers to the fact that the GOP, once they have gained power in the House, Senate or Presidency, promptly ignore the reasons they were elected and worse, start implementing Democrat ideas.

Some examples:

  • John McCain regularly talked of terrible border control policies in his border state of Arizona and how tough he was going to be on strengthening the border, up to and including things like walls and fences. But once re-elected he always got guilted and shamed by the Democrats about The Wretched Of The Earth and stayed with the status quo.
  • The Tea Party effectively got the GOP re-elected in 2010 to the House when all had seemed lost in 2008, based on the demand for a serious approach to fiscal spending, especially after the 2008 insanity around GFC measures such as the TARP legislation and eight years of Bush gleefully pushing general spending. But once elected the GOP House merely kept the status quo chugging along with spending extensions – the wonderfully named Continuing Appropriations process. The excuse was that without holding the Senate and Presidency nothing more could be done.
  • When all that power miraculously fell into the hands of the GOP with the 2016 elections, almost the first thing they did was pass gigantic spending bills stuffed with Democratic goodies. It was so bad that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer gloated about it in public, rubbing the face of the gormless “policy wonk” Paul Ryan in the muck and making him look like anything but Speaker of the House, the third most powerful political position in the US government. Ryan’s pathetic excuse was that all that stuff needed to be cleaned out of the way so the GOP and Democrats could get down to fighting over truly meaty fiscal issues. Having got almost everything they wanted Pelosi was still laughing weeks later.
  • They did not repeal Obamacare, although to be fair that was down to one Senator, John McCain again, who went back on all his previous votes just because he was in a personal war with Trump and wished to snub him.
  • As a result of all this, the US budget, deficits and debt continued to relentlessly rise, almost as if the Democrats had never lost power.
  • The GOP did hold back on spending for a few things – like refusing to appropriate money towards Trump initiatives like the Southern Border Wall because the “Free Trade” (Cheap Labour) wing of the party still refused to admit that most Trump voters (and more than a few Democrat voters) hated the idea of a border open to illegal immigrants.

Sure, they did pass some serious tax cuts, and curbed (temporarily) the growth in spending, at least compared to the avalanches of the 2007-2011 Democrat Congresses, but that was it.

It thus came as no surprise that they got turfed in 2018, as GOP voters reached their “what’s the point” threshold. Naturally the GOP is relying on the “But-the-Other-SIde-is-Worse” argument to get back into power in 2022.

They better be careful though, because recent events show that it’s happening again, this time with the godforsaken “infrastructure” bill.

The Act is a $1.2 trillion, 2702 page spend up that, upon close inspection, has little to do with the real infrastructure of roads, bridges and such, but everything to do with pork barrel politics, as the WSJ helpfully details. As well as that the damned thing extends Federal, centralised control to yet more government actions that are supposed to stay with local government at the state and city level, as per the original vision of the USA.

No Lindsey! Increasingly large portions of the Republican base and even many independent voters do not need to see the Senate do “big” things because big legislation invariably leads to a bigger, more intrusive government, as well as…

But seventeen GOP Senators voted for it.

Even more stupid was the fact that no sooner had they done this than Joe Biden very publically threw them under the bus:

President Biden’s big gaffe was not his threat to veto a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal he had just reached with Republicans. It was accidentally saying out loud what everyone in Washington knows, but most Americans do not: that he has not compromised on infrastructure at all — and does not intend to do so.

In other words he would get all the stuff the Democrats “compromised” on in the infrastructure bill, instead placed in the $3.5 trillion dollar Democrats-only reconciliation bill, and he would only sign the former if he knew the latter would pass, which it can with just 50 Senate votes. At that point, none other than Graham declared that Biden had made him look like “a fucking idiot.

No, no! Joe Biden – Joe “Bivalve” Biden – had made all seventeen GOP Senators look like fucking idiots.

Yet, after some toing and froing and yakking and sort-of-apologies for making them look stupid in public, the Democrats kept the seventeen on board.

This is very much a pattern with centre-right parties across the Western world; their idea of bipartisanship and compromise in the name of avoiding the dreaded polarisation of the nation, is to merely stop the Left from doing all the things they want right now. Then the Right-Wing party toddles back to its voters to say, “didn’t we do well, vote hard for us again”.

