- The Senator From the News Media is quickly becoming the Senator From the EU: Cranky old John McCain went off on President Donald Trump overseas again, this time at The Brussels Conference, attended by most of the leadership of the European Union and NATO. The Senator criticized the President on foreign soil for his insistence that EU nations actually begin paying their fair share of their own defense, for which the United States taxpayers have footed the lion’s share of the bill since the end of WWII. He also whined that he hasn’t been invited to meet with President Trump since he became President. Gee, wonder why?
- Yeah, uh-huh, sure, you betcha, Joe. Now, have some Metamucil.: Joe Biden told an audience on Sunday that he “probably could’ve won” last year’s election against Donald Trump. In saying that, he joins 17 failed Republicans and one massively failed Most Corrupt Woman in America. It’s a big and growing crowd.
- Another pro-Trump rally, another clash with masked thugs.: This is becoming a weekly occurrence. A bunch of pro-Trump people get together to show their support for the President; they are then set upon by a bunch of violent thugs wielding pepper spray; and the fake news media then feigns shock that such a thing could happen, even though this is exactly the sort of behavior among leftwing idiots that its own coverage of Donald Trump sanctions each and every day. This past weekend it happened in Huntington Beach, CA; next week, it will happen somewhere else. The beatings will continue until morale improves.
- Back when America’s leftwingers knew how to conduct a peaceful demonstration: Althouse.com reminsces on its blog about the fact that 10,000 Americans congregated in Central Park on March 26, 1967 to celebrate a “Human Be-in.” The Grateful Dead played, and Timothy Leary distributed vast quantities of LSD. No one shot anyone else with pepper spray. CNN didn’t exist. Coincidence?
- Wait, what? Who, me? No way! It was that other guy!: And the blame falls to the Freedom Caucus, as it should. That group of GOP doctrinaire conservatives were the consensus choice on the Sunday morning talk shows for who should bear most of the blame for the death of the Republican “repeal and replace” bill. Practically the lone dissenter on this view was Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who is the leader of that group of my-way-or-the-highway by-God conservatives. Even though everyone in Washington knew the Freedom Caucus had the killing of this bill as its one and only goal in this process, Rep. Jordan was mysteriously reticent to take credit for his victory. Maybe that happened when he woke up Sunday morning with the realization that he gets to take credit for saving federal funding for Planned Parenthood in the 2018 mid-term elections. That should be fun.
Just another day in blame-deflecting America.
That is all.
- Hard starboard! No, make that port! No, starboard! No, wait…: That crashing sound you heard around 2:30 CT Friday was the GOP’s chances of holding both houses of congress in 2018 running upon the shoals of Obamacare. Unlike the Democrats in Congress, Republicans have always had a very hard time goose-stepping in lockstep on any piece of legislation – unless it is simply a repeal bill they know will fail in the senate – and the party’s pitiful congressional leadership couldn’t hold the caucus together. Thus, as is so often the case with a Republican congress, it proves yet again incapable of governing the country in a positive manner. Some things never change.
- Actually doing stuff is risky, so…: The Senate is no better. Presented this year with a grand opportunity to make use of the Congressional Review Act to rescind a raft of horrible last-minute Obama regulatory actions, the House has actually acted on more than a dozen items. But the Senate, using the excuse of the confirmation process, has only managed to act on a handful. With the timetable governing use of the CRA set to run out in late May, and the congressional schedule littered with days off and a two-week vacation between now and then, the GOP senate is going to end up leaving millions of disappointed constituents in the wake of its failure to act. Again, some things never change.
- I got this Tweedle-dee here, or this Tweedle-dum – take your pick.: In the end, American voters are left with a choice between one ruling class party (the Democrats) that actively hates the majority of the country, and a second ruling class party (the Republicans) that at least pretends to love the country but cannot summon the political courage needed to do anything positive to help it.
