How the Trump admin went off the rails

Personnel is policy.

Unlike a George Bush (either of them), Donald Trump arrived in Washington, D.C. with no connections to the DC policy establishment. In fact, he arrived after a bruising primary and general election that left him alienated from the GOP establishment. The GOP establishment might not have called his supporters “a basket of deplorables” but they nodded their heads and chuckled when they heard it. The same establishment had gotten rich and fat off illegal immigrant labor and outsourcing American jobs to wherever. They were used to keeping the GOP base in line with promises and crumbs (George W. Bush had GOP majorities for 6 of his 8 years, how much did they accomplish in regards to slowing illegal immigration or reducing abortion?) while delivering zero. When Trump arrived in Washington he was reliant upon the very same people who had opposed his election to staff his administration.

Some hard-core NeverTrumpers were hired in an attempt to placate factions in the GOP. Some cabinet secretaries, like, for instance, James Mattis and Rex Tillerson, pressed to retain Obama appointees or bring in registered Democrats with whom they had worked into senior policy positions. The head of the White House personnel office overseeing the hiring of political appointees went to an “end of the world party” when Trump dispatched Ted Cruz in Indiana. A guerrilla war was fought against the Administration by using the security clearance process to force out many of Trump’s most loyal followers.

Streiff then links to this piece, which fleshes things out a bit further.

In past administrations, a candidate’s allegiance to the president was vetted and considered a plus, if not a must. So why is the Trump White House filling any of these spots with people who have been openly (or privately) hostile to the president?

Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor summed up the absurdity of the situation on Fox News. “I think President Trump lost control of the whole appointment process in staffing the government shortly after the election,” he said. “He ended up appointing large numbers of people who subsequently brought in their friends, almost all of whom were opposed to Donald Trump and his agenda.”

Indeed, the appointment of never-Trumpers was aggressively championed and insisted upon by some senior Cabinet members. Some candidates were directly approved by the president himself, while others were proposed by White House political staffers as compromise picks with Cabinet secretaries. Many others slipped in because, despite their anti-Trump sentiments, they had not revealed — or were not asked about — their views in public. Some of the appointments appear to have been downright disastrous. Although many never-Trumpers hired early in the president’s term have departed, others have been elevated or reshuffled as new never-Trumpers continue to enter the administration’s ranks.

The permanent-bureaucracy insiders, in serving their own interests and safeguarding their sinecures, are keeping their eyes on the long term. Back to Strieff.

This, by the way, is not unique to Trump. Historically, party outsiders have failed or been co-opted by the system because, just like Trump, they arrive with a popular mandate but because they are outsiders, and threatening outsiders at that, the formal and informal levers of power are often out of their reach because they can’t put enough of their supporters in mid-level policy positions. When results don’t materialize, the reformer is turfed out by the voters and we all go back to the way it was.

Which, of course, is the desired outcome, the whole point. It’s the grimmest of ironies, and the neatest of tricks: the system has been so thoroughly rigged to serve the interests of its career players by thwarting any true outsider elected to clean out the rot—to “drain the swamp”—that it actually functions as a self-perpetuation mechanism, ensuring said outsider will be removed when he inevitably fails to get the job done.

Put another way, the Deep State ouroborus produces antibodies to counteract and flush away potential threats to its own continued existence and supremacy. Kinda daunting to think of FederalGovCo being so awesomely resilient, virtually immune to all but cosmetic, trifling reform or restriction. More daunting still, though, is the question of whether this systemic self-defense mechanism came into existence organically, just as a natural consequence of the gummint having metastasized far beyond its intended limits, or whether its establishment was the intentional, coordinated result of insider engineers who knew just what they were building, why they were building it, and how to build it right.

The latter scenario isn’t merely daunting but downright scary, in truth—because successfully animating such a monster would have required true genius on Dr Frankenstein’s part. A people who value Constitutionally-ordered liberty will need him to be something a good bit less than that if he’s ever to be defeated, his abominable creation laid to rest.

Two sets of laws

Or maybe just one set, actually. But it doesn’t apply to Deep State operatives, Democrat-Socialists at all levels, PantiFa goon squads, and Leftists generally—it applies only, exclusively, and most stringently to us.

Justice in Amerika is now officially a sad, unfunny joke. This is no longer arguable; it is ugly reality. And it is intolerable.

DOJ drops probe into former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
“It is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience,” McCabe said Friday.

Words fail me. I just…can’t even.

The Justice Department has decided to abandon its efforts to seek criminal charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to a letter sent to his attorneys.

McCabe’s lawyers were told last September that he should expect to be indicted on charges stemming from inaccurate statements he made to FBI investigators about his actions around the time of the 2016 election. However, no indictment was ever returned, leading to speculation that the Washington-based grand jury probing the matter took the rare step of rejecting charges.

Or—in plainer, more honest speech, with the weasel-wording left out—lying to the FBI. Y’know, the exact same thing as poor Roger Stone, who could righteously explain a thing or two to the scumball McCabe about being persecuted, I bet.

Prosecutors had been cagey since that time about the status of the investigation into McCabe, who has been a frequent subject of public attacks from President Donald Trump. In theory, they could have presented the case to another grand jury, but on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington informed McCabe’s attorneys that it was giving up its quest to charge the FBI veteran.

