Liberators. Not Oppressors.

This is how the world sees America. As liberators, not oppressors. How do I know this? Because the human spirit is inclined, relentlessly, towards freedom. Tyranny is temporal. Liberty is ephemeral, and enduring. And our charter enshrines Liberty as the natural state of man.

I’m trying to imagine if suffering people erected a statue like this pre-2009. The caterwauling from the left about Republican callousness would be deafening.

But, Black Jesus? Meh.

“Cut My Balls Off? YAY!” Stand & Clap!

“…Something that not even the prescient James Madison could have anticipated — Congress’s modern eagerness to diminish itself.”

2014-sotuOne of the most remarkable spectacles I’ve ever seen was Obama’s “pen & phone” speech. In his January 2014 State of the Union he stood in the well of the House and told the entire Legislative Branch “I am hereby cutting your balls off and going it alone” AND THESE FREAKS STOOD AND CHEERED. I’ve never seen anything like it. EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT LEGISLATOR was just told “You’re out of a job. You’re a potted plant. I got this.” AND THEY CLAPPED. A bunch of slappies. Stupid, sloppy, slappies.

Well, that’s what that George Will quote above is referring to. And largely what his column today addresses, specifically as it relates to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or whatever the stupid thing is called. This is one of the great under-reported travesties of the Obama Administration and I thank GOD a federal court just put it right. And ASTONISHINGLY it was the D.C. federal court, which is basically the last stop before the Supreme Court for government matters and the primary reason Dirty Harry Reid went nuclear on judicial appointments couple of years ago. The Democrats know what they are doing, their ENTIRE AGENDA, is anti-Constitutional and will be challenged so they try to stack the courts. God, they’re good. In the worst way. Anyway, Will is brilliant here. Enjoy.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ruled unconstitutional.

A Judicial Slap to a Careless Congress
By George Will — October 15, 2016

A.C.A. to Aleppo. The Twin Killings of Barack Obama

947163175_obama_my_work_here_is_done_500x353_xlargeWe’ve reached peak Krauthammer this morning. His piece “The Stillborn Legacy of Barack Obama” is lyrical, sparkling, and devastating. He describes, in a few shining, awful paragraphs, the domestic & foreign ruin in Obama’s wake, from the death spiral of the perversely named Affordable Care Act (“A.C.A.”) to the abandoned red line in Syria that has rendered the human earthquake of suffering, death, and displacement of millions across two continents.

Herewith, the good doctor…

October 6, 2016 The Washington Post
The Stillborn legacy of Barack Obama
by Charles Krauthammer

Only amid the most bizarre, most tawdry, most addictive election campaign in memory could the real story of 2016 be so effectively obliterated, namely, that with just four months left in the Obama presidency, its two central pillars are collapsing before our eyes: domestically, its radical reform of American health care, a.k.a. Obamacare; and abroad, its radical reorientation of American foreign policy — disengagement marked by diplomacy and multilateralism.


On Monday, Bill Clinton called it “the craziest thing in the world.” And he was only talking about one crazy aspect of it — the impact on the consumer. Clinton pointed out that small business and hardworking employees (“out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week”) are “getting whacked . . . their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”

This, as the program’s entire economic foundation is crumbling. More than half its nonprofit “co-ops” have gone bankrupt. Major health insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, having lost millions of dollars, are withdrawing from the exchanges. In one-third of the U.S., exchanges will have only one insurance provider. Premiums and deductibles are exploding. Even the New York Times blares “Ailing Obama Health Care Act May Have to Change to Survive.”

Young people, refusing to pay disproportionately to subsidize older and sicker patients, are not signing up. As the risk pool becomes increasingly unbalanced, the death spiral accelerates. And the only way to save the system is with massive infusions of tax money.

What to do? The Democrats will eventually push to junk Obamacare for a full-fledged, government-run, single-payer system. Republicans will seek to junk it for a more market-based pre-Obamacare-like alternative. Either way, the singular domestic achievement of this presidency dies.

