No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘President Obama

Amendments, Post Offices and Presidents

with 3 comments

I was responding to a question by Vet in the previous post to this one (Their ‘Jo’) but felt my response needed a post of its own given the complexities.

Vet’s question was as follows:

Should Biden be forced to stand down for whatever reason then Harris becomes President. She would then appoint a Vice-President who would be second in the line of succession (so I guess technically Adolf could be right re Obama although there could be a problem with him having already served two terms (the maximum) as President). After that comes the Speaker of the House – Pelosi (cringe) although post November that position could well be filled by a Republican.

The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951 after FDR’s four election wins, is very definitive about getting elected more than once, irrespective of whether the two terms are consecutive or not. It even restricts a candidate if they serve as President for more than two years in the term of another elected President (one removed by death, incapacity or impeachment), which was a clear shot across the bows of someone like Harry Truman, who ended up serving as President for almost a full two terms despite winning only once because FDR had started his fourth elected term in March 1945 (March used to be the starting month after the November election) and died in April. Had Truman been popular he could have served almost three terms had he tried and won in 1952, for which he was eligible (note the compromise language of the Article not applying to anybody then President).

Unlike Russia, Belarus, Venezuela and some other banana republics there’s been no attempt to fiddle this by lengthening the term of office or only talking about two consecutive terms.

In the wake of JFK appointing his brother Bobby as AG there were laws passed to prevent that but I’m not sure if those laws would apply to a President Harris appointing Obama as VP as I think they were aimed specifically at family members being appointed to Cabinet positions and so forth.

Strangely enough it’s not a constitutional amendment but a statute of The Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967, of all things. Some background from that link which, amusingly enough, was written because of the debate in 2017 about Trump appointing his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a “senior advisor”:

In 1967, as the Johnson administration was trying to raise federal employees’ salaries and increase postal rates, Neal Smith, a republican representative, proposed an amendment to ban nepotism in all the U.S. administration, mentioning specifically the President.[10] While Smith had been a long advocate of anti-nepotism policies — and had tried to pass his amendment without success since 1961 — his main focus was on the prohibition for low scale government employees such as postmasters to hire their relatives.[11] Finally, in 1967 — despite a low turnout — the amendment was voted and the law passed a few weeks later.[12] According to the wording of the new statute, JFK could not have hired his brother. Some analysts argue that Johnson pushed this amendment, yet this point is still highly contested. Regardless of the role President Johnson played, he was certainly eager when signing into law the Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967 — later renamed the Bobby Kennedy law.

Heh! Eager is an understatement considering how LBJ and RFK had long hated each other’s guts.

But on top of that, in the case of appointing a VP rather than electing one the VP has to be approved by the Congress anyway; I recall one of the last episodes of The West Wing dealing with this issue because the VP had died on the verge of election day (incidentally this was forced on the writers because the actor playing the VP candidate had died during filming of the episode). Time’s running out for the Democrats to pull that off, given their almost certain loss of the House and Senate later this year – and that’s assuming they’d have the numbers; despite the propaganda and images not everyone in the Democrat Party is still a fan of Obama.

The thing is that some people are wondering if we don’t already have a “President” Obama anyway, based on several arguments.

  1. Biden is clearly being directed by his staff (and the First Lady) in even the smallest, public things, which makes it likely that in the big decisions behind the scenes he’s being totally directed policy-wise by his staff.
  2. That staff consists of a huge portion of Obama Administration hangovers, something like 2/3’s I believe. They likely are pushing the same crap as before in multiple areas, like the JCPOA deal with Iran.
  3. Obama, unlike all previous Presidents, maintains a presence in D.C. In fact his digs are just a short walk from the White House. And look at the reception he got when he officially returned for a visit.
  4. Things that Obama talks about seem to have a way of happening a little later in the Biden Administration, the latest example being his speech at Yale on “disinformation” and the need for the government to regulate it in the wake of Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Just a week later we got the Disinformation Governance Board at the DHS.
  5. Before he became President he spoke in 2008 of being “just five days away from fundamentally transforming this country”. Those are not the normal words of a President pushing policies or an empty slogan (“MAGA”). They sound like a fanatic and fanatics don’t give up even when they’re out of power.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 6, 2022 at 1:49 pm

The Beta President

with 5 comments

An equally appropriate title for what happened to President Biden the other day would be The Pitiful President, but I’d already used that title, and given that an actual Alpha President was the cause of the sad videos of Joe Biden this title works.

It must have seemed like a good idea by Biden’s handlers to invite a true Democrat superstar to the White House, celebrate something and hope it boosts the failing polls of both Biden and his Democrats.

Former President Barack Obama was the obvious choice. A two-term winner, the first Black President (his White ancestry never counted), charismatic with D.C. and Democrat insiders, Obama has it all and is the only such Democrat at the moment, Bill Clinton’s star having faded with Obama’s ascension in 2008.

All that was needed was something to celebrate and given the dearth of any real legislative or foreign policy accomplishments on Obama’s watch (something bitterly noted by US Leftists) the only real choice of topic was the Affordable Care Act, (better known as Obamacare: check out the Lefty take on it at that Wiki link), passed in 2010.

