• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Our Donald Turns to Tax Reform

GRADING TRUMP’S TAX REFORM PLAN

by John Hinderaker at PowerLine:

“Today President Trump and Congressional Republican leaders released a “framework” for tax reform, which you can read here. The framework is more an outline than a plan; while its principles are generally good, a lot depends on how Congressional committees fill in the details. And then, of course, it remains to be seen what will actually get through Congress. So far, leadership’s track record is not encouraging.

Here are some observations on the framework’s major features:

The plan increases the standard deduction and consolidates the current seven tax brackets into three, at 12%, 25% and 35%. Grade: Incomplete. There is no indication where the bracket lines will be drawn, which makes a big difference to most taxpayers. Also, the document holds out the possibility that “[a]n additional top rate may apply to the highest-income taxpayers to ensure that the reformed tax code is at least as progressive as the existing tax code.” This is a poor idea: the current tax code is the most progressive in the developed world, and needs to become less so.

It eliminates the alternative minimum tax. Grade: A. This change is long overdue.

It abolishes most itemized deductions, including for state and local taxes. Grade: A. There is no reason why low-tax states should subsidize high-tax states, and no reason why the federal government should underwrite state and local profligacy.

It repeals the estate tax. Grade: B+. The estate tax is paid only by people who have paid way too many taxes already. The “death tax” is widely unpopular, and doing away with it is a political plus.

It establishes a 25% top tax rate for “small and family-owned” proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations. Grade: ? Frankly, I don’t understand this one. The idea is to help small business owners, but it is hard to see a consistent rationale. Does it mean that lawyers working in proprietorships or small partnerships, for example, will have a 25% top rate? The document says, “The framework contemplates that the committees will adopt measures to prevent the recharacterization of personal income into business income to prevent wealthy individuals from avoiding the top personal tax rate.” I don’t get it.

It reduces the corporate tax rate to 20%. Grade: A-. The ideal corporate tax rate would be 0–one of my law professors once remarked that the only intellectually respectable argument for the corporate income tax is that it employs a vast army of accountants and lawyers–but this is an important step in the right direction.

It allows expensing of capital investments other than structures for at least five years. Grade: C. Along with the cut in corporate tax rates, this will generate a surge of capital investment that will boost the economy in both the short and long term. But unless I am missing something, depreciation makes more sense than expensing, and there is no exigency to justify a temporary holiday.

It reforms taxation of international corporations. Grade: B+, I think. The idea is to facilitate repatriation of profits earned overseas to the United States. Prospectively, there will be no income tax on dividends paid by foreign subsidiaries to U.S. parents. That’s good, and, once again, long overdue. The framework provides for a transition to that system, but the description of the transition mechanism is too sketchy to evaluate. The plan also will “[tax] at a reduced rate and on a global basis the foreign profits of U.S. multinational corporations.” This would make our tax system more like everyone else’s, and is intended to eliminate the incentive to headquarter companies overseas. Again, the details are absent.

Overall, the concepts of the framework are good, although it is disappointing that the top personal rate is not reduced more, and may not be reduced at all. Important details remain to be filled in, and it is not clear whether House and Senate leadership have agreed on them or not. Moreover, what leadership agrees on isn’t necessarily what can pass. If anything remotely resembling the framework becomes law, it will give the economy a major boost, so the Democrats will fight it tooth and nail. Consequently, I assume that once again, a handful of Republican senators will be able to exercise a veto. Moreover, blue state GOP Congressmen (unlike the Senate, the House still has some Republicans from high-tax states) are likely to rebel against elimination of the state tax deduction.

So it’s a good, albeit imperfect, set of proposals, but at this point it is impossible to say what, if anything, will ultimately pass.”

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Trump’s Haters: Victor Davis Hanson At His Best!

Trump Haters, Supporters, Neither, and Both

by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review:

“Partisan conflict is not new, nor is GOP internal dissent. What’s new is in-fighting among the elites. The Left-Wing Trump Haters About a third of the Democratic party (15–20 percent perhaps of the electorate?) loathes Trump, from reasons of the trivial to the fundamental. The hard-leftist hatred is visceral; it is multidimensional; and it is unalterable. Trump is rich, crass, showy, a white male, and 70. As the anti-Obama, he punches every progressive button in existence. A candidate like Trump was not supposed to exist any longer in the 21st-Century Age of Obama, much less should he have ruined the anticipated progressive Obama-Clinton 16-year regnum. Trump’s accent is outer-borough and seems to exemplify for Trump haters the gaucheness of the golden trump name stamped all over New York. The Europeans have utter contempt for Trump, and that embarrasses leftists especially. 00:53Trump sets down in Texas to address Harvey victims Powered by Unlike some Republican politicians who wished to be admired by cultural progressives, Trump prefers baiting the Left and its media appendages, as if to remind them that he prefers to overturn the entire progressive project of the last eight years — if not on ideological grounds (Trump not so long ago voiced a number of centrist and liberal views), at least out of tit-for-tat animosity. Unlike a restrained presidential Bush or a sober Romney, the president answers in kind — and trumps — the boilerplate leftist charge of “fascist!” and “Nazi!” leveled against him. The Trump haters dominate our media and the universities, the entertainment industries, Silicon Valley, the billionaire green classes, the foundations and the brigades of professional foot-soldier activists, identity-politics operatives, and the Bernie Sanders shock troops. They are frenzied because they think their 1,000 cuts have finally hit arteries — only to see Trump revive in Nietzschean fashion, emerging stronger for the wounds. To come so close to ending this nightmare only to realize they are at the alpha and not the omega of their efforts intensifies their hatred. Ritually cutting off Trump’s head, blowing him up, stabbing him to death, hanging him, beating him to a pulp — these all are the rhetorical bookends of the Left’s efforts to subvert the Electoral College, the Russian-collusion mythologies, the impeachment and 25th Amendments psychodramas, and Trump’s hoped-for physical collapse under the stress of pure hatred.

The calls for Trump’s assassination or maiming, if, mutatis mutandis, aimed at Obama would have earned long jail time for dozens; now assassination porn becomes an object of emulation. Yet Trump hatred only solidifies the Trump base. It also reminds independents and wavering centrist Republicans that in a Manichean fight (and the Trump haters seem to envision the current landscape as just that), one inevitably chooses sides. If the choice is reduced to a crude rant at a public Trump rally or the rioters at Claremont, Berkeley, and Middlebury, a screaming Madonna, the “pigs in blanket” chanters of Black Lives Matter, and the masked marauders of Antifa, the Trump haters probably lose. The Loyal Opposition, Sort Of Mainstream Democrats in politics are bewildered as much as repelled by Trump.

They find him scary because their party that professes contempt for wacky Trump supporters somehow finds conservatives in control of all the traditional levers of political power, from the local to the state to the national level. There is no more Blue Wall, and Democrats know why. Trumpism is insidiously predatory and picks off Democratic working constituencies like wolves do wandering sheep from the herd — with nocturnal howls to fair trade, reenergized industrialization, energy production, immigration enforcement, realism aboard, and infrastructure investment. Likewise, savvy Democrats fear Trump because they had long preached that “demography is destiny” only to learn that lots of minority bloc voting in solidly red or blue states was not as electorally potent as a riled working white class in key swing states. The knowledge that the outsider and supposed fool Trump grasped that truth while both his Republican primary rivals and Hillary Clinton did not proves especially irritating. Hillary is now reduced to daydreaming about what a tougher Hillary might have said to Trump during the debate, incoherently bragging she was not intimidated as she proves that in fact she was.

