Since the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) have misled people so much on this, I thought I would collect President Trump’s statements on Charlottesville for future reference. Emphasis added. [Read more…]
For background, here are U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan the last 10 years. Note that the war started in 2001, so the first several years are not shown.
It’s easier to read if you click on it. In brief: for the last 2-3 years, we’ve had about 10,000 troops and 25,000 civilian contractors in Afghanistan, which is down from much higher levels through the greater part of the Obama administration.
It’s been a 16-year war, and I have to ask: Why? And Donald Trump used to ask that same question. But yesterday, Trump sided with the Deep State in further extending the Afghanistan war. He justified it with the usual platitudes, basically, This Time We Mean It And Have A Plan To End It – the same things Presidents Bush and Obama said.
Of course I don’t want to let Afghanistan be a haven for Muslim terrorists; but do we have a credible plan to win, all the sudden? What is it? I listened to Trump’s entire speech, and did not hear specifics.
We know that Trump is willing to loosen the rules of engagement, that is, let the military fight more effectively. And he spoke of dealing with terrorist sanctuaries or supporters in Pakistan. Both reasonable.
But suppose we kill all the terrorists. What then? We leave, and things go back to what they were. I don’t have any great ideas here; just a nagging sense that this war cannot be won by conventional means. And, once again, I have to ask if it is really about opium cultivation?
1. Identify your most lefty, Trump-hating friend or family member.
2. Share this link of President Trump’s accomplishments while you are in the same room so you can watch them read it.
3. Watch as your lefty friend turns “cognitively blind” to the list of accomplishments as if it is not really there. Your subject will KNOW President has accomplished nothing…
…The list will simply be “invisible,” but not in the literal sense, only the mental sense. If you check back in two days, your anti-Trumper will claim once again no such list exists. Watch their eyes when they say it. It will be freaky.
To be fair, some items on the list are a bit exaggerated. But others, I had no idea about. Most of the media never told me. For example, this one about black colleges caught my eye:
February 28… President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at signaling his commitment to historically black colleges and universities…
“This is a great day for my membership and a great day for America,” said Lezli Baskerville, head of the National Association For Equal Opportunity in Education, an umbrella group for public, private and land-grant HBCUs…
Trump’s order moves the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the Department of Education into the executive office of the White House. It directs the initiative to work with the private sector to strengthen the fiscal stability of HBCUS, make infrastructure improvements, provide job opportunities for students, work with secondary schools to create a college pipeline and increase access and opportunity for federal grants and contracts.
Separately and also interesting, there’s the freeing of Aya Hijazi:
April 21… President Donald Trump hailed the return of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker, in the Oval Office on Friday, telling the American charity worker she showed “great strength” in her ordeal.
“We are very happy to have Aya back home,” Trump said, seated alongside Hijazi, who returned from Egypt late Thursday. “It’s a great honor to have her in the Oval Office with her brother.”
…Trump was briefed on Hijazi’s case early in his term and directed his national security team to take steps to secure her release…
Obviously, this post’s title is sarcastic.
A cluster of news items could be pointing at this. First, from The New York Times on Aug 5, Vice President Pence has been busy with the power brokers:
…Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president…
…multiple advisers to Mr. Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump [were out]…
Mr. Pence has been the pacesetter…creating an independent power base…promoting himself as the main conduit between the Republican donor class and the administration.
The vice president created his own political fund-raising committee, Great America Committee…The group, set up with help from Jack Oliver, a former fund-raiser for George W. Bush, has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s own primary outside political group, America First Action, even raising more in disclosed donations.
William Kristol, editor at large of The Weekly Standard, said he had begun informal conversations about creating a “Committee Not to Renominate the President.”…
The story frames it as a matter for 2020 and talks about Kasich and others. What I wanted to highlight here, is that:
- Pence, whose participation in any coup is essential, is no shrinking violet.
- Interventionists – people who want more wars – like Bushworld and Kristol, continue to work actively against Trump.