The Obama Doctrine.

At the same time, Obama’s radically reoriented foreign policy is in ruins. His vision was to move away from a world where stability and “the success of liberty” (JFK, inaugural address) were anchored by American power and move toward a world ruled by universal norms, mutual obligation, international law and multilateral institutions. No more cowboy adventures, no more unilateralism, no more Guantanamo. We would ascend to the higher moral plane of diplomacy. Clean hands, clear conscience, “smart power.”

This blessed vision has just died a terrible death in Aleppo. Its unraveling was predicted and predictable, though it took fully two terms to unfold. This policy of pristine — and preening — disengagement from the grubby imperatives of realpolitik yielded Crimea, the South China Sea, the rise of the Islamic State, the return of Iran. And now the horror and the shame of Aleppo.

After endless concessions to Russian demands meant to protect and preserve the genocidal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, last month we finally capitulated to a deal in which we essentially joined Russia in that objective. But such is Vladimir Putin’s contempt for our president that he wouldn’t stop there.

He blatantly violated his own cease-fire with an air campaign of such spectacular savagery — targeting hospitals, water-pumping stations and a humanitarian aid convoy — that even Barack Obama and John Kerry could no longer deny that Putin is seeking not compromise but conquest. And is prepared to kill everyone in rebel-held Aleppo to achieve it. Obama, left with no options — and astonishingly, having prepared none — looks on.

At the outset of the war, we could have bombed Assad’s airfields and destroyed his aircraft, eliminating the regime’s major strategic advantage — control of the air.

Five years later, we can’t. Russia is there. Putin has just installed S-300 antiaircraft missiles near Tartus. Yet, none of the rebels have any air assets. This is a warning and deterrent to the only power that could do something — the United States.

Obama did nothing before. He will surely do nothing now. For Americans, the shame is palpable. Russia’s annexation of Crimea may be an abstraction, but that stunned, injured little boy in Aleppo is not.

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“What is Aleppo?” famously asked Gary Johnson. Answer: the burial ground of the Obama fantasy of benign disengagement.

What’s left of the Obama legacy? Even Democrats are running away from Obamacare. And who will defend his foreign policy of lofty speech and cynical abdication?

In 2014, Obama said, “Make no mistake: [My] policies are on the ballot.” Democrats were crushed in that midterm election.

This time around, Obama says, “My legacy’s on the ballot.” If the 2016 campaign hadn’t turned into a referendum on character — a battle fully personalized and ad hominem — the collapse of the Obama legacy would indeed be right now on the ballot. And his party would be 20 points behind.


For Love or Money and Ted Cruz

2016-08-10-1470852710-5052205-Ted_Cruzcropped-thumbHe didn’t trust us.

He didn’t trust us to deliver him to the promised land. That’s what hurts. That’s why this is such a massive betrayal.

It’s taken superhuman courage, rare fortitude, bedrock principles to do what he’s done in his career. He held on deeper and farther and more graciously than most men could bear.

Until now.

What’s it taken to stand on the Senate floor for a cause? Firm reliance. Honor. Unblinking adherence to principle. To withstand the slings and arrows aimed squarely at his head, with accusations of political avarice, was and is a zero-room-for-error enterprise. Prior to Friday, there was no doubt (from us anyway) that no political calculation figured into the good fights he chose to fight.

Until now. Now there’s doubt. Even if it’s 0.00001% it’s less than 100% now, which is what it was before (again, among us his base supporters).

“He’s hated in Washington. Sits alone in the Senate cafeteria. This isn’t politically expedient for him! Quite the opposite. It’s hard! The hardest thing possible for a Senator.”

That argument’s gone now. Now we’re not so sure. Now, when people like Brit Hume and Charles Hurt and Ana Navarro and every other pundit pundit-plops some snark it will be that much harder to tamp it down. Ten times harder to insist he’s standing on principle – or exponentially worse, not standing. I can just hear the panel on CNN or Fox:  “Are we sure? Maybe Mitch McConnell won’t let him have [this or that amendment], or the RNC won’t let him have [this or that list or data].”

