Gloves: still OFF

Trump unleashed.

The Trump administration has removed 70 Obama holdovers at the National Security Council (NSC), Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard reported on Monday.

The Trump administration has removed 70 Obama holdovers at the National Security Council (NSC), Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard reported on Monday.

The administration removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, from his post at the NSC last week. It also removed his twin brother Yevgeny, who worked as a lawyer on the NSC.

While Vindman has denied knowing the identity of the “whistleblower,” he has been suspected of being a leaker in the past.

A good enough start, to be sure. But Booboo Vindaloo of right ought to be sitting in prison for that leaking, among several other things, and I for one won’t be truly satisfied until he is. There’s a bunch of other news along these same lines out there today; I’ll shift you over to Sefton’s morning roundup for all that stuff, and limit myself to this one.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 includes sweeping cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, and foreign aid, the White House announced Sunday.

The budget cuts funding to the EPA by 26%, foreign aid by 21%, and the DOC by 37%, though the majority of that could be attributed to the completion of the 2020 census. 

For the first time, the fiscal year 2021 budget will feature a chapter devoted entirely to eliminating “wasteful” government spending, as previously reported by Daily Caller.

The proposal targets agencies with overlapping and similar goals, agencies that provide similar or identical services to the same group of recipients, programs without a clearly defined federal role, federal programs that mirror state-level initiatives and erroneous payments.

Now, you might say that this doesn’t really matter much, and you’d be more or less right about that; none of it has the proverbial snowball’s chance of being implemented. Any President’s budget proposal is just that: a proposal. The House holds the pursestrings, and the House is currently in the hands of Guess Who. The odds of them paying a second’s worth of attention to what Trump asks for in any imaginable circumstance currently stand somewhere between “zero” and “you must be joking.”

Nonetheless, I still like it anyway. If nothing else, it’s yet another signal to Real Americans that their President is still engaged, still doing battle on their behalf, still undaunted and aggressively making whatever moves he can towards fulfilling his promises to them. The political PR benefits come November should be pretty obvious. It’s also a timely warning shot across the Democrat-Socialist bow that he’s stood up to the worst they could throw at him so far, yet somehow the band still plays “Hail To The Chief” whenever he enters a room. Rubbing their noses so thoroughly in last week’s humiliating crash ‘n’ burn like that, again and again, has tremendous psy-ops value, if nothing else.

Why no, I am NOT tired of all the winning yet.

Character flaws

Hate to have to do it and all, but I fear I’m gonna have to pick a few nits with the esteemed CBD’s premises here.

President Trump has many character traits that seem, at first glance, to be wonderful openings for his political opponents to make substantive inroads on his popularity with the 20% of the voters who are not firmly in one camp, and perhaps decrease the enthusiasm with which his base supports him.

Here is a partial list, in no particular order, and without vetting for accuracy. But any casual perusal of the raw sewage pouring out of the media will lend support to these tendencies.

He is undoubtedly thin-skinned,

Could be, could be. Alternative take, though, is that Trump does not suffer fools gladly, nor does he let an insult, slight, or treachery pass him by without returning the favor in spades. After seeing the deluge of pure shit he’s been indundated with the past three years, I’m okay with that myself. In fact, the more he bristles, bares the claws, and attacks, the happier I’ll be. If fighting back hard against any and all provocation is being thin-skinned—and perhaps it is—well, so be it.

Note too, though, that Trump was clever enough to entirely ignore the Shittpeachment farce in his SOTU last week, not mentioning it even once. In that case, he managed to suppress any reflexive tendency towards being thin-skinned at least enough to use forebearance to his own tactical advantage, which says a few encouraging things about him too.

is prone to exaggeration and hyperbole

Alternative take: is confident, a perennial salesman and self-promoter, and a self-made larger than life character.

uses odd grammatical constructions that seem ripe for parody

And that prevents his opponents from pinning him down, keeping them off-balance and uncertain.

has goofy hair

Hey, he’s 70 and still HAS hair. I just turned 60 and am quite frankly envious.

Is curiously uninterested in reining in a bloated federal budget

This is the one I have the hardest time disputing. On the other hand, the budget is Congress’s responsibility, not his; there just isn’t a hell of a lot he can do about it, even if he wanted to.

is a big fan of firing people, and on and on.

Another one I don’t have any problem with. Actually, in my opinion he hasn’t fired NEARLY enough people since taking office. Hopefully he gets himself good and busy with rectifying that after re-election.

I’m only needling CBD a little with this, but there is one complaint about Trump we hear constantly, mostly from people whose criticism is a lot less constructive than CBD’s and whose motives are questionable at best: his Tweeting. They claim Trump’s Twitter assaults are rude, vulgar, and a childish affront to the solemn dignity of his exalted position. They wish he would just cut it out already, relying instead on Enemedia to honestly vet and oversee his statements rather than bypassing them to communicate directly with the people via Twitter.

Stuff and nonsense. Taking to Twitter to both needle his adversaries and inform his supporters is simply Trump making good use of an extremely popular platform to reach as many people as possible, directly and without interference or manipulation by any self-appointed “gatekeepers.” FDR did pretty much the same thing:

The fireside chats were a series of evening radio addresses given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (known colloquially as “FDR”) between 1933 and 1944. Roosevelt spoke with familiarity to millions of Americans about the promulgation of the Emergency Banking Act in response to the banking crisis, the recession, New Deal initiatives, and the course of World War II. On radio, he was able to quell rumors and explain his policies. His tone and demeanor communicated self-assurance during times of despair and uncertainty. Roosevelt was regarded as an effective communicator on radio, and the fireside chats kept him in high public regard throughout his presidency. Their introduction was later described as a “revolutionary experiment with a nascent media platform.”

The series of chats was among the first 50 recordings made part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, which noted it as “an influential series of radio broadcasts in which Roosevelt utilized the media to present his programs and ideas directly to the public and thereby redefined the relationship between President Roosevelt and the American people in 1933.”