- Nothing says “ruling class” like an unearned two-week vacation.: As mentioned above, Congress will be taking the 2nd and 3rd week in April off. Many members of both parties will be holding public townhall meetings during those weeks. What are the Republicans going to say to their no-doubt hostile audiences about Obamacare? Remember, over the last 7 years, these people have said, “just give us a majority in the House, and we’ll repeal Obamacare.” They got the House, and failed. Then they said, “just give us a majority in the Senate, and we’ll repeal Obamacare.” They got the Senate, and failed. Then they said, “just give us the presidency, and we’ll repeal Obamacare.” They got the Presidency, and even holding every lever of power in the nation’s capitol, they still failed to do a damn thing.
- Paul Ryan’s new book: The Seven Habits of Highly-Ineffective Speakers.: Here’s a thought: A Speaker who is a real leader would cancel this two-week vacation and hold the House in session until his party’s caucus produces a “repeal and replace” bill that it can pass. There is nothing sacrosanct about the published congressional schedule, and no reason why a congress that has thus far produced basically nothing of note in three months deserves two weeks off. Warning: holding your breath waiting for this to happen could be hazardous to your health.
- This better be good.: In other news, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has called bi-polar FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers back to testify before his committee next week in a closed session, so that the witnesses might actually answer dozens of questions that they claimed they could not answer in last Monday’s public hearing. Naturally, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, the bug-eyed Adam Schiff, virulently opposed this opportunity for the committee to have access to full information on the question of whether the Obama Administration spied on the Trump Transition Team and campaign. We should not be surprised if Schiff and his fellow Democrats boycott the hearing, or pull some other public stunt to distract attention away from the real legal issue at play in this matter.
Just another week in the un-drained swamp of Washington DC.
That is all.
Photo credit: CNN.com
Some actual serious commentary on this serious Friday morning:
- It’s seeming increasingly likely that House Speaker Paul Ryan is indeed working to sabotage the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, as has long been rumored. Absent that motivation, it’s hard to explain why any Speaker would call a vote for what is supposed to be one of his two top priorities for the session before he knows he has the votes in-hand. But that’s exactly what the Speaker did yesterday, only to cancel the scheduled vote late in the afternoon when it became obvious the votes weren’t there. A very smart lawyer once told me that you don’t ask a question unless you know what the answer is going to be. Ryan’s not a lawyer, but, dayum that was a stupid move.
- The punishment for everyone else in the House is that they have to stay over in Washington DC through Friday and actually work a full week for once. That’s always upsetting to our ruling class legislators, who are accustomed to flying out to DC on Monday mornings and flying out of DC on Thursday afternoons, for what normally amounts to the equivalent of a 3 day work week. Whether the hardship of an extra day of work will change any recalcitrant minds on this vote remains to be seen. But the Speaker and President Trump are demanding a vote today, so we will find out very soon.
- The alternative to acting on this legislation is to allow Obamacare to completely implode, which it is in the process of doing, exploding the federal debt even further in the process. Republicans in DC worry that that will mean big losses for them at the polling places in November 2018. Ordinary Americans should worry about what that means for those among us who desperately need their medical insurance due to ongoing significant health issues. If Republicans fail to fix the current atrocity of a system after seven years of rank demagoguery on the issue, then they will deserve what the get in the mid-term elections.
- James Rosen of Fox News, one of the few remaining actual working journalists in the nation’s capitol, reported late yesterday that the National Security Agency – which, unlike the FBI, has been cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee’s investigations – is going to provide members of that committee with “smoking gun” evidence that Barack Obama’s evil minions did indeed spy upon the Trump Transition Team, illegally un-mask American citizens in that process, and illegally share the intel collected within the Obama Administration and outside of it. According to Rosen, that information will be shared with committee members as early as today. Rosen also reports that ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, has already been briefed on the intel yesterday, which may explain why he quit making his prior wild allegations to any fake reporter he could find yesterday.
- If Mr. Rosen’s reporting is correct – and his track record is very good – it might explain why then-President Obama issued an order in early January which dramatically increased the number of people in his administration who could legally share this kind of confidential intel information involving American citizens. The cynic in me thinks that he and his evil minions probably woke up one morning realizing this stuff had been illegally viewed by several people, and decided to make that change in order to provide some legal cover for them. Where the Obama people are concerned, the cynic in me has, if anything, consistently underestimated their capacity for mendacity over the last 9 years.
