Gang Warfare

by baldilocks

I estimate that everything we’ve seen since the assassination of President Kennedy has been Government-by-The-People Theater. No doubt, this charade goes much further back than that point in time, however, let’s call that event a conflagration – a reminder to all observers of who really runs things. Yes, I’m aware of the implication that I’m making: that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy by unseen actors, but don’t get it twisted; I’ve seen all the other conspiracy theories about it and I don’t subscribe to any of them. And it’s not my point anyway.

This is: I contend that every president from Lyndon B. Johnson to Barack H. Obama has walked in step with and/or been controlled by the bureaucracy, the secret cabals, the military-industrial complex (thank you, President Eisenhower), and the various other gangs that undergird this country. Yes, even Ronald Reagan.

And yet, somehow, we managed to elect one that refuses to walk in that path.

The gangs that began conspiring against him even before he won the nomination knew that he was the most dangerous choice for president — dangerous to them. He had made his money outside of government, had been in the public eye for decades and had a checkered private life that he didn’t try to hide. And, most frightening of all, he had claimed to be one of them: a Democrat. He entertained them, partied with them, listened to them.  He had probably seen and heard all manner of foul things that his “friends” prefer to remain private. And he had done so while drinking no alcohol and doing no drugs.

They had given him awards and begged him for jobs and for money.

Then, “out of the blue” he runs for president. In reality, he signaled what he was going to do back in the 1980s and did so again in 2012.

So, the gangs had to have something prepared just for him. However, it appears that he was ready for this, and for the next attack, and the next one and the one after that.

One of his missions is to expose the various means which the gangs have of enriching themselves on monies gotten from the pockets of the tax-payers. Ukraine seems to be both a means of thievery and a huge storage space for the loot.

This is why the government gangs will do anything to get him out of office. But before that happens, his reputation must be blasted to smithereens.

He knows this, which is why he will not be silent about it. As they use to say about a totally unrelated topic, silence equals death.

But he also keeps talking because it distracts the gangs from his more meaningful action against the gangs. While they continue to attempt to ruin his legacy before driving him out — or worse — he is on offense as well.

Everything will come to a head in one year or less.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Bribery and the Constitution

By Christopher Harper

Bribery?

That’s the latest means the Democrats have tried to get rid of Donald Trump.

But there’s a Democrat congressman, Alcee Hastings, who might make a useful addition to the witness list because he’s only one of three federal officials who’s been charged with bribery under the impeachment clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Hastings, who is one of the longest-serving representatives in Congress, was elected in Florida in 1992. In fact, he almost got elected in 2006 as head of the House Intelligence Committee now holding the impeachment hearings.

But here’s what Hastings doesn’t want everyone to remember.

In 1981, Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence against two defendants when he was a federal judge in Florida. He also was accused of perjury in his testimony about the case. 

In 1983, Hastings was acquitted by a jury after his co-conspirator refused to testify in court. 

In 1988, the Democrat-controlled House took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury a vote of 413–3. He was then convicted on October 20, 1989, by the U.S. Senate on eight articles of impeachment. 

His co-conspirator, attorney William Borders, went to jail again for refusing to testify in the impeachment proceedings but was later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled in Nixon v. United States that the federal courts have no jurisdiction over Senate impeachment matters, so Hastings’s conviction and removal were upheld.

Hastings’s impeachment and removal had to do with an out-and-out bribe. No similar comparison can be made with the current investigation of Trump.

Nancy Pelosi and some Obama lawyers are trying to peddle the notion that the founding fathers had some other definition of bribery, but I’ve been unable to find the distinctions in my research of sources on the Constitution.

The past precedents for bribery under the impeachment clause, particularly that of Democrat Hastings, were clear cut examples of taking money for doing something that was illegal. 

Hastings would make an excellent example of what bribery really is under the U.S. Constitution!

Profiles in cowardice: The Democrats’ push to impeach Trump

Andrew Johnson statue on the grounds of the Tennessee state capitol

By John Ruberry

One of the heroes in the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, which was credited to John F. Kennedy but largely written by Ted Sorensen, was Edmund G. Ross, a Radical Republican senator from Kansas who is credited as the deciding vote against the removal from office of President Andrew Johnson, who had been impeached by the House of Representatives.

