“I’m sure the governor of a small, rural, landlocked state full of white people will totally know a whole lot about China, and stuff.” - Ian Millhiser, in a highly negative tweet about Trump's nomination of Iowa governor Terry Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China...prior to deleting said tweet upon learning Branstad DOES in fact know a WHOLE LOT about China...and stuff!.
Video of the Day
Having lived with the impact of the oftentimes ridiculous DoD requirements for military specifications, we're with LTGEN Tom McInernary as he reveals the truth behind the bloated cost of Boeing's rebuilt Air Force One.
Tales From the Dark Side
Sorry, but prior to conceding Dimocrats could not get rid of the Electoral College due to the way the United States Constitution is written, where exactly does Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) have to go...second breakfast or second lunch?!? If there are truly children in America going to bed hungry, Zoe's the reason why!
On the Lighter Side
Courtesy of Bill Meisen, FOX News' "Oh Sh*t!" moment. Those who know us understand, "Dang it!" or "Dad blame it!" should have more than sufficed!
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It’s Friday, December 9th, 2016…but before we begin, the “man” whose entire life has been a one enormous lie cannot help but go out with yet another whopper:
…and his utter hatred of America are the Islamofascist-in-Chief’s real legacy. Is it any wonder then, when…
Now, here’s an abbreviated Friday edition of The Gouge!
First up, since we’re on the subject of the most anti-American President in the history of the Republic, in a forward from our long-time friend and Naval Academy classmate George Lawlor, the great Victor Davis Hanson records reality against Progressive promotion:
Assessing the Obama Legacy—Against His Own Mileposts
The president’s stated priorities have not turned out well.
In his 2016 State of the Union address, President Obama summarized his achievements. That same night, the White House issued a press release touting Obama’s accomplishments. Now that he will be leaving, how well did these initiatives listed in the press release actually work out?
“Securing the historic Paris climate agreement.”
The accord was never submitted to Congress as a treaty. It will be ignored by President-elect Trump.
“Achieving the Iran nuclear deal.”
That “deal” was another effort to circumvent the treaty-ratifying authority of Congress. It has green-lighted Iranian aggression, and it probably ensured nuclear proliferation. Iran’s violations will cause the new Trump administration to either scrap the accord or send it to Congress for certain rejection.
“Securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
Even Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton came out against this failed initiative. It has little support in Congress or among the public. Opposition to the TTP helped fuel the Trump victory
The recent Miami celebration of the death of Fidel Castro, and Trump’s victory in Florida, are testimonies to the one-sided deal’s unpopularity. The United States got little in return for the Castro brothers’ propaganda coup.
“Destroying ISIL” and “dismantling al Qaeda.”
We are at last making some progress against some of these “jayvee” teams, as Obama once described the Islamic State. Neither group has been dismantled or destroyed. Despite the death of Osama bin Laden, the widespread reach of radical Islam into Europe and the United States remains largely unchecked.
“Ending combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
The Afghan war rages on. The precipitous withdrawal of all U.S. peacekeepers in 2011 from a quiet Iraq helped sow chaos in the rest of the Middle East. We are now sending more troops back into Iraq.
“Closing Guantanamo Bay.”
This was an eight-year broken promise. The detention center still houses dangerous terrorists. (As it should be!)
“Rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region.”
The anemic “Asia Pivot” failed. The Philippines is now openly pro-Russian and pro-Chinese. Traditional allies such Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea are terrified that the U.S is no longer a reliable guarantor of their autonomy.
“Supporting Central American development.”
The once-achievable promise of a free-market, democratic Latin America is moribund. Dictatorships in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua remain impoverished bullies. All have been appeased by the U.S.
Democrats claimed Russian interference in the recent election. If true, it is proof that there is no such thing as “cybersecurity.” The WikiLeaks releases, the hacked Clinton e-mails and the Edward Snowden disclosures confirm that the Obama administration was the least cybersecure presidency in history.
“Growing the Open Government Partnership.”
The NSA scandal, the hounding of Associated Press journalists, some of the WikiLeaks troves, and the corruption at the IRS all reveal that the Obama administration was one of the least transparent presidencies in memory.
“Honoring our nation’s veterans.”
Obama’s Department of Veteran Affairs was mired in scandal, and some of its nightmarish VA hospitals were awash in disease and unnecessary deaths. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki was forced to resign amid controversy. Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized for issuing an offensive report falsely concluding that returning war vets were liable to join right-wing terrorist groups
The 2016 presidential campaign was among the nastiest on record. WikiLeaks revealed unprecedented collusion between journalists and the Clinton campaign. Earlier, Obama had been the first president in U.S. history to refuse public campaign money. He was also the largest fundraiser of private cash and the greatest collector of Wall Street money in the history of presidential campaigns.
