The Democrats play politics — again!

Donald Trump is a billionaire, a multi-billionaire. Just how many billions, well, we’re not quite sure: Forbes lists the President’s net wort at $3.7 billion, but others have disputed that. What we do know, however, is that he has plenty of money, and said that he would accept only $1.00 per year salary as President.

The Democrats, however, are looking for any little edge they can find:

House Democrats demand info on Trump hotel

by Jill Disis and Cristina Alesci | February 8, 2017: 1:57 PM ET

House Democrats are invoking an obscure federal statute to demand information about President Trump’s luxury Washington hotel.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want the General Services Administration to determine whether Trump is violating the hotel lease.

Trump rents the space for the Trump International Hotel from the GSA, making him effectively landlord and tenant at the same time. A clause appears to prohibit an elected official from being party to the lease.

Earlier this week, the GSA told Democrats on the committee that it had not yet decided whether Trump’s presidency triggered a violation of the lease. It also declined to provide information on the hotel’s monthly revenue.

On Wednesday, eight Democrats sent a letter invoking a 1928 provision called the Seven Member Rule. The Democrats say that provision requires executive agencies to provide any information requested by at least seven members of the Oversight Committee.

The GSA did not immediately return a request for comment.

There’s more at the original.

There is no serious concern that President Trump is somehow enriching himself at government expense. His complicated business holdings have made the traditional “blind trust” route of insulating presidents’ private wealth from their public service — and decision taking — impractical to the point of impossibility. He sold all of his shares in publicly-traded companies last June, and the shares would have been the easiest part of his wealth to have put into a blind trust.

What the Democrats are doing is putting up a massive resistance effort against President Trump, an effort that is meaningless as far as actually governing this country, but one designed to pick at any scab, trying to find some weakness. The confirmation votes on his cabinet nominees shows just how poorly the Democrats are behaving on this: despite all of his friendships with Democrats in the Senate, only one, Joe Manchin (D-WV), voted to confirm Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III1 (D-AB) to be Attorney General, and not a single Democrat voted for Betsy DeVos to become Secretary of Education. Rex Tillerson’s confirmation as Secretary of State, one which should have gone without a hitch, drew 43 negative votes from the Democrats, while only four supported him.2

That the Democrats are simply playing the obstruction game for politics has been made obvious by the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation for Judge Neil Gorsuch. From the Delaware Liberal:

Brian says:
February 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm

According to NRO, 9 Dems have said NO to SCOTUS filibuster… enough to kill…

Coons – DE Blue
Blumenthal- CT Blue
Manchin – WV Red
Durbin – IL Blue
Heitkamp – ND Red
McCaskill – MO Red
Tester – MT Red
Donnelly- IN Red
Shaheen – NH Blue

Dems not filibusteringNaturally, The First Street Journal will give you more information than the Delaware Liberal, so I went ahead and put it in an easy-to-read chart. None of the Democrats in blue states are up for re-election in 2018, while all of the Democrats in red states are up for re-election that year.

It’s easy to see: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is smart enough to see that, if the Democrats filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will simply use the so-called ‘nuclear option’ to confirm him anyway, now that Orrin Hatch has showed him what a real backbone is. Senator Schumer doesn’t want to lose the filibuster option — at least, not while the Democrats are in the minority! — but the Democrats want to show how nobly they are resisting President Trump.

The solution? Get enough Democrats together who either need to not filibuster this nomination because they face tough re-election battles in red states, along with Democrats holding safe seats in blue states, who don’t face the voters in two years. It’s just enough to break a filibuster, but it’s blatantly obvious. Other than Senator Manchin, none of those Democrats voted to end debate for Messrs Tillerson or Sessions, or Mrs DeVos. Why would they then state that they won’t filibuster Judge Gorsuch, who is up for a much more important position?

We all know why!

  1. Yes, I know: he goes by Jeff Sessions, but his full name is such an amazing Southern name that I just have to use it!
  2. Technically, one of the four was supposed independent Angus King of Maine, but he caucuses with the Democrats. Bernie Sanders is listed as an independent, but he not only caucuses with the Democrats, he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, which he lost to Hillary Clinton because there was just no way that the Democrats were going to nominate someone who couldn’t beat Donald Trump. :)

How ’bout that? Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law shuts down hedge fund a month after she loses presidential election!

From Bloomberg:

Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Closes His Hedge Fund

by Saijel Kishan | February 8, 2017, 9:48 AM EST

Eaglevale Partners, the hedge fund co-founded by Marc Mezvinsky, the son-in-law of Hillary and Bill Clinton, closed in December, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Eaglevale, based in New York, is in the process of returning money to clients, said the person who asked not to be named because the firm is private.

Eaglevale was started by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. traders Bennett Grau, Mark Mallon and Mezvinsky in 2011. They had previously worked together on the bank’s global macro proprietary-trading desk.

A spokesman for Eaglevale declined to comment on the news, which was reported earlier by Hedge Fund Alert.