Next, today we have the news that Bannon is out. Supposedly, he resigned Aug. 7 and they delayed announcing his departure, due to too much other news (North Korea, Charlottesville). I don’t think that Bannon leaving is a yuge deal, but it may be a piece in a larger pattern.
Next, Newsweek says that Trump is 6 Senate votes away from being impeachable. The rumor mill states it in a sharper form: that the RNC (! not DNC) has been counting votes to do an impeachment.
We know how impeachment would work: They would invent some excuse. Trumprussia is nonsense but it won’t matter to them. Mueller could find a ham sandwich that Trumpworld purchased in Russia and call it money laundering. And so on. If they want to do it, they’ll think of a way.
As if on cue, we have Mitt Romney demanding an apology from Trump over Charlottesville.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, wrote on Facebook. “State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville.”
Mitt is wrong, both on the facts (how the violence was distributed) and on the Constitution (the First Amendment excludes one group having a Heckler’s Veto on another group’s right of assembly). But, whatever. The point here is, reading the tea leaves. Again, the rumor mill states it more sharply, that VP Pence may have contacted Romney and had a hand in Romney’s attack.
If a coup comes to be, the losers will, of course, be the American people. For better or worse, whether it’s good or bad, 65 million Americans wanted “America First” and “Make America Great Again”. And NO Americans, not even Hillary supporters, voted to see “politics as usual” with the GOP and Democrat establishments uniting against the election result.
Trump is supposed to be at his best when his back is against the wall, so he may have a comeback in him. But he will have to remind the Establishment of why Americans voted for him. In other words, Trump will probably have to reactivate his base – re-fight 2016 – go “full barbarian”.
Assuming that he doesn’t have an assassination or suspiciously-timed heart attack first. The GOP and Democrat Establishments may be feeling pressure to move quickly, because Julian Assange has committed to blowing Trumprussia out of the water.
Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year’s election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future.
Ruh-roh! (if you’re the Establishment or Deep State)
I keep hearing that the media is heavily filtering President Trump’s comments yesterday. So let’s get a bit closer to the real thing.
Trump says why his statements on Charlottesville were the right statements, in the right way at the right time. A triggered melee of voices strives to interrupt him.
[before the extract above] “I didn’t wait long. I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct…It takes awhile to get the facts. You still don’t know [all] the facts.”
“I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and his country. You can call it terrorism, you can call it murder… The driver of the car is a murderer, and what he did is a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.”
“Senator McCain? You mean, the one who voted against Obamacare [replacement]? The one who voted against us getting good health care?”
“What about the Alt Left, that came charging at the Alt Right? …They came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging. Do they have any problem? I think they do… That was a horrible day…You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in, without a permit, and they were very violent.”
“This week, it’s [protesting a traditional statue of] Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
“You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was a horrible thing to watch…I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either, and if you reported it accurately, you would say it.”
“George Washington was a slave owner. So, will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues of him? How about Thomas Jefferson? …You’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people [who just wanted to keep the traditional statue], and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also [who wanted the statue to come down], you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers…with the baseball bats.”
“There are two sides to a story. I thought that what took place was a horrible moment for our country.”
UPDATE: Added some highlighting, to help the cognitively-blind.
The one thing that I would regret in the above, is that President Trump should (and didn’t yet) call for a universal, national pledge against political violence, that Left and Right alike would be required to take – if they want to be regarded as moral or responsible.
The media (like CNN) and the Democrats must be made to disavow the violence and bigotry of Antifa and #BlackLivesMatter.
Having the Right disavow the violence and bigotry of the #WhiteLivesMatter types is easy, a small price to pay, something that I’m happy to do. Because anyone who believes in tradition or God or liberty for real will know instinctively that #AllLivesMatter. (Plus the fact that the #WhiteLivesMatter types are crypto-leftists anyway.)
Just a reminder. From an editorial at Business Insider – emphasis added:
Border crossings, for example, have plummeted, even though all Trump has done so far is promise to enforce existing laws.
