Of Elections and Counter Revolutions

Tomorrow Britain votes in a general election, the prime contenders are Boris Johnson of the (not) Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn of the CPSU Labour Party. What’s going to happen is anybody’s guess. There are several smaller parties including The Brexit Party that ran the table in the European elections, but has recently waned, although they might pick up a seat or so, there is the UnLiberal Not Democrats who will take remainer votes (maybe) from Labour. UKIP has a few candidates and an outstanding Manifesto, which means little since they’ll be very lucky to get one seat, and more, including The Monster Raving Loony Party which is a good description of this election.

The best write up I’ve seen is this, from Law and Liberty The best ad I’ve seen is this new one from the Conservatives.

Pretty cute, and just a bit Trumpian. That’s important, Britain is fighting the same revolution we are, against their own deep state and the politicians embedded in it. So we’ll see. Not least if Boris can break free from his own swamp background.


Then there is Washington, where the House has gone not so much extra-constitutional as downright anti-constitutional. Well, we know how that plays in Peoria, don’t we? Christopher Knight in American Thinker is good on this.

When I consider Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Jerry Nadler maneuvering for impeachment of President Donald Trump, it is with some dark bewilderment. They have no idea what disaster they are courting for themselves and their allies. It will not end well for them. […]

Since the summer of 2015 the hardliners of the Deep State have gazed at Trump with derision, then desperation, and now total destruction in mind. To them the American people simply aren’t meant for a loosening of control and regaining oversight of their own government. Trump’s message resonated with those same American people as had nothing in recent memory. Democracy came to Eastern Europe by ballots and not bullets. So too did American citizenry in flyover country begin to revolt against their elitist masters.

It wasn’t part of “the plan” and perhaps for the first time ever, the Deep State shuddered in fear. The revolution was not only televised, it was splayed across Facebook and Twitter. But if not Trump himself, someone else would have inevitably threatened the entrenched political and media complex. The peril would come. It was only a matter of when. […]

Who among the faces of this “glorious revolution” will win the White House in 2020? It may be the most lackluster field of candidates in modern history. Which alone indicates to me that Trump would be too smart than to level unethical sabotage against any political opponent: Joseph Biden will never be as formidable as even George McGovern. And Adam Schiff as the one who will go down in legend as the man who toppled the President? Oh please….

In short, it’s pretty much all over, but the executions err trials. What could rekindle the whole mess? You know as well as I, and I think Barr and Durham know it as well. If that happens, the half a billion privately owned arms held by the foresight of the founder’s might make an appearance. Not to be wished, it is a doomsday alternative, but it is more likely than at any time since 1865.

IG’s, Impeachment, and Defending the Realm

And so, today, we’re supposed to see the long-anticipated Inspector General report. That’s all to the good, even if, in a properly run country, it should have been a year ago. But a properly run country has little to do with Washington for reasons we have often discussed.

So don’t get your hopes up, the IG has very limited scope and even more limited powers, if they weren’t, I suspect he would not exist. But it is a continuation. Mueller’s report should have been a cold shower, this should be another. The real justice starts (maybe) with Barr. Maybe it starts on November 3, 2020, or maybe it never starts. Who knows?

Clarice Feldman has a good summary at American Thinker which you should read.

The week ended with the President trumping a low pair — congressmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler — when White House Counsel Pat Cipollone responded to Congressman Nadler’s demand that the Judiciary Committee be informed if the White House intended to participate in the second act of the impeachment clown show. The letter in sum says, “go right to impeachment so we can have a real trial in the Senate”:

Which over at Ace’s, where they speak American, no doubt elicited the comment “LOLGF”, as it should. It also means, “See you in November, sucker, after the American people fire you.” And that will happen to some, maybe quite a few of these swamp sucking scum. Clarice continues:

Mollie Hemingway who, like me, doesn’t believe the President will be impeached, notes the likely witness list in a Senate hearing, which, unlike the House hearings, operates like a real trial with due process protections.

Among those she thinks would certainly be subpoenaed: Adam Schiff, Eric Ciaramella and his lawyer Mark Zaid, Schiff staffers, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and Democratic members of Schiff’s Permanent Select Committee on Investigations.

She indicates the trial will have access to extensive declassified materials (declassified by the President) including transcripts of those that Schiff’s committee questioned in closed-door hearings which he has refused to release (probably because they support the President).

A re-examination, this time by hostile questioners, of the parade before Schiff’s committee and a subpoenaing of many of the upper levels of the Obama administration.

