Friday, May 13, 2016

Donald Trump Issues Veiled Threat Towards WaPo, Jeff Bezos Over Negative Coverage

....alright, Trumpiots, remind us again why he should be the 45th President of the United States?
Skip to 13:15 of the clip below. I’m going to guess that this interview was conducted after WaPo reached out to him for comment yesterday on their new story about “John Miller.”
Peter Suderman said everything that needs to be said about this. Nothing in the campaign to come will top Trump’s debate statement about issuing illegal orders to the military for sheer authoritarian creepiness — I hope. But a would-be president hinting that tax and antitrust problems might befall a company owned by a guy whose newspaper has been running stories he doesn’t like is up there with what he said about tightening libel laws for second place. To this day, you’ll see references from time to time on conservative blogs to a joke Obama told early in his presidency about getting the IRS to audit his political enemies. That joke lost its humor after we found out who Lois Lerner is; it’s used today as evidence that Obama’s mind always held a seed of thuggishness that grew and flowered in his second term. Now here’s Trump implying the same thing, without the humor. Had O said this about some right-wing media mogul whose publication had been critical of him, conservative media would be in a frenzy over “gangster government” trying to intimidate its critics into silence. Because it’s Trump, most righty media won’t care. If nothing else, that’s at least true to the revanchist spirit of Trump’s nationalist movement. If the left’s going to abuse government to intimidate its political enemies, why shouldn’t we? “Small government” is for chumps. This is war.
Meanwhile, enjoy Donald Trump, of all people, slamming a billionaire for using his tremendous influence over the media to advance his own political interests. Is that his real beef with Bezos? That Bezos had to pay to gain the power to shape media coverage that Trump, the expert showman, has enjoyed for free for the past year? Bezos paid $250 million for one paper; Trump’s wrung $2 billion in gratis promotion out of the full spectrum of television media over the past 11 months alone. (Go figure that WaPo, with a forthcoming book on Trump, wants to monetize public interest in him the way every other media outlet in America does.) Maybe what you’re seeing here on some level is a master manipulator’s disdain for an amateur.
Fitting that it happened on Hannity’s show, too. You’ll notice that the host, a long-professed enemy of big government and scourge of Obama’s abuses, doesn’t utter a peep as President Trump puts Bezos on notice. In hindsight, what percentage of “conservative” complaints about policy and statism during the tea-party era were really just wallpaper for the cultural resentments unleashed by Trump? Ninety? (Hot Air)
 Long story short: a few months back, Donald Trump - back when there was viable GOP opposition to the Narcissistic-in-Chief - opined that we should open up the libel laws so that he could sue anyone who wrote anything negative about him. Now, anyone with a modicum of common sense - which wouldn't include Trumpiots, by the way - knows that Trump's peddling bullshit of the rankest order, but hey, if it deflects attention from him, why not?

Anyway, fast forward to this week, when the Washington Post - owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos - published a front-page article alleging that Trump once masqueraded as a PR flack named John Miller back in the early 90's...cue the faux outrage from Trump and his media ass-kissers at Fox News over it and you can imagine where this one's gonna' go, especially after the Washington Post rightfully defended itself over the "Donald Trump is PR flack John Miller" article.

Here's the problem for Trump: under most libel law standards, Donald Trump would have a very hard time getting a libel suit to succeed against WaPo because Trump is a public celebrity and under most interpretations of libel law, anyone in the public sphere cannot sue for libel unless whatever is written about them is a deliberate falsehood, which by most accounts the WaPo article doesn't meet (in other words, its' a legit article). However, it offers, as the Boston Globe points out, a glimpse into what a Trump presidency would look like...hint: its' authoritarian, to say the least.

Indeed, as the Globe piece points out, Trump has long hinted at going after Bezos for his ownership of the Washington Post, alleging that Bezos is using the paper as a political tool to attack Trump...well, here's a newsflash, Mr. Trump: in a free society, that's one of the roles the media is supposed to play, the role of a watchdog over our political chattering classes. In most cases, they do a pretty good job (albeit w/a liberal bias most days). His threat agst Bezos - namely using the DOJ's anti-trust division to go after him - goes well beyond authoritarian because it also serves as an act of intimidation against both WaPo and other major newspapers of note, a way of saying, "if we can after them, we can come after you".

At best, this should be - like his not wanting to release his tax records - an automatic disqualifier for President....at worst, it is yet another example of why Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.

Founder's Quote, 13 May 2016

During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety. - Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address — 1805

Thursday, May 12, 2016

If She Wins...


