By John Ruberry

Now that we have entered the first full day of President Donald Trump’s second year in office it’s a good time to ask this question.

Is Trump a conservative?

“Yes,” is my firm answer.

Fascinatingly, Trump doesn’t talk about conservatism much, nor did he as a candidate. Contrast the president with the dozens of Republicans elected to Congress since the Tea Party wave of 2010 who talked a tough game on issues such as ObamaCare, illegal immigration, and shrinking the government. But once in power, many of these GOPers backed away from strong conservative stances on those issues.

But here we have a president in Trump who didn’t campaign as a conservative but who is governing as one.

Trump’s first major move in office was to nominate Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. So far Gorsuch has been a solid conservative voice on the nation’s highest court. While there have been some qualification issues on a few district court nominees, the president has nominated a solid group of conservative jurists on the district and appellate levels. As for the latter, Trump set a record for the most appellate nominees confirmed in a first year of office.

Our military, with the aid of allies, has had great success against the Islamic State, to the point where we can say that it’s likely that ISIS has been defeated. A strong national defense is the backbone of any conservative playbook.

After six months in office Barack Obama added 60,000 employees to the federal payroll. Under Trump the size of the federal workforce is shrinking.

Amazingly, Trump is exceeding even Ronald Reagan’s pace in slashing regulations.

And last month the Republican tax cut bill was signed into law–which has already fattened the wallets of Americans. Included in that bill was the elimination of the unpopular ObamaCare individual mandate, which may lead to the unraveling of the signature law of Trump’s predecessor.

The cut in regulations and taxes have spurred an unprecedented rally in the stock market since Trump’s election.

Yesterday, although by video hook-up, Trump became the first president to address the annual March for Life rally.

On his radio show last year Mark Levin called Trump “the most conservative president since Reagan.”

As he is on so many things, Levin is correct.

America has a conservative president again—one who didn’t campaign as one.

It’s an inconsistency I can live with happily.

Today there is a government shutdown–why? Because Trump is standing up for conservative policies.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update: Instalance, welcome all, take a peek round find out why Trump & the GOP will do fine in november as evidenced by a single chart here


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Mr. Prosser: Has Mr. Dent come to his senses yet?
Ford Prefect: Can we for the moment assume that he hasn’t?
Mr. Prosser: Has Mr. Dent come to his yet?
Ford Prefect: Can we for the moment assume that he hasn’t?
Mr. Prosser: Well?
Ford Prefect: Can we also assume, that he’s going to be staying here all day?
Mr. Prosser: So?
Ford Prefect: So all your men are going to be standing around here all day doing nothing?
Mr. Prosser: Could be, could be
Ford Prefect: Well, if you’re resigned to doing that anyway, you don’t actually need him to lie here all the time do you?
Mr. Prosser: Well, not as such, no, not exactly need
Ford Prefect: Well if you’d like to take it as read that he’s actually there, then he and I could slip off down to the pub for half an hour. How does that sound?

The Hitchhikers of guide to the Galaxy 1981

There has been a scramble of stories concerning the state of the vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court this week.  Several say the Democrats have the votes to filibuster the nomination  but there is a point concerning this story that I don’t think people are clear on, the “filibuster” of today bears little resemblance to the filibusters of old, either in the Senate or in movies.

You don’t see a Jimmy Stewart holding or a Strom Thurmond holding the floor alone as a bunch of other senators wait for him to crack.  Nor do you see teams of senators making long speeches from phone books or the constitution or anything else.

What you see instead is more like the scene quoted above from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy, the side, the majority having failed to get the 60 votes to end debate takes it as read that the other side is holding the floor as given so that can all pop down to the pub if they want.

But what if they didn’t?

What if the GOP decided, you know what?  If you want to have a filibuster you go ahead, have one, but you’re going to have to have a real one, where you Democrats continually hold the floor of the senate without interruption ,where you have to make speeches, fill the record and so forth, furthermore we aren’t going to allow you to revise or extend your remarks.  We will make you stand there and make government come to a standstill and make sure the American people see you do it.

Now the media being the media will of course spin it as either “Brave Democrats continue to hold the floor on principle.”  or “Republicans obstructing business by refusing to pull the Gorsuch nomination from the floor.” but the actual video and audio will not play that way.

Even more importantly, while the far left will find it inspiring , the video of such things will be ready made ad videos for election 2018 and election 2020 against said senators.

Now granted this will slow down the business of the senate but if the left is so keen to do this make them do it for real and milk it for every moment you can.

