Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Conservatism’ Category

Low Scale Civil War

The last election campaign and events since suggest a country coming apart.  Two nations in one.  One is urban, liberal, globalist, multiracial, corporate, office-bound, anti-gun, irreligious, effete, progressive, and thoroughly angered by Trump’s mysterious election.  And the other is rural, conservative, nationalist, mostly white, works with its hands, pro-gun, Christian, manly, skeptical, and energized by Trump’s rise.

The latter was very angry during the Obama years, but rarely resorted to violence. It’s certainly capable of violence, but it mostly approaches politics defensively. It wants to be left alone and is not animated by a desire to change the coastal enclaves of the hostile left.  And it is too familiar with liberals from family, TV, and pop culture to consider them all evil and deserving of violence.  They’re mostly thought wrong-headed and mistaken.  Many on the right earnestly debate friends and relatives on Facebook.  We don’t have a canard similar to “racist” to do verbal violence to our interlocutors.   This live and let live philosophy incidentally is the historical American Way.  The few violent upstarts among the right–Dylan Roof, Tim McVeigh–are pariah figures, almost universally loathed.

The left by contrast has increasingly normalized violence.  There were hints of this during the election campaign when “punch a Nazi” was thrown around gleefully, or the shut-down of a Trump rally in Chicago was hailed as appropriate direct action.

Rightish speakers at universities are increasingly threatened, shouted down, or beaten up.

And the rhetoric of treason is widespread in mainstream places like the New York Times and CNN, whereas for the right it can only be found in back alleys like Infowars and Free Republic.

So it was not so surprising that someone took it all to heart and undertook a shooting spree aimed at Republican congressmen.  And this folks is how civil wars start.  They don’t engage the majority of the people.  They’re in fact quite controversial.  Many would wish them away.  At first it seems like a fringe element and is treated as a law enforcement problem.  But when a critical mass deems ordinary political avenues too slow, too corrupt, or too inefficient in wielding the right results, then a war may erupt.  The violent fringe metastasizes when it finds support from dissident elements within the government, in a particular region, or from overseas.  Formerly friendly neighbors find themselves distrustful and hostile.  And violence–whether riots, threats, assassinations, or politicized crime–lead to a cycle of crackdown, perceived oppression and the risk of annihilation, and counter-violence.

It’s likely a bit far off, maybe another 10 or 20 years, but the Red-Blue divide is as profound as any other in history.  Perhaps Hodgkinson will be hailed the John Brown of his victorious movement, some day.

Read Full Post »

Comey’s Last Honest Man in Washington™ schtick is wearing thin, and now seems to have tarred A.G. Lynch as well as Comey himself.

The executive summary of his testimony today is as follows:

1.  He and others in FBI leadership hid information from his superior Jeff Sessions, weeks before Sessions’ recused himself.

2.  He is an admitted leaker of his own memos to a colleague at Columbia University, who in turn leaked it to press by design to get a special counsel appointed, who happened to be an old buddy of Comey’s.  Comey testified on 3 May that he never leaked anything.  one must wonder if he just got into the habit after he was fired on 9 May.

3.  Trump was never under investigation, which Comey refused to divulge earlier, while divulging other things through leaks and insinuation, including the Flynn conversations and Trump’s concern for loyalty.

4.  Russian “hacking” had no impact on votes in election.

5.  He is a self-interested guy with confusion about the chain of command in a unified executive.  It goes like this: President, AG, FBI.  And the latter two exercise delegated power from the elected president at his pleasure.  He’s very “butt hurt” about being fired and called Trump’s characterization of him being bad leader “lies.” He also said he was “not strong enough” in dealing with Trump, which is very much a self-indictment of his leadership abilities.

6.  Trump never ordered him to stop investigation of Flynn (though, as President, he had full authority to do so).

7.  Lynch, by contrast, did give him orders on communications, saying not to call Hillary investigation an investigation, but rather a “matter.”  Federal Bureau of “Matters” doesn’t have quite the same ring!

8.  He didn’t take any notes of Hillary interview, Lynch interference, or anything else until Trump came along.

9.  Lynch-Clinton meeting got him to exonerate her, which somehow shows the high ethics of the FBI.  I find this to be incredibly bold defense.  After all the worst case scenario of any influence peddling by the former President and anyone acting on her behalf is exactly that.  “I had to call off the investigation, or otherwise people would think the Clintons were trying to get me to call off the investigation!”

