Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Smart SCOTUS Oppo Strategerie (sic)

Curt Levey on Smart Strategy to Fight Trump's Supreme Court Picks

As sagacious of a strategist Committee for Justice President Curt Levey may be, it seems that Democrats in the District of Calamity have taken a different tact.

Senator Jeff Markey has declared that there must be payback for the 114th Congress not approving lame duck former President Obama's pick of Merrick  Garland.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer )D-NY) has declared that he will not work with President Trump unless he utterly does the Democrats' bidding.

In years past, protestations of non-cooperation might have caused Senate Republicans to buckle and moderate.  But thanks to former Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Reid Rule, cooperation for cloture on appointments is now moot.

Democrats may bluster that only needing a majority was not intended to be for Supreme Court nominees, but that is after the fact dicta.  Per Hugh Hewitt and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), the Reid Rule is about the Senate only requiring a majority to change the rules mid-session. Besides, Reid himself intimated that he showed his Democrat Senate colleagues how to steamroll the GOP with this rule, even for High Court picks Even liberal Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) admits that the filibuster is no longer an emergency brake on nominations.

Under normal circumstances, a newly elected President has little opposition to his first Supreme Court nominee, especially early in his first term.  But these are not ordinary times.  Democrats are wont to hyperventilate about anything that the Trump Administration does, and seem happy to escalate any altercation to the extreme.  Democrats have sought to slow walk Trump Administration confirmation hearings, going so far as to not show up at Senate Committee Hearing votes.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been chary to confirm that Republicans will invoke what was once called "the nuclear option", but he has been steadfast in assuring the public that Trump Administration will be confirmed.  The same is true regarding  President  Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.

The dangera that Democrats have in protesting so vehemently to everything in the early Trump Administration and calling supporters out to the ramparts is three fold.

 First, they risk over-exhausting their partisans.  You can only cry "the sky is falling" only so often before it loses its desired effect.

Secondly, Democrats are not picking their battles wisely.  It is not only the incoherence of opposing everything, but in going to the mat for losing causes.  Because of the Reid Rule, President Trump will get his Cabinet appointments and most likely the first Supreme Court pick.  By fighting so hard on the nominations, it may serve to demoralize their partisans.

Thirdly, the hyperventilating opposition may play well for the progressive base of the Democrat Party but it may serve to alienate white, working class Democrats who voted for Trump in 2016 on positions and personnel with which they agree.

Historically, Democrats do not turn out in mid-term elections.  In the 2018 election cycle, Democrats have 23 seats up in the Senate, including in states which voted for Trump.  Such strident opposition, epitomized by an obstructionist approach to Trump's first Supreme Court pick (even before he is announced) may solidify a one time "what have you got to lose" vote to a realigning "my party has left me" metanoia, thereby making  Blue Dogs and DC Democrats politically endangered species

Senator Jeff Merkley on Trump Supreme Court Nomination

Senator Jeff Merkley on Trump Supreme Court Nominations

Is It Trump's Festivus?

Chuck Todd on Trump's Festivus

Winston Churchill on Wisdom

Winston Churchill on Wisdom

Monday, January 30, 2017

Honoring Jan Karski, the Messenger from Hell

Polish WWII Resistance Fighter Jan Karski on Democratic Societies

Today in a ceremony in Manhattan, academics posthumously honored longtime Georgetown University professor Jan Karski, a man who tried to prevent the Holocaust by sharing the truth. Alas, politicians among the Allies were tardy to act of the news from Karski as the Messenger from Hell.

During the Second World War,I Karski was a Second Lieutenant in the Krakow Valvary Brigade who was captured after the battle of Tomaszow  (1939) by the Russians. But due to Karski's birthplace, the Russians handed him over to the Germans, thus he avoided being a victim of the Katyn massacre of 1940. 

Karski escaped his German POW train in 1939 and escaped to Warsaw where he joined the Polish Resistance movement. Larslo  organized courier missions to the Polish Government in exile headquartered in Paris andhe himself made several secret trips to France and Britain. Karski was eventually captured by the Gestapo and tortured in Slovakia but was later smuggled out and rejoined the Polish Resistance. 

In 1942, Karski was selected by Polish Prime Minister in exile  Władysław Sikorski to go on a secret mission to gather first hand information about the Nazi atrocities in occupied Poland.  Karski was smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto. Karski also sought to infiltrate the Belzec death camp as an Estonian guard.  Although Karski only managed to see a transit station, the horror that he witnessed first hand was appalling.  