I just bet the tightassed fussbudgets of that era didn’t care much for FDR’s end-run around the gatekeepers, either. I noticed a huge irony in the above-quoted Wiki, boldfaced below:

It cannot misrepresent or misquote. It is far reaching and simultaneous in releasing messages given it for transmission to the nation or for international consumption.
— Stephen Early, FDR press secretary, on the value of radio

Roosevelt believed that his administration’s success depended upon a favorable dialogue with the electorate — possible only through methods of mass communication — and that this would allow him to take the initiative. The use of radio for direct appeals was perhaps the most important of FDR’s innovations in political communication. Roosevelt’s opponents had control of most newspapers in the 1930s and press reports were under their control and involved their editorial commentary. Historian Betty Houchin Winfield says, “He and his advisers worried that newspapers’ biases would affect the news columns and rightly so.” Historian Douglas B. Craig says that he “offered voters a chance to receive information unadulterated by newspaper proprietors’ bias” through the new medium of radio.

How very odd that the Left doesn’t seem nearly so concerned about media bias or its corrosive effects these days. In fact, having been in charge of Old Media for so long now, they take its power to drive the national debate as read, viewing any challenge to its waning might as the threat to them that it truly is. It’s no wonder they’re so put out by Trump’s “unpresidential” Tweeting, and petulantly demand that he knock it off.

Behind the scenes at Limbaugh’s SOTU appearance

Rush explains how another of Trump’s pure-genius victories from the week past actually transpired.

Now, I know many of you want to know the story of the State of the Union address on Tuesday night and how that all happened, and someday I hope to be able to tell you the entire story. I can’t tell you the entire story now without divulging medical details that I, frankly, don’t want to give. I don’t want to give people an opportunity to start investigating and writing about and pronouncing opinions and this kind of thing. People know enough about what I have.

It’s late stage. It’s advanced lung cancer. But there’s good news associated with the diagnosis and the treatment. So we are where I am to have the first procedure that will set up the beginning of treatment. This is Tuesday, and it is scheduled for 5 o’clock in the afternoon. We took no clothes, Kathryn and I. We just… We went Grub City with shorts, T-shirts. I mean, the whole week’s gonna be in the hospital.

There’s no reason to take a coat and tie. There’s no reason to pack a whole bunch of stuff that you’re never gonna use. “Light” was the byword. The procedure was gonna be 5 o’clock in the afternoon. I’d have to show up for it at 12 noon to do the prep, talk to the doctors and so forth. At 9 a.m., the phone rings. I’ve got the number in my address book. So it’s the White House. I answered the phone, and they said, “Can you hold for President Trump?”

I said, “Yes.”

“Rush! Rush! How you doing, buddy? Great to hear from you! Hey, look, what are you doing later today?”

I said, “Well, I have a serious medical procedure that’s gonna start — all this — at 5 o’clock.

“Well, look, what’s the doctor’s name? I want to call him and have him delay it for a couple days ’cause I need you down here tonight.”

I said (chuckles), “Uh… (chuckles) Mr. President, um… I’m stunned.”

He said, “Look, your health comes first; there’s no question. But can’t they just do half of what they’re gonna do and then send you down here? Believe me, you don’t want to miss this. It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be great. You don’t want to miss this.”

Well, I don’t know what’s up. He told me he wanted me to be his guest at the State of the Union, that he was gonna mention my name, recognize me. I hung up the phone and for the next hour and a half, I agonized — I literally agonized — over what to do. Kathryn and I are both sitting in the hotel room. As time is marching on, we’re faced with the possibility of having to ask an entire medical team to broom their schedule and reschedule to accommodate this.

An hour and a half later, I called the president back and tried to tell him no. Remember, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I have no idea. I just… He’s told me, by the way… I should say, he has told me that he’s gonna present me with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but a couple weeks from now in the Oval Office. I had no idea at this particular time on Tuesday morning that this was gonna happen at the State of the Union, and he didn’t tell me during all these phone calls.

Which is what makes this another genius Trump move. I read somewhere or other earlier this week that the reason Trump did it this way was that he felt waiting for a small, quiet WH ceremony in a couple of weeks would effectively deny Rush the wider recognition he wanted him to have, that the Fake News media would just ignore it or cover the whole thing up. Which was almost certainly correct, the safest of assumptions.

Given how the rest of the week since has gone, I also strongly suspect that Trump anticipated the explosion of rage and murderous hatred from the rancid Left, a response that has disgusted so many Normals across the nation. Trump handled this the way he did in part as a provocation he knew the frothing, flailing lunatics couldn’t possibly resist. He baited them, they bit down hard, and it ended up hurting them badly.

Again.

So I called him back around 10:30, intending to be as persuasive as I could, to thank him and just say that there was too much here to overcome to get down there, including the medical schedule. The doctors and everything have been scheduled. This story, if I could tell it — and someday, I’m gonna be able to give you every detail here. But for people that do not know Donald Trump, this story will explain him, his essence, his attitude toward life.

There simply is nothing you can’t do. There’s nothing that can’t be done, and there’s not a single obstacle that can’t be dealt with — and it’s not even hard. It’s not even… He didn’t have to stop and think for a moment about this. Now, granted he’s got presidential power. If he wants to clear us into Reagan National, if he wants to send a car for us and get us from the airport to the White House, he can do all of that — and he did, and he was willing.

But the fact was that this is what he wanted, but not for him, you see? It was for me, and he wasn’t going to let me talk myself out of it. Part of me is not wanting to create any problems for him. I mean, he’s got so many more important things to do than deal with logistics, and I told him. He said, “You think I’m gonna do it? I’ve got people here! What do you mean? I’m gonna call a guy here; in an hour, all this will be done. All you gotta do is find a way to get the clothes.”

Lots, lots more to the story at the link, all of it fascinating. We’re fortunate indeed to have these two men. The flipside, unfortunately, is that they’re both damned nigh irreplaceable. The hole created when they exit the national stage will be deep, wide, and difficult if not impossible to fill. It’s probably the only hope the Democommies have left. Somehow, we must see to it that it remains a vain one.