What also scares mainstream Democrats is that Trumpism may have exposed an existential vulnerability of the contemporary Democratic party, heretofore known but rarely voiced: It is now a rich man’s, bifurcated party of the two coasts. It hates the culture of the middle classes (who lack both the romance of the poor and the refinement of the rich) and cynically relies on promises of never-ending entitlements for the underclass. It offers boutique issues for the affluent who, with winks and nods, are assured that they will have the clout and money to navigate around the messy ramifications of their own policy positions. In other words, it is tailor-made to empower a figure like Trump. Democratic establishmentarians fear that their own identity politics are feeding Trump’s rise. But they’d rather lose elections than forfeit a decade’s worth of race and gender investments. Progressives do not mind being called starry-eyed, utopian, impractical, or even socialist; they do fear being tagged as elitists by populists and economic nationalists, especially by a Manhattan billionaire. Trump has leveled that charge as no other Republican has since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Like addicts who know that their fix is both killing them and yet cannot be kicked, so too Democratic establishmentarians fear that their own identity politics are feeding Trump’s rise.

Nevertheless, they would rather lose elections than forfeit a decade’s worth of race and gender investments. For now, they fool themselves into thinking that the latest Trump outrage is the longed-for final straw that crushes the presidential back. Yes/No Trumpers Ten to 15 percent of the electorate are pure pragmatists. In general, they like neither politics nor controversies. They have enough moral figures in their lives without requiring their president to be an ethical icon. Their idea of a good president is one rarely seen or heard, but evident on autopilot when we have a robust economy, quietude overseas, and unity at home. Independents liked Obama’s last year when he vanished from view and let candidates duke it out — as the abstract idea of Obama was always preferable to the reality. Yet independents also notice that an incompetent and haughty Obama left havoc in his wake, though they nod that at least he was “presidential,” which means presentable to elites abroad. If American under Trump hits a 3 percent rate of GDP annual growth, unemployment dips below 4 percent, a soaring stock market does not crash, and the administration makes some progress on lowering the deficit, carefully raising interest rates, and reducing taxes, the fence-sitters become Trumpers. If not, they are loud anti-Trumpers repulsed by his tweets and Make American Great Again rallies. Right now, they sense — but are not quite convinced — that it is more likely for a while that Trump’s negatives will be overshadowed by good economic and foreign-policy news.

The Republican Never Trumpers About 10 percent of Republicans — overrepresented among the coastal intellectual, political, and affluent strata — despise Trump every bit as much as do their hard-core progressive counterparts. For some, to be fair, the loathing is entirely principled: After damning progressives for being uncouth, reckless in their personal lives, loose in speech and behavior, how can they now excuse Trump, the messenger, just because his message is often convenient? This species of Never Trumpers sees support for Trump as abject ethical treason. They would even rather live with a Clinton Supreme Court for 30 years than be stained by Trumpian enablement and hypocrisy (“wrong with Hillary is preferable to right with Trump”). They prefer catharsis to governance with Trump and dream that they will be ready to rebuild the party of George H. W. Bush and Paul Ryan after the fires of such ritual cleansing have incinerated the Trump yahoos. Other sorts of Never Trumpers are schizophrenic and even somewhat remorseful. After a bad Trump week, they exuberantly brag to friends or write “I told you so” columns. When good Trump news lingers for a few days or so, they grow sullen in fear not merely that others are fooled by Trump and amoral in their utilitarianism, but that they might be fooled as well: They hate Trump the man, in the abstract, while they’re relieved that Trump the message, alongside his concrete actions, is almost what they wanted. A final Never Trump cadre is neither ideological nor political, but more careerist. They had bet that the outrageous Trump candidacy was a joke that had no chance of winning, and so they made the necessary careerist adjustments. They wrote him off and bet their reputations for wisdom on their opposition to Trump, and in some cases they even ventured to support the sure-thing Clinton administration. After November, they became orphaned for their wrong-headed wagers, without a constituency among their own, and increasingly deemed less useful by the Left, MSNBC, or NPR. When Trump won, they doubled down and swore that he would implode from sheer incompetence or crudity, or would finally reveal his Manhattan liberalism, in league with Senate Democrats………..”   There’s more of the reality below….Please continue reading!

