Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Yates

I don't know about you but I am thrilled that President Trump took swift action and fired the acting Attorney General, a Deputy Attorney General under former President Barack Obama, Sally Q. Yates. Yates decided to make a political statement instead of doing her job - to defend the president's executive order on the travel ban. She made a statement that she didn't think it was legal. Trump rightly said her statement was a betrayal and fired her.

Yates had agreed to stay on with the Trump administration and act as Attorney General until the confirmation of Trump's pick, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. You may remember how deeply politicized the office of Attorney General became in the Obama administration led by Democrat ideologue Eric Holder. Continuing on in this hyper-partisan atmosphere, Yates decided that not only would she defy the president, she would make her opinion known that she didn't agree with the policy put forward by Trump. She's a career prosecutor, not a policymaker. She deserved to be let go. From the New York Times:

Ms. Yates said her determination in deciding not to defend the order was broader, however, and included questions not only about the order’s lawfulness, but also whether it was a “wise or just” policy. She also alluded to unspecified statements the White House had made before signing the order, which she factored into her review.
The order had, in fact, been deemed legal by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. The office signed off on it. Yates gave no reason why she thought it was illegal.

Who is Sally Q. Yates? She is a career prosecutor from Georgia appointed to be U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia by Obama. Confirmed in 2010 by the U.S. Senate. In 2015, she was confirmed by a vote of 84-12 by the Senate as Deputy Attorney General. She served under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in this capacity.  "In 2015, she authored the policy, known as the "Yates memo" prioritizing the prosecution of executives for corporate crimes.12][13]"

Yates' bio has been removed from the Justice Department's office website and her replacement has been sworn in. Dana Boente, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will serve as acting Attorney General until Senator Sessions is confirmed. Boente is best known for leading the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Boente was sworn in at 9:00 PM Monday night and immediately rescinded Yates' order, instructing DOJ lawyers to "defend the lawful orders of our President."

This action was perfectly legit for Trump to make. There is precedent for sweeping changes to be made at the Justice Department as new administrations come in. You may remember that former President Bill Clinton fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys, for example, as he came into office. None of this would have happened if the Democrats had not decided to hold up the confirmation vote for Sessions in the Senate. Monday's actions have now spurred on his vote, so that is a good thing. Obstructing the vote on Sessions is part of the Democrats' strategy - vote down Trump's nominees and drag out the confirmation process as long as possible. It should be noted that on his first day in office, Obama had seven of his cabinet nominees confirmed by the Senate. Trump had two. Senate Minority Leader Chuck (fake tears) Schumer has declared he will seek a delay in "just about every one" of Trump's nominees.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Temporary Ban on Entry into U.S. Causes Hair Follicles to Combust

With the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States comes a fresh slate of new concerns by the American press. These concerns have been dormant for eight years under Barack Obama but now rise to 24/7 cable news channel coverage. For example, the 90 day suspension of citizens traveling from a specific list of countries who will be refused entry into America, made through Executive Order by President Trump.

The countries on the list are: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. All are currently labeled as "countries of concern" in a law passed in 2016. All Muslim majority countries, the total populations equal about 134 million, according to latest census numbers.

This is the notice at the top of the U.S. State Department's Visa page:
"Urgent Notice: Under the Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to nationals of the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification. We will announce any other changes affecting travelers to the United States as soon as that information is available."

The inevitable happened almost immediately. Groups that have decided to be professional protesters over the course of the next four years assembled quickly and began protesting at an international terminal at JFK airport after the report was put out of two Iraqi men being held instead of being allowed to enter our country. Lawyers immediately appeared and lawsuits are being filed as I type this. Trust me when I say fundraising letters are being emailed for every non-profit dealing with social justice issues around the country. It was all a little too well coordinated, if you ask me. Congress members and the NYC mayor's office were a little too quick to become a part of their stories.

This is the new normal. For the next four years we will be divided by those opposing Trump and those supporting him. The losers are determined to create chaos and will profit from it. All those who lectured on "country first, not party first" now put themselves first. Even from the right, the ones unable to work for the betterment of Americans are gleefully working with the left against the Trump administration. Hey, there's some unity!