The Wall Street Journal had reported, in 2015, that Eaglevale had not performed well:

The hedge fund co-founded by Bill and Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law suffered losses tied to an ill-timed bet on Greece’s economic recovery, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Eaglevale Partners LP, founded by Marc Mezvinsky and two former colleagues from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., told investors in a letter sent last week they had been “incorrect” on Greece, helping produce losses for the firm’s main fund during two of the past three years, according to the letter. Mr. Mezvinsky married Chelsea Clinton, the former first daughter, in 2010.

The main fund dropped 3.6% last year, far trailing the 5.7% rise for similar hedge funds tracked by HFR Inc. That followed an Eaglevale gain of 2.06% in 2013 and a loss of 1.96% in 2012, the documents show. It returned 6.24% this January, helped by bets on the U.S. dollar, said a person familiar with the situation, putting it in positive territory since its inception in 2012. . . . .

A smaller Eaglevale fund focused only on Greece plunged 48% last year, said the person familiar with the situation, hurt by the belief Greece’s economy will see a quick rebound.

“Our recent predictions regarding Greek politics have proved incorrect,” Mr. Mezvinsky and the other Eaglevale founders wrote to investors last week, after a radical leftist party won national elections in an upset of Europe’s political order. “We are reticent to render decisive predictions at this time.”

But Eaglevale’s poor investment decisions didn’t end in 2015. One of the fund’s investments, Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity, lost 90% of its value and was subsequently shut down in mid 2016, according to The New York Times, and Breitbart reported:

Eaglevale picked up $13 million from the CalPERS public employee pension fund in April 2012 to invest it in distressed Greek bonds. At the same time, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Chelsea Clinton’s former boss Marc Lasry both bought Greek bonds.

Despite all of the work by the U.S. State Department in favor of a bailout that would have been a home run for Greek bondholders, the German government opposed a blanket bail-out and Greek bonds crashed even lower in price. It is believed that CalPERS suffered a 100 percent loss on its investment.

Breitbart’s independent reporting does not have a 100% accuracy rating, but much of that article reports on the incestuous relationship between Goldman-Sachs and the Clinton family and is sourced through the ‘credentialed media.’

Zero Hedge reported:

As a reminder, 2013, Institutional Investor proclaimed Mezvinsky “a hedge fund rising star”

In late 2011, Marc Mezvinsky co-founded New York-based, macro-focused hedge fund firm Eaglevale Partners with Bennett Grau and Mark Mallon, two Goldman Sachs Group proprietary traders whom he’d gotten to know when they all worked at the bank. Best known as the husband of Chelsea Clinton, Mezvinsky, 35, who has a BA in religious studies and philosophy from Stanford University and an MA in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Oxford, has been quietly building his finance career. Before launching his own firm, the longtime Clinton family friend was a partner and global macro portfolio manager at New York- and Rio de Janeiro-based investment house 3G Capital. Eaglevale manages more than $400 million.

Alas, he was anything but, and instead of having a real grasp of macroeconomic events, or how to – you know – hedge, he decided to dump millions in Greece just before the country entered a death spiral that culminated with its third bailout, capital controls, insolvent banks and a terminally crippled economy.

Meanwhile, things went from terrible to abysmal for both the clueless hedge fund manager and his LPs, and as the NYT reports, Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law is finally shutting down the Greece-focused fund, after losing nearly 90% of its value. Investors were told last month that Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity would finally be put out of its misery and would shutter.

The Editor of The First Street Journal does not usually go in for conspiracy theories, but the idea that rational investors would plow $400 million — admittedly, not a large sum when the subject is Wall Street and investment funds — into a fund with a poor track record, and leave it there, in 2016, after the firm’s poor performance the previous year strikes me as rather unusual, unless there are non-economic reasons to do so. When I see that the fund is shutting down, and returning what remains of their money to investors, the month after Mr Mezvinsky’s mother-in-law unexpectedly lost the presidential election, the first thought that comes to my mind is that: there’s no more influence to buy by investing with Eaglevale.

Naturally, Nobel laureate and liberal sycophant Paul Krugman would say that the Clinton campaign was as pure as the wind-driven snow, blaming Russian hacking for Hillary Clinton’s loss, but here’s this one, from Politico — not exactly a right-wing group — two days before the election:

Chelsea’s husband allegedly used foundation ties to boost hedge fund

In a hacked email, ex-Clinton aide Doug Band claims Marc Mezvinsky traded on family ties to help his fund.

By Kenneth P. Vogel | 11/06/16 09:19 PM EST

Chelsea Clinton’s husband used his connections to the Clinton family and their charitable foundation to raise money for his hedge fund, according to an allegation by a longtime Clinton aide made public Sunday in hacked documents released by WikiLeaks.

Marc Mezvinsky extended invitations to a Clinton Foundation poker event to rich Clinton supporters he was courting as investors in his hedge fund, and he also relied on a billionaire foundation donor to raise money for the fund, according to the WikiLeaks documents. They also assert that he had his wife Chelsea Clinton make calls to set up meetings with potential investors who support her family’s political and charitable endeavors.

