Archive for the ‘Transition’ category

Is This The Coup the Left Wanted?

February 15, 2017

Is This The Coup the Left Wanted?, The Resurgent, February 15, 2017

trumpandflynn

There is no evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence cooperated to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. But the New York Times waits for the third paragraph of this sensational story to tell you. First, they want you to know intelligence sources say Trump campaign staffers had multiple, repeated contacts with the Russians.

What we are seeing is an intelligence community trying to sabotage the President of the United States. We should all be concerned even if we have our own concerns about the President and Russia.

It is more and more apparent that, while Mike Flynn misled Vice President Pence and should have been fired, we only know this because members of the intelligence community engaged in an opposition research dump on Flynn with the media. They engaged as a separate and distinct branch of government, and that is a dangerous situation.

The left is cheering on the outcomes, as are some on the right, but they are all ignoring the process. When the intelligence community ceases to serve the Commander-in-Chief and instead tries to sabotage him because they do not like the direction he is taking the country, they are putting their interests ahead of the voters and the electoral process.

The same problem exists with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and its decision on the immigration order. In large part, the court based its decision on Donald Trump’s campaign statements that he wanted a Muslim ban. At first blush, that may seem legit to people but consider Barack Obama and Obamacare.

Chief Justice John Roberts upheld Obamacare’s constitutionality because he said it fell under the taxation powers of the constitution. But Barack Obama had campaigned on Obamacare saying that it was not a tax. Had the Supreme Court used President Obama’s campaign statements against him, they would have thrown out Obamacare.

While one may cheer on the outcome from the Ninth Circuit, they should not cheer the process and flawed legal reasoning.

Both the intelligence and court situation raise troubling issues. By cheering outcomes based on deeply problematic processes, people are rapidly moving towards “ends justify the means” reasoning. That will bring about the very creeping authoritarianism the left fears from Donald Trump.

They cheer this on now because it is working to their advantage as rogue leakers try to undermine a President they do not like. But it will eventually happen to them. By then they will have surrendered any and all moral high ground to cry foul.

The intelligence community serves at the pleasure of the President, not the other way around. The President must be able to depend on the intelligence community’s assessments. Right now, the intelligence community is causing a breakdown in trust with the Trump Administration through leaks designed to undermine his authority.

If a terrorist attack on our soil happens because the President felt he could no longer trust the intelligence community’s assessments, that will be on them. This behavior, in a democratic republic, must be considered unacceptable.

It is possible to be happy Mike Flynn is gone and also be deeply bothered by the means through the intelligence community designed his ouster. People on all sides should be speaking up loudly that the behavior of the intelligence community in damaging leaks is unacceptable.

Finally, we know that Mike Flynn intended to reform the intelligence community and expose side deals made with Iran to secure a diplomatic agreement. President Trump should commit to replacing Mike Flynn with someone as hell-bent on reform and exposure of the Iran deal as Mike Flynn was. The intelligence community cannot be rewarded for bad behavior that undermines the democratic processes of this nation, even if some of us are happy Mike Flynn is gone.

Honeymoon’s over: Ex-Obama official Susan Rice calls Trump NSC reshuffling ‘stone cold crazy’

January 29, 2017

Honeymoon’s over: Ex-Obama official Susan Rice calls Trump NSC reshuffling ‘stone cold crazy’, Washington Times, Valerie Richardson, January 29, 2017

susanricecomplainsNational Security Adviser Susan Rice during the daily press briefing in Washington on July 22, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

She also retweeted a message from “Juan, P.E.” that said, “Trump loves the military so much he just kicked them out of the National Security Council and put a Nazi in their place.”

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It didn’t take long for the old administration to attack the new administration.

Former national security advisor Susan Rice ignited a feud Sunday with the Trump White House by ripping the recent reshuffling of the National Security Council as “stone cold crazy.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer fired back by calling Ms. Rice’s comments “clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador” and took a swipe at the Obama administration’s track record on national security.

“And when you talk about the missteps made by the last administration, with all due respect, I think Ambassador Rice might want to wait and see how we handle this,” Mr. Spicer said on ABC-TV’s “This Week.”

The back-and-forth came in response to Saturday’s memo placing White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart News, on the National Security Council while removing the director of national intelligence and the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff from NSC principals meetings.

“This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy,” Ms. Rice said on Twitter. “Who needs military advice or intell to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?”