Of the countries on the list, I am most concerned about Iraq. I don't want the brave Iraqi handlers and fixers there working with our military and contractors to be at any more risk than they already are. Iraqis have waited for years during the normal process of being allowed to come to America so don't fall for the crocodile tears from American pundits and their willing cohorts in the press who would have you believe that suddenly these people are being stopped from coming here at the hands of that meanie Donald Trump. Barack Obama did little to help over the last eight years when the press was busy looking the other way.

The Syrian refugees is a heartbreaking problem but the photo of the toddler's body washed ashore happened on Barack Obama's watch. It was Obama's failure to respond when the Syrian madman crossed his red line threat that produced the devastation we see to this day.

The ban on travel from Iran? Pfsst. There is little anyway. I'm sure it will be used as a tool in unwinding parts of the horrible deal struck with them by Winter Soldier Kerry and Barack Obama.

A ninety day suspension will be inconvenient for some but it is not permanent and it is not the end of the world. Get some true vetting happening and allow the laws currently on the books to be enforced. Reform the system, if need be. Most Americans will welcome that.

Get a grip. It's going to be a long four years on the heels of a very long eight years of Barack Obama. Trump has only been in the Oval Office for 8 days. So far, he has done nothing but fulfill campaign promises. That's more than we can say for most of his predecessors.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Not All Women's March - Stuck on Anger

The election of Donald Trump was a shock to most of us, most of all to Republicans and to Hillary Clinton. The left is still reeling from the election results and are working through their grief. Unfortunately, they are stuck on the anger that follows a loss.

There was a commotion called a "Women's March" last weekend - the day after President Trump was sworn into office. Large crowds of angry liberal woman marched in the streets to declare their unhappiness with the 2016 presidential election. Mostly feminists of the 1970's, mostly white and certainly unclear of their message, the willing cable news channels covered it from start to finish with breathless excitement. It was quite a sight.

One of the most sacred rights as an American is that of freedom of assembly. Freedom of speech, and political passion are important elements of our liberty as a free society. God bless America. Marches in the streets, disrupting normal routines of ordinary citizens so that your opinion is heard, are a part of the mix. I applaud citizen involvement.

The march was billed as a march for an entire gender. That kind of sweeping generalization never works, though. This march was clearly organized and comprised of the left. All of the elements of identity politics magically appeared. The Democrats have failed to realize why they lost so badly in the eight years of Barack Obama's presidency. The party is essentially decimated from state houses to the White House. Democrats still run the major urban areas but are powerless outside of them.

The organizers claimed that all women were welcome to march in support of equality and fairness, etc. That sounds good and conservative feminists should have been welcomed with open arms. But this really wasn't about inclusion. The Democrats aren't ready to listen to an alternative opinion on policy issues, so the bubble is still a safe haven. It's easy to get excited and talk with those who agree with you. The hard work comes with realizing that everyone should listen to alternative voices and form complete opinions.

Pro-life feminists were initially granted permission to sponsor and march with the others. Then, upon discovering some women think choice means choosing to save pregnancy, not destroy it, the permits and sponsorships were cancelled. The march was for some women, not all women. Again, the bubble is strong.

The next time a leftist woman demands to be taken seriously as a human being bigger than the sum total of her female body parts, think of the "Women's March" that took place in Washington, D.C. and across the country in traditionally Democrat-run metropolitan areas. Grown women wore "pussy hats" and vagina costumes and used young children to hold signs painted with foul language. Worn out feminist Gloria Steinem demanded that Trump resign immediately - less than a day into his first term. Hollywood celebs looking for even more attention than their craft provides spoke from written texts - including Madonna who voiced her dream of blowing up the White House. In her case, after the Secret Service was brought in to investigate her craziness, she explained it was only "a metaphor". What a coward once she is off the stage.

What was never clear was what exactly is their message. Other than that they are angry that Trump won the election, what is the hysteria about? Can you imagine if conservatives had taken to the streets like that when Obama won in 2008? It was just as much of a gut punch to Republican voters - and 2012 more so - but Trump had only been in the Oval Office mere hours at that point. Shouldn't the man do something before the marching begins?