Gloves: OFF

You can’t win, Stretch. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.



SUCK it, fuckfaces. Suck it good, suck it long, suck it hard. If you spit, you start again.

Ahh, but does it get even better? I thought you’d never ask: Both the HEROIC!!!™ Vindaloo Blue Falcons got their soft, doughy asses frogmarched out of the White House today:

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was fired from his job at the White House on Friday. He was not expected to leave his post in July, but the Washington Post reported Friday morning Vindman and “other national security officials who testified or cooperated with House Democrats” were being considered for dismissal. According to the earlier report, Trump discussed with aides removing officials he called “disloyal.” According to that earlier report, Vindman will be assigned a different position in the Department of Defense.

Vindman’s twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney, was also fired, and both were escorted off the White House grounds.

Too, too delicious.

Trump was asked about Lt. Col. Vindman earlier on Friday. “Well, I’m not happy with him. You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.”

That said, Trump needs to proceed with caution when it comes to firing people who have testified against him. Trump should be able to trust that members of his administration aren’t trying to undermine him from within, but any mass firing of individuals could backfire on him politically.

Stuff, nonsense, and bullshit. This sort of thorough housecleaning is exactly what Trump was elected to do; on the contrary, after being unleashed via the implosion of the phony Shampeachment coup attempt, FAILING to follow through on his promise to drain the damned Swamp is what would cost him politically.

Thankfully, our God Emperor seems to harbor absolutely NO inclinations in that direction. But even with the joyous news of the Vindaloo bints getting the bum’s rush, the Greatest President In American History wasn’t finished yet.

Ambassador to the European Union Gordan Sondland announced Friday that he was being recalled from his post by President Donald Trump.

“I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” he said in a statement.

Sondland testified in President Trump’s impeachment trial, informing members of Congress that in his mind he felt there was a quid quo relationship between the president’s decision to halt aid to Ukraine and convincing Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation into Hunter Biden and the corrupt gas company Burisma.

Okay, that’s GOTTA be about it, right? I mean, just that much amounts to a fairly historic and frabjous day; there CAN’T be more, can there?

Why, hush yo’ mouf, honeychile.

The Department of Homeland Security has suspended Global Entry and several other trusted traveler programs for all residents of New York.

Chad Wolf, the Acting Homeland Security Chief, was on Fox News Wednesday night when he told host Tucker Carlson that all residents of the Empire State will be unable to enroll in the programs that make flying both domestically and internationally smoother.

Wolf said that New Yorkers “can’t enroll or re-enroll” in the Trusted Traveler Programs — which includes Global Entry, Nexus and more — because the department “no longer [has] access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”

The news from the Trump administration official comes in response to New York’s sanctuary and Green Light laws, which allow residents to apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit regardless of their immigration status.

In a letter to New York State officials, Wolf noted that the law prohibited state DMVs from sharing criminal records with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for Trusted Travelers Program membership meets program eligibility requirements” and hinders ICE and their agents from fulfilling their mission.

Quoth the Ace, so very pithily:

Awwww, the well-heeled Acela Corridor class is going to have to suffer some inconvenience due to their own #Resistance policy choices, which put other Americans’ very lives in danger.

Cry more, bitches.

If you don’t like it: Secede.

To which I can only append:




Speaking of Ace, he laid utter waste to all the weepers, pissers, moaners, and boll weevils lamenting the beyond-righteous Vindaloo Boys shitcanning as well:

The left is now playing the game they play with all Republican presidents, insisting that Republican presidents must keep on partisan Democrat staffers.

Remember when Clinton fired all the currently serving US Attorneys, who’d been appointed by Bush the Elder? Probably not, because it wasn’t reported on. And it wasn’t reported on because of course an incoming president of the opposite party fires all the political appointees of the old regime.

But then the younger Bush fires all of Clinton’s US attorneys, and the press screams it’s unconstitutional and an attempt to establish a “unitary executive.” Which is supposed to sound ominous, but it’s not — the Constitution establishes a “unitary executive.” All lesser executive officials only exercise those powers devolved to them by the elected Chief Executive.

But during Republican administrations, the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) start insisting that executive power is not vested in an elected Chief Executive, but resides chiefly with permanent or political bureaucrats, most of whom are Democratic operatives or strongly aligned with liberal policy positions, and that it’s an illegal abuse of office for the President to appoint people he trusts to those positions, or fire people he doesn’t.

Oh, and of course when Obama fired all of Bush the Younger’s US Attorneys — crickets from the media again.

Well, the National Security Council is supposed to advise Trump and if he doesn’t trust an adviser, he can fire him. And he should fire him.

Let’s hope Ciaramella gets transferred to a Bering Sea covert radar ship for his next assignment.

Well, now, that might be a little too vindictive; I’m not sure I could really endorse such a cruel…

Oh, who the hell am I kidding. Put every last treacherous, conniving Ogabe stay-behind to work scrubbing the White House toilets with a toothbrush, sez I. Their own personal ones, preferably. But hey, I’m a reasonable man; I’d be willing to settle for a one-way trip to the breadline, eternal destitution, and want for each and every one of them, too.

As Limbaugh has said so many times: this is what fighting back looks like. Let the NeverTrump Cuckpublicans, the effete handwringers, the Democrat-Socialist Party, and Enemedia (BIRM) cry as bitterly and copiously as they like. Let them wail about how “ugly” it all is. Don’t care, not a whit. A defeat for them is always and forever a victory for America, and at long, long last America has a champion willing and eager to wage total war on her behalf. You gotta cut the grass to see the snakes.

A grim morn, a glad day, and a golden sunset.

Update! As always, Kurt is having himself entirely too much fun.