After briefing the Polish Government in exile upon his return to London in 1942, Karski met with other exiled Polish politicians and British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden about his first hand testimony about the Holocaust.  In June of 1943, Karski traveled to the United States to personally brief President Franklin Roosevelt, as well as other American civic and government leaders, including Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Associate Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, without much effect. Karski published his recollections Courier from Poland: The Story of a Secret State (1944) which sold more than 400,000 copies. 

Eventually Jan Karski settled at Georgetown University, eventually earning a Ph.D in 1952 and taught there for over forty years. Georgetown remembers Jan Karski as many things — a beloved professor, writer, and colleague, to name a few — but to the world, he was known as one of the first to warn Western powers of the horrors of the Holocaust.

Jan Karski at Yad Vashem (circa 1982)
Although Karski was a Roman Catholic, he felt a profound connection with the people whose lives he attempted to save from the Holocaust.  In 1981, Karski said: “All murdered Jews became my family. I am a Christian Jew.” In 1982 Karski was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.  

In 1991, he received the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan for his outstanding humanitarian efforts.  In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Jan Karski the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his heroic witness to the ugly truth of the Holocaust.  Mr. Obama proclaimed: "Jan Karski -- a young Polish Catholic -- who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself."   

"Whoever does not condemn, consents" mural in Warsaw

Karski's faithful witness has been remembered from murals in Warsaw to a series of five bronzes of Karski sitting on a bench playing chess created by Krakow sculptor Karol Badyna which are located in Georgetown, Manhattan, Lodz, Warsaw, Keilce and Tel Aviv University in Israel. 

On Blue Dogs and Beltway Democrats Being on the Endangered Species List

Progressive Purity Tests May Keep Democrats in the Political Wilderness by Banning Blue Dogs

The Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 in reaction to devastating losses in President Clinton's first mid-term election.  The moniker played off of the expression "Yellow Dog Democrats" of the South who were so loyal to the party after the Civil War.   Blue Dogs could also refer to the idea that when dogs are not let in the house, they stay outside in the cold and turn blue.   

The Blue Dogs sought to find a compromise between conservative and liberal positions.  They tended to be Democrats who were from rural districts who were pro-guns, pro-life and fiscal hawks. Blue Dogs were successful in 1996 and then Democrat National Committee Chairman Rahm Emmanuel used Blue Dogs to retake the House in 2006. 

However, in the same 2006 election cycle, progressive began to retake the Democrat Party.  A Progressive candidate beat Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CN) in the Democrat primary, forcing the veteran lawmaker (who was quite an orthodox liberal except on staunch support for Israel and being a war hawk) to successfully run as an "Independent Democrat" in the general election. But this bode as a bad omen for Blue Dog Democrats.

At their  high water mark, Blue Dog Democrats had 44 members, which was roughly 20% of the Democrat Caucus.  But progressive tides and internecine battles have lowered Blue Dogs ranks to 17 members which again puts them out in the cold. 

At the beginning of the 115th Congress, Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH 13th formerly 17th) sought to run for House Minority Leader against the incumbent Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-12th formerly 5th & 8th).  The final vote was for unseating Pelosi  not even close 134-63.  

Considering the way that close to 70 Democrats (all from safe Democrat districts) boycotted President Trump's inaugural festivities shows that Congressional Democrats seem dedicated to the progressive cause, under the delusion that they will retake the House in the 2018 elections.  

The Democrats continue to be obsessed with gun control, abortion rights, liberal immigration and an ever expanding government.Thus it seems that Democrats continue to count on winning urban voters along with educated white collar suburban voters in their path to victory.  This sort strategy leaves Blue Dog in the cold, forcing them to accept  irrelevance amongst the DC Democrat party or to go against their tradition and aversions to vote GOP to remain relevant.

It was fascinating to see how 2016 Democrat Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (D-NY) ran against coal country in her futile bid for the White House.  Hillary lost the Keystone State by about 46,000 votes.  That slim margin of victory may have been taken from President Trump's increased support in Central Pennsylvania, which epitomized Blue Dog Coalition voters.

In  Washington Examiner, Salina Zito noted how Cambria County, Pennsylvania, which contains the old industrial city of Johnstown, has shifted from being a 70 reliably Democrat area in 2006 to today being a 70% Republican area. It is these working class white voters that Democrat strategist Dane Strother worries that imposing a progressive purity test will drive Democrats into the political wilderness for forty years.  

President Trump may have sensed the alienation that Blue Dogs (who also comprised "Reagan Democrats" in the 1980s) felt, and now seeks to cement the relationship with them.  Thus the overtures to labor leaders and winning back manufacturing jobs as well as fulfilling campaign promises which validate voters who then candidate  Barack Obama derided as those who were "Bitter Clingers" to their bibles and their guns.