“We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe,” prosecutors J.P. Cooney and Molly Gaston wrote on behalf of the new U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Tim Shea. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”

And with that, it’s now officially over and done. The only conclusion to be reached by any sentient being is that not ONE of the treacherous swine who actually, literally plotted to overthrow a duly-elected, legitimate President by nefarious and illegal means will ever face a reckoning for their crimes. None will face justice. None will suffer consequences. None will be duly punished. Comey. Clapper. Brennan. Stroozzzkkk. Page. None of them. Not a single one.

For TREASON. For SEDITION. For corruption so blatant, so arrogant, so patently wrong that even now, as cynical as I have become from observing this mind-warping shitshow, I still am shocked by it.

Not so much as a slap on the wrist. Not even a good scolding. Nothing. For any of them. Mark my words.

If I was Trump, I would resign immediately and flee this blighted, contemptible trainwreck of a country as fast as I possibly could, for anywhere at all, never to return or even once look back. The torment and persecution he and his family have endured for three long years—REAL torment, REAL persecution, something a lying asswipe like McCabe knows nothing whatsoever about, his self-serving whining to the contrary notwithstanding—were for absolutely nothing. His efforts and achievements are as pearls tossed before swine: Herculean labors undertaken on behalf of benighted fools wholly unworthy of them.

Game over, people. Gangster government won, America That Was lost. That’s a wrap.

Oh, and speaking of horsefaced cum-dumpster Lisa Page: expect to have lots more enraging victory laps like this one shoved down our throats in the days ahead, as longtime Deep State op Bill Barr allows the perps, one-by-one, to slip through his fat fingers.



“I am done being quiet.” Cute, very fucking cute. But why the hell not? She’s guilty as hell, free as a bird, and untouchable. Page and the rest of her cabal give not one damp fart what the dimwitted flyover rubes think or say about anything whatsoever. They don’t have to; they’re in charge, are going to remain in charge, and you oafish knuckleheads will just sit back and take whatever the DC Elite think you deserve to have dished out to you, foot the bill for it, then happily moo for more of the same. They know it now, having just received confirmation from the highest Swamp/DoJ authorities that they can do whatever they please with total impunity.

Sickening, that’s what. This country is finished, and it damned well ought to be.

No harm, no foul update! No matter how cynical you may be, you ain’t near cynical enough.

The Army will not launch an investigation into a decorated officer who was a key witness during the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and then removed from his White House National Security Council (NSC) position, officials said Friday.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Lt. Col. Alex Vindman will begin a stint at a military college later this year, but he will be moved to a short-term assignment in the meantime. McCarthy did not provide any details on the new assignment.

“Colonel Vindman was scheduled to come back to the Army. He was detailed to the National Security Council in about the May-June timeframe,” McCarthy said during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “We brought him back, he’s got basically a bridging assignment for a couple [of] months…and then will be heading on to a senior service college this summer, and there’s no investigations of him.”

Because of course there aren’t. Deep State rats look out for their nestmates, don’tchaknow. His “fired” twin brother was himself shuffled into another cushy sinecure at the Army General Counsel’s Office, so that he can continue the vital work of keeping “democracy” safe from The People’s unwelcome input or influence.

Funny how all of our “victories” seem to be short-lived, quickly and quietly magicked into defeat by further sly, behind-the-scenes jiggery-pokery by TPTB, innit?

But hey, I’m happy that the heroic Doughboy twins landed on their feet after only a couple of days out in the cold, I really am. As long as dangerous malefactors like Manafort, Stone, and Flynn each pay their debt to society with a good, long stretch in lockdown for their heinous “crimes,” we can all rest assured that “justice” has been served. Right?

*SPIT*

Pissed off update! Lou Dobbs lays into ’em.

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs went off Thursday on Attorney General William Barr following Barr’s criticism of President Donald Trump for his tweets.

“I guess I am so disappointed in Bill Barr, I have to say this. You know, it’s a damn shame when he doesn’t get what this president has gone through, and what the American people have gone through, and what his charge is as attorney general,” Dobbs said.

“Where the hell is the report? Where the hell are the indictments? Where the hell are the charges against the politically corrupt Deep State within the Justice Department, the FBI, and why in the hell aren’t we hearing apologies from someone in that rancid, corrupt, department about what they permitted?” he asked.

He also said, “To hear this attorney general complain about this president, who’s fighting every one of those damn people to do the right thing and get this country straightened out. And it’s his mission to do so, not to carp about his boss.”

“And by the way, I don’t want to hear any crap about an independent Justice Department. This Justice Department, as does everyone, works for the president. It is part of the executive branch.”

Bang! Zoom! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Good on ya, Lou.

Virginia is just the beginning

None of this is random. The enemy thinks long, and is working a plan.

They’re coming for you next: Much has been made of the onerousness gun control laws passed by the Democrats in the Virginia state legislature this past week.

When it became clear that the Democrats were going to pass such laws, having gained control of both the legislature and the governorship, 95 counties and cities in the state made it publicly clear they would not enforce these laws, announcing that they were now second amendment sanctuary counties. Then, more than 22,000 Virginians gathered in protest at the statehouse, peacefully but forcefully declaring their opposition to these proposed laws.

None of that mattered to the modern Democrats now in charge in Virginia. They passed the laws, one of which gives the state “the authority to confiscate certain types of magazines that are considered ‘high capacity.’” I don’t know how they think they will enforce that confiscation right, but since they think it appropriate and just, don’t be surprised if they impose new laws to strengthen their ability to do so, including the right to do house-to-house searches.