She also retweeted a message from “Juan, P.E.” that said, “Trump loves the military so much he just kicked them out of the National Security Council and put a Nazi in their place.”

Mr. Spicer said reworking the meetings represents an effort to “streamline the process for the president to make decisions on key, important intelligence matters,” insisting that Mr. Trump will receive guidance regularly from top military and intelligence officials in other venues.

“The president gets plenty of information from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He continues to meet with him on a regular basis,” Mr. Spicer said. “He gets briefed by the secretary of defense, but what they have done is modernize the National Security Council so that it is less bureaucratic and more focused on providing the president with the intelligence he needs.”

This wasn’t Ms. Rice’s first attack the Trump administration. Ms. Rice, who served under President Barack Obama for the entirety of his two terms, including four years as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., spent the first week of Mr. Trump’s presidency leveling critiques on Twitter.

“Trashing Trans Pacific Partnership is a big fat gift to China, a blow to key allies, and a huge loss for American global leadership. So sad!” Ms. Rice said in a Monday tweet.

On Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mexico, she said, “Messing with Mexico is stupid and dangerous. Mexico has been key to limiting the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S.”

A few days later, she hit the Trump administration for issuing a Holocaust Memorial Day message that referred to “innocent people” without specifically mentioning Jews, saying, “Just imagine the response if Pres. Obama did that!”

That Ms. Rice would target the Trump White House so quickly represents something of a departure from the traditionally hands-off approach of previous administrations. President George W. Bush was widely praised for refusing to criticize Mr. Obama after he took office.

One week into his successor’s term, Mr. Obama has stayed above the fray, but others close to the former president have felt no such compunction.

His 18-year-old daughter Malia was spotted last week at an anti-Dakota Access pipeline protest during the Sundance Film Festival after Mr. Trump signed a directive to expedite the review process.

Former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder has been hired by the Democrat-controlled California state legislature to serve as a bulwark against the Trump administration’s policies on issues such as climate change and immigration.

Ms. Rice’s combative stance drew pushback on social media. Not surprisingly, criticism has centered on her five Sunday talk-show appearances blaming the deadly 2012 Benghazi raid on a “hateful” anti-Islam YouTube video.

“Don’t you have some YouTube video you should be basing foreign policy on, has-been?” actor Nick Searcy, who appears in FX’s “Justified,” said in a tweet.

Others have cheered her on. “@AmbassadorRice Please stay active, don’t retreat into prudence and retirement,” said Jorge Guajardo, former Mexican ambassador to China.

Ms. Rice said she also was outraged that Vice President Mike Pence may chair NSC meetings instead of the president. “Never happened w/Obama,” she said.

Before the inauguration, Ms. Rice struck a more cooperative note, insisting she was “rooting hard” for incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

“While it’s no secret that this administration has profound disagreements with the next one, I intend to make myself available to him, just as my predecessors have for me,” Ms. Rice said in a Jan. 10 speech to the U.S. Institute for Peace. “We are all patriots first and foremost. Threats to our security and democracy should be above partisanship.”

Regarding Mr. Bannon’s role on the council, Mr. Spicer said the chief strategist is a former naval officer who has a “tremendous understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape that we have now.”

“Having the chief strategist for the president in those meetings who has a significant military background to help guide what the president’s final analysis is going to be is crucial,” Mr. Spicer said.

Obama: A Political Corpse

January 1, 2017

Obama: A Political Corpse, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, January 1, 2016

Obama’s political death — the Russians have tagged him “a political corpse” — is spurring him and his administration to deny it by undertaking a series of ever more outrageous acts to preserve what he considers his “legacy.” Michael Walsh summed up Obama’s week: “Stab Israel, provoke Russia, grab land — even the nuttiest Leftist has to admit Obama is out of control.”

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My mother’s almost ninety-eight years old. While in relatively good physical and mental health considering her advanced age, she has in recent years developed a very strong denial of death and its effects, infusing a level of irrationality to some exchanges with her.

On a recent visit, we had this conversation:

Mother: “I can’t understand why your father doesn’t call.”

Me: “Mother, you know he’s been dead for eleven years.”

Mother: “Yes, I know that, but I still don’t understand why he hasn’t called.”

Me: “Dead men can’t call.”

(Brief pause)

Mother: “He could call collect.”

