Our previous two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, had vastly different personas than does President Trump and I think we became a little too accustomed to that earlier way of dealing with the public.
President Bush frustrated many of his supporters by never answering his critics and never addressing the many distortions about him. Did he ever talk about the found WMDs or RatherGate or the nonsense surround the reaction to Hurricane Katrina in public? I have no memory of any response. I suppose I could look it up and find out, but the fact that no personal defense of Bush policies by the man himself stands out to me–someone who has followed the news religiously for quite some time–is telling.
As for President Obama, his “defenses” of his policies were, usually, not true defenses, but passive-aggressive verbal attacks against those in the domestic sphere who opposed him and his policies.
President Trump is a whole different animal; not just different from his two immediate predecessors, but different from most national politicians in recent memory—especially Republicans. In short, he is an a-hole and is not shy about letting you know it. And I say that without any insult intended. (Of course, it isn’t as if we didn’t know this already.)
I’m of the opinion that, outside of greatly charismatic types, leaders should be jerks. Not out-of-control, illogical jerks, but controlled tough guys/girls who will get things done and who know when to put fire under the backsides of his/her subordinates. They should unapologetically defend their decisions and policies in public and straightforwardly own their mistakes without bowing and scraping or ignoring them altogether. And if the verbal attacks happen, they should be straight-on and not girly about it–even if the leader is a girl.
I haven’t liked everything that the president has done in the past week (tariff), but I like the decisiveness and the lack of weasel.
A conservative street artist famous for lampooning liberal Hollywood is celebrating the inauguration of President Donald Trump at an anti-Trump rally Friday in Los Angeles using faux posters of Fox’s revival of the hit TV show 24.
The artist, who goes by the pseudonym Sabo, is also attacking a bunch of musicians scheduled to perform at an anti-Trump rally, also in Los Angeles.
Protesters gathered Friday in and around L.A. City Hall and L.A. Live — an entertainment area near the Staples Center where NBA’s Lakers and NHL’s Kings play — for something called “United Against Hate Inauguration March,” where Sabo posted several fake advertisements for 24: Legacy.
I watched the feed of the Inauguration and the parade yesterday. It was especially thrilling and gratifying to see the Talladega College (AL) Marching Tornadoes as they fulfilled their mission: they came to entertain. (I wrote about them last week at my blog.)
On the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks, Jeremiah Wright, then Obama’s pastor, bellowed, “God d–n America” and “America’s chickens are coming home to roost” from the pulpit of his Chicago church.
Two nights from now President Barack Obama will give his farewell address in Chicago, his adopted hometown. The Hawaii-born 44th president moved to Chicago a year after graduating from college where he worked, with at best mixed success, as a community organizer on the Far South Side. It’s an area still beset by violence and poverty with no hope of a turnaround thirty years after Obama left that post so he could attend Harvard law school.
It was in 1996 Chicago where Obama launched his political career. One of his first campaign stops–perhaps his first–was at the home of his friends, unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Eight years later another Chicagoan, state Senate President Emil Jones Jr, put Obama’s name on some key bills that bolstered his liberal credentials. Obama scored a surprise win in the Democratic US Senate primary, and after the Republican nominee imploded, he easily won in the general election.
You know the rest of the story.
However, Obama was not a slam-dunk in the 2008 presidential election against John McCain–what we now call the Great Recession sealed the deal–and America elected its first black president.
Chicago is still recovering from the ’08 economic collapse. Of the nation’s 35-largest cities, Chicago has the largest percentage of underwater home mortgages.Two years ago Chicago enacted its largest property tax hike in history, the impetus for it was to pay for underfunded municipal pension funds. What does this have to do with Obama? Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931, Obama is the most hyper-partisan president in memory. Along the White House ride for Obama was Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisor and “Berlin Wall,” the former slumlord was a deputy chief of staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. It’s Daley, not his successor, former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who bears the responsibility for the Chicago pension debacle. But Chicago’s generous municipal pensions are political payback for public-sector unions, who’ve been an arm of the Democratic Party in all but name for decades.
Obama has always been very cozy government labor unions.
Two years ago–under Emanuel’s watch–Moody’s downgraded Chicago’s bonds, and those of Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District to junk. Other rating services haven’t followed suit yet, but they absolutely don’t view Chicago favorably.