Undoubtedly they’ll be the usual bribery reasons; the Senators thinking they’ll be able to return to their states with all that juicy, “free” government money for their voters. But that strategy has diminishing returns in the face of ordinary voters increasingly wondering about robbing their kid’s futures:

Last September, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted the federal debt wouldn’t hit $29 trillion until 2028. Just short of a year later, the national debt stands at $28.6 trillion and is set to surpass $29 trillion within weeks.

That does not include these spending bills. Every time I think the US debt is bad it just gets worse – now aided by these profligate idiots in the GOP. As that article points out, $50 trillion by 2030 is now not out of the question. As you can see it’s basically falling off a cliff.

Then there’s the fact that an economy recovering from a government-imposed recession, unlike a normal recession, merely needs the brakes to be let off. A government that thinks it’s Keynesian time again (for the Left it’s always Keynesian time) and wants to blow trillions of dollars into an already recovering economy, especially one with all sorts of supply problems arising from the Covid-19 response, is going to discover inflation sooner or later. And wadda ya know.

There’s also the slowly rising political power of the Millennial and Gen-Z voters, who understand that they’ll be on the hook for all this shit at the very same time that government institutions like Social Security and Medicare may not be there for them as it was for their Boomer parents, or at least not as sumptuously.

Whether they’ll vote for The Stupid Party to fix it is questionable.

See also:

$5,630,859,000,000

The Great Crash of 2034

This is not going to get better.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

The Triumph of Trunalimunumaprzure

Back in 1896 Republican William McKinley’s presidential campaign team ran an interesting strategy that came to be known as The Front Porch Campaign. It turned out to be the bridge between old-fashioned Presidential campaigns where the candidates stayed out of sight and let others do all the work, and the modern system where candidates are front-and-centre all the time, racing around the key swing states needed to win.

The 1896 campaign was the perfect contrast of those two styles. Instead of going to the voters McKinley’s campaign brought the voters to him. Over a period of months, something like 750,000 people came in organised delegations by train to the town where McKinley lived and then to his house, where they literally met him on his front porch, from where he made his speeches. His campaign manager, Hanna, made sure those speeches got into all the newspapers, thereby reaching tens of millions of Americans.

His Democrat opponent, William Bryan, was a great stump speaker and he decided to hit the trains, covering 18,000 miles around the USA making speeches. This was also unusual in the day but it set the standard for Presidential campaigns for the next one hundred twenty four years despite Bryan losing the election badly.

Some years ago, G W Bush’s key political advisor, Karl Rove, wrote a great book on the subject, The Triumph of William McKinley. If you want to see him talk about it, and the parallels of that time with the modern era of US politics, hit this C-SPAN link, Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters.

It was completely unexpected when the 2020 Democrats ran a similar campaign to McKinley’s for their Presidential candidate, Joe Biden. The key difference was that he didn’t meet crowds even at his home, relying on the modern electronic aids of TV and the Internet to reach people. But it was a smart strategy given the constraints of the Chinese Lung Rot pandemic and Biden’s own physical and mental frailties. Let Trump do the flying and the rallies and the speeches. The Democrats would protect their aging, frail candidate and rely on the MSM, Trump hatred and their machines in key states to deliver election victory, which they did.

But now that he’s President that strategy cannot be used all the time. Sooner or later Biden has to step out and meet people. His staff has done pretty well in this regard, keeping Biden’s appearances limited to restricted gatherings and very controlled press conferences, aided by the knowledge that the MSM will baby him as they have done since he was nominated.

It seems to have been working well, so it’s a mystery as to why they decided to step out with a classic “Town Hall” event for Biden the other night.

They used CNN, about as friendly a forum as one can get for a Democrat, plus a very restricted audience…

Not even 1/3 full

… and a very carefully screened group of questioners from the audience, including several hilariously placed shills who claimed they were Republicans – who promptly asked softball questions that just happened to fit with Democrat talking points. Only one guy seemed to be a Republican, a restaurant owner and his question was to the point and not well-handled by Biden.

