As populist budget plans go, President Trump has delivered one that is certain to make his supporters happy and politicians terrified. For that, he deserves a great deal of kudos. When Nancy Pelosi says things like, “This budget is a really a slap in the face of the future,” she clearly doesn’t understand that it’s a slap intended to hit DC itself.

That’s the good news. This trend of doing the things he promised is arguably the most endearing part of the Trump’s early presidency. He said he was going to build a wall and he’s budgeting for it. He said he was going to boost the military and he’s finding the money in government agencies. As The Hill details:

Unveiled earlier in the day, Trump’s 2018 budget outline attempts to make good on the president’s campaign promise to boost the military and border security efforts while dramatically shrinking domestic programs across almost all other agencies. The proposed reductions include a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, 28 percent to the State Department, 18 percent to the Health and Human Services Department and 16 percent to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Now, let’s discuss the future. I’ve always been critical of Trump for being a “big government” guy and this budget doesn’t change that criticism. He’s making cuts to pay for things he promised, not because he’s trying to rein in DC. However, it can be used in the future as a blueprint to demonstrate major cuts in departments and agencies will not result in the end of their little bureaucratic worlds. Global warming isn’t going to send hurricanes ripping through Kansas. They’ll have to tighten up their belts, but they’ll survive. Even the agencies and departments that have no reason to exist such as Education and Environment will still continue. They’ll find a way. After all, they’re still running their individual departments with more money than many small countries use to run their entire governments.

This brings us back to the question of whether or not it’s good to up spending on the military and the border wall. As much as I’d like to say that we don’t need to spend the additional money, I can’t. The fiscally conservative principles of Federalism must be applied in stages. That means that the wasteful spending of the past combined with poor tax plans must still be reconciled. The borders need to be secured and the military needs to be brought up to snuff.

The question of whether or not Trump’s populist budget is justifiable won’t be answered this year. We’ll need to see what cuts can be made elsewhere. We’ll need to determine with portion of the administrative state can be killed off altogether. Most importantly, we need to make sure he doesn’t give into his big government leanings and continue big spending after his military and border security promises are fulfilled.

The President is making cuts to initiate his plans. Will he have the discipline to keep cutting and then to stop adding to spending once his projects are compete? If so, the slap in the face the Democrats are describing will only sting them and their big government goals.

Former Congressman Bob Michel died last month just shy of his 94th birthday.

Michel was elected in 1956 and represented his district in Illinois until his retirement in 1995 he became a member of the GOP leadership in 1975 and became house minority leader in 1981 until his retirement so for 20 years he was either the GOP leader or the #2 man in the house for the Republican party .

Given that he was in congress for the passage of some of the most consequential laws on the books (such as the various civil rights act) during Vietnam and Watergate, and was in the leadership during the Reagan and Bush years you might think that Congressman Michel’s death might have gotten a little more attention.

You would be wrong.

You see even though he served under GOP presidents for more than half of that time you almost never saw hide nor hair of Mr. Michel on the evening news, or on the cable shows or getting much press in the paper. In fact the one memory I have of him was a reference in Tip O’Neil’s autobiography where he gives a quip about how Michel has “his eyes on the speaker’s chair” and that it’s all he’s going to have and I was an absolute news junkie in my youth.

Why, is this the case? Well that’s because during his entire 38 years in the congress he was in the minority and no matter what his opinion on legislation barring a huge divide among Democrats on an issue neither his party’s opinion in general nor his own opinion in particular mattered one jot (although the National Review would disagree). If a Democrat was in office they weren’t needed and if the GOP was in office it was all about securing enough democrats to pass the president’s priorities

“But DaTechGuy?” You ask, “That’s ridiculous, after all Nancy Pelosi has spent the last 6 years in the minority, she has little or no chance of getting back the majority before 2022 and the next round of redistricting and thus practically zero chance of influencing any legislation, yet every single day you have the media quoting her, the Newspapers making headlines of her declarations and the Sunday shows discussing her moves. And not only her a day doesn’t pass when a Democrat congressman is not on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC CBS, PBS etc talking about their priorities.” In fact Nancy Pelosi was on Jake Tapper’s show this week!

