The recent election and being accountable

November 13, 2016
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

“Okay, Fahrquar, say the words!”

Before I write anything else, I have to say one thing: I was wrong.

When I wrote after the Indiana primary, where Donald Trump de facto secured the Republican nomination:

When Trump gets swamped in November; when Obamacare becomes irreversible; when the Senate flips back to the Democrats; when even the House is lost; when Hillary gets away with her felonies; when all the gains we made in state legislatures and governorships are pissed away; when the economy still stinks; when the IRS goes back to abusing people whose opinions it doesn’t like; when the state grows and grows and grows and our rights shrink ever further and the world becomes ever more dangerous, well, that’s the choice you made.

I, along with so many others, got it all wrong. In fact, about the only people to forecast the election correctly were the Trump team itself, and a few perceptive journalists who saw the growing populist wave for what it was. My friend Salena Zito was one of the latter. You should really read her articles — she knows her stuff.

So, too, did Donald Trump, who spotted and gambled on a popular discontent with the governing class that most everyone else underestimated, and won.

So, just as I demand accountability in others, I expect it of myself. I freely admit I was wrong about Trump’s chances and the outcome of the election.

Does this mean I’ve become a Trump fan or supporter? No. I stand by my criticisms of him, whom I consider unqualified for the job, and his supporters, who’ve made an extremely risky bet with the nation’s future at stake. Were the election to be replayed, I would still oppose him and I would still vote for almost anyone but.

But, the election is over, and Trump has won in a legitimate, fair election. In a constitutional republic, that means we accept the results and give Trump and his team their chance to prove themselves. That’s what I intend to do: skeptical as I am, I will give President Trump the benefit of the doubt and a chance to prove me wrong, just as I did with President Obama.

And I hope he does just that. The passions of politics aside, the responsibilities of he presidency are so great, and the state of the world so parlous, only a fool would do otherwise.

I may have been wrong, but I am no fool. I hope President Trump succeeds and turns out to be a fine Chief Executive.

One thing has struck me in the days since the election: just how calm and accepting I and other “Never Trumpers” have been about the results. (Unlike the juvenile, thuggish Left.) I think it’s due to a couple of things:

First, relief that the Republicans retained the Senate and House with minimal losses, while expanding their hold over governorships and state legislatures. This bodes well for getting needed reforms done, and spares the nation of the horror of New York Senator Chuck Schumer as Majority Leader. It also gives me hope that the Supreme Court won’t swing in a more progressive, anti-Constitutional direction. Fingers crossed.

But, what gave me joy the day after was not Trump’s election, but the crushing defeat of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton crime family. To see “Lady Macbeth” denied that prize for which she’d sacrificed almost everything, including her professed feminist principles… Well, I’ll admit something else: I laughed out loud. Literally. That her and her clan of grifters and corruptionists and all their progressive hangers-on were left crying through the egg on their faces was a joy I’ll savor for a long time.

Whatever else comes of the election of Donald Trump, the banishment of Hillary and Bill Clinton from our political life can only be a good thing.

So, what comes in the future? Watching and waiting. I’ll support Trump when I think he’s right and I’ll oppose him when I think he’s wrong. I won’t rush to rejoin the Republican Party, because I don’t like the populist direction it’s gone in. But I will be willing to ally with them for the right causes. And I hope Congress will take this opportunity to reassert its role as a co-equal branch of government, checking the Executive when needed. Passing the REINS act to check the out of control regulatory state would be a great start.

But, for now, congratulations President-elect Trump, and best of luck to you in your administration.

The nation needs it.


You’ll be shocked to learn Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) may be corrupt.

October 24, 2016
No way!!

No way!!

Call me “crazy,” “paranoid,” or even late for dinner, but, somehow, it seems just a wee bit suspicious that Governor McAuliffe, a close Clinton retainer known to play fast and loose with the rules (1), saw to it that that over $600,000 was donated to the state senate campaign of the wife of the FBI Agent who was investigating… Hillary Clinton.

What. A. Coincidence.

The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.

Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.

Mr. McAuliffe and other state party leaders recruited Dr. McCabe to run, according to party officials. She lost the election to incumbent Republican Dick Black.

Via Jim Geraghty, who points out in his Morning Jolt newsletter that there may really be nothing there, but it sure looks bad when the spouse of a law enforcement officer takes money from a known supporter of the woman her husband happens to be investigating. Even if there’s no fire beneath the smoke, in our cynical age the suspicion of a corrupt quid pro quo is unavoidable and only helps deepen the sense of citizens that the system is rotten and rigged to protect the powerful.

