27 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-22-17

  1. Alas.


  2. This is the sort of thing that happens when the German leader has a PhD in Chemistry and the US leader can’t spell “tap”.


  3. I liked this article about Pat Buchanan. If we had elected someone like Buchanan instead of GHW Bush in the ’90s, we wouldn’t now be faced with the prospect of repairing our economy from the massive de-industrialization that has made us less safe and less independent.

    …….A quarter-century before Trump descended into the atrium of his Manhattan skyscraper to launch his unlikely bid for the White House, Buchanan, until then a columnist, political operative and TV commentator, stepped onto a stage in Concord, New Hampshire, to declare his own candidacy 10 weeks ahead of the state’s presidential primary. Associating the “globalist” President George H. W. Bush with “bureaucrats in Brussels” pursuing a “European superstate” that trampled on national identity, Buchanan warned his rowdy audience, “We must not trade in our sovereignty for a cushioned seat at the head table of anybody’s new world order!” His radically different prescription, which would underpin three consecutive runs for the presidency: a “new nationalism” that would focus on “forgotten Americans” left behind by bad trade deals, open-border immigration policies and foreign adventurism. His voice booming, Buchanan demanded: “Should the United States be required to carry indefinitely the full burden of defending rich and prosperous allies who take America’s generosity for granted as thThis rhetoric—deployed again during his losing bid for the 1996 GOP nomination, and once more when he ran on the Reform Party ticket in 2000—not only provided a template for Trump’s campaign, but laid the foundation for its eventual success.

    Dismissed as a fringe character for rejecting Republican orthodoxy on trade and immigration and interventionism, Buchanan effectively weakened the party’s defenses, allowing a more forceful messenger with better timing to finish the insurrection he started back in 1991. All the ideas that seemed original to Trump’s campaign could, in fact, be attributed to Buchanan—from depicting the political class as bumbling stooges to singling out a rising superpower as an economic menace (though back then it was Japan, not China) to rallying the citizenry to “take back” a country whose destiny they no longer dictated. “Pitchfork Pat,” as he was nicknamed, even deployed a phrase that combined Trump’s two signature slogans: “Make America First Again.”

    At 78, Buchanan is as mentally agile as he was during his heyday. Each morning at his home in McLean, Virginia, he reads and annotates the print editions of five newspapers.

    “Pat was the pioneer of the vision that Trump ran on and won on,” says Greg Mueller, who served as Buchanan’s communications director on the 1992 and 1996 campaigns and remains a close friend. Michael Kinsley, the liberal former New Republic editor who co-hosted CNN’s “Crossfire” with Buchanan, likewise credits his old sparring partner with laying the intellectual groundwork for Trumpism: “It’s unclear where this Trump thing goes, but Pat deserves some of the credit.” He pauses. “Or some of the blame.”

    Buchanan, for his part, feels both validated and vindicated. Long ago resigned to the reality that his policy views made him a pariah in the Republican Party—and stained him irrevocably with the ensuing accusations of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia—he has lived to see the GOP come around to Buchananism and the country send its direct descendant to the White House.

    “I was elated, delighted that Trump picked up on the exact issues on which I challenged Bush,” he tells me. “And then he goes and uses my slogan? It just doesn’t get any better than this.” Buchanan, who has published such books as The Death of the West, State of Emergency, Day of Reckoning and Suicide of a Superpower, admits that November’s election result “gave me hope” for the first time in recent memory.

    But none of this means he’s suddenly bullish about America’s future. Buchanan says he has “always been a pessimist,” and despite Trump’s conquest, two things continue to color his dark forecast for the nation. First, Buchanan harbors deep concerns over whether Trump, with his off-topic tweeting and pointless fight-picking, has the requisite focus and discipline to execute his nationalist agenda—especially over the opposition of a media-establishment complex bent on his destruction. Second, even if Trump delivers on the loftiest of his promises, Buchanan fears it will be too little, too late. Sweeping change was needed 25 years ago, he says, before thousands of factories vanished due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, before millions of illegal immigrants entered the country, before trillions of dollars were squandered on regime change and nation-building. ……


    Liked by 1 person

  4. From ‘Shattered’:


    … On the surface, the writing pair (referring to aides to Clinton) was a microcosm of a campaign operation that sought to join the Clinton and Obama wings of the Democratic Party, mix baby boomers with millennials, and open up the famously insular Hillaryland to fresh voices and ideas.