And my answer is, Exactly.

Bob Michel was a republican, a conservative, maybe not as conservative as some but a conservative nonetheless.

That means as far as the MSM was concerned. He was a non-entity, a minor personage, a person whose opinion was not sought, whose comment was not important enough to be worth the time of a media whose only objective is to advance the desires and the objectives of the Democrat party.

So the next time someone tells you that the idea of the MSM being “Democrats with bylines” or “out to get Trump”, or the “opposition party” is nonsense, particularly someone my age. ask them who Bob Michel is and what they remember from his time in congress.

Their silence and ignorance will speak volumes.

There are many ways that you can make a suggestion in a story and create the meme you want to make in a persons mind.

A great little example of this took place in the coverage of the pro-forma vote for speaker in the new congress.

First lets look at the coverage via The Hill

Ryan reelected Speaker in near-unanimous GOP vote

Updated 1:50 p.m.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday won reelection as Speaker of the House in a near-unanimous GOP vote that reflected a unified Republican party dead set on dismantling the past eight years of the Obama administration.

Conservative Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), a frequent thorn in leadership’s side, was the sole Republican to defect from Ryan. Massie cast his vote for Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who challenged Ryan for the Speaker’s gavel in 2015 but not this year.

The final vote totals were 239 votes for Paul Ryan, 189 votes for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), two votes for Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and one vote each for Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).

Pelosi loses four, Ryan one

Updated 1:44

Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi are both basically winners today.

Ryan is the bigger winner. While the Speaker certainly would prefer to have not had a single defection, losing just one vote is a huge victory since just last year he lost nine votes in the House Speaker election from his own party.

Before Donald Trump‘s win in the presidential election, members of Ryan’s own conference were at least talking about voting against him. That talk completely died down after the election, and only Rep. Thomas Massie cast a GOP ballot against Ryan on Tuesday.

Pelosi lost only four votes, which suggests that she retains an iron grip on her caucus — despite terrible results in last year’s election for Democrats up and down the ballot. 

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) ran a relatively strong challenge against Pelosi in the internal Democratic caucus vote last year, but it appeared most Democrats wanted to rally around their longtime leader in Tuesday’s vote. 

Who what when where how.  Basic strait forward facts. Reporting as it should be.

Now let’s contrast that with how the Washington Post tells the same story.

Lawmakers reelected Paul D. Ryan as House speaker Tuesday, choosing the Wisconsin Republican with a fraught history with President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Trump’s chief legislative partner.

Ryan won the support of all but one Republican, winning with many fewer GOP defectors than when he first won the speakership in 2015. The vast majority of Democrats voted for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was reelected as party leader last year despite an abortive effort among some colleagues to oust her after November’s disappointing election results.

But the 24 hours preceding the vote showed that unity can be fleeting: His reelection came less than two hours after Republicans held an emergency meeting to reverse proposed changes that would roll back the authority of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Ryan opposed those changes ahead of a Monday night conference meeting, but lawmakers voted for them anyway — then agreed to reverse course Tuesday after a public firestorm.

Notice the wording. Negative. Ryan has a “fraught history” the “unity can be fleeting”, lawmakers despite Ryan’s opposition “voted for them anyway.” Those who had opposed him were “defectors”

The take away? Paul Ryan may have won but he’s not sitting well with either his members or his president, he’s weak!

Now notice how the contrast with Pelosi. the “Vast Majority” of Democrats voted for Pelosi. A positive adjective not noting that with a caucus with 47 less members she lost four times as many votes. (4-1 by vote for 2.1% defections for her vs 0.5% for Ryan) The effort to oust her were “abortive”, The problem “disappointing election results” not anything to do with her leadership.

Now if it’s in one story it’s not a big deal, but if you use this subtle wording in say 10 stories a day, (the same wording is repeated in a later story at the post) every day then you plant the idea in the mind of the reader. Ryan weak, Pelosi strong, GOP divided, Dems united.

It’s all rather subtle but that’s what selling a meme is all about.

And that’s how the MSM continues to try to play you day after day, year after year, decade after decade, which is likely why you’re here.