For what it’s worth, given what we already know of the whitewash of the investigation into Clinton’s email scandal by the FBI Director and the Department of Justice, not only do I think there’s fire under the smoke, but it’s a five-alarm fire. Congress and the DoJ’s inspector general need to look into this right now.

Footnote:
(1) And that’s giving McAuliffe every benefit of the doubt that’s left in the world. For all time.


FBI won’t recommend charges against @HillaryClinton. R.I.P. Rule of Law

July 5, 2016
Above the rules.

Guilty as sin, free as a bird.

This is a very depressing moment:

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that his agency would not recommend criminal charges against anyone involved with Hillary Clinton’s private email network, even after finding that Clinton’s team was “extremely careless” in handling classified emails.

“We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges,” he told reporters in Washington. Comey added that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges.

Still, he said Clinton sent or received dozens of emails that were classified at the time they were sent and noted the former secretary of state did not turn over thousands of work-related emails to the State Department.

Comey said 110 emails contained information that was classified at the time they were sent, including eight emails that were top secret. That finding marked a direct contradiction to Clinton’s previous statements, in which she said she never sent any information that was classified at the time it was sent.

Comey said the investigation focused on whether Clinton violated federal statutes prohibiting the removal of classified information from secure areas, which is a crime whether that is done intentionally or inadvertently.

I have to agree with attorney Gabriel Malor:

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This is the statute in question:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer-
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

How, I ask, is Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server, which was in her mansion in Chappaqua, in any way, shape or form a “proper place of custody?” And how in God’s name do any of her actions while in charge of national secrets as Secretary of State constitute anything other than “gross negligence?” General Petraeus was prosecuted for less. The information that passed through her servers is likely in the hands of the Russians and Chinese — and who know who else? Clandestine human and technical sources were almost certainly compromised by her “gross negligence.” Intent is immaterial: the existence of the unauthorized server itself is the smoking gun here.

Mere words aren’t enough to convey my disgust.

The Rule of Law may not be dead in this country, but it is gut-shot and bleeding.

RELATED: One small smidgen of good news. While declining to prosecute, Director Comey’s statement point by point demolished all Hillary’s claims of innocence. Not that anyone seems to care that she’s a congenital liar.

 


Of course @HillaryClinton can’t say if bearing arms is a constitutional right.

June 5, 2016
x

“I support… Which answer do you want?”

That would require her to have read and actually understood the document, instead of just paying it cursory lip service:

Hillary Clinton couldn’t definitively say Sunday that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed the right to bear arms during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Republican rival Donald Trump has charged that Clinton wants to abolish the amendment. While Stephanopoulos said he knew that wasn’t true, he pressed her on her gun views that have increasingly gone to the left.

“Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it’s not linked to service in a militia?” he asked.

“I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations,” she said. “So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

She then went on to blather more about “common sense” and “reasonable” regulations, but, to Stephanopoulos’ credit, he didn’t let her off the hook, pressing her about whether the right to bear arms is individual.

And, of course, the answer is “yes, it is an individual right.” Even A-level progressive constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe agrees with that:

“My conclusion came as something of a surprise to me, and an unwelcome surprise,” Professor Tribe said. “I have always supported as a matter of policy very comprehensive gun control.”

And he’s not the only one, as you’ll see at the article.

But Hillary is in a bit of a pickle: On the one hand, as a good Progressive, she thinks the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the doctrine of natural rights that lie behind them and were at the core of the American Founding, have been made obsolete by the march of History. In fact, they positively get in the way of the better managed society (managed by progressive experts, of course) we need to head toward. The right to self-defense is one of those bothersome natural rights. If Hillary came out and said an unequivocal “yes,” then she risks alienating her progressive-Socialist base.

On the other hand, Hillary needs to retain traditional Democrat voters, who also happen to like their guns and think it’s their business and no one else’s if they own won. Trump strongly appeals to a large swathe of these voters, and Lady Macbeth risks losing them if she gives in to her inner gun-grabber.

Hence the clumsy evasions. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

I’ll just sit back and enjoy watching Her Inevitableness squirm. smiley popcorn

PS: If you want to read an excellent book about the right to bear arms as understood at the time of the Constitution’s writing, I can recommend “The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms” by Stephen Halbrook.


California Primary: my last ballot as a Republican, and the cowardice of state Democrats

May 22, 2016
"I get to vote twice? Gee, thanks, pal!"