Coalitions of the usual people marched, many paid for by criminal socialist George Soros. None of their messages were coordinated, other than they are angry that Trump won. What if they had harnessed this energy and did the work to convince regular American voters to vote for Hillary instead of only talking to themselves? What if they relied less on celebrities and more on community leaders to promote a candidate? Hollywood sure couldn't deliver the election for Hillary. They are still at it, though, now with a silly message of signing up to make sure Trump doesn't abuse the Constitution. Ironic, right? Obama - a Constitutional scholar, according to his bio - was overturned more than any other president at the Supreme Court.

Comparisons are being made in the liberal - leaning press that these marches are much like the Tea Party movement in 2009. The problem with that comparison, though, is that The Tea Party began in response to Obamacare, not Obama himself. TEA = taxed enough already. Remember how the press portrayed Tea Party marches and rallies? Remember ugly Democrat women (like Nancy Pelosi) calling Tea Party marchers 'brown shirts' and all the Nazi name calling? It's how the left describes the right. The Tea Party marchers wore silly costumes, too, but theirs were of historical reference, not female body parts. The message was clear from the beginning. The 2010 mid-terms were very successful for Republicans because of the marches and unity against a vast overreach by the Democrats and Obama. The movement has all but fizzled out now.

So, these marches should be watched. It's possible that the Democrats could get organized and communicate a clear message but so far they are off to a rocky start. Regular Americans don't much appreciate Hollywood celebrities - spoiled, rich, liberal celebrities - calling them names and yelling at them about voting for Trump. If it was all just about anger over losing an election, then all of this was for nothing. It will just have been a temper tantrum.

When the march was over, trash was strewn everywhere for someone else to clean up and monuments were defaced. This is the childish, selfish left. Tea Party rallies and marches were known for how clean the areas were when it was over. No one was expected to clean up after them. Personal responsibility - a tenet of Republican philosophy.

I'll be watching for the next event. You should, too. Republicans have been where Democrats are now and we will be again. Politics is cyclical. Stay aware and involved. Elections have consequences.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hurray For a Non-Hollywood Inauguration

In the self-important land of the super-egos, Hollywood stars, entertainers and celebrities live for attention and approval from those around them and from complete strangers. One way of garnering attention is through political speech and activism. The entertainment industry is a leftist industry based in two very blue states, California, and New York. Once a conservative community, that all changed in the turbulent times of the 1960's. Now it is no longer tolerated to even voice conservative political views.

Every Republican president-elect endures headlines and speeches from the famous and wannabe famous leftists who strive for a few minutes of air time or a few paragraphs of ink spilled in, wait for it, leftist newspapers. They never support a Republican president. The added bonus in today's world is social media - Twitter in specific. President-elect Trump comes from this world, an offshoot of his real estate empire, so he knows how to play the game. Unfortunately for celebs, he plays it really well.

Rapidly approaching Inauguration Day, Hollywood and Broadway is in peak meltdown. Naturally the Congressional Democrats are jumping on the bandwagon. You may remember how Democrats disgraced themselves in their reaction to the election of George W. Bush in 2000. He, too, was blasted as "not my President" from the hideous left. Democrats are really sore losers. We had eight years of that.

The latest to join in the bashing ritual is Judd Apatow, executive producer of such stellar movies as "Freaks and Geeks" and he's a writer - he wrote Obama's slam on Trump over "Celebrity Apprentice" back in 2011 at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. It was to publicly humiliate Trump in the midst of the birther controversy.  You get the picture. You may have heard about actress Meryl Streep's screed against Trump and his voters during her acceptance speech of the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award. "Blackish" Actress Tracee Ellis Ross (daughter of Diana Ross) bloviated about donating her Golden Globe jewelry to Planned Parenthood. Rosie O'Donnell wants martial law imposed to stop the inauguration. Each day brings another story of a celebrity making a statement that he or she will not perform or attend Trump's inauguration. Most, I feel certain, were not even asked to do so but never mind.

Here's the thing - I think a Hollywood (and Broadway, for that matter) free inauguration will be refreshing. Much like the election of Donald Trump, it focuses on the regular people, on people without fame or fortune. Trump has also scaled back on the celebration - it is reported that he will only have 3 inaugural balls.Two will be for the public and one is the traditional Commander-in-Chief's ball with military and elected officials. That plan sounds pretty good to me. Instead of rushing from gala to gala and only spending a few minutes at each, Trump will be able to be a bit more relaxed and socialize with the attendees. It puts the focus back on the celebration of a peaceful transfer of power instead of the actual person, or who is seeking glory in the press for attending. 