Obama’s political death — the Russians have tagged him “a political corpse” — is spurring him and his administration to deny it by undertaking a series of ever more outrageous acts to preserve what he considers his “legacy.” Michael Walsh summed up Obama’s week: “Stab Israel, provoke Russia, grab land — even the nuttiest Leftist has to admit Obama is out of control.”

Obama hopes his party’s diminished power over his two terms will be without effect. President-Elect Trump and those who support him see it differently — the corpse is spewing toxic pathogens, which will not survive a thorough cleansing.

As a culmination of his eight years in office in which he was unsuccessful in persuading Israel to commit suicide by caving in to further Palestinian demands to give up yet more land for no peace or even a recognition of its right to exist, he manipulated a UN resolution which would have the same effect.

Secretary of state Kerry followed up with an attempted justification of the betrayal of Israel in the UN. The speech was so outrageous that Britain and Australia rebuked it.  I Indeed, it was so bad that it resulted in a rare show of bipartisanship as leaders of both parties were critical of it:

In his remarks, he may finally have done what eight years of Obama’s anti-Israel acts have failed to do — made clear the anti-Semitic basis of this animus, thereby  weaning  more Jews from the Democratic Party.

In this context of claiming that Israeli policy was “leading toward one state, or perpetual occupation,” Kerry admonished: “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both.” Presumably, Kerry was referring to the fact that Israel has a significant Arab-Muslim population. He conveniently did not mention, since it must never be mentioned, the vow of Mahmoud Abbas (the Palestinian leader Kerry sees as Israel’s “peace partner”) that, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — soldier or civilian — on our lands.” Implicitly, of course, if Kerry is saying that a country with a Muslim minority cannot maintain its Jewish character and still abide by democratic principles, then neither can the United States maintain its Judeo-Christian character and still abide by democratic principles — notwithstanding that our Judeo-Christian character is the basis for our belief in the equal dignity of all men and women, a foundational democratic principle. It is a principle one does not find in classical Islam, the law of which explicitly elevates Muslims over non-Muslims and men over women.

As the author makes clear, the Department of State had no problem when it oversaw the drafting of the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan as democratic Islamic states.

Democratic Party efforts to defeat Trump through ginned up riots, slanderous accusations of racism, homophobia, sexism and anti-Semitism having failed to schlep the unappealing Hillary Clinton into the winner’s circle, moved on to Obama’s efforts to delegitimize his successor. Electoral College intimidation, riots, pointless recounts weren’t enough to do that job. This week, Obama claimed that Russians “hacked” the election. No proof of this has been offered up, nor can it. Even Rolling Stone was not persuaded and found that the joint FBI/Homeland Security report released by the administration didn’t make that case.

This report is long on jargon but short on specifics. More than half of it is just a list of suggestions for preventive measures.

[snip]

But we don’t learn much at all about what led our government to determine a) that these hacks were directed by the Russian government, or b) they were undertaken with the aim of influencing the election, and in particular to help elect Donald Trump.

[snip]

Nothing quite adds up.

Nevertheless, ignoring how unsecure were Hillary’s and the DNC communications systems, using this pretext, Obama decided to expel 35 Russians with diplomatic standing and shut down two of their compounds.

Rolling Stone called this “an oddly weak and ill-timed response”

Tom Lipscomb had a stronger characterization: “Never in the diplomatic history of the United States have 35 members of any diplomatic mission been sent home while our nations were not at war. Obama is clearly insane. There was no consultation with any other branch of the government on this, I would have him interned in Hawaii pending mental examination and swear in Biden for the duration.”

David Goldman was more temperate but not the least bit less critical: “Let’s see: John Podesta and the DNC rig the Democratic primaries to favor Clinton against Sanders, which is blatant abuse of power if not outright criminality. Someone leaks the emails and exposes Podesta’s misdeeds. This makes the DNC look bad. And now Obama et. al. claim that LEAKING the evidence of DNC misdeeds was the crime, rather than the misdeeds themselves. That’s a better (if less economical) definition of Chutzpah than the fellow who kills his parents and asks for leniency on the grounds that he’s an orphan.”

Iowahawk also had some thoughts on this.

John Podesta, like 100% of everyone who has ever had a email account, received a password phishing email. He fell for it.

According to some accounts, the phishing email had Russian fingerprints/characteristics in its metadata.

Whatever the case, the password purloiners downloaded his emails, which eventually got into the hands of Wikileaks, who made them public.

