Happy (Belated ) Birthday, Uncle Billy

shermanDay late and a dollar short, as usual for me. Yesterday was Uncle Billy Sherman’s birthday. While I missed it, I suspect he would have approved of my post.

Arguably, Uncle Billy is the man who won the Civil War, although he needed cover from Grant in the Army. But the people that admired his work is telling. Patton, Guderian, Rommel, Churchill, Liddel-Hart, Fuller, and many others that I can’t remember.

When he went ‘Marching through Georgia’ he epitomized something he really believed. When one goes to war, one must either “Go Roman or go home”. It’s a lesson our leadership has forgotten since 1945. But it is the cheapest way to fight a war, in blood and treasure and it also means you’ll fight fewer wars because not many are going to be keen to take you on.

He’s quite famous for a speech he made where he said this:

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

He also said this:

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

And this

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

Overall, a pretty good description of American war fighting, and why I think he would approve of yesterday’s article.

My friend, Schaefferhistorian has a bit more on Sherman:

William T. Sherman was born on this day… in 1820.  Reviled by southerners to this day, nonetheless, Sherman stands as an American military icon.  His doctrine of total war has been tossed aside as an aberration, American military personnel have been paying the steep price for ‘partial war’ ever since.

via Happy Birthday Uncle Billy | Practically Historical

In other news, there are a couple of pretty good videos out this week, so let’s have a look. First from Whittle and company.

And this from Melanie Phillips, I also like

Perhaps we should end with another couple of quotes from Uncle Billy which seems appropriate for the times

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts.

I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.

Seems familiar, somehow. But he also had the solution for us.

 

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself.

If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes.

Guns of August, Redux

courtneyskiniSome may well call this a fantasy, but is it? Or is it what happens when America takes the gloves off, and decides some more winning is in order.

“On July 29th 20 Iran successfully launches a Shahab rocket and orbiting satellite, proving it has a formidable functioning delivery vehicle, then announces it has produced sufficient fissionable material at its Natanz facility to build two nuclear bombs in 2017 and begins work on underground test facilities in the basalt formations beneath the great salt desert of Dacht-e-Kavir.

Supreme Leader Ali Khameini announces boldly that his nation has manufactured weapons-grade fissionable material enriched to nearly 100% (in lieu of 5% enrichment for peaceful nuclear reactors).

Two days later Great Satan launches the most audacious regional series of regime changes ever implemented in history, Officially dubbed ‘Operation Boundless Freedom” Allies and enemies alike refer to it as ‘Operation Great Satan”

3 Iranian submarines are destroyed – 1 in the Med, 1 in the Atlantic and 1 in the Indian Ocean. Another surrenders and defects near Barcelona.

Naval and air force assets at Bandar Abbas are hit with a combination of missiles and a French- Saudi Amphibious assault from Qatar and the UAE. Waves of Tomahawk cruise missiles streak through Persian aerospace from ships and subs – effectively targetting the Iranian air force – air fields, missile sites and air defense systems are struck down within hours.

Communications are totally co opted or overwhelmed cybernetically. B2 Stealth bombers sortee to to strike IRRGC command and control HQ’s.

“American warplanes and missiles carefully avoid striking research reactors in Teheran and Ispahan as well as the nuclear reactor at Bousher–less than 100 kilometers from Kuwait–as well as the centrifuges themselves at Natanz in an effort to prevent the spread of radioactive material to nearby population centers.

However, other missiles producing electromagnetic pulses do knock out
virtually all of Iran’s electric grid and computer systems”

Airborne troops from Great Britain and Great Satan sieze all passes through the Zagros mountains – effectively cutting Iran in half.

Special Forces strike and hold especial clerical compounds in Tehran and Qom right before Friday prayers. Nearly 20% of Iran’s ruling praetorian guards and mullahs are captured, killed or missing by breakfast time.

Armed insurgencies break out across Iran as ex and au currant MEK groups strike, sieze and hold towns and cities.

Great Satan’ s seaborne regime changing Marines hit the surf just north of the Litani river in Lebanon and methodically grind and leap frog straight through the heart of Hiz’B’AllahLand.