If they get sick of it, or make a mistake, after all this hasn’t been done for a while, then you’re able to get the Gorsuch and have egg on the faces of the left.

If not, then you can go ahead and launch that Harry Reid nuclear option , but make sure the left plays the Richard Russell option first following in the footsteps of the old anti-civil rights southern caucus and make sure everyone knows that’s what happening.

Anyways that’s what I’d do.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

First the WaPo looked for dirt on Mike Pence, and all they could come up with was that fifteen years ago – in 2002 – he said he won’t have dinner alone with any woman other than his wife.

Now BuzzFeed and Politico both are accusing SCOTUS nominee judge Neil Gorsuch of plagiarism.

Politico says,

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch copied the structure and language used by several authors and failed to cite source material in his book and an academic article, according to documents provided to POLITICO.

Provided by whom?, you may ask, since they clearly state “POLITICO did not conduct a full examination of the federal judge’s writings.”

Jay Caruso notices that, in the passage that Politico posted with rainbow-colored highlights,

Politico is criticizing Gorsuch for using source material — the same source material Kuzma used — and not attributing it to Kuzma. Do you know who found the plagiarism accusation unpersuasive? Abigail Kuzma

Kuzma spells it out,

“I have reviewed both passages and do not see an issue here, even though the language is similar. These passages are factual, not analytical in nature, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the “Baby/Infant Doe” case that occurred in 1982. Given that these passages both describe the basic facts of the case, it would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language.”

And why is that? Because Gorsuch went to Kuzma’s source – which defined,

Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula means that the esophageal passage from the mouth to the stomach ends in a pouch, with an abnormal connection between the trachea and the esophagus.

Try changing that language without changing the definition of a medical condition.

BuzzFeed headlines, A Short Section In Neil Gorsuch’s 2006 Book Appears To Be Copied From A Law Review Article, with the following lede (emphasis added)

The section is just two paragraphs and accompanying footnotes, but it repeats language and sourcing from another work, a 1984 law review article.

The citations in question are from material published twenty years ago, and from Gorsuch’s 2006 book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, based on his Oxford dissertation.

Ed Whelan quotes,

Georgetown professor John Keown, one of the outside examiners of Gorsuch’s Oxford dissertation on which the book was based, calls the allegations of plagiarism “unsubstantiated” and praises the book as “meticulous in its citation of primary sources.” Further: “The allegation that the book is guilty of plagiarism because it does not cite secondary sources which draw on those same primary sources is very wide of the mark.”

Gorsuch was approved to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by a voice vote in 2006. Now the Dems are ginning up a plagiarism smear to justify filibustering his nomination.

They would be pathetic if they were not so dishonorable.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

The Daily MailNew York Post, U.S. News and World Report, and the International Business Times ran stories alleging that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had started a club named “Fascism Forever” while in high school.

This was their only evidence:

Yes, their only evidence was an entry in the Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School 1985 high school yearbook. Patterico has the details.

Of course Gorsuch had not been involved in any such club. The club never even existed. The high school yearbook entry was a prank, like thousands of high school yearbook entries all over the country.

What is astonishing about this is the only undeniable fact: None of the journalists in any of the four newspapers, nor their editors reviewing the story, thought of doing one thing – calling Georgetown Prep (telephone available at their website, see above link) and actually asking any questions on this story.

Not one.

It’s exasperating.

Look, I’ve been blogging for nearly thirteen years. My speciality is Latin America news. I never attended journalism school. My blog’s only revenue comes from the ads. Any of the four newspapers mentioned above have innumerable more resources than I.

I read dozens of articles every day in news websites. Before I post anything on my blog, I make sure the story has at least two different in-country sources in the country’s language (Spanish or Portuguese, sometimes French), preferably adding a local news video of the incident if applicable, plus an English-language article.

If I find information in a book, I verify the footnote(s).

On some stories I have contacted people in the country where the story takes place. I even have talked to eyewitnesses on a few stories.

If the story involves national security concerns, I look up Congressional committee reports and include the link.

Except for the time I invest on a post, the information is available for free. You need to have good research skills, but  you must verify all information.

If you make a mistake (which happens to everybody), it behooves you to post the correction prominently in the original post.

Unless you don’t mind posting rumors and casting unfounded aspersions, that is.

By now, is it unreasonable to assume that the media is operating in bad faith and to not believe what they print? What effect will that have on American civil society?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.