When Donald J. Trump won the presidency in November, I feared we were putting the Joker into the White House. Instead, we got Batman.

With Trump just days away from marking his first six months in office, count this onetime Never Trumper as a mostly solid supporter of our 45th president.

For me, the 18 months preceding the election were a tough slog through the miasma of Republican politics. As 2015 drew to a close, Trump wasn’t in my top 10 picks to be the GOP presidential candidate. Although I knew illegal immigration, his main issue, was a huge concern in many states, it wasn’t a big thing for me; Michigan has a bigger problem with losing population. And while John McCain is a horrible senator, I admire his heroism as a POW. I’ve rarely been angrier over politics than when Trump mocked McCain’s service.

To be honest, I’d never thought much about Trump. I don’t golf, gamble, visit expensive resorts or watch reality TV. On the other hand, I do follow the media so I was aware of his business successes, his marital shenanigans and his bankruptcies. When I did hear his political views, they usually parroted the liberal drivel of the day.

When he came out as a rightist a few years ago by resurrecting the Obama birther controversy, I considered his efforts counterproductive. Obama’s policies and administration were destructive to the fabric of America; diverting attention to a disproven rumor only reinforced public support for Obama.

As the presidential primary season got underway in 2015, I was dismayed when Trump floated atop the field and my favorites — Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina and others (never, ever did I include Jeb!) — fell by the wayside. By the time it was clear that Trump was about to clinch the nomination, I was boning up on third-party candidates that I could support in November.

But then a funny thing happened: Trump announced a list of judges he would consider for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Every single one sounded like an excellent choice. Knowing what kind of person Hillary would nominate to the court, I suddenly felt my opposition to Trump melt a bit.

During the course of the general campaign, Trump said some things that excited me and some that embarrassed me. But neither Hillary nor any of the third-party hopefuls were an option. I may not have trusted Trump to be a true conservative, but, thanks to his list, I thought he was more likely than anyone else to handle court appointments and other key issues.

At the start of November, polls showed Hillary ahead of Trump by about 4 points in Michigan. Realizing that Trump had a slim chance to carry the state, I called more than a dozen family members and friends and begged them to vote for him. I believe my efforts played a tiny role in Trump becoming the first GOP presidential nominee to win Michigan since 1988.

Since he entered the White House, I have been happy with Trump’s performance far more often than I’ve been disappointed. Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the high court is his chief accomplishment, but the quality of his Cabinet selections is unparalleled. I haven’t seen such a collection of top-notch talent in Washington since the Reagan years.

I also love Trump’s relentless and wide-ranging war against costly regulations.

To me, “draining the swamp” means getting rid of the nameless leftists who have burrowed into the federal bureaucracy and wield unconstitutional power over almost all aspects of American life. As a president who thought himself above the political fray, George H.W. Bush paid little attention to bureaucrats — unlike Bill Clinton, who packed the agencies with hordes of allies. George W. Bush was so apolitical he tried to cover up the antics of the Clintonista vandals who pried the “W” from government keyboards in anger after Al Gore lost in 2000.

If Trump can get some conservatives into the civil service bureaucracy, I’ll be happy. It would be nearly as important as making an imprint on the federal judiciary.

But count me among the many who think Trump should think twice or thrice before tweeting. While I hate the media as much as he does (and applaud when he scores direct hits),  his Twitter feed too often takes attention away from achievements he makes on other fronts. Trump’s tweets also have fanned the spurious and scurrilous tales about Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

When Trump took office, my two main fears were that he would ignite a global trade war and cozy up to Vladimir. Neither seems likely now. Wiser heads have persuaded him that tussles over trade would cause a worldwide disaster, and Trump has dealt with Putin far more sternly than Barack Obama ever did.

We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, and nobody can foresee what will happen in the next 42 months. The media’s obsession with Russia hopefully will backfire eventually, and the Democrats’ love affair with the hard left could possibly push more moderates to the right political side.

Trump might not have come close to perfection in his first six months, but he’s done far better than I had any right to expect. If Congress gives him some victories and the economy picks up, I’ll be chanting “Four more years!” with plenty of comrades in 2020.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT –  The 2017 New Orleans mayoral race qualifying period has closed with a total of 18 candidates, only three of which are considered major candidates.

As most are aware, New Orleans has been the center of much turmoil and negative attention in the past few months. During Landrieu’s term crime has risen dramatically and what is different about that is that it is now in the tourist areas around the French Quarter which has never been more dangerous than it is right now.

The Confederate monuments controversy has also pulled a great deal of attention to the city both positive and negative, depending on your perspective of the issue. At the very least, removal of the four historical monuments has made the city a little less unique and has pulled Landrieu’s attention away from more pressing matters, like police staffing, infrastructure, and crime.

The major candidates in the October 14 primary are “former Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, and former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet.”  Crime is certainly going to be the top topic in this election.  “Crime is ravaging our city,” said Bagneris, who first ran for mayor in 2012. “Crime is up because police manpower is down, and criminals know it.”