- Also, if Mr. Rosen’s reporting is correct, we’re going to have months of high-profile prosecutions of members of the Obama Administration, which will cause the fake news media to become even more virulent and insane than it has already been. These people have their entire senses of self-worth vested in the virtual canonization of Mr. Obama and his evil minions, and they will relentlessly demonize anyone who goes after them, regardless of the evidence at hand.
- If Mr. Rosen’s reporting is not correct, and there is no “smoking gun” to support the claims made Wednesday by Rep. Devin Nunes, then his days at chairman of the House Intelligence Committee are probably numbered, and they should be.
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced yesterday that his caucus will indeed filibuster the nomination of Judge John Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. This is an idiotic decision since Mr. Gorsuch handled himself so ably during his hearings, but senate Democrats are now so beholden to the radical, rage-filled leftists who fund their campaigns that they really have little choice. So they’ll gladly walk this plank to keep that campaign money flowing in.
- But wait – Mitch McConnell could bail them out! Later in the day, Schumer made it known that he was offering a compromise to the Senate Majority Leader: The Ds would allow Gorsuch’s nomination to be confirmed if McConnell promises not to do away with the filibuster on any future Supreme Court nominations by President Trump. If Sen. McConnell falls for this deal, then the Republican Party will be revealed as being well and truly worthless to millions of ordinary Americans who voted them into office in the last three election cycles, and gave them their current majority in the Senate.
Just another day in do-nothing Congress America.
That is all.
- Now you know why his statement was so carefully worded.: I pointed out in Tuesday’s update that our bi-polar FBI Director’s “denial” of “wiretapping” allegations contained in President Trump’s tweets was very specific and extremely carefully worded to specifically only “deny” the exact wording contained in the tweets. Thus, Mr. Comey’s statement only “denied” that he was in possession of any evidence that “Obama” had “wire-tapped” “Trump Tower.” Nothing more. Yesterday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) demonstrated why, revealing that he had uncovered information proving that then-President-elect Trump and his transition team were indeed spied upon by the Obama Administration, between election day and the inauguration. Mr. Comey obviously showed up to that hearing on Monday determined to reveal only information that might be harmful to the President, and to withhold anything helpful to him.
- Because some folks just need firing.: If Mr. Comey had any credibility prior to Monday, it is now gone. A new poll released on Wednesday by Harvard-Harris shows that the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement officer is viewed favorably by just 17% of registered voters, an approval rating so low that it rivals that of the fake news media. The poll finds that Mr. Comey is viewed favorably by only 12% of Democrats, and a still-pitiful 26% of Republicans. Given that the poll’s sample was taken prior to Monday’s hearing, it’s a safe bet that ranking among Republicans will have fallen off precipitously by now. Familiarity breeds contempt, and the American public has become entirely too familiar with its FBI Director over the last year and a half. Enough.
- Breaking: Ol’ Bug Eyes is upset. Film at 11.: The Intel Committee’s ranking Democrat, the bug-eyed Adam Schiff, did his best to put lipstick on his party’s latest smelly pig, tossing out an array of hastily-prepared talking points for the fake media to parrot, but the pig perseveres nonetheless. We know now that we had an out-going presidential administration surveiling an incoming presidential transition team, and there is no way you can pretty that fact up. We also now know that the FBI is refusing to cooperate with the Intel Committee’s effort to investigate this matter. So it is what it is, and what it is is a big ol’ fat pig. And we can bet there is more yet to come on this front.
- Because that’s what the Fake News Media does.: The fake reporters, fake analysts, and fake anchors across the fake news media naturally did their best to toss cold water on Rep. Nunes’ allegations, but no matter how hard they try to support their Democrat benefactors, the fake media cannot escape the reality that all Nunes’ information does is confirm the accuracy of this report from the Jan. 19 edition of the NY Times. The key paragraph of that report is here:
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
- Remember, that was Jan. 19, and the “White House” that passage refers to was the Obama White House. That report by the NY Times was re-published by hundreds of its fellow fake news media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, all three major networks, and pretty much every major daily newspaper in this country. Thus, despite their whole Claude Rains “I am shocked, shocked!” acts today, they all have already admitted that Trump’s tweets were true. They’re hoping you will all forget that reality, and honestly, most Democrats either will or already have.
- Still don’t think this is a serious problem for Democrats?: You don’t have to believe me – I give you Bob Woodward, on Wednesday’s Bill O’Reilly program: “If (what Nunes says) is true, the unmasking of U.S. civilians would be a gross violation…a felony.” He goes on: “You had people in the Obama administration passing around highly classified gossip.” Mr. Woodward is as DC establishment as DC establishment gets, and does not have a history of making such assertions lightly. Ask Richard Nixon.
- Was it poverty? Poor parenting? All those Gilligan’s Island re-runs? The heartbreak of psoriasis?: The perpetrator of the Islamic terrorist attack in London yesterday has been identified as well-known ‘hate-preacher’ Abu Izzadeen. The fake reporters, fake analysts and fake anchors throughout the fake news media will now spend weeks in a vain attempt to figure out what this poor man’s motivation could have possibly been. CNN will never figure it all out. Because that’s what the fake news media does.
- Chelsea Clinton just keeps on winning, for no discernible reason.: Great news, everybody! Chelsea Clinton, the achievement-devoid, 37 year-old daughter of The Most Corrupt Couple in America, is now going to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, and nobody really knows why! Isn’t that great? Aren’t you all thrilled? Wait…what? Yes, Sweet, Sweet Chelsea, fresh off the heels of being given a lucrative seat on Expedia’s Board of Directors, despite an utter lack of any accomplishment or skillset for that job, is now being honored by The Lifetime Network for her lifetime achievement in the field of…ummmm… wellllllll….er,….oh yeah, “public service”. See, in between getting paid about $600k a few years back by NBC for doing about three TV interviews – including one very memorable gabfest with the Geico Gekko – and having the unsuspecting donors to her family’s fake “Foundation” foot the bill for her million dollar wedding to a now-failed hedge fund hustler, Chelsea apparently spent about ten minutes on something called “The Alliance For A Healthier Generation”, although no one knew anything about that until now. Funny how that works, but only if your name is Clinton.
- Some things never change.: Meanwhile, every Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee continued to make asses of themselves, twisting themselves into pretzels of illogic in their fruitless questioning of Supreme Court Nominee Judge John Gorsuch. Gorsuch has proved to be the most capable nominee any GOP president has put forth in modern times, answering each and every idiotic question so completely, likeably and unassailably that his pathetic opponents are left with no means of countering them. If there aren’t enough Democrats who are still conscientious enough to break a filibuster against this nomination, then the Party is well and truly doomed to die. There is literally no legitimate grounds to oppose this man’s nomination. None.
Just another day in Trump Derangement Syndrome America.
That is all.
As their decade-long effort to demonize hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” as they like to call it – lost its previous steam over the last couple of years, anti-fossil fuel conflict groups who raise money by stoking public fears related to the oil and gas industry have gradually shifted their main focus over to the pipeline segment of the business. Encouraged by the temporary victory given them by the Obama Administration related to the Keystone XL pipeline project, these conflict groups have become engaged in protests related to numerous midstream projects in the Northeast, in North Dakota (the Dakota Access Pipeline) and in West Texas (the Trans-Pecos Pipeline).
While their high-profile “wins” to date have been either temporary or, as with the Dakota Access Pipeline, illusory, nevertheless. Thus, they have chosen to engage in a constantly-increasing number of pipeline-related construction projects and incidents.
Read the Full Piece Here
- So, are you going to love the judge, or list the judge?: I don’t know about anyone else, but it is really difficult to even listen to these confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch. The questioning and posturing by the Democrats has become so transparently fake and scripted that it’s become like watching one of those “Love it or List it” shows on HGTV. You know, one of those shows that is supposed to be “reality”, but is painful to watch because every word anyone on the show says is so obviously written by someone else and recited in a very stilted manner by someone who is not an actor. When that person is a near-invalid like Patrick Leahy, who obviously needs help identifying which shoe goes on which foot in the morning, or a rank mental midget like Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, it becomes even more painful to watch. Can’t someone coach these people up?
- Senator Smalley stands out in this crowd.: This is why, when I saw several followers on my Twitter account (@GDBlackmon) claiming that Sen. Al Franken was “the most serious” of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, it didn’t really surprise me. After all, Mr. Franken is the only trained actor of the entire bunch, and thus will naturally come across as most believable and serious when reading words fed to him by someone else. He’s been doing it his entire life.
- Here’s how bereft of talent the Democratic Party is: When they wanted someone to write a guest opinion piece in the Washington Post putting forth the thesis that “White House dishonesty is a threat to national security”, the party trotted out…wait for it…wait for it…former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice! I swear I’m not making that up. Really, the lead person who went on every Sunday morning talk show purveying the abject lie that the 9/11/2012 assault on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi was instigated by an anti-Islam cartoon is who the Democrats consider to be their best voice for “honesty” in government. Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you wanted to.
- And here’s how bereft of any valid argument against confirming Judge Gorsuch the Democratic Party is: Judge Gorsuch’s incredibly astute performance in yesterday’s second day of hearings, during which none of the Democrats were able to lay a glove on him no matter how ridiculous their questioning became, obviously threw Cryin’ Chuckie Schumer into a panic. Left with no valid reason to oppose the Judge’s nomination, Schumer trotted out a new argument: Because our bi-polar FBI Director James Comey claims (though why anyone would believe a word Mr. Comey says at this point is beyond all reason) that his agency is still investigating the fake Russia/Trump campaign non-connection, we just can’t place President Trump’s nominee onto the court. Naturally, the Fake Indian Senator from Massachusetts expressed her agreement via smoke signals (or maybe it was on Twitter) late in the evening. *sigh*
- ummm…shouldn’t there be, like, a warning sign or something?: An Idaho boy was injured when he was hit with cyanide spray from a device designed to ward off coyotes and other predators of farm animals. The boy’s dog was killed by the spray. The spring loaded device activated when the boy walked up to it out of curiosity and touched it. The device had been placed there by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Your federal government in action.
Just another day in Trump Derangement Syndrome America.
That is all.
Read the Full Piece Here
“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old Chinese curse. It’s a curse that we all would like to avoid in our lives, since history tells us the most interesting times we experience tend to be ones of conflict and chaos of one form or another.
Jeff Miller, the President and Chief Environment, Health and Safety Officer for Halliburton, knows better than most what it means to live through such times. Having spent the last two decades serving in a variety of leadership roles for one of the world’s largest oilfield service firms, he has experienced all manner of interesting times in an array of locations across the globe.
For Miller, who spent his younger years as a PRCA calf roper, this is not his first rodeo. But the last two years, as the price of crude oil has crashed on the world market, have been especially interesting for him, and for Halliburton.
Read the Full Piece Here
“There are many, many times when we sit around a table and I’m the only one in heels. And it doesn’t go unnoticed. So I always wanted to be very confident of the facts and prepared in what I was going to say, because you don’t want to be dismissed. That’s true in any meeting, in any setting; however, it was very true in my earlier years. I think that once you prove your muster, you are given equal time and equal confidence. But it is true: You do have to prove it; you do have to earn it, not unlike in anything else.”
So says Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She’s discussing some of the challenges of being a woman in what has been a mostly male-dominated world of energy, a world that she has played a significant role in shaping throughout an accomplished career that began with an assignment at the Republican National Committee (RNC) upon her graduation from Rice University in 1988.
“And I think things are beginning to change in the energy industry: We certainly see more women in the C-suite,” says Harbert. “On the other hand, I don’t think we see enough women on boards. That’s probably across all business areas, but particularly in the energy industry, and I hope that does continue to change over time. But it is less about bringing people in from the rigs and up the headquarters ladder; the industry becomes more open to women as it evolves into more of a high-tech industry. So, it’s changing, and for me it meant doubling down and making sure I was well-prepared. But also, it’s about kicking the tires a little bit and letting them know us women can do this too.”