Trump digs in, lashes out amid shutdown standoff

by Dave Boyer

{} ~ President Trump rang in the new year Monday night in an unfamiliar holiday spot — the White House, where he has been holed up waiting in vain for congressional Democrats… to make a deal to end the partial government shutdown. “I’m in the Oval Office,” the president tweeted Monday. “Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall.” Over 11 days without legislative action in Washington, the president has threatened to close all border crossings with Mexico, complained about obstructionist Democrats shutting down the government and blocking his nominees, lamented the habit of foreign leaders taking advantage of the U.S., and offered shifting descriptions of the border barrier he seeks. He has engaged in his favorite pastimes of blasting the “fake news” media and special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt.” The president said Democratic leaders “could’ve come over anytime” to negotiate with him. “I spent Christmas in the White House, I spent New Year’s Eve now in the White House,” Mr. Trump told Fox News on Monday. “A lot of people are looking to get their paycheck, so I’m ready to go whenever they want. We are not giving up. We have to have border security and the wall is a big part of border security — the biggest part.” The president’s tweets prompted former CIA Director scumbag/commie-John O. Brennan, a fierce critic, to fire back at Mr. Trump on Monday: “We have had enough of your whining from the White House. We need an actual leader — our Nation’s future is at stake.”…


Population Growth Leads to Abundant Resources


{} ~ In recent weeks, oil has been moving below $50 a barrel — owing partly to concerns of oversupply and partly to concerns over a slowing global economy… Petroleum has helped to fuel the global economy for over a century, and its relative abundance today contradicts the doomsayers who feared “peak oil” in the past. Cheap oil is also a problem for the environmentalists, who fear that an oversupply of fossil fuels will undermine the global transition to green energy. Yet petroleum is not special. Resources in general have become cheaper in inflation-adjusted terms — as well as relative to the cost of labor — over the last four decades. That’s all the more remarkable considering that the world’s population has massively expanded over the same time period. Resource depletion has been a hotly debated topic since the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb in 1968. The Stanford University biologist warned that population growth would result in the exhaustion of resources and a global catastrophe. “Since natural resources are finite,” he noted some years later, “consumption obviously must ‘inevitably lead to depletion and scarcity’ . . . Petroleum is a textbook example of such a resource.” The late University of Maryland economist Julian Simon disagreed. In his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource, Simon argued that humans were intelligent beings, capable of innovating their way out of shortages. And so we have. Fracking, to give just one example, has enabled us to tap previously inaccessible oil reserves, thus turning the United States into a fossil-fuel super-power. Our findings in a recently published paper confirm Simon’s thesis. We revisited the debate by looking at 50 foundational commodities covering energy, food, materials, and metals. Between 1980 and 2017, the real price of commodities fell by 36 percent on average…


‘Meet The Press’ Preaches Climate Change

by Norman Rogers

{} ~ On Sunday morning, December 30, ‘Meet the Press’ had a gala service preaching the climate-change religion. Famous climate preachers like Michael Bloomberg and Jerry Brown were featured speakers… they missed some opportunities and some old themes were nowhere to be found. They neglected to link the supposed, increasing pollution of the oceans with plastic to climate change. They forgot to mention the polar bear tragedy, and for some reason we don’t hear any more about malaria spreading to the temperate zones. According to “Meet the Press,” “the science of climate doom is absolutely and completely settled science.” For that reason they determined that no time would be given to “climate deniers.” But seemingly they broke their own rule when a clip by the Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, was played. The foremost climate skeptic in the U.S. Senate, James Inhofe, was also given air time. Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and one of the world’s richest men, was given extensive air time. There was even a plug for his book: Climate of Hope. The book, written with the former president of the Sierra Club, is hilariously ignorant. Bloomberg is considering running for president as a Democrat. Formerly, he was a Republican. His embrace of global warming alarmism may be a bid for votes in the Democratic primaries where the voters are typically believers in loony climate change theories. The one scientist on the show, Kate Marvel, has evidently given up science for a career promoting climate alarmism. She is contradicting herself by going along with climate alarmist fantasies — in earlier public talks she was highly critical of the climate computer models that are the only basis for climate extremism…