“Protecting voting rights.”
Riots followed the recent presidential election. Democrats, without merit, joined failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s recount in key swing states they lost. Progressives are berating the constitutionally guaranteed Electoral College. State electors are being subject to intimidation campaigns.
Lethal attacks on police are soaring.
“Promoting immigrant and refugee integration and citizenship awareness.”
The southern U.S. border is largely unenforced. Immigration law is deliberately ignored. The president’s refugee policy was unpopular and proved a disaster, as illustrated by the Boston Marathon bombings, the San Bernardino attack, the Orlando nightclub shooting, and the recent Ohio State University terrorist violence.
Note what Obama’s staff omitted: his doubling of the U.S. debt in eight years, the unworkable and soon-to-be-repealed Affordable Care Act, seven years of anemic economic growth, record labor nonparticipation, failed policy resets abroad, and a Middle East in ruins.
Why, then, has the president’s previously sinking popularity suddenly rebounded in 2016?
Obama disappeared from our collective television screens, replaced by unpopular candidates Clinton and Trump, who slung mud at each other and stole the limelight. As a result, Obama discovered that the abstract idea of a lame-duck Obama was more popular than the cold reality of eight-year President Obama.
He wisely adjusted by rarely being heard from or seen for much of 2016.
So Obama now departs amid the ruin of the Democratic party into a lucrative post-presidency: detached and without a legacy.
As we have noted many times before, we’re far from convinced the polls singing The Obamao’s praises at the end of his presidency are any more accurate than those which heralded Hillary’s inevitable ascension to power prior to November 8th..
Speaking of the inevitable, in a related item courtesy of the Washington Times via Mark Tapscott, Stephen Moore records…
People are leaving the Hillary-supporting states in droves. When I say the blue states are in a depression, I don’t mean the collective funk they are in because they lost the election to Donald Trump.
I’m talking about an economic depression in the blue states that went for Hillary.Here is an amazing statistic. Of the 10 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins — California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut — every single one of them lost domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years (2004-14).Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states.
They are the loser states. They are all progressive. High taxes rates. High welfare benefits. Heavy regulation. Environmental extremism. Super minimum wages. Most outlaw energy drilling. The whole left-wing playbook is on display in the Hillary states. And people are leaving in droves. Day after day, they are being bled to death. So much for liberalism creating a worker’s paradise.
Now let’s look at the 10 states that had the largest percentage vote for Donald Trump.Everyone of them — Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Idaho — was a net population gainer.
This is part and parcel of one of the greatest internal migration waves in American history as blue states especially in the northeast are getting clobbered by their low tax, smaller government rivals in the south, southeast and mountain regions.
By the way, pretty much the same pattern holds true for jobs. The job gains in the red states carried by the widest margins by Mr. Trump had about twice the job creation rate as the bluest states carried by Hillary.
The just-released 2016 edition of ALEC’s Rich States, Poor States, which I co-author with Reagan economist Arthur Laffer and economist Jonathan Williams shows a persistent trend of Americans moving from blue to red states. The best example is that from 2004-2014, the two biggest conservative states in terms of population size — Florida and Texas — gained almost one million new residents each.The two most populous liberal states — California and New York — saw an equal-sized exodus.
It’s easy to understand why people might want to leave gray and rusting New York. But California? California has arguably the most beautiful weather, mountains and beaches in the country and yet people keep fleeing the state that is supposed to be a progressive utopia.
What doesn’t make California and New York paradise is the high cost of living thanks to expensive environmental regulations, forced union policies, and income tax rates that are the highest in the nation at 13 percent or more. Florida and Texas are right to work states with no income tax. Is it really a shocker that people would choose zero income tax over 13 percent? New York politicians know that their record high tax rates are killing growth, which is why the state is spending millions of dollars on TV ads across the country trying to convince people that New York has low taxes. Sure.And Chicago is crime-free…”
Somehow, someway, we’re utterly unconcerned as to the impact such depression will ultimately inflict upon the Dimocratic psyche. Though, we can only hope, in the words of an unrepentant Ebenezer Scrooge, “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
Which brings us to today’s installment of the Environmental Moment, as Kevin Cramer writing at the WSJ relates…
A little more than two weeks ago, during a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a public bridge in southern North Dakota. That was simply the latest manifestation of the “prayerful” and “peaceful” protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Escalating tensions were temporarily defused Sunday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the direction of the Obama administration, announced it would refuse to grant the final permit needed to complete the $3.8 billion project. The pipeline, which runs nearly 1,200 miles from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to Illinois, is nearly complete except for a small section where it needs to pass under the Missouri River. Denying the permit for that construction only punts the issue to next month—to a new president who won’t thumb his nose at the rule of law.
