A Summit, Hysteria, and Bovine Excrement

Well, Putin and Trump had a meeting yesterday in Helsinki. Afterwards, Trump said some things that bothered the left. In other words, it was a day ending in Y. I wasn’t all that fond of them, either, really. But then, I never thought Trump was God and never made mistakes. Hannity is as good as anybody on it.

Frankly, I can’t decide whether the left’s goal is to destroy Trump at any cost whatsoever. Or maybe it is to destroy Russia for throwing the communists out, and the United States for winning the cold war. Or both. Apparently, they think a nuclear war is just the way to do that.

I can’t see any particular reason to trust the US Intelligence Community, all my life they’ve always been wrong, from Vietnam to the cold war (whose end they failed to see coming) to Iraq and Afghanistan. And that doesn’t even mention the crap they got up to in the last few years. Now they seem to be in bed with a faction that is at best committing sedition, coming very close to treason itself. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason to trust the Russians.

So put your earplugs in, it ain’t gonna get much better. Personally, I think we need more streetlights on Constitution Ave, and a whole lot of ¾ in manila rope, yes, some assembly required. Not that anybody asked me. So take an even strain, the adults are in charge but keep your powder dry in any case.

In the meantime, Scott Adams and Dave Rubin.

And VDH on the FBI, Trump, and Russia.

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Liberating Europe

So, this week (and a busy one it’s been) has been the Supreme Court, the witchhunt, NATO, and Trump in the UK. They’re all related.

The Court comes down to Constitutional issues, all else is simply a screaming match. The American Spectator puts it well.

Lost is this kind of debate is what should be its proper focus: a debate over governmental structure. In short, we are increasingly losing sight of what our Constitution actually is.

Our federal Constitution is in form a governmental charter (as are state constitutions, but leave them aside here). The Framers of 1787 had studied history intently, and derived lessons from earlier efforts to form a just government, from ancient Greece and Rome to the Articles of Confederation.

Thus, its first three Articles divide powers into legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislators make laws; the executive administers and enforces them; and the judiciary interprets legal/policy terms, their application and (more controversially) in selected cases, their result.

The article is well worth reading.

What we have seen in the last hundred years is that the left, unable to do what they want legislatively, because of both votes and constitutional prohibitions, has taken to legislating from the bench, by nine non-elected robed figures. That is not what the founders envisioned, and the fight to return to that vision will continue.

The witchhunt is a last gasp (hopefully) effort by the elites, the Deep State, whatever term you prefer to continue to rule without reference to the people’s desire. It must be and is likely to be won, but it will be a hard and long slog.

It dovetails into NATO and Trump in Europe quite neatly. Daniel Greenfield explains.

Momentum, the anti-Semitic left-wing hate group, Stop the War’s Trotskyists, the UK version of the pro-Farrakhan racist Women’s March, and the freeloaders of the Trades Union Congress will be part of a London mob of an estimated 50,000 preparing to protest President Trump’s existence.

While the leftist mobs have been unleashed, pro-Trump protesters were leashed. A handful of supporters stood outside Blenheim Palace. One wore a clearly homemade “Britain Loves Trump” sign. The scrawled shapeless heart was in sharp contrast to the professionally designed and mass produced “Dump Trump” signs waved by grim-faced leftists on the verge of breaking into Labour’s, “The Red Flag.” […]

The anti-Trump marchers are a minority machine of massive lefty groups and internationally famous QUANGOs while the handful of pro-Trump supporters speak for a silent majority that is losing its country. And to them, Trump, like Brexit, represents the will of the people against the powerful elites.

The intersection between Trump and Brexit has always been a powerful one.

Brexit and Trump were both dismissed as marginal extremism by the media, but had the support of the people. The elites have struck back by accusing both Trump and Brexit of Russian conspiracy theories. The real sin of both the big ‘T’ and the big ‘B’ is that they reverse the leftist course of history which is meant to run away from nations and into mass borderless conglomerations like the EU or NAFTA.