Chicago’s population is at it lowest level in 100 years.
Last year at least 762 people were murdered in Chicago–an appalling 57 percent increase over the year before. Chicago suffered more killings than New York City and Los Angeles–combined. One of the reasons cited for the soaring murder rate was Rahm Emanuel’s inept handling of the shooting of unarmed black teen Laquan McDonald–with sixteen bullets–by a white cop, all of which has compelled Chicago Police officers to use less aggressive law enforcement tactics. Chicago is a hotbed for Black Lives Matter activists. The outgoing president has been supportive of this radical group, which deems racist the statement All Lives Matter.
That leads to last week’s racist atrocity in Chicago, the torturing of a white special needs man–thirty minutes of which was streamed live on Facebook–by four blacks in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side. The victim was bound, gagged, beaten, slashed, forced to drink toilet water, and coerced to say “F–k Donald Trump” and “F–k white people.”
Two months earlier in another West Side neighborhood a white man was pulled from his car and brutally beaten by four blacks. That attack was captured on video, the assailants screamed, “You voted Trump” and “Beat his a–.” While the victim was indeed a Trump voter–yes, there are a few in Illinois besides me–he told authorities that there was no way the thugs could have known that. There was no Trump bumper sticker on his car–he was white and that was enough provocation for these creeps.
Obama’s chickens–and those of Chicago Democrats–have come home to roost.
Our collectivist president has practiced identity politics for his entire adult life. which for the most part means race politics. Us versus them. And as a collectivist Obama has appointed himself as the savior to put the pieces back together.
But breaking things is much easier than putting them back together.
Some final thoughts.
As a public service I am recommending that if you are planning to attend Chicago’s McCormick Place address, please use public transportation. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit 45 of our 50 states. With the exception of Detroit, the worst-maintained streets and roads I’ve encountered are in Chicago. And while you’re driving around potholes and crevices, please beware of Chicago’s ubiquitous red light and speeding cameras. An astounding 1.9 million traffic camera tickets were issued between 2010 and 2015. Chicago has 2.7 million or so residents. Most of those tickets were written while Emanuel was mayor.
Someone needs to come up with a misery index for big cities like Chicago, which should include such items as corruption, low high school graduation rates, unfunded pension obligations, red light cameras, crumbling infrastructure, population loss, taxes, and yes of course, crime.
Perhaps Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s amiable pal who is an economics professor at the University of Chicago, can absolve himself of leftism and get to work on this much-needed project.
Thank God I left Chicago for the suburbs nearly two decades ago.
And Obama, at least for now, won’t live in Chicago after he moves out of White House next week. He’ll probably only return to visit his presidential library.
John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Chicago area resident who writes the Marathon Pundit blog. The Chicago Convention and Tourism Board had no input in composing this blog entry.
Today, a truce has been brokered in Syria that will hopefully turn the corner on the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. With the country torn to pieces, refugees have been flooding into Europe and some parts of the Middle East, creating a dangerous situation for the entire region. America, under the leadership of President Obama, was not a part of the talks.
America, under the leadership of President Obama, didn’t deserve to be part of the talks.
Let’s take a quick look at recent history in Syria. It was a chain reaction of horrible mistakes. First, Obama drew his “red line” of chemical and biological weapons, claiming that if Bashar al Assad used them it would change the calculus for the United States to take action. Assad crossed the red line. Obama didn’t take action, letting the window of opportunity close before Russia stepped in.
Then, Obama went with the plan of arming and training Syrian rebels to take on Assad’s army. As many will recall, much of the support that Obama gave to enemies of Assad ended up being transferred to the Islamic State and other radical Islamic militants. They were supposed to be the force that drove back the Islamic State and got rid of Assad. Instead, they were neutered from the start by the poor plan before being obliterated by Russia, Iran, and Syria.
Finally, Obama attempted to negotiate peace while bickering with Russia over who would be involved. He tried to work through Turkey to get one done. His “smart power” policy would share the credit for cleaning up the mess he created. Instead, Turkey found a better partner in Russia and they got it done without him.