Most of the the discussion about this story has been focused on the opposition to the laws themselves. I want to focus on what it tells us about the modern Democratic Party. You see, these fascist actions — which do nothing to reduce violence or crime while making law-abiding citizens criminals — are being planned by practically every local Democratic Party operation across the nation. All they require to make them law is to obtain power, as they have in Virginia.

My proof?

He has plenty, all of which you should read. But it all boils down to the simple fact stated in the headline: “Democrats in VA and AZ issue a warning: “We will oppress you if you elect us!” They most certainly will, just like every other Marxist dictatorship throughout history has; as the scorpion told the frog, it’s what they are, it’s what they do. No Democrat-Socialist candidate, for ANY office, should be able to garner even a single damned vote from anyone not already a dyed-in-the-wool fellow traveler living in one of America’s Democrat Urban Blight zones.

And yet.

(Via Sefton)

Bat soup, or biowar?

Interesting—and alarming—speculation on the latest mysterious scourge to emerge from Chinese origins and threaten the planetary population:

The biowarfare espionage behind the Chinese government’s Wuhan lab is now coming to light with a federal indictment being unsealed on Tuesday.

Now, the Department of Defense & NIH (National Institute of Health) have indicted Harvard’s Head of the Chemistry Department and two Chinese nationals — one an officer with the Chinese military, the other caught smuggling biological material.

The Harvard professor appears to have been paid an amazing amount of money by the Chinese government to help establish the Wuhan lab and is alleged to have lied to investigators about his activities.

The Harvard espionage indictments follow the discovery of Chinese nationals stealing virulent viruses from Canada’s only Biosafety Level 4 Lab and shipping them to the Wuhan lab.

Disclaimer: the above excerpt is from a subdivision of Alex Jones’s notoriously flaky and unreliable Infowars empire, so who knows. Take it with however large a dollop of salt suits your taste.

Fix: IN

Indulge me for a little worst-case-scenario doomsaying.

Attorney to the President, Jay Sekulow, explained that the legal team isn’t content to offer a rebuttal to Democrats impeachment arguments, they plan on attacking them.

Sekulow made the comments during an appearance on ‘Fox and Friends First,’ where he accused the resistance party of selectively editing witness testimony to fit their argument that the President should be impeached and removed from office.

“Adam Schiff, who is the House management leader, has had a problem with the truth since he’s been holding these hearings in the House of Representatives, all the way back to the Mueller report,” Sekulow told viewers. “So, we will not, in a sense, it’s not a rebuttal.”

Instead, he added, “what we are going to do is attack.”

A good thing too, because from what I’m seeing the last couple of days, you’re going to need to. The Senate GOPe leadership ain’t gonna bother to. Their declared intention to keep the process scrupulously on Constitutional track seems to be slowly slipping off the rails.

Senator Schumer and McConnell have agreed to alternating back-and-forth questions from Republicans and Democrats over the course of two days totaling a maximum of sixteen hours. The alternative would have been 8 hours of questioning by Democrats followed by 8 hours of republican questions. Obviously, and curiously, McConnell and Schumer see a benefit to alternating back-and-forth over the two days.

Additionally, according to several media reports, McConnell took a ‘whip of the Senate’ regarding witness testimony and does not currently have enough republican votes to block the pre-planned House Managers’ unconstitutional scheme to call witnesses.

The appropriate constitutional position for the Senate to take would be that the House investigates; the House calls witnesses within their investigation; the House assembles articles of impeachment; and the Senate is the trier of fact from those articles.

Ergo if a witness was not included in the article assembly, that would be a defect of the House articles; incurable in the Senate…How and why any senator would agree to establish this precedent is beyond my comprehension.

You may need to hone your cynicism a bit then, Sundance. Because I assure you it ain’t beyond mine. Anyways.

In the current quasi-constitutional House process, the Democrats refused to allow Republicans to call witnesses during their investigative phase. As a result the articles as assembled are completely one-sided and partisan. There are no republican witnesses in the evidence underpinning the article assembly. This was obviously done by design.

As a result a one-sided, Democrat only, witness group is structured in the articles. Now the same Democrats are demanding additional witnesses beyond those they called in the House. The witnesses they are demanding are from the executive branch; and blocking the executive from access to the judiciary explains why the Democrat plan has presented this end-run around the constitution. This was not a flaw in the article assembly, it was a feature.

So here’s how things might now be shaping up: Senate GOPers acquiesce to the House Democrat-Socialists’ imperious and patently un-Constitutional witness demands…and then the leadership refuses to allow any of their own, probably justifying the chicanery to the general public as a matter of “principle” and high-mindedness. Highly devious maneuvering, yes, audacious in its brazen affrontery. But thus will the Deep State ultimately be preserved, the bone-deep corruption of the US government entire swept back under its rug. And on my darkest days, I fear that that outweighs any other consideration for these shitweasels, by far.

I suppose I ought to find this reassuring, but somehow I just…don’t.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday said Trump’s defense team “made a damning indictment of what Hunter and Joe Biden allowed to happen” in Ukraine, with Burisma, and he believes GOP senators will likely vote to call in the Bidens, Eric Ciaramella and other witnesses.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday said Trump’s defense team “made a damning indictment of what Hunter and Joe Biden allowed to happen” in Ukraine, with Burisma, and he believes GOP senators will likely vote to call in the Bidens, Eric Ciaramella and other witnesses.

Fine and well, then, and given how hard it is nowadays to determine whether it’s Lindsey V1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 hear talking at any given moment, I’ll believe it when I see it. Worse, the razor-thin Republican Senate majority means that they can’t afford to lose a single vote—and we can guess easily enough where four of them might be found. Nonetheless, Sen Hawley remains optimistic:

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) drafted motions to subpoena impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, ICIG Michael Atkinson, Eric Ciaramella, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden to testify.

