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Looking a the political terrain post Ryancare

There are many issues that have from the start surrounded the attempts to unwind Obamacare, with the actual attempt to get rid of this obnoxious piece of legislation only one strand, however important it might be. More important has been the imperative that Trump comes to understand the lay of the land. The one thing that is certain is that Trump has been around the street himself a few times, and while he is new to being an elected official, he is not new to politics. He does not and has always known that cannot trust Ryan but he also knows this is someone with whom he has to work. He knows there are endless agendas running even on the Republican side of the aisle, and in among all if it is the certainty that most of those he is dealing with are owned by others whose bidding they must do if they are to continue to fund their re-election campaigns. That among the Republicans there are 52 who would like to see the present arrangements sent packing is far from certain. The same interests that have backed the Democrats on the present system also back many of the Republicans. If it comes down to whom I trust, Trump remains near enough the only one since he is among the few for whom the kinds of policies I would like to see closely line up with what he himself most assuredly wants to do.

So this is where I think we are. First, however the Democrats may see some kind of victory in keeping Obamacare intact, they will continue to own its failures. It is true the Republicans have not been able to remove it as yet, but no one who wishes to see it go will see any reason on this account to vote for the Democrats instead. They are more than ever associated with this rotting system, and the worse things become, the more they will have it hung round their necks.

Second, Ryan has demonstrated that he may well not have whatever it takes to shepherd important parts of the Republican agenda through Congress, and the House in particular. Trump basically gave Ryan his head on the mechanics and Ryan has failed. Personally, I cannot tell whether the process that was put in place was the right way to do things – and many others who I do trust say that it was not – but the tactics were as much Ryan’s as anyone else’s.

Third, there are many other things that Trump will now do to continue his agenda, with tax and spending cuts apparently the most important. And there is no doubting that Trump means to get taxes down and is certainly doing what he can to cut spending at every turn. This will be the next test set before Ryan. We shall see whether he can deliver. It’s one thing to be in opposition where nothing depends on you if things are to get done; it is quite another to be expected to deliver in government. Trump – political neophyte though he may be – really means what he says and knows how to get things done. Ryan does not repreresent the Trump agenda, but if he cannot deliver, will be gone and never missed.

I have been reading the American press that I can find on the web and this seems the closest to what I think myself although nowhere near everything I personally believe: Ryan unmasks himself as biggest threat to GOP, Trump presidency. This is what he says:

House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t just step in it again, big time, on the Ryancare bill this week. The Wisconsin Republican unmasked himself as the man most capable of demolishing his own party and the Trump presidency.

The Ryan American Healthcare Bill is a piece of moderate GOP trash that Mr. Ryan owns and has been trying and failing miserably to sell as the long-promised Republican repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

By telling conservatives in the House and across America to go have intimate relations with themselves and not meddle in the medical-care matters of him and the rest of what passes as House GOP leadership, he has done American politics a favor.

Specifically, he has convinced many conservatives that his time as maximum leader of House Republicans might best end before even more damage is done to the other lawmakers in his party, to President Trump and to the brand of the party and the president.

Politicians in both parties and the press call the bill “Ryancare.” If it passes — and it won’t — Democrats and eventually angry Republicans will be calling it Trumpcare. Talk about brand destruction.

Mr. Trump is not a policy guy. He doesn’t know the ins and outs of healthcare legislation, let alone of a bill that the tight little Ryan crew guided through the House this far, with no conservative consultation or approval.

Mr. Ryan, with the historically august title of House speaker, sold Mr. Trump a bill of goods, namely that the bill will appease conservatives and moderates in the GOP Congress and in the hinterland, get everyone re-elected in 2018 and 2020 and everyone could go to the seashore on Sunday.

This is March 2017. The election is in November 2020. This is the time for Trump to test the waters and to find out who he can trust and where he can find a realistic guide to policy. He is also saying to the Republicans in Congress that they must get their house in order, and the Senate as well, if he and they are to prosper together.

Nonfunctional Broken Network

What happens when someone who writes with great charm about the funny stuff in life instead gets really angry about something that is not funny at all. Here we find out. Danny Katz has just been hooked up to the NBN and it is definitely no joke. He titles his column The NBN is coming! but it’s actually about what happened after the NBN arrived. For me, the waste and incompetence associated with government services like this are just one of life’s impractical jokes. This is part of the joint efforts of the Liberal-Labor Coalition to turn Australia into another Venezuela. Read the column through, but this will help you see what’s there at the link.

I sat down and stared at the green lights, waiting for them to stop flashing, waiting for my better life, thinking “NBN (Nearly, Be-patient, Not-long)”. The NBN connection box flashed for another 20 minutes, then another 20 minutes, then another hour and a hour, and I thought, “N… B… N (Nope… Bugger… Nothing).”

I was reminded of the wise ancient proverb, “A watched NBN™ Connection Box will never connect to a high-speed network (via a hybrid fibre coaxial lead-in cable)”.

So I got up and had a little snack in the kitchen: NBN (Nachos, Bowl, Noshing). When I came back the lights were still flashing. Getting a bit stressed now, a bit anxious, NBN (Nails Bitten Nervously).