Three Glorious Days of Democrat Agony
So, February 3, 4, and 5, 2020 were pretty much the most miserable three days in the history of the Democratic Party. I’m not laughing, really I’m not! You know how sometimes you have a bad day when nothing goes right? Well, these super-achievers managed to triple that streak. They are achievers in the same sense Hoover Snort Biden is an achiever.

Let’s start with Monday, February 3rd and the Iowa Caucuses. In their defense, it wasn’t like they had four years to get prepared to handle…counting. Oh wait, they did have four years to handle…counting. Okay, well, then in their defense they went to unionized failing government schools, so counting is hard. But not for the Republicans, who managed to count their votes just fine.

As of when you read this, they might still not have actual numbers. Audie Murphy Buttigieg, Crusty Commie Curmudgeon and Chief Sitting Bolshevik may well all still be claiming victory, while Gropey J’s handlers are likely still complaining about the process and Not Senile Joe himself is chasing an uppity squirrel around a Nashua park.

Fresh from the hellish nightmare that was Monday came Tuesday with its own infernal events. The Iowa situation remained fluid, that fluid being similar to the hobo juice freely sprayed around Scat Francisco’s sidewalks. On Tuesday, rumors spread that Pete Rambo Buttigieg was linked to the mysterious app maker designated the fall guy for the caucus circus. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn’t, but these are Democrats so it really doesn’t matter.

And then President Trump gave the best State of the Union speech pretty much ever, spending much of it listing real achievements that help real Americans while Nancy Pelosi fumed behind him, offering a running commentary to her invisible friend. Trump played the Dems like Pete Townsend plays the guitar.

These may have been good looks on college campuses and in communist bookstores, but not so much in the United States. The speech was masterful, and when Pelosi tore it up, she highlighted just how owned she was for the whole world to see.

Then February 5th came along and their impeachment collapsed into rubble. We all knew it was coming, but then … poof. Gone. You tried to take out the king, and you failed. How lame.

Sorry, but I must cut in to point out that February 5th was also my 60th (gulp!) birthday. I considered the Shampeachment implosion a most excellent birthday present, one we can all enjoy and remember fondly. Onwards.

Yeah, history will record that you managed to impeach Donald Trump. History will also record that Donald Trump beat you donkeys like rented mules.

Advantage, Trump.

No—advantage, America.

Happy happy joy update! The agony of their defeat is such a pleasure.

FOX News host Pete Hegseth was in Carthage, North Carolina, on Wednesday morning talking to voters. Pete was asking for their reaction to President Trump’s SOTU Address. One woman said it best “We need to put a cape on his back, an “S” on his chest, and call him Superman. No mortal man could take what he has took in the last three years and do what he has done.”

Most remarkable thing? Even now, they STILL cannot begin to fathom how Trump consistently outmaneuvers them; where his support really comes from; why it still exists; and what they must do to end this nightmare. They’re the smart people, the good people, the educated people, the competent people.

Aren’t they?

Blowback for Gibberin’ Nance

Polygrip Pelosi in the crosshairs.

Multiple lawmakers indicated on Wednesday that they were taking action against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for ripping up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address last night.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wrote on Twitter: “BREAKING: I’m filing an ethics complaint against @SpeakerPelosi for destroying @realDonaldTrump’s State of the Union speech. Her conduct was beneath the dignity of the House, and a potential violation of law (18 USC 2071). Nobody is above the law. She must be held accountable.”

In a letter addressed to Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch (D-FL), Gaetz requested that the Committee open an investigation “into Speaker Pelosi’s flagrant violation of decorum, as defined in clauses 1 and 2 of House Rule XXIII, and request a criminal referral for her potential violation of 18 U.S.C. §2071 (Concealment, removal, or mutilation of documents), following President Trump’s recent State of the Union address of February 4, 2020. Her unseemly behavior certainly warrants censure.”

Later in the letter, Gaetz added: “It is hard to overlook the symbolism of such a gesture — the sense that Speaker Pelosi was utterly dismissive of the President’s achievements, and, more importantly, the achievements of the American people.”

Gaetz said that Pelosi potentially committed a crime by violating 18 U.S.C. §2071.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he was introducing a resolution censuring Pelosi for her actions.

“In response to her classless outburst, I’ve decided to introduce a resolution to censure & condemn Speaker Pelosi,” Gosar tweeted Wednesday. “In a new low, she violated the Code of Official Conduct requiring Members ‘behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.’”

In a follow up interview with The Washington Examiner, Gosar said, “It is my honor to represent Arizona’s fourth district, which includes the family of Kayla Mueller. Speaker Pelosi’s petty outburst wasn’t cute or funny, it was a disgusting display of hatred and unbecoming of her office. Speaker Pelosi has proven she doesn’t deserve the speaker’s gavel. She didn’t just rip up a few pieces of paper, she ripped up one of the last Tuskegee Airmen, a child who survived birth at 21 weeks, the morning Mueller family, and a soldiers homecoming.

Well, actually, she and her fellow Commiecrats pissed all over ’em, more like. Either way, there damned sure ought to be a price for it—a very, very high one. Crush her, guys, and her odious comrades right along with her. This is a bill that’s WAY past due; time for them to pay.

God Emperor versus the Small People

S’cuse me if this sounds a little hyperbolic to you, but: a bravura SOTU performance by, hands down, the greatest President in American history.

I know, I know: the word ‘humble’ and the name ‘Trump’ sit uneasily in the same sentence. But read or listen to his State of the Union speeches. Trump proudly retails his achievements. But he also humbly affirms the reality that he is working for and that is much larger than any individual.

The State of the Union address this year was full of touching moments. For me, one of the most touching was the president calling out the great talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who just Monday announced to the world that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. The president first said that Rush would be receiving the nation’s highest civilian honor — the Presidential medal of Freedom; he then had his wife Melania present the honor on the spot, cinching the pendant around the teary commentator’s neck for all to see.