    It was clear, even then, that she could distance herself only so far from Obama — and there were elements of his presidency she would want to exalt. But Hillary still struggled with the question of whether she was running for Bill Clinton’s third term, Obama’s third term, or her own first term.

    “How do you take credit for eight years of Democratic progress but also get that things haven’t gone far enough?” said one aide who wrestled with the conundrum. “She hired all of us to help her figure this out, and I think at the beginning we struggled to do that.”

    That confusion was reflected in the conclusion that (aides) Favreau and Muscatine both reached early on: The campaign was an unholy mess, fought with tangled lines of authority, petty jealousies, distorted priorities, and no sense of greater purpose. No one was in charge, and no one had figured out how to make the campaign about something bigger than Hillary. …

    … Hillary didn’t have a vision to articulate. And no one else could give one to her. In fact, the more people she assigned to the task of setting the tone for her campaign, the more muddled her message became.” …

    Her marching orders were to find a slogan and a message. The absence of any talk about her actual vision for the country or the reasons voters should choose her stunned some of the participants (in a small group brainstorm session). “There was never any question, and no adviser prompted discussion of ‘why you, why now?'”one of them recalled. …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the great article on Buchanan, Debra. I voted for Buchanan in 1992. I liked his opposition to abortion, criminality, Organized Perversion and welfare spending. I really liked him for his defense of the Confederacy. He began the 1992 campaign attacking Big Bush as a liberal wimp who gave in to the liberal Democrats on social spending, perversion and judicial appointments. It was in New Hampshire that he met blue collar proto-Trumpkins and found that the “anti-globalist” pitch worked with them. Since I had known Big Bush was a liberal since 1968, I voted for Buchanan despite his “anti-globalist” rhetoric. There was no other choice, and unlike Trump, Buchanan is a man of honor. He actually believes what he says. In 1996 I voted for Phil Gramm (who was one of my real heroes). Until your article I had forgotten that it was Buchanan who essentially put Gramm out of the race.

    Later, William F. Buckley accused Buchanan of anti-Semitism and banned him from National Review. Buckley dedicated most of an issue to the subject. It was very unpersuasive and I stopped reading National Review for a long time. Later still, Buchanan was courageous and absolutely correct in his opposition to the Iraq Invasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Two more humorous incidents from the 1996 campaign:

    1. My wife announced she was voting for Alan Keyes after he was endorsed by James Dobson. I teased her about his lack of experience. That night at a debate, Keyes was not allowed to participate because of his standing in the polls. He tried to force his way on stage and had to be taken away by security. I still remember my son running in to the kitchen to tell my wife that “her candidate had been arrested”.

    2. We lived in the first house at the start of a long dead-end street. When I went to pick up my son from a friend’s house at the other end of the street I was appalled to see that two of my neighbors had put up Clinton signs. Clearly, this demanded a response and a Dole sign would be no response at all. Up went the 20 foot flagpole and the Army of Northern Virginia battleflag. Three days later the Clinton signs were gone. The old flag had won another victory.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So, is Shattered saying Sec. Clinton had the Teddy Kennedy problem? Remember when he was asked, “why do you want to be president?” and he didn’t have an answer?

    End of campaign.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pat Buchanan might have campaigned against abortion in the U.S., but he was part of the Nixon administration which actively extended the aid-for-population-control foreign policy of President Johnson, a policy which lead to the sterilization and abortion of millions in developing countries. Buchanan’s recent ramblings about the threat of the increasing population of developing countries and the dwindling population of the West show that his motivations for opposing abortion are hypocritical and are strongly reminiscent of a certain 1930s movement which called for the increase of the Aryan race while developing plans for the reduction of undesirable populations.