“If the Senate calls witnesses, I will ask for votes on all these next week,” Hawley said.

I hope you do, Josh; we’ll see if you get ’em. More details on La Familia Biden’s end-to-end, multigenerational corruption are provided in this Politico hack-job; the bit of hilarity I most enjoyed therein has to be this:

There’s no evidence Biden used his position as vice president to benefit his son’s work with Burisma.

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHASTOPITPLEASEOHPLEASESTOPYOU’REKILLINGME

Revoltingly, the Biden corruption ‘n’ crime chromosome wasn’t limited to just poor, inept old whore-hopper Hunter’s DNA, either. It appears to be a dominant family trait.

With less than one week before the Iowa caucuses, the establishment media is zeroing in on former Vice President Joe Biden and the culture of corruption that has permeated his immediate family for decades.

On Tuesday, Politico published an in-depth exposé on the financial ties between the former vice president’s younger brother, James, and a high-powered Washington, D.C., lobbyist. According to Politico, James and his wife purchased an acre of land in the U.S. Virgin Islands for $150,000 in May 2005. A year later, James resold a third of that acre to Scott Green, a national security lobbyist who previously served as a Senate staffer for Joe Biden. Green paid $150,000 for the land, even though the tax assessed value was only $38,000.

“In effect, James and [his wife] had gotten their money back while keeping most of the land—recouping their investment in just 12 months,” the outlet reported.

Any money that Green may have lost through the deal was offset when Joe Biden became vice president. In 2010, as Politico notes, Green and members of the lobbying firm he founded, the Lafayette Group, were frequent visitors at the Obama-Biden White House.

Remember, y’all: not a SMIDGEON of corruption in the Obama junta. Not the tiniest little SMIDGE. If you don’t believe it, just ask one of those piffling crooks.

The article goes on to present a whole slew of, umm, problematic wheelings and dealings involving Uncle Gropey and his chip-off-the-old-block brood. Influence peddling, bribery, extortion,lucrative no-show jobs, you name it; the only thing the Biden clan seems not to have had their grubby fingers into is actual contract murder. But Uncle Gropey is close enough to HILLARY!™, so who knows about even that.

One thing we know for sure by now: if he did refrain, it sure wasn’t due to any ethics-based reluctance or distaste for it—the man has no discernible ethics at all, Obviously, his precious little apples did NOT fall far from the rotten family tree themselves.

History, repeating itself

Who they are, what they do.

How the current impeachment “trial” turns out is anybody’s guess but hardly the only unknown in theongoing coup against President Trump. As many believe, if nobody in the FBI or DOJ winds up doing prison time, the Deep State wins and future presidents will face similar coup attempts. Some clues on what might or might not happen to FBI bosses emerged Sunday in “Government on Trial,” a Fox News documentary on the FBI siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992.

That operation targeted the family of Randy Weaver, whom the establishment media relentlessly smeared as a “white separatist” and “white supremacist” with possible links to the Aryan Nations. As the FBI knew, Weaver was not a member of the group, and as Weaver testified to the Senate in 1995,  “I don’t hate people because of being a different race. I don’t hate anybody. I believe there are good and bad in every race, and I have always taught that.”

On the other hand, Weaver could be accurately described as a biblical survivalist. He moved his family from Iowa to northern Idaho to prepare for bad times and the possible breakdown of society. Such survivalism had been on the rise since the latter days of the Carter administration, when the end did seem to be at hand.

Like many in rural Idaho, Weaver and his family were fully armed. On the other hand, they lived peacefully and perpetrated no attacks against neighbors. The ATF tried to entrap Weaver on a gun charge and an exchange of fire claimed the lives of a U.S. Marshall and Weaver’s 14-year-old son, Samuel. That brought in the FBI, which deployed 400 heavily armed agents, helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and trained snipers all against a single family.

The FBI’s rules of engagement allowed agents to shoot on sight. The agency believed that Randy’s wife Vicki was the “brains of the outfit” and FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot the unarmed woman in the head as she held her infant daughter. Snipers are trained to “acquire” their targets, so not likely the killing was accidental.

Weaver and his friend Kevin Harris were also wounded, and Harris was near death when the siege ended. In the ensuing trial, Randy Weaver was acquitted on everything but failing to appear in court, and his original tangle with the ATF was ruled as entrapment. The family received a settlement of more than $3 million but questions remained.

As the Fox documentary showed, it remains unknown to this day which FBI boss ordered the shoot-on-sight rules, and the mystery could be part of a cover-up. Michael Kahoe of the FBI’s violent crime division destroyed a key report on Ruby Ridge to prevent the U.S. attorney from turning it over to Weaver’s attorneys. Kahoe would up serving 18 months in prison, for actions in a case that rendered three people dead. 

The campaign against candidate Trump, and the coup attempt against President Trump, has yet to claim any lives, but it has certainly ruined a few. As the Federalist reveals, James Comey and Andrew McCabe signed off on FISA warrants that were false, which is a federal crime. These were part of more than a dozen cases in which the FBI violated FISA laws.

FBI lawyer Kevin Klinesmith altered a key document on Carter Page and the phones of FBI players Strzok and Page were wiped clean of incriminating texts. U.S. attorney John Durham is running a criminal investigation, but so far no FBI or DOJ player has been officially charged, tried and sent to prison. A low-level fall guy the style of Kahoe would hardly match the magnitude of the crimes and essentially authorize future coup attempts by the deep state. That’s the lesson of Ruby Ridge.