The documents — a memo and an email — were written in late 2011 and early 2012, respectively, by ex-Clinton aide Doug Band. They were sent to family confidants including John Podesta, who is now serving as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, and Cheryl Mills, who was Clinton’s State Department chief of staff.

They were hacked from Podesta’s Gmail account and made public Sunday in the latest batch of Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks.

At the time Band wrote them, Mezvinsky, who had been an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, was working with two partners to raise capital to launch a hedge fund of their own called Eaglevale Partners. The word among rich Clinton backers on Wall Street was that the family would look favorably on investments in Eaglevale, a major Manhattan investor told POLITICO.

That sentiment seems to be corroborated by the newly released WikiLeaks, which could provide fodder for critics, including Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump, who argue that the Clintons have used their charitable foundation to try to enrich themselves.

I’m sorry, but this whole thing just plain stinks. I don’t know if Donald Trump will turn out to be a good president or not, but we ought to thank the Lord every day that Mrs Clinton lost the election. She’s a crook, and her whole family are crooks. And it seems that the investors in Eaglevale thought so as well; that’s why they invested in a failing fund, and that’s why they want out now that it won’t pay off politically.
___________________________
Cross-posted on RedState.

I’d bet that this describes the protesters in the United States as well

This was Berlin, but I have few doubts that the same would hold true here:

92% of left-wing activists live with their parents and one in three is unemployed, study of Berlin protesters finds

  • Figures were compiled by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution

  • Of those arrested for politically-motivated offences, 84 per cent were men

  • The majority, 72 per cent, were aged between 18 and 29

  • Of offences against a person, four out of five cases were against police officers

By Dave Burke For Mailonline | Published: 11:48 EST, 7 February 2017 | Updated: 12:09 EST, 7 February 2017

The vast majority of left-wing protesters arrested on suspicion of politically-fuelled offences in Berlin are young men who live with their parents, a new report found.

The figures, which were published in daily newspaper Bild revealed that 873 suspects were investigated by authorities between 2003 and 2013.

Of these 84 per cent were men, and 72 per cent were aged between 18 and 29.

More than half of the arrests were made in the Berlin districts of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Mitte, mostly during demonstrations.

A third of them were unemployed, and 92 per cent still live with their parents.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

Image of the First Amendment, from the original document. It was listed as the third article; the first two amendments proposed were not ratified. Click to enlarge.

Image of the First Amendment, from the original document. It was listed as the third article; the first two amendments proposed were not ratified. Click to enlarge.

Note that the First Amendment recognizes the right of the people peaceably to assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It has been the ‘peaceably’ part that has been missing.

The irony of the limo fire is that it belonged not to one of the Top 1%, but was a rental belonging to a Muslim immigrant trying to make a living in New York City.

Those are not peaceable actions, nor are they the actions of rational, sensible citizens. More, they are the kind of actions one would expect from a population a third of whom are unemployed, and 92% of whom are still living with their parents, people who aren’t supporting themselves but are dependent upon other people to take care of them.

Smashing a Starbucks window? That’s the window of a wealthy man, no doubt about that, but it’s also the window of a man who supported Hillary Clinton.1 More, their actions didn’t bother President Trump, but they surely cost the workers at Starbucks to lose hours, and therefore money. Maybe if more of the rioters protesters actually had jobs of their own and were responsible for supporting themselves, they’d have been less likely to do stupid things that hurt working class people. Many on the left try to equate Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler, but it wasn’t the President who ordered this poor-man’s version of Kristallnacht: it was the idiotic ‘protesters’ themselves.

We don’t know what percentage of the American protesters are unemployed or still living with their parents, but for the parents of such immature children I’d say that they need to be sent to their rooms, without any supper.
____________________________

  1. The Irony Meter is pegged to the max. Trump supporters called for a boycott of Starbucks after Howard Schultz endorsed Mrs Clinton, but it was the anti-Trump rioters who actually cost him money.

If it weren’t for double standards, the left would have no standards at all

The Washington Post trumpeted1:

Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills

By Amy Brittain and Drew Harwell | February 3, 2017

When the president-elect’s son Eric Trump jetted to Uruguay in early January for a Trump Organization promotional trip, U.S. taxpayers were left footing a bill of nearly $100,000 in hotel rooms for Secret Service and embassy staff.

It was a high-profile jaunt out of the country for Eric, the fresh-faced executive of the Trump Organization who, like his father, pledged to keep the company separate from the presidency. Eric mingled with real estate brokers, dined at an open-air beachfront eatery and spoke to hundreds at an “ultra exclusive” Trump Tower Punta del Este evening party celebrating his visit.

The Uruguayan trip shows how the government is unavoidably entangled with the Trump company as a result of the president’s refusal to divest his ownership stake. In this case, government agencies are forced to pay to support business operations that ultimately help to enrich the president himself. Though the Trumps have pledged a division of business and government, they will nevertheless depend on the publicly funded protection granted to the first family as they travel the globe promoting their brand.