  9. Roscuro, I think you are being a little hard on Buchanan. A White House speechwriter is not responsible for all of the mistakes of his boss. Buchanan has always been a devout Catholic. I have never read him say or write anything in support of preventing births in other countries. He has often lamented the declining birthrate in the West and the abortion and perversion that led to this decline. He is no Nazi. He is simply an old fashioned Catholic.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Am I? Buchanan pretty much takes that line with writing like this: https://www.creators.com/read/pat-buchanan/07/16/will-the-west-survive-the-century
    The reasoning behind the Nixon administration’s adoption of Johnson’s policy was that the exploding populations of developing countries were breeding grounds for communism, so the policy was an extension of the Cold War. It was a policy, by the way, which Reagan stopped. Buchanan may not have been responsible (and I never said he was), but the article above shows that he fully imbibed the rhetoric surrounding Nixon’s policy, just substituting Islam for communism. Compare his piece above with Nixon’s on the same topic: http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/richard-milhous-nixon/united-states-foreign-policy-for-the-1970s/ch20_p4.php


  11. Roscuro,
    I disagree with Buchanan’s position on legal immigration for two practical reasons:
    1. Legal immigrants keep the Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare from going bankrupt as quickly; and
    2. Legal immigrants pay taxes, start businesses and create jobs.

    However, there is a big difference between
    1. Favoring strict limits on legal immigration (particularly from non-European countries) as Buchanan does; and
    2. Wishing or taking steps to make sure those foreigners were never born (Buchanan does not do this).

    Buchanan was one of the few Republicans to oppose Little Bush’s Iraq invasion. Had his advice been heeded, hundreds of thousands of lives in the Middle East would have been saved and hundreds of thousands of additional Middle Easterners would have been born.


  12. Ricky, in the above article I shared, Buchanan mentions population projections from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and India:

    Given the tyranny, destitution and disease that afflict Africa, what — other than barriers, border guards and warships — is there to stop tens of millions of young African men from crossing over in coming decades to fill the empty spaces left by dying Europeans?
    The Arab-Muslim population of North Africa alone, from the western Sahara and Morocco to Egypt and Sudan, will add 130 million people in 35 years.
    Egypt will add 60 million, to reach a population of 151 million by 2050.
    Yet Egypt will still have only the fifth-highest population of Muslims, behind Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

    Those countries are among those listed as countries of concern in the 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200, commissioned by Nixon, completed by Kissinger, and confirmed by Ford: https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PCAAB500.pdf

    In order to assist the development of major countries and to maximize progress toward population stability, primary emphasis would be placed on the largest and fastest growing developing countries where the imbalance between growing numbers and development potential most seriously risks instability, unrest, and international tensions. These countries are: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, The Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Colombia. Out of a total 73.3 million worldwide average increase in population from 1970-75 these countries contributed 34.3 million or 47%. This group of priority countries includes some with virtually no government interest in family planning and others with active government family planning programs which require and would welcome enlarged technical and financial assistance. These countries should be given the highest priority within AID’s population program in terms of resource allocations and/or leadership efforts to encourage action by other donors and organizations.

    Buchanan’s apple of concern doesn’t fall far from his former employer’s tree.


  13. Roscuro, Buchanan favors “barriers, border guards and warships”. This is how he blends his nationalism and his Catholicism.


  14. Ricky, so his solution to the refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean is to blow the boats out of the water. The difference between doing that and aborting them in the womb is just a matter of time.


  15. No. Ships are capable of intercepting would-be immigrants and returning them to their homelands. He would like for those who make it past the ships to be caught by the European version of the INS. By the way, I think that it is essentially the policy of all European nations.


  16. Tychicus, Many of those November polls were very close to right. Some of the last ones had Hillary up by 3% in the popular vote. She won it by 2.5%. As the new book “Shattered” points out, her campaign was incredibly inept in failing to target (or in one case even visit) the Yankee industrial states including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.


  17. I hesitate to say that Hillary is dumber than Trump, but she may be.

    The deceptive thing is that Trump wears his ignorance on his sleeve (and in his Tweets).

    By the way Tychicus, the NBA playoffs have been great. Leonard was superb last night, and LeBron is still The King.


  18. Like

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