...yet it could be worse: imagine Donald Trump as President...

Founder's Quote, 12 May 2016

This process of election affords a moral certainty that the office of President will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 68 — 1788

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Seared Music: Rodgers & Hammerstein - "So Long, Farewell"

...appropriate music to Premier League sides Newcastle United and Norwich City, who join Aston Villa on the bus back to the English second-division (a/k/a the Championship) following their respective relegations (at least Norwich fought to stay up; Newcastle had to watch themselves be relegated)....

National Security Advisor: U.S. National Security Agencies "Too White"

.....and this is important how, Ms. Rice?
White House National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice said Wednesday there are too many white people in key government posts, creating the danger of “groupthink” that could put U.S. security at risk.
Speaking at Florida International University’s commencement, Ms. Rice said a diversified government workforce is more likely to yield “better outcomes” than a predominantly white one.
Referring to criticism that the U.S. national security workforce is “white, male, and Yale,” Ms. Rice told the graduates, “In the halls of power, in the faces of our national security leaders, America is still not fully reflected.” (Fox Nation via. Washington Times)
Suggestion to Ms. Rice: rather than worry about the skin color of the applicants, worry about (a) whether they can do the freakin' job they're hired to do and (b) whether they're loyal to the United States...but what do I know? I'm just a conservative... *sarcastic eyeroll*

Founder's Quote, 11 May 2016

The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority. - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22 — 1787

Its' A Disgrace...


...and we're supposed to be accommodating to the Mohammedans? WTF?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Conservative Writer Pens Anti-Trump Statement