A spokeswoman for Eric Trump declined to make him available for an interview and did not provide answers to a list of detailed questions about the trip.

Eric Trump’s trip in early January to the coastal resort town appeared to be brief — perhaps as short as two nights, according to a review of local press clips and social media.

The bill for the Secret Service’s hotel rooms in Uruguay totaled $88,320. The U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, paid an additional $9,510 for its staff to stay in hotel rooms to “support” the Secret Service detail for the “VIP visit,” according to purchasing orders reviewed by The Washington Post.

There’s much more at the link; it should be noted that the younger Mr Trump’s trip occurred during the first week in January, while Barack Obama was still President.

I am not at all pleased that it cost the taxpayers so much money to protect the son of the then-incoming President, and would suggest that the Trump businesses defray the costs of Secret Service protection in cases like this. In this particular case, the Trump businesses do not own the Punta del Este project, but have simply licensed use of the Trump name for the condominium project, for what the article stated was between $100,000 and $1,000,000. If the licensure was at the low end of the project, reimbursement would leave the Trump businesses with a net profit very close to zero; if it’s at the high end, perhaps they’ll still make $900,000.

However, I remember the time that President Obama and the then-First Lady took separate trips to the same destination, on the same day, and while conservative groups were appalled, the credential media barely reported the news, and did so without any of the indignation I saw this morning on CNN’s New Day about Eric Trump’s trip. A google search for Obama separate flights conducted at 0840 this morning returned only two hits in the first six pages — which was as far as I looked — from the professional media: the story linked in this paragraph, and a single, negative op-ed piece from The Boston Herald. Nothing from The Washington Post, or anyone else in the credentialed media, and certainly nothing like the condemnation from Chris Cuomo, the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo (D-NY) and brother of current Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), whose pro-Democrat, pro-left bias on New Day is painfully obvious.2

If it weren’t for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.
_______________________

  1. Pun most definitely intended
  2. Mr Cuomo’s co-host, Alisyn Camarotta, at least tries to be somewhat neutral, though she doesn’t always succeed. I have noted Miss Camarotta asking hard questions of more liberal guests.

Who are the Nazis?

The left have been absolutely up in arms over the presidency of Donald Trump, and the instances of the left referring to Mr Trump and his supporters as “Nazis” are too frequent to bother mentioning. But my question is: just who are actually behaving like Nazis these days?

Tell Hudson’s Bay Company to stop selling Trump merchandise

Deborah Blythe | Montreal, Canada

We care deeply about the catastrophe facing the United States and the entire world caused by the election of Donald Trump to the most powerful office in the world. People everywhere are speaking out and doing everything in their power to RESIST this evil. Mr. Trump is a danger to world peace and the environment. He promotes sexism, racism, bigotry, and prejudice, and this has led to an increase in hate crimes not only in the United States but elsewhere, including Canada. He has instilled fear in millions of people in the United States who are afraid of losing their health care, afraid of being deported, afraid of having their families torn apart, and afraid of being subjected to hate crimes, while people around the world watch in horror as the United States has elected its first fascist president. Mr. Trump is threatening the freedom of the press, refusing to attend security briefings, fueling prejudice through lies and propaganda, denying climate change, refusing to admit that Russia had anything to do with tampering with the election, and the list goes on and on. Boycotting all Trump businesses is one small way that we can make our voice heard, and the purpose of this petition is to ask Canada’s iconic department store, the Hudson’s Bay Company, to take all Trump merchandise off its shelves and close its Ivanka Trump stores in solidarity with all people fighting for peace and justice. Click below to see the letter addressed to Hudson’s Bay Company.

This petition will be delivered to:

Tiffany Bourré Director, External Communications tiffany.bourre@hbc.com

Now, I support the right of Miss Blythe, or my Facebook friend who signed and forwarded the petition to all of her friends, to decline to purchase any merchandise associated with Mr Trump or his family or any of his businesses. However, that isn’t what this petition seeks to do. While the author states that “Boycotting all Trump businesses is one small way that we can make our voice heard,” what she is actually asking is for a particular retailer to remove all merchandise associated with the Trump businesses from its shelves. The petitioners are not asking for people to boycott Trump-associated merchandise, but to take away the opportunity for other people to buy Trump-associated merchandise.

Here’s what the real Nazis did:

On April 1, 1933, the Nazis carried out the first nationwide, planned action against them: a boycott of Jewish businesses. Nazi spokesmen claimed the boycott was an act of revenge against both German Jews and foreigners, including US and English journalists, who had criticized the Nazi regime. On the day of the boycott, Storm Troopers stood menacingly in front of Jewish-owned shops. The six-pointed "Star of David " was painted in yellow and black across thousands of doors and windows. Signs were posted saying "Don't Buy from Jews" and "The Jews Are Our Misfortune."

The nationwide boycott was not very successful and lasted just a day, but it marked the beginning of a nationwide campaign by the Nazi party against the entire German Jewish population.