As Prime Minister May stands accused of betraying Brexit, Trump’s visit is an unwelcome reminder that it is possible for leaders to listen to the people, instead of to the smart set and its media monarchies.

President Trump has been accused of attacking Europe by challenging the usefulness and legitimacy of outmoded international groupings like the EU and NATO. But he isn’t attacking Europe; he’s liberating it from its dogmas and bureaucracies, from red flag waving QUANGOs and mandatory government media.

The transatlantic relationship had fossilized into an arrangement where American firepower protected European socialism and the American economy financed European international organizations. The WTO, the IMF and the World Bank were built on the backs of American workers. The multi obsessions of Europe’s leftist elites were embraced by Democrats from FDR to JFK, from Clinton to Obama.

Europe got a free ride, but its individual nations, with the exception of Germany, lost out. Industries collapsed, jobs vanished and the welfare states only bred malaise and misery. By the time the wholesale Islamic invasion of Europe was underway, its working class cities and towns were even worse off than their American Rust Belt counterparts while their farmers had been reduced to tourist attractions.

The pro-Trump marchers come from the same working class as Tommy Robinson. They’re worlds away from the angry students working on degrees in ethnoecology and waving mass produced placards.  The two Britains that collided over Brexit are clashing once again over Trump. One is the borderless Britain of the QUANGO, the transnational red flag and the Muslim migrant. The other is fighting for its life.

Trump is a powerful symbol of people power. And that symbol raises fear and hope in the UK.

All of this is demonstrably true. And you know, the leftists in the streets of London looked just as foolish and childish as they do in the States. And for those of us who have conservative friends in the UK (and especially England), we are seeing the old pattern, the Midlands, the North, and the East are combining to start the process of Making Britain Great Again. This is the very combination that once upon a time, when America was merely a gleam in Freedom’s eye, toppled and executed a King of England and Scotland. One who thought his authority came from God, Himself. For the first time, it was demonstrated that the people are sovereign.

Will that happen again? No, HMQ has been very thoroughly defenestrated, and besides, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she agrees with her people. But the political hacks would be wise to check six. They won’t though, they really do think they are the wave of the future. But they’re not, they are the bad old days, come back to haunt us.

Daniel Greenfield again:

 As Marine One flies over Britain while red-faced reds scream futile insults at the sky, carve obscene crop circles, and beat pots and pans in the street, they know that an unstoppable wave of change is breaking over Britain.

Despite what Bernie Sanders will tell you, socialism has failed in Europe. Its blight isn’t as obvious to American tourists as it is in Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea, but it has, to paraphrase Thatcher, taken the socialists of London, Berlin and Brussels longer to run out of other people’s money. […]

The European nation-state, once the backbone of western civilization, cannot rise again as long as it’s dependent on the United States. The cycle of dependency and loathing expressed at its best and worst between the US and the UK is dysfunctional and cannot last. Trump’s message is that it’s ending.

A nation cannot respect itself or respect others until it is independent of them. Brexit is the first step, but not the last, to the rebirth of the Britain whose new day will light a fresh blaze of national glories.

He’s right, spot on right. And once again, on that day, the Anglo-Saxon will still again have saved Europe.

Telling England (and Europe) the Truth

Getty Pool

Well, the President is now in the UK, after lobbing some American truth grenades around in Brussels. They are needed, and he reflects, as usual, the view of the American on the street.

It is tiresome protecting people who disdain to protect themselves, let alone disregard their own vital interests to pander to corporatists and foreign powers. Yes, I am referring to the Nordstream pipeline whereby Germany spends many billions of dollars to import natural gas from Russia bypassing eastern Europe – which they, no less than the US, are pledged to defend. Although it is unclear how that will work with their seven operational aircraft, less than a hundred tanks, and less than 200,000 service people – less than the Weimar Republic was allowed.