Reminds me of the story of the woman and a man with a fistful of cash. He keeps asking her if she’d sleep with him for $100, $1000, $10,000. No, no, no. “$100,000?” She consents. “Ok. Now that we know you’re a whore, we’re just haggling over price.”

Now every time Cruz does – or doesn’t – do something, there’s the  0.00001% bit of doubt. “Is he haggling over the price?”

I believe at one point the campaign was touting the fact that the average donation was $67. When I said at the beginning he didn’t trust us, that’s what I mean. We could make it $70. We’ll dig in the sofa and make $75. If he’d trusted us, eschewing this big donors who reportedly leaned on him for this, we’d find it. We’d dig. We’d deliver him to the promised land. How do I know? Bernie did it. If a bunch of socialists can do it, surely a bunch of freedom-loving capitalists can do it. He didn’t trust us.

All the wind has gone out of my sails. Now I feel no compunction to defend him, as I have for years. Literally years. Because now my credibility is on the line. Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m not sure what his calculations are. He’s asked us to believe in the righteousness of his cause all these years and we have. He took strength from us when he was alone. And we were glad to give it, because we had no doubt. But that’s gone now. In the last possible moment, even after that heroic speech at the RNC in July, which came after his carpet-bombing press conference the day of the Indiana primary, we’re now whip-sawed, wind-shorn and tempest-tossed. People wonder which Trump will show up to the debate with Hillary on Monday, the new & improved one or the raw, manic one. Well I don’t know which Cruz will show up now, from this day forward. The Indiana primary Cruz? Or the digital shadow Cruz? Facebook rationalizing on all cylinders?

If he gets to the nomination for President someday in the future, he will get there without me, my time, or my money, all of which I have given generously. He chose the GOPe & the RNC for practical reasons which are understandable to all, but anathema to all of us, so I will choose to listen to him. Choices matter. They are who you are. He chose them, not us. And that’s fine. I’m not bitter. I’m sad. I’m ferklempt. We could have made up the difference. We could have turned that $67 to $75 or $100. We could have done it, though hard, because he would be worth it. Because we knew he, and we, stood on the bedrock of shared principles. To mount that kind of fight, to achieve that kind of resolve and raise those kinds of resources requires a covenant of trust. Sparkling, true, enduring.

That’s gone now. In the same way socialists, upon seeing a homeless man reason they needn’t help him or give to charity because “the government” will take care of him, so too will Cruz. When he is “homeless”, alone, he has made his choice. The GOPe/RNC can sustain him, help him. In the same way the GOPe/RNC will sustain him, help him if he does somehow get the nomination for President, so too will I.  I’ll vote for him, but like the GOPe/RNC who will surely abandon him when he’s alone on the side of the road to the White House,  so too will I. I’ll not write another check, nor go once more into the breach for him. I don’t need to be sucker-punched but once to get the message.

I got it. “For love or money or Ted Cruz.” “Love,” the covenant of trust. From us? Or from the RNC and the GOPe?  “Money,” from us? Or from the big donors? It used to be both. Because we’ve watched him for years never, ever violate the covenant of trust between us. But like your mother always told you, “It takes years to build up trust, but only a second to shatter it.”

Even if it’s only a hairline fracture, barely visible in the glass… it’s there now. And it wasn’t before.  0.00001% where it used to be 100%. He’s less than now. He’s diminished by this.

We all are.

Horn Dogs in Space #StarTrek50

Oh dear.

It seems Gene Roddenberry’s zipper, if not the Starship Enterprise he imagined, had a gravity problem. It was constantly down.