Billingsley goes on to weave Waco, the Nation Of Islam, and the Black Panthers into a larger tapestry of corruption and extremely dubious, politically-motivated FBI/Senate/DoJ investigations. The FBI’s blatant stab at criminal interference in the 2016 election and the subsequent all-thumbs attempt to frame Trump shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody the least bit familiar with their coal-black history.

FUBAR

Codevilla reveals that the illusion of America’s supreme military might is just that: an illusion.

News that the wargames which the RAND corporation runs for the U.S. government show U.S. forces getting “its ass handed to it” by Russia and China have elicited disbelief: “how could this possibly be?” The short answer is that the U.S. armed forces are utterly corrupt: the very definition of parade ground forces, superbly equipped, fabulously paid (to look good)—but utterly incapable of winning the wars that our even more corrupt national security establishment defines for them. Corrupt, and un-serious.

Specifically: U.S. forces fail in the wargames, and would fare worse in real life, because they would be sent to fight the Chinese for control of the Western Pacific, and Russia for control of areas west of the Niemen river, as well as north of Crimea. The Chinese and Russians, respectively, would enjoy advantages in these areas. U.S. forces, configured as they are because of inter- and intra-Service corporate priorities, because of military-industrial collusion, and above all because of the national security establishment’s self-regarding prejudices and proclivities, are not based, sized, or equipped seriously to contest those advantages. Above all, they lack realistic plans for doing so. In sum, U.S. forces would lose these wars because of classic mismatches between ends and means. All entirely foreseeable. I repeat: Corruption.

The wargames dealt only with operational/tactical factors on the conventional level in the theaters of operation. But China and Russia are nuclear powers whose missiles can deliver nuclear warheads to the U.S. Neither has been shy about pointing out that they might force the U.S. to choose between its objective in their back yard and the loss of one or more American cities. Moreover, longstanding U.S. policy, most recently reaffirmed in 2019, is not to have any equipment that can defend against Russian or Chinese missiles. If, perchance, Chinese or Russian forces should have difficulty disposing of U.S. challenges, raising the nuclear specter would surely force the U.S. side to reconsider why we engaged in war in others’ back yards without the capacity to protect ourselves at home. Since nuclear weapons are fully integrated into Russia’s ground forces, this rude awakening would likely come in the course of ordinary operations. On the Chinese side, we might well see the annihilation of Guam. But, one might respond, “U.S. nuclear missile forces are so superior to China’s!” Sure. Superior for what? What good would killing a couple of million Chinese do?

What forces against what, where, to do what, is the nub of the military matter. The Chinese and Russians, respectively, have good strategic, operational, and tactical answers. The U.S. side does not.

Skeptical, are ya? Insist on some proof, do ya? Okay, here ya go:

The Ford class has become a major crisis. In February 2018 the navy confirmed that it had major problems with the design and construction of its new EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) catapult installed in its latest aircraft carrier; the USS Ford (CVN 78) and the three other Ford-class carriers under construction. During sea trials, the Ford used EMALS heavily, as would be the case in combat and training operations and found EMALS less reliable than the older steam catapult. EMALS was also more labor intensive to operate and put more stress on launched aircraft than expected. Worse, due to a basic design flaw, if one EMALS catapult becomes inoperable, the other three catapults could not be used in the meantime as was the case with steam catapults. This meant that the older practice of taking one or more steam catapults offline for maintenance or repairs while at sea was not practical. The navy admitted that in combat if one or more catapults were rendered unusable they remained that way until it was possible to shut down all four catapults for repairs. During the initial at-sea tests the EMALS failed once every 75 aircraft launches. The standard for steam catapults is one failure every 4,166 launches. The landing and recovery system also had reliability problems, failing once every 76 landings, which is far below the standard of one failure per 16,500 landings. In effect, these problems with launching and recovering aircraft make the Fords much less effective than the older Truman (and other Nimitz class CVNs). The navy has long had a growing problem with developing new ships and technology and the Ford is the worst example to date. With no assurance as to when and to what extent the launch and recovery systems would be fixed (and be at least as effective as the older steam catapults) the navy was overruled and told to keep the Truman.

The navy also asked for another delay in performing mandated shock tests for the Ford, in which controlled explosions were set off near the hull that generated at least 66 percent of the amount of force the ship was designed to handle. This would reveal what equipment was not sufficiently built or installed to handle shock and make changes as well as confirming that the hull can handle the stress overall. The navy wants to wait until the second Ford-class carrier enters service in 2024 because, it admits, it is unsure how badly shock tests would damage new systems and design features. Meanwhile, there are some other major shortcomings with the Fords, including electronics (the radars), some of the elevators and a few other mechanical systems. But none of these are as serious as the malfunctioning catapults. Progress is being made in improving the reliability of the new launch and recovery system but such progress has been very slow and there is no convincing plan to achieve parity with steam catapult systems any time soon.