But I wonder if anybody in the Biden Whitehouse had second thoughts that their guy might be overshadowed, given Obama’s status and charisma, not to mention that his ego and known lack of respect for Biden might come to the fore. If so they didn’t have to wait long for their fears to arrive, with Obama starting off with a little “joke” about Biden’s real standing in the Democrat Party and America.

Sure, sure that was a joke (wink). And an excellent joke too, judging by the long and uproarious laughter from everybody. Given the number of former Obama staffers in Biden’s WH and Obama’s musings about a third term that’s a joke with bite:

If I could make an arrangement where … um…. I had a stand-in, a front man, or front-woman and they had an earpiece in and I was just in my basement in my sweats looking through the stuff and then I could… sorta.. deliver the lines, but somebody else was doing all the talking and ceremony… I’d be fine with that.

But it was after Obama’s speech – filled with the usual “I / Me” references we all grew to know and love during his Presidency, (more than 30 this time)- and Biden’s follow-on speech, that things got really awkward:

Or sad, cringe…old, lost, confused… Pick a word to describe a man who is President of the USA and that nobody wants to talk with or pay attention to when they have a choice. Normally, everyone in the room should be clamoring to be near the American president.  After all, political power is the strongest magnetic force in the world. 

Then it got worse, after Biden got his bearings and rejoined the party, he shuffled his way over to the star of the room – the real star – and it did not go well, because Obama is truly a member of the Mean Girl squad; not only was he the magnetic force in the room, but he also made it clear to all others who wasn’t:

Watching Biden paw at Obama’s shoulder only to have Obama aggressively ignore him is uncomfortable viewing. Even if Obama has no respect for the man (and who would, given Biden’s stupidity, incompetence, and corruption?), Obama, of all people, should show respect for the office. But for Obama, the point of the presidency was never about the office itself; it was always about the fact that Obama bestowed glory on the office. His love of himself and the attention he gets was all that mattered.

Meantime it was obvious that Biden could have left the room and nobody would have noticed.

I can’t help thinking that this was also a signal to the entire Democrat Party that Biden is done and its time for him to go. He always was a useful idiot for TPTB in the DNC (Democrat National Committee), with no natural constituency in the Party, saying what he was told to say (even if it was a 180 on what he used to say and support). He did his job in being the only palatable option they could run against Trump in 2020 – True Believer Socialist Bernie Sanders, who has real support from Democrats, being utterly unacceptable to the trust fund millionaires and billionaires. That was the only thing Biden was good for.

It’s nothing personal. It’s a matter of group survival and that’s exactly how the Democratic Party operates. Individuals are irrelevant to the party. The group is all that matters. No one at the DNC actually cares about Joe Biden or ever has.

On some level, Joe Biden knows this. He’s spent his life in the Democratic Party. He’s never worked outside of the Democratic Party, so he understands how this ends. Inevitably, after 50 years, it is his turn to be eliminated.

That’s Tucker Carlson commenting on this fiasco. He also showed the history here, including exactly what the DNC-MSM thought of Biden in 2019 before he became their only option in 2020. Tucker’s amusing rip on the MSM’s 2020/2021 turn-around on Biden, with the Hive Mind repetition of “The adults are back in charge”, is worth watching alone, plus his coverage of the MSM suddenly turning on Biden over his problems around inflation, the Southern Border and crime – and not letting him off the hook with his excuses using Putin. Watch all eleven minutes.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 9, 2022 at 10:42 am

Two crises, same response.

It’s often said that a photo is worth a thousand words, but there are few photos that convey the same message about two different and vast crises afflicting humanity.

That’s Barack Obama, photographed talking with a bunch of construction workers about the work on his new multi-million dollar beachfront house in Hawaii. To be fair he’s probably fairly confident about the oceans not overflowing his mansion because of his ascension to the Whitehouse way back in 2008 – which is why he also owns another mansion at Martha’s Vineyard, about 1m above sea level in Massachusetts.

This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

The other thing about that photo is that Obama does not have a mask on while all the lowly construction workers and others do. He’s not alone in that.

Obama knows that the oceans won’t rise in any significant way over the next decades or even centuries, just as he knows he’s not at serious risk of dying from COVID.

But it’s very important that the little people be frightened enough of these and other things so that they can be more easily controlled, for their own good of course.

A Civil Break, not a Civil War.

… “we don’t eat the same breakfast cereal anymore. We don’t read the same newspapers. We don’t consume the same news. We’re divided in every way, shape, and form in our culture, and thus it translates downstream into our politics”. 

In this post a few months ago I took a look at the growing talk about a possibility of second American Civil War.

But a second take on the matter has begun to emerge in the wake of the results of two criminal trials. The first is for young Mr Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty on all charges for having killed two Antifa members attacking him, plus wounding a third who aimed a pistol at his head. The second was for Mr Smollay, who was found guilty on all but one charge of faking an attack on himself by “racist, homophobic MAGA deplorables”.

Both trials have revealed that the split in the USA between two populations that has been observed at least since 2008, is growing wider. This is explored in a couple of articles. America on the Verge, and One Angry Nation, Two Wildly Divergent Explanations, both written after the Rittenhouse trial. In the first the writer looks directly at the context of the Rittenhouse shootings in 2020:

Political violence was worse in the 1960s and 1970s, but yesterday’s extremists lacked institutional backing. Today’s left-wing racial radicalism is different from the outbursts of the Vietnam and civil rights era. The inner-city explosions of the 1960s were ugly and destructive, but also unplanned and unapproved by those in power.