Did Nadler’s hearing this week, add a single thing to the Schiff hearings? No, says Hemingway, who very accurately described them:

Of his three witnesses, one was an Elizabeth Warren donor who previously said she couldn’t stand to walk on the same sidewalk as the Trump hotel. Another witness previously said Democrats didn’t even need evidence of crimes committed by the president in order to impeach him. And their third and final witness previously helped run Dianne Feinstein’s anti-Brett Kavanaugh smear operation in 2018.

To those skeptical that any of the wrongdoers at high level will be jailed, she reminds us of other consequences they’d face: lost clearances, extensive legal fees, and vastly diminished reputations.

The end result: an acquittal and ”a massive election victory for Trump.”

First and maybe most important, follow Clarice’s link to Mollie Hemingway, she is amongst, if not the, best journalist in Washington.

Each day this farcical pretense continues the President’s popularity and war chest grows.

It doesn’t take a lot of deep political thought to see where this is headed. Even if the Democrats in the House vote to impeach — and it still isn’t a given that they’ll have the votes — the Senate will never convict.

The president, however, may end up with a campaign war chest the likes of which no incumbent has ever seen.
Impeach him, and he shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

In short, the House Democratic Caucus has voluntarily become The Committee to Reelect the President.

A palate cleanser, a real patriot on what is important in government. Ann Widdecombe, of the Brexit Party, on Defense of the Realm. Enjoy.

Sunday Funnies; Narwhal Tusks and Impeachment

Another week nearly beyond description, but we’ll try

There are still, I guess, Democrats who want to be president, but they have it wrong, we usually don’t elect the most stupid candidate. 2d most maybe, but not the most.

I can’t really blame Nancy Pelosi for running away from reality last week though.

Die Hard Advent Calendar

And, of course:

Or maybe this suits this audience better

How about an advent special?

On Line, Fix Bayonets

War is the continuation of politics by other means.

Carl von Clausewitz

 

So, Nancy Pelosi has decided, regardless of the evidence to go ahead with impeachment. Why? After all, it’s a guaranteed loser in the Senate and mostly serves to even more divide the country. Eric Georgatos writing in American Thinker has a theory.

There’s something about the timing of Pelosi’s announcement relative to next Monday’s release of IG Horowitz’s report that makes it seem very possible she’s going for a grand bargain with President Trump.

She’s on record saying there will be a House vote because the facts of Trump’s egregious behavior warrant no less. That, in her world, constitutes a giant sword of Damocles over Trump (he’ll be in the history books as an ‘impeached President’) or, more practically, a giant negotiating chit with President Trump when the ‘stuff’ hits the fan from Horowitz’ report and the Barr/Durham follow-up.

This makes sense to me, Pelosi has never been anything but a politician and her dad was as well (although there are substantial rumors that he was well connected in organized crime circles, as well). Having grown up near Chicago that would not surprise me even slightly, and Baltimore (where she’s from isn’t very different. But big-city politics is not quite the all-pervasive thing that it is in the cities in the rest of the country

And the word ‘orchestrated’ in this context includes the fabrication of evidence and the deliberate leaking by top officials of confidential information to harm Donald Trump. It is behavior the vast majority of Americans have never thought their government officials to be capable of; it is deceit and dishonesty on a nearly unimaginable scale; it is unconscionable evil.

IG Horowitz’ report will both confirm and add fuel to the bonfire of anger already sweeping the country among American patriots. The demand for Barr/Durham to impose accountability will be at DefCon 3, and not even clubby senators are going to be able to manage or control it.

For reference, the last time we were at DEFCON 3 was the Cuban Missile Crisis (SAC was at DEFCON 2 then). We have never been at DEFCON 2 worldwide. In this scenario, I think that there are a lot of Americans who will identify themselves as SAC, there is a reason why last Friday saw the second-largest ever number of NCIS checks for gun purchases It missed the record by about 600. That after eight years where Obama was the best gun salesman America ever saw.

And so Nancy Pelosi may believe she had better have something in hand to bargain with President Trump to temper the fire that might just consume for decades the Democratic Party that lies behind this grotesque abuse of government power.

So Pelosi’s pitch may be: Mr. Trump, we’ll drop the impeachment vote if you’ll call off Barr/Durham. You can then tweet all you want about what Horowitz reported (and we’ll rely on the MSM to smother it, and report our counter-spin), and we’ll yammer all we want about the serious case for impeachment that we’ve uncovered. But to save the country from the risk of hot war, we’ll drop our impeachment attack on you, and you’ll drop the Barr/Durham attack on our coup.