The Supreme Court approved parts of Trump’s travel ban…Trump is busy filling lower court positions with conservative justices…pulled out of the Paris climate change deal…
The EPA, meanwhile, is dismantling Obama’s coal-killing, growth-choking Clean Power Plan, and draining the heavy-handed Waters of the United States rule. When a veteran EPA official resigned this week, she complained in a letter to her former colleagues that “the new EPA Administrator already has repeals of 30 rules under consideration,” which the New York Times described as “a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history.”
Trump promised to kill two regulations for every new one enacted, but in his first six months the ratio was 16-to-1.
Trump also approved the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects held up by Obama. He’s also rolled back a ban on coal mining on public lands.
To be sure, Trump hasn’t scored a major legislative achievement on signature issues like ObamaCare and tax reform.
Every day he’s around is another day we didn’t have #CorruptHillary.
UPDATE: Let’s not forget the progress against ISIS. A month ago, we had the liberation of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. That and other Trump administration changes have contributed to progress in Syria (Raqqa) as well.
…key factors were the Trump administration’s delegation of key decision-making to battlefield commanders, the tactic of “annihilation” in which the ground forces surround the group in its stronghold so foreign fighters cannot escape, and drumming up support for burden-sharing among 73 members—69 countries and four international organizations—of the broad anti-ISIS coalition.
The campaign under Trump has witnessed the near fall of ISIS’s territorial hold. The Obama administration laid the groundwork…
Sure. The Obama team was always “laying the groundwork” – with little or no intention of carrying it out.
Sadly, civilian casualties in these operations have been high – because of ISIS using civilians as human shields, booby-trapping buildings to maximize damage and casualties, attacking civilians to keep them penned (unable to escape), etc. That being so sad, tales of “annihiliation tactics” then become almost heartwarming.
It amazes me how many legit stories I have to skip over each day, for brevity or lack of time. As I made the following list, I skipped over many other worthwhile items.
- 53 House Democrats told Defense Secretary Mattis to not comply with the transgender ban.
“We write to not only express our strong opposition to President Trump’s recent tweets seeking to ban transgender individuals from the military, but to remind you not to comply with any unconstitutional directive which may ultimately be issued,” according to the letter, which was signed by Armed Services ranking member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Judiciary ranking member Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.
- Attorney General Sessions is finally going to look into all those leaks.
Session said criminals who have leaked classified information are “being investigated and will be prosecuted.” He added that four people have already been charged with leaking classified material and related counts, and investigations have tripled.
Sessions said he has directed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and new FBI Director Christopher Wray to oversee all classified leak investigations and actively monitor the progress.
He said a new counterintelligence unit has been created to manage cases, and he has directed the National Security Division and U.S. attorneys to prioritize cases involving unauthorized disclosures.
There’s some brouhaha over more aggressive subpoenas on reporters, but they’re still mainly going after the actual leakers. Which is right.
- AG Sessions is finally going to look at Obama’s government slush fund for left-wing groups.
…[The DOJ’s] “cy pres” payments were a long-standing policy of having mostly corporate defendants, for example in a civil rights suit, agree to pay into charities as part of their settlement with the government to avoid further prosecution.
In recent years, especially during the Obama administration, the practice increasingly funneled funds to left-wing “community organizing” groups…
…Sessions…put a stop to the payments unilaterally in June…The new memo, dated July 28, goes further, commanding DOJ attorneys to look back into the history of these settlements and report back every payment that would not meet the new standards laid down in June.
- The rumors of NSA McMaster having a ‘purge list’ have made it into the White House staff, rattling them.
- Alex Jones and Mike Cernovich got wild today with talk of the Deep State planning to outright-assassinate Trump, which could seem like irresponsible speculation, until you see stories like this one: Maxine Waters says ‘When We Finish With Trump, We Have to Go and Get’ Pence.
A coup isn’t being planned, could never happen here, that’s ridiculous, don’t spread horrible rumors you liars…..Folks, should we go with that idea? Or: leading Democrats are telling the military to disobey President Trump (see first item, above) and already looking forward to phase 2 of the coup, ‘Get Pence’? Which is it?
I hope to do a post later on the week’s Awan Scandal news.