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A Congressman’s first duty is to get re-elected

Sam Rayburn

There is a lot of fuss being made concerning Nancy Pelosi’s “Betrayal” of the president this weekend. The sunday shows are all abuzz concerning it and people are talking about it as a gigantic blow to the President.

That many of these people saying this are supposedly people who cover the political scene makes their statement even more outrageous and false.

Pelosi was simply doing the very same thing she did when Obamacare passed, manipulating the vote for the benefit of her caucus.

Consider Obamacare. It passed by the smallest of margins, but the truth was she KNEW she had the votes. The reason for the long drawn out drama was to determine which Democrats would be allowed to vote against it and which would be required to jump off the bridge.

Pelosi understood that this vote would be a problem for any Democrat not in a safe seat. This is why the votes was so close she wanted just enough votes to pass it and not more.

Of course it didn’t matter, Obamacare destroyed the Democrats in the house and will keep them in the minority till at least 2022, perhaps longer.

Fast forward to Friday, Nancy Pelosi understood that this vote of trade was going to hurt Democrat in their districts, not so much with the general voting public but with the Democrat base that, inspired by Bernie Sanders, would be furious. A vote for this bill was to invite a primary challenge, so again Nancy Pelosi counted the members willing to play along.

But this time she realized that the votes just wasn’t there, so she had a choice.

Make the vote as close as possible and lose, and cause her members to risk their seats on an issue Hillary Clinton won’t even take a stand on or allow her caucus to cover their asses?

That’s why she made it a point to get out on the floor and publicly oppose the trade bill, it was the signal to all of the Democrat votes that were willing to go along with the president to pass the bill that the bill wasn’t going to pass, so their votes (and the political risk it entailed) wasn’t needed.

I guarantee you if Obamacare didn’t have the votes it would have failed by the same margin as this trade bill.

I also guarantee you if Pelosi had managed to snare just a few more members behind closed doors the trade bill would have passed by the same margin as Obamacare.

There are a lot of words, some unprintable that’s I’d use to describe Nancy Pelosi, but “stupid” is not among them.  She did the smart thing, the thing that a leader does, once she saw she couldn’t win that vote she protected the members of her caucus from the voters.

This is the reality of the situation and any political reporter who tells you otherwise is full of it.

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Horton Hears a Who 1970

If there is one thing that’s axiomatic on Capital Hill it’s this:  If you want to get the attention of the lobbyists and the various monied interests you need to have power and influence or the prospect of shortly gaining it.

If there is one person who, media attention notwithstanding, has no prospect for power or influence anytime soon, it’s Nancy Pelosi.

With State Legislatures firmly in GOP hands an unpopular lame duck president and John Boehner GOP caucus holding a full 247 members Nancy Pelosi’s relevance on Capitol hill is practically nil.

However power is in many ways a matter of perception and this move by Nancy Pelosi is a clever if desperate attempt to claim it:

“Now that the election is over, Congressman Grimm is finally admitting the truth to his constituents,” Pelosi said in a brief statement on Tuesday morning. “Clearly, Speaker Boehner must insist that Congressman Grimm resign immediately.”

Pelosi’s “demand” has drawn snark from folks from the conservative hideout to Glenn Reynolds noting Pelosi’s hypocrisy but frankly what’s more interesting is her attempt to jump in front of a parade.

She likely figures it’s a low risk no lose move.  When Boehner and the GOP move to remove Grimm from his seat after his guilty plea she will run to the media who will gladly paint her as the person who called for this resignation while at the same time she will note the jabs over her hypocrisy, however accurate, as a sign she still matters and fundraise from a gullible base with them.

And if for some inexplicable reason the GOP doesn’t force Grimm it’s even better.  She has Grimm, convicted of Tax evasion as a club to beat the GOP with for as long as he holds his seat.

How should the GOP proceed?  Substantially if Grimm doesn’t resign on his own the House ethics committee should move to expel him.  Politically if and I should really say “when” the media asks him about Pelosi’s demands he should  say this:

“Like the voters of America I believe Nancy Pelosi’s opinions should have no bearing on how the House of Representatives operates.” 