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450903/trump-haters-left-right-versus-trump-supporters-civil-war-field-guide

Our Donald Celebrates in West Virginia

Full Replay: West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Announces Conversion From Democrat to Republican At Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ Rally

 

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/08/03/watch_live_president_trump_holds_make_america_great_again_rally_in_west_virginia.html

McCain Sabotages GOP Obamacare Repeal

With McCain’s ‘No,’ Obamacare Repeal Fails in Senate

by James Arkin  at realclearpolitics:

“With a simple thumbs down, Sen. John McCain dramatically ended Republicans’ seven-year campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

McCain, in the early hours of Friday morning, voted against his party’s scaled-back version of an Obamacare repeal, becoming the decisive vote preventing the GOP from succeeding on its top agenda item and throwing its legislative agenda into deep uncertainty. The Arizona Republican, along with Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, joined all Democrats in opposing the legislation gutting key portions of the ACA. All other Republicans voted for the repeal, which failed by a tally of 51-49.

Republican senators appeared stunned walking off the floor following the vote, with several declining to comment to reporters as they departed. “Needless to say, pretty disappointed,” Sen Pat Toomeysaid. “It’s just sad,” Sen. Ron Johnsonadded.

Sen. Ted Cruz called it a “sad day for the American people.” He also criticized his Republican colleagues who voted against the measure, essentially calling them hypocrites.

“I sadly feel a great many Americans will feel betrayed, that they were lied to. And that sentiment will not be unjustified,” Cruz told reporters. “You cannot campaign against Obamacare and then vote for Obamacare. Those are inconsistent actions.”

Trump tweeted his frustration shortly after the vote failed:

“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”

The vote came after seven years of promises to undo President Obama’s signature law and seven months of Republican legislative efforts since taking control of the government in January. There were numerous fits and starts, and deep divisions within the party made threading the needle and passing any legislation extremely difficult. Ultimately, after narrowly agreeing to debate the bill earlier this week, Republicans searched for the “least common denominator,” in their own words, hoping to find any measure of Obamacare repeal that could pass.

Even the scaled-back effort proved unsuccessful.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a somber speech after the failed vote, acknowledged defeat and thanked President Trump, Vice President Mike Penceand his fellow GOP senators for their efforts.

“This is a disappointment. A disappointment, indeed,” McConnell said, adding his thanks to House Republicans, who narrowly passed Obamacare repeal in May. “I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time.”

McCain, for his part, downplayed his vote as he departed the Senate chamber shortly after 2 a.m.

“I thought it was the right thing to do,” he told reporters.

Later, in a statement, McCain said the legislation he voted against did not accomplish his goals of increased competition, lower costs and improved care:

“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of the nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people.”

The GOP senators opposing the measure had received a full-court press from their party. The vote was held open more than an hour longer than expected as Republicans spoke with McCain and Murkowski, pushing for a change of heart. Pence, there to cast a potential tie-breaking vote, spoke with McCain in a small group of senators for an extended period. He then spoke to him at length one-on-one on the Senate floor, and again in the private cloakroom off the chamber. Meanwhile, several members of Senate leadership spoke with Murkowski on the floor right until the moment she cast her no vote.

At one point, McCain crossed the Senate to speak with Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, and was surrounded by a crowd of Democrats, who appeared upbeat and jovial. Before the vote, he got hugs on the floor from two fellow longtime lawmakers, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Both Collins and Murkowski voted no before McCain, who waited until after the full roll call of senators came and went before catching the attention of the chamber and putting his thumb down. Audible gasps could be heard in the chamber as he cast the vote.

The legislation that failed was a far cry from the repeal-and-replace measure the House passed, or the repeal bill Senate Republicans passed in 2015. It would have undone key provisions of the Affordable Care Act by gutting the individual mandate, temporarily removing the employer health care mandate, repealing the tax on medical devices and defunding Planned Parenthood for one year.

It was the simplest version of the legislation McConnell thought could pass the chamber. He unveiled it just after 10 Thursday night, and the vote was scheduled to take place shortly after midnight. After the delay to try to persuade McCain, Collins or Murkowski to sign on to the bill, the Senate voted shortly before 2 a.m.

The dramatic failure capped a suspenseful and uncertain day on Capitol Hill, with Republican senators expressing doubts in the late afternoon hours about the details of what they would vote on. Many were opposed to the policy details of the legislation, and said they were supporting it only as a means to begin a conference with the House, hoping the two chambers could craft something that could pass several weeks down the road. Few senators were supportive of the legislation on its own, and though the vast majority ultimately backed it, many of them expressed hope that it would not become law in its current state.

McCain, along with Johnson and Sen. Lindsey Graham, held a press conference in the late afternoon signaling that they would oppose the legislation unless they received assurances from Speaker Paul Ryan that the House would not simply pass the legislation and send it to Trump to sign.

Graham called the repeal bill “woefully inadequate” in the afternoon, and later called it “terrible” and a “fraud.” Others shared the sentiment. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that the legislation would have caused 16 million fewer people to have health insurance next year, and for health insurance premiums to rise by 20 percent.

Ryan ultimately gave an assurance. He put out a statement in the early evening saying that going to conference was “something that the House is willing to do.” But he also made clear that Senate Republicans needed to prove they could pass a comprehensive replacement plan, which the House had already done, and he gave no guarantee that the plan before the Senate would never come up for a vote in the lower chamber. There was frustration among House Republicans, according to aides, that the Senate was asking for assurances when they had yet to pass a bill. Ryan later spoke to five senators — though notably not McCain — on speakerphone in Sen. John Cornyn’s office just off the Senate floor to repeat his guarantee that the bill would go to conference. His assurances convinced all five to support the legislation.

“This is something we’ve got to move on. That’s why I’m taking a chance on this skinny bill,” said Sen. David Perdue, who shared the group of five’s concerns but was not part of the call with Ryan. “I would not want the skinny bill to be the law of the land. The only reason I’m voting on it is as a vehicle to get to conference.”

After the five senators came out in favor of the GOP plan, most eyes in the Senate turned to McCain as the likeliest lawmaker left to oppose it — Collins and Murkowski, who earlier in the week voted against debating the legislation, were expected to oppose it. At that point, however, McCain’s position was not clear. Even Graham, McCain’s closest friend in the Senate, appeared uncertain.

“I think John is rightfully upset with the process, and whatever he does, he’s earned the right to do it,” he told reporters well before the vote.

Democrats, hoping to persuade McCain to vote no, cited the Arizona Republican’s speech on the Senate floor Tuesday where he criticized the process and product of his party’s health care efforts, and predicted that it would fail.

After the vote, Democrats sang his praises.

“John McCain is a hero and has courage and does the right thing,” Schumer said.

McConnell, in his speech after the failed vote, said that Democrats had refused to engage “in a serious way” on repealing the law, and challenged them to put forward health care legislation. He said he would not support “bailing out insurance companies” without other reforms.

“I suspect there are not many folks over here that are interested in that.  But it’ll be interesting to see what they have in mind,” McConnell said.

Still, Republicans and Democrats have said for weeks that if the GOP repeal effort failed, there would likely be bipartisan movement on health care legislation. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the health committee, said earlier this month he would hold hearings on health care regardless of the outcome of the repeal effort.

Schumer, in a speech on the floor following the vote, said Democrats were celebrating, but relieved.

“Obamacare was hardly perfect. It did a lot of good things, but it needs improvement,” he said. “I hope that one part of turning that page is that we go back to regular order, work in the committees together to improve Obamacare.”….”

Priebus Resigns….John F. Kelly to Become White House Chief of Staff

PRIEBUS IS OUT [UPDATED]

The following  article was written by Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine:

“This afternoon, President Trump tweeted:

I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.

Whether, and for how long, Trump will continue to view Kelly as a “star” after he enters the chaos of Trump World is anyone’s guess.

I don’t doubt that Kelly is a great American and a great leader. But as events play out, will Trump really want a great leader in the chief of staff position? My sense is that he wants great followers.

I wonder whether Gen. Kelly knows what he’s in for.

As for Priebus, whom Anthony Scaramucci called a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic,” I’m reminded of the cliche “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t out to get you.” It may not be long before everyone is out to get Gen. Kelly, Great American though he is.

UPDATE: I should add that if Kelly stops, or even substantially reduce, the leaking coming out of the White House, he will perform a huge service that more than justifies his selection.

If he can persuade President Trump to stop, or even substantially reduce, his inflammatory tweeting, Kelly should be elected to the chief-of-staff hall of fame.”

(It was revealed earlier this evening that Reince Priebus had turned in his resignation yesterday afternoon.   Donald Trump was very respectful of Priebus for his tremendous effort “marrying” Mr. Trump to the Republican Party or the Republican Party to candidate Trump leading him to become America’s 45th President.)

Prager U….Why Did Democratic South Become Republican?

“Is it true that in the 1960s and 70s, around the time of the Civil Rights Act, the Republican Party switched identities with the Democratic Party? Is it true that the Republicans abandoned their historic support of civil rights for blacks in order to get the Southern vote? In this week’s video, Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain tackles the thorny subject of what has come to be known as the GOP’s “Southern Strategy.” Watch the video here to learn whether the two parties really “switched.””

Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, explains.

https://www.prageru.com/courses/history/why-did-democratic-south-become-republican

 

Putting Whining Democrats in Their Place!….by Rabbi Dov Fischer

Finally: Time for Trump to Put Whining Democrats in Their Place

By Rabbi Dov Fischer  at American Thinker:

“In the synagogue business, the few rabbis who are unfortunate enough to practice at one of the few undesirable congregations with grumbling and carping congregants (probably not at all different from what some similarly unfortunate pastors encounter among those outlier church flocks pocked with sociologically pathological congregants) are told that nothing puts the grumbles to an end like a successful building campaign.  Just get everyone absorbed with raising funds and building something – anything: a wing, an annex, a revamp of the whole building, a re-furnishing of the sanctuary…just get them all busy on a project, building something, doing something.  Keep them busy with something constructive, and they will stop grousing.

We call it the “Edifice Complex.”

No fair observer can doubt that President Trump is a victim of a merciless witch hunt, with no end in sight until he is back hosting The Apprentice.  Remarkably, his approval ratings remain steady around 39 percent, the same number from before “Comey” this and “Flynn” that, before head counts at inaugurations and leaked phone calls to Australian and Mexican heads of government.  All the witch-hunting has solidified his base, and it has moved mild supporters into his camp.  Recently, Ann Coulter titled a weekly column “Every Time I Try to Be Mad at Trump, the Media Pull Me Back.”

Amen.

As the president continued his travels abroad from the respective centers of the world’s three most influential religions to NATO world leaders, the media followed, seeking to portray him as a rube on foreign affairs, much as they have tried to depict him on domestic matters.  We needed not doubt that, by the time he returned, the left-Democrat “Resistance” and their media stooges would be accusing Trump of having sown discord abroad, even as his supporters exhaled with joy that, finally, a strong voice of American pride had traveled overseas to assert American greatness.

The media loved the Obama model for world leadership.  In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, send John Kerry to France with James Taylor singing “You’ve Got a Friend.”  Obama meeting with Russians, asking them to tell “Vladimir” that Obama will cut sucker deals that hurt America after he gets re-elected.  Obama going to England and shocking the British public by continuing to ramble into a microphone while the orchestra deferentially played “God Save the Queen” in Elizabeth’s presence.  Obama going to Communist Cuba and dancing the salsa in front of Castro.  And always, everywhere, apologizing for America and promising to cut America down to size so that we no longer tower over Europe and Asia and Africa and the Middle East.

I prefer a “rube” like Donald Trump, who leads from the front, drops a MOAB explosive on an ISIS hideout and terror base in Afghanistan that had been a mountain earlier in the day, and orders 59 cruise missiles launched into Syria to enforce a red line against poison weapons that he does not even have to warn about.

Now that he has returned home, the president should turn his attention to the Edifice Complex.  His administration needs to get moving on some serious legislation.  He has done great with executive orders and Cabinet and court appointments, but the time now is for some solid legislation, some real building.  He is way behind on filling scores of open federal district judgeships and openings in the federal judicial appellate circuits.  If he would only get those seats filled with the kind of judges he wants, he and the Republicans actually would start winning more federal case appeals, and justice would move back from the Obama imbalance.  Similarly, it is time for legislative initiatives like tax reform.  Once he and the GOP start getting some “building campaigns” going – health care something-or-other, real tax reform, some construction going on the border, infrastructure work – people will become engaged in that and see “stuff” happening.

