RECENT BLOGS FROM Sidney

Recent Blogs
In the Clown Car

What Is Going On?

Blog From
February 27th, 2019

President Trump walked away from denuclearization talks with North Korea in Hanoi last night. Demands made by Noko’s war-loving, crazy dictator were unrealistic. As the President said, no deal is better than a bad one.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and India are at it again over the India-controlled section of Kashmir.

This week, they both claimed to have shot down military planes belonging to the other side. Both are threatening escalation, which is no laughing matter. They each have a nuclear arsenal including about 100 warheads and each has test fired nuclear-capable missiles.

Pakistan is now doing some nuclear saber-rattling to ward off a superior conventional attack by India.

The prospect of international nuclear war may not be as threatening to this Country as hearings going on in Congress this week. The Michael Cohen’s Spectacle of Self-Serving Slander is a prelude to impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

But last year, Cohen pled guilty to lying to Congress, among a host of other felonies. On Tuesday, he was disbarred from the practice of law. En route to serving a three-year prison sentence, he stopped by the Hill to chat up Congress again.

For our representatives to seek the unsubstantiated testimony of a felonious liar who has duped them in the past is an act of desperation. It is looking like the Mueller investigation will end with a whimper rather than a bang. So, Dems are casting about trying to find another source to feed the Trash Trump Frenzy. In Cohen, they caught a big, fat bottom feeder.

Yummy.

Posted in In the Clown Car

 

 

Dumb Struck

Are We There Yet?

Blog From
July 24th, 2018

Passengers in cars that are on very long road trips often tire of the journey. A familiar question, especially from the backseat brigade, is, “Are we there yet?”

Normal Americans who have been made to suffer through the long, drawn-out Mueller meanderings are asking the same question. The point of that trip is to determine whether the President, or someone from his team, colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary in 2016. Mueller should have reached that destination a while ago. After all, it’s not a long road.

Instead, he’s still out on the highways and mostly byways tooling around. He’s taken a lot of detours, found himself staring at dead ends, hit a few potholes and seems no closer to the destination.

But, the fact of the matter is he passed it by. He didn’t recognize the destination, of course, because it’s not in his expected location. It isn’t here. It isn’t there. It’s nowhere. Out in nowhere there is no evidence of collusion, no President to blame, no historic headlines to grab. By now, Mueller should have realized that he missed the turn.

There’s a bit of speculation about Mueller’s failure stop where the road sign indicated. After all, the end has been there from the beginning.

Perhaps he missed the sign because his sojourn was mapped out so poorly. The topography was heavily influenced by that pesky FISA warrant which relied, in no small measure, on Hillary’s political smear job known as the Steele Dossier. The road signs it laid out were all pointing in the wrong direction. The sojourn never got on the right track.

So, are we there yet? We are, but Mueller is still driving around, now in the gathering darkness, with his maps upside down and little chance of finding his way. The rest of us should just go home. We’re seen this ending before.

Posted in Dumb Struck

 

 

Over the Top

The Part of the Deal

Blog From
May 24th, 2018

As we know, President Trump cancelled his summit with Kim Jong-un today because of the North’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric and silence on setup logistics. The President’s letter calling off the summit is posted on the Internet for everyone to read. Mr. Trump did leave the meeting door open if NOKO cleans up its act.

A lot of commentators see the cancellation as part of the negotiation process rather than an end to it. Those commentators do not, of course, include any of the Democrats in Washington D.C., which is hardly surprising. No matter what Trump does in any setting the Democrats practice their three R’s religiously: ridicule, resist and ruin.

In bombast that has grown increasingly absurd over the months, Nancy Pelosi claimed that Kim got the better of the cancellation. She stated with a straight face that he must be having a “giggle fit” over it. Giggle fit? That’s more of a coffee klatch sound effect. It’s certainly not suitable from a leader on the world stage, unless he’s around the sanity bend, in which case deals don’t ever get done.

The Dictator released our prisoners and blew up what he claimed was NOKO’s only nuclear testing facility. (That blow up claim may be overblown since expert observers were banned from the show.) We, of course, have given up exactly zero.

Commentators that see the cancellation as a negotiating step are right. Trump is a master in deal making, which is something that Pelosi and her posse will never acknowledge. But, then, again, advanced negotiating techniques may be the part of the deal they simply can’t grasp.

Either way, here’s a better R: reject, as in repudiate the Dems foolish strategy to retake Congress.