The NBN instruction booklet told me to contact my internet service provider if there was any trouble, so I rang up Technical Support and was put on hold for another 40 minutes, an occasional recorded voice saying, “Did you know that you can resolve many of your technical problems online?” and I thought, “Well I would, if I could get online, you NBN (Numbskull Boofhead Neanderthal!)”

This is the full flowering of the Kevin-Julia-Malcolm alliance, peak political and economic stupidity at its highest intensity.

Who will monitor the monitors?

Saw the video this morning when it was put up by SRR on the open thread. And we can now find this on Drudge: Exclusive: Google and social media companies could be prosecuted if they show extremist videos, extremist as in the kinds of things put up by Paul Joseph Watson. So this is where we are:

Google, Facebook and other internet companies could be prosecuted if they do not stop extremist videos from being seen on their websites by people in Britain, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Ministers are considering a new law which would mean Google – which owns YouTube – and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be prosecuted if they allow such videos to be disseminated.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, made clear her displeasure at internet companies that publish extremist content on Friday, saying “the ball is in their court” over taking action.

Letting Google decide what is extremist will no doubt weed out everything vile and inappropriate while leaving only what is wholesome and suitable for children. We can get Soupstain and Triggs to monitor our local content.

The average reader of a right-side blog is better informed than the average viewer of television news

There was this in the comments on the previous thread that quite caught my eye:

George Wallace
#2335836, posted on March 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm (Edit)
One of the biggest stories on earth right now – the illegal surveillance of a president-elect by a sitting president in the USA – is being totally ignored by the ABC. No mention at all. Quite incredible.

And you know what, he’s right. One of the genuinely astonishing parts about discussing politics with most people is that the only things they know about are what they find on the news or in the papers, which means everything that might in any way contradict their leftwards worldview is kept from them by every means possible. This is what their ABC does. They either do not report, or distort what they do report or misstate the significance of what they report or just outright lie. But as an example of the way in which the community is mis-informed, just as Mr Wallace said, it really is incredible that no one who depends on the ABC is aware of this: OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE: Obama INVOLVED in “Wiretapping”. They might be told that Trump has said as much, but they would never ever have an inkling that any of it might be true, or that these are issues they might wish to weigh up for themselves. Instead, the story, even where it is reported, is bundled up for their viewers so that not only are they told what the right view on each and every issue is, but the proper response is provided as well.

For us over here, we get an almost lethal dose of the ABC and friends’ pre-digested news, since how could we not, even if we tried. But for ABC types, they are kept in their safety zones to prevent their ever having to come across news that might disturb their peace of mind, even if that peace of mind requires an almost complete ignorance of what is going on in the world.

Yet you do have to wonder how this will be kept from going through the roof. From Drudge, right now:

NSA To Provide ‘Smoking Gun’ Proof Obama Spied on Trump…

Gathered, disseminated secret electronic communications prior to inauguration….

So we shall see if it is still news come Monday, whether the don’t-want-to-know crowd will get their wish and end up not knowing.

UPDATE: I just don’t think it comes across exactly what we are dealing with. Let me take you to the words of that last story linked above. This is from the story:

Nunes said he was alarmed by what he saw in several dozen intelligence reports that include transcripts of communications, including communications directly from Trump. The reports were based on a foreign electronic spying operation between November and January. They were revealed by an intelligence community insider who alerted Nunes.

Nunes said on CNN that after reading the reports he was confident the Obama White House and numerous agencies “had a pretty good idea of what President-elect Trump was up to and what his transition team was up to and who they were meeting with.” . . .

The intelligence reports, which number in the dozens, suggest that the names of Trump and his advisers were not properly “minimized” in the foreign intelligence reports, as required under intelligence rules protecting the privacy rights of Americans.

“We don’t have the full scope of all the intelligence reports that were produced, or who ordered the unmasking of additional names, and we’re hoping to get that,” Nunes said.

The transcripts appeared to be the result of legal intelligence collection against a foreign target. The problem, Nunes said, was that someone in government ordered the names of the Americans to be unmasked and the reports to be distributed to government agencies. . . .

The explosive reports uncovered by Nunes contradict public testimony Monday by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers.

Comey and Rogers stated during an intelligence committee hearing that they had no information to support Trump’s claims in a series of tweets that he had been placed under electronic surveillance by President Obama. . . .

Asked if he could rule out that Obama was personally involved in the surveillance, Nunes said “No, I cannot.”

He said she said media edition

The me in the title is Scott Adams, Dilbert’s Scott Adams: Some Fake News About Me from Bloomberg. A true exposure (via Instapundit and Small Dead Animals) of the cretinous actions of the media. This is how the article begins:

Last autumn, before the election, a writer for Bloomberg asked to spend a day with me to interview me for a feature piece about my blogging on Trump, and my life in general. I could tell from the initial conversation that it was going to be a hostile article. The reporter was open about being deeply frightened of Trump, believing him to be a racist, sexist, homophobic monster. So you can imagine how she felt about me for writing flattering blog posts about his