That was, no matter how repugnant the motives of the Nazis and the Sturmabteilung, an economic boycott, asking German citizens not to buy from Jewish-owned businesses. The Storm Troopers were a bit more brutal about things than are the so-called #Resistance against President Trump.

But the government of the Third Reich was certainly not satisfied with a voluntary boycott.

  • January 5, 1938: The Law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names forbids Jews from changing their names.
  • February 5, 1938: The Law on the Profession of Auctioneer excludes Jews from the profession.
  • March 18, 1938: The Gun Law bans Jewish gun merchants.
  • April 26, 1938: The Order for the Disclosure of Jewish Assets requires Jews to report all property in excess of 5,000 reichsmarks.
  • August 17, 1938: The Executive Order on the Law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names requires Jews bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin to adopt an additional name: “Israel” for men and “Sara” for women.
  • October 3, 1938: The Decree on the Confiscation of Jewish Property regulates the transfer of assets from Jews to non-Jews in Germany.
  • November 12, 1938: The Decree on the Exclusion of Jews from German Economic Life closes all Jewish-owned businesses.
  • December 14, 1938: The Executive Order on the Law on the Organization of National Work cancels all state contracts held with Jewish-owned firms.

That is only a partial list, for just one year. Der Führer was not satisfied with asking Germans not to buy from Jews, but was undertaking measures to make it impossible for Jews to sell anything to ‘Aryans,’ other than, of course, their businesses, at deeply discounted prices. When Miss Blythe is asking that Trump-associated merchandise not be available for sale at Hudson’s Bay,1 she is asking for more than a simple boycott, but is moving along the lines of the Third Reich’s ultimately successful attempts to prohibit German Jews from being able to sell any merchandise.

I absolutely support the right of individuals to ask other individuals to boycott something, to decline to buy a particular good or service. But in attempting to enforce that boycott by pushing retailers to not make such things available for purchase, the left are moving away from freedom of speech, into the tactics used by the Third Reich.
_______________________
Cross-posted on RedState.
_______________________

  1. Hudson’s Bay, a Canadian company, is making overtures to buy out Macy’s, a large American department store chain.

Three conflicting values

From ABC News:

Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees

By James Gordon Meek, Cindy Galli and Brian Ross | November 20, 2013

QUANTICO, Virginia — Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq — prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists’ fingerprints.

“We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that,” FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News’ “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline”.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. “And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me.”

As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.

There’s more at the original.

The Democrats, of course, did not complain when the State Department, under President Obama and then-Secretary Hillary Clinton, ceased processing Iraqi refugees, for obvious security reasons. The left are complaining now because Donald Trump is the President, and not Barack Obama and not Hillary Clinton.

Two rather obvious points:

  1. The United States has been a (mostly) welcoming country, allowing in immigrants and refugees from all over the world. For much of our history, the US had no immigration laws; anyone who wanted to come here, could. This article from Wikipedia is a good and concise description of our immigration laws, and if restrictions were passed, we were till primarily a country which welcomed immigrants.
  2. The United States government has a duty and obligation to protect our citizens from harm.
  3. The United States needs to create an economy which enables all of our citizens to support themselves.

As the ABC News article noted, the government temporarily ceased processing refugees from Iraq, because we discovered security lapses. If that was reasonable to the left in 2011, why is it unreasonable today?

The United States attempted to improve our vetting procedures for admitting refugees, and perhaps this has worked. It is possible that the procedures have improved enough that not a single bad guy has slipped through since then, but how probable is it that the screening has been perfect? We do, however, know of one perfect process: if no refugees are allowed in, then we know that no bad guys slipped in as refugees.

One more paragraph from the ABC News article:

In 2009 (Waad Ramadan) Alwan applied as a refugee and was allowed to move to Bowling Green, where he quit a job he briefly held and moved into public housing on Gordon Ave., across the street from a school bus stop, and collected public assistance payouts, federal officials told ABC News.

Really? Even if our vetting processes had been perfect, and not a single refugee admitted to the United States was a terrorist or someone who meant harm, how is it that refugees can “collect public assistance payouts?” Why would we be admitting people to come to the United States to live off of our welfare benefits?

If you look at the unemployment figures released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will see an ‘official’ U-3 unemployment rate of 4.8% ending in January. As I have previously noted, I find the U-6 unemployment figures to be a much more accurate representation of the employment situation, and U-6 currently stands at 9.4%.1 Working the numbers back, we have 7,635,000 Americans officially out of work, 1,186,000 discouraged or marginally attached people, and 7,021,000 Americans who need full-time employment but are stuck working part-time because that’s all they can find. That’s 15,842,000 Americans whose economic needs aren’t being met by the current economy; we have 6.23% of our entire civilian non-institutional population not adequately employed!2 Why, then, would we admit any refugees, regardless of how efficiently vetted they have been, when we are not taking care of our own citizens?