While such an answer is not only a low-cost way to please his base but it will pay one other dividend.  Such a statement would ill will likely lead to outrage by the lefts allies in both print and television media but it will also give an opportunity for the GOP’s allies on the right to crank out story after story highlighting a truth that no amount of outrage, indignation or spin can alter.

Nancy Pelosi is completely without power on Capitol hill and is likely to remain so for the rest of her life.

The only comment about any Democrat member of the house that any Republican should give is on how little they matter.

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There has been a lot of snark and some applause over this ad by John Dennis the republican running against Nancy Pelosi in CA-12.

But while people might scoff at this ad in particular and Mr. Dennis’ campaign in general consider two things.

While one might question the chances of Mr. Dennis this ad, perfectly encapsulates the Democrats in congress who followed Zombie like when Nancy Pelosi marched them toward Obamacare, and for many of those representatives the end of elective office.

I think this ad belongs in every swing state race to illustrate what the democrat candidates who are now challenging the new GOP freshmen will be doing if they get in congress.

As for Mr. Dennis, forgetting the political makeup of this seat there is an interesting chart you should see:

Is it just me or does it seem odd that Nancy Pelosi the champion of the working person, the poor and the downtrodden is raising over 77% of her money in big donations and PAC money.

And what is that 20% OTHER? what does OTHER mean?

And if this race is such a lock what exactly is she spending 1.6 mil on? I’d love to see how much of that is going for salaries.

Anyways one of the most important parts of any race is actually running. I’m sure that NY-9 was considered an impossible race and even with the scandal that cost a certain twittering congressman a seat his democrat replacement had no business losing…right up until the point where he did.

One never knows when a pol might make the mistake that end their viability before a camera. Now I suspect Nancy is unlikely to make the same mistake that Anthony the photogenic did but if such a mistake takes place, wouldn’t it be nice to have a candidate working hard to be ready to take advantage? After all 90 minutes can change an election.

If you don’t believe me, ask Barack Obama.

Or perhaps after election day John Dennis.

Update: Of course should have said “Half the battle” fixed

Nancy Pelosi isn’t releasing any of her tax returns anytime soon:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed back hard Thursday against the notion that congressional leaders should release their tax returns, saying the standard applies only to presidential candidates.

“When I run for president of the United States, you can hold me to that standard,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

I seem to recall that Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house was 2nd in line for the white house right after the Vice President, and I also seem to recall that was true at the time when we had a VP with a bum heart.

Mrs. Romney has already said “We’ve given all you people need.” but if I’m Mitt I’d say the following.

I’ll release my tax returns when I’m 2nd in line for the Presidency or higher.

That is all.

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This morning I talked about this video

It is a great example of fighting back and Candidate Mark Oxner in Fl 27 deserves a lot of credit for realizing you take ground by going on offense.

In the space of under 24 hours we’ve seen an excellent example of this on the presidential scale.

First we had Nancy Pelosi playing the “I know something you don’t know.” game:

Pelosi: “He’s not going to be President of the United States. That’s not going to happen. Let me just make my prediction and stand by it, it isn’t going to happen.”

King: “Why are you so sure?”

Pelosi: “There is something I know. The Republicans, if they choose to nominate him that’s their prerogative. I don’t even think that’s going to happen.”

Perhaps Nancy figured this CNN report that Byron York dug up was in the memory hole somewhere:

Newt Being Newt went went straight at em:

“There’s almost a level of hysteria about the prospect of somebody who really wants to change Washington,” said Mr. Gingrich to host John McCaslin.

“I have a simple challenge for Speaker Pelosi…you know, put up or shut up. I mean, I have no idea what she’s talking about. I don’t think she has any idea what she’s talking about, but bring it on,”

And under 12 hours later viola

Later the same day, Pelosi’s office said that Pelosi was referring to the likelihood that Gingrich would win the Republican presidential nomination and beat President Obama in the 2012 general election, as well as the entire Ethics Committee’s findings on Gingrich.

“The ‘something’ Leader Pelosi knows is that Newt Gingrich will not be President of the United States. She made that clear last night,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement. “Leader Pelosi previously made a reference to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware.”

As Weasel Zippers put it:

“Nancy folds like a cheap suit.”