Unless you’ve been stranded on a lonely planet in a far distant galaxy, you know it was the 50th anniversary of Star Trek the other day, having first aired on September 8, 1966. star-trek-50-frontA new book, The Fifty-Year Mission is described in NRO  as a “two-volume, 1,300-page oral history documenting the history of the franchise… an extraordinary achievement of research and reporting, filled with inside scoop and backstage drama, fragile egos and the surmounting of great technical challenges… essential for diehards, as well as for readers interested in film and television production in general.”  Now, clearly, as described, the book is multifaceted & comprehensive, but, naturally, it’s Roddenberry’s horn-dogginess that’s getting the headlines.

The aforementioned NRO article, titled The Great Boor of the Galaxy is a worthwhile read for a Trekkie, but below are a few select paragraphs. Enjoy.

No one is more responsible for this sense of novelty than Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, whose posthumous reputation more closely resembles that of a religious figure than a Hollywood producer. With his long hair, sideburns, and bushy eyebrows, his professorial clothing and theatrical sense, Roddenberry in his maturity took on the appearance of his friend Isaac Asimov, instructing generations of adoring fans in the tenets of IDIC, or “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations,” a philosophy of logic, inquiry, multiculturalism, and peace.

Roddenberry is lauded as a progressive icon, a prophet, the self-styled “Great Bird of the Galaxy” directing humanity to a limitless future in the stars. “There is no question in my mind that Roddenberry is a genius,” says actress Diana Muldaur. “There’s no disputing his genius,” says movie producer Harve Bennett. “He was a man who was able to reach out through my television and explain to me that I had a place in the world and in the future,” says Whoopi Goldberg. Longtime Roddenberry friend and collaborator Bob Justman is more measured but just as complimentary: “His background was very humble, but he’s a man who educated himself and he’s found that his mind is fertile ground.”

But there is a problem. Intended as a tribute to Star Trek and its creator, The Fifty-Year Mission ends up debunking the Roddenberry mythos. Liberal visionary? Maybe. But he was also an insecure, misogynistic hack.

Roddenberry never stopped rewriting. “The problem,” says his biographer Joel Engel, “was that he basically couldn’t write well enough to carry it off.” For 25 years, a script never left Roddenberry’s hands without becoming worse.

For all of the control Roddenberry exercised over Star Trek, the franchise prospered only when it was under the aegis of others… The Star Trek that has imprinted itself on fans for decades is Gene L. Coon’s. His shows deepened the relationships between Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy. He created the Klingons. There was more humor. Says writer David Gerrold, “Gene L. Coon created the noble image that everyone gives Roddenberry the most credit for.” Shatner puts it this way: “Gene Coon had more to do with the infusion of life into Star Trek than any other single person.”

With Coon at the helm Roddenberry turned to other projects, and to his own worst instincts. He was a horn dog. Affairs with police secretaries had been just the start. While on the force he had become friends with Jack Webb, the star and producer of Dragnet, who eased his entry into Hollywood and competed with him for the affections of actress Majel Barrett. Meanwhile Roddenberry also had an affair with the actress, singer, and model Nichelle Nichols. His relationship with Barrett was an open secret, lasting a decade before he divorced his wife. He and Barrett got married in 1969. (Their son, Rod, was born in 1974.) As for Nichols, Roddenberry cast her in a history-making role as Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura.

The episodes Gene L. Coon supervised are considered to be Star Trek’s finest. But Coon did not last long. When Star Trek recaptured Roddenberry’s attention, he didn’t like what Coon had been doing. And Coon, who had grown tired of arguing with Roddenberry, Shatner, and Nimoy, was out.

Roddenberry died in 1991. You could argue that the franchise he created has been more successful in the 25 years following his death than it had been in the 25 years before…

It was the brilliance of the idea, and the psychological need it satisfies in audiences, that allowed Roddenberry to get away with being, in most respects, an incredible, insufferable jerk to his family, friends, and peers. After reading The Fifty-Year Mission, I know why Gene Roddenberry stuck so fiercely to his notion of a future where human nature has been transformed into pure good. It’s because he knew more than anybody how truly awful we can be.

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