It brings to mind an old American adage:

“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

But really, why should we? Someone said the other day that if Europe was owned by Disney, the sign would say “Yesterdayland”. It’s pretty much true, Europe as we have known it is a dying continent. It may be beyond help. In population, in economics, and yes, in military force.

The UK too tends that way, but not as much. It retains a robust memory of what it once was, and once one gets away from London, is still is, in large part, the land we all knew.

But its politics are broken, even worse than ours were after Reagan and before Trump. Corbyn’s Labour Party, much like the US Democrats, was once the party of unionized labor, now its politics often make Stalin look conservative. It is anti everything that most of us think good, not to mention anti-Semitic and anti-British, and anti-American. But it has largely put a spoke in the wheel of British governance, not because of what it believes, so much as the fear of the party by everybody else.

The Conservatives have slipped to the left as well. Jess often commented that Maggie moved the so-called Overton window to the right, and she was right. No more. The Tories make the US Republican establishment look positively conservative. Nor does it help that many British cannot seem to tell the difference between corporatist and capitalist.

Earlier this week, we looked at the current Brexit deal (here). In short what it does is make the UK a colony of the European Union – the worst of all possible worlds. It means being subject to the rule of one of the most corrupt groups in the world, without even (an ineffectual) vote in the proceedings.

UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party) which was the main driver that brought about the Brexit vote, more or less dissolved upon victory, with its former leader Nigel Farage going into radio and such. It seems to have thought its job was done, and the Tory government would carry out the will of the people clearly expressed. That was so optimistic as to be delusional.

It is now quickly gaining members (and the Tories losing commensurately) as what the May government has done sinks in, but it may be too late. There are two ways to forcibly retire the May government. Michael St. George details them here. Both are fraught with uncertainty.

Into this self-created mess, Donald Trump flew yesterday, doing his truth-telling act. He told the Daily Sun, the last semi conservative paper in Britain, that the Brexit deal outlined in the white paper leaves the UK subject to the EU (thus the BRINO moniker: Brexit in name only) and as such we will have to negotiate with the EU rather than the UK. In other words, the promised US-UK trade deal will likely be off. The obvious truth, but it rocked the island.

The President also said that he, like many British themselves, used to love London, but now avoids it. Sensible, since the current mayor, Sadiq Khan is doing his very best to make it still another multicultural ‘third world shithole’. He makes diBlasio look reasonable.

While this was going on, he had a very nice dinner at Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born, and the gift of the nation to Sir John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, perhaps the greatest British general since William the Marshal.

Today, he will meet the Queen, which I’d guess he will enjoy, and she just might as well. She’s met every American president since Truman, and some reports say is also a Brexiteer (although as befits her job, a quiet one).

There are protests, of course, in London, encouraged by the Mayor, which have prompted both the US and the Japanese Embassies to advise their nationals to maintain a low profile this weekend. Well justified, yesterday it was reported that the former UK ambassador to the US was badly beaten in the street. The police claim it was a simple robbery attempt.

What Britain needs is a leader that the people can rally around. I, like many others, do like like Jacob Rees-Mogg, but question whether he’s up to the task, or even able to see it in its full dimensions. Trump also said last night that he thinks Boris Johnson would make a great PM. Well, Trump is a pretty good judge, although ‘great’ seems a bit far over the bridge, but in any case, do the Tories have the guts to even try to solve this mess? I have my doubts.

So, today it will be off to Scotland and then on to meet Putin.

Jabberwocky and the Supreme Court

David Harsanyi recently noted in The Federalist that the Democrats don’t fear Brett Kavanaugh as much as they fear The Constitution. He is correct. And it is an existential threat to them.

Specifically,” prospective presidential candidate Kamala Harris argues, “as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.” Surely the former Attorney General of California comprehends that “health care” is not a constitutional right, but rather a policy concern whose contours are still being debated, and probably will be for decades, by lawmakers.

What Harris probably means is that Kavanaugh is an existential threat to the practice of forcing Americans to buy products in the private marketplace against their will.