10.  Times story on Russian Collusion with Trump Campaign was “almost entirely wrong.”

All in all, Trump looks old school, frustrated, honest, and direct, if not a bit naive, in dealing with double-crossing bureaucrats, who have an inflated view of their indispensability.  Comey appeared to be a weasel, but a well rehearsed one, motivated by power and vanity and hatred of Trump, which he could barely conceal.

A few good links here, here, and here.

Read Full Post »

Russian Hacking

This is the best and most comprehensive account of the anatomy and origins of the Russian Hacking story, the half-truths on which it is based, and why the allegations ultimately are more political theater than indictment of President Trump.

Read Full Post »

Comey the Idiot

The twists and turns (and fake news) behind Russia is admittedly hard to follow.  The whole thing appears an alibi and distraction from the fact that Hillary lost fair and square; indeed, she lost when everyone on the inside was pulling for her:  Obama, the DNC, the media, and the FBI, whose job was to investigate her.

The latest turns are as follows.  Some people in the transition team either reached out, or were reached out to, by the Russians and nothing came of it.

Consider why the Russians would need to reach out to Jared Kushner (I’m not his biggest fan) if they had an understanding with Trump and had colluded with him and his team.  It makes no sense.   Why wouldn’t they just use whatever lines of communication were created to pursue the alleged collusion.  Also, I have no particular sense of how customary it is for transition teams to talk to their counterparts in other countries.  Maybe it’s totally normal.  In any case, it’s not illegal.  Even collusion wouldn’t be.  This whole hullabaloo does not involve any defined criminal act.  Nonetheless, no such collusion has been identified, as partisans with no reason to do Trump a solid like Diane Feinstein and Maxine Waters have admitted.

The other twist is that FBI director Comey a got his hands on a memo that supposedly originated in Russia and reported that Loretta Lynch’s DOJ would go easy on Hillary and referenced another unseen email, that may or may not exist, in which Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the disgraced ex-DNC chair, said to a third party that she had received these assurances.  So Comey, in order not to make it look like there was some inside deal for Hillary and the DNC, instead gave her a pass on her criminal handling of classified information, made up a nonexistent “intent” requirement for a statute that is triggered by mere nelgigence, and inappropriately held a press conference, which unlike any alleged collusion, undoubtedly did have some effect on the election (and surely an indictment would also have had an even bigger effect).

Why does giving someone explicitly what they supposedly got implicitly through inside dealing take away the cloud of improper influence?  After all, whether it was Lynch or Comey, they both worked for Obama, neither had true independence, and knew, whether intended or not, that whatever they did may impact the election.  Indeed, influencing elections by turning candidates who commit crimes into pariahs seems an inherent part of the job when public corruption is involved.  Does anyone remember the Abscam Sting?  Similarly, why does hiding the fact of the dubious provenance of this “Russian email” from Congressional oversight and the public somehow advance the cause of the FBI’s reputation for integrity?

Comey strikes me as very political, without being very ideological.  And he strikes me as smart, but not wise, to the point where he thinks he can get away with half-truths that in fact are destined to come to light. During the First Bush Administration he used his temporary role in the DOJ to undo a surveillance program.  He gave briefings on his investigations without first going to his “customer” at the DOJ in the Hillary email investigation.  And he has invented and also hidden the reasons for his actions without explaining them completely and truthfully to the Congress.

The whole Russia story is collapsing because it was always designed to remove the focus from a failed campaign.  Yes Russia–like the U.S.–has probably engaged in cyberspying on American institutions and had certain hopes for election outcomes overseas.  That is troubling and should be dealt with if true, but a sense of proportion is completely lacking because (a) everyone doing the reporting hates Trump and considers his election illegitimate, to the point where impeachment talk began before he was even sworn in, and (b) Russia is a right-leaning Christian nation with a non-globalist identity, with which the far right in America and Europe has a certain affection, and the goal of the E.U., NATO, and a great many parts of the American government is to be left-leaning, globalist, and anti-Christian.  Thus, Russia has become the enemy of the left, who made numerous excuses for “Russia” when it was the leftist, globalist, anti-Christian Soviet Union.

P.S. One of the other strange byways in this whole mess is Comey’s “memos to file” that have been reported in the news without having been seen.  In the age of the smart phone, does anyone reading from an email have any credibility when the reporter hasn’t seen it?  It takes two seconds to take a photo of a document and send it.  Without the ability to do that, should any ethical reporter run a story based on someone reading out loud a memo that sits before them during the reading?