Yeah, Whatever.

About those bayonets

Mr. Georgatos uses the example of COL (later BGEN) Joshua Chamberlin the quiet scholarly colonel of the 20th Maine at Gettysburg, where he won the Medal of Honor for leading his regiment in a bayonet charge at Little Round Top on the second day securing the left of the Army of the Potomac’s line. When that charge started the regiment was out of ammunition. It’s an excellent example of the American way. He was also the officer who formally took the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, calling the Army of the Potomac to ‘Carry Arms” when the Confederates marched in.

But as I look around, I think a better example is LT (later COL) Rick Rescorla, of the 2/7th Cavalry at the First of Ia Drang in 1965, where he found his platoon heavily engaged by an ambush at LZ Albany, and where the LT, an immigrant from Cornwall, and combat veteran of the British Para’s gave their command sequence, “On Line, Fix Bayonets, Ready Forward”. He became the face of the battle in the film We Were Soldiers Once, and Young. And one of the most moving sequences is the climax when the Spad (and the gunships) comes to their support. And we have definitely been ambushed.

Why do I think this may be a better example? One, because while the cause might be in rather dire straits (the cause being the Republic itself) we have perhaps overwhelming support, and we’re not short of ammunition, although it may not be at the point of action.

I also think that the fact that LT Rescorla was a Briton matters. Yes, Americans make superb soldiers, but that too is partly part of our heritage from Britain.

And if I were Boris Johnson, I do not think I’d be laughing very much, he’s got his own problems with a very restive native population. And for the very same reason. Not for nothing did Kipling write.

“My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for share
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.

“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.

“But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they’re saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ’em out if it takes you all day.

They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark.
It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man- at-arms you can find.

“Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you fellows’ and ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ’em a lie!”

It’s a timeless warning to those who would oppress free English speaking people. It’s also the explanation of why the United States lined up with the protestors in Hong Kong.

It’s entirely possible that we will witness the suppression of the Democratic Party for generations. And it may be nearly as bloody as the first time.

Destroying the Heartland

Did you see Tucker Carlson the other night, talking about Paul Singer? If not, here it is and for that matter, if you did, watch it again.

He’s spot on, judging by what I know. John Daniel Davidson in The Federalist adds detail to what Tucker says.

The point of highlighting the fate of this one town and the role of Singer in its demise isn’t to vilify capitalism or the free market in general, but to point out how the system is engineered to benefit the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. As Willis Krumholtz explains nearby in greater detail, the story of Cabela’s and the people of Sidney is an example of “financial engineering that paid a select few off, while the whole suffered.”

This critique goes to the heart of what the political right has been grappling with in the age of Trump. What is the proper role of the government ad public policy in American society? Whose interests should it serve?

Much of what’s behind Trump-era populism, not just in America but across the West, is the dawning realization that the post-Cold War global capitalist system doesn’t necessarily benefit working- and middle-class Americans—or at least that free trade and global capitalism aren’t unmitigated goods. They have costs, and those costs are borne disproportionately by ordinary people, the kind of people who get laid off from Cabela’s for no good reason other than it made Singer a pile of money.

This isn’t just an economic question. The role of government is also at the center of the ongoing Sohrab Amari-David French debate on the right about whether the public sphere can really ever be neutral and what, if anything, conservatives should do to advance what they see as the good. Libertarian-minded conservatives like French look at drag queen story hour and conclude, hey, this is just the price of liberty. We can no more use government power to prohibit drag queens in public libraries than we can use it to prohibit any other kind of free speech

Ahmari and others have challenged this way of thinking, positing that liberty has an object, which is the good, and that government’s role is not just to protect liberty but also to promote and defend the good. Things like stable and intact families, prosperous communities, and vibrant churches and schools aren’t merely what we hope might spring forth from unfettered liberty secured by a neutral and indifferent government; they’re the entire purpose of securing liberty in the first place.

The phrase A more perfect Union comes to mind. Our founders didn’t design a country to make certain individuals rich. They, and we mostly have no objection to that, it is the proper outcome of doing your job well. That doesn’t mean that doing your job well means to destroy the neighborhood or even the region.

Also in The Federalist and also linked above, Willis L. Krumholz gives a very good explanation of how this works.