Sun Tzu on Ignorance

Sun Tzu on Ignorance

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gabbing about the Capricious Cupertino Walled Garden of Apple

GAB CEO Andrew Torba on Apple App Vetting

Gab is a new micoblogging site which was started in the summer of 2016 as conservative voices experienced cyber-censorship about content from social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter.  Gab wants to create a cyber community which users can speak freely and exercise their own judgment to filter content. 

Gab started with a beta platform geared towards personal computers.  However, since the growth in social media is associated with mobile internet applications, Gab has sought to get approval from Apple to have their app approved to be available in Apple app store.

Because Gab encourages members to #SpeakFreely, they do not want to censor content created by Gab users, as long it conforms to US law and the Constitution regarding obscenity and pornography.  In rare instances, the Gab platform would allow for legal pornography as long as it was tagged #NSFW (not safe for work).  But this loophole created the first objection for the Apple App Review team.  To resolve this, Gab linked their EULA agreement, albeit outside of the app.  The allowed for the second rejection, which was easily abated. 

What has raised eyebrows is the tardy and hypocritical third rejection by the app team. Ordinarily, apps are evaluated within 24 hours.  For Gab's third app submission, it took 17 days. In addition, it was rejected on the grounds that "We found references to religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or other targeted groups that could be offensive to many users."

So Gab is supposed to play nanny to user epithets and ideas which an aggrieved internet denizen could find offensive.  But Gab allows its users to filter out content which they do not want to see, but the powers that be in Cupertino do not want their i-Phone/i-Pad users to be scandalized by material in Gab (which they could filter out themselves).  

Is the same stringent Cupertino standard applied to Madonna's post Women's March musings?  

Wonder why?  Is Twitter going to have their app taken away for the rude ravings of an aged Material Girl who creates controversy on social media to seem contemporary?

Gab CEO Andrew Torba wonders if the third rejection of Gab's app was timed to coincide with President Trump's first full day in office and was meant to sent a message.  Torba asserted

"This clear double standard against us is potentially politically motivated and clearly targeted. When you actively search for something on a user generated website, chances are you're going to find what you are looking for."

Progressives sought to kill Gab by claiming that it was only for the alt-right and that it lacked diversity, which fails when one considers that Gabs leadership team is comprised of an American Christian, a Turkish Muslim Kurd and an Indian Hindu.  Since the slimming was unsuccessful, it seems that progressive companies are seeking to deny Gab from tools to grow their user base by any means necessary.

With the shadow-blocking and capricious shunnings by big social media, those who want to share opinions which challenge the standard assumptions of progressive elites, they may look to social media alternatives such as Gab.  Alas, Apple continues to make access restricted inside the walled garden

Oscar Romero on Speaking

Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero on Speaking for the Voiceless

Kellyanne Conway on Being Post Feminist

Trump White House  Advisor Kellyanne Conway on Being Post Feminist

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bjorn Lomborg Checks the Temperature of the Paris Climate Change Accord

Bjorn Lomborg on the Paris Climate Change Accord

In the past few years, left leaning leaders from around the globe have been keen to tackle climate change.  Pope Francis wrote a bull Laudato Si urging world leaders to come to terms together in the Paris Climate Change Agreement.    They sought to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement with great fanfare, but on the eve of the Summit, the multiple Paris attacks occurred drawing attention away from the achievement. 

Now that it has come time to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement, skeptical environmentalists question the efficaciousness of the accord.  But dissent is not something that progressive politicans or the press can fathom.Senator Ted Cruz stumped Sierra Club President Aaron Mair in testimony to account for Climate Change considering the 17 year lull in warming. 

Science is supposed to be about facts and informed inquiry.  But that is not how Climate Change advocates evangelize as they attack apostates who question if it is settled science.   Sean Penn has suggested shaming Climate Change deniers .  A French weatherman was pulled off the air for not spouting the liberal party line about climate change.

In a quixotic attempt to engage progressives who profess the secular religion of Climate Change, Bjorn Lomborg made a video in conjunction with Prager University to illustrate the absurdity of COP 21 promises and solving the anthropogenic climate change problem

Sadly, those steeped in Climate Change politics are reluctant to engage in cost benefit analysis much less critical appraisals of the proposals, as they implore that "something must be done" and will hear nothing else.

Calvin Coolidge on Business

Calvin Coolidge on Business

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Toss the Tam to Honor the Life of Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore on Life

Actress Mary Tyler Moore died at the age of 80 in Greenwich, Connecticut from complications stemming from pneumonia.  Moore had battled adult onset diabetes for decades and in 2011 she had undergone elective brain surgery to remove a benign meningioma.  