Compare then and now, when the most widespread and destructive urban violence in 50 years was cheered on by the mainstream media, the Democratic Party, and activist groups funded by corporate America. In 2020 alone, Black Lives Matter got $12 million from Google, and $10 million each from Amazon and Facebook. The organization received millions from video game companies, retail companies, manufacturers, hotels, sports leagues, celebrities, and wealthy individuals. 

U.S. embassies and federal agency headquarters unfurled Black Lives Matter flags as cities burned

That is a huge change between the two epochs of civil violence. It’s as if the various institutions of the USA want themselves to be destroyed. Given how many of the contemporary ruling class have marinated in decades of Leftist education whose analysis of the US is of a nation wracked by unforgivable Original Sins, that should not be a surprise. It’s why almost all of the same people jumped on the Smolley story to proclaim him as a victim and then Rittenhouse as the oppressor. They also likely think they can escape the destruction.

America still stands on the precipice of a dark abyss. The fact is, we live in a society where mass political violence has been normalized, and because it’s being used as a political and ideological bludgeon to threaten and intimidate the people of this country, the authorities have abdicated their responsibility to protect life and property. The people who have created these conditions are the same baying for the blood of Kyle Rittenhouse for defending himself from three of their own.

The second article is an analysis by one Peter Wood of a book recently published that tries to explain what’s going on in the USA, the author having interviewed a lot of Trump supporters

We Americans have become an angry bunch. On that Evan Osnos and I agree. Osnos is a staff writer for the New Yorker whose new book, Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury, surveys some of the same territory as my new book, Wrath: America Enraged. But on why we are angry and what it all means, Osnos and I diverge.

Osnos apparently wrote a very flattering book about Joe Biden and his campaign for President so that, plus being a writer from The New Yorker, gives a taste of where his latest work is going. According to him it’s all about irrational fear, starting with the 9/11 attacks:

Trump, the Tea Party, the NRA—they all made use of that rising unease of Americans who could not quite put a name to the anxieties they felt about the disordering of their world, about the puncturing of American invincibility, the browning of America, the vanishing of jobs to automation, the stagnation of their incomes. The language of force gained ground, Sarah Palin, in her appearances at Tea Party rallies and online, made frequent use of metaphors from the Revolutionary War and the world of guns. ‘Don’t retreat, reload,’ she liked to say.

Wood thinks this is merely the usual explanation that the Left loves…

… to psychologize away the dissatisfactions of the tens of millions of Americans.. who can’t quite put a name on their anxieties are the easily manipulated dupes of demagogues such as Palin and Trump…As Osnos puts it, those “already stewing in economic or racial resentment,” were not in possession of an ideology but had “a rootlessness of the mind—a loss of purpose, inspiration, and community.” 

Wood sees two things instead. First, that outbursts like this are a familiar part of American history and that the seeds of the current decay started a lot further back than 9/11 with the decline of admiration for self control and the rise of a new permission to display anger working its way into the broader culture. Second, that there are real reasons for the anger of the people that Osnos “analyses”:

Somehow missing in his 400-page plus account are the words that are seared in the memories of a great many Americans… Deplorables and bitter clingers are touchstones for almost every working-class Trump supporter I have ever talked with, and it seems odd that Osnos never mentions those words, despite quoting copiously from Hillary and Obama, and despite his interviewing a fair number of working-class Trump voters.

It’s notable that Obama’s contempt was actually aimed at Democrat voters who chose Hillary Clinton over him in the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, and that Hillary attacked him for his “arrogance” as well as being “elitist and out of touch” – before doing the same thing in 2016. Those voters likely still voted for Obama in 2008. In 2016 many must have voted for Trump when he won that same state.

[Had Osnos heard them it] would cast doubt on the idea that the Tea Party and the populist movement that followed it were rooted in “fear.” The roots of that movement were righteous fury, not baffled distress or unfocused anxiety. People understood perfectly well that a new governing class had arisen determined to overturn democratic norms and our self-governing republic and to replace them with domination by self-serving “experts” and a globalized elite.

English ex-pat writer (and North England Working Class boy) Clive Crook, had spotted this in 2016, Donald Trump, Class Warrior, which is very much worth re-reading together with these pieces.

Apparently Osnos thinks that things will calm down after a while and these people “will settle down to enjoy the normalcy of American life. The normalcy he has in mind, of course, is the dispensation of permanent progressive government.

Woods does not agree and explains why in both the article and in his own book, Wrath. In this he would no doubt be interested in the following two comments. The first one from the Chicago Boyz blog, written a year ago:

We’re already at the split. We read different books, watch different movies and television shows – those of us who still watch movies and television – follow different celebrities, earn a living in different ways, educate our children differently. We honor different things, different heroes and heroines, have wildly different aspirations and hopes for the future. We are already split.

The second almost identical one made just the other day by a Pearl Harbour historian while being interviewed about that attack:

“[Andrew Breitbart] once said, very adroitly, that politics is downstream from culture. Our culture, we don’t eat the same breakfast cereal anymore. We don’t read the same newspapers. We don’t consume the same news. We’re divided in every way, shape, and form in our culture, and thus it translates downstream into our politics. I personally think — and not that I’m hoping, I’m just an observer — but I think the United States is heading toward a breakup. It’s already happening.”