.....I've never read any of writer Brad Thor's novels, but after reading this, I might just begin to. Quoting from Thor's FB page in full (because trying to boil it down into small parts wouldn't do it justice)...
Dear friends: I have taken a stance, which I know is unpopular with some of you, and which I feel I owe it to you to fully explain.
Throughout history, charismatic figures have appeared at critical moments in time. Some of these figures have advanced their nations. Some have set them back. Only with the benefit of hindsight is mankind able to make the final judgment.
I have long been a fan of the saying - History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. In other words, history leaves clues; lessons that we can all benefit from.
We are stewards of our Republic and as such, our greatest responsibility is not to ourselves, or any political party, but to the next generation of Americans. We must work tirelessly to see to it that they inherit a freer, stronger, safer, more prosperous nation than was handed to us.
To truly fulfill that obligation we must be selfless, and above all, we must be informed. We must understand the mechanics of politics, economics, and the framework that has allowed the United States to be the greatest nation in the history of the world.
As an American, my greatest allegiance is to liberty. As long as there is liberty, no task is insurmountable, no challenge too overwhelming. As long as there is liberty, anything is possible.
The true north of my compass has been, and always will be, liberty. I owe it to those who have come before me and those who will come after. I will act to safeguard liberty no matter what personal price I may be forced to bear.
Liberty is my litmus test. I weigh all actions of my government and those who seek office, against it. The ledger of freedom is incorruptible; its pages open for anyone to examine, and most importantly - to learn from. At great personal and professional expense, I have grown more vocal over the years about the need to reduce the size of government and place in office fellow citizens guided strictly by the Founding documents.
I have spoken on television, radio, and in front of civic organizations. I have campaigned for candidates, marched in Tea Party rallies, and was the man who drove Andrew Breitbart to Madison, Wisconsin to speak alongside him on the capitol steps in defense of Governor Scott Walker. From taking back the United States House in 2010, to taking back the Senate in 2014, we have won battle after battle for liberty. In so doing, we have placed principled, limited government Americans in office. We knew the war wouldn’t be won overnight, but rather that it would be won over time. We have been steadfast, resolute, and successful.
But in the opinion of some of our fellow Americans, we have not been quick enough. Rather than continue to fight, a plurality of voters in the Republican primary has decided to drop an atom bomb on Washington, D.C. That atom bomb is Donald Trump.
And so I come to my explanation. When I apply my litmus test of liberty to Donald Trump, he fails - completely. In fact, he has not only failed to ever stand for liberty, he has repeatedly worked to undermine it. From supporting an assault weapons ban, the seizure of private property via eminent domain, the restructuring of libel laws, and socialized medicine (just to name a few) - throughout his entire adult life, Donald Trump has repeatedly championed the power of the state.
Regardless of what he says now, Donald Trump has a history. That history is the clearest indication of how he would govern as president. No matter how badly Americans want to “blow up” Washington, they absolutely must consider who, and what, arises from the embers of that destruction.
After voters drop that atom bomb, what happens next? Herein lies my greatest concern. What will become of liberty under a Trump administration? Will it grow? Will it recede? Will it vanish altogether?
Our Founders realized that the normal course of history is despotism – the control of the many by the few. That is why the Founding documents sought to constrain government. They also counted on Americans to choose wisely those whom we sought to install in office. Too often we have failed in selecting the best among us.
Donald Trump is not the best among us, nor is Hillary Clinton. They are both incredibly flawed human beings whom we should be equally ashamed of. Neither would advance the cause of freedom. Both would take us – not to that shining city on a hill of which President Regan spoke - but into the murky valley below. Never have I seen America faced with having two such poor choices for president.
With the lessons of history as my guide, I see in Donald Trump the character flaws that are the hallmarks of despotism. In Hillary Clinton, I also see multiple character flaws, but I see them as a belonging not to a potential despot, but rather to a conniving, self-serving, progressive politician who believes in lining her own pockets and enlarging/increasing the state and its power.
The two are reprehensible – but completely different. One threatens to further enlarge the state, the other, potentially (a la Napoleon), to become it. Growing up, a wonderful nun repeatedly told me that kindness could only be expected from the strong. When Donald Trump mocked the disability of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski – he showed himself to be not only weak, but also lacking in compassion.
Trump’s position that he is a Christian, but has never asked for forgiveness – coupled with his incessant bragging – not only further shows that he is weak, but that he also lacks humility. Strength, compassion, and humility are necessary in any leader – but especially so in the person who would occupy the highest and most powerful office in the world. Just look at what the absence of those qualities has done over the last seven years. 
My greatest concern about Donald Trump, though, isn’t a trait he lacks, but a dangerous one he possesses – in spades. Authoritarianism. Confident people do not bully and demean others. That is the realm of the weak and insecure. Confident people also do not threaten others, especially not their fellow citizens.
Donald Trump has told us to just wait and see what he does to Jeff Bezos once he gets into the White House. He has told us the American military will do whatever he tells them to do no matter what their reservations. He has promised to prevent American companies from moving outside the United States, regardless of what they believe is best for their businesses.
In other words, Donald Trump has clearly told all of us that he will use the power of the presidency to force people to bend to his will. This is not liberty. In fact, Donald Trump has never even spoken about liberty. Neither has he spoken about the Constitution and the Founding documents. This is an absolute first in the history of the United States. Instead, Donald Trump talks about hiring the “best people” and making the “best deals.” This, though, isn’t what made America great, and it certainly isn’t what will return America to its prominence.
The blueprint for America’s success is the ideas of the Framers – limited, Constitutional governance – an area in which Donald Trump is criminally ignorant.
Let me be clear that I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My preference is to write-in or vote third party. I think they are both terrible for our future. But between a big government progressive and a potential despot – every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.
As a Constitutional conservative, I take solace in, and guidance from the words of Alexander Hamilton, who in the election of 1800 said, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.”
I value all of you as friends, readers, and fellow patriots. There is much at stake for our Republic. Be informed, be selfless, and vote your conscience. I will not hold your decisions against you.
None of us knows the future. But I ask that all of us look to the past. Only by doing so can we safeguard liberty and chart the most well-reasoned course forward. (Brad Thor, 10 May 2016)
...all I can say here is, "Well said, sir...well said indeed."

Founder's Quote, 10 May 2016

There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy, so much as the business of taxation. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients, or sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome. - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 35 — 1788

Monday, May 9, 2016

DOJ To Sue North Carolina Over Unconstitutional Law

....about damn time!
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is holding a 3:30 pm news conference to announce law enforcement action against North Carolina over its anti-LGBT HB 2 law.
Earlier today, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced plans to sue the Obama administration in federal court after the DOJ said it had till Monday to say whether it would continue to enforce the law. McCrory is planning a news conference for 1 pm today. (Towleroad)
All I'll say here - other than the words at the beginning of the post - is that I really hope the Feds' give it to the Old North State good and hard...'cause God knows McCrory, Berger and Moore (a/k/a the Three Bigots) deserve it.

Update: Both the feds and the state of N.C. have filed lawsuits against the other, so expect this issue to be decided by the courts...

Founder's Quote, 9 May 2016

He [King George] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred right of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. - Thomas Jefferson, deleted portion of a draft of the Declaration of Independence — 1776