But even when Biden was being guided as gently as possible by the host, the oleaginous Don Lemon, he did not do well.

If anybody can understand what the hell he was saying there please comment with your explanation. Some poor, sad political tragic actually did try and transcribe it:

”And the question is whether or not we should be in a position where, you, er, um, are why can’t the, um, the experts say we know that this virus is in fact, er, er, um, uh, its this its going to be or, excuse me, we, we, we know why all the drugs approved are not temporary, temporarily approved, but permanently approved.”

That’s about what I thought; it makes no more comprehensible sense when written down than when spoken.

Nothing new there of course. The last word in the title of this post is actually from a desperate attempt to produce a transcript from something Joe Biden tried to say in a 2020 campaign speech.

Things got no better as he rambled on about “Whether or not there’s a man on the moon”: I assume he was trying to connect vax conspiracy theories with faked moon landing theories but screwed it up as usual because his old brain is broken. He also unveiled a new economic theory in which the tsunami of government spending will actually “reduce inflation, reduce inflation, reduce inflation”. Then there was his defence of the idea of raising the corporate income tax, where he boasted that his home state of Delaware has more registered corporations “than all the rest of America combined. Combined. Combined.”. That state, which he represented for almost forty years as a Senator, has no corporate income tax.

Extended comments like those are why his handlers give him note cards with detailed sentences he can read out (but which he still screws up) and keep his free-“thinking” repertoire simple with soundbites he can remember; they make sure that he mutters “Jim Crow” at least once every time he’s allowed out of the house. In this case the Senate filibuster standing in the way of all their fabulous legislation is “Jim Crow”, which I guess does make sense when you consider that the Democrats have used it hundreds of times in recent years. As one commentator noted:

The case could be made that this wasn’t that big of a train wreck because it happened on CNN and therefore had an audience only slightly larger than I do when my cat wanders in and watches me while I shave. Still, why can’t they just leave this guy in the White House with his coloring books and spare the country the embarrassment? Television appearances by Biden are probably the only American shows the ChiComs allow to air uncensored so their beleaguered citizens can finally have something to laugh at.

This is both hilarious and pathetic. The brain trust currently running the USA – mainly Co-President Jill Biden (wife) and Co-President Klain (Chief of Staff) – thinks that letting this senile old clown babble incoherently is going to eventually be what changes hearts and minds on issues of the Covid-19 vaccine, spending, taxes or anything. Whenever sane people who aren’t heartless hear Biden speak, they just want to wrap a blanket around him and help him to his chair. This guy isn’t going to be convincing anyone to do anything.

Ever.

Given the ages of President Biden (78) , House Speaker Pelosi (80), Senate Leader Schumer (71), and more than a few of their equally aged compadres, the USA is really start to look like the USSR in the 1980’s with Brezhnev and the rest of the Politburo.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 25, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Politics as Geology

A fascinating little map of the US state of Alabama that starts with the geology of ancient beds of sediment from the Cretaceous epoch to voting in 2020.

It brings to mind the quote from economist John Maynard Keynes:

“Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.”

Are ideas generated by humans as long-lasting in their effects on us as geology? The answer to that question may have to wait until millions of years have passed, assuming humans can stick around that long. After all, the Cretaceous period was ended by an asteroid strike, killing off the dinosaurs who had survived for tens of millions of years by that point, dwarfing our existence of perhaps two million years?

Written by Tom Hunter

June 21, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Jump Joe, Jump

Manchin that is, Joe Manchin, who is a Democrat Senator from West Virginia – and the jump he should make is to the Republican party since he has just blown up his own party’s plans for destroying the Senate filibuster, thereby screwing a lot of other revolutionary Democrat Party schemes.

Getting rid of the filibuster for all legislation would still have required Vice President Harris to be the tie-braking vote each time, but it would have enabled the Democrats to do whatever they wanted with 51 Senate votes, including packing the Supreme Court.

However the primary goal would have been to pass their “Voting Rights” bill – H.R.1 “For The People Act” (propaganda should always start with a good phrase) – that would federalise (centralise) election management in Washington D.C. and ensure they’d rule the Federal US government as they rule California and Illinois (the Democrats hope).