Ross was appointed to the Senate in 1866, when, Sorensen wrote, “the two branches of government were at each other’s throats.” Such as it is now between the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and President Donald J. Trump.

Johnson, like the man he succeeded, Abraham Lincoln, favored a quick readmission of the former Confederate states into the Union. But Johnson had few of the political skills of the Great Emancipator, and compared to the Radical Republicans, Johnson was very weak on the Civil Rights. Johnson was impeached in 1868–an election year–for violating the recently enacted Tenure of Office Act for firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The president deemed that law as unconstitutional, it was repealed a few years later and the courts later proved Johnson correct.

Ross, along with six other Republican senators voted to acquit Johnson. Sorensen, in Profiles in Courage notes Ross’ words, written years after the impeachment trial.

In a large sense, the independence of the executive office as a coordinate branch of the government was on trial…If…the president must step down…a disgraced man and a political outcast…upon insufficient proofs and from partisan considerations…the office of the president would be degraded, cease to be a coordinate branch of the government, and ever after subordinated to the legislative will.

If Johnson had been removed from office America would have seen a weakened office of the presidency. One subject to the whims of an emboldened Congress.

Trump’s crimes in regards to the Ukraine call, if any–and I don’t believe there are any–are subject to interpretation. Say what you will about the only other president to be impeached, Bill Clinton, but he clearly perjured himself when testifying about Monica Lewinsky.

If Trump is impeached by the House, the likelihood of his being convicted by the Senate and removed from office is remote. But a precedent could be set by future Congresses to impeach presidents, well, simply because member of the “loyal opposition” opposes him. Or her, of course.

As Wikipedia writes about the Johnson impeachment:

The impeachment and trial of Andrew Johnson had important political implications for the balance of federal legislative–executive power. It maintained the principle that Congress should not remove the President from office simply because its members disagreed with him over policy, style, and administration of the office. It also resulted in diminished presidential influence on public policy and overall governing power, fostering a system of governance which Woodrow Wilson referred to in the 1870s as “Congressional Government”.

But most of the current crop of Democrat members of the House don’t care about history. They simply want to, in the crass words of freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, “Impeach the motherf—er.”

When impeachment comes to a full vote in the House, will any Democrats–and not just those from districts that are overwhelmingly pro-Trump–offer a profile in courage?

It seems right now that most House Democrats have profiles in cowardice–they answer only to the MSNBC–incited mob who fill their campaign coffers. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Democrat Women Candidates Think Nagging Will Win Them Votes

Good luck with that

by baldilocks

Weaklings.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants you to think her struggles to gain momentum in her presidential bid are due to her sex — and the bias of the American public.

The Democrat took a swipe at fellow White House contender Pete Buttigieg, who leads her, by saying the South Bend mayor likely wouldn’t have garnered the support he has — given his light resume (in her opinion) — if he were a woman. (…)

California Sen. Kamala Harris raised similar claims to explain her single digit showings in the polls, questioning whether Americans are ready to elect a woman as their commander in chief.

“Essentially, is America ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States?” Harris posited in an Axios interview in late October. (…)

And let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton has spent the years following her loss to Donald Trump trying to blame sexism and other character flaws among Americans for why she isn’t the first female president. Perhaps she’s forgotten she did get 3 million more votes than Trump. But thanks to the Electoral College, Trump outplayed her.

The writer doesn’t mention any complaints from Elizabeth Warren on the topic, and for a good reason; she’s polling right behind the front-runner — Joe Biden — as the potential Democratic Party nominee.

Okay, let’s pretend that America’s goose isn’t cooked if President Trump is removed from office or if he loses the 2020 election. Could you imagine being hectored and scolded for your “sexism” every time someone opposes a distaff President of the United States? I mean, it was bad enough being called racist for opposing the 44th president or for supporting the 45th.

What these women are doing is as old as the oldest profession: turning their deficiencies as candidates into someone else’s fault.

Some advice from the cheap seats: suck less, ladies. Suck it up, drive on, and quit your complaining. After all, your purses are still being filled and that’s something for which to be grateful.

Wait … gratitude? From leftist women? Never mind.