Some of the problems with EMALS were of the sort that could be fixed while the new ship was in service. That included tweaking EMALS operation to generate less stress on aircraft and modifying the design of EMALS and reorganizing how sailors use the system to attain the smaller number of personnel required for catapult operations. But the fatal flaws involved reliability. An EMALS catapult was supposed to have a breakdown every 4,100 launches but even after some initial fixes, in heavy use, EMALS actually failed every 400 launches. By the end of 2017, the Navy concluded that an EMALS equipped carrier had only a seven percent chance of successfully completing a typical four-day “surge” (multiple catapult launches for a major combat operation) and only a 70 percent chance of completing a one-day surge operation. That was mainly because when one EMALS catapult went down all four were inoperable. In effect, the Ford-class carriers are much less capable of performing in combat than their predecessors. The navy hopes they can come up with some kind of, as yet unknown, modifications to EMALS to fix all these problems. In the meantime, the new Ford carrier is much less useful than older ones that use steam catapults.

There are no easy solutions.

Of course not, nor cheap ones either. There never are.

But the Ford Class CVNs are hardly the only depressing example of decay into second- or even third-rate-power status. There are also the USN sailors who can’t enter an international harbor without crashing into other ships, navigators who can’t navigate, and so on. The Air Farce has pilots who have done almost all of their “flight” training in simulators only, limited to a flight-hours standard officially deemed “not ready for combat” in the 80s and 90s. We rely on a fleet of combat aircraft already in an advanced state of decrepitude, kept aloft with spare parts robbed from Jet-On-A-Stick museum pieces that were retired long ago.

Let’s just sidle on around the smoking ruins of that ground-bound pig, the F35, shall we? With several countries backing away from earlier commitments to buy the faltering, ruinously expensive albatross, the less said about it, the better.

Of course, when the populace lacks the will to prosecute its wars to a victorious conclusion whatever the cost, neglect and decay of its armed forces is inevitable. In turn, the American polity has ample reason for such skittishness; having been led into many costly, pointless conflicts across the globe in which victory was neither defined nor sought, reluctance to blindly support still more endless nation-building boondoggles begins to look like no more than simple good sense. The US military isn’t to blame for that situation; to the contrary, it’s another victim of it.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this country shouldn’t even DREAM of engaging in any war without clearly-defined objectives and a solid, realistic battle plan at least reasonably capable of achieving them. Should those conditions be met and politically agreed upon, overwhelming force should be deployed in pursuit of those objectives, without the hindrance of absurd, politically-correct ROEs that put US interests hindmost. Enemy complaints about “atrocities” and “war crimes” should be measured against a standard that assumes they’re propaganda until proved credible. Should the America-hating liberal media establishment decide to be complicit in such manipulation by the enemy, the consequences for them ought to be immediate and severe.

FOBBITS, staff, S1, S2, S3, and all the rest of the REMFs should be made fully mindful that their role is exclusively and entirely to support, not to interfere, hinder, or second-guess. JAG lawyers particularly should be informed in no uncertain terms that targeting, patrolling, and all other tactical decisions will NOT be passed across their desks for approval first, or at all. Their involvement in heat-of-the-moment combat decision-making must be ended, with the men at the pointy end in unquestioned charge; the days of these prissy, pious rear-area scolds looking over the shoulders of front-line grunts is by God over. If such as they really want a combat role, let them man up and carry a rifle.

When it comes to fixing our military, those are the problems that have to be corrected first. If they aren’t, no amount of fiddling and fussing with the tech, the weaponry, and the other gear will avail us a blessed thing in the end.

It’s a trap!

The problem here can be inferred from the headline: “Tyranny at the Door in Virginia.” Sorry, but tyranny came right in the door, raided the fridge, sat itself on the couch, and made itself right at home already.

It began when Ralph “Blackface” Northam became the governor of Virginia in 2017, then advanced another step when the Democratic Party took control of the Virginia General Assembly last year. In part, these events transpired because of the efforts by Michael Bloomberg and George Soros to put Virginia in their crosshairs by dumping millions of dollars into state and local elections.

And when the collaborationist GOPe failed to even bother running candidates in multiple races across Virginia, lest we forget.

Earlier this week, the state senate judiciary committee, voting along straight party lines, passed bills that would require background checks on all private transfers of firearms, let owners keep their banned firearms only if they register with the Virginia State Police, and ban suppressors and any magazines over 10 rounds. The committee also passed red-flag legislation.

The good news is that Virginians are not taking the Democrats’ efforts lying down. Across the state, the grassroots have come alive. To date, 124 counties, cities, and localities have declared themselves sanctuaries for the Second Amendment (consider there are 95 counties and 41 independent cities total in the entire state). These jurisdictions have made it clear they will refuse to enforce any anti-Second Amendment legislation coming from Richmond.

The response of Northam and Attorney General Mark “I’m also into blackface” Herring is to insist that any laws passed regarding gun control will be enforced. Really? By whom? The sheriffs? Not likely. County police? Probably not. State troopers and the national guard? Not likely, either.

Besides, do you really think many Virginians are just going to hand over their guns? The only thing they will be handing over is rounds fired in the direction of anyone seeking to confiscate their rifles and pistols.

Well, maybe. But then again, maybe not.

As far as I can tell, the VCDL is trying very hard to tread lightly and responsibly with their upcoming rally, going way out of their way to emphasize that they’re a mainstream group of law-abiding citizens intent only on peaceably assembling to petition their government for redress of grievances, as is their good right, on a day specifically provided in Virginia each year for that very purpose.

Unfortunately, the more I see of this, the greater the likelihood of a bloody disaster intentionally created by the very malefactors responsible for this confrontation in the first place seems. The sorry fact is that the time for peaceful protest is far, far behind us. The war to preserve the US Constitution, the rights enumerated therein, and for liberty itself was lost many decades ago. The America of our Founders is no more.

