Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lexophiles, Commentary On Trump's Florida Speech, Repeating Hanson's Comments and Who Rules.

California versus Texas. (See 1 below.)
It is the weekend and time for some lexophiles along with commentary on Trump's campaign speech in Florida, Hanson's comments, which are worth repeating and who rules the waves. (See 2, 2a  and 2b  below.)
Is normalization actually possible because of the threat from Iran? (See 3 below.)

The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor's dog, then bites the Governor. 

The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie "Bambi" and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural. 

He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it. 

He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases. 

The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged. 

The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals. 

The Governor spends $50,000 in state funds implementing a "coyote awareness program" for residents of the area. 

The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world. 

The Governor's security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The state spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training for the nature of coyotes. 

PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files a $5 million suit against the state. 


The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks his dog. 

The Governor shoots the coyote with his state-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent $.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge. 

The buzzards eat the dead coyote. 

And that, my friends, is why California is broke and Texas is not.
2).. When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate. 

... A thief who stole a calendar Got twelve months. 

.. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A. 

... The batteries were given out free of charge. 

... A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail. 

... A will is a dead giveaway. 

.. A boiled egg is hard to beat. 

... Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three year-old was resisting a rest. 

... Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He's all right now. 

... A bicycle can't stand alone; it's just two tired. 

... When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds. 

.. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered. 

.. He had a photographic memory which was never developed. 
 When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye. 

... Acupuncture is a jab well done. That's the point of it. 

... Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

2a) Now as for Trump's speech in Florida yesterday he laid out his agenda and told the nation what he hopes to accomplish.  We have heard it all before but it is good to be reminded that he has not forgotten his pledges.

Say what you will, think what you will, America has a president with a new style and he is not going to change.  The anti-Trumpers and mass media will do everything in their power to make him look bad, to attack everything he says and does and they may continue to nit pick and maybe win a few battles but I suspect Donald will win the war because his heart is in the right place and he is tireless.
The Washington Times
ANALYSIS/OPINION: Victor Davis Hanson
By 2008, America was politically split nearly 50/50 as it had been in 2000 and 2004. The Democrats took a gamble and nominated Barack Obama, who became the first young, Northern, liberal president since John F. Kennedy narrowly won in 1960.
Democrats had believed that the unique racial heritage, youth and rhetorical skills of Mr. Obama would help him avoid the fate of previous failed Northern liberal candidates Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. Given 21st-century demography, Democrats rejected the conventional wisdom that only a conservative Democrat with a Southern accent could win the popular vote (e.g., Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Al Gore).

Moreover, Mr. Obama mostly ran on pretty normal Democratic policies rather than a hard-left agenda. His platform included opposition to gay marriage, promises to balance the budget and a bipartisan foreign policy.

Instead, what followed was a veritable “hope and change” revolution not seen since the 1930s. President Obama pursued a staunchly progressive agenda — one that went well beyond the relatively centrist policies upon which he had campaigned. The media cheered and signed on.
Soon, the border effectively was left open. Pen-and-phone executive orders offered immigrant amnesties. The Senate was bypassed on a treaty with Iran and an intervention in Libya.
Political correctness under the Obama administration led to euphemisms that no longer reflected reality.
Poorly conceived reset policy with Russia and a pivot to Asia both failed. The Middle East was aflame.
The Iran deal was sold through an echo chamber of deliberate misrepresentations.
The national debt nearly doubled during Mr. Obama’s two terms. Overregulation, higher taxes, near-zero interest rates and the scapegoating of big businesses slowed economic recovery. Economic growth never reached 3 percent in any year of the Obama presidency — the first time that had happened since Herbert Hoover’s presidency.
A revolutionary federal absorption of health care failed to fulfill Mr. Obama’s promises and soon proved unviable.
Culturally, the iconic symbols of the Obama revolution were the “you didn’t build that” approach to businesses and an assumption that race-class-gender would forever drive American politics, favorably so for the Democrats.

Then, Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat and the election of outsider Donald Trump sealed the fate of the Obama Revolution.
For all the hysteria over the bluntness of the mercurial Mr. Trump, his agenda marks a return to what used to be seen as fairly normal, as the United States goes from hard left back to the populist center.
Mr. Trump promises not just to reverse almost immediately all of Mr. Obama’s policies, but to do so in a pragmatic fashion that does not seem to be guided by any orthodox or consistently conservative ideology.