For months, and with the exception of some judges, the Senate has held up President Trump’s appointees – resulting in a government that is (still) filled with Obama holdovers. It’s semi-traditional for Presidents to make appointments during the Senate’s recess (Obama sure did it). Today’s news is that Senate Republicans have conspired to block Trump from doing so.
Their excuse is Trump’s recent public humiliation of AG Sessions. That was rather strange (as I commented on here). They don’t want Trump to suddenly appoint a new AG. The problem is, Trump also can’t make other (justified) appointments. And it’s not an isolated matter; you can fit it into a larger pattern.
Jumping over to yesterday’s theme about McMaster, the news there is also still “War”.
- Business Insider’s writer frames McMaster as the good guy, has some worthwhile details.
“There is a split in the White House between the Bannon camp of ideologues and the McMaster-Mattis-Tillerson camp of more centrist intellectuals,” Pete Mansoor, a retired Army colonel who worked closely with McMaster, told Politico…
John Kelly’s recent move from homeland security secretary to White House chief of staff should ensure McMaster’s independence and control over the NSC…
But the nationalists may have a competitive advantage: Trump, who already thinks McMaster is a “pain” who talks too much and has complained to aides that he wants Flynn back at the White House, is reportedly considering sending McMaster to replace Gen. John Nicholson as the top commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
“What the nationalists are saying about McMaster: ‘He wants to send more troops to Afghanistan, so we’re going to send him,'” Axios’ Mike Allen reported Thursday.
- Politico also says that McMaster is in a “pitched battle”, re-making the NSC in his own image. And that General Kelly will be his ally; uh-oh!
- The Daily Beast says McMaster has gone to war and “has to move fast”.
“The president hasn’t liked the plans he’s been presented on Iran, Afghanistan, or ISIS,”…“The process hasn’t worked like it should,” to produce the innovative plans President Donald Trump tasked his team with crafting—plans that look different from what the Obama administration, or even the Bush administration, tried before.
So McMaster has been removing anyone on his team who either obstructed his own vision or had trouble rallying the other agencies around particular policy…
- The Daily Caller: “Everything The President Wants To Do, McMaster Opposes,’ Former NSC Officials Say”.
“Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.”
Jumping to the White House staffing issue: word from Jack Posobiec is that “If You Like Infowars or Milo You’re Fired”.
Jana Toner, a member of the Presidential Personnel Office, is regularly heard publicly insulting prominent pro-Trump media figures, including former Breitbart Technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos and Infowars founder Alex Jones. Mrs. Toner has even told White House interns that sharing content from Mr. Yiannopoulos or Mr. Jones’ Infowars on social media is grounds for dismissal.”
…a PPO employee who reports directly to Mrs. Toner declared: “We will search through your Facebook and we will find everything,” and “If you like Milo Yiannopolous or Alex Jones this isn’t the place for you”…
…Johnny DeStefano, who previously served as an aide to ousted House Speaker John Boehner, is currently the head of the PPO [Presidential Personnel Office], and has used his position to block Trump supporters from key positions…
Toner has established herself as a prominent anti-Trump presence within PPO…Toner was heard [saying] that students who took time off school to work for the Trump campaign are typically not “intellectually qualified” to work as White House interns.
Toner is a Bush family loyalist, having served the George W. Bush Administration in numerous capacities…
I have mentioned 3 elements of the Establishment’s (or Deep State’s) war on Trump:
- The Senate blocking Trump’s appointments.
- McMaster purging Trump loyalists, non-interventionists or “nationalists”.
- Who’s in charge of the White House staff? Former Speaker Boehner and the Bush family?
More elements that I didn’t even touch on, here:
- The unprecedented levels of media bias (which were already bad, before Trump).
- The cynically paid (Soros-funded) protests.
- The giant nothing-burger of evidence-free innuendo that is Trumprussia.
- And of course, the corrupted Mueller investigation (that is supposed to be restricted to Trumprussia, but isn’t).
The common theme is Trump not rewarding his own supporters, not paying attention to who’s installing the personnel, not pursuing saboteurs (or racketeers) under the law, letting the Republican Establishment cuck him, and in general, not being in charge of his own administration. We have to give him some of the fault. This isn’t what anyone voted for.
But the even larger point is: What happens if Trump loses this epic conflict?
- Does America, under President Pence or whomever, go back to war-mongering and ruining entire countries like Obama did?
- With the Deep State and Senate Republicans having colluded to destroy a populist President (however flawed he was): must we, the People, then turn to violent revolution to break Washington and finally get some decent policies?
- And will it be too late?
Mentions of National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, seem to be be boiling over. Time for a roundup.
- A letter has leaked, saying that McMaster explicitly let Susan Rice keep her security clearance, despite her role in possibly-criminal actions in letting the Obama administration use the intelligence apparatus to spy on domestic political opponents (Trump campaign).
- McMaster has purged key Trump aides. And defended Obama holdovers, which we call Deep State.
An ongoing staffing purge being conducted by White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has thrown the West Wing into chaos, according to more than half a dozen Trump administration insiders who told the Washington Free Beacon that McMaster has been targeting long-time Trump loyalists who were clashing with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration…
…sources… said that many of these actions against his supporters are being conducted without Trump’s knowledge…
The Trump staffers fired by McMaster had repeatedly clashed with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration on issues as diverse as military strategies for Syria and Afghanistan, whether to tear up Obama’s landmark Iran deal, the controversial détente with Cuba, the U.S. role in confronting Islamic radicalism, and the Paris Climate Accord, according to these sources.
More purges are said to be on the way…
The article names people who have been fired, and continues:
“McMaster’s agenda is different than the president’s,” said one administration source with knowledge of the situation…
One of the central flashpoints in this internal battle has been Iran and the future of the nuclear accord, multiple sources independently confirmed to the Free Beacon.
NSC officials such as Cohen-Watnick, Harvey, and others had been making the case that Trump should scrap the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal over increasingly aggressive Iranian ballistic missile activity and mounting evidence Tehran is breaching the accord. McMaster, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and top Obama-era State Department officials who worked on the deal, have aggressively urged maintaining it.
- One of the staffers forced out was Rich Higgins, who wrote a controversial memo charging “that globalists, Islamists, and other forces within and outside the government are subverting President Trump’s agenda.”.
- Other staffers fired appear to be pretty much anyone who is pro-Trump, pro-Israel, or anti-Muslim Brotherhood.
According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews…
Finally, there is the issue of how McMaster got there in the first place. Trump interviewed McMaster at Mara Lago for a half an hour. He was under terrible pressure after firing Flynn to find someone.
And who recommended McMaster? You won’t believe this.
Senator John McCain.
These articles could all be part of someone’s campaign for forcing out McMaster. (Chief of Staff Kelly? Bannon? Jared/Ivanka?) I mean, if it gets to our level – visible to ordinary bloggers – then something’s up.
And – if the substance is correct – the “someone” could have good reason.
UPDATE: George Soros and David Brock are on McMaster’s side. That’s a bad sign for McMaster.
Also, more articles on McMaster at this later post.
Sorry to repeat myself, but President Trump keeps hitting the idea that the stock market is making new highs and the media should talk about it. I could post video but, just to keep it text-y, here are Twitter examples from the last couple of days:
Aug 1 – Stock Market could hit all-time high (again) 22,000 today. Was 18,000 only 6 months ago on Election Day. Mainstream media seldom mentions!
Jul 31 – Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!
Big mistake. Why?
- Candidate Trump understood that the stock market was a Fed-inflated bubble.
- Candidate Trump understood that the unemployment numbers are fake and disguise the ongoing suffering of Middle America.
- If President Trump is now tying his reputation to those numbers, what happens when they reverse?
The stock market IS overvalued, and WILL go down eventually, if only for “cyclical” reasons. Maybe down a lot. What happens then?
Consider that Switzerland’s central bank is now a huge holder of U.S. stocks First…Why? Why would they be in the business of propping up the U.S. stock market? Second…What happens when they change their minds, and sell?