Known missile batteries and weapons caches (many in innocent civilian rich areas) are captured by chopper borne marines and French commandos or trashed.

HBA’s command complex in Beirut is clamped shut by heavily armed Marines after precision cruise missile strikes.
Al Manar – HBA’s ‘suicide channel’ seems to be co opted – running a marathon of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in Arabic overdubs. All communications in the ME are totally wacked – from Bashar’s Al Sana network to Al Jazeera – regular programming has been replaced with the most outrageous cable quality programming Great Satan can jam like “Playboys Girls Next Door” and choice selections from ‘Girls Gone Wild’

Within 5 days, Iran is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles. By this time the largest armored division in history has left Iraq and “Old Ironsides” is within striking distance of a thunder run into downtown Tehran.

via GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Guns Of August, more at the link.

Will it happen like that, of course not, this is a theoretical. But something very like it could happen if Iran pushes Donald Trump. He has given no indication, ever, that he plays to do anything but win. And a two-week war, followed by the other country starting to rebuild itself, and remember Iran under the Shah was a pretty secular place, and there are still lots of non-Moslems there, fits that description, I think.

You, of course, remember all the hand wringing back before the Iraq wars about Saddam’s vaunted troops, how good they were and how we would take enormous casualties, and how they had stood off Iran for a decade. Yeah, the answer is two words “Thunder Run”, or if you prefer “73 Easting”. That we’ve been thrashing around attempting to assassinate individual terrorists for a few years because of a lack of leadership, does not indicate that is all we can do.

And something else here, this version is from Great Satan’s Girlfriend, but the study was written by Francois Heisbourg. The bio states this:

For there are some extraordinary surprises in this consummate, if brief, but brilliantly conceived work by the man who is perhaps Europe’s leading global thinker–chairman of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, adviser to French presidents and ministers of defense and foreign affairs going back to Valery Giscard d’Estaing and top adviser to French arms makers from Thompson to Matra.

The Anglo-Saxons are Awake!

w1056-5Blaming the responsible

 

And yes, they are fundamentally unserious

 

 

Steve Hayward took a look at the beginning of the Berkely riots. Here is what he saw

Berkeley still has rent control, but it hasn’t stopped Milo Yiannapoulos from living rent-free in the heads of the left. So in another triumph for his ironic performance art, a mini-riot has forced the cancelation of his speech here tonight. I turned up for the beginning of the protest at 5 pm, and it was pretty silly sounding and unimpressive. But I noticed there were TV helicopters circling around above the university, and then I started noticing the professional rioters starting to infiltrate. They were obvious for wearing black apparel an having their faces covered in bandanas or something. There were a lot of people on the periphery talking on their cell phones in what looked like a purposeful way. So I thought the better part of valor was to withdraw from the scene.

Pardon me, but that sounds very much like the professional rioters colluded with the news media, in a planned riot. Is it so? I don’t know, but an investigation wouldn’t hurt.

At the Cologne meeting of European Nationalists, Marine le Pen, who is leading in the French polls, really brought it. The line that stands out for me, is this: “The Anglo-Saxons are Awake! The Continent Is Next!”

 

It’s going to be a very interesting year.

 

Trump’s Immigration Order ≠ Hitler

From Bookworm Room

From Bookworm Room

From Bookworm Room. Long and well worth your time.

The Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed are having a collective mental collapse in response to President Trump’s new immigration order. Typically, their behavior is predicated, not upon actual facts, but upon media propaganda and their own factual and historic ignorance. This post will rebut the worst, most misleading of these arguments, which is the claim Jews and all other decent people must accept unlimited refugees from Muslim countries because Hitler.

My Facebook feed is being inundated with the fallacy holding that, unless we allow unlimited immigration from those seven terrorist-fomenting Muslim countries, we’re no better than America in the late 1930s, when it refused to allow in Jewish refugees, most of whom perished in the Holocaust. [My Twitter feed as well. Neo]

Most especially, because I am a Jew, the Progressives insist I should be on the front-line in the war against the immigration order, screaming “Stop! Don’t take any of these people in the country.” This is a morally evil argument predicated upon ignorance and misrepresentation. […]

We have to begin by remembering who the Jews were and what they were facing:

The Jews were a Europeanized people tied to the same Biblical morality and cultural tradition as America’s Christian majority. As was true for Americans, Jews abided by the Ten Commandments — unsurprising, given that it was Jews who introduced those same commandments to the Christians. As Dennis Prager has explained in his excellent Ten Commandments series of videos, these Commandments serve as the basis for a high functioning, safe, moral community.

The Jews were highly literate and the ones from Western Europe had advanced professional skills that meshed well with and, indeed, added to the American skill set. Many were as, if not more, sophisticated than the majority of Americans.

Most importantly, their grounding in Torah meant that they were exceptionally law-abiding. Not only do the vast majority play by general rules governing good citizenship, they never engaged in rape as a means of conquest, honor killing, genital mutilation, systemic discrimination, or genocidal ideology. Taking them into America would not have affected American values, nor would it have put American citizens at risk of mass rape, female mutilation, torture, or murder on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, or sexual orientation.

The Jews were also on the receiving end of an utterly unprecedented, completely aberrant, attempt in the modern era to destroy an entire race of people. Europe, of course, had always practiced a deadly antisemitism, but it was sort of like an endemic disease: It appeared randomly, it never killed everyone, and the disease’s victims (i.e., the Jews) had learned to adapt to it.  They survived and, in Enlightenment Europe, they even thrived.

Hitler’s approach was entirely different. It wasn’t an endemic problem. It was, instead, a pandemic disease that had a 100% mortality rate for Jews. Even worse for those poor Jews, there were no contiguous nations immune to the disease. While righteous individuals in those nations took a stand, most of them eagerly embraced the sickness.

Another notable fact about the Jewish refugees was that they were women and children (think of the few thousand children whose lives were saved by the Kindertransport). Young men were not overly represented. Instead, applications involving older men came from intact families with men who were no longer of fighting age (rather like the highly cultured, peaceful family of Otto Frank, father to Anne).

Now let’s look at the Muslims who Progressives insist are analogous to the Jews:

Middle Eastern Muslims, especially the ones from the list of terrorist-promoting countries (a list Obama’s team compiled) are not people who share America’s Biblical morality and cultural traditions. Indeed, their mores are often the complete opposite of ours. As foolish Europeans have already discovered, the citizens from Muslim countries such as those on the Trump list come from cultures that aggressively advocate mass rape, pedophilia, honor killings, genital mutilation, the erasure of women through veils and sequestering, the slaughter of gays, and discrimination (often murderous) against other faiths, especially Judaism.

Regarding that last point, do remember that Muslims aren’t shy about their hatred for Jews. After the Jews refused to recognize Mohamed as their prophet he, in a remarkably un-saint-like way, got petty. He began by denigrating Jews and, as his wounded ego festered, began to demand their deaths.

via Trump’s immigration order does not mark the second coming of Hitler Go and read it all, I’ll wait.

OK, got all that? She’s right you know, completely and utterly right. She also says this.

Oh, and speaking of those wealthy countries, they border the lands from which the refugees come, they share the refugees’ culture, and they have significant space and resources for handling refugees. In other words, unlike the Jews during the 1930s and 1940s, there are contiguous nations that ought to be perfect refuges for those suffering in Syria from the war, or those suffering elsewhere from the burden of their own culture.

It’s worth noting that all these wealthy Muslim countries refuse to touch with a ten-foot pole their Muslim compatriots from countries on the terror-sponsoring list. They know, as Europe is learning, that while Saudi Arab and Qatar and Kuwait have exerted some control on Islam’s worst impulses, the incoming refugees will wreak havoc with and destroy their fragile, wealth-driven stability.  Put another way, people who are religiously wedded to hatred and ignorance, many of whom are illiterate as well, are not good immigrants, and that’s true even if they travel to countries that share with them a slightly more civilized (or at least tightly controlled) version of their culture. […]

When your Progressive friends get all shrill and weepy about the fact that President Trump, using terrorist data from the Obama administration, has put a 90-day hold on the influx of dangerous people from a perpetually hate-filled, ignorant, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-Hindu part of the world, in order to come up with immigration systems that can more readily separate the more violent immigrants from the ordinary lumpen mass of people steeped in medieval hatred, comfort yourself with the thought that Trump is on the side of morality and wisdom. A President’s first job is to protect Americans. This is not the same as shutting our eyes while people die abroad. This is a sober, compassionate evaluation that says we cannot save others if we cannot first save ourselves.