Read Full Post »

Trump is within his rights to share information on threats to civil aviation with the Russians and anyone else.   He has total power to declassify whatever he wants.  And, in this case, it’s the right thing to do.

Think about this:  the Deep State types, whose penchant for secrecy is their chief method of consolidating power and maintaining their prestige, are willing to risk the deaths of civilians and allow blown up airliners to preserve their pet relationships with third party sources of intelligence.  This is reminiscent of Fast and Furious and the FBI’s bungling of the Whitey Bulger investigation, where maintaining sources and gathering intelligence led to toleration of murders and facilitation of serious crimes.

Why isn’t such a breach of “classified information” an obviously sensible move?  ISIS is bad, and if they threaten civil aviation, that information should be shared.  It’s an area of common ground with Russia who, unlike our CIA, has consistently fought ISIS and does not nonsensically oppose ISIS and also oppose ISIS’s biggest enemy, the Assad regime.

Now it turns out McMaster and essentially everyone in the room has conceded that no one told the Russians how this information was gathered.  That is solely from the leaker himself, who thinks this information is so sacrosanct, that he promptly passed the most sensitive aspect–the type of source–along to the Washington Post.  Is this logical?  Only if the goal is not to preserve some secret squirrel information, but rather to delegitimize Trump above all.  Coupled with this Trump hatred, is the “Swamp” aspect of D.C. that Trump campaigned against, which is obtuse about the relative value of preserving the reputation of some intelligence source versus saving the lives of potentially hundreds of civilian airline passengers.

Trump after all logically did criticize the common move of the Obama administration to abjure secrecy and telegraph our military actions, as in the case of the Mosul attack.  Trump, by contrast, didn’t say a word prior to his Syria missile attack.  he just did it.  And, unlike here, the value of secrecy there was pretty obvious, setting aside my other concerns with that attack.

In addition to hating Trump, the real problem I suspect is that this intelligence source (wherever it may be) is supporting ISIS with the tacit connivance of the CIA and the US intelligence community, with the biggest suspects being one of the Gulf States or possibly Israel.  Thus, this source is so deeply in bed with ISIS it knows this type of information, the leak of this information may be connected to this source, and this source knows a lot of other information about ISIS because the source is almost certainly funding and supporting ISIS all along.  That, just like the failure to protect civilians from terrorism, would a real scandal.  Not this phony made up one.

Read Full Post »

Comey Drama

It’s not too much to ask that the head of the FBI not pursue ad infinitum dubious partisan tales of “Russian hacking” that had nothing to do with the 2016 election.  Part of law enforcement and prosecutorial prerogatives is prioritization.  Since they’ve been at it for months and months and no one has been shown to commit a crime, it seems like it’s going nowhere.  But Comey couldn’t manage that, just as he could not manage to indict Clinton and, most important of all, can’t manage to stay out of the limelight.  I’m glad he’s fired.  Trump needs to clean house of all the permanent government Deep State elements that mean to undo his original agenda.  And Comey, who was concerned above all with portraying himself as the star of the show, is simply not the man for the job.  Some basic loyalty to the elected President by the unelected members of the executive branch is not too much to ask.  Lord knows the generals tripping over themselves to put trannies in the ranks and women on the front lines didn’t have any problem with loyalty when it was combined with media-approved progressive bona fides under the Obama administration.

This article really gets to the heart of the Comey situation and shows how Comey’s ego and love affair with his image had much to do with his downfall.

Read Full Post »

While Trump may not be governing the way he ran, he is governing in the basic pragmatic Nixonian sense I predicted before the election.  And though a far cry from the nationalist Buchananite we thought we elected, you can’t as a normal Republican say everything he is doing is bad.  For example, this week the House repealed Obamcare after an earlier setback.  This is undoubtedly good.

His mere presence and green light to law enforcement has done much to reduce illegal immigration.

Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court.

The Chinese are doing some of our dirty work to tamp down the crazy Kim Jong Un regime in North Korea.

Blacks and leftists are no longer rioting, which they did repeatedly with the Obama administration’s explicit support for their goals and tactics.

Canada and Mexico are willing to renegotiate NAFTA. 

While he launched a fusillade at Syria, he did not double down by suggesting a large ground force.  This, however, remains a worrisome area (because the generals are in charge, and nowadays they’re all interventionists of one kind or another).

And, most important of all, Hillary Clinton is not president!!!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »