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John Kelly recognized what Trump, Scaramucci apologists missed

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I was about to his “publish” on this post when Anthony Scaramucci was unceremoniously discharged from service at the White House by Gen. John “Brick” Kelly (I just gave him that nickname for his unflinching devotion to doing the hard things). What great news. Kelly’s action, to me, validates the problem I discuss below, and gives me a glimmer of hope that things could improve.

Liars can and do reform.

President Trump tells it like it is. He’s honest about what he believes. He “means what he says.” These are the arguments presented as to why traditional communications professionals can’t (won’t) work the Trump, and why people like Anthony Scaramucci are a better fit–and good for the country.

David Marcus over at The Federalist, and Dr. Michael Brown, writing in The Stream used these arguments to justify supporting the president’s choice, and explaining his “style.”

Marcus:

In the long run, that decision will be good for Trump and for the American people. The reason everyone from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street should celebrate this move is that it finally puts the cards on the table.

Brown:

So, just as a soldier risking his life on the front lines would rather have a brilliant general who was profane and slept around than a polite, faithfully-married, but ineffective general, so many voters chose Trump as the most effective person for the job.

I respect both men, especially Dr. Brown, who was present at my own baptism 18 years ago. But I think, one from a purely political angle and the other from a more religious one, that they are both missing the point. They are both ignoring one major problem with Trump and his White House.

They lie.

They lie about everything. Little things like the inauguration crowd size (“alternative facts”), and big things like Russia. Trump has made his career based on telling lies. He’s very effective at it, almost as good as Bill Clinton. (And for the Liars Club, Clinton is legendary, even possibly the GOAT in American politics.)

Marcus said it’s good that this move “finally puts the cards on the table.” Except the cards aren’t honest. It’s more like Three-card Monte than an open hand. There’s a reason why Sean Spicer looked so uncomfortable–besides the ill-fitting suit jacket–on his first day on the job. He had to stand up in front of the press and lie his head off and make it seem natural.

Most communications shops are really good at “spin.” With the proper talking points, a grain of truth, and a bathtub of lies and axle grease, they can make Benghazi about a Youtube video. They can protect the political principal and make everything plausibly deniable. But they can’t handle Trump, who himself leads with gargantuan lies rapid-fired to confuse and distract the press.

The only way to deal with Trump is to have a perfect straight man to go along with everything he says, even if it contradicts what he just said (it frequently does). Kellyanne Conway is fairly good at this, but she’s a known quantity in the press, and an actual nice person.

It takes the equivalent of a mob enforcer, fiercely loyal to the capo de tutti capi, to handle a hostile press. Scaramucci is correct in his obscene reference to Stephen Bannon, in that Bannon has his own agenda, and Trump is an instrument/partner. Scaramucci is 100 percent a posterior-kissing, genuflecting worshipper of Trump, with no other agenda (right now).

To be honest, I get a really bad vibe from the guy, like a Beria to Stalin, or a Himmler to you-know-who vibe. A guard dog who can lie, cheat, and do whatever is necessary in service of his boss. G. Gordon Liddy before he reformed, perhaps. But Liddy was behind the scenes, while Scaramucci is right out in the klieg lights.

Marcus wrote “President Donald Trump is who he is. He’s a tough as nails New Yorker who enjoys competition.” That’s one interpretation. One could just as easily argue that he’s a soft-as-Jell-o rich boy who enjoys torturing others like pulling wings off butterflies.

“At the same time, he is a 70-year-old, rough and tumble, New York businessman,” Brown wrote of Trump, “more cutthroat than compassionate when it comes to getting things done.” He went on to write that from this perspective, “he’s not really much of an enigma after all.”

I don’t think Trump is an enigma. I honestly believes he loves America–or at least his vision of what he thinks America is and should be. Some of it’s like Barack Obama said, he believes his own bulls**t. But there’s far more BS that Trump doesn’t believe at all, that’s simply tossed out there to make himself look good, or to further endear those who are under his thrall to himself.

He lies. Scaramucci lies. They believe lying is part and parcel of governing; that in fact everyone does it. So when Attorney General Jeff Sessions tells the truth, or when Reince Priebus won’t lie (not spin, but outright lie) or when Sean Spicer is not the best liar, they get upset. Grifters never like it when they have to rely on honest people.

I don’t know how things will work out with Gen. John Kelly as chief of staff. He’s probably an honest guy who knows the value of a ruse. Maybe Trump/Scaramucci can persuade him to go along to get along–that this is to advance “Trump’s agenda.” Or maybe they’ll set him up like they’ve done to so many others.

This, however, I do believe. Getting rid of “nice guys” by discrediting them and replacing them with liars, cheats and confidence men is not the way to govern, nor is it something to be explained away so easily.

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Immigration

3 migrant caravan claims Jim Acosta made to President Trump that have been debunked… by the migrant caravans

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3 migrant caravan claims Jim Acosta made to President Trump that have been debunked by the migrant c

CNN’s Jim Acosta has been at the center of the news cycle for 12 days. It’s not his reporting that landed him there. He’s the center of attention after the Secret Service suspended his hard pass to the White House. His pass is back and most seem to be moving on from the story. But something has been lost in the mix. The statements he made while badgering the President on November 7 were spoken with authority and certainty.

Less than two weeks later, all three of his claims have been proven wrong by the migrant caravans themselves.

“They’re hundred of miles away, though. They’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away.”

Around 3,000 migrants arrived in the last few days, doubling the total number of migrants waiting to be processed at the San Ysidro border crossing to 6000. Thousands more are expected in the coming days.

They certainly walked “hundreds and hundreds of miles” very quickly.

Tijuana border crossing shut as Mexicans protest against arrival of migrant caravan

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/11/19/tijuana-border-crossing-shut-mexicans-protest-against-arrival/An estimated 3,000 migrants have arrived in recent days in Tijuana, which sprawls into San Diego in southern California.

On Sunday several hundred Tijuana residents took to the streets to protest against the caravan, which set out from Honduras on October 13.

“Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on, but they’re not going to be doing that.”

A picture can say a thousand words, but in this case it only has to say two words to Acosta: “Wrong again.”

Migrants Climb Border Fence

“As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.”

How many criminals need to be among the migrants for it to be considered an invasion? 50? 100? 200?

How about 500?

Migrant caravan at US border is harboring more than 500 criminals, Homeland Security claims

https://www.foxnews.com/us/migrant-caravan-may-be-in-tijuana-for-the-long-haul-while-u-s-shuts-down-san-diego-area-crossingMore than 500 criminals are traveling with the migrant caravan that’s massed on the other side of a San Diego border crossing, homeland security officials said Monday afternoon.

The revelation was made during a conference call with reporters, with officials asserting that “most of the caravan members are not women and children”. They claimed the group is mostly made up of single adult or teen males and that the women and children have been pushed to the front of the line in a bid to garner sympathetic media coverage.

By now, any thinking person regardless of political ideology should realize Jim Acosta is an idiot. In the short time he held the mic at the press conference, he made three debunked statements. Journalists are supposed to expose the truth, not spread lies.

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Entertainment and Sports

Fred Savage owns Deadpool in Once Upon a Deadpool trailer

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Fred Savage owns Deadpool in Once Upon a Deadpool trailer

I’ll admit, I didn’t even know this was a thing. When I heard about it, I assumed it was a spoof, probably put out by Ryan Reynolds to catch a few Christmas laughs. I was wrong.

Once Upon a Deadpool is a new edit of Deadpool 2 made with a PG-13 rating. Fox has been pushing for Reynolds to do a PG-13 version for over a decade, but the star has refused until now. He had two requirements. First, he Fox to donate money from the movie to a charity of Reynold’s choice. Which did he choose? A charity Fox is referring to as “Fudge Cancer,” though the charity’s real name would be better served in the R-rated version of Deadpool.

The second requirement is that Reynolds needed permission to kidnap Fred Savage.

Reynolds got both of his wishes and Once Upon a Deadpool was born. It’s due for a limited engagement next month.

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Guns and Crime

Legislators tell Allen West: Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

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Legislators tell Allen West Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

Last week, a handful of conservatives, including Lt. Col. Allen West and Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz, went after the bipartisan First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that has the backing of the President and many conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Our complaint: why would the GOP support a bill that releases violent criminals and illegal immigrants?

According to legislative proponents of the bill, protections and benefits for both of these groups of felons have been eliminated in the next version of the bill that will reach the Senate floor. They reached out to West over the weekend to let them know they heard the concerns and are addressing them.

First Step Act: Response and Reassurances

https://i0.wp.com/theoldschoolpatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/prison-553836_640.jpg?w=200&ssl=1The First Step Act is supported by many conservatives and law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National District Attorneys Association. There are other proposals offered by those on the far left under the same banner of “criminal justice reform” that would release people from prison without regard to the danger they pose, including illegal immigrants and serious violent offenders. We must remember that there are some folks who are, well, as the ol’ folks would say, “just bad.” Additionally, some left-wing professors even propose abolishing all prisons partly based on their notion that the system is racist in nature. Hmm, I tend to believe that skin color or race has nothing to do with a person deciding to break the law. I just do not want us to go down the path of having criminals believe that there are no consequences, ramifications, for their actions and behaviors.

The legislators echoed our concerns and said the version that is currently available doesn’t reflect the changes that cut the loopholes. They say it will be impossible for these two groups – serious violent offenders and criminal illegal immigrants – to get the benefits of the bill. Many felons will be released early. Future felons will be given lighter sentences. That makes sense for many, but by no means should anyone in either of the two most dangerous groups receive sentence reductions, according to the letter to West.

My Take

Call me cynical, but lately I’ve changed my general rules regarding promises of politicians. It used to echo President Reagan’s stance on nuclear disarmament: “Trust but verify.” I now have to go with a more adversarial stance on political promises: “Show me proof, then we’ll talk.”

When the legislation is made available to the public, many will take a close look at it. I’ll personally be checking to see if there are any loopholes that would put violent offenders or criminal illegal immigrants back on the street sooner. If so, it’s a no-go for me.

 

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