I understand those who believe that the first of the three values I listed is the most important, but I do not share that belief: the obligation of the United States is, and must always be, to our own citizens before anyone else. Once we have met those obligations, we may be charitable and start taking care of other people. President Trump’s immigration and refugee executive order is wrong, not because it imposes a temporary moratorium on refugees from six countries, but because the moratorium needs to last until we can take care of all Americans.
___________________________

  1. U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force
    U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force
    U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate)
    U-4 Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers
    U-5 Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
    U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force
    NOTE: Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.
  2. 6.23% is probably an understatement, because it would exclude those people who are retired, but living on insufficient means. The BLS numbers do not address that in any way.

The promotion of societal idiocy to make 0.03% of the population feel better

What is a ‘transgender boy?’ A ‘transgender boy,’ in the stylebook being used by the credentialed media, is a person who is biologically a girl, but who believes, apparently sincerely, that she is really a boy, wants to identify publicly as a boy, and wants desperately to be accepted as a boy.

Boy Scouts open membership to transgender boys

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN | Updated 10:18 AM ET, Tue January 31, 2017

(CNN)The Boy Scouts of America says it will begin accepting members based on their gender identity, opening the door for transgender boys to join.
Under the new policy, which takes effect immediately, membership in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be based on the gender indicated on an application.
Previously, the organization relied on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for its single-gender programs.

“However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state,” BSA spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in a statement Monday.

The change brings the Boy Scouts in line with other youth organizations, including the Girl Scouts, that have created transgender-friendly membership policies in recent years.

It comes a few months after an 8-year-old Cub Scout in New Jersey accused the organization of expelling him for being transgender.

There’s more at the original, but I will go ahead and ask the hugely uncomfortable, very politically incorrect question: just what happens when a Boy Scout troop of, say, twelve thirteen-year-old biological boys and one thirteen-year-old biological girl go out for an overnight camping trip? Just who is liable when some of those thirteen-year-old boys have come to mind what naturally comes to the minds of thirteen-year-old boys?

You see, overnight camping is one of the activities in which Boy Scouts engage. A Scoutmaster, maybe with an assistant, takes his troop of boys out to wherever it is they are camping, and while we would expect said Scoutmaster to be instructing his charges on how to set up tents properly, and build campfires safely, we all know what is on the minds of those thirteen-year-old boys. We assume that the troop know that one of the boys isn’t really a boy at all, and that the Scoutmaster has had the ‘talk’ with all of them, telling them how they must behave around the boy who isn’t a boy, but these are still hormone-ravaged thirteen-year-olds.

And when the expected ‘interactions’ between the biological boys and the biological girl occurs, who is going to pay? Someone is going to be civilly and criminally liable, just as soon as the ‘interactions’ become known, and we all know that something like that wouldn’t remain a secret.

I do feel sympathy for those suffering from gender dysphoria; it must be a horrible cross to bear. But feeling sympathy for them does not mean that we should abandon common sense.

#TrumpDerangementSyndrome : Another celebrity goes off the deep end If I had tweeted this about President Obama, would I have had an up-close-and-personal meting with the Secret Service?

From The Washington Times:

Sarah Silverman calls for military overthrow of ‘fascist’ Donald Trump

By Victor Morton – The Washington Times – Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman

Actress Sarah Silverman called for a military coup against President Trump on Wednesday night in the midst of violent riots in Berkeley, California.

In a screaming all-capital-letters tweet exhorted her almost 10 million followers to “wake up & join the resistance,” a term from World War II that anti-Trump rioters have used to define themselves.

She then outlined her preferred scenario for the violent overthrow of the legitimately elected government, still in all capital letters.

“Once the military is w us fascists get overthrown. Mad king & his handlers go bye bye,” Ms. Silverman posted.

She ended her post with four heart emojis, presumably signifying love.

Miss Silverman, who is Jewish, lists the “state of Palestine” as her home in her Twitter biography.

I wonder what the Democrats, what the left, would have said had some conservative of at least a little bit of prominence — meaning: more prominent than me! — called for the military to overthrow the socialist Barack Obama.

No, sorry, that’s a lie: I don’t wonder about that at all. Such a person would have been roundly condemned, and might well have gotten an unfriendly visit from the Secret Service.

Rex Tillerson confirmed as Secretary of State The left are aghast

Let’s be clear about this: for the vast majority of Democrats, there is no one President Trump could nominate, for any position, whom they’d find acceptable. From The Wall Street Journal:

Rex Tillerson Wins Senate Confirmation to Be Secretary of State

Former Exxon Mobil chief overcame concerns about close ties with Russia’s Putin

By Felicia Schwartz | February 1, 2017 3:02 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, sending him to the State Department as career officials mount a formal protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration initiative and as the U.S. faces a complex set of foreign-policy challenges.

Mr. Tillerson won over skeptical Republicans, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida, but continued to face Democratic opposition. He was confirmed on a 56-43 vote.

Senators had voiced concern about the close relationship Mr. Tillerson forged with Russian President Vladimir Putin while he was at Exxon, and his unwillingness in testimony to re-commit the U.S. to Russia sanctions. Democrats also were critical of his views on climate change.

