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Friday, October 20, 2017

A New Dictionary

Yesterday, in speaking of Frederica Wilson, the Florida Democrat congresswoman, the White House Chief of Staff general Kelly remarked that as his mother used to say, "an empty barrel makes the most noise."  There's no question what Kelly meant by that; he was basically calling Wilson an idiot who won't shut up even when she ought to.  It's no compliment, to say the least.

Wilson's immediate response was to quote her own mother who used to say "it doesn't matter if a dog howls at the moon; it only matters when the moon howls back." 

In all fairness, Wilson's immediate response just proved that Kelly was correct in his calling her an empty barrel.

Wilson followed her initial enigmatic response with another one about an hour later when she said that Kelly was just trying to keep his job.  That didn't go over very well either.  As a result, Wilson today has decided to call Kelly a racist.  Here's what she said about being called an empty barrel:

Okay, that’s a racist term too. I’m thinking about that one. We looked it up in the dictionary because I had never heard of an empty barrel and I don’t like to be dragged into something like that.

There's a reason why Wilson never heard of an empty barrel being a racist term; that's because it isn't a racist term.  In fact, I looked up the saying that an empty barrel makes the most noise.  It turns out that Shakespeare used the saying except he said "an empty vessel makes the most noise."  Was Shakespeare a racist in 16th century England?  Shakespeare didn't write the line, however.  He was quoting an older saying which is attributed most often to Aristotle.  So were the ancient Greeks racists too?

The truth is that Wilson is just telling lies again in her effort to stay in the news and somehow protect her failing reputation.

Do you Believe?

There's a trending topic on Twitter right now which is #IBelieveFredrica.  It is a reference to the congresswoman who disgustingly went to the press to discuss the content of President Trump's condolence call to the widow of a marine killed in action in Niger.  The hashtag was no doubt started to gather support for this woman, but it has been taken over now by people who are blasting her non-stop for her lack of common decency.

I usually don't discuss the nonsense on Twitter, but there is one meme posted that I felt compelled to share with all of you in case you missed it.  Here it is:

Why Cover It This Way?

The Senate passed the budget resolution last night on a vote of 51-49.  Not a single Democrat voted for the budget.  In a rather humorous bit, some of the Democrats spoke against the budget because it would not erase the federal deficit.  These are the same people who worked with Obama to double the national debt (by ten trillion dollars) over the Obama years.

So how does the media cover this event?  They all point out that passage of the budget lets the GOP use reconciliation to pass the tax reform bill.  In other words, the Democrats will not be able to filibuster tax reform as they threatened to do.  Then the media in unison point out that the GOP failed to repeal Obamacare, and that both the GOP in Congress and President Trump are hoping for their first legislative victory.  Interestingly enough, not one of the articles I read on passage of the budget talked about the content of the tax reform package or the effect that passage would have on economic growth.  Everything is put in terms of getting a political victory.  Few Americans care if one party or the other gets a victory.  They care, instead, about whether the policies followed mean more jobs, more economic growth, higher wages and the like.  So why doesn't the media bother to even mention that?  After all, it is the single most important issue for Americans year in and year out. 

The answer, of course, is that by keeping mum on the beneficial effects of tax reform, the media doesn't highlight that the opposition by the Democrats to tax reform is likely to slow economic growth, to keep wages lower, and to reduce the number of jobs created by the economy.  In other words, by ignoring the tax reform package itself, the media is trying to shield the Democrats.

On this subject, however, the word is out.  Last night, after the budget passed the Senate as expected, the stock market futures shot up like a rocket.  Those who understand economics knew that a tax cut would spur much greater growth for the US economy with all the benefits that such growth creates for the average American.  They spoke with their money.  It was the most honest response one can imagine.  Unfortunately, the media has not learned the virtue of honesty.

When A Story Is Not A Story

The Uranium One story is a big one.  A few days ago, a member in good standing of the mainstream media, The Hill, broke the news that prior to the approval of the sale of a company named Uranium One to Russian interests, the FBI investigated major cash flows (over 150 million dollars) to Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.  The FBI also investigated the use of strong arm tactics and bribery to silence critics of the deal, again before the approval of that deal.  And, of course, who was it who approved the deal?  The State Department then led by Hillary Clinton, and some other agencies in the Obama administration.  Then comes the key point here:  although the FBI investigated and found the cash flows and the bribery and the threats to opponents, nothing was said to Congress, to the public, or even to the people considering whether or not to approve the deal.  We know that the director of the FBI knew of these investigations; that means Robert Muller and Jim Comey.  We also know that the assistant director of the FBI, McCabe, led the investigations (and that his wife somehow got $750,000 from Clinton related sources for a race for the state legislature in Virginia.  It was probably the biggest supposed political contribution for a state legislative race in American history.  We don't know for sure if President Obama knew of the investigation, but Attorney General Eric Holder must have known, and yet Congress and the people making the decision were kept in the dark.  As I said above, this is a big story, particularly since it let the Russians gain control of nearly half of all American uranium production.

So here's the question:  what sort of coverage is being given to this story.  The answer is next to nothing.  As a test this morning, I searched for the term "uranium one" on the ABC News site.  The only stories that came up are at least six months old.  In other words, ABC News has not mentioned the hushed up FBI investigation prior to the approval of the sale.  I decided to then try CBS News.  I searched that site and found no discussion of the Uranium One story either.  There is a line in an article about President Trump that mentions that he criticized the media for not covering the story, but that's near the end of a long piece and it never explains what the story is.

How can it be that this major story gets no coverage?  It's not old news.  We just learned that the FBI thought the matter serious enough to conduct a major investigation about the Russians buying influence with the Clintons and others.  We also just learned that the Obama administration -- in the person of Attorney General Holder -- covered up that investigation so as to let the deal go through.  America deserves to know this, even if the news media doesn't like reporting news that makes Obama look bad.  I'm actually not sure if the scandal of not reporting the news is worse than the scandal of the Russians allegedly paying off the Clintons to get Hillary to approve the transaction.  They're both terrible.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

You Have To Watch This

General John Kelly gave a short briefing in the White House today.  He spoke about the way the nation treats its military dead, the phone call from President Trump to the families of the marines who fell in Niger, his own experiences when his son was killed in combat a few years ago, and his impressions of the congresswoman who started the whole flap about President Trump's call to the wife of a fallen marine.  This is something that you have to see and hear.  It can't be summarized in any adequate fashion.  Take the time and watch it.


Please Stop

It's gotten way past the point of being disgusting and indecent.  The media has to stop pushing the story of which families of Americans slain in combat have received a call from the President and what has been said during those calls.  These are families of American heroes who gave their lives for this country.  They deserve respect, not to be put in the middle of a political firestorm.  Just for once, can't the media give these people the peace and honor they deserve rather than using them as props in a political battle?

I haven't had much respect for the mainstream media before now.  After this performance, I now can say that I have no respect for them.  These are jackals devoid of feelings and morality.  (and I'm holding back).

The Nutty Judges Are At It Again

There's a 90 plus year old memorial to fallen soldiers of World War I in Bladensburg, Maryland.  The memorial is in the form of a large cross.  The US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit just ruled that it has to be taken down as it violates the First Amendment to the Constitution which calls for separation of church and state.  The decision was 2-1, which only means that there was at least one judge on the court who understands what the First Amendment actually means.  In truth, the court's decision is ridiculous.

Let's be clear:  the First Amendment does not mean that there can be no religion on government property.  Nor does it mean that any reference to God even through a specific religion is forbidden.  It means that the federal government can't make a law to establish one religion as the state religion.  In other words, unlike England, where the Church of England was the state religion when the Bill of Rights was passed, the USA was going to have freedom of religion.  Any religion which an American wanted to follow would be allowed.  Any American could choose or refrain without government mandate.  As has often been said, freedom of religion is not freedom from religion.  There is nothing about the monument in Maryland that changes any of this.

Without a doubt, the judges who ruled in this case were sworn in with their hands on a Bible.  Will they next rule that they are not proper judges because their swearing in violated the First Amendment?  The cash in their pockets says "in God we trust" on it.  Will these judges next rule that all currency must be destroyed due to the First Amendment?  Congress opens each session with a prayer led by different religious leaders.  Is every law now unconstitutional because Congress prayed on the job?

A cross, even one that is 90 feet tall like the one in Maryland, is a symbol of Christianity.  Every one of the soldiers listed on the memorial was a Christian.  Is there something amiss here?  Of course not.  That cross does not make local Moslems, atheists or Jews into Christians.  Nor does it mean that the government favors Christians over others. 

The people who wrote the First Amendment and those who enacted that amendment would be astonished to hear that a court ruled that it required destruction of a memorial on public land because it is in the shape of a cross.  The amendment was meant to bar government imposition of one religion on the people; it was not meant for some people to use it as a weapon against the reference to religion by others.