If It’s Not About The Money, What Is It About?

In January of 2018, The Washington Times noted that the estimated $18 billion over the next decade spent on a border wall between the United States and Mexico would be roughly 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period. So what is all the fuss about?

Yesterday WWF came to the Oval Office in the White House when Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer discussed the border wall with President Trump. YouTube posted the video:

The battle is not about money–it’s about votes. The Democrats have lost some of the voting blocs they have counted on to win elections–they can no longer be sure of the working man’s vote or the union vote. So how are they going to win elections? They are counting on the minority vote. The Democrats are afraid that if the wall is built, they will lose the Hispanic vote.

According to the Pew Research Center, this is how Hispanics voted in 2018:

According to a USA Today article posted November 9, 2016, President Trump did surprisingly well among Hispanic voters:

Hispanics favored Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton 65% to 29%, a 36-point difference that helped her secure winning margins in states like Nevada and Colorado and kept her competitive late into the night in other key battleground states.

But that margin, based on exit polling conducted by Edison Research, was smaller than the 71%-27% split that President Obama won in 2012. And it was smaller than the 72%-21% her husband, former president Bill Clinton, won in 1996.

Because the Democrats are becoming more dependent on the votes of minority groups to win elections, it is easy to understand why they would oppose any legislation or spending that most cost them votes in the minority community.

The Media Only Told Half Of The Story (As Usual)

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the disinviting of Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, to a Rose Garden press conference. The media would have you believe that Ms. Collins is being censored for asking the wrong questions or that CNN was barred from the Rose Garden press conference. Neither is true.

The article reports what actually happened:

But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders offered a very different account.

“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so,” Sanders said in a statement. “Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend.”

When you are asked to leave the Oval Office, it is wise to do so.

The article concludes:

Just as fellow CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta has been doing since Day 1 of the Trump administration, Collins is clearly trying to get famous by being “tough” on the president. But she’s not being tough, she’s being rude. Ask a question, maybe two, then get out.

So now, that’s a new tactic by the press: Get into the Oval, then simply refuse to leave.

When Trump tires of the tactic (he will) and bars the entire press corps from his office, the MSM will be up in arms.

And when that happens, they should, perhaps, direct some of their ire toward Collins and Acosta. There’s a way to do the job, a very difficult job, without being rude. Give it a try, White House press corps, you just might like it.

We need Emily Post to educate the press corps on basic manners. They seem to have forgotten or never learned them.

President Trump And Afghanistan

I am sure much will be made about President Trump‘s changing his position on Afghanistan. At least he is willing to listen to those around him. I would like to leave Afghanistan behind–I have family members who have been there and may return in the future–I wonder about the wisdom of our involvement. However, there were a few things I heard in the speech the President gave last night that I thought were very encouraging.

Below are some excerpts from the speech with commentary:

That is why shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts.

But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy.

I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan. First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.

He formed a study committee and actually listened to their recommendations. That is a trait of a good leader.

President Trump noted the lessons of Iraq, where early withdrawal of troops left a vacuum filled by terrorists. President Trump also acknowledged the role of Pakistan in international terrorism. He also noted that decisions have to be made on the basis of where we are–not where we would like to be.

The President further noted:

A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options.

We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.

I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.

Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power — diplomatic, economic, and military — toward a successful outcome. Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But nobody knows if or when that will ever happen.

Anyone who is acquainted with strategy in any situation understands the wisdom of not telling your opponent what your next move is going to be.

The President also showed that he has learned the lessons of Vietnam and other wars America has fought:

Finally, my administration will ensure that you, the brave defenders of the American people, will have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work, and work effectively, and work quickly.

I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy.

Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles. They’re won in the field, drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders, and front-line soldiers, acting in real time with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.

That’s why we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan. These killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms. Retribution will be fast and powerful, as we lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field. We’re already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq.

War has to be fought to win. The people in the field understand what is needed and how to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. We need to let them do what they do best.

The President also understands how an alliance is supposed to work:

America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check. The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden.

The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress and real results. Our patience is not unlimited. We will keep our eyes open. In abiding by the oath I took on Jan. 20, I will remain steadfast in protecting American lives and American interests.

I look forward to the day when American troops are no longer needed in Afghanistan. However, I celebrate a President who understands that we need to fight this war quickly with the goal of winning. The harder we fight, the sooner we get to bring our troops home. I believe President Trump’s policies will make a victory and a return of our troops possible.

Have We Lost Our Minds?

On Thursday, Katrina Trinko posted an article at The Daily Signal about the reaction by some Americans to the results of Tuesday’s election. I guess I should say overreaction.

The article reports:

Just take this comment from someone using the handle “bess marvin, girl detective,” responding to a piece about liberal comedian Samantha Bee noting that a lot of white women had voted for Trump, and addressing “so-called progressive white Jezzies”:

So many comments over over the past few months shows that a lot of y’all don’t want to be liberated, you want to be liked. ‘My (insert relative, loved one here) is voting for Trump but he/she is the nicest, kindest person ever…’ REALLY? How about this? Your loved one or relative is an awful human being. How kind and nice are they that they would push aside everything Trump has said and done to pull the lever?