And

Leading presidential contender Bernie Sanders, whose collectivist doctrine clashes directly with Constitution’s goal of restraining the state and empowering the individual, worried about “workers’ rights, health care, climate change, environmental protection and gun safety.” He should.

Kavanaugh, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, is a critic of Chevron deference, the practice that allows administrative agencies to ignore their charge and have free rein to interpret statutory authority in virtually any way they please. Few things undermine the socialist agenda more than limiting our regulatory agencies’ ability to lord over the economic decisions of Americans.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another potential presidential hopeful, says Kavanaugh “can’t be trusted to safeguard rights for women, workers or to end the flow of corporate money to campaigns.” To “safeguard” the rights of women means keeping abortion legal on the federal level, without any genuine restrictions. While invented rights are sacramental, other precedents, like stopping the “flow of corporate money” – which is to say, the right of free expression codified by the Citizens United decision – should be conveniently discarded. There is absolutely no guiding principle to any of this other than political preference.

In Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll has Humpty Dumpty explain his use of words to us (and Alice) thusly…

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

And that is exactly what the left tries to do. But the Constitution’s words are very stubborn things and so are those of us who haven’t gone through the looking glass, and we keep insisting that words mean just what they say, as they always have, do, and always shall.

And that is exactly what we mean when we refer to originalism and textualism – words mean what they say. It is one of the main things that has made America different, the law is the law, and it is supposed to apply to everyone. And yes, you may have noticed that we have been having problems on that score lately, it is most definitely related.

And that is also why judges like Cavanaugh (and Gorsuch) and others like them, are so threatening to the Democrats. If the law is the law, the law is no longer what they desire, and if they have to obey it, well, they don’t find that fun. After all, Hillary probably does not think international orange is the most flattering color for her pantsuit.

All of this refers to the rule of law, and that is the basis that made “The West the Best”. It was best exercised in the US and the rest of the Anglosphere, and is the very reason why we have outstripped the rest of the world, in economics, in freedom, and in all the rest.

And yes, the United States Constitution is foundational to this all over the world, I can’t count the number of times that I have heard Englishmen and women (where the concepts of American law developed) quote our constitution.

It is something worth defending, and it shall be defended. And that is why Trump, since his election, has become very definitely: My President. And he would be, if he did nothing else.

 

BRINO

So what is going on in Britain? If you’re paying attention, you’ll note that the people who want to leave the EU (and are referred to as Brexiteers) are very angry at the Prime Minister. Why? Because of what she tried to do last weekend. Here is what Martin Howe QC has to say about it.

From Euro Guido, who summarizes as such:

  • The Chequers proposals would involve the permanent continuation in the UK of all EU laws which relate to goods, their composition, their packaging, how they are tested etc etc in order to enable goods to cross the UK/EU border without controls. All goods on the UK manufactured in the UK for the UK domestic market, or imported from non-EU countries, would be permanently subject to these controls.
  • There would be a general obligation to alter these laws in future whenever the EU alters its own laws, with a mechanism for Parliament to block such changes which is probably theoretical rather than practical.
  • This would put the EU in a position to fashion its rules relating to goods so as to further the interests of continental producers against UK competitors, when we will have no right to vote on those rules.
  • The obligation to follow the EU rulebook for goods would gravely impair our ability to conduct an independent trade policy. In particular, it will prevent us from including Mutual Recognition Agreements for goods in trade treaties and this is likely to destroy the prospect of successfully achieving meaningful agreements with some of the prime candidates such as the USA and Australia.
  • These proposals therefore lead directly to a worst-of-all-worlds “Black Hole” Brexit where the UK is stuck permanently as a vassal state in the EU’s legal and regulatory tarpit, still has to obey EU laws and ECJ rulings across vast areas, cannot develop an effective international trade policy or adapt our economy to take advantage of the freedom of Brexit, and has lost its vote and treaty vetos rights as an EU Member State.