That means the numbers on this map may mean something more than just an escape from Democrat areas of high taxes, over-regulation, high crime and poor government – and the eventual result being much more than just Red states continuing to gain House seats from Blue states.

See also Secessionitis and Greater Idaho.

Jobs for the boys

That satirical movie poster was from 2014 when Obama traded five Taliban terrorists locked up in Guantanamo for a US soldier who had deserted from his unit, then did a hideous press conference where it became obvious where Private Bergdahl’s “patriotism” had come from. His father was invited by Obama and in addition to looking and sounding like he had decided to join the Taliban himself, he used the opportunity to shit all over the US.

It’s interesting to walk down this particular memory lane and realise that despite being much smarter and not senile, Obama and his team had more than a few cluster fucks of their own that seem little different from those that Biden is having. Obama’s clowns never shifted off their backsides to look into the details of Bergdahl, his capture, his dingbat father or much else before they decided to go for the dog and pony show at the Whitehouse seven years ago.

The full details of the men released can be found here. The following is my quick synopsis of three of them:

Mullah Mohammad Fazl (Taliban army chief of staff): Fazl is wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites in 1998.

Mullah Norullah Noori (senior Taliban military commander): Like Fazl, Noori is wanted by the United Nations for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.

Abdul Haq Wasiq (Taliban deputy minister of intelligence): Wasiq arranged for al Qaeda members to provide crucial intelligence training prior to 9/11. The training was headed by Hamza Zubayr, an al Qaeda instructor who was killed during the same September 2002 raid that netted Ramzi Binalshibh, the point man for the 9/11 operation.

Under the traditional rules of war all five of them should have been shot at dawn on the Afghan battlefields, but I guess this way some future US President might at least drone their ass at some point in time.

Alternatively they could have been processed through a military tribunal but for Obama’s delusional desire to put them through US civil courts. Yet another failure of competence as his own party rose up against him when he tried to bring Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to New York.

Well guess what sports fans? They’re back in power. As in real power. As in being part of the Cabinet of the new Taliban government of Afghanistan.

  • Mullah Norullah Nori (Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs)
  • Mohammed Fazl (Defense Deputy Minister)
  • Khairullah Khairkhwa (Acting Minister of Information and Culture)
  • Abdul Haq Wasiq (Acting Director of Intelligence)

So the last guy got his old job back. Pretty typical of a politician who knows where all the bodies are buried.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Not a mask but a sickbag

One of the larger questions about the great NeverTrump insanity was whether these people would ever return to a normal level of rational skepticism if the walking root vegetable named Joe Biden was elected.

Judging by the following I guess the answer is twofold: “No” and “We love The Big Guy”.

The following YouTube clip stars Randy Rainbow doing one of his usual parodies where he spoofs an interview with some famous figure and then kicks off a song about it. His resemblance to Peewee Herman is not surprising.

The following clip is with Joe Biden and the song about the Chinese Sinus Rot vaccines is based on the classic, “Mr Sandman”. While I’d like to think it’s “parody” it’s pretty clear that, like the rest of the US media, he’s going to do everything he can to prop up Biden.

I mean when you have lines like…

They call you “sleepy” but you’re pretty woke.

… I’d say it’s not parody but full fellatio worship.

He’s hardly alone of course. The other day during an interview with Dan Rather (of course), “comedienne”, Samantha Bee, admitted that she’s going easy on Biden:

Rather: “In other words, you, myself, and a lot of people, more or less free-swingers against President Trump,” Rather continued. “But now that Biden is in, I don’t know, do you find yourself sometimes saying, ‘Oh boy, there’s a nasty comedy bit I can unload on Biden,’ but saying to yourself, ‘I approve of him so much I’m going to pull this punch?’”

Bee: “I can’t deny that that has happened, I think that’s probably true across the board,” Bee said. “You’re like, ‘OK, well, we could be making jokes about the infrastructure plan,’ but in general, I’m like, ‘Wow, this is great.’ Why would I purposefully undermine something that seems to be a great idea, pretty much across the board?”

Wow. How pathetic is that? Still, I can’t say I’m surprised. Saturday Night Live has pretty much collapsed on joking about the new US President, and they don’t even have the excuse they made during the Obama years, as their longtime specialist in political jokes, Jim Downey, explained in 2014:

“If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, ‘Degree of difficulty, 10 point 10,’

It’s like being a rock climber looking up at a thousand-foot-high face of solid obsidian, polished and oiled,” Downey says. “There’s not a single thing to grab onto — certainly not a flaw or hook that you can caricature.

That statement itself is comedy gold, and could be made into a great parody skit by SNL about SNL – if they had any self-awareness or comedic talent and a sense of humour, or at least a sense of the absurd.

This is how far US comedy has fallen from the glory years of a few decades ago. I’d like to think that Lenny Bruce would shoot these useless bastards – and then make obscene jokes about them.

Still, on the song front we haven’t seen the following about Biden. Give it time though and the Lefty Worshippers may get there in the next four years.

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Written by Tom Hunter

April 19, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Kansas Can Go Fuck Itself

Sixteen years ago a man named Frank Thomas wrote a book that rapidly became required reading among Democrat politicians and activists in the USA.