To which “LesPane” responded:

Some of us white folks did, and it didn’t matter. Some of us asked relatives to leave our houses, and it didn’t matter. Some of us told grandparents that they wouldn’t be see they grandkids again if they talked politics around them, and it didn’t matter.

Though we come from very different places, I’m not actually to blame for this. I understand and share your anger.

Parents denying grandparents access to their grandchildren because the grandparents voted for Trump?  Are the parents afraid that their children might hear both sides of the discussion? What kind of spoiled brats are we dealing with?

The article reminds us:

Again: What? What are the rights that supposedly Trump is going to take away? We’ve been living in a country where, as The Weekly Standard’s Mark Hemingway tweeted, “Obama did sue nuns over birth control for crying out loud,” where religious bakers and florists have been told they have to participate in same-sex weddings, where an African-American fire chief lost his job over a book he wrote about his religious beliefs that included passages on same-sex marriage, and yet, the real threat to rights is from Trump?

Maybe I am looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but I suspect a Trump Administration will treat most people better than the Obama Administration treated Christians. I would also like to point out that Christians were not rioting in the streets.

I voted for Donald Trump. I read enough Wikileaks not to trust Hillary. I was also around during the 90’s and watched the Clintons play fast and loose with the law back then. The Clinton style has not changed. I couldn’t vote for an obvious crook. I felt the same way when I voted for George McGovern in 1972, although some things I have learned since then have somewhat altered my view on the entire Watergate scandal.

At any rate, the election is over. It is time to remember that all of us want America to be free and successful. How about if the anti-Trump people wait a few months before they start complaining. At least give the man a chance to sit in the Oval Office once before you tear him to shreds.

 

Stonewalling As An Art Form

We have had Presidential administrations in the past that were very good at hiding information from the American people, but the Obama Administration has turned stonewalling into an art form.

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the latest wrinkle in the investigation into the misuse of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The article reports:

The IRS has informed the House Ways and Means Committee that it has lost Lois Lerner email messages from January 2009–April 2011. Harkening back to the allegedly accidental erasure of 18 1/2 minutes of critical Oval Office recordings that contributed to Richard Nixon’s resignation from office, the IRS attributes the loss of Lerner email to a computer crash.

Some email survives: the agency retains Lerner email to and from other IRS employees during this period. The IRS claims it cannot produce email written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or offices of Democrat congressmen. Funny how that works.

I know that this has been said so many times it is a cliche, but can you imagine what would happen if this occurred under a Republican President?

About Those Fiscal Cliff Negotiations…

Friday’s Wall Street Journal posted some of the details of the negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner.

The article reports:

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

Blaming may work politically up to a point, but I honestly don’t see it as a way to move the discussion forward.

The article cites some of the actual negotiations:

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

Good grief!

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article on Friday about the negotiations on the fiscal cliff. In the article he quoted Senator Jeff Sessions:

President Obama today gave yet another speech about the fiscal cliff. No plan, nothing that can be scored or analyzed, just another speech. If President Obama wishes to avoid the fiscal cliff then he, with all the power and influence he holds as the leader of this nation, must submit to Congress – in legislative form – a plan that he believes can pass both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. No more secret meetings and pointless press conferences. Certainly this is not too much to ask. So we await his action: will he move from an unscorable speech to scorable legislation? If he is unwilling to submit such a plan then we may be left with only one persuasive conclusion: that he has used two years of secret meetings with Republican leaders not as an opportunity to achieve fiscal reform, but as a political exercise to defeat his opposition and preserve the expansion of federal spending.

There are a number of ideas as to what President Obama is doing. Two of them are very interesting. Rush Limbaugh believes that this exercise is an attempt to divide and destroy the Republican Party by getting them to admit that tax hikes on the rich are necessary. Dick Morris believes that the current negotiations are an effort to change to discussion from excessive spending to the idea that we need more revenue. Each is plausible. Meanwhile, the American economy sits in limbo waiting to see what happens next. We need some grown-ups in Washington. Let’s elect some in 2014.

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Lies And Unnecessary Lies

Somehow missed by most of the major media (surprise), there was a discussion this week started by the White House about the bust of Winston Churchill that President Obama gave back to the British when he took office.

The White House Blog posted the following ‘Fact Check’:

Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column.  He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”

This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.

Well, it turns out that their fact check is false. In 2009, The Telegraph reported:

The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure.

But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Diplomats were at first reluctant to discuss the whereabouts of the Churchill bronze, after its ejection from the seat of American power. But the British Embassy in Washington has now confirmed that it sits in the palatial residence of ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald, just down the road from Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence. It is not clear whether the ambassador plans to keep it in Washington or send it back to London.

So what’s going on? Jake Tapper at ABC News reports:

Like a plot twist in a sitcom, IT TURNS OUT THERE ARE TWO CHURCHILL BUSTS!!!!!

The one in the White House residence was a gift to the White House from the British Embassy during the Johnson administration.

The other one was loaned to President George W. Bush by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

I realize that this is not earth-shaking, but why would the White House bother to lie about something so insignificant? Do these people have any confidence in the ability of the American voter to sort through truth and lies?

I truly question the wisdom of anyone who argues with Charles Krauthammer.

 

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