Donald Trump wasn’t a reality TV host for nothing. He understands drama. So not only did Rush get his Medal of Freedom, but a woman with two young children, whose husband was away in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment, suddenly, unexpectedly got her husband back. The Commander in Chief had ordered the solider returned from Afghanistan. At the agreed upon moment, he came striding down the aisle to embrace his wife and children. Ilhan Omar, who came to the event to represent ‘resistance’ against an ‘illegitimate’ president, just sat there.

Once again, the Democrats were falling over themselves to exhibit their rudeness. On one side of the chamber, people stood up and sat down more often than congregants at a Catholic Mass. Most of the Democrats, however, sat stonily in their seats, snickering or staring at the floor while others around them cheered. Rep. Ayanna Pressley issued a snarling tweet explaining why she would give the State of the Union Address a miss. So did Rep. Maxine Waters. So of course did Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They and many others proudly displayed their lack of common courtesy and rudimentary civil behavior in order to grandstand and wallow in unrequited feelings of hatred and unstoppable pettiness.

There was, of course, a surreal element to the proceedings. For the last several months, the president has been subject to farcical, wholly partisan impeachment proceedings, in outrageous violation of everything the Framers intended in outlining that awesome safeguard. Donald Trump did not utter the word impeachment during his long speech. Nor did he allude to his Lilliputian tormentors. Wednesday, February 5, 2020, is the day that the Senate votes to acquit the president. Nancy Pelosi said that, no matter what happens, the ‘stain’ of impeachment would always be attached to the name of Donald Trump, a malignant ‘asterisk’ declaring his essential failure. I think that she is right that the history books will feature an asterisk about impeachment. But I predict that it will call attention not to Donald Trump’s bad behavior but to the craven, nakedly partisan efforts of an embittered minority to overturn the results of the 2016 election and forestall the outcome of the 2020 election.

And it will be Pelosi and the Seven Dwarves themselves who will forever carry the indelible stain of their Shampeachment folly, not Trump.

One of (the) most difficult things to achieve is an accurate estimation of one’s age while living through it. The many claims of everyday life, to say nothing of the static of received opinion, makes an unclouded assessment exceedingly difficult. Just so, it is difficult for us, I think, to form a just estimation of Donald Trump. His style is often so foreign to our idea of what a president should be. But not always.  A couple of years ago, when President Trump gave his great speech on foreign policy and national identity in Warsaw, I conjectured that his model was Pericles of Athens. Some people made fun of me for that — ‘comparing Donald Trump to Pericles? Are you kidding me?’ In truth I did not so much compare Trump to Pericles as suggest that Thucydides had provided a model in his account of the Pericles’s Funeral Oration in the first year of the Peloponnesian War.

Thinking back on it now, however, I suspect that I was too stingy with my praise. In my view, Trump’s major speeches — and tonight’s was no exception — will go as among the most eloquent and important in the nation’s history, just as his stupendous, world-changing achievements will be hailed as the fulcrum upon which the nation began to turn its back on the agenda of dependency that has hobbled this country at least since LBJ’s malevolent ‘Great Society’ programs created a permanent underclass and a parasitic bureaucracy to nurture it and feed upon it.

The president’s speech tonight was nothing less than magnificent. Notwithstanding the gnat-like creatures that swarm about him, he has continued to accomplish great things for America. ‘This nation is our canvas,’ he said in his peroration, ‘and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!’

Adam Schiff was unavailable for comment.

No matter; the pop-eyed, hydrocephalic, sniveling little pussy has never uttered a single syllable worth bothering to listen to anyway. His place in American history, along with his shameless, putrescent colleagues, is assured. It is not one any decent or honorable person would care to occupy.

As Kimball says above, the Limbaugh moment was probably the most poignant, the most moving of a night chock-full of them. Rush was clearly overwhelmed and gratified to be so honored. But Limbaugh’s time in the SOTU spotlight was about more than just him alone. Not to slight Rush in any way whatsoever, of course; as the single man most responsible for the rebirth of American conservatism, for his efforts on behalf of several worthy charitable organizations and the US military specifically, he has earned the highest of accolades many times over.

No, Rush’s hour of grace was bigger, more significant than merely that. Because the simple truth is, the MoF and other such awards and recognitions had been besmirched and sadly diminished by Trump’s vile predecessor, who much preferred to spend his time denigrating America and convincing the rest of us of the essential rightness of its deserved lapse into decay and despair. Who cares, really, about getting an award from a “leader” whose sole interest is in “managing the decline,” whose primary concern is not reversing but accelerating it? What pride can be taken from honors received from the dishonorable, from accolades bestowed by scoundrels, losers, and creeps? Just add patriotism, pride, and the restoration of their previous value to the ever-lengthening list of things Trump has Made Great Again.

For anyone who missed it, I simply must include Trump’s tribute to Limbaugh here:




I confess, I puddled up a little myself watching last night. It was but one of many remarkable moments from Trump’s SOTU. But alas, now we must address the other, uglier side of the coin, though: the disgusting, craven, childish behavior of the hateful brats in the Disloyal Opposition.

As a lead-in to that unpleasantness, another fine moment was this one:

President Donald Trump honored one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen at his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Charles McGee who is 100-years-old, flew more than 135 combat missions during World War II, attacking targets in Italy and helping support the rescue of 1,000 prisoners of war in Romania.

Mr Trump signed a bill promoting Charles McGee from Colonel to Brigadier General and earlier on Tuesday pinned the stars onto his shoulders during a private ceremony at the Oval Office in the White House. 

More:

Trump pointed to Iain Lanphier, a 13-year-old from Arizona studying at an aviation academy, as a potential recruit for the new Space Force.

“As Iain says, ‘most people look up at space, I want to look down on the world,’” Trump said as he gestured toward the eighth grader.

Sitting next to Lanphier was his great-grandfather, Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen — the first group of African-American fighter pilots, who served in World War II.

Whereupon McGee, looking quite spiffy and squared-away in dress blues complete with full salad-bar, smiled at Trump and snapped off a sharp and proper salute to the CinC, bless his heart. Like the SOTU entire, it was heartwarming. Inspiring. Uplifting.

Incredibly, though, EVEN THIS the goddamnable Democrat-Socialist scum couldn’t bring themselves to applaud. Obviously, they would far rather indulge their own bitter, selfish rage than step back from their partisan game-playing to bestow a moment’s common decency upon a courageous, noble American veteran and his admirable young descendant. They owe—this entire nation owes—one hell of a lot more than a mere modicum of respect to such a one as McGee, more than the most piffling encouragement to a young man dreaming such heady dreams. But the despicable toe-rags couldn’t even trouble themselves to THAT pathetic extent.

Such a display of generosity and humility lies well beyond the pitiful reach of our Democrat-Socialist “leaders.” Francis says it:

To call their attitudes and behavior sour and spiteful is to give them very faint coloration. Every shot of the assembly shows the Democrats resolutely refusing even to smile at the many excellent developments of which President Trump could boast. The sight of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripping up the copy of the speech, which the president is required by courtesy if not by law to give her, was the jewel in their sour-mouthed, sour-faced crown. It was the plainest of demonstrations that Trump’s success — America’s success — is anathema to them.

Admitting to error is no one’s favorite pastime. It’s particularly galling to politicians. The Democrats have many errors – if errors they were in truth – to answer for. Having Donald Trump, whom they revile personally as well as ideologically, enumerate them to their faces was the bitterest medicine a politician can be fed.

But it was time the Democrats were compelled to face their own record. Not that they’d ever admit that those failures were actually theirs, of course. It was all “Republican obstructionism” or “lack of cooperation from the private sector.” And the public was entitled to see the refutation of it in living color.

As I was thumbing around the radio dial this morning, I tuned into the local talk station for a sec, where I heard the show’s host (no idea who that is; the car radio is usually welded to the local classical-music outlet, but they were playing some excruciating modern Mondo-Weirdo crapola at the time, which will send me diving for the switcher every time) wonder how “any reasonable person could POSSIBLY vote for a Democrat” after last night’s disgraceful tantrum. The thing he’s missing is this: no REASONABLE person would.

By all rights, Trump’s lustrous SOTU triumph should have hammered the final nail into the Demonrat’s coffin, finishing them off as a national Party for all time. It’s stupefying to realize that it won’t; there are still those blighted urban Red zones in play, and the delusional or credulous or just plain stupid voters will low like the witless cattle they are and lumber on off to vote for whatever dog’s breakfast of a candidate the D-S’s manage to puke up for 2020. Assuming they can figure out how to correctly rig a caucus or primary in time to nominate one, which after their Iowa debacle might be doubtful.

Unless he’s captured on video strangling puppies and setting kittens afire on the White House steps before election day, Trump will win a crushing reelection victory over them. But sooner or later, one way or another, they’ll be back. It’s a damned shame, and speaks quite poorly of a significant portion of the American electorate. But…well, there it is.

Update! Full text and video of Trump’s brilliant speech is up here.

Britain regains independence

I never thought I’d see the day, truly I didn’t.

Britain’s iconic Union Flag was ceremoniously lowered, folded, and taken away in the European Council building in Brussels ahead of Brexit at 11 p.m. on January 31st.

Video of the history-making moment shows a sombre atmosphere as EU functionaries lower the flag of what had been one of the bloc’s top economic and military powers — powerful imagery symbolising the island nation setting out as a free-standing democracy once again and the diminishment of what is now a 27-member confederation.

Might Farage’s and Johnson’s unexpected victory inspire a drive for withdrawal in other dissatisfied member-nations still under the thumb of this decrepit WW2 relic? We’ll see, I guess. But for now, Merrie Olde England has, against all odds and to however slight a degree, reestablished governance in accord with the will of its people. And that’s always something worth celebrating.

Update! EUrocrats, shabby and spiteful to the bitter end—like all bureaucrats everywhere.

Brexit goes through today, and Britain is finally independent, free from the clutches of the European Union. It’s a great event regardless of how it happens, but in this case, it was cool beyond description. 

It all ended with a pretty amazing flourish, one that told us a lot about both the European Commission and newly sovereign Britain itself. Chief Brexiteer Nigel Farage made his last speech before the European Commission, which was a great scolding and call to shut down the whole operation altogether, which was subversive enough. But he drove it even farther. 

Farage and his buddies ended the whole thing by explicitly waving the British flag of sovereignty right in the faces of all the angry little European Commission eurocrats, even as they sputtered and cut off his mic.

What freedom-loving person couldn’t love it? Breathes there a man with soul so dead

Metaphor, anyone? It was the mother of all metaphors, a Britain that asserted its sovereignty in waving its symbolic flag as its soulless eurocrat masters got angry and tried to stop it, not on political grounds, not because they were afraid the other member-states might follow, but on petty rules grounds, little administrative state foot-stamping, insisting on cookie-cutter order and obedience, no exceptions, in the face of a newly freed state that just asserted that it can do what it wants.

That last is what REALLY frosts the EU-rats’ withered, desiccated little nuts. Again, like all bureaucrats, all around the world. Seems to me this auspicious, thrilling occasion calls for running the famous Sixth Canto of Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem in its entirety:

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;

For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

Well said, cousin. Yes, I know Scott was actually a Scotsman, not Ainglish. But I can call him a small-c cousin anyhoo, seeing as how I’m through-and-through Scots-Irish myself, on my mom’s side. So there.

The looking glass, darkly

Steyn says Trump is the consequence of YOU.

For three years the question absorbing Swamp-dwellers has been: How did Trump get elected? According to Adam Schiff, the answer is the Russians. According to Hillary, the answer is sexism and/or Macedonian content farmers. According to the media, Trump “tapped into” a large segment of the American electorate’s ingrained sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and other assorted bigotries. If these fine fellows were genuinely interested to know how Trump got elected, the quickest way to the answer would be for them to look in the mirror: Trump is the consequence of you. No Russians or Macedonians are required: it’s because of you – the permanent governing class. If the only alternative to Hillary is Jeb, it’s hardly a surprise that there’s a stampede to the “Neither of the Above” box. And, if the only fellow waiting over there is Donald J Trump, so be it: that’s on you.

As I put it just shy of two decades ago:

If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable politicians.

And, when they do, it’s a conscious choice: they know what they’re doing. So, when the respectable class whines that “a real conservative walks with us” and therefore Trump can’t be a conservative because he doesn’t, they fail to grasp that that’s all the more reason to back him.

I understand that National Review has suffered somewhat since its “Against Trump” issue. That’s because, to reprise another old line of mine from four years ago, it’s always easier for the base to get itself a new elite than for the elite to get itself a new base. Given that the horrors they predicted failed to come to pass, and that the crisis of the republic these last three years has been the refusal of the permanent state to accept the result of the election, you might think, having hoist themselves on their own petard, National Review might wish to de-hoist and admit they were wrong. But, apparently, changing your mind is the ultimate no-no. 

From that first (National Review) headline “Witless Ape Rides Escalator”, much of the conservative establishment revealed its fundamental unseriousness. Most dismal of all, they failed to realize that it was they who were on the downward escalator – and still are.

Yeah, well, just wait till they see how very far down that thing actually goes. And suddenly I’m reminded of a classic AC/DC lyric from the Bon Scott days:

Come on honey gotta change your tune
Cause it’s a long way down

A DAMNED long way, bub. Ain’t no coming back from there, either. But maybe their mulish insistence on Resistance™ is an indication that they know that already. The ticket was bought, paid for, and punched a long time ago; might as well ride it on out to the bitter end.



The common touch

A man of the people.



And that’s just what he did.

Trump has demonstrated his love and respect for ordinary, working-stiff Americans plenty of other times over the years, and it isn’t hard to figure out why. Just for one thing, how much time do you figure the man might have spent slogging around in muddy construction sites, cheek-by-jowl with the roughneck types working for him on various projects? He’s a fabulously wealthy man, yes, but a most rare type of one: he never forgot who it was that helped make him wealthy in the first place, that his fortune wasn’t made all on his own, but as part of a team. He’s made his deep, abiding love for his country and the people who built it and keep it running more than clear.

Now, compare and contrast: can any of you seriously imagine HILLARY!™ eagerly jumping out of her up-armored, blacked-out limo, sidestepping her full-auto-equipped bodyguards, to go press some of that good ol’ Deplorable flesh? Or coming off as anything but smarmy, supercilious, and utterly false if she ever did?

Hell no, you can’t. It’s simply inconceivable; it contradicts absolutely everything we know about the wretched, sozzled old shrew’s character, personality, and instincts. Her overweening sense of entitlement, of her own presumed Elite status, would prevent her from ever harboring such a notion. Likewise Barky, likewise any of the other Klowns in the Democrat-Socialist Kar. Well, okay, Senile Uncle Gropey might, if he thought there was any likelihood of either A) glommable bribe money, or B) a few approachable, sniffable underage girls hanging around the job site. And even then, he’d botch the whole blasted thing somehow.

Cunning and devious as they are, for some reason the Democrat-Socialists obviously can’t begin to grasp how to pull something like this off successfully. In fact, it would never occur to them at all. It’s kinda curious when you think about it. But it would never occur to Trump NOT to do it, and as the vid demonstrates, there’s no stopping him when it does.

This, I remind you, even as the Shampeachment smear-job staggers on to its disgraceful conclusion. As Glenn wryly notes, Trump sure doesn’t seem much bothered by that dumpster fire, now does he? Betcher life that any of those firemen who weren’t Trump supporters before this are rock-solid for him now.

Watch the video—I have, about ten times today, with an irrepressible chuckle each and every time I showed it to somebody—and tell me how it’s possible not to just love the guy. For all his faults, he’s still the best damned President this country ever had, and we’re damned lucky to have him.

What did the Ogabe junta know, and when did they know it?

Dirty as they come.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham reported Wednesday evening that she obtained a chain of State Department emails stemming from a standard request for comment from New York Times journalist Ken Vogel, whose reporting helped generate scrutiny of Hunter Biden’s ties to Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

On May 1, 2019, Vogel contacted State Department official Kate Schilling about a story he was working on regarding an Obama administration meeting in January 2016 with Ukrainian prosecutors and mentioned the name of the CIA analyst believed to be the whistleblower whose complaint sparked impeachment proceedings that led to two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Ingraham did not state the name of the alleged whistleblower — Fox News hosts are banned from doing so until the identity is confirmed — and blacked out the name when showing excerpts of documents. However, she likely was referring to Eric Ciaramella, who some Republicans and conservative media figures believe is the whistleblower.

In the email, Vogel wrote, “We are going to report that [State Department official] Elizabeth Zentos attended a meeting at the White House on 1/19/2016 with Ukrainian prosecutors and embassy officials as well as … [redacted] from the NSC … the subjects discussed included efforts within the United State government to support prosecutions, in Ukraine and the United Kingdom, of Burisma Holdings, … and concerns that Hunter Biden’s position with the company could complicate such efforts.”

Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other allies claim Joe Biden improperly used his role as vice president to pressure Ukraine to fire Shokin, who was widely seen as corrupt, in 2016 to protect his son from an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company at which Hunter Biden held a $50,000-per-month position on the board. But the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and other allies had the same objective, and Joe Biden was repeating U.S. policy that had been set out by Washington’s ambassador to Kyiv in the preceding months and was briefed by White House staff just ahead of the trip.

Joe Biden has dubbed the allegations as “false, debunked conspiracy theories” about him…

Why, of course they are, Gropey. Bizarrely, Honest Joe issued a more vehement and formal denial to his libmedia pals, urging them to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:

Former vice president Joe Biden’s extraordinary campaign memo this week imploring U.S. news media to reject the allegations surrounding his son Hunter’s work for a Ukrainian natural gas company makes several bold declarations.

