Archive for the ‘elections’ Category

The Legacy of Lyndon Johnson

Friday, August 11th, 2017

I have been reading (by listening to audio book versions) Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson. It is called “The Years of Lyndon Johnson, as a four book set. I am presently listening to the second volume which is titled, “Means of Ascent.” It is pretty clear that the author does not like Lyndon Johnson but respects his ability to use power. His means of attaining it is what he does not like.

The first volume goes into considerable detail on Lyndon’s father Sam Johnson.
Sam Johnson was a Texas state legislator who was scrupulously honest and refused to accept any “favors” from the lobbyists even though the Texas legislature was famously corrupt. Sam Johnson was idolized by his son, Lyndon, but Sam was an idealist and a poor businessman and went broke. Lyndon was humiliated by their poverty and was determined to acquire money and power, regardless of the ethics.

The only college he could get into was a small teachers’ college called Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College

Initially called Southwest Texas State Normal School, the final word in the name was changed to “College” in 1918. Then, “Normal” became “Teachers” in 1923.

When Johnson attended, it was small and the students mostly impoverished. His machinations to get favors from the president and to get political power to reward friends and punish enemies are described in the volume I of the biography and are an indicator of his future tactics.

The second volume spends a great amount of time on the 1948 Senate election when he opposed a former and well loved Governor named Coke Stevenson, who had a reputation as incorruptible and tough. The story of that election, and how Johnson stole it, is a major part of the book. Part of Johnson’s technique was to try to implicate Stevenson in the kind of corruption that he himself had committed. After the book came out in 1990, the author was attacked by Johnson supports as being biased in favor of Stevenson. In response, he wrote a rebuttal to the attacks on Stevenson’s character.

After Lyndon Johnson got to Washington, according to Caro, he began to boast about how he stole the election from Stevenson. Being clever and powerful was more important to Johnson’s self image than a reputation for honesty.

What has Johnson’s legacy been for this country ? I think it has been disastrous.

When Eisenhower was President, it was in Johnson’s interest to cooperate with him and some of Johnson’s liberal sympathies, which he concealed from his Texas supporters, were beneficial in the era when Civil Rights legislation was being held hostage by the southern Senators and Congressmen.

In 1955 he had a major heart attack and gave up smoking. By 1958, he was interested in the presidency and he ultimately lost out to Kennedy. He was invited onto the Democratic ticket by Kennedy and they won a very close election in 1960, which may have been, once again, stolen by Johnson in Texas and Richard J Daley in Chicago. Eisenhower Attorney General Rogers told Nixon he had enough evidence of election fraud to potentially reverse the result but Nixon declined to pursue the challenge, asserting it would not be safe to do so in a time of international challenge. This account is in Teddy White’s book, “The Making of the President 1960”

Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and Johnson succeeded. In 1964, he defeated Barry Goldwater after a vicious campaign that saw Goldwater accused of wanting to expand the special forces war in Vietnam. Of course, after the election, Johnson greatly expanded the war and probably guaranteed its loss by micromanaging the details, like he micromanaged his political campaigns. HR McMaster’s book, “Dereliction of Duty” describes in considerable detail just what was done by Johnson and McNamara without objection by the Joint Chiefs.

Johnson’s domestic agenda is often called The War on Poverty, and many cynics contend that it was lost years ago.

As a part of the Great Society, Johnson believed in expanding the federal government’s roles in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies.[1] These policies can also be seen as a continuation of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which ran from 1933 to 1937, and the Four Freedoms of 1941. Johnson stated “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”[2]

The legacy of the War on Poverty policy initiative remains in the continued existence of such federal programs as Head Start, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), TRiO, and Job Corps.

The War on Poverty included many programs that encouraged single motherhood and is widely considered to have destroyed the black family.

The rise of the welfare state in the 1960s contributed greatly to the demise of the black family as a stable institution. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African Americans today is 73%, three times higher than it was prior to the War on Poverty. Children raised in fatherless homes are far more likely to grow up poor and to eventually engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who are raised in two-parent homes.

Some of this has been a result of the legalization of abortion and the appearance of the birth control pill.

Still, great improvements had been the trend before Johnson took office.

Thus began an unprecedented commitment of federal funds to a wide range of measures aimed at redistributing wealth in the United States.[1] From 1965 to 2008, nearly $16 trillion of taxpayer money (in constant 2008 dollars) was spent on means-tested welfare programs for the poor.

The economic milieu in which the War on Poverty arose is noteworthy. As of 1965, the number of Americans living below the official poverty line had been declining continuously since the beginning of the decade and was only about half of what it had been fifteen years earlier. Between 1950 and 1965, the proportion of people whose earnings put them below the poverty level, had decreased by more than 30%. The black poverty rate had been cut nearly in half between 1940 and 1960.

After Johnson, things changed. One would not know it from reading the Wikipedia article which is very pro-Johnson.

Between the mid-Sixties and the mid-Seventies, the dollar value of public housing quintupled and the amount spent on food stamps rose more than tenfold. From 1965 to 1969, government-provided benefits increased by a factor of 8; by 1974 such benefits were an astounding 20 times higher than they had been in 1965. Also as of 1974, federal spending on social-welfare programs amounted to 16% of America’s Gross National Product, a far cry from the 8% figure of 1960. By 1977 the number of people receiving public assistance had more than doubled since 1960.

The Vietnam War radicalized the Baby Boomer generation, which became the decade of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” A generation of anti-war students stayed in graduate school and became the radical faculty which has created the atmosphere that drives out faculty members who offend hypersensitive students.

The complaint at the time was that Johnson was determined to have both “Guns and Butter” to fight a war while expanding civilian spending.
The 1965 passage of Medicare and Medicaid began the trip to unrepayable national debt.

The trend is clear.

gross-national-debt

Just since 1974, the debt has steadily climbed and will never be repaid as the World War II debt was.

This is the legacy of Lyndon Johnson. Had he never been elected to the Senate in 1948, there would have been a president Nixon in 1960.

There would have been no Vietnam War.

Probably no destruction of the black family and the desperate inner city crime problems.

No “Days of Rage with the radical Underground” and domestic terrorism in the 1960s and 70s.

Kennedy would probably have served out his career in the Senate as a far more conservative Senator than his brother Teddy.

This would be a very different world.

The Administrative State pushes back.

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

The election of Donald Trump has created hysteria on the left. It has also met increasing resistance on the right which seems unwilling to keep election promises made when Obama was president and could veto any symbolic legislation, which he did in 2015.

By voting to nullify Obamacare — the signature domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration — GOP congressional leaders fulfilled a longtime pledge to voters and rank-and-file members to get a repeal to President Barack Obama’s desk, even though he will veto it.

It was, of course, an empty gesture but it was also a promise of what could happen if a Republican president was elected in 2016. Of course, Hillary Clinton was expected by almost everyone to win.

That remains our outlook today in our final forecast of the year. Clinton is a 71 percent favorite to win the election according to our polls-only model and a 72 percent favorite according to our polls-plus model. (The models are essentially the same at this point, so they show about the same forecast.) This reflects a meaningful improvement for Clinton in the past 48 hours as the news cycle has taken a final half-twist in her favor. Her chances have increased from about 65 percent.

But she didn’t and now we have President Trump.

What has Congress done ? It voted down an Obamacare repeal.

Now, the Deep State is pushing back and threatens to overthrow the elected President.

Since the election there has been an unprecedented attempt to unwind the election result. Events have accelerated on several fronts lately with attempts from outside and within to paralyze the Trump administration.

What started as a collective media freakout on Election Night 2016 quickly progressed to an unprecedented attempt to intimidate Electors into changing their votes. Some Democrats announced, even before Trump took office, plans to impeach him, and Democrat politicians fed media-driven Russia collusion conspiracy theories for which they knew there was no evidence.

Chuck Schumer, for example, used the alleged fact of Donald Trump being under FBI investigation as an argument against confirming Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though Schumer (but not the public) knew from intelligence briefings that Trump was not personally under investigation.

All the while, the permanent bureaucracy, particularly in the intelligence community, started an unending and almost daily series of leaks meant to paralyze the administration.

It has not been content to complain and leak secrets. Now it is actively defying the President.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, pointed to news reports about upset employees, social media campaigns and “civil disobedience” training for staffers looking to push back against the White House.

GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak, a contributor to The Hill, attributed the blowback to a host of factors, from the political make-up of civil servants to the use of holdover officials in government offices that are still waiting for the Senate to confirm Trump political appointees.

He said there is also a “real industry now behind recruiting whistleblowers inside the resistance movement,” and creating public outcry about the administration.

The Democrats have contributed by delaying confirmation of Trump appointees. Many of the defiant government employees are Civil Service and cannot be fired. The resistance has not been limited to the left. Charles Krauthammer, an alleged stalwart of the right, is encouraging resistance, and few recall his history.

In 1978, Krauthammer moved to Washington, D.C. to direct planning in psychiatric research under the Carter administration.[1] He began contributing articles about politics to The New Republic and, in 1980, served as a speech writer to Vice President Walter Mondale.

His shift to the right came in foreign policy, not domestic affairs. He is a “neocon,” a term used for Democrats who became “hawks” on foreign policy matters but, like Bill Kristol, another neocon, he is virulently anti-Trump. Now that is OK in primary season but the election is OVER!

Kristol has long had a heated relationship with Trump. After a failed attempt to court either Sen. Ben Sasse or Mitt Romney to kamikaze Trump’s presidential campaign as a third party candidate, the conservative editor recently proposed launching a new political movement called “The New Republicans.”

Seeing as how some of these people were formerly Democrats, or like his father, supported the New Deal, they are not very conservative.

Unlike liberals, for example, neo-conservatives rejected most of the Great Society programs sponsored by Lyndon Johnson; and unlike traditional conservatives, they supported the more limited welfare state instituted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Some conservatives thought the New Deal was the beginning of the end of American democracy. A lot of us prefer Calvin Coolidge to Roosevelt.

Seth Rich story is getting bizarre.

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

I am starting to see accounts that are pretty bizarre about what happened with DNC staffer Seth Rich.

4th year surgery resident here who rotated at WHC (Washington Hospital Center) last year, it won’t be hard to identify me but I feel that I shouldn’t stay silent.

Seth Rich was shot twice, with 3 total gunshot wounds (entry and exit, and entry). He was taken to the OR emergently where we performed an exlap and found a small injury to segment 3 of the liver which was packed and several small bowel injuries (pretty common for gunshots to the back exiting the abdomen) which we resected ~12cm of bowel and left him in discontinuity (didn’t hook everything back up) with the intent of performing a washout in the morning. He did not have any major vascular injuries otherwise. I’ve seen dozens of worse cases than this which survived and nothing about his injuries suggested to me that he’d sustained a fatal wound.

I’ve cared for thousands of gunshot wounds and abdomen wounds, unless the patient bleeds out in the OR or has a colon blowout wound, should survive. Is this account true ? I don’t know.

In the meantime he was transferred to the ICU and transfused 2 units of blood when his post-surgery crit came back ~20. He was stable and not on any pressors, and it seemed pretty routine. About 8 hours after he arrived we were swarmed by LEOs and pretty much everyone except the attending and a few nurses was kicked out of the ICU (disallowing visiting hours -normally every odd hour, eg 1am, 3am, etc- is not something we do routinely). It was weird as hell. At turnover that morning we were instructed not to round on the VIP that came in last night (that’s exactly what the attending said, and no one except for me and another resident had any idea who he was talking about).

This is where it gets really weird.

Now there is more on a related topic. The murder investigation may be creating panic in some quarters.

“Anons, I work in D.C.

I know for certain that the Seth Rich case has scared the shit out of certain high ranking current and former Democratic Party officials.

This is the reason why they have backed away from impeachment talk. They know the smoking gun is out there, and they’re terrified you will find it, because when you do it will bring the entire DNC, along with a couple of very big name politicians.

It appears that certain DNC thugs were not thorough enough when it came time to cover their tracks. Podesta saying he wanted to “make an example of the leaker” is a huge smoking gun.”

I have no idea where this is going but it sounds interesting.

Among other things, what happened to his laptop ?

There are several versions of whether this is evidence that Rich was connected to Wikileaks.

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Wheeler’s services were offered to the family and paid for by a third party, according to a statement issued by the Rich family Tuesday which also includes that “the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”

Now the family is changing the tune.

When asked if Wheeler is still working for Seth Rich’s family, Wheeler told FOX 5 DC the contract still stands– ties have not been severed.

We reached out once again to the Rich family, and through a spokesperson the Rich family tells FOX 5 DC, “The family has relayed their deep disappointment with Rod Wheeler’s conduct over the last 48 hours, and is exploring legal avenues to the family.”

Was that a denial ? Stay tuned.

The Slow Motion Coup d’Etat.

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

The news now is 99% Trump 24 hours per day. 97% of it is bad or negative on Trump.

Analysis: Only 3 percent of reports on CBS, NBC positive for Trump

A new analysis by a nonpartisan media research firm shows that just 3 percent of the reports about President Trump that aired on NBC and CBS were deemed positive.

The data comes from an analysis by Media Tenor, an independent media research firm founded in 1993.