Delphi, too, is a complicated story. The automotive parts company was coming out of bankruptcy before Singer bought it. That doesn’t excuse the mass-outsourcing of jobs, or policies that allowed this to happen even after a taxpayer bailout, but Singer doesn’t face the sole responsibility for what happened to those jobs.

Yet there’s a dark side to Singer’s brand of capitalism. For example, the case was surely made that Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops had “synergies.” They sell the same stuff, and the stores even look similar. But the two companies were separately profitable. Now, the combined company has a ton of debt, and little room to grow profit aside from cutting costs and using their newly acquired market power to increase prices.

Not only that, if everything is about shareholder returns, it should be noted that most mergers destroy shareholder wealth, not build it.

Hedge funds are different than private equity funds, and there are various types of private equity and hedge fund strategies. Many are totally benign, and often, private equity actually helps firms start up or recover from bankruptcy.

But there is a strain of private equity, known as leveraged buyouts (LBOs), that has been more destructive. In an LBO, a private equity (PE) firm buys a company. But that company is too big and expensive to be bought with the PE money alone, so paying out the existing shareholders requires saddling the company with oodles of debt. Often, 90 percent of the acquisition price is funded via debt.

But the PE firm doesn’t owe that debt, the company does, and some of the debt can even be used to pay the PE firm, and its partners, a dividend. The PE firm then exits the investment by re-taking the company “public” at what the PE firm hopes is a higher share price. At this point the PE firm has made money, and has no ties to the company it used to own, but that company still has the debt load.

OK read the articles and draw your own conclusions, I’m no expert, Thank God since I like to sleep at night, but I’ve watched over the last decade as Cabela’s has gone from being one of my favorite stores to a place I’d just as soon avoid. And closer to me, I’ve watched as Monroe Shock Absorbers has closed a plant that kept a town going, and as whatever Baldwin Filters is now, did the same to another town 10 miles away.

It’s real, it’s happening, and it’s eating the heart out of the middle of the country. Here, for my money, is one of the causes of many of the problems, including the opioids epidemic have their roots.

But Wait, There’s More!

I’m even less of an expert on who owns the GOP, although I’ve my suspicions. But I suspect Ace has a pretty good clue, and he’s one of very few who has the guts to call it as he sees it.

People like Paul Singer control the GOP and are effectively in a conspiracy against actual GOP voters. When Singer’s kid announced he was gay, Paul Singer basically mandated that the GOP become pro-gay marriage, and the GOP complied.

Another billionaire funder, Stanley Hubbard, told, in 2016, his own pet candidate Scott Walker that he must not question the Corporate Class Consensus on birthright citizenship and high levels of tolerated, supposedly illegal immigration.

Hubbard issued his rebuke, and Walker changed his tune to sing the Corporate Class anthem within a day.

Tuesday: Stanley Hubbard, a conservative billionaire who oversees a Minnesota broadcasting company and has donated to Walker’s campaign, confronts Walker on the issue during a lunch in Minnesota. Hubbard strongly opposes ending birthright citizenship, and he tells The Washington Post that he “might really quickly change my allegiance” if Walker pushs for such a repeal. Hubbard says he “did not get a real straight answer” from the candidate, but he comes away ready to write more checks to help Walker, adding, “I got the feeling that he is not at all anxious to talk about taking away those rights.”

A lot of “conservative journalists” are actually bought-and-paid-for propagandists for monied interests. You know how AEI “chairs” work? Specific billionaires fund specific “chairs” and give them to specific propagandists posing as “journalists.”

And

Meanwhile, Paul Singer calls the shots in the GOP. If you ever wonder why the GOP supports so many unpopular positions with incredible zeal and passion (such as vulture capitalism), and why the GOP runs away from some popular issues like border enforcement, and why the GOP takes the Democrat side on issues which are 50/50 (gay stuff, abortion), it’s because very rich liberals like Paul Singer, who have no interest in the GOP or conservatism except to pervert it into a tool to help put more money into their pockets,, have willed it so, and all of our chickenshit “representatives” can’t quit that sweet, sweet plutocrat money.

Pretty much, whenever the GOP is acting in what appears to be an inexplicably stupid or traitorous way, the reason is that, of course, they’re being paid to act that way, and they of course can’t admit that publicly.

It’s time to take this trash out.

Past time, actually. It’s been stinking for decades. But better late than never.