With 22 days before Obama is out of office, it’s fitting that he’s been excluded from cleaning up the mess that he created. As a parent, I’ve used with incredible efficiency the non-involvement tactic when the kids leave a mess behind. I draw their attention to the mess they made, then I proceed to clean it. When they offer to help, I tell them that I’ll take care of it because if they were concerned about the mess, they would have cleaned it up before. The guilt they feel as they watch their mess being cleaned has more of a lasting impact than making them clean it up themselves. Today, they clean up their messes before I see them.
Obama is being treated like a child by the international community because he’s acted like a foreign policy neophyte for eight years. He cannot take credit for fixing Syria and will get most of the blame for allowing the situation to explode. America is meant to be strong, to lead. Obama wanted to lead from behind. Instead, he’s being left behind. The result is a world that is much worse off today than when he became President.
For as long as I can remember the words “Merry Christmas” have been pushed away from public life, in the both the political and business world. I get it. No one wants to offend people who aren’t Christian, or those few Christians, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who shun Christmas.
However, 83 percent of Americans are Christian, and for many of them Christmas is their favorite time of the year. And I know some secular progressives who set up Christmas trees in their home.
When President-elect Donald Trump on the later stops of his ‘thank you’ tour replaced his ‘USA’ lectern logo with a ‘Merry Christmas’ one, it got my attention.
And Trump’s Christmas spirit didn’t end there
“We’re gonna start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” Trump said at a Michigan ‘thank you’ rally. “How about all those department stores, they have the bells and they have the red walls and they have the snow, but they don’t have ‘Merry Christmas. I think they’re gonna start putting up ‘Merry Christmas.'”
About ten years ago the ‘War on Christmas’ compelled Christians who wished to say ‘Merry Christmas’ at their workplace to bite their tongues, including those working extended Christmas shifts at retail stores to accommodate Christmas shoppers. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, one of the defenders in the ‘War on Christmas,’ declares the conflict all but over, as increasingly more retail outlets use the word ‘Christmas” in their holiday advertisements. On Christmas Eve I was greeted with a hearty “Merry Christmas” when I walked into the local Walmart–and when I left.
I’ll be shocked if Donald Trump’s first presidential Christmas card isn’t much different, even though his oldest daughter is a convert to Judaism.
Howard Kurtz ended today’s always excellent Fox News’ Media Watch program with “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.” Yes, like a rare planetary alignment, Christmas Eve and the first day of Hanukkah share the came spot on the calendar.
And from me to you, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.
In the Washington Post, William Wan, Tanya Sichynsky and Sandhya Somashekhar say that “There are Two Americas”—an assertion made famous by the infamous 2004 Democrat vice-presidential candidate Senator John Edwards. All are were correct and the Washington Post writers outline the many ways in which the partitioning has been made flesh.
To Kelcey Caulder, 22, the division is painfully real. The college student from Athens, Ga., feels its looming presence every time she thinks about her grandma, a Trump supporter and ardent opponent of abortion rights.
They haven’t talked much since Caulder’s grandma found out that Caulder was voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton and told her granddaughter bluntly, “You’re going to hell.”
Caulder tried to be understanding.
“I think, in her way, she was trying to be protective of me,” Caulder said. “She wasn’t saying ‘Kelcey, go to hell.’ It was more like she was saying, ‘Kelcey, don’t you know this could send you to hell?’ ”
But when her grandma unfriended her on Facebook, Caulder said, it was hard not to take it personally. Now, she is nervous about Thanksgiving, although she hopes the family dinner could be a chance to reconcile.
Korey, a student at the Georgetown University Law Center, said he is skipping Thanksgiving altogether because of lingering resentments in his family over the election. After he posted an anti-Trump message on Facebook, his father stopped talking to him, and his mother’s ex-husband threatened to write him out of his will.
Korey, who asked to be identified by only his first name to avoid further angering his relatives, said he’s not ready to reconcile. In fact, he said, he plans to confront his father over his willingness to overlook offensive statements by Trump about immigrants, minorities, disabled people and women just to beat the Democrats.
Edward and the authors of the WaPo piece point to several dividing lines, but I’d like to draw attention to another—one to which they seem oblivious.
There are two types of Americans: people who look to flawed human beings to be their Savior and people who do not. Very many Trump supporters and Clinton supporters fall on the same side of that particular delineation.
[W]e are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.
Make America great again!
The implication is that both men will do these things and their followers will be fundamentally transformed and great if we choose them to be our leader. It’s not an accident that mockers have referred to the two as Chocolate Jesus and Orange Jesus, respectively. And it also explains the animosities, even among kin.