Trade deals and jobs are Mr. Trump’s obsessions — mostly for the benefit of blue-collar America.
He calls for full-bore gas and oil development, a common culture in lieu of identity politics, secure borders, deregulation, tax reform, a Jacksonian foreign policy, nationalist trade deals in places of globalization, and traditionalist values.
In normal times, Trumpism — again, the agenda as opposed to Mr. Trump the person — might be old hat. But after the last eight years, his correction has enraged millions.
Yet securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution.
Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive.
Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged.
Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be.

Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Mr. Obama was elected.
Issuing executive orders has not been seen as revolutionary for the past few years — until now.
Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Mr. Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice.
Freezing federal hiring, clamping down on lobbyists and auditing big bureaucracies — after the Obama-era Internal Revenue Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, State Department and Secret Service scandals — are overdue.
Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Mr. Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda.
In sum, Mr. Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution.
• Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

2b)Who Rules the United States?
How bureaucrats are fighting the voters for control of our country
 President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Donald Trump was elected president last November by winning 306 electoral votes. He pledged to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C., to overturn the system of politics that had left the nation's capital and major financial and tech centers flourishing but large swaths of the country mired in stagnation and decay. "What truly matters," he said in his Inaugural Address, "is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people."

Is it? By any historical and constitutional standard, "the people" elected Donald Trump and endorsed his program of nation-state populist reform. Yet over the last few weeks America has been in the throes of an unprecedented revolt. Not of the people against the government—that happened last year—but of the government against the people. What this says about the state of American democracy, and what it portends for the future, is incredibly disturbing.

There is, of course, the case of Michael Flynn. He made a lot of enemies inside the government during his career, suffice it to say. And when he exposed himself as vulnerable those enemies pounced. But consider the means: anonymous and possibly illegal leaks of private conversations. Yes, the conversation in question was with a foreign national. And no one doubts we spy on ambassadors. But we aren't supposed to spy on Americans without probable cause. And we most certainly are not supposed to disclose the results of our spying in the pages of the Washington Post because it suits a partisan or personal agenda.

Here was a case of current and former national security officials using their position, their sources, and their methods to crush a political enemy. And no one but supporters of the president seems to be disturbed. Why? Because we are meant to believe that the mysterious, elusive, nefarious, and to date unproven connection between Donald Trump and the Kremlin is more important than the norms of intelligence and the decisions of the voters.

But why should we believe that? And who elected these officials to make this judgment for us?
Nor is Flynn the only example of nameless bureaucrats working to undermine and ultimately overturn the results of last year's election. According to the New York Times, civil servants at the EPA are lobbying Congress to reject Donald Trump's nominee to run the agency. Is it because Scott Pruitt lacks qualifications? No. Is it because he is ethically compromised? Sorry. The reason for the opposition is that Pruitt is a critic of the way the EPA was run during the presidency of Barack Obama. He has a policy difference with the men and women who are soon to be his employees. Up until, oh, this month, the normal course of action was for civil servants to follow the direction of the political appointees who serve as proxies for the elected president.
How quaint. These days an architect of the overreaching and antidemocratic Waters of the U.S. regulation worries that her work will be overturned so she undertakes extraordinary means to defeat her potential boss. But a change in policy is a risk of democratic politics. Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the decisions of government employees are to be unquestioned and preserved forever. Yet that is precisely the implication of this unprecedented protest. "I can't think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this," a professor of government tells the paper. That sentence does not leave me feeling reassured.

Opposition to this president takes many forms. Senate Democrats have slowed confirmations to the most sluggish pace since George Washington. Much of the New York and Beltway media does really function as a sort of opposition party, to the degree that reporters celebrated the sacking of Flynn as a partisan victory for journalism. Discontent manifests itself in direct actions such as the Women's March.

But here's the difference. Legislative roadblocks, adversarial journalists, and public marches are typical of a constitutional democracy. They are spelled out in our founding documents: the Senate and its rules, and the rights to speech, a free press, and assembly. Where in those documents is it written that regulators have the right not to be questioned, opposed, overturned, or indeed fired, that intelligence analysts can just call up David Ignatius and spill the beans whenever they feel like it?

The last few weeks have confirmed that there are two systems of government in the United States. The first is the system of government outlined in the U.S. Constitution—its checks, its balances, its dispersion of power, its protection of individual rights. Donald Trump was elected to serve four years as the chief executive of this system. Whether you like it or not.

The second system is comprised of those elements not expressly addressed by the Founders. This is the permanent government, the so-called administrative state of bureaucracies, agencies, quasi-public organizations, and regulatory bodies and commissions, of rule-writers and the byzantine network of administrative law courts. This is the government of unelected judges with lifetime appointments who, far from comprising the "least dangerous branch," now presume to think they know more about America's national security interests than the man elected as commander in chief.

For some time, especially during Democratic presidencies, the second system of government was able to live with the first one. But that time has ended. The two systems are now in competition. And the contest is all the more vicious and frightening because more than offices are at stake. This fight is not about policy. It is about wealth, status, the privileges of an exclusive class.

"In our time, as in [Andrew] Jackson's, the ruling classes claim a monopoly not just on the economy and society but also on the legitimate authority to regulate and restrain it, and even on the language in which such matters are discussed," writes Christopher Caldwell in a brilliant essay in the Winter 2016/17 Claremont Review of Books.

Elites have full-spectrum dominance of a whole semiotic system. What has just happened in American politics is outside the system of meanings elites usually rely upon. Mike Pence's neighbors on Tennyson street not only cannot accept their election loss; they cannot fathom it. They are reaching for their old prerogatives in much the way that recent amputees are said to feel an urge to scratch itches on limbs that are no longer there. Their instincts tell them to disbelieve what they rationally know. Their arguments have focused not on the new administration's policies or its competence but on its very legitimacy.

Donald Trump did not cause the divergence between government of, by, and for the people and government, of, by, and for the residents of Cleveland Park and Arlington and Montgomery and Fairfax counties. But he did exacerbate it. He forced the winners of the global economy and the members of the D.C. establishment to reckon with the fact that they are resented, envied, opposed, and despised by about half the country. But this recognition did not humble the entrenched incumbents of the administrative state. It radicalized them to the point where they are readily accepting, even cheering on, the existence of a "deep state" beyond the control of the people and elected officials.

Who rules the United States? The simple and terrible answer is we do not know. But we are about to find out.
3)Netanyahu: US sees option for normalized ties with our Arab neighbors

Netanyahu, shortly after returning from his first meeting with Trump as president, says it is "a new day and a good day" for the US-Israel relationship.
The US and Israel have a common understanding as to how regional threats could normalize ties with Israel and its moderate Arab neighbors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly government meeting on Sunday.

He described his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington last week — the first since the January 20th inauguration — as a historic conversation that further strengthens the already strong alliance between Israel and the United States.

The positive results of the meeting were due in part, he said, to the personal connection he has with Trump that goes back many years.

What cemented the tight bond, he said was the common understanding that Israel and the Trump administration have with respect to the dangers and opportunities in the Middle East.

Netanyahu alluded to, but did not specifically state, the possibility that the regional threats could help Israel normalize ties with its Arab neighbors as part of a regional peace deal that would resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We see the possibility of trying to provide a basis for the growing regional interests that are forming between Israel, the US and countries of the region both to rebuff Iran and to develop other opportunities and normalization," he stated. 

“In the end we hope to achieve peace. This is a fundamental change and one which, I would say, has accompanied all of our discussions and has formed the groundwork of all the agreements between us,” he said. 

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also spoke of such a possibility when he spoke at the Munich Security Conference the same day. 

At this time, Liberman said, he did not believe that the Palestinians had the capacity to sign a final status agreement with Israel to resolve the conflict between them unless they were bolstered by a simultaneous regional deal.

“The Palestinians do not have the capacity to sign a long final status agreement with Israel. It is possible only as a part of a regional solution, not an incremental process, but simultaneously. [It would be a] regional solution with the Arab world and the Palestinians,” he said.

Addressing Tehran’s nuclear threat, Netanyahu said, “The two of us see eye to eye on the main – and growing – threat from Iran and the need to stand against Iranian aggression in the various spheres.”

Looking at the overall issues of Israeli-US ties, he said, “The alliance between Israel and the US has always been steadfast but I told them there and also here in Jerusalem: This alliance has become even stronger.”

“I must say at the end of the meeting with the president, he shook my hand and described the relations between Israel and the US as 'a new day,'" Netanyahu said quoting Trump. "I must tell you, this is a new day and a good day.”

As a result of the three-day visit to Washington during which time the premier met with US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US-Israeli teams will now be formed to deal with a variety of issues.

“We agreed to form teams to upgrade all major areas in relations between Israel and US - in the field of security, in the field of intelligence, the cyber field, the field of technology, in the field of economics and many other fields,” Netanyahu said.

In addition, he said, a team would be set up to handle the issue of West Bank settlements.

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