The book is called What’s The Matter With Kansas, and it dealt with the seeming inability of the Democrats to take electoral advantage of things like the Iraq War and economic issues in the heartlands of America. The author, Thomas Frank, is a good writer and thinker and was tackling contemporary issues, but for me the book boiled down to the same old “false consciousness” argument that Marxists have been banging on about for over a century in trying to explain the failure of Marxism to take root among the toiling masses.

Frank’s analysis fell into the same world of hand-wringing “Why do they vote against their own interests?” explanations and his wasn’t much better than the Marxists’ one:

Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they’re protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there’s a good chance they’ll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower.

The Culture War in other words, with one side a coalition of social conservatives (abortion, gay marriage, etc) and economic liberals (tax cuts and deregulation, spending cuts, free trade). Frank, as a Mid-Westerner himself, had harsh words for the Democrats:

The Democratic Leadership Council, the organization that produced such figures as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Terry McAuliffe, has long been pushing the party to forget blue-collar voters and concentrate instead on recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues. 

The DLC was the direct result of two damaging elections for the Democrats. The first in 1984 when Walter Mondale – with his traditional Democrat ideas of increased taxes, union support and restrictions on free trade – lost in a landslide against Reagan. The second in 1988 when “Good jobs at good wages” Dukakis went down to a humiliating defeat against the colourless George H W Bush. The DLC was a direct response to those losses as it crafted the Clinton world, a post-Mondale age that stopped hating on CEO’s and learned to love NAFTA and its ilk:

The move seemed smart. This was the go-go eighties, we were all Material Girls (for whom the boy with the cold hard cash was always Mr. Right)

But one of the secrets to Trump’s 2016 victory was that he actually reversed some of these Right-Wing 80’s wins. Even though the DLC had died (and is actually spat upon by sections of the Democrats now for all its 1990’s compromising and triangulation with the GOP), it left the affluent, white-collar professionals in total control of the Party – and they despise the blue-collar crowd more than ever.

Trump swooped in and got enough of these “deplorables” to win key swing states. No other GOP politician could have done it because none of them had Trump’s history on the subjects. Go back thirty years and you’ll see him saying exactly the same things about free trade deals and wars and America getting screwed. And ordinary people who watch Oprah and reality TV shows knew this. Trump was not trimming his jib to the polls: this is what he really thought, but it was only in 2016 that such ideas finally broke through.

However, to do this, he first also fought and defeated a similar crowd inside the GOP, who had begun to despise their working class social conservatives, their Reagan Conservatives. Were not income tax cuts and slight restraints on spending enough? Especially combined with all that good culture war stuff on the hustings – that somehow never turned into anything but defeats in the Supreme Court and elsewhere. Plus wars fought for the ideal of International Liberalism.

When you also look at the insane spending of the US government and Trump’s pledge to never touch Social Security and Medicare you’re actually seeing a new coalition: call it Social Conservatives and Fiscal Liberals. It’s actually very much the mid-20th century Democrat Party and despite the MSM amplified squeaks from Democrat newbies like AOC about unions, healthcare and welfare it’s very much not today’s Democrat Party.

No, today’s Democrat Party is one that has learned nothing from Frank’s book, and is described well in a recent article by Lefty Matt Taibbi. It’s longish but if you are at all interested in what’s happening in the USA right now I suggest you read the whole thing. Taibbi starts with Frank’s old book.

That Democrats needed Thomas Frank to tell them what conservatives fifteen miles outside the cities were thinking was damning in itself. Even worse was the basically unbroken string of insults emanating from pop culture (including from magazines like Rolling Stone: I was very guilty of this) describing life between the cities as a prole horror peopled by obese, Bible-thumping dolts who couldn’t navigate a Thai menu and polished gun lockers instead of reading.

I wish more journalists were as self-aware as that. Readers will note that our regular diet of Lefty trolls here at No Minister (including ones at our old site) continue to throw around the exact same accusations, but they at least have the excuse that they don’t value election victories and “ideas” beyond opportunuties for taunting. As Taibbi points out, he was hardly alone:

The news media and Hollywood shifted accordingly. Working-class voices disappeared from the press and earnest movies like Norma Rae and The China Syndrome gave way to a new brand of upper-class messaging that reveled in imperious sneering and weird culture-war provocations.

He quotes Frank’s 2004 book on this matter:

“The state [Kansas] watches impotently as its culture, beamed in from the coasts, becomes coarser and more offensive by the year... Why shouldn’t our culture just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?”

As Taibbi caps it: We have the answer to that now, don’t we?. We do indeed: cue Netflix and their pedophilic movie, Cuties.

The rest of the article deals with a new book by Frank, The People, No. It’s a history of the American Populist movement of the 1890’s and Taibbi speculates that it’s a response to reactions to Trump:

Also: the word, “populism,” became a synonym for plague or menace. Post-Trump and post-Brexit, pundits tended to use the term in tandem with other epithets, e.g. the “populist threat.” For Frank, a liberal intellectual whose breathless admiration for the actual Populist movement of the 1890s had been a running theme across two decades, this must have stung.