In other words, it leaves Britain worse off than before the vote, subject to the rules of the EU, which is well on the way to killing Europe, but without a vote. In other words a colony of Germany. It’s not going down well.

From David Davis (The Minister for Brexit)

From Guido

From Boris Johnson (The Foreign Minister)

Also Guido

There are a few more, that you likely have never heard of. Then there is this.

And

What MS Jenkyns is talking about is the fall of Theresa May’s government. Possibly to be replaced with somebody else, most of my friends are hoping Jacob Rees Mogg will step forward, and I think he may the best on offer. Here is Kathy Gyngell of TCW explaining.

It could also trigger an election, if no Tory can form a government. At the moment, and in a major change over the weekend, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party leads. By the way, Corbyn makes Obama look conservative

In other words, Theresa May has dug herself into a hell of a hole and is still digging. By the way, Nigel Farage says that he may well re-enter British politics because of this fiasco sell out. I’m not smart enough to know what happens next, not sure anybody really is. But what I’m hearing from my conservative British friends is a quote from “Old Noll”, Cromwell himself.

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!”

 


So who exactly is Trump meeting with on Thursday? Probably still Mrs. Dismay, but her authority is weakened badly.

POTUS, SCOTUS, and the Rule of Law

So tonight we’ll know who Trump’s second pick for the Supreme Court is. There is a list of twenty-five names if you’ve been comatose, and four of those are considered front-runners. They are Raymond Kethledge, Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Hardiman, and Amy Coney Barrett. I’ve read a certain amount about each of them, and while my sentimental pick is Amy Coney Barrett, I don’t really care. They are, each and every one, an outstanding choice. None are really conservative, or liberal, all are originalist and textualist, which is as it should be.

Paul Mirengoff over at PowerLine says that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that two of them have fewer obvious problems in confirmation, and therefore he suggests either Kethledge or Hardiman. That is a valid opinion, it’s going to be a very noisy confirmation, and it would be very good to get it done by election day, and optimally by the Court’s next term, so what he thinks would be easier for him to ramrod through the Senate matters. It’s not the only consideration, but it is an important one, and with a field so bursting with talent, it matters.

McConnell reportedly believes that Barrett might encounter resistance from Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski because she is an outspoken social conservative who some observers believe may be more amenable than others on the short list to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Kavanaugh might present different challenges. His role in the George W. Bush administration and in the Ken Starr investigation has generated millions of pages of documents. Senate Democrats would demand to see every one them. This could stall the nomination, making it impossible to confirm Kavanaugh before the Supreme Court begins its next term and maybe before the mid-term elections.

So we’ll find out who the President wants tonight. We can already see what the left will bring to the battle: emotion and prejudice. Neither are valid. What is at stake here is the Republic, and the rule of law and all four of these eminent jurists have their heads on pretty straight.

Steve Chapman in Reason spoke to this point back in 2008.

One of the axioms of American democracy is that we are a government of laws, not of men. We are supposed to follow the requirements of our Constitution and statutes even when they yield results we don’t like—say, freeing a person who appears guilty.

In this format, it actually goes back to John Adams in the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, but in reality, it is enshrined in Magna Charta, and in King Alfred the Great’s charter. It is one of the main reasons why the United States and (so far) the United Kingdom have remained free and built the modern world.

It’s a lovely feeling, isn’t it, to know that while careers are at stake, we can trust the president to make an excellent choice?

In a related thought, as I was listening to the anguish last night from Britain at the way HMG is attempting to sell out Brexit over the heads of the people (more perhaps later in the week on this) it struck me, as it often does, how lucky we are to have President Trump, untoward Tweets and all. We have a president who understands how to negotiate, how to take the people into his confidence, and other things. But above all, we have a President who puts country before party. Who is quite obviously an American patriot, who puts America first, and after the Obama regime, it is so very refreshing. I hope (and pray) the British can find someone to put Britain First.

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