While Moore had several notable silver screen roles, including an Academy Award nominated performance in the drama Ordinary People (1981), she is best remembered as an actor for starring in two extremely successful television situation comedies, The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) and the eponymous Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977).  

Moore and her husband Grant Tinker ran a production company which spawned many successful television series, such as the Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin offs Rhoda, Lou Grant, Phyllis along with The Bob Newhart Show and WKRP in Cincinnati. 

The Mary Tyler Moore show depicted a thirty something news writer working in a television newsroom in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  At the time, it was daring to feature a career woman trying to make it on her own.  The opening credits famously finished with an exhuberant Moore tossing her tam in the air in a crosswalk, as a valedictory gesture that "you're going to make it after all".

The iconic sequence was immortalized in bronze by TV Land in 2002 as street art near a shopping center.  The statute is currently on location at a Visitors Center in Minneapolis while the sidewalks are being repaired.

In honor of Ms. Moore's passing, it is right to figuratively toss our tams and fondly remember one who turned the world on with her smile and know that she made it after all.

Ajit Pai on Federal Weed Whacking

Ajit Pai on Federal Weed Whacking

Ajit Pai, who is poised to be named Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Trump, will take a more free market approach to the FCC than his predecssor Tom Wheeler. 

This would involve whacking away at the unauthorized expansion of FCC regulatory authority, such as regulating the Internet through the guise of Net Neutrality.  Such a move, however, will be controversial, especially with those who favor the bureaucratic nanny state.

Joseph Conrad on Persuasion

Joseph Conrad on Moving Others

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Consternation Over the Obama Commutation of Chelsea Manning's Sentence

Lt. General Jerry Boykin on Obama Commuting Bradly "Call Me Chelsea" Manning's Sentence

Taking the Tinseltown Rebellion to Task for Hypocritical Hyperventilation Over Trump's Inauguration

Ben Shaprio on Hollywood's Hypocritical Histrionics Over the Trump Inauguration

On January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump takes the Executive Oath of Office to become the 45th President of the United States.  Alas, some celebutards just cannot accept that he got the part.  There have been star studded appeal to deny the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election the rightly designated votes in the Electoral College.  Ironically, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton (D-NY) lost more Electoral College votes from unfaithful delegates than President-Elect Donald Trump,  and he still won the Electoral College majority by 34 votes.

As the 114th Congress was called into session, Hollywood hypocrites released a histrionic plea to Congress to Obstruct  the Trump Administration from doing anything that denies "our core values as diverse Ameicans"-- whatever that meant.  

Was that intended to impede immigration reforms?  Are such illegal aliens politically considered "diverse Americans without papers".  Or was it a subtext to imply that Donald Trump will attack LGBTQQ? advances in civic society.  Pretty ironic to aim attacks at a Republican Presidential candidate who unfurled a Rainbow colored flag during a general election campaign event.

To mark the ascent of Donald Trump from being the real estate mogul host of the Celebrity Apprentice to the Oval Office, Variety published a protest photo op featuring CNN's communist commentator Van Jones, Michael Moore, Lena Dunham Chelsea Handler and Hamilton's Brandon Victor Dixon hiding behind an American flag.   In the The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro gave this Tinseltown cohort have it.

No wonder Americans just get sick when they see covers like the one from Variety. Michael Moore posing with the flag – the same person who said that Trump supporters are “legal terrorists” but that actual terrorists are “Minutemen” – makes most Americans queasy. Treating Lena Dunham like a moral voice -- despite her ardent love for abortion and her overt bragging about masturbating next to her 11-year-old sister in bed – makes Americans nauseated. Acting as though Chelsea Handler – a woman who said she should be applauded for her two abortions – as a beacon of light is disgusting.

Since Donald Trump's election on November 8th, the progressive mind seems to be melting down.  Some may find solace in a last gasp Women's March protest the day after the Inauguration.  Other more anarchistic elements may seek to disrupt the peaceful transition of power which has happened in America for the last 220 years.  But it seems that celebutards think that they can pompously parade their progressive philosophy and the hoi polloi will eat it up, even though it is liberal logorrhrea.

I second Ben Shapiro's call for Hollywood to keep it up as it builds off of Mark Twain's wisdom: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people thing that you are a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt."  

H/T: The Daily Wire 

Bernice King on the Civil Rights Movement

Daughter of Martin Luther King Bernice King on the Civil Rights Movement and the Respect for Life