The memo by Biden campaign aides Kate Bedingfield and Tony Blinken specifically warned reporters covering the impeachment trial they would be acting as “enablers of misinformation” if they repeated allegations that the former vice president forced the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden worked as a highly compensated board member.

Biden’s memo argues there is no evidence that the former vice president’s or Hunter Biden’s conduct raised any concern, and that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s investigation was “dormant” when the vice president forced the prosecutor to be fired in Ukraine.

The memo calls the allegation a “conspiracy theory”  (and, in full disclosure, blames my reporting for the allegations surfacing last year.)

Uh huh. Which would no doubt be why you so obnoxiously bragged about it later, I guess.

It is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory, that Joe Biden bragged in this 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko didn’t immediately fire Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event.

Yet more actual facts follow, every last word of which entirely damns Senile Uncle Gropey as precisely what he is and always has been: a wholly corrupt, dishonest, manipulative, and singularly incompetent political hack. Nick Arama poses the pertinent questions, saving the most important one for last:

Did someone squash it so as not to hurt Biden? Was this whole Ukraine call scam/whistleblower game cooked up to prevent all this from coming out because Trump had raised the issue of the case being possibly improperly shut down? And is it really not just to protect Biden but to protect the Obama administration in general from yet another scandal?

Oh, I think we can all guess the answers easily enough, thanks. The burning query at this point is simplicity itself: what, if anything, will be done about this?

Update! Hey, did somebody mention fake “whistleblower” and conniving Deep State grubworm Eric Ciaramella earlier?

Make no mistake. Although Democrats have tried mightily to convince America that their (fourth) impeachment effort developed spontaneously out of the patriotism of a career civil servant, the truth is, anti-Trump operatives in the president’s own NSC were already plotting to remove the president from office two weeks into his term. All they needed was a pretext to get the ball rolling. The Ukraine phone call in July 2019 provided the pretext they and their Democratic allies in the House had been waiting for.

As a former White House official told Sperry: “They had a political vendetta against him from Day One.”

I originally thought to include the meat ‘n’ potatoes of the Ciaramella revelation in the excerpt, but decided just to go with Heine’s closer instead. You’ll want to read all of it, though; it’s a veritable Who’s Who of Ogabe stay-behind saboteurs seeded throughout the FedGovCo permanent bureacracy, from shadow-government skulker Ciaramella to REMF doughboy Vindman, every last one of whom ought of right to be rockin’ orange for their acts of treason and sedition before too much more time passes.

Another Shampeachment backfire?

Four more years terms!

The ill-considered impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump have seriously interfered with his first term as president. Thus, argues constitutional scholar William Mattox in The Wall Street Journal, if acquitted, Trump should be eligible for a third term, notwithstanding the two-term limit in the 22nd Amendment.

Mattox deploys a sports analogy: “In the National Football League, teams can challenge a call on the field — but there’s a risk. If instant replay doesn’t merit overturning the call, the challenging team loses one of its three timeouts. That discourages frivolous challenges and keeps the game flowing, while also providing a way to reverse egregious errors.”

Hence, a third term for the president: “That would allow him to make up for the time lost advancing the agenda that voters elected him to enact. It would preserve impeachment for genuine offenses but discourage its use for disputed ones and for mere politics. Absent such an amendment, and in an era when government is divided more often than not, impeachment seems likely to become an increasingly common means of opposition.”

Ain’t gonna happen, of course, but I do like the cut of this fellow’s jib anyway. Glenn gets jiggy with it:

Mattox’s proposal sounds radical, but actually, he’s a piker: He wants to accomplish this shift via a constitutional amendment. How old-fashioned. Doesn’t he know that the Constitution is a living thing, made to grow and change with the times? Over the past century, we have made dramatic changes in the extent of federal power, the redistricting of state legislatures, the constitutionalization of abortion and contraception and gay marriage, and much, much more, all without the tedious necessity of an actual amendment to the Constitution.

But wait, you might ask — if a “living, breathing Constitution” would allow a third term after acquittal on impeachment, why didn’t President Bill Clinton, who was impeached but not removed over lying in a deposition, get a third term? Simple enough: He didn’t try. And perhaps the Constitution hadn’t lived and breathed quite enough yet, in those primitive days of the 1990s.

If the Left wants a “living” Constitution, then by all means they should get one—good and hard, right up their fourth point of contact so deep they can feel it in their fucking throats.

What the hell, why not

The most accomplished man in human history.

Barack Obama had something to celebrate today because the Netflix documentary he and wife Michelle produced, “American Factory,” was predictably nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

“Glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary,” Obama tweeted. “It’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough and it’s exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground.”

Higher Ground is the name of the Obamas’ production company. Last year they were accused of “deplorable behavior” over a trademark dispute over the name of the company.

Barack Obama has already won two Grammy awards for Best Spoken Word Album, and Michelle Obama was recently nominated in the same category for her memoir, Becoming—and I’ll bet a thousand dollars she’ll win. In fact, if you look at the nominations and winners in that category, you’ll find a lot of Democrat politicians and pundits have a knack for scoring nominations and winning the Grammy in that category, while their conservative counterparts don’t even get nominated. Nominees for Best Spoken Word Album include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Al Franken, and Jesse Jackson.

All of them won at least once.

Back to the Obamas. Barack Obama was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize within a month or so of taking office and ultimately won the award over several more appropriate choices. His victory was so ill-considered that the Secretary of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Geir Lundestad, regrets Obama being given the award.

Well, Barky has certainly gotten incredible mileage out of that make-work stint as a “community organizer” back in Chi-town, you gotta give him that much. He’s parlayed it into all these major awards, even into the White House itself. Pretty heady stuff for a guy who never held a real job or did a day’s honest, useful work in his life—all the more so, after parlaying his 400k per annum presidential salary into a multimillion dollar mansion or three to boot. One can only tip one’s cap in respect for such a consummate grifter.

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