Posted in Over the Top

 

 

Under the Bus

Nuking The Nuke Deal

Blog From
May 8th, 2018

Living up to one of his main campaign promises, President Trump today withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement. Calling it a “horrible, one-sided deal” and “defective at its core”, Trump delineated the reasons for withdrawal.

They include, among others, (1) the inability to inspect military sites, (2) lack of restrictions on ballistic missile development, (3) lack of restrictions on financing international terrorist activities and (4) the prospect of turning the region into a nuclear wasteland as neighboring countries develop their own nuclear capability in defense against Iran.

As expected, France, the UK, Germany and a chorus of Democrat politicians at home decry our withdrawal. But, they can’t credibly dispute Trump’s reasons.

For example, as part of the deal, Iran received in excess of $55 billion in payments from the U.S.  Where did the money go? It’s hardly a head scratcher. Since the agreement was signed, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40% while its economy remains depressed. Iran has also increased its financing of international terrorism and accelerated the development of its ballistic missile program. Last September, it successfully tested a missile capable of carrying multiple warheads, some or all of which can be nuclear.

In 2016 when the deal was signed, John Kerry acknowledged that some of the payments to Iran would finance terrorist activities. But, he said, the U.S. could do nothing about it.  Those activities have since killed hundreds of Americans. The loss of our lives should not be an acceptable part of the price paid to the leading sponsor of terrorism.

Chuck Schumer and others contend that withdrawing from the Iran deal will impede our ability to negotiate a deal with North Korea. In reality, the opposite is true. Our withdrawal today underscores to Kim Jong Un our determination to strike only deals that are fair to the U.S. Embarrassingly bad agreements went out with the last Administration.

Posted in Under the Bus

 

 

In the Clown Car

What Of Flynn’s Sin?

Blog From
December 4th, 2017

Last week, Lt. General Michael T. Flynn stepped into a Federal courtroom and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The lie was denying lawful contacts with the Russian Ambassador in the month following President Trump’s election.

Most media outlets exuberantly characterized Flynn’s guilty plea as the beginning of the end for the Trump Presidency since Flynn is now ‘cooperating’ with Mueller’s team. ABC’s Brian Ross, who was more than merely euphoric, is now on suspension from his network for claiming the Flynn-Russian contacts were pre-election.

But, what does Flynn’s plea really mean for the President? The answer is the value the plea has to Mueller. For the Special Prosecutor, what is the advantage of nailing Flynn as a liar over conduct that has nothing to do with the investigation?

It seems to be a head-scratcher. After all, a prosecutor who utterly destroys the credibility of his witness has given a great gift to defense attorneys. Convicting the witness of lying is a huge credibility killer.

Then there’s the pressure Mueller put on Flynn to protect his son from Federal prosecution. Mueller announced late last month that Flynn’s offspring, Michael G., was a ‘subject’ of the investigation.  Even if he were not a convicted liar, saving his son from the heavy hand of the Special Prosecutor in the plea deal pretty much destroyed Flynn’s credibility.

Obviously, Mueller was desperate to put a conviction in the win column. But, having a liar in his stable, who was also motivated to save his son, seems less than nothing.

Posted in In the Clown Car

 

 

Pants on Fire

About Those Hacks

Blog From
March 9th, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a very big political Party. After a long period in power, it came to believe that it would live happily ever after in control of just about everything.

But, as these things go, the Party’s arrogance precipitated a fall. It took a header in the 2016 Presidential election, suffering devastating losses. Caught completely off guard by the palpable discontent of just about everyone around it, the Party has lived in angry denial ever since.

The bad part of the story is that it doesn’t end there. Instead, the Party’s loss has spurred an almost unhinged drive to get even.

That drive has focused on delegitimizing President Trump through constant claims that his victory was the result of Russian collaboration. It is a factually preposterous claim. There is absolutely no evidence of collaboration after many months of investigations by the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI and Justice. In fact, there is no evidence that Russia had any impact at all.

Yet the Party clamors for a special counsel investigation to keep the spotlight on the allegation of collaborative misconduct.

Ironically, the beneficiary of this retributive overreach is Russia and other countries that the U.S. should be working to contain. Constant allegations of collaboration with a traditional enemy make longtime U.S. allies nervous. They become hesitant at a time when unified, determined action is required to deter increasing global destabilization.

Political hacks are turning out to be worse than any other kind.

Posted in Pants on Fire

 

 

Over the Top

A Tale Of Two Strategies

Blog From
February 8th, 2015

LFU_OverTop_BrokenBody_vFBack in 2008, campaigner Barack Obama was full of promises of the glories to come if he were elected President of the United States. He would usher in the next utopia on the domestic front. He vowed to increase respect for America on the world stage. According to a Gallup poll taken the week after the election, 76% of the responders believed his global assurance. The international crowd was much less easy to convince, except the Nobel Committee, which gave him the Peace Prize for saying all the right things.



But, big promises are difficult to fulfill. By mid-October 2014, only 31% of U.S. voters gave Obama’s actual foreign policy the thumbs up. In fact, the approval of his handling of ISIS and Syria ranks last among crises dealt with during the last three decades by sitting Presidents.



Obama’s admission in late August 2014 that he had no strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria didn’t help his ratings. Or the fact that on September 4 he stated more generally that he did not have any ISIS strategy. Or the fact that the next day his administration began using the meaningless “degrade and ultimately destroy” slogan as its response to the strategy question.

If Obama does have an ISIS strategy, no one in the know is willing to talk about it. He did emphasize in October that the campaign against ISIS will be a “long-term effort”. How long? At least until he can hand it off to the next President.

 

Not all strategies are illusive. We do know the President has at least one strategy in the ISIS fight. It is meant to meet the goal of insolating Islam from the atrocities committed by ISIS.

 

Obama’s first, and preferred, version of his defense of Islam strategy, pressed for many months, was to deny any religious motivation for the ISIS actions. This transparent falsehood accomplished something that had eluded the President for six years. It unified criticism across the political spectrum both here and abroad fulfilling, if briefly, his 2008 campaign promise to end bi-partisan bickering. Probably not what he had in mind when he made the promise.

 

Learning from this failure, Obama trotted out a new and improved strategy version last Thursday. It claims that ISIS behavior is predicated on an utter perversion of Islam. As Obama put it at the National Prayer Breakfast,

 

“[W]e have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism… and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.”

 

The President should have used the perversion-of-religion strategy from the outset. While nothing is universally accepted, it’s an easy sell to the rational mind. He also should have stopped at that point. But, not content with a better argument, he went on to admonish,

 

“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

 

His persistent practice of lecturing people on the shortcomings of predecessors in order to shame them into accepting his views is one of his biggest strategy failures. He’s not likely to learn from it.

Posted in Over the Top

 

 

Pants on Fire

The Incredible Shrinking President

Blog From
January 23rd, 2015

LFU_PantsonFire_AshPile_vFYesterday, the U.S. backed government in Yemen fell to the rebels it fought unsuccessfully for years. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, one of America’s strongest allies in the region, died. The leanings of his successor are unclear. The Israelis provided aerial photos of a new Iranian long-range missile capable of reaching our shores. And President Obama was in the White House taking selfies with a comedian whose shtick is bathing in fruit loops and milk.

 

In the 1957 movie, The Incredible Shrinking Man, the main character shrinks in height after exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide. By the end of the movie, he can walk between the wires in a window screen, which he does to escape from his own basement. As the credits roll, he bravely faces the world with the knowledge that he will eventually disappear entirely.

 

The movie won the first Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation by the World Science Fiction Convention. In 2009, the Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry assuring the film’s preservation in perpetuity.

 

In the life imitates art category, the United States in 2015 finds itself saddled with the incredible shrinking President. Exposure to reality has left Obama a Lilliputian-sized man with a gigantic compulsion to deny a reality that his modest abilities cannot successfully address. The more he shrinks, the more he shouts, the less he’s heard and the more dangerous the planet becomes.

 

Everyone in the Country finally seems to know it as the groundswell of bipartisan criticism begins to build to a crescendo. It’s one thing to release Gitmo detainees while terrorism across the globe is increasing dramatically. Or pig-headedly call radical Islam “nihilism”.

 

Or foolishly declare that Afghanistan will never again be the source of terrorism. Or announce a symposium on terrorism while the rest of the world marches in unity in Paris against the bloody scourge.

 

It’s another to persistently misrepresent the state of world affairs in order to tout imaginary accomplishments. Just last September Obama identified Yemen as an example of the success of his foreign policy.

 

He was almost right. Yemen is an example of his foreign policy and it is a portent of things to come on the larger international stage. But, success is not associated with it. While Obama was busy talking about his achievement last fall, rebels were growing in strength and finally overthrew the government yesterday.

 

Like the Incredible Shrinking Man, Obama is now small enough to walk through the wires of a window screen on his way to oblivion. Unlike the movie, he’s unlikely to win any awards for it.

Posted in Pants on Fire

 

 

Seeds of Destruction

Free Speech Double Whammy

Blog From
January 12th, 2015

LFU_SeedsDestruction_Blasts_vFMuch of the analysis of the Paris massacres perpetrated by Islamic extremists focuses on the chilling effect of the murderous rampage on free speech. If your life will end violently because your utterances or writings offend the sensibilities of barbaric cowards, you’re apt to keep your ideas to yourself. It’s an Orwellian nightmare come to life.

 

Among other things, the analysis recognizes the fact that the crudity of the Charlie Hebdo comics is also distasteful in polite society. Nevertheless, offending finer feelings is feather-light in the balance scale when free speech is the counterweight. Freedom of expression is a necessary ingredient in the life of democracies.

 

As horrific as the loss of life is, free speech was hit by another, equally sinister, force in the aftermath of the Paris bloodbath. The refusal of many world leaders, including President Obama, to identify the terrorists as Islamic Jihadists is a dishonesty also meant to strangle free speech.

 

The willful choice to ignore the source of the violence is done to avoid the possibility of offending nonviolent practitioners of the Muslim religion. Obama and others are going out of their way to make sure peaceful Islamists are not insulted by a truth they must already know.

 

This political correctness is chillingly similar to the Paris slaughter. The former seeks to avoid offending by killing the truth while the latter kills because the truth offends. They’re both the death of a free society.

 

Posted in Seeds of Destruction

 

 

Over the Top

The Real Fuss Over An Imperious Presidency

Blog From
November 23rd, 2014

LFU_OverTop_BrokenBody_vFPresident Obama finally did what he said about two dozens times before that he couldn’t do. He is “shielding” four million more illegal immigrants from deportation and granting them social services funded by American taxpayers. What Obama once characterized as only possible if he were an emperor, he now justifies because it’s just. Like, just after the election when voters can’t take it out on Dems because the Donkey Party has already been done in. Timing takes the harm out of this foul.

 

As expected, there is a huge hue and cry over the executive action. The President detonated a political nuke less than three weeks after his Party was handed a historical drubbing at the polls. His move screams to all who will listen that the bipartisan lights on the White House porch will not be lit. The President has made his political choice of two more years of acrimony and deadlock in the Nation’s capital.

 

Just in case the Republicans missed it, the President drove the point home when he said during his speech:

 

“Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal-breaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs from us right now is a common purpose –- a higher purpose.”

 

The comment was nothing more than a very sharp stick in the Elephant’s eye. “Don’t even think of going your own way as I do. Voters will punish you.” This is a transparent reference to the fact that Republicans usually pay the political price for gridlock on the Hill. The comment is not intended to, nor will it, bring bipartisan rapprochement.

 

But is any of this the fuss that should be made over the President’s solo act? Not really. It’s hardly a shocker that the fiber of his being is made of partisan stuff. That he fibbed in this speech about how different his action is now than what he once said was lawful can’t be surprising, either.

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, everyone knows the President lies. The several Jonathan Gruber videos nail that. But, we already knew that Obama intentionally makes false statements. No one can forget the 37 times that he claimed, “if you like your doctor”.

 

Still, the revelation in the Gruber videos is several orders of magnitude greater than the simple keep-your-doctor lie. The Gruber videos show the depth and breadth of the President’s deception. The more he wants a certain end, the more intense and persistent his deceit.

 

Obama’s pathetic attempt to distance himself from the MIT economist only underscores the lesson we should learn. That the President can even show his face at a microphone at this point means two things. He is shameless about his conduct and he fails to realize that his credibility is in tatters.

 

Nevertheless, the real fuss is over the rancor of the Republican response in Congress. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called Obama’s move “a brazen power grab” and promised a fight in the New Year. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Tx., advocates blocking all Obama executive branch and judicial appointments. Other representatives talked of government shutdown, a foolish move that generally backfires on the GOP.

 

The Texas Governor-elect plans to sue Obama over the immigration dust-up. That is the road to take. Let the third Branch tell the other two what their roles are. Meanwhile, the Republicans should not rise to Obama’s bait. Leave him where the election put him – on the cold edge of irrelevancy – and get down to the serious business of governing.

Posted in Over the Top