Now. We return you to your regularly scheduled Impeachment Theater, featuring another Democrat woman whining.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Hospital pricing, a long overdue change

Hospital pricing, from MSNBC

Going to a hospital is stressful. People generally go that are sick and want to get better. But even if you do, getting the bill in the mail a few days later can often send a shock to your system. After Rebecca died, I did get the final bill (that my insurance gratefully paid for), and the total was almost $100,000. Paying that out of pocket would have been pretty tough.

A little while back, I was visiting friends and one of them told me she had finally paid off the hospital fees associated with her little girl. It was shocking to me, since I’m blessed to have insurance and because her girl was two years old. But her insurance didn’t do a great job of detailing out-of-pocket expenses, so she and her husband got a bill that they just couldn’t pay in one chunk.

Thus, I was really happy to hear the news that President Trump pushed for price transparency rules that require hospitals to post prices. Initiatives like this have been moving forward before with varying degrees of success. Not surprisingly, hospitals and insurance companies are pushing back, but that’s no surprise. Every time an organization can hide their cost model it doesn’t benefit the consumer. Banks were like this years ago, and I’d argue social media sites are in this category now.

The more we learn about how hospitals charge people, the more people will shop around for routine procedures and force larger hospitals to embrace change. The only place this works now is in elective surgery. You can in fact shop around for LASIK eye surgery, and that has kept the surgery within grasp of most Americans, even ones without health insurance. As that same level of transparency gets applied to other areas of health care, we’re going to get better pricing, and stop saddling people with huge hospital debt.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Another Method of Turning Your Money into Theirs

See the source imageby baldilocks

Last week we heard that Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Obama Administration’s first Attorney General Eric Holder were thinking about jumping into the 2020 presidential race on the Democratic Party side.

This week it’s Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick who’s thinking about giving it a shot. A member of the Boston Globe’s editorial staff seems less than enthusiastic about the prospect.

I’m old enough to remember when Patrick said he wasn’t running. It was way, way back in the sepia-toned days of November 2018. Let me tell you, youngsters, those were interesting times. Men were men and women were women and Hollywood was churning out classics like “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” which was tops at the box office. (…)

Ah, the good old days. So much has changed! The culture of cruelty that surrounded our elections, which Patrick decried when he decided not to run, is mercifully behind us now — ah, hang on, getting something in my earpiece again . . . uh oh. Oh no.

Of course, the writer can’t resist taking a shot at President Trump.

You want to know who has bad options? Republicans. They’re choosing among a semicoherent, obviously corrupt Twitter addict who will soon be impeached, a couple of vanity candidates, and Bill Weld.

At any rate, something that we all should keep in mind as we watch the presidential candidates from both parties come and go is that these candidacies, however long or short they may be, are, basically methods of getting money. They are like temporary side gigs for crooked politicians, if you’ll pardon the redundancy.

If they were bloggers, they’d be more honest and ask you to hit their tip-jar.

Remember Robert “Beto” O’Rourke? Of course, you do and he is a perfect example of this practice.

During the weeks before the end of his presidential candidacy, O’Rourke was running around the country iterating and reiterating via Social Media about his plans for mandatory “buy backs” of all the AR-15s from every owner in the country. And every time he talked about it, he became more and more incoherent and illogical, while causing gun owners seethe and stock up on more ammunition.

It seemed crazy, did it not? Well, it wasn’t at all.

Beto was polling at 0% or near that for most of his campaign and he knew that his quest would have to end. But before that end he needing to rake in as much money as possible. To that purpose, bullhorning his overt gun-grabbing plans was meant to entice as many dollars as possible from those who would kill to see the country entirely disarmed – pun intended. I bet it worked.

Most presidential candidacies are created simply to vacuum in the bucks for a set time and launder it. That’s why most of these new candidates are joining the 2020 circus.

Everyone needs a piggy bank, you know.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Lessons from Watergate

By Christopher Harper

As a young reporter, I covered part of the Watergate story, including the offices of Howard Baker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee that investigated President Nixon and his administration.

What I remember most of all was the bipartisan nature and transparency of the hearings in the Senate and the later those in the House—a stark difference to what’s happening now.

On February 7, 1973, the U.S. Senate voted 77-to-0 to approve a resolution to establish the select committee to investigate Watergate, with Democrat Sam Ervin named chairman the next day.