By the way, I don’t remember any great overarching slogan from Hillary Clinton. That may be emblematic of her presidential defeats against both men. However, many of her supporters even imbued Messianism into her persona.
This proves that when God is absent, people will create their own gods. Don’t do that.
There are thousands–maybe hundreds of thousands–of explanations about why Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton last week that you can find online and in print, as well as why the Republicans maintained control of Congress and gained governorships.
Here’s another one, although this discussion confronts one angle, what I call “inevitable leftism.” Barack Obama was the “Hope and Change” candidate for president in 2008; four years later, “Forward” was his rallying cry. Some conservative pundits noticed that “Forward” has a long history as a communist and socialist slogan.
Leftists, Obama is one, firmly believe that their cause is one of inevitable success, that humanity is headed towards–choose your term–a collectivist, socialist, or communist utopia. They view popular leaders such as Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan, as atavistic aberrations, mere potholes that can be paved over when the time is right, sooner, as opposed to later.
Except when they are wrong.
The French Revolution, still idealized by the Left, deposed a king and disestablished the Roman Catholic church, and replaced the Ancien Régime with an atheist republic that executed thousands, which was quickly transformed into a dictatorship led by an Italian. Along the way the days and months were renamed in a new decimal calendar–hours and minutes were divided by ten too, as were weights and measures. A couple of decades later there was a king again in France, the Catholic church was the state religion–but the metric system survived, yet strangely enough, it still hasn’t completely caught on in the United States.
Maximilien Robespierre, the guiding force of the French Revolution, and his inner circle were certain they were guiding the world on the right path. He may have even held on to that belief as he walked up to the guillotine, two years after Louis XVI after made the same, final stroll.
The Russian Revolution’s state, the Soviet Union, was similarly hailed by the Left as a societal inevitably, it also led to regicide, and tens of millions were killed. Because the USSR survived much longer than the French Republic, it succeeded in shattering Russian culture. But the surviving Russian nation is a South American-style sham democracy run by a thug, not a nation consisting of a populace that lives “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Barack Obama is not a psychopath or a murderer. But he’s a leftist, albeit one along the lines of French President François Hollande. Obama decided that America needs government-run health care in 2009 but he knew that what the Democrats euphemistically call single-payer would be unpopular, so a hybrid program, quickly dubbed ObamaCare, was developed as a bridge to that health care utopia. ObamaCare is deeply unpopular, and it was one reason for Trump’s win. The president-elect says he will repeal most of ObamaCare. The Democrats’ push for gay marriage is another page from the book of Dem inevitability, but only 21 nations allow same-sex marriages, none of them are in Asia, and South Africa is the only country in Africa that allows it.
It was the Democrats who, through their many friends in the judiciary, that created the so-called crisis surrounding the minuscule segment of the population who feel compelled to use the washrooms and the locker rooms–even in high school–of the opposite gender. They view choose-your-own-bathroom as their next social inevitability. The Democrats are the party of the confused horny teenage boy who wants to shower with girls.
Next year France will hold a presidential election. Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician with a fierce anti-immigrant stance, whose election as president last year ago seemed as likely as Trump moving in to the White House was, is confident of her chances. Hollande hasn’t declared himself as a candidate. Is Le Pen, another atavistic aberration, the inevitability of France?
France is ten percent Muslim. With the higher birth rates of its Muslim citizens a majority Muslim France could be possible by the end of the century. Gay marriage has been legal in France since 2013. Will it be in 2113?
The policy of open borders is also viewed as the next level of human achievement by the Left. It has worked well for the European Union, but there’s a big difference between thousands Germans buying homes in Italy and thousands of Middle Eastern migrants arriving in ramshackle boats there. Democrats, and even some Republicans, have been ignoring calls from ordinary citizens, now dubbed “the Forgotten Man,” to secure the southern border for decades. Opposition to open borders was the main reason why British voters voted to leave the EU.
Of course no one can predict the future. Not even leftists, even though they never tire in telling you how smart they are.
In the United States the hubris of inevitability led to the defeat of the Left last week.