The emails were mildly embarrassing, revealing frequent circle jerking between the DNC and journalists. Mostly embarrassing to media.

At the time of their release (Oct) they were hardly covered by any media, and largely dismissed as a big fat nothingburger.

Not one of the people whose emails were revealed has ever disputed their authenticity or provenance.

Fast forward to December. The October nothingburger has now magically transformed into “vote hacking” and “election hacking.”

New narrative: treasonous Trump operatives conspired with Putin to hypnotically mesmerize Clinton voters into pulling the wrong lever.

This is not Alex Jones or angry conspiracy kook Facebook uncles, it’s the NYTs, the WaPo, our beloved State Radio.

How effective has this been? If polls are to be believed, 50%+ of Democrats believe the Russians literally modified vote tallies.

Vladimir Putin swatted away the administration’s response, and in this statement from the Kremlin clearly refused to be baited by this untoward provocation:

We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.

As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.

It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.

With less publicized actions, the administration is cranking out thousands of regulations in an effort to tie the incoming administration’s hands.

President Obama’s lame duck administration poured on thousands more new regulations in 2016 at a rate of 18 for every new law passed, according to a Friday analysis of his team’s expansion of federal authority.

While Congress passed just 211 laws, Obama’s team issued an accompanying 3,852 new federal regulations, some costing billions of dollars.

He’s also instituting “job killing midnight lawsuits” and rushing to fill job openings in federal agencies.

He’s still grabbing up ever more land and placing it under federal control.

When you think of a national monument, you probably think of a beautiful statue or some stately structure that honors a former president. They’re nice to have, nice to go look at. You probably don’t think of a “national monument” as 1.5 million acres of land that contains crucial natural resources the nation needs, but thanks to the national monument designation, can’t touch.

Welcome once again to the final days of the Obama presidency, in which the whole point is to take abuse of executive power to new and, Obama hopes, irreversible new heights. Screw your neighbors. Screw your own country. You’ve got nothing to lose at this point, and you think you’ve come up with a way to do it that leaves your successor helpless to reverse your abuses once you’re gone. One day it’s drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic. The next it’s the de facto declaration of war against one of your best allies.

Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed — that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way. And if that means you’re seizing 1.5 million acres on the thinnest of premises, hey, you’re Barack Obama. At this point, it’s what you do:

[snip]

Obama sees governing as a form of ideological combat. However much he may pretend he wants to help Trump get off to a good start, his actions say exactly the opposite. This gigantic federal land grab is only the latest example of Obama cleverly abusing executive powers in his waning days to hamstring the incoming administration, while structuring his actions in such a way that Trump can’t simply revoke what Obama has done.

President-elect Trump is cutting short the usual inaugural parade and limiting the number of balls so he can hit the ground running. He’ll need to if he is to purge these toxic actions.

Happy New Year to you all. It’s going to be a new day here in the nation’s capital and, I hope, around the country and world.

 

Trump’s Appointments Continue to Impress

November 25, 2016

Trump’s Appointments Continue to Impress, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, November 24, 2016

(As to Dr. Carson

In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday night, Carson confirmed that Trump has offered him a position in his cabinet, and HUD is “one of the offers that’s on the table.” When asked if he knows anything about housing policy, Carson told Neil Cavuto: “I know that I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there, have dealt with a lot of patients from that area, and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities.”

— DM

If, as is often said, personnel is policy, the Trump administration may prove more impressive than many conservatives expected. His nominations so far have been outstanding. The latest is his choice of Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education. DeVos is a school choice activist who puts the interests of children first–especially inner-city children–rather than the interests of teachers’ unions. The New York Times, intending to express outrage at her selection, came up with this heartwarming headline: “Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Has Steered Money From Public Schools.”

It was reported that Trump has offered the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to Dr. Ben Carson. It now appears that the offer has been neither made nor accepted, but I hope it comes to pass. While he is not an experienced administrator, Carson is respected by just about everyone, and is ideally positioned to dismantle the left-wing social engineering that President Obama’s HUD has engaged in. Once again, we turn to the New York Times to explain why Carson would be an excellent choice: “How Ben Carson at Housing Could Undo a Desegregation Effort.” The “desegregation effort” in question is the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing power grab, which we have written about many times. Carson is just the man to put AFFH out of its misery.

Let’s hope that Trump’s personnel winning streak continues.