The hearings held by the Senate committee were broadcast from May 17 to August 7, 1973. The three major networks of the time agreed to take turns covering the hearings live. An estimated 85 percent of Americans with television sets tuned in to at least one portion of the hearings.

Baker and Ervin, both Southern lawyers, shared the spotlight, with little pretense of partisan politics. Baker became well known for his question of Nixon aides: What did he (Nixon) know, and when did he know it?

As established under the Constitution, the House needed to consider the issues for impeachment. Here, too, the representatives put aside most partisan antics.

On February 6, 1974, the House voted 410-4 to authorize the Judiciary Committee to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president. During the debate over this measure, Chairman Peter Rodino, a Democrat said, “Whatever the result, whatever we learn or conclude, let us now proceed with such care and decency and thoroughness and honor that the vast majority of the American people, and their children after them, will say: This was the right course. There was no other way.” House Republican leader John Rhodes said that Rodino’s vow was “good with me.”

Nevertheless, the House committee was not as transparent as the Senate investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee opened its formal impeachment hearings against the President on May 9, 1974. The first twenty minutes were televised on the major U.S. networks, after which the committee switched to closed sessions for the next two months. Altogether, there were only seven days of public hearings.

When the committee finally voted on articles of impeachment, the tallies included bipartisan support, with roughly one-third of the Republicans and all of the Democrats supporting the three articles that were passed.

Furthermore, a group of prominent GOP legislators convinced Nixon he should resign.

At almost every step of Watergate, Democrats and GOP may have disagreed. Ultimately, however, they sought the truth in a bipartisan and relatively transparent way.

That’s an important lesson the Democrats should consider.

The Wall and its lessons

By Christopher Harper

From the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Cold War shaped most baby boomers.

Like me, almost every boomer spent some time under classroom desks in a rather idiotic drill during and after the Cuban missile crisis. Somehow being under a desk would save us!

The Vietnam War also was a reaction to the Cold War—an attempt to stop the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. Obviously, it didn’t work.

I had the opportunity to spend time behind the Iron Curtain both before and after the fall of Communism.

What struck me most about Soviet domination before 1989 was how difficult the lives of people in Eastern Europe were under Communism.

It was difficult to find food, proper medicine, and hope.

I recall twisting my ankle in Poland. I struggled into the hospital and noticed how the shelves were empty, and the equipment was aging. The doctor told me the ankle wasn’t broken, and he didn’t have much to help me with the pain. Fortunately, a nurse found an elastic bandage to help me hobble around for the next few days.

In Bulgaria, the hotel offered lobster on the menu. One of my colleagues decided to order some. The waitress didn’t speak much English, so she came out with a shellfish that was encrusted in ice because it was caught years ago. The message, however, was clear. Perhaps my friend should order something else.

For years, my wife and I had wanted to visit what was then called Czechoslovakia. Because I was a journalist, I was unable to get a visa even though I only wanted to be a tourist. The government did not allow American journalists to visit for any reason. Fortunately, we were able to visit the Czech Republic after the end of the Soviet empire.

Although Eastern Europe has had its share of difficulties after the end of communism, the streets are brighter, the hopes are higher, and the freedoms are greater.

The lesson that every American should take away from the fall of the wall is how much better life is in Eastern Europe. All you have to do is look at the economies of Poland, Hungary, and other countries that lived behind the wall and under the boot of Soviet oppression.

Moreover, it’s critical to realize that socialist doctrines, such as government control of essential industries, never worked in the Soviet Union and its empire and won’t help the United States in the years ahead.

Fall of Berlin Wall anniversary offers lessons for misguided millennials

Blogger next to Berlin Wall slab at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in 2018

By John Ruberry

Saturday was the thirtieth anniversary of one of the most profound events of the 20th century, the fall of the Berlin Wall. What began as a bureaucratic slip became a people power moment as oppressed East Germans stormed the wall checkpoints and with the help of West Berliners, literally began hacking away on what Winston Churchill called “the wall of shame.”

It was also a wall of failure. The smartest and most gifted people of communist East Germany were more likely to seek freedom and prosperity in the West. The brain drain threatened the stability of East Germany, so after receiving permission from his fellow dictator, the USSR’s Nikita Krushchev, Walter Ulbricht ordered construction of the wall in the summer of 1961.