As for Ben Sasse, it was pretty obvious even before he was elected that he was a tool, long since bought and paid for. It’s people like him that cause us to hold our noses and vote for the least evil. It’s also why I almost never vote for an incumbent. And yes, I will be voting against him next year in the primary. In the general, we’ll have to see.

I see Sen Sasse has responded to Tucker Carlson, it is here. You make your own call, I have.

#WEXIT

I live in Nebraska and sometimes dream of moving back to Indiana. But my heritage is the upper midwest, where I feel at home from western Minnesota to the Continental Divide, usually within about a hundred miles of the Canadian border. My family is from northern North Dakota, and my dad told stories of marching in the Canada Day parade in Fort Garry (Winnepeg now). Pretty much all my life I’ve known Canadians, and you know, it’s really hard to tell them from Americans eh.

Maybe that’s why this story struck me.  Canada is having the same battle we are, between the takers, mostly on the coasts, and the makers, in the heartland, only more so than we are. Brandon J. Weichert writes in American Greatness

Canada is a huge country geographically—the world’s second-largest behind Russia—but it’s internally disconnected and highly integrated with its American neighbor. Since vast swaths of the country is uninhabitable, most of the population lives within a two-hour car ride of the U.S. border. As time progresses, Canada’s geopolitical situation will make even less sense than it does now. Its demographics are working against the country’s long-term economic well-being.

More importantly, as the Arctic Circle becomes a zone of strategic competition, the United States will be forced to develop and better defend the territories to its north (just as it did with its Western territories in the 19th and early 20th centuries).

Which makes Alberta an attractive place.

Alberta is an energy-producing giant; the “Texas of the North,” according to the popular saying. Of Canada’s 10 provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan provide the bulk of the economic heft for Canada. Albertans already enjoy the second-highest income of any province in the West. Yet Canada’s central government in Ottawa has made every effort to alienate Alberta.

For years, Albertans have chafed under the high-tax policies of the central government. It’s no wonder. Alberta is a highly productive economic zone and its citizens, understandably, resent having to bear a disproportionate tax burden to help prop up the less productive provinces.

Alberta’s demographic and economic profile is the inverse of many of the other provinces in Canada. Observes Peter Zeihan in his 2014 magnum opus, The Accidental Superpower: “As Canada’s—and Ontario’s and Quebec’s—population continues to age, a far worse than a disproportionate share of [national taxes] will be loaded into the Albertans’ national tax bill.”

This is a classic example of “no taxation without representation.”

Alberta and neighboring Saskatchewan are being taxed for their prosperity—just as the United States was by the British in the run-up to the Revolutionary War. Plus, Alberta’s essential oil and natural gas industry is entirely linked to and dependent on the larger U.S. economy. As time progresses, Albertans understandably will become less interested in being a part of a country that they are underwriting without also enjoying extra benefits for the privilege.

A Western Canada exit—WEXIT—has become a mantra among many Albertans and Saskatchewanians. A few years ago, the Wildrose Party, which began as an Albertan separatist movement but has since merged with another group to form the United Conservative Party, won plaudits from voters by highlighting the growing tensions with Ottawa. Although current polls suggest a majority of Albertans do not favor separation from Canada, support for secession has increased to historic highs (up eight points since the last Ipsos poll was conducted in 2018).

As time progresses, the United Conservative Party naturally will become more powerful as Albertan voters rightly view them as the only thing standing between their hard-earned wealth and a redistributionist government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

OK, I admit it, to me this makes all the sense in the world. It would be excellent for the US if Alberta and perhaps Saskatchewan joined us. Culturally they long since have anyway. For them, it would be a huge improvement. Yes, they, like us would get to support the ne’er do wells in California (and elsewhere), but there are a lot more producers to help in the US, rather than these two provinces carrying all of Canada, most of which is not doing well at all, and for all our problems, we do tend to see reality a bit better.

Adding at least most of Canada’s 3.6 million barrels/per day of oil (most of which goes to market through the US, anyway) to our 15 million barrels/day (around 18.6 mm bbl/day total) gives us an enormous lead. Russia is second at 10.8 million, so nearly double number two.

It also gives those provinces a far greater measure of control of their government, and make no mistake, Canadians are just as fond of self-government as Americans. Not to mention a much better tax structure.

There is also something else, competition is heating up in the Arctic for oil, minerals, and maybe other things. While Alaska is a great bookend, these Provinces give another, a perhaps better route into the Arctic.

That said, it’s not something that America can promote, but we can surely quietly tell our northern cousins that if they so decide, we’d make them quite welcome.

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