There are no Republicans on the ballot:

Fellow businessman Frank Scurlock, who announced at about the same time as the “Big 3,” also could get a little traction using his own financial resources from his inflatable bounce house empire and his public opposition to the removal of the Confederate monuments to carve out a niche.

Scurlock is one of six white candidates in the field to lead a city with a population that is about 60 percent black. Eleven of the candidates signed up as Democrats, three are running as independents, and four others are running without a party affiliation. There are no Republicans on the mayoral ballot.

As of today, there have been 100 murders in New Orleans this year and countless shootings, muggings, assaults, and other violent crimes.

The primary is October 14 with a November runoff; Landrieu will remain in office through May. According to pundit Stephanie Grace:

[Landrieu] hinted that he hopes to help guide the choice of his successor, perhaps through the political action committee he has set up. While he hasn’t endorsed a candidate, Landrieu has bemoaned New Orleans voters’ history of focusing on change and has advocated for philosophical and policy continuity from his administration to the next.

This race will be closely watched throughout the state as many who have objected to Landrieu’s Confederate monument position have vowed not to visit the city until he is gone.

If a Landrieu clone is elected that tourism ban may continue.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

My Pinned tweet

Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’

Luke 14:28-30

I saw something on twitter that really caught my attention on Sunday

Now this kind of idiocy has been so common that it’s become as unremarkable as the background picture of the author in question, who suddenly decided the wisdom of his twitter account should be reserved for like minded individuals, perhaps other research scientists into genetics,

For a long time I figured the best thing was to ignore this stuff, after all who wants to get involved in this idiocy when we have real life to deal with. The fastest way to get dirty is to join a pig in the mud and ridicule can sometimes be a cruel thing and cruelty is contrary to christian charity. It’s a free country and if for example some dope thinks he’s Napoleon Bonaparte and chooses to live accordingly that’s his problem and not my business

But I’m thinking lately that letting these folks off easy was a mistake, it was not only wrong, but cruel and unchartable both to the person in question, but to ourselves and society.

By letting this stuff go on, particularly in a universities and in our media without challenge we have been like the man who when dealing with a spurious claim doesn’t bother to show up in court and is shocked when he loses because he’s presented no evidence to contradict his foe’s weak case.

Suddenly instead of ignoring the guy with the cocked hat and his hand in his breast you find yourself first ostracized and then punished if you don’t shout Vive L’Empereur whenever he passes by.

Suddenly the damage from this delusion is not confined to one idiot, but is suffered by society.

This is what we’ve done by not fighting the culture war, by not calling out the phony outrage, the phony gender business, the overstated claims concerning racism and sexism, by ceding the field we’ve allowed error to take hold and become destructive because said delusion is taught to the young and the impressionable who now become invested in it.

There was a time when I was young when if you saw for example a black doctor or a woman lawyer, you KNEW said person was exceptional. You knew they had to overcome barriers both legal and social to get where they were. As the old saying went, they had to be twice as good just to get the chance to achieve.

Both a change in the laws and a change in the cultural acceptance of the injustices that made those barriers have removed them, and rightly so.

Unfortunately many realized that there was power and profit in the grievance industry. It didn’t matter if a cause wasn’t just or an actual cause for grievance didn’t exist there was money to be had and political power to mobilize so damn it if there wasn’t a real cause we’d make one.

We’ve actually reached the point where people attending universities of higher learning whose annual cost is above the medium income in the richest most powerful country in the history of history, who are easily part of the top 1% most privileged people not only in the world now, but in this history of all humanity claim grievance if all things are not exactly what they want.

We’ve reached a point where enforcing the law is considered oppression, even in the neighborhoods where those who break the laws hold the people in fear and the body count becomes outrageous.

We’re at the point where simply biological reality is considered “hate”, segregation is considered progress and any suggestion that once should be taking personal responsibility for ones bad decision and actions is the ultimate insult.

This can’t stand.

We have to be willing to stand up and say “enough” and to fearlessly proclaim truth no matter how much pushback we get. We have to have the courage to scorn the attacks and press on. We have to have the courage of our convictions and express them loudly and in public, not only for ourselves and our children, but for those who are attacking us, whose feelings and sensibilities are offended by what we say.

Who is the better Doctor, the one who tells a patient they are well even if they are seriously ill or the one who diagnoses the disease and prescribes a painful regimen to cure them?

Who is the better parent? The one who lets their child drink and drive to make them happy or the one who sets rules to keep their kids safe and punishes them if they are broken.

Who is the better priest? One who declines to call sin “sin” as to not offend even if that path leads to destruction or the one who shepherds his flock correcting them toward the path to eternal life?

Does love win when you tell a comfortable lie vs a hard truth? I think not. You can’t head in the right direction without an accurate map and if you’re in the car and you know the driver is going the wrong way saying nothing will just get everyone lost.

I think reality is worth fighting for, do you?

Update:  Corrected a grammar error or two


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