Manchin told his party to take a hike on that one as well:

I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

The Democrat Senate caucus meetings may be a tad frosty for a while.

But it’s among the Democrat political activists and MSM journalists where things have naturally dropped to the level of carpet-biting rage, including the following entirely predictable claim about Manchin:

Wow! This is a stunningly original critique from Hill and Jones. It must be all of five minutes since a Republican was called a White Supremacist keen on reviving Jim Crow, but now an Old, White, Male Democrat is getting the treatment! Things must getting serious on “the most dangerous threat to our democracy” front.

Hill is a noted race grifter, having turned a failing gig on ESPN as a sports commentator into a  career as a “journalist” who makes charges of racism against just about everyone who breathes.

However Manchin is not alone. A few weeks ago I noted that he’s been joined in these actions by Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema, whose “Fuck Off” ring and general demeanour show that she’s a younger generation that is wise to all this MSM/Social Media “rage” bullshit and is not intimidated by it.

I also would not be surprised to learn that there are other Democrat Senators who aren’t that keen on all these grand plans either, given the electoral risks involved, but who are quite happy to use Manchin as a shield.

The voters even more so; while they aren’t vocal, there are still a lot of “liberals” who are more middle of the road politically. Manchin, though he seems like a unicorn, is actually a lot more representative than people think he is.

BTW, nearly 70% of West Virginians voted for Trump so Manchin is basically just representing his constituents, which is his job, and naturally he would also like to keep his job. It’s the reddest state in the union in regards to presidential politics.

As result, every single time a raging leftie Democrat goes after him, he gains more credibility for re-election in that state via Republican voters. The media hate him and his own party despises him. They aren’t trying to earn his support, rather, they are seeking to destroy him.

Moreover do these fanatical FaceTwit idiots understand that all of this may actually drive Manchin into the arms of the Republican Party aside from re-election? He has to know that this isn’t going to get any better. The Democrat Party is not moderating.

The old blue-dog era is dead and buried. Manchin may still have a dream of winding the clock back to 1996 but it’s more a hallucination. Woke politics is now at the forefront, as that old friend of segregationists and tough criminal laws, Joe Biden. shows everyday. Does Manchin really want to stick around so he can get called a racist and a supporter of Jim Crow by his own party?

In fact Manchin doesn’t even have to become a Republican. Instead he can become an independent, negotiate with Republicans for whatever committee assignments he wants in exchange for caucusing with them and tell Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats to go fuck themselves.

All of the above is why I wasn’t interested in the hysterical screaming from the US Right when they found themselves facing Democrat control of all three branches of the Federal government after January. That control was razor thin in all three areas. Even with a huge increase in the popular vote the Electoral College win by Biden was slim – in terms of vote difference in the key swing states it was actually smaller than Trump’s win in 2016. The five-six Senate seats the Democrats expected to win never happened and it was only thanks to the unusual event of having not one but two runoff elections in a single state, Georgia, that they even got a tie. As for the House, the GOP lost no seats and cleaned up a dozen or so Democrats, bringing them to within half-a-dozen votes of sending Nancy Pelosi to her final ash heap.

This is nothing like 2008 when the Democrats got all three branches with overwhelming majorities. Back then every US Right winger had serious cause for concern at what they could get done. But sufficient Democrats know how close they are to the razor’s edge to not push things too far.

In theory you could say the same thing about the GOP but the difference here is that it’s the Democrats who are pushing extremist policies across the board, where even a seemingly normal infrastructure bill that could be bipartisan is reduced to being nothing but a porkfest where only simple bribery might get GOP votes. Although the Democrat Operatives with Bylines in the US MSM and around the world do their damndest to portray the opposite, after 2016 few are stupid enough to think that the MSM represents many voters.

The Democrat coalition is unsustainable. The radicals have taken over the leadership, either directly or via proxy, and the further things move left, the more the party splits in two.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 10, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Die MSM, Die – A blast from their lying past

Anybody who has followed US politics over the last few decades will remember a minor kerfuffle that occurred during the 1992 Presidential election.