Although Frank may not have intended comparisons, Taibbi draws them, especially when Frank gets to the 1930’s where Populist policies that had been defeated 30-40 years earlier began to win with FDR and the Great Depression:

F.D.R. himself was a genteel aristocrat, but battered as a Russian agent… His followers were “people of low mentality” who backed policies that were the “laughingstock of the leading monetary authorities of the world.” This campaign, which should sound familiar, failed over and over…

But those victories of policy were not ones of culture, especially in government, and the following also sounds familiar as Taibbi gives a synopsis of Frank’s take on the post-WWII era:

The model of enlightened government for this new “technocratic” class of “consensus thinkers” was John Kennedy’s “Camelot” cabinet of Experts in Shirtsleeves, with Robert McNamara’s corporatized Pentagon their Shining Bureaucracy on a Hill. This vision of ideal democracy has dominated mainstream press discourse for almost seventy years.

The myth of “The Best and The Brightest“, which was seen again with Bill Clinton’s presidency and may have peaked with President Obama. On that note there is reference to a 2016 Frank book I’d not heard of: Listen, Liberal, which seems to have been a warning to the Democrats that things had actually not gone all that well for ordinary people during Obama’s time and that this spelled trouble for Hillary Clinton. It’s probably not a surprise that I hadn’t heard of it, for it was buried by the likes of the NYT (“pessimistic note”). Taibbi was in the same space when he started covering Trump:

When I was first sent out to cover the Donald Trump campaign years later, I assumed the editorial concept would be simple: mockery. New York’s infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” had taken over national headlines in the summer of 2015 with a foul-mouthed stream-of-consciousness rap, organized around an impossible Pharaonic wall project and scare tales about rape-happy Mexicans – the Diceman doing Pat Buchanan. If this was taking over the Republican Party, there wasn’t much to report. The enterprise was doomed, and journalism’s only mission was to make sure the silliest bits were captured before being buried under the sands of history.

The Diceman doing Pat Buchanan: that’s very clever and sounds like so many Lefties to this day. But he soon got scared:

Twenty minutes into my first Trump campaign event, I knew this was wrong, and was seized by a sinking feeling that really hasn’t left since. Trump in person sounded like he’d been convinced to run for president after reading What’s the Matter with Kansas? His stump act seemed tailored to take advantage of the gigantic market opportunity Democrats had created, and which Frank described.

Frank and Taibbi were not quite, but almost, alone in this. Before Frank’s book was this article from early 2016, Donald Trump, Class Warrior, by a writer called Clive Crook. I’d been reading Crook for years without knowing that he was an English ex-pat, and that background added to the power of this observation:

I’m a British immigrant, and grew up in a northern English working-class town. Taking my regional accent to Oxford University and then the British civil service, I learned a certain amount about my own class consciousness and other people’s snobbery. But in London or Oxford from the 1970s onwards I never witnessed the naked disdain for the working class that much of America’s metropolitan elite finds permissible in 2016. 

Incredible is it not, knowing the English class system, and in 1970? He and his wife decide to buy a house in West Virginia in preparation for retiring from Washington D.C. Naturally this leads to lots of jokes, “about guns, banjo music, in-breeding, people without teeth and so forth“. He strains to emphasise that his Washington friends are “good people”:

They’d be offended by crass, cruel jokes about any other group. They deplore prejudice and keep an eye out for unconscious bias. More than a few object to the term, “illegal immigrant.” Yet somehow they feel the white working class has it coming.

And then he describes his new neighbours.

My neighbors in West Virginia are good people too. Hard to believe, since some work outside and not all have degrees, but trust me on this. They’re aware of how they’re seen by the upper orders. They understand the prevailing view that they’re bigots, too stupid to know what’s good for them, and they see that this contempt is reserved especially for them. The ones I know don’t seem all that angry or bitter — they find it funny more than infuriating — but they sure don’t like being looked down on.

And he goes on to point out that they were not being stupid in voting for Trump. They knew he was “coarse”, crude, impolite, outrageous and unfairly vicious in a fight, and also how he bullshits constantly – just like most people in real estate. And that was exactly what they wanted:

Trump wages war on political correctness. Political correctness requires more than ordinary courtesy: It’s a ritual, like knowing which fork to use, by which superior people recognize each other.

But the Democrats and Never-Trumpers on the Right, and their friends around the world, have learned nothing, judging from four years of ever-escalating attacks not just on Trump but on anybody who works with him or supports him. They’re simply not interested in learning from their mistakes and have gone even further in making sure that nothing is to be learned from The Deplorables, who are to be simply shunned. I’ll leave the last word to Taibbi, including the line that forms the title of his article and mine:

By 2020, the official answer to What’s the Matter with Kansas? was Kansas is a White Supremacist Project and Can Go Fuck Itself.

“You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means” – UPDATE


Rasmussen polling reports Nov 15, 2019

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove.


After three days of breathtaking Impeachment testimony? I mean to say, “Impeachment” means you’re guilty right? Especially if it’s the Democrats and the entire US Left raising a pointed finger at you? Surely the accusations of such sainted people as Schiff-face count for something?

The Impeachment situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage

The president’s overall approval has been tracking up since Wednesday, the first day of the House impeachment hearings. It was at 46% on Wednesday morning, then rose to 48% yesterday and is now at 50%. Two of the three nights in today’s survey follow the highly-publicized hearings.

Tracking up? But….. But…. But…. that’s not supposed to be what happens when you’re a Democrat telling everybody how awful Orange Man is.