Meanwhile while Newt was hitting back against Pelosi, contrast this to Mitt:

CARLSON: Mr. Romney, what does Nancy Pelosi know if it would be such a bombshell as to why Newt Gingrich couldn’t be president?

ROMNEY: I wish I knew what that was [laughter]. I’d tell people what it is right now.

But that’s one of the reasons why I’m saying that all of the records that were part of the ethics investigation, all of the transcripts, all of the records have to be made public.

Apparently he thought the CNN piece was in a memory hole too, Never mind that William Jacobson knew the score on Nancy:

Would Nancy Pelosi lie for political gain? You betcha. She accused the CIA of lying to Congress about waterboarding, even though the records showed she was briefed and her prior public statements contradicted her. She also is a malicious person who led the charge to demean the Tea Party movement as un-American.

That didn’t matter. Romney’s increasingly desperate campaign raced toward the charge like a man in a desert running toward a mirage…

with the same result.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office on Wednesday said the minority leader doesn’t have any dirt on Newt Gingrich.

So bottom line, while the MSM tells us that Newt is unelectable, the GOP is heading toward defeat and Obama’s SOTU speech will cement election 2012 that same Newt, in less that a full news cycle, Turned the Pelosi attack pushed by the MSM into an embarrassing defeat for Pelosi AND Romney.

How can this be? Simple. It’s because like candidate Oxner in FL-27, Gingrich refused to empower the MSM narrative and instead fought back on his own terms exposing the weakness and irrelevance of the MSM and Pelosi.

In other words…


He Rode Right Through them, ’cause they’re demoralized as Hell!

It’s that simple.

Update: The fact that Newt fights doesn’t mean he fights according to Hoyle

So now Newt’s defenders will have to explain to us once more why Gingrich is a trustworthy conservative, after his campaign aired Spanish-language radio advertisements accusing Mitt Romney of being “anti-immigrant”:

and it looks like the he is subject to the same rules of attack and retreat:

“We respect Senator Rubio tremendously and will remove the ad from the rotation. We will replace it with a positive message that will continue to focus on drawing contrast between our clear vision on the issues important to the hispanic community and our oponnents lack thereof,” Gingrich’s Florida campaign chairman, Jose Mallea, said.

Exit question: Why is the GOP establishment less shy about counter-attacking when the target is a member of the GOP than it is about attacking democrats? Inquiring minds want to know!

An excellent example of why Republicans are better than democrats. They can Learn, to wit Mitch McConnell:

“Make no mistake,” he added, “I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.”

So Mitch McConnell seeing the mood of the voters decided to respect their wishes. How about the democrats?

The word on the House Democratic caucus vote for minority leader is that Nancy Pelosi has won, 150 to 43.

An earlier measure to delay leadership votes until December garnered 68 votes in the caucus — not enough to carry, but perceived as an indication of uneasiness among some rank-and-filers about reelecting Pelosi. But a comfortable majority of the new minority seemed to have had no such qualms.

Ruby slippers has more:

She led the party out of the wilderness but under her leadership, she led them right back in. Heaven forbid any of these clueless Dems stop to ponder the possibility that passing massive pieces of unpopular legislation was really the problem.

Still, this is incredible news for Republicans. Leaving Pelosi, Reid and Obama in place as the face of a liberal Democrat Party is nearly as shortsighted as passing that health care law and far less damaging – to the country anyway. For Democrats, hoping the independents they lost in droves this last cycle will forget the midnight Christmas eve votes and that comical gavel, Pelosi’s continued presence in leadership is the nightmare they deserve.

Democratic intransigence, the gift that keeps on giving.

I guess we can conclude that Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to pacify James Clyburn did not work:

The Congressional Black Caucus has decided to withhold its approval for the House Democratic leadership team, denying Speaker Nancy Pelosi full support of the 42-member organization as she campaigns to remain leader.

After a nearly two hour long meeting on Monday night, chairwoman Barbara Lee of California said the group only will endorse caucus member James Clyburn of South Carolina for a leadership position. The causus first wants to know what his role will be in the Democratic leadership before backing the full slate.

I guess they want to see the walking around money before they vote.

Live by the special interest, die by the special interest.