The firm’s analysts watched 370 news stories about Trump on the “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Evening News” and Fox News’s “Special Report” between Jan. 20 and Feb. 17. Trump took office the day the analysis began.

Overall the analysis found that on NBC and CBS, 43 percent of stories on Trump were negative, while only 3 percent were positive. Fifty-four percent of reports were considered neutral.

I’m not sure I would agree on what is “neutral.”

I am not the only one who thinks a coup d’etat is under way.

Spengler, who is my #2 go to guy after Fernandez,
thinks what is going on is a coup attempt.

A ranking Republican statesman this week told an off-the-record gathering that a “coup” attempt was in progress against President Donald Trump, with collusion between the largely Democratic media and Trump’s numerous enemies in the Republican Party. The object of the coup, the Republican leader added, was not impeachment, but the recruitment of a critical mass of Republican senators and congressmen to the claim that Trump was “unfit” for office and to force his resignation. (more…)

What’s going on with Comey ?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

FBI Director Comey has been front and center in the politics of the USA the past year.

UPDATE: Well we now know what was going on with him.

I wouldn’t really call it “Outrage,” just lunacy of the type we have gotten used to since last November.

“In a word, they see him as their voice,” said Frank Luntz, the Republican consultant and pollster. “And when their voice is shouted down, disrespected or simply ignored, that is an attack on them, not just an attack on Trump.”

First, it was
the left heavy breathing about his costing her the election.

He served as special counsel to former President Clinton from 1996 to 1998 and is a regular columnist for The Hill newspaper. He has been a friend of Hillary Clinton since they were students at Yale Law School together in 1969 and 1970.

That explains that rant about Comey.

First, he announced that Hillary would not be indicted or prosecuted.

In our system, the prosecutors make the decisions about whether charges are appropriate based on evidence the FBI has helped collect. Although we don’t normally make public our recommendations to the prosecutors, we frequently make recommendations and engage in productive conversations with prosecutors about what resolution may be appropriate, given the evidence. In this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

That was a dodge and he later explained a bit.

He explained to a skeptical nation that the Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch meeting in Phoenix was the problem.

“A number of things had gone on which I can’t talk about yet, that made me worry that the department leadership could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system,” Comey said, testifying before the Senate judiciary committee.
“And then the capper was — and I’m not picking on the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, who I like very much — but her meeting with President Clinton on that airplane was the capper for me, and I then said, you know what, the department cannot, by itself, credibly end this,” he added.

No kidding !

(more…)

The attempted coup d’etat going on now.

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

The fact that Obama has set up an opposition movement in the District of Columbia is a worrisome bit of news.

Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment.
And Obama is being aided in his political crusade by his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett, who has moved into the 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million Kaloroma mansion with the former president and Michelle Obama, long time best friends.
Jarrett played a vital – if at times low-key – role in the Obama presidency. She lived in the White House, dined with the Obamas, and help shape his domestic and foreign policies.

She was also born in Iran and speaks Farsi.

Now, we find more bad news.

Obama used the US intelligence apparatus to spy on Trump’s presidential campaign.

June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

October 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

Why would the FISA court approve such a thing ? Why would the Obama people continue when no evidence was found ?

The evidence of Democrat intrigue is sickening.

The New York Times continues to be obsessed with the Russian story. Do Democrats want war with Russia to try to take out Donald Trump ?

In a Washington atmosphere supercharged by the finding of the intelligence agencies that Mr. Putin tried to steer the election to Mr. Trump, as well as continuing F.B.I. and congressional investigations, a growing list of Russian contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates is getting intense and skeptical scrutiny.

Of course it is “scrutiny.” They are desperate to create another Watergate story, the last time they were able, with the help of their media wing, to force a sitting president out of office.

The Deep State will not go easily.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Several years ago, I posted an account of what is called ‘The Deep State.”

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

That article was one of several around that time (2014) about the Deep State.

History suggests that this low-intensity conflict within the ruling Elite is generally a healthy characteristic of leadership in good times. As times grow more troubled, however, the unity of the ruling Elite fractures into irreconcilable political disunity, which becomes a proximate cause of the dissolution of the Empire if it continues.
I recently proposed the idea that Wall Street now poses a strategic threat to national security and thus to the Deep State itself: Who Gets Thrown Under the Bus in the Next Financial Crisis? (March 3, 2014)

That didn’t happen but the Deep State is in the news again as an enemy of Trump.

It stands to reason that “the Swamp” he talked about draining is coterminous with “The Deep State.”