The Collapse of the Never-Trump Conservatives


{} ~ With the installation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and a yet-to-be-named reliable replacement for the unreliable Anthony Kennedy… Donald Trump will have confirmed himself as the most consequential conservative president of the modern era or a close second to Reagan if you’re nostalgic. This will be complete vindication for Trump supporters, which means it’s really the end for the so-called Never Trump conservatives. Of course, there have been so many humiliating defeats for that crowd that we are spoiled for choice. What was your favorite blunder, or blown prediction, which marked their ignominious end? For some, it must have been in March when Bill Kristol, longtime editor of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard, showed up in New Hampshire telling people he would run against President Trump in 2020. Or in April when the conservative website RedState was taken over and purged of writers who were “insufficiently supportive” of the president. Some go back to October 2017 when a Twitter spat broke out between Stephen Hayes and Brit Hume of Fox News over the Weekly Standard’s anti-Trump editorials. With the death last week of Charles Krauthammer, the revered neocon commentator and prominent Trump skeptic, the eclipse of the neocon intellectuals is complete. One thing’s for sure: it wasn’t really a war so much as a rout. The Never Trump intellectual crowd has no momentum and no popular following these days. Consider the trajectory of their would-be leader Kristol, who appears to be indulging in a personal fantasy by putting himself forward as a candidate, as his rapport with GOP voters includes trying to run Evan McMullin in Utah to throw the 2016 election to scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton. When that stunt failed, Kristol personally insulted the pro-Trump writer Michael Anton for his influential essay “The Flight 93 election.” Then Kristol’s commentator gig with Fox was not renewed, and he was soon accusing Tucker Carlson of “ethno-nationalism” and “racism.” Overshadowing all of these breaks was Kristol’s personal history of being the conservative’s answer to Bob Shrum, a political “pro” who was always very wrong about politics. Of course, Kristol was not alone in his contempt for Trump — he was only the most vocal and unhinged. Alongside him were other conservatives like Jennifer Rubin and George Will and Michael Gerson at the Washington Post; Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal; David Brooks and Ross Douthat at the New York Times; Jonah Goldberg and David French at National Review; Ramesh Ponnuru at Bloomberg; and Erick Erickson at RedState. A number of others, people like David Frum and Ana Navarro, committed political seppuku early and endorsed scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton. Needless to say, the careers of most of these people have been curtailed dramatically…


The Absurdity of an Open Border

by Brian C. Joondeph

{} ~ Democrats heatedly deny being in favor of open borders, but their actions and even their own words say otherwise. Much the same could be said about many Republicans… Both parties want an unrestricted flood of immigrants to America, but for different reasons. Democrats want a permanent underclass that reliably votes Democrat. Republicans want cheap labor to keep their Chamber of Commerce donors happy. Neither party acknowledges any negative consequences of the current open borders policy, allowing far more than voters and workers to enter our country. Ignored are the contagious diseases, still uncommon in America, being brought across the borders. Or the criminals we read about daily in the news, raping and killing Americans. Not to mention potential terrorists. Fantasies abound about Open borders. John Lennon singing, “Imagine there’s no countries” sounded like nirvana to a generation. How does this play out? What if there weren’t a President Trump promising to build a wall? Instead, suppose we had a president named Jeb or Marco, happy to grant amnesty to the 10 to 20 million illegals already in the country, a number which would double as soon as amnesty was proposed…


America’s Next Civil War Will Be Worse Than Our Last


{} ~ In the summer of 1862, just weeks before the Battle of Sharpsburg or Antietam — the bloodiest single day of fighting in American history — Union Captain George Armstrong Custer attended the wedding of Confederate Captain John “Gimlet” Lea at Bassett Hall in Williamsburg, Virginia, as best man. The Union officer was dressed in blue, the Confederate officer in grey, and Custer being Custer spent the next two weeks flirting with the Southern belle cousin of the bride, even joining her in singing “Dixie.”

At one point she told him, “You ought to be in our army.”