Democrats are really sore losers. First Lady Michelle Obama declared "when they go low, we go high" and I laughed. She and her husband have been the most petty and divisive to occupy the White House in my lifetime. The silly videos and rallies and commercials used by the Clinton campaign did her no good outside of the large urban areas when Democrats rule. America clearly told them to shut up and act. Or sing. How's the last eight years with a celebrity president worked out?

From Entertainment Weekly, news of a Broadway concert to be held about three hours after Donald Trump is inaugurated. 

"The roster for the gig — slated for Manhattan’s Town Hall at 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, just three hours after Trump is sworn in — brims with Tony Award winners, including Chita Rivera, Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Betty Buckley, Jessie Mueller, and Billy Porter. The lineup also features Sharon Gless, Andrea Martin, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez, Lillias White, Judy Gold, Caroline Rhea, Stephanie Mills, and Charles Busch, among others.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Sierra Club Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, and National Immigration Law Center."

They just don't get it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Civil Rights Legend John Lewis Fires First Shot at President-elect Trump

After testifying against Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) using long ago discredited claims of racism earlier this week, Friday Rep John Lewis (D-GA) took aim at the legitimacy of the American presidential election's victor.

NBC News ran a video clip from an interview conducted with Rep Lewis Friday - the beginning of the MLK, Jr. weekend. Looking to incite racial and political divisiveness, Lewis said he would not be attending the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump and that it would be the first one missed since he came to Washington, D.C. "It will be the first one that I miss since I've been in Congress," he said. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right." http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/john-lewis-trump-won-t-be-legitimate-president-n706676

Lewis stated that  "he does not believe Donald Trump is a "legitimate president," citing Russian interference in last year's election."
"Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, "it's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." He went on to say that the alleged Russian interference "helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton". That last statement is enough to discredit Lewis' argument - Hillary Clinton destroyed her own candidacy in 2009 when she set up a private personal computer server when she became Secretary of State. That sole action was the root of all her problems in office and during her second run for President.

The predictable happened, as Lewis calculated it would - Trump took to Twitter to push back on Lewis. Democrats and the failed #NeverTrump brigade fought back with indignation - how dare Trump respond to Lewis! In the minds of those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, Lewis' past civil rights history exempts him from criticism. This is exactly what Lewis knew would happen. You may remember that Trump slammed another American hero, Senator John McCain, during the GOP primary season. Trump's reaction was no surprise. He punches back. Frankly, Democrats are not used to Republicans doing that.

This is the legacy of Barack Obama - President-elect Donald Trump. The country is more divided than ever and much of it has been deliberately encouraged by him and other Democrats looking to retain power. Make no mistake, this is a power grab play, not a statement about civil rights.

The inauguration of an American president celebrates the peaceful transfer of power in our democratic republic. The American experiment is alive and well. We have all been taught to respect the office of the president whether the incoming president was our choice or not. We are Americans. It's what we do. It is to the country's benefit and all of us in it for a president to be successful. The two victories of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 were a punch to the gut for most Republicans. We were told to get over it immediately and give the man a chance. I did. His utter failure in office had nothing to do with his race but we were called racists for 8 years as we opposed his leftist political agenda.

John Lewis is not above criticism. We can respect his efforts in the civil rights movement and call him out for less than honorable statements, especially as an elected official, when he crosses a line.

This whole effort to delegitimize the election victory may feel familiar to you. It is right out of the playbook from 2000 when George W. Bush won that election. Democrats in Congress did the same thing - remember all the banners and buttons that read "he's not my president"? The Congressional Black Caucus disrupted Bush's confirmation in the House of Representatives then, too. Was that racist?

I can insert a couple of bromides here - change is hard. Elections have consequences. Neither make anyone feel any better and both are true. I was one who did give Obama a chance to get through his inauguration and into his first term with as open of a mind as I could muster. The same must be demanded of Trump's opponents now.