The Virginia Democrat-Socialists certainly seem to think so, anyway; they’re marching boldly on without the slightest apparent concern over the possibility of igniting a powderkeg underneath their own worthless asses. They seem quite confident that ultimately, Virginia 2A supporters will sit complacently back and let their rights be stripped from them just like they have so many times before, not just in Va but all across the nation. They’re placing all their chips on this bet.

Honestly, I’m not at all sure I’d be willing to bet against them.

As I’ve said so many times: the most important thing the Left learned from their ill-fated stab at Prohibition was the proper way to boil a frog. Ever since, they’ve been devouring American liberty not in huge gulps, but in bite-size morsels—slowly, patiently, one piece at a time. Whatever a massive public protest in Va may or may not have achieved in the distant past, it will accomplish nothing now. Virginia gun-grabbers see the end-game, the culmination of all their fondest dreams of unchecked rule, within their grasp at last. No mere public show of opposition is going to dissuade them now.

And that really is too bad. One likes to imagine that, as American citizens, our rulers might be responsive to the wishes of those they rule, mindful not to flex their muscle too assertively, too aggressively. But as they get elected and re-elected over and over again, perpetrating the most stunningly brazen acts of corruption and abuse of power imaginable with near-total impunity, they’ve lost all fear of the voters’ wrath. Hell, the very existence of a professional, career-politician class itself—in direct contravention of the most dire warnings of the Founders—is but one of a long list of unsavory developments that have emboldened them.

No sane, decent person wants to have to shoot a neighbor, a cop, a friend or relative to safeguard his own freedom. Ironically, though, it would seem that an altogether human abhorrence for violence is the very thing ensuring that someday, those decent folks will be forced to hoist the black flag and start slitting throats. Many Virginians will probably get busy burying guns in the backyard in response to the passage of these abominable laws. But as Bracken says: if you think it’s time to start burying your guns, it’s actually time to start digging them up. Aesop submits:

If this is a war, fight it like a war. Holding a parade on your enemy’s quarterdeck isn’t going to get you anything you want, but it’ll get you a lot of what you don’t want. Oh, and in about 97 ways, you’re not ready for a war yet. So maybe start working on that first.

And if it’s not quite a war yet, you’ve damned sure got better things to do than grabbing your crotch and waving your shortcomings in the enemy’s face. So maybe start working on doing operations-other-than-war a helluva lot better too.

Which leaves no time for childish tantrums. Stop playing in the street, pull your heads out of your asses, and start doing serious things in a serious way, like this was serious business, and not a grade school food fight.

The tree of liberty may indeed be due for another good watering; I dunno, it’s not for me to say. But we all better be very damned sure about that first.

Update! The shitshow just got shittier.

I guess we now know why Virginia Governor Ralph Northam outlawed all weapons at a pro-gun rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), the state’s best known pro-Second Amendment group. Antifa’s showing up.

Vice News and other media outlets breathlessly reported Friday that Antifa and the right-leaning Second Amendment supporters have much in common and so will stand shoulder-to-shoulder on Monday to battle against the state.

“I think it’s been pretty important for us to focus on the fact that gun control in America has a legacy of racist enforcement,” said Antifa Seven Hills spokesperson James (who asked that his name be withheld to avoid getting doxxed online). “Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state.

This is our fight as much as anyone else’s,” James, who identifies as an anarchist, added. “It’s our state, and we are left largely out of the debate. The presence of an armed left is not discussed, it’s not understood.”

Ohhhh yeah, THIS is gonna end well.

It’s on!

Somebody finally found a way to pressure Stretch Peelousy into staggering on over to the Senate to deliver her Shampeachment “articles” to McConnell and Co for further processing. It appears she’s also had some sober person name the Shampeachment “managers” for her as well. Funny thing about this bunch, though.

Six of the seven impeachment managers selected by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi supported the impeachment of President Donald Trump before the whistleblower complaint was filed.

Gee, the shockers just keep on coming fast and furious today, don’t they?

The seven impeachment managers’ roles are very much like the roles of prosecutors, as the members are responsible for presenting the impeachment inquiries to the Senate, to make the case as to why Trump should be impeached with the evidence they have gathered.

Pelosi had continued to withhold the articles of impeachment, saying she doesn’t think the Republican-led Senate will hold a trial that both sides can agree on.

Given the indecent, contra-Constitutional flea circus the House just conducted, I should certainly hope not. In any event, your own role in this charade is now officially over and done with, bitch. The Senate runs the show from here on out, and your “agreement” is neither necessary nor relevant. But let’s not make any assumptions about a Senate acquittal of Trump on these self-evidently spurious “charges” being a given, a “slam-dunk.” Rand Paul sounds the tocsin on that.

EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Rand Paul Says GOP Will Shaft Trump, Allow Democrat Witnesses and Block His Requests — Warns Colleagues Not to Commit Political Suicide

In an interview with The Gateway Pundit about the impeachment effort on Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul warned his colleagues who plan to let the Democrats choose witnesses that they will lose their reelections.

Senator Paul, who has seemingly been leading the charge to defend the president during this process, also explained that he would vote for Rep. Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have to testify, especially since Schiff has a staff member who is friends with the whistleblower — potentially making him a material witness.

Additionally, Sen. Paul stated that he wants the impeachment process to be over as soon as possible, but that if the Democrats are allowed to call witnesses, President Trump must be afforded the same right.