In contrast, the Progressives are, as always, completely ignorant. Moreover, as always, they unable to separate the more serious, substantive facts from their complete reliance on emotionally manipulative, extremely shallow, propaganda pictures and headlines. Getting our policy ideas from the Left is a sure recipe for national disaster.

Oh, one more thing:  For a clear-eyed view of just how reasonable Trump’s policy is, and how consistent it is with American policy both before and during the Obama era, you must read David French’s analysis of the new policy. Keep in mind as you read it that French is not a Trump fan, so this is not a blind, slobbering love letter.

Emphasis mine.

The Constitution says this:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 2, Section 1 says this:

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. …

Article 2, Section 2 says this

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments,….

Article 2, Section 3 says this

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

Got that? We, the people of the United States (yes, that means the citizens, and perhaps legal aliens) commissioned the President, currently Donald Trump, to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, of these United States.

We did not elect him to please a bunch of Progressives whose every utterance is a denial of the above words, of the German Chancellor, of the Iranian Mullahs, or even a bunch of British luvvies. His job is to defend us, the people of the United States, in the words of the oath that every other American official (as well as naturalized citizen) takes, “from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” While preserving our liberties, not anybody else’s. It may be and often is, “necessary and expedient” to preserve other people’s as well. That is why we fought Hitler, as well as Japan, but it is not mandated.

It is certainly beyond (and contrary to) his commission to aid and abet the importation of possible terrorists (of any kind, but Islamic at this point) into America.

Clear enough?

I thought so.

Mrs. May Goes to Washington

3c82a8d800000578-4158088-image-a-4_1485387659636And so, Mrs. May is here. Came over yesterday, and will meet the President today. That’s as it should be, she’s first, the leader of our oldest friends, and strongest ally, and our cousins, so kind of a family reunion.

Last night she spoke at the Republican Congressional winter retreat, the first world leader to do so, for whatever that’s worth. So what did she say? Well, the £ Daily Mail says this is what she planned to say.

On a trip to America, the Prime Minister will say Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have given the two countries a chance to ‘rediscover’ their confidence.

Highlighting the achievements of the US and Britain in the past, Mrs May will say rebuilding the special relationship is of huge importance to the entire world in ‘this new age’, adding: ‘We have the opportunity to lead, together, again.’ […]

She will say that defence and security co-operation between Britain and the US directly, and also through Nato, is vital in countering Islamic State and trying to end the carnage in Syria.

She is also expected to make the case for an ambitious trade deal, which could lead to great ‘prosperity’ for both countries. Mr Trump has said he wants to strike a deal quickly.

The Prime Minister – who has insisted she is prepared to be ‘frank’ with President Trump in areas where they disagree – will make her firmest bid yet to turn him into a close ally. In a speech to the annual congressional Republican Retreat in Philadelphia tonight, she will say: ‘The United Kingdom is by instinct and history a great, global nation that recognises its responsibilities to the world.

‘And as we end our membership of the European Union – as the British people voted with determination and quiet resolve to do last year – we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike. […]

‘The institutions upon which that world relies were so often conceived or inspired by our two nations working together.

The leadership provided by our two countries through the special relationship has done more than win wars and overcome adversity. It made the modern world.
Prime Minister, Theresa May

‘It is through our actions over many years, working together to defeat evil or to open up the world, that we have been able to fulfil the promise of those who first spoke of the special nature of the relationship between us.

‘The promise of freedom, liberty and the rights of man.’

via May tells Trump let’s lead the world together once again | Daily Mail Online

All very good, true, and even laudable. In fact, I, and many others have said the same things many times over the years. It sounds like it was a good rah-rah speech, as close as Mrs. May can get, and pretty good for a Vicar’s daughter, if not exactly Churchillian. But, dealing with Trump himself is going to be a bit more daunting, perhaps.