Earlier that year the GOP primaries were happening and while not as exciting as the Democrat ones, because the incumbent President usually has no real challengers, people did pay some attention.

While conducting one of the usual election campaign photo opportunities President Bush dropped by a National Grocers Association convention in Orlando. One of the exhibits Bush visited was a demonstration of NCR’s checkout scanning technology, and he’s seen here at that point.

Following the triumph of Desert Storm, Bush was still riding reasonably high in the polls, even if they had declined a bit as a shallow recession appeared in late 1991 and pushed on into early 1992. But like most incumbent Presidents he was expected to win, so much so that several Democrat heavy hitters decided not to run that year, leaving the field to unknowns like some guy from Arkansas called Bill Clinton.

Still, the recession was seen as Bush’s weak spot and the Democrats began to chew away on this, along with their faithful lackey, The New York Times. The chosen narrative was that Bush didn’t really care about ordinary people, which was why he wasn’t doing anything to end the recession, so the idea was to produce endless articles showing how he was “out of touch” with the average American after decades in Washington D.C.

As you can see from the MSM coverage today of the current POTUS, an even more long-term incumbent of Washington D.C., narratives can be turned 180 degrees when the political and ideological need arises.

So when this photo and story appeared it was a gift to the NYT, and one of their lead reporters jumped all over it:

Today, for instance, [Bush] emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.Visiting the exhibition hall of the National Grocers Association convention here, Mr. Bush lingered at the mock-up of a checkout lane. He signed his name on an electronic pad used to detect check forgeries.

“If some guy came in and spelled George Bush differently, could you catch it?” the President asked. “Yes,” he was told, and he shook his head in wonder.

Some grocery stores began using electronic scanners as early as 1976, and the devices have been in general use in American supermarkets for a decade.

Because the NYT was regarded as the lead on any story, this one gave other editorial writers the chance to pile on and amplify the narrative (always an essential part of a propaganda campaign), like the Boston Globe

President Bush, according to reporters who followed him around Tuesday at the National Grocers Association convention in Orlando, Fla., had never before seen a supermarket cash register on which the name of the item and its price flashed on a screen when the item was dragged across an electronic scanner.

The scanner was introduced at supermarket checkouts in 1980, the year Bush was elected vice president, and is just one of the many aspects of everyday life from which a president (or vice president) is shielded in the private life of public office.

As opposed to this cool guy and his trumpet saxophone.

Then a small piece of truth emerged:

Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times hadn’t even been present at the grocers’ convention. He based his article on a two-paragraph report filed by the lone pool newspaperman allowed to cover the event, Gregg McDonald of the Houston Chronicle, who merely wrote that Bush had a “look of wonder” on his face and didn’t find the event significant enough to mention in his own story.

Moreover, Bush had good reason to express wonder: He wasn’t being shown then-standard scanner technology, but a new type of scanner that could weigh groceries and read mangled and torn bar codes.


Bob Graham of NCR, who demonstrated the scanner technology for President Bush, said, “It’s foolish to think the president doesn’t know anything about grocery stores. He knew exactly what I was talking about.”

But by the time this truth leaked out it didn’t matter because it was buried on the back pages with one-time printing and then forgotten. To be fair there were some other MSM sources in the day that were more honest and less partisan than the Globe, NYT and others:

Newsweek screened the same tape and reported: “Bush acts curious and polite, but hardly amazed.” Michael Duffy of Time magazine called the whole thing “completely insignificant as a news event. It was prosaic, polite talk, and Bush is expert at that. If anything, he was bored.” 

Those semi-balanced days seem even longer ago than 1992.

But despite the likes of Time and Newsweek, The Narrative had multiple front-pages and therefore stuck – which was the intention of the NYT and other Democrat-supporting MSM sources. In fact it stuck so well that it’s still repeated, as it was with an ordinary 2009 NYT story about the history of the bar code scanner:

They even played a role in the 1992 presidential race, when then-PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush, at a campaign stop, seemed surprised by what had already become a technological staple of everyday life.

Also with a scathing NYT attack on John McCain about his supposed ludditism in 2008:

She even does my boarding passes – people can do that now,” Mr. McCain marveled. “When we go to the movies, she gets the tickets ahead of time. It’s incredible.”