When asked if any other Republicans have been supportive of Sen. Paul’s assertion that he wants to call in the whistleblower and Hunter Biden to testify, he asserted that there are a lot of people who do, but that they have been quiet. 

In an interview with The Gateway Pundit about the impeachment effort on Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul warned his colleagues who plan to let the Democrats choose witnesses that they will lose their reelections.

Senator Paul, who has seemingly been leading the charge to defend the president during this process, also explained that he would vote for Rep. Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have to testify, especially since Schiff has a staff member who is friends with the whistleblower — potentially making him a material witness.

Additionally, Sen. Paul stated that he wants the impeachment process to be over as soon as possible, but that if the Democrats are allowed to call witnesses, President Trump must be afforded the same right.

When asked if any other Republicans have been supportive of Sen. Paul’s assertion that he wants to call in the whistleblower and Hunter Biden to testify, he asserted that there are a lot of people who do, but that they have been quiet. 

In our interview, Sen. Paul warned that his Republican colleagues may be in trouble when they go up for re-election if they defy the president and allow Democrats to run amok, like they did in the House.

“What I keep trying to convince my colleagues, particularly the ones that might vote to allow the witnesses that the Democrats want to call, is that if they do that and they don’t vote to allow the president to bring his witnesses in, I think the Republican base and Trump supporters are going to be very very unhappy with them. I think it will have electoral consequences — which is sort of my way of saying that maybe they should reconsider having any witnesses at all,” Sen. Paul said. “My hope is some will reconsider and we will just be done with one vote.”

I hate to say or even think it, but considering A) the wafer-thin GOP majority in the Senate; B) the presence therein of treacherous, conniving Trump-haters like the despicable Mittens Romneycare; and C) the presumed presence of at least a few longtime GOPe Senators whose loyalty to the Deep State and its preservation will likely outweigh any other consideration, I don’t think any of us can be at all certain of which way this will end up going.

Rand is right: if there are to be witnesses, then Trump should be allowed to get his innings in too, as a matter of both legal propriety and elementary fairness. If he isn’t, then the US government’s true nature will have been undeniably exposed for all to see, any question about what kind of country this really is definitively answered. Then Americans will have some seriously difficult and unwelcome choices thrown into their laps.

Five years on

Haunted by the ghosts of Charlie Hebdo.

I heard about the attack shortly before I went on that morning’s John Oakley Show in Toronto. Throughout the grim half-decade for free speech that has followed, I have thought often of Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo and a great cartoonist in the French style. Two years before his death, he said:

It may seem pompous, but I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.

He did. He was an heroic figure, and he paid for it with his life. One reason for that is because, when everyone else is on their knees, the guy standing up kinda stands out. And Charb & Co had been standing out for almost ten years. As I said to Megyn Kelly at Fox News later that night:

STEYN: Yes, they were very brave. This was the only publication that was willing to publish the Muhammad — the Danish Muhammad cartoons in 2006 because they decided to stand by those Danish cartoonists. I’m proud to have written for the only Canadian magazine to publish those Muhammad cartoons. And it’s because The New York Times didn’t and because Le Monde in Paris didn’t, and the London Times didn’t and all the other great newspapers of the world didn’t – only Charlie Hebdo and my magazine in Canada and a few others did. But they were forced to bear a burden that should have been more widely dispersed…

We will be retreating into a lot more self-censorship if the pansified Western media doesn’t man up and decide to disburse the risk so they can’t kill one small, little French satirical magazine. They’ve gotta kill all of us.

Given the despicable, gutless groveling so shamelessly on display this past week, it’s clear that the five years since have brought no improvement in our sorry lot. Steyn looks back in anger:

Five years ago I quoted Andrew Stiles:

Journalists: These French journalists are so brave!

Readers: What did they do? Can I see?

Journalists: It’s our policy not to show you.

But I see Mr Stiles’ Tweet has somehow managed to disappear from the Internet. George Clooney held up a pencil and Dame Helen Mirren wore an exquisite pencil brooch pinned to her splendid embonpoint and thousands of tilty-headed wankers with sorrowful expressions marched through the streets of Paris waving pencils. But none of them was willing to do the one thing that mattered – and show what Charb et al had drawn with those pencils. By the following day I was good and sick of it:

To be honest, it makes me vomit to see people holding these Princess Dianafied candlelit vigils, and using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie – I am Charlie -and in effect appropriating these guys’ sacrifice for this bogus solidarity. It makes me sick to see all these ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ cartoons that have appeared in newspapers all over the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia, everywhere, from other cartoonists, again expressing solidarity with these very brave men – but not doing what they did…

I’ve been on enough events in Europe with less famous cartoonists than these who live under death threats, live under armed guard, have had their family restaurant firebombed – it’s happened to a Norwegian comedienne I know – have come home and found their home burned, as a Swedish artist I know happened to. And all these people doing the phony hashtag solidarity, screw your phony hashtag solidarity. Let’s have some real solidarity – or if not, at least have the good taste to stay the hell out of it.

That would have been asking too much. In the days that followed almost all those who claimed to be expressing solidarity with Charb were, in fact, signaling very clearly that they preferred to live on their knees.

I’ve quoted this great Tolkien passage here before, and it bears endless repeating:

It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, Master Warden, and those who have not swords can still die upon them.

The Charlie Hebdo victims proved their mettle with a defiant message written in their own blood. Too bad the pathetic, weepy fools who boasted “Je suis Charlie!” in between choruses of “Imagine” at all those repulsive candlelight vigils are too cowardly to do anything more than disgrace such a noble legacy.

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