Kathy Gyngell writing  in The Conservative Woman this morning says this:

The Brits (or some of them) can be terribly sanctimonious snobs. Disapproval of Donald has reached epidemic proportions and distorted any sense of reality afflicting Right as well as Left. Some have taken heart from Theresa’s daring declaration that she “won’t be afraid” to tell Donald Trump if he says or does anything she feels is “unacceptable”.

Go for it, I hear their cry. No please don’t. Don’t listen to them, Mrs May. I hope you’ve left you shopping list of reprimands and policies to tick him off about behind. Just listen to what Team Trump has to say. Hard.

Good advice, that. So is this.

I can all too easily see Mrs May as a latter day feminist Major Barbara and Donald Trump as Andrew Undershaft, Major Barbara’s wealthy munitions manufacturer father. The parallel is obvious. Undershaft wins. Major Barbara’s moral vanity is exposed.

Remember when Undershaft donates his ‘tainted’ wealth to the Salvation Army, so outraged by it is Major Barbara that indignantly she mounts the moral high ground. At which her father berates her for making for herself, “… something that you call a morality or a religion or what not. It doesn’t fit the facts. Well, scrap it. Scrap it and get one that does fit. That is what is wrong with the world at present. It scraps its obsolete steam engines and dynamos; but it won’t scrap its old prejudices and its old moralities and its old religions and its old political constitutions. What’s the result? In machinery it does very well; but in morals and religion and politics it is working at a loss that brings it nearer bankruptcy every year.”

Read for morality and religion, feminism and contemporary Left liberal orthodoxies and sacred cows – the new religion of the bien pensant. Trump is trampling over the lot. He is primed to shock.

Mrs May has made  a good start with her defence of liberty and freedom speech to the Republicans. But the British media, led by the high and mighty BBC, is not going to like her ‘tacking’ right. Nor will they let up on the ‘values’ she should be projecting. How will the vicar’s daughter deal with torture as well as the reality TV star, the BBC will continue to keep needling her.

Laura Kuenssberg opined last night that she’ll have to tiptoe across a tightrope. No she won’t. Not if she accepts liberal Left ideology does not fit the facts and that this is what Donald Trump has made his quest to address. Understand that and she’ll have no problem speaking her mind or in winning his respect for her honesty, if not for her charisma.

If she tiptoes across that tightrope, she will fail. Donald Trump and most of America is basing the whole thing on reality, not ideology, especially not that of the left. Like most Americans, I care quite a lot for Britain, and want them to succeed, they are one of very few partners fit for purpose, and our shared history indicates that. But if Mrs. May listens to the Beeb, and much of Whitehall, she will fail.

And that would be a shame.

And yet, most Americans still believe what Harry Hopkins told Churchill in 1941:

“Whither thou goest I will go, and whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God,” he declared, dramatically adding, “even to the end.”

Obama’s Legacy Of Deceit

obama-fail4It’s been quite a while since we featured Victor Davis Hanson, no good reason for it, it simply hasn’t happened. But he wrote one of the best articles on why Obama’s legacy is so tainted with most of us. Here’s some

In its remaining days in power, the Obama administration suddenly punished Vladimir Putin’s Russia for allegedly interfering in the U.S. presidential election. It claimed that Russian or Russian-hired hackers tapped into the records of the Democratic National Committee as well as the correspondence of John Podesta, a Clinton advisor.

But what the Obama administration did not say was that such cyber-crimes are by now old hat. Both the Russian and Chinese governments have been hacking into far more important U.S. records and government archives for years without earning retaliation

The administration also did not mention that the election hacking occurred largely because of Podesta’s own carelessness in using his security password. Moreover, it failed to acknowledge that the Republican National Committee was likewise targeted, but apparently had enough safeguards to prevent successful entry into its records. Finally, the administration refused to mention that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange went on the record saying that he did not receive the email trove from the Russians.

The truth is that Obama, throughout his presidency, has appeased Putin. As president, Obama ended the previously agreed-on Eastern European missile defense; he made open-mic promises to be more flexible with Putin after his reelection; he barely responded to Russia’s aggression toward Crimea and Ukraine; and he constantly criticized both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney for being inordinately tough on Russia.