And when we look at history…

Holy dog shit Texas!

But wait… there’s more…

Trump’s approval rating on Wednesday was 44.3 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics average of more than a half-dozen major polls. That is higher than Obama’s average approval rating of 43.9 percent on September 18, 2011, by the same measure.

You mean to say that Trump’s Approval/Disapproval ratings are ahead of where Barack Obambi was on the same poll at the same stage of his Presidency in 2012?

After weeks of this Impeachment-Trump-Is-Dead shit? After three years of 90%+ negative coverage from the MSM? Compared to the overwhelming MSM fellating of Obambi circa 2008-2011. Well – aside from Fox News of course: but who cares about them, right?

It’s okay. The Democrats have lots of Star Witnesses to call as they desperately trudge forward on the Great Inquisition of 2019. They hope that somewhere – somewhere, surely – an impeachable offense will be found hiding among Trump’s communications relating to Ukraine.

Oh – and Trump released the transcript of the April 21st call he made with the new President of the Ukraine.

Sounds like a really guilty guy!

My God. My God. What will the country say?

It should be noted that people were walking out of the House chamber long before Impreachement proceedings were done the other day.

Sounds like a winner.

And of course; Dems Switched From “Quid Pro Quo” To “Bribery” Because A Focus Group Told Them It Was Better.


Maybe the Democrats can win this by telling every Trump voter how ashamed of themselves they should be! That’ll work?

UPDATE: One of the quotes supplied by a commentator on this thread contained the following lines…

Guilty, guilty.
Guilty, guilty, guilty…

Yes, that’s actually a quote from a supposedly “sober” magazine called Esquire, and it reminded me of the following scene from possibly the greatest ever Pixar movie, The Incredibles:

Jesus! That teacher even looks like Schiff!

Written by Tom Hunter

November 16, 2019 at 7:01 am

The Chicago Way

You wanna get Capone? Here’s how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That’s the Chicago way, and that’s how you get Capone!

The Untouchables was still in production when I started work in Chicago in the mid-80’s but you only had to live there a while before you began to understand how things worked in the city. How they had always worked.

Since the movie came out to critical and commercial acclam in 1987 various quotes from it have become embedded in popular culture, no more so than the one above, where grizzled old beat cop Malone tells dudley do-right Elliot Ness of the only way they’re going to convict Al Capone. Even more than the quote, one particular soundbite from it has become a byword in the city, among the public, reporters, cops… Basically everybody speaks of The Chicago Way, usually with raised eyebrows. It has become the phrase to explain a city that lives by a strange corruption that gets things done – or at least used to.

Several years ago during a Christmas family visit I listened to a late-night radio talkfest with a couple of the city’s better known journalists talking about the latest construction boondoggle, and they agreed that things had changed;  that the old days had meant 10% skimmed off the top but the job got done, whereas nowadays the take is 20% and the job still isn’t finished.

But in Chicago politics, it’s still very much how things get done. Which brings me to Barack Obama.

Needs no caption

Despite his later reputation as a smart smoothie, Obama did not do so well early on. Long distrusted by the city’s African-American politicians as a carpetbagger, he won his first political office in 1996, in the Illinois House, by getting all the other Democrat candidates dismissed due to his legal team finding “flaws” in their nominating petitions. He was elected unopposed. This did not make him friends.

Bobby Rush

Then, in 2000, he failed to unseat former Black Panther, Bobby Rush, for a Federal House Seat, with Rush memorably labeling Obama as an “educated fool”, who did not even walk like the locals.

I’m sure Obama would never want to walk like a Gangster Disciple, but hey, Street Cred, and Bobby obviously knew his voters. He won by 30 points.

Moving on to the 2004 Democratic Senate primaries, Obama was polling in the middle of seven candidates, led by former trader Blair Hull, who spent $30 million of his own money.

And then one day a magical thing happened.

The sealed Chicago court records of Hull’s divorce somehow appeared in public, revealing charges of sexual and verbal abuse. Hull dropped out, the others ran out of funds, Obama did a TV blitz, won the primary and faced off against a GOP challenger.

I’m accessing the records now, Captain

No, not her! That’s actress Jeri Ryan in her most famous role, as the captured Borg being slowly returned to humanity – one extracted Borg implant and body suit change at a time – in the 1990’s TV series, Star Trek: Voyager. But during those years she was married to Jack Ryan. Again: no! Not Tom Clancy’s eponymous hero, although the real Jack Ryan must have wondered if fiction could become reality.

In 2004 he was the GOP candidate running against Obama. Once again Obama found himself in a tough race. Ryan was also a smart smoothie, with plenty of funding, and it was a dogfight.

And then one day a magical thing happened.

The sealed Chicago court records of Ryan’s divorce were unsealed, revealing that one reason for the divorce was Jeri’s accusation that Jack had asked her to perform sex acts in public. Whether this involved wearing the famous Borg bodysuit seen above is not known, but I’d like to think Jack kept that one for private fun. Ryan drops out of the race of course and Obama won with 70% of the vote (In your face, Bobby).

Between now and then, nothing quite as dramatic happened, even though in 2009 Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached, booted from office and jailed for fourteen years for trying to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat. In Chicago this was regarded as merely embarrassing because he had asked for so little money. How could a local boy be so dumb and so poor as to not know the value of what he held? What a schmuck.