It works in churches; it works in synagogues.  Get started on building some of that wall. There is nothing like a building campaign.  Maybe even sell plaques for donors to put their names on: “This brick donated by Sadie and Izzy Feldstein.”

The Democrats have not been this angry since the Republicans took away their slaves.  They aim to tie up the president with one nonsensical non-scandal after another.  They allowed Eric Holder’s “Fast and Furious” pass without special counsel.  No special counsel to investigate Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting of politically conservative associations.  No investigation of the Clinton bathroom email server, nor of the Huma Abedin emails of secure intelligence to her crazy husband, Carlos Danger, who not only lacked security clearance to see those emails, but was ripe to be extorted for all kinds of mischief.  No special counsel to investigate connections between Bill Clinton’s million-dollar speaking engagements in the Putin universe and the concomitant conveyance of American uranium – the stuff of nuclear weapons – to the Russians.  Yet the Democrats – call them the “Obstructocrats” – now call for nothing but to impeach the president under any guise, for any reason, and just tie him up defending himself.

I cannot recall any time in the modern era, in any Western democracy, where the losing party declared itself “The Resistance” instead of the “Loyal Opposition.”

In the end, it may take two things to determine whether Mr. Trump ultimately is going to be the president he set out to be and for which we elected him: (i) the midterm elections in 2018 and (ii) finally finishing what Harry Reid started and, for once and for all, ending the filibuster rule completely, even as that archaic and unconstitutional obstacle applies to legislation, too.

Certainly, the party in power typically sustains midterm losses.  If the GOP manages to hold the House and gains some of those Democrat Senate seats in red states without losing more than one or two GOP Senate seats, then President Trump will emerge with enormous authority to move forward.  It will mean that two years of concerted Democrat obstruction, which seems so successful to them and their media echo chamber in D.C., actually will not have advanced leftist interests.  The president’s strength will be all the more enhanced if the GOP holds all but one or two of its Senate seats and sweeps a boatload of the red-state Democrat Senate seats.  It will be a definitive statement that, for all the garbage and “Resistance” and left op-eds and editorials, the voters outside the Beltway did not buy and are not buying any of the daily character assassinations.  It will assure President Trump and the GOP enormous momentum going forward.

By contrast, if the Democrats do well in the midterm House voting, even if they do not recapture the House but chart substantial gains, and if they hold most of their red-state Senate seats and even scoop a few of the GOP Senate seats, then they will be emboldened to intensify “The Resistance” toward 2020, and the president will be stymied.

Even so, and even then, it is one thing for voters to tell Quinnipiac and Rasmussen that they are disappointed in or do not approve of Mr. Trump (especially when the survey questions are worded in a way to elicit that response).  Quite another thing when the same voters are faced with the actual – not theoretical – alternatives for leadership: Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, other misfits and public nuisances of that ilk.  One remembers back to Richard Nixon being re-elected in 1972 by the biggest landslide ever because his opponent was Sen. George McGovern, who was not likeable, not impressive, and quite radical by the day’s standards.

With or without “The Resistance,” if President Trump gets re-elected in 2020, there will be hell to pay, because this man takes down names.  By then, he absolutely will be pressed to end the filibuster nonsense, finally, assuming that the GOP holds the Senate.

There is some value to a filibuster rule when it is used sparingly and judiciously.  Moreover, all sober-minded conservatives recognize that politics is cyclical, and one day the Democrats again will hold power.  But we also know that the filibuster, which has no basis in the Constitution, never was meant to require that each and every bill muster at least a 60-percent super-majority.  Rather, it was intended for the one or two moments in a term when a bill of constitutional moment was on the line, and the rule required the filibustering senator to hold the floor and speak 24 hours a day, with support from colleagues.  It never was meant for a “Resistance” to prevent a majority party from getting anything done for eight years.

In the meantime, let’s get some donors to get the building fund rolling.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/06/finally_time_for_trump_to_put_whining_democrats_in_their_place.html