Now, the former business executive, 64 years old, will have to move quickly to get senior staff in place, calm hundreds of career officials who have formally registered their concerns about Mr. Trump’s immigration and refugee policies and carve out a place for himself in the Trump administration’s foreign-policy apparatus, which so far has been dominated by White House aides Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.

There’s a lot more at the original. But this was the article which caught my eye, from Common Dreams:

Enabling Trump: Angus King and These Three Dems Let Tillerson Advance

Constituents outraged as cloture vote sets up final confirmation for Secretary of State

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer | Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Common Dreams

Three Senate Democrats and Senator Angus King (I-Maine) (202-224-5344) sparked outrage on Monday by enabling President Donald Trump’s extreme agenda when they allowed the confirmation of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s as U.S. Secretary of State to advance in a procedural vote.

The cloture vote was 56-43, ending an attempted filibuster that needed only a simple majority to keep the confirmation from moving forward. (See the full roll call vote here.)

And while the vote went largely along party lines, the three Democrats—Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) (202-224-3954), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) (202-224-2043) and Mark Warner (Va.) (202-224-2023)—as well as King (202-224-5344), advanced Tillerson’s nomination, putting him one step closer to confirmation even as other Democratic leaders scrambled to delay the decision and an energized resistance movement demands lawmakers show stronger opposition to Trump’s nominees.

Now, the Senate may take their final vote on Tillerson’s nomination as soon as Wednesday.

Manchin, Heitkamp, and King are up for reelection in 2018.

Kate Addleson, director of the Sierra Club’s Virginia chapter, slammed Warner for his vote, stating Monday, “Senator Warner’s support for advancing such a contemptible and untrustworthy nominee is extremely disappointing. If Warner remains committed to providing a positive future for Virginians and our nation, he will vote against Tillerson’s confirmation.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson being sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence, with President Donald Trump looking on.

I rather doubt that the constituents of Senators Manchin and Heitkamp are outraged: Donald Trump carried West Virginia with 68.63% of the vote, and North Dakota with 62.96%; in both states, Hillary Clinton got less than 30% of the vote. Mrs Clinton did carry Maine, but by a fairly narrow margin, 47.83% to 44.87%,1 and even in Virginia, Mrs Clinton got less than a majority, winning a plurality of 49.75%.

It would be difficult to find a better nominee for Secretary of State than Rex Tillerson. He has more foreign affairs experience than either Hillary Clinton or John Kerry had for President Obama, having been involved in direct negotiations with foreign governments for Exxon-Mobil. He has a tremendous amount of experience in running increasingly larger divisions for the company, both in the United States and abroad, while previous Secretaries have been somewhat hampered by not having management experience. The left might not like American foreign policy under Mr Tillerson, but our foreign policy will be set by the President, not the Secretary of State.

The left are still outraged by the result of the election, and President Trump is keeping them outraged by doing something really radical, by taking action to, Heaven forfend! actually keep his campaign promises. From CNNMoney:

CEOs said Trump would change in office. They were wrong

by Charles Riley | February 1, 2017: 9:23 AM ET

Did the business community misjudge President Trump?

In the months before he was inaugurated, corporate heavyweights explained away controversial campaign pledges made by the real estate developer turned reality TV star. Many suggested that Trump’s priorities would change once in office.

PayPal (PYPL, Tech30) founder Peter Thiel, who is now a Trump adviser, helped popularize the idea that his comments and statements should be taken seriously, but perhaps not literally. Thiel supported Trump even though he disagreed with his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Other corporate chieftains made similar arguments: Trump’s comments shouldn’t be taken at face value, they said. Trump would change once he occupied the Oval Office. The tweets, surely, would stop.

“I’ll make a prediction right now that he will not put a ban on Muslims coming into America,” hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, who is a close adviser to Trump, said in June.

There are a lot more sources comments telling people how Mr Trump would change in office. This is what has confounded the left: President Trump is doing what candidate Trump had promised! I have previously noted that I did not vote for Mr Trump, but I will admit to being singularly impressed that, at least so far, he is doing pretty much just what he said he would do, and that is the kind of thing which appeals enormously to the Republican and conservative base.

And that is why the left will continue to oppose every single move the President makes: he isn’t trying to compromise with the Democrats, and he isn’t seeking to back off from his campaign promises.2  But the left’s continual attempts to undermine Mr Trump, in the manner in which they are going about it, will strengthen the President politically, not weaken him.  Opposing Mr Tillerson was always a futile move on their part, and they knew it.  They should have kept their powder dry, and saved it for the Supreme Court nomination; by acting like idiots, they have simply increased the probability that the Republicans will invoke the ‘nuclear option’ if they try to filibuster Neil Gorsuch.

Sensible people understood that, but no one ever said that the left have any common sense.