As of 2009 he was the fourth out of the previous seven Illinois Governors to be jailed.

And so we come to the Jussie Smollett case. Just to recap, Smollet is a gay, black actor with a role in a TV show called Empire. Judging by ratings and critics, most Americans have never seen it. Smollett apparently decided he needed more fame by climbing on the OrangeManBad train. He claimed that at 2am on a bitterly cold Chicago morning in January, after getting a Subway sandwich, he was jumped by two MAGA-hat wearing white dudes who poured bleach on him, hung a noose around his neck, and yelled at him that “This is MAGA country“.  Somehow he fought them off – and kept his sandwich.

All of this supposedly happened in the neighbourhood of Streeterville, one of the toniest parts of downtown, Northside and just a step away from The Magnificant Mile, Michigan Avenue’s expensive shops. The story got massive national attention from the MSM who naturally added it to their list of Trumpian sins and wailed about how far America had fallen into the pits of racism and other phobias.

Note to Jussie: stick to acting, because judging by this performance, you’ll never get anywhere in screenplay, dialog or directing.

The Chicago Police Department (CPD), well aware of the sensitivity of such charges, doggedly got to work but within ten days had found video evidence of two Nigerians buying the items Smollett claimed were used in the attack. Arrested, they laughingly fessed up to the whole scam, were released with no charges, and the investigation was dropped, humiliating Smollett and the MSM. As the CPD Chief, Eddie T. Johnson, said:

Eddie T Johnson

“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? … How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?” 

The CPD and other authorities were angry enough that they demanded action be taken against the hoaxer. Working with Joe Magats, the Cook County State’s Deputy Attorney (equivalent to a Deputy District Attorney elsewhere in the USA), they charged Smollett with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in making false charges. A Grand Jury saw the evidence and indicted Smolletts’ to a full trial. Some people felt that sixteen charges was overkill, but regarded it as the usual ploy. They’be watered down to one or two minor charges, Smollett would do a deal with a guilty plea, followed by a fine and community service or some such.

Magats had been assigned the trial by his boss, Kim Foxx, who recused herself. She did so partly because she had connections with Smollett via Hollywood, where she’s been seen partying with the stars. Stars with lots of money who might help an ambitious DA along the well-worn path of getting into politics.

Kim Foxx

But the main reason was when it was publically revealed that Michelle Obama’s former Chief Of Staff, Tina Tchen, had asked her to intervene in the case early on and try and bring the FBI in. Smollett is mates with the Obamas. Of course. In Chicago, many wondered exactly what “recusal” really meant and whether the whole office should back out and appoint – drum roll – a Special Counsel. But the case moved forward anyway.

And then one day a magical thing happened.

Without warning Mayor Rahm Emanuel or Johnson, and while they were at a graduating ceremony for the latest batch of innocent young CPD recruits, Magats obtained an emergency court session and all charges against Smollett were dropped. Magats argument was as follows:

“We believe he did was he was charged with what he was doing. This was not an exoneration. To say that he was exonerated by us or anyone is not true.”
“Our goal and our #1 priority is combatting violent crime and the drivers of violence and we look to our resources to do that and I don’t think that Mr. Smollett is a driver of violence or a violent individual.”

“In return for forfeiting his bond to the City of Chicago and doing his community service, we agreed to dismiss the charges against him. He did community service for Operation Push.”

That would be Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Smollett did 18 hours over two days in their offices. Sweet deal. Also the Cook County Clerk has found that there were no written motions filed with the court and the case has vanished from the Attorney Office’s database, “as if it never existed”. A final touch of humor is that the judge also sealed the court records.

As I write, the shitstorm is still gathering pace in Chicago. Emanuel, Johnson and a good chunk of the city are on the warpath. There’s always tension between any DA’s office and the cops, but this could be a complete relationship breakdown as they’re demanding the DOJ investigate the DA’s offices and have started releasing all their own paperwork on the case. Smollett can’t be happy at that but obviously the CPD don’t care anymore.

Questions further afield are being asked because the elections for Mayor of Chicago are coming up in just a few days and the timing seems too good. Who might benefit from this? Candidate Toni Preckwinkle (awesome name, already shortened by her many enemies to “Prickwinkle”) had Kim Foxx as her Chief of Staff at one point, is behind in all polls and needs to rark up her base. Emanuel announced ages ago that he would quit as Mayor –  after only two terms. Since he could have held it forever as the Daley family did, the speculation is that he’s aiming at Dickhead Turban Durbin’s Illinois Senate seat. He also has Hollywood connections, but having this happen on his city watch won’t help with that move up. And of course there’s Foxx and her political ambitions.

For sure, there’s more going on here than obvious things like courts, laws, evidence and so forth. Having started with one movie quote I’ll end with another, entirely appropriate as it turns out:

Forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 28, 2019 at 3:10 am

You’d Never Guess Who

A student who learned nothing……

A law magazine editor who wrote nothing……..

A senator who voted nothing………….

A president who achieved nothing……………..

Born in Kenya                                         Born in Hawaii
(When he wanted to steal a                     (When he wanted to steal a presidency)
foreign student scholarship)

Image result for obama youngImage result for obama 2008

Written by adolffinkensen

May 22, 2017 at 11:29 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with