The agony of watching the transition

November 25, 2016

The agony of watching the transition, Washington TimesWesley Pruden, November 24, 2016

transitionSen. Jeff Sessions (Associated Press)

The press is in a pout just now because Donald Trump is not supplying a new Cabinet officer on demand. He’s taking his time choosing his team, and this is reported as if a national tragedy. Time magazine calls the Trump transition “chaotic,” and The New York Times asserts that the Donald’s team is plagued by “discord” and stalled in “disarray.” A reporter at Politico, the political daily, says the transition team is having “a knife fight,” which demonstrates mostly that the reporter has never been to a knife fight, and is probably covering his first transition.

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What we used to call “the press,” before the newspapers aspired to be part of the professional class with its inflated titles and airs, is never happy. Nor should it be. The press is a demanding and cranky lot by definition, and now they’re something called “the media.” Marshall McLuhan, who invented the concept if not the word, must never be forgiven.

This invited television, which is an entertainment medium, to share a definition with newspapers, and soon newspapermen (including women) wanted to be seen as well as heard, and there went the neighborhood. Megyn Kelly is Hollywood gorgeous, but she wouldn’t be happy working on a newspaper where nobody could see her.

The press is in a pout just now because Donald Trump is not supplying a new Cabinet officer on demand. He’s taking his time choosing his team, and this is reported as if a national tragedy. Time magazine calls the Trump transition “chaotic,” and The New York Times asserts that the Donald’s team is plagued by “discord” and stalled in “disarray.” A reporter at Politico, the political daily, says the transition team is having “a knife fight,” which demonstrates mostly that the reporter has never been to a knife fight, and is probably covering his first transition.

“The president-elect will be announcing specific Cabinet positions,” says Jason Miller, a spokesman for the transition, “as well as key position staff, when those decisions are made. The focus of the administration is putting together the best team. It is not an arbitrary timetable. It’s about getting it right.”

The wiseheads in the Trump camp understand that the press/media will never think he’s “getting it right.” The notabilities of press and the twinkles of the tube should be pleased with a slow pace that spreads their misery. A wise man awaiting the hangman never complains if he can’t remember where he put the rope.

But the pace this time is not unusually slow, and it’s faster than in many incoming administrations. George W. Bush, bedeviled by all those hanging chads, did not name his first Cabinet officer until early December. President Obama was eager to get moving to deal with the financial crisis in 2008, but nevertheless did not make his first Cabinet appointment, the Treasury secretary, until Nov. 24. The press was so busy swooning it never noticed. Donald Trump beat that date with four such appointments.

Mr. Obama did not reveal his next appointments, secretary of State, attorney general and director of homeland security until Dec. 1. By that time, Richard Nixon had named his entire Cabinet, and see where that got us.

The chattering about discord, disarray and knife fights is neither unprecedented nor unexpected. Chattering is what magpies do, and December announcements are the rule not the exception. The smarter magpies might usefully aim their hysteria elsewhere.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser in the early Obama administration, says he has “lots of reasons” to be concerned about a Trump administration but the pace of announcements isn’t one of them. “We hadn’t made any major announcements at this point in 2008,” he says, “and I don’t remember being criticized for it.”

But criticizing is what Washington does well, and sometimes it’s all that Washington does well. Criticisms are the fleas that come with the dog. Changing governments is a big job, and nowhere as big as in the United States. Ronald Reagan’s transition was marked by fits and starts. Bill Clinton’s path was not strewn with rose petals (though he was always on the scout for rosebuds), and John F. Kennedy’s transition to Camelot was difficult, particularly after he appointed his brother Robert as the U.S. attorney general.

The pace of appointments may be giving the Donald’s critics a headache now, and the headache will become a bellyache when all appointments are made, and the Democrats have chosen the subject of the execution. That might be Jeff Sessions, the attorney general-nominee. He’s white and a Southerner, and the hangman only needs to find the third strike.

The transition to president of the United States is never easy because it’s unique. There’s nothing remotely like the presidency; nothing can prepare man or woman for it. Harry Truman said on assuming the office in the final days of World War II that he felt like “the sun, the moon and the stars fell on me.”

He never expected the star shower, and apparently never did Donald Trump. Unlike some other presidents, he wouldn’t talk about a transition during the campaign. “I don’t want to talk about this,” he told his inner circle. “I don’t want to jinx this.”

With the jinx defeated, he can get on with choosing his side. Life will go on. Our friends on the left will survive, too.