__________________________
More from The Wall Street Journal.

__________________________

  1. Mr Trump carried Maine’s second congressional district, and thus won one of Maine’s four electoral votes. Only Maine and Nebraska divide up their electoral votes based upon congressional districts carried.
  2. Well, not all of them, anyway. President Trump has been far more civil to his Republican opponents than he was during the campaign, and it appears that the Justice Department won’t try to charge Hillary Clinton over her handling of government documents and classified material. There is a possibility that Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, will be brought up on child pornography charges; it was Mr Weiner’s seized laptop which led FBI Director James Comey to note, just eleven days prior to the election, that the FBI was once again investigating Mrs Clinton’s e-mail problems, and the Democrats have been trying to blame Mrs Clinton’s loss on that announcement. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Democrats call that karmic justice.

The Republicans finally learn to play hardball Orrin Hatch shows Mitch McConnell what a backbone really is

From msn.com:

Senate panel backs Price as health secretary, Mnuchin for Treasury

By Susan Cornwell and David Lawder | Wednesday, 1 February 2017 | 10:01 AM EST

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday voted to confirm Representative Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services and banker Steven Mnuchin to be treasury secretary, sending the nominations to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Democrats tried to block the committee vote for a second day by boycotting the meeting, but Republicans changed the rules that had required Democrats to be present for quorum.

The Republican members then approved the nominees 14-0.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and one who has long supported the ‘old’ Senate rules. He opposed the Democrats’ change in the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for cabinet and judicial nominations, other than for the Supreme Court, but finally saw the writing on the wall. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, he said:

But that fundamental goal—protecting liberty—counsels against blindly returning to the prior status quo. Some bells cannot be unrung. Chief among these is Sen. (Harry) Reid’s decision to invoke the “nuclear option” to strip minority senators of their ability to filibuster judicial nominees.

The nuclear option allowed President Obama and his allies to reshape the judicial branch dramatically to suit their far-left agenda. And the Democrats were not shy in boasting of their achievement. This summer, after a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the administration’s efforts to extend subsidies to the federal ObamaCare exchange—in clear violation of the plain words of the Affordable Care Act and the stated intent of its architects—the newly minted majority of Democratic appointees on that court voted to rehear the case “en banc.” Sen. Reid announced that the “simple math” of the D.C. Circuit’s new majority of Democratic-appointed judges would serve to “vindicate” Democrats’ use of the nuclear option, presumably by preserving the administration’s signature legislative achievement.

and

To restore the rule now, after Mr. Obama has installed his controversial judges, would cement a partisan double standard: When Democrats control the White House and Senate, judicial nominations need only 50 votes; but when Republicans control both, judicial nominations require 60 votes, allowing Democratic minorities to block Republican nominations.

This would be only the latest example of a destructive pattern of double standards. Under President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, Senate Democrats savaged the Robert Bork,David Souter and Clarence Thomas nominations. During the Clinton administration, Republicans were largely deferential to the Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer nominations, an olive branch that Democrats ignored as they attacked the John Roberts and Samuel Alito nominations and launched unprecedented filibusters of lower-court nominations under President George W. Bush. (For all of its harm, at least the nuclear option restored the pre-2003 tradition against filibustering judicial nominations, which Democrats violated in order to block the George W. Bush nominees.)

Simply put, if Republicans re-establish the judicial-nomination filibuster, it would remain in place only until the moment that a new Democratic majority decided that discarding the rule again would be useful.

And now, the Democrats’ tactics of boycotting the nomination hearings pushed Senator Hatch into suspending the rules. When the Democrats did that, they pushed over their final bit of strength: as reluctant as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is to use the so-called ‘nuclear option,’ when he sees what Senator Hatch accomplished, and the huge swell of support it will get from the Republican base, Senator McConnell will be emboldened, his spine stiffened, and if the Democrats try to filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, he will use the nuclear option to guarantee a vote on the nomination.

It was interesting, watching MSNBC this morning. One ‘panelist,’ a lady with some connection to moveon.org,1 was telling us that the Democrats in the Senate, by boycotting the committee hearings,2 and by threatening to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination even before the selection of Judge Gorsuch was announced, were catching up to the Democratic base, and I agree with her: that’s exactly what the Democrat Senators did.

But her statement carried a strong message: if the Republican Senators see that the Democrats are listening to their base, then the GOP had better do the same, and the Republicans and conservatives at the grass-roots level want the GOP to actually use its majority status to ram through Judge Gorsuch’s nomination.

The Democrats overplayed their hand, and Senator Hatch just plain bitch-slapped them for doing so. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) really, really wants to filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, but with Mr Hatch’s actions, he now knows: Senator McConnell will use the nuclear option if necessary, and maybe, just maybe, the Democrats will decide not to filibuster, knowing what the result will be. Senator Schumer has already said that he would insist that Judge Gorsuch be approved by 60 votes rather than a simple majority of 51, but Senator Hatch has just presented him with a new reality.
___________________________________
Cross-posted on RedState.
___________________________________

  1. I guess that I should’ve written it down, but really, she was too insignificant for it to matter.
  2. The committee rules require that at least one member of the minority party be present for votes.