Thrilled to vote against Trump

Well, that’s that. I’ve just filled in my mail-in ballot and cast my last vote as a Republican, the party I’ve identified with for 45 years. Like I said before, I refuse to be part of a party that nominates an anti-constitutional authoritarian populist demagogue. (1)

Instead I cast my vote for president for… (drumroll) …John Kasich. Not that I would ever vote for him normally (I still think he’s a sanctimonious ass), but what little polling there was for California showed he had the best chance of beating Trump in my congressional district. So, strategic voting it was. Go, Kasich.

"This is my happy face"

“This is my happy face”

 

That aside, there were a few other elections of note. In the race to be among the top two finishers and thus earn a spot in the general election for the federal Senate, we had 34 (!) candidates to choose from. (2) Since there was no way I was voting for Attorney General Kamala Harris or bigoted dimwit Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and most of the other candidates I’d never heard of, I cast my ballot for Thomas Del Beccaro, a former state chair of (what’s left of) the Republican Party in California. Who knows, with so many Democrats splitting the vote, he just might sneak into the top two.

For the House and  State Assembly races, I voted for the Republican as the only other choice besides the (statist, progressive) Democrat incumbents. Not that the Rs have any chance: there are so few in these districts, I think they can be counted on two hands with fingers left over.

Judicial races are always frustrating: few candidates even have web sites, and I never see them campaigning, so I know next to nothing about them when election day rolls around. My default is to vote for the incumbent or, if there is none, to prefer a prosecutor.

There was only one proposition on the ballot: a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to suspend members without pay. I voted for it. However, this is also where the “cowardice of state Democrats” part comes in.

This proposition should have been named the “Senator Leland Yee” bill in honor of the Democrat state senator indicted for arms-trafficking. In addition, that same year, another Democrat state senator was convicted of voter fraud and perjury, while a third Democrat was indicted for bribery. 2014 was a banner year for California Democrats.

Funny thing, though. They weren’t expelled from the Senate, even though that body had plenary power and every reason to do so. Why, you may ask? Because expulsion meant special elections to fill those seats and, with all the negative publicity for Democrats these scandals and the expulsions would bring, there would have been a decent chance of Republicans capturing one or more. This, in turn, would have made it harder for Democrats to regain the filibuster-proof two-thirds majority in the state senate (they have that easily in the Assembly) that would enable them to tax-and-spend even more wildly than they do now. So, no expulsions, and the corrupt Democrat senators kept their seats until one finally resigned. (3)

However, to make themselves look good, Senate Democrats under then-Senate President Steinberg proposed this amendment to allow suspension without pay. That’ll show those crooks! This proves California Democrats are tough on political corruption!

Even though they refused to expel three corrupt Democrat senators… smiley well I'm waiting

Cowards.

Still, the bill is worthwhile on its own merits, so I voted for it. Ballot marked, envelope signed and sealed, ready to mail.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to change my registration to “decline to state.”

 

Footnote:
(1) And those are Trump’s good points.
(2) And you thought the Republican presidential primary was overcrowded…
(3) Senator Calderon (D), indicted for bribery, took a “leave of absence” and was term-limited out at the next election. Senator Yee was suspended with pay until replaced in the next election. Only Senator Wright had the decency to resign.


Worst. Election. Ever.

May 5, 2016

satire head desk

Yuval Levin provides yet another example of why:

For many years now, it has been the practice of the intelligence community to start providing classified intelligence briefings to the presidential nominees of the two major parties (those who aren’t incumbents, who get them anyway) soon after the party conventions. This year, that will mean giving these very sensitive briefings to a woman who is clearly guilty of gross failures to protect classified information and a man who seems less trustworthy and disciplined about what he allows out of his mouth than almost everyone in America. Just a snapshot of this less than glorious election year.

I’m going to wake up and realize this was all a bad dream, right?

Right??


(Video) Protester to @HillaryClinton – “You are evil and guilty!”

April 16, 2016

But, really, tell me something I don’t know:

The Free Beacon explains:

Two protestors interrupted a Hillary Clinton campaign event on Saturday, with one being escorted out after shouting that the Democratic presidential frontrunner is “evil” and “guilty.”

Clinton was speaking to a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles when two individuals separately protested the rally and her candidacy. One man could be heard shouting, “She is guilty, she is guilty, she is evil,” as security removed him from the event.

Supposedly these were Sanders supporters. If so, take note of this moment: it is the one time I will probably ever agree with Bernie Sanders fans on anything.

Bipartisanship at last!