Like many North Dakotans, I’ve had to endure preaching about the pipeline from the press, environmental activists, musicians and politicians in other states. More often than not, these sermons are informed by little more than a Facebook post. At the risk of spoiling the protesters’ narrative, I’d like to bring us back to ground truth.
• This isn’t about tribal rights or protecting cultural resources.The pipeline does not cross any land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. The land under discussion belongs to private owners and the federal government. To suggest that the Standing Rock tribe has the legal ability to block the pipeline is to turn America’s property rights upside down.
• Two federal courts have rejected claims that the tribe wasn’t consulted.The project’s developer and the Army Corps made dozens of overtures to the Standing Rock Sioux over more than two years. Often these attempts were ignored or rejected, with the message that the tribe would only accept termination of the project.
• Other tribes and parties did participate in the process.More than 50 tribes were consulted, and their concerns resulted in 140 adjustments to the pipeline’s route. The project’s developer and the Army Corps were clearly concerned about protecting tribal artifacts and cultural sites. Any claim otherwise is unsupported by the record.The pipeline’s route was also studied—and ultimately supported—by the North Dakota Public Service Commission (on which I formerly served), the State Historic Preservation Office, and multiple independent archaeologists.
• This isn’t about water protection.Years before the pipeline was announced, the tribe was working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps to relocate its drinking-water intake. The new site sits roughly 70 miles downstream of where the pipeline is slated to cross the Missouri River. Notably, the new intake, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, will be 1.6 miles downstream of an elevated railroad bridge that carries tanker cars carrying crude oil.
Further, the pipeline will be installed about 100 feet below the riverbed. Automatic shut-off valves will be employed on either side of the river, and the pipeline will be constructed to exceed many federal safety requirements.
Other pipelines carrying oil, gas and refined products already cross the Missouri River at least a dozen times upstream of the tribe’s intake. The corridor where the Dakota Access Pipeline will run is directly adjacent to another pipeline, which carries natural gas under the riverbed, as well as an overhead electric transmission line. This site was chosen because it is largely a brownfield area that was disturbed long ago by previous infrastructure.
• This isn’t about the climate.The oil that will be shipped through the pipeline is already being produced. But right now it is transported in more carbon-intensive ways, such as by railroad or long-haul tanker truck.So trying to thwart the pipeline to reduce greenhouse gas could have the opposite effect.
So what is the pipeline dispute really about? Political expediency in a White House that does not see itself as being bound by the rule of law.The Obama administration has decided to build a political legacy rather than lead the country. It is facilitating an illegal occupation that has grown wildly out of control.That the economy depends on a consistent and predictable permitting regime seems never to have crossed the president’s mind.
“…So this was a political decision made by political appointees and, as such, it can be reversed by the next administration’s political appointees. Still, the damage may already have been done. Oil exploitation firms operate on generational time scales—30 to 50-year spans in which time an oil source is identified, exploited, brought to market, and eventually yields a profit. The success of these protests will have the effect of making companies reassess the level of risk involved in developing America’s newly discovered pockets of oil and natural gas.
Worse, however, is the Army’s decision to convey to America’s most disruptive elements that violence and disorder works.We can expect to see more of these kinds of disruptive and violent protests. The next round of uncivil demonstrations will, however, occur in a different political culture. They might face an administration more inclined to clear out encampments and round up hundreds on buses. Moreover, for the Trump administration, the threat of politically inconvenient optics arising from such events is no threat at all.
So there will be more clashes between reactionary Luddites who have the temerity to call themselves “progressive” and law enforcement backed by a president with a perceived mandate to restore “law and order.” Ultimately, the drama at Standing Rock has put America on a course toward a reckoning.“
Allow us to introduce you to the environmental equivalent of Black Lives Matter; all the hype…along with the utter absence of any basis in fact. In other words, a concept constructed completely upon a foundation of patent prevarication.
On The Lighter Side…
P.S. With regard to the passing of John Glenn, as with John McCain, he was at one time a hero, and as such we honor that memory. But, again like McCain, through his subsequent conduct as a politician and support of the indefensible his star lost an awful lot of luster.