“What would you give me if I resigned my commission in the Northern army and joined the Southern?”

“You are not in earnest, are you?”

He wasn’t, of course. Custer was nothing if not loyal, and he believed that he was bound to the Union by the oath he had sworn at West Point, whatever his affection for Southern officers and their ladies.

Such gallantry seems unthinkable today, when members of the Trump administration are hounded from restaurants and theatres, and Confederate officers like John Lea, if they are remembered at all, are considered precursors of the German National Socialists, and their once famous and respected commanders like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jeb Stuart have their statues toppled and banished from public squares, their names stripped from public schools, and their memories spat upon and disgraced.

The difference between the America of today and the America of what seems like just yesterday is that we once had a common culture. As recently as 1990, Ken Burns could make a Civil War documentary for PBS and let historian Shelby Foote wax eloquent on the martial prowess of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest — something that now would likely get them both tarred, feathered, and Twitter-banned.

Yes, there were big differences between North and South a century and a half ago. The South was a slave-holding, free-trading, libertarian-leaning, conservative Christian, agricultural, aristocratic Sparta, while the North was a commercial, industrial, protectionist, Transcendentalist, social gospel, democratic Athens. But they held far more in common than separated them — beginning with the fact that, as Lincoln observed, “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God.”

In the end, the war was fought over a single legal issue: whether the states that had freely ratified the Constitution to form the Union could freely leave the Union if they felt it no longer served their interests.

One need only compare the Confederate Constitution to the United States Constitution to see that the former bears a striking resemblance to the latter. And far from being a national socialist charter, the Confederate Constitution puts even more restraints on federal power and limits the president to one six-year term.

The great seal of the Confederacy bears the image of George Washington, many of whose relatives served with the Confederacy, including Lieutenant James B. Washington, a West Point classmate of Custer’s the two had a famous picture taken together — Washington was a prisoner of war — a few weeks before Lea’s wedding.

North and South venerated the Founders. They shared the same language, the same religion, and, in large part, the same general stock. Most of all, they shared what Jeff Sessions was recently rebuked for calling an “Anglo-American heritage” of liberty under law, stretching from the mists of medieval England — even before Magna Carta — to our own Bill of Rights.

Today, however, our divisions are so deep and fundamental that Americans cannot even agree on what marriage is or what a man or a woman is which is pretty darn fundamental.

The lunatic self-righteousness of the Left and yes, I’m afraid one must point fingers here, where disagreement is bigotry to be prohibited by law or even condemned and prosecuted as treason, is a consuming, destructive fire that will not be easily quenched, and cannot be reached by cool waters of rational argument.

So what to do? We can start by trying to stop the Left’s war on America’s past, which is poisoning the well-spring of our national identity. If William McKinley, a Union officer turned president, could approve a Confederate memorial at Arlington Cemetery, it seems to me that we can at least be as understanding of our own history. Let us remember that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who ordered the 101stAirborne Division to help desegregate Arkansas’s public schools, kept a portrait of Robert E. Lee in his office at the White House and admired him as a hero as did, incidentally, George C. Marshall, whose anti-fascist bona fides are rather more profound than Antifa’s, I reckon.

We could also try to lighten the mood a little. I’ve conscripted Custer for this very purpose in a series of novels that imagine he survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn to become a gun-slinging Western do-gooder, riding under the pseudonym of Marshal Armstrong. There’s some real history in these books, but the point is to regain a rational, even if nostalgic, perspective on our past by eliciting laughter. America’s story is a glorious adventure — not a grim catalogue of irredeemable sins. The sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-progressive-god sermonizing that comes at us in endless, stultifying repetition from the press, Hollywood, and academia — today’s hysterical, bug-eyed, Puritan witch-burners — is the acid-bath dissolving our culture and our nation.

If America is to come together again, it will do so only through the restoration of what Lincoln called our mystic chords of memory, a common culture that emerges from a shared and sympathetic understanding of our past — the sort of shared understanding that can bring a Union and a Confederate officer to a wedding, and former Union General George Armstrong Custer, alias Marshal Armstrong, to the rescue.


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