Until now, he saw no reason to stop enabling Russia. Had Hillary Clinton won the election, Putin’s alleged hacking would not have earned any administration attention. But this time around, an emboldened Putin allegedly went too far and crossed the only red line that Obama might have enforced by supposedly enabling the release of information that might have turned off some voters on Clinton. Blaming Putin for Clinton’s loss was a more convenient narrative than admitting that Obama’s own policies have turned off even traditional Democratic constituencies and for now reduced the Democratic Party to a minority coastal party.

All administrations play fast and loose with the truth. It is the nature of high politics to fib, cover up, and fudge in order to ensure the success of a so-called noble agenda for the greater good. But not since the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations have we seen a president so institutionalize misrepresentation.

There are ample examples. It was clear from Clinton’s own leaked emails and from real-time memos from intelligence agencies that the September 11, 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was nota spontaneous riot over an insensitive video produced by a reactionary Coptic zealot residing in the United States, as the administration claimed. But such a concoction fit Obama’s 2012 reelection narrative: the recklessness of right-wing Islamophobes endangers national security abroad. In contrast, the reality—a preplanned al-Qaeda-affiliated attack on an unprepared and semi-covert American consulate—challenged Obama’s reelection myth that Al Qaeda was “on the run” and that the administration was vigilant in ensuring security for our diplomatic personnel in the Middle East.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. at the time, Susan Rice, went on five Sunday morning talk shows to insist, quite wrongly, that the deaths of four Americans in the attack were the tragic result of ad hoc furor over intolerance. The video-maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was abruptly jailed on probation violation charges, in a display of swift American justice never matched by a commensurately prompt arrest and prosecution of real terrorists.

One question that I have had for months is this. Why exactly would Putin favor Trump, a man who believes in, if not perhaps, the American Dream, some version of it, and not Hillary Clinton, an experienced and proven appeaser? Huh? Why? Just doesn’t make sense, does it? Continuing.

More recently we learned that Iran got the sanctions lifted before it met all its obligations outlined in the deal. Ben Rhodes, an architect of the swap and deputy national security advisor, boasted about the administration’s affinity for deceit. Rhodes, described by a New York Times interviewer as “a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal,” explained the methods of concocting an Iran narrative to a guidable media: “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Rhodes intoned. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. . . The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Rhodes’s cynicism was reminiscent of the boasts of another administration advisor, the MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who bragged of the administration’s ability to get passed the Patient Protection and affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), largely through deliberate deceit about the inevitable consequences of higher premiums and deductibles, the dropping of existing coverage and doctors, and increases in federal outlays. Some of the bill’s more obvious and unpopular elements—such as the employer mandate—were not enforced until after Obama’s 2012 reelection bid. Gruber admitted that the law was composed “in a tortured way” to delude people into accepting that “healthy people pay in and sick people get money”—a subterfuge that was both necessary and worked because of “the stupidity of the American voter,” a fact confirming that the “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage”

via Obama’s Legacy Of Deceit | Hoover Institution

You know I live out here with average Americans, and yes, I’m one myself. What’s our common characteristic? We’re uh, average. Neither rich nor desperately poor, brilliantly smart nor imbecilic, completely informed nor apathetic. Something else, which doesn’t apply as much to me anymore, we’re quite busy trying to make a living, and so don’t spend all that much time watching the swamp circus in Washington. We care, we always have, but we have mortgages, families, and all that stuff to do, so… But we can easily tell when the bullshit meter pegs, and it’s been going off almost constantly lately.

In many ways, the last administration reminded us of a stroppy teenager, who won’t shut up, and won’t go away. These are the kids that a sensible policeman arrests for disturbing the peace or some such. That this was our government became an embarrassment to us. And so we’ll try Trump. Sure he’s a noisy self-promoter, but we all saw The Music Man long ago, and kind of like town bands, in any case.

Is this the cure? We really ain’t got a clue but are convinced that it’s an improvement, and we’ll think about it for next time. Kicking the can down the road? Sure. But that’s better than scoring an own goal, after all.

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