I was at Lucianne.com looking for ideas for a post when I noticed these two pieces within five posts of each other that were interesting. One pushing a Reuters story from the 19th:
The other posting a mediate story saying the exact opposite:
I thought they would make an interesting contrast so I tried to pull up both stories, the Mediaite story dated today came up easy.
However when I tried to click on the Reuters link I kept getting “page not found”.
I tried a search for the title and found multiple results such as this one at Forbes:
Trump Visits Baton Rouge, Despite Governor’s Request Not To
‘We welcome him to Louisiana…but not for a photo-op,’ the Democratic governor said.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate toured the flood-damaged city of Baton Rouge on Friday, despite the Democratic Louisiana governor’s urging not to make political stops in areas affected by recent deadly rains.
Trump’s motorcade drove past piles of possessions and building materials that had been ripped out of flooded homes en route to Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in a flood-ravaged portion of East Baton Rouge Parish.
“You’re all going to be fine, you’re going to be fine,” Trump told several dozen supporters gathered outside, many asking for autographs and selfies.
But for the life of me I couldn’t find the story at Reuters. So I went to the Reuters site and looked for the story. There was no sign of it, but I DID find this story, with a time stamp a few hours later with this title:
Trump tours flooded Louisiana, Obama to visit next week
And when I looked at the body of the story it seemed awfully…familiar (emphasis mine)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump toured flood-battered Louisiana on Friday, shrugging off the Democratic state governor’s plea for politicians not to stop in areas affected by deadly rains.
President Barack Obama said he was also eager for a firsthand look at the damage done by floods that damaged more than 40,000 homes and killed at least 13 people, announcing plans to visit Baton Rouge on Tuesday.
Obama’s travel requires a massive retinue of Secret Service agents and assistance from local and state law enforcement officials, so the White House usually waits to visit disaster zones to avoid tying up police and emergency resources needed elsewhere.
On Friday, Trump’s motorcade drove past piles of possessions and building materials that had been ripped out of flooded homes en route to Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in a hard-hit portion of East Baton Rouge Parish.
“You’re going to be fine,” Trump told several dozen supporters gathered outside, many asking for autographs and selfies.
LA governor John Bel Edwards found his original statement had not gone over well and decided to revise it, apparently Reuters found that their old story noting the president would not be visiting for a while wasn’t playing well either so they decided to :
Delete the original story
Rewrite the headline to emphasize that president Obama was visiting Louisiana
Insert new copy into the old story suggesting president was ALWAYS going to visit while making an excuse for his failure to do so before the Trump visit.
Or put simply, the attempt to advance the narrative of Trump as an opportunist for visiting Louisiana and Obama as responsible by not visiting had not only failed but proved inconvenient. So Reuters decided, rather than write a new story to show the president’s change of heart and showing him forced to visit in reaction to Donald Trump’s move, decided to rewrite history to push the narrative of the president planning to visit this week all along.
There are many words to describe this, I choose “dishonest” and “dishonorable”.
Personally I disagree, I suspect American journalism was always like this, it’s just that thanks to the net it’s not possible to hide these trick anymore.
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No one will do anything at all about the fact that the President of the United States took $400 million in cash, put it on a plane, sent it to Iran as ransom for American hostages, and did so without congressional approval, which is how all US Treasury transactions are supposed to be handled, according to the U.S. Constitution.
It is far from the first time that President Barack Obama violated or ignored the Separation of Powers outlined in the Constitution, and, of course, that’s the point. This president figured out a long time ago that he could get away with pretty much anything, and not have to suffer impeachment, censure, or even too much harsh language from the other two governmental branches or the long ago-hijacked Big Media.
Why not? Because, as we all know, it is no longer about what the purpose of the executive branch is, nor what its constraints are, but about who is doing the executing and the color of the skin of the executor.
Ours had become a nation of men rather than one of laws. Of course that was the intent all along of the Fundamental Transformation, was it not?
So now, the Executor can lift money from the Treasury, out in the open, arrange for money to be paid to an avowed enemy–ostensibly bowing to the terms of a set of kidnappers. All the other times it was people-for-people, this time it’s money-for-people
So now, those of us who have been watching this happen—watching the build-up of the mountain of lawlessness by this Administration are asking ourselves and each other the musical question: what’s next?
Because there are much worse things that this Administration can do. As a matter of fact, I’d wager that, by the time we get an answer to the question “what’s next,” the next Big Crime will already be done.