Just a few days ago Dennis Prager explained on his show that there is a difference between a dictatorship and a totalitarian state. Augosto Pinochet’s Chile was a brutal nation in the 1970s, but if you didn’t like it, you could leave Chile. Not so in the USSR, until its final days, where my wife was born, or in the absurdly-named German Democratic Republic. East Germans who tried to escape to West Berlin would have to conquer not just the wall, but also beds of nails, attack dogs, and barbed wire, as well as avoid sharpshooters in watch towers. The number of people killed attempting to escape in the 28-year existence of the wall is disputed–about 200 is a common estimate.

Of growing up in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Mrs. Marathon Pundit told me this morning when I was discussing this post, “We were slaves, really.”

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll released last week shows that over one-third of millennials approve of communism, which betrays the failure of our schools and universities that seem much more interested promoting the 56 genders and waving their fingers at guys like me over “white privilege.” Oh, the founders of the communist movement, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were white dudes. As were the earliest communists in power, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky. All five of them came from middle class or wealthy backgrounds. They had white privilege.

OK, millennials!

The lessons of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the evils of Nazism obviously should never be forgotten. But what is overlooked by schools and society are the murderous regimes of Stalin (20 million killed, maybe more), Mao Zedong (65 million killed, maybe more). and Cambodia’s Pol Pot (1.5 million killed and perhaps more, roughly 20 percent of that nation’s population).

Another 30th anniversary involving a repressive communist regime passed this summer–the Tianammen Square protests in China that ended in the slaughter of pro-democracy activists. For 24 straight weeks there have been pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong. The more things change…

Ulbricht and his successors’ East Germany didn’t have the high death count, but it excelled in mental torture. Its KGB was the Ministry of State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, whose goal was to “know everything about everyone.” Two movies are essential viewing for millennials–actually for everyone–to learn more about East Germany. Both of them are available on Netflix, Karl Marx City, a documentary, and The Lives of Others, an Academy Award winner for Best International Feature Film. Fittingly, The Lives of Others is set in the year 1984.

Apologists for communism regularly point out that the reason these Marxist regimes failed is that the wrong people were in charge and “real communism” has never been tried. It is they who are wrong. People in power, for the most part, have one thing in common. They want even more power.

There are exceptions of course. King George III asked an American what George Washington would do now that he had defeated the British Empire. When told that the general would return to his farm, the king replied, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Is that lesson being taught in many American schools? I doubt it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Flood and the Shield

by baldilocks

A short history on the Edifice of Lies in our midst, built by perverts, mountebanks, bandits and/or their enablers — also known as the Mainstream Media.

For decades, ABC and other media outlets have hidden the truth about the serial abuse of women and young girls by the powerful Clintons, Weinstein, and Epstein.  The cover-up was to protect the Clintons from scrutiny as they sought to elect and re-elect Bill and to put the corrupt Hillary in the White House in 2016.  All these people pretending to be journalists didn’t care about all the women who were physically and mentally abused.

Now, with the “Me Too movement,” we are told they really care, but only some of the time.  How many women and young girls have been abused by powerful men while the media looked the other way — as long as they supported the Clintons and wanted Democrats in power?

The media do not want any investigation into the massive corruption and collusion by the Obama administration and other Democrats in 2016 as they sought to take out Trump and elect the corrupt Hillary.  Instead of media outlets wanting the public to learn the truth, they seek to impeach Trump for investigating the criminal activity.

The media absolutely hide the truth about the massive kickbacks by foreign entities and others to the Clintons and Bidens as they pretend no one is above the law.

The media know that Trump gave aid to Ukraine with nothing in return and Obama/Biden withheld aid and gave a loan to Ukraine only after they demanded and got a prosecutor fired, but they say Biden/Obama did nothing wrong and Trump should be impeached.

There’s more in the op-ed, but as good as it is, it barely scratches the surface. And it should make you wonder how many successful cover-ups there are – the things which we think are true, but are not — waiting to be exposed.

The thing which should give us all pause, however, is the shaping of narratives: how MSM stories are often twisted, mixing truth and lies. This is their most toxic practice.

In 2017, I called this flood of fallaciousness the Kingdom of Lies and posited that it is a parody of the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

There is only one defense against being overwhelmed by the flood of lies. But you have to take up the Shield of Faith willingly if you want to be protected.

It’s very easy and very hard.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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