With the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the face of a howling media mob, the knives are now out not only for other administration officials, but for President Trump himself. Make no mistake about what’s happening here: this is a rolling coup attempt, organized by elements of the intelligence community, particularly CIA and NSA, abetted by Obama-era holdovers in the understaffed Justice Department (Sally Yates, take a bow) and the lickspittles of the leftist media, all of whom have signed on with the “Resistance” in order to overturn the results of the November election.

Mike Flynn, a good man who saw the enemy clearly, and had the courage to name it, saw Russia not as an enemy but a geopolitical adversary with whom we could make common cause against Islam — and who also vowed to shake up a complacent and malfeasant IC — was its first scalp, and an object lesson to new CIA Director Mike Pompeo should he have any reformist notions. As for the media, having previously failed to take down Trump aides Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Flynn was the next best thing; their joy today is unbounded.

One seeming priority for the bureaucracy and the Deep State is protection of Obama’s Iran Deal.

Why is this so important ? I certainly don’t know.

Former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, who bragged about creating an “echo chamber” in the media to help sell the Iran deal to the public, was reportedly among those leading the effort to publicly discredit Flynn.

The purpose of the anti-Flynn campaign, according to the Free Beacon, was “to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.” Flynn was reportedly gearing up to publicize details of the Iran deal that the Obama administration had kept secret from the public.

Why is this so important ? Iran has threatened “consequences” if the deal is revealed.

What are they ?

it would be a clear breach of the nuclear agreement and will cause us to react very harshly and severely.”

What does that mean ? I suspect they don’t know either.

In the meantime, the successful coup against Flynn will not satisfy the left. It will just encourage them to try the next assassination.

And you’re either gonna keep giving them scalps or you’re gonna put your foot down and move on and tell ’em to go pound sand. I mean, this man had worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was a patriot. He’d worked for both administrations, a pro-life Democrat. His only sin was that he was in the Trump administration. And I’ll tell you what this is. You know what this is really all about? I’ll tell you what this is. This is what the Democrats are so irritated, and this is why I know that Obama’s post-presidential sabotage program is here.
What is this about? This is about Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, calling the Russians to talk about sanctions. Well, what sanctions? Well, it just so happens these are the sanctions that Obama slapped on the Russians for their supposed hacking of our election. I’m sorry, folks, but that’s a bogus premise to begin with. The Russians had nothing to do with whoever won our election. That, they could not have done. Did they try? Who knows? Do they always try? Probably.

This is part of the script.

Beneath the script is a serious campaign to overthrow the Trump government. The bureaucracy thinks it can run the government without the political offices. The French bureaucracy ran France for years while governments came and went.

Then the Germans came.

Is Trump going to be a target for hate and hoaxes for four years?

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Donald Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes. Outside of New York and California, he won the popular vote. Hillary got about 2 million fewer total votes than her total in California. Thus, she lost the popular vote in the rest of the country. Gary Johnson allowed her to win New Hampshire and Nevada. CNN made much about her winning the popular vote total, but her margin in California was over 4.8 million votes, but her national total was about 2 million less so she lost the rest of the country.

clinton_archipelago

The fact that she polled more popular votes has led to a rather hysterical reaction by her supporters.

First, leftist newspapers alleged that the Russians aided Trump with the Hillary scandal leaks.

Then the next theory was that the FBI and Director Comey were responsible for her loss.

In her most extensive remarks since she conceded the race to Donald J. Trump early Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton told donors on a 30-minute conference call that Mr. Comey’s decision to send a letter to Congress about the inquiry 11 days before Election Day had thrust the controversy back into the news and had prevented her from ending the campaign with an optimistic closing argument.

Do the Clinton’s ever accept responsibility for their troubles ?

The latest excuse for losing is the electoral college is racist.

This is a twisted version of the Connecticut Compromise in the Constitutional Convention.

The Electoral College, which is written into the Constitution, is more than just a vestige of the founding era; it is a living symbol of America’s original sin. When slavery was the law of the land, a direct popular vote would have disadvantaged the Southern states, with their large disenfranchised populations. Counting those men and women as three-fifths of a white person, as the Constitution originally did, gave the slave states more electoral votes.

In fact, the 3/5 compromise was a matter of the representation in the House of Representatives, the more important branch in early US government days, as Senators were chosen by legislatures. The numbers in each state determined the number of Representatives allowed. It had nothing to do with the Electoral College. The Southern, slave, states wanted the number of slaves to add to the total for determining representation in the House. The northern states wanted slave to count as zero since they were not eligible to vote. The compromise allowed the Constitution to be ratified by all.

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