Mr. McCain’s sense of wonder evoked the episode in the early 1990s when George H.W. Bush became overly impressed upon seeing a price scanner at a supermarket check-out counter.

As opposed to this cool guy and his Blackberry.

Yes, you’re seeing yet another standard pattern in the MSM, all the way to Cool Britannia and our own “Youth Adjacent” PM.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 18, 2021 at 12:47 pm

WERE I TOM PEREZ

I would be recommending to my colleagues on the Democratic National Committee that they award Donald Trump honorary life membership of the DNC in return for services rendered to the Party. After-all, he was a registered Democrat up until a decade ago.

If Trump had exhibited a modicum of leadership over COVID then he would have won over Biden at a canter while his quite simply bizarre behaviour post the election in challenging the result probably cost the Republicans control of the Senate with the loss of the two Georgia Senate seats won by the Democrats with larger margins than Biden when he carried the State back in November.

And then to cap it all off we have the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters egged on by the President. This is politics banana republic style.

Politicians write their own legacy. I suspect history will judge Trump to be an aberration in US politics sorta a Jeremy Corbyn in reverse … and it could have been so different had he not given the word ‘arsehole’ a whole new meaning.

Gonna be really interesting to see how the Republican Party reacts to this. Trump created his own constituency and in doing so he burned-off many moderate Republicans … you might cogently argue Trump is/was the ultimate RHINO.

Written by The Veteran

January 7, 2021 at 11:38 am

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , ,

As Sure As The Sun Rising…

… are the sighs of relief from Democrats and the Democrat Media complex that with another Republican President defeated, the sun is not only shining brightly upon the broad uplands of the USA but it is time for healing all the wounds created by the “divisive” GOP President and his allies.

And healing! Lots of healing.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!

Come on, Man. I’ve heard this crap after Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and now Trump and I could accept it when the target was the candidate.

While every US election is filled with such rhetoric – it’s the American way – this has not just happened during the heat of an election but every day for more than four years.

Moreover, what has truly made this time very different is that the hate has been directed not just at the GOP President but specifically and deliberately at individuals who are Trump supporters and voters. It’s been prominent on Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social media sites, and it has manifested itself in attacks against Trump supporters designed to destroy their employment, businesses and careers.

What?

If you were in any way serious about what you repeatedly screamed at your political, ideological and class opponents, why on earth would you wish to extend an olive branch to Ignorant, Redneck, Racist, Xenophobic Nazi Rural Hicks who are supporting an attempted Right Wing coup even as we speak, destroying the idea of democracy, elections and the rule of law?

Either you were simply full of shit in your hysterical, TDS-unhinged accusations or you now realise that almost 74 million Trump voters represent something much more than a fringe minority that can be crushed. What was it that Lenin said?

You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.

Ah well. Ms Milano has history with her “standards’, as witnessed by her vastly differing reactions to the sexual assault allegations against Justice Kavanaugh (top) and Joe Biden (bottom).

But Ms Milano is simply a celebrity example of literally millions of ordinary US Democrats and Leftists who have employed such tactics against friends and family members – and have been encouraged to do so by a vast Democrat media complex who suggested, amongst other things, that events like Christmas and Thanksgiving were ideal places for it to happen.

I’ve seen it on my wife’s Facebook. And I see now the same calls for unity and healing from these same people.

LOLGFY.

I don’t think so. It’s too late. As with many other aspects of American society Trump has forced the masks to be ripped off, and we have peered into the abysses thus revealed.

If it had simply been aimed at Trump, as it was at Reagan, the Bushes, or the GOP in general, then it could be shrugged off as it was before, as something like Biden describes.

But this has been made very local and personal, like a civil war, and it cannot be undone easily or quickly. There has been very little difference in language, ideas and attitude between people we’ve known for twenty and thirty years, and the sort of trolling, Far Left animals one sees in blog comment sections.

.

But at the same time as such people should be waved off now as those one should have as little to do with as possible from here on, it pays to make note of the humourous aspects of them, like the New York Times.

Or those who helped to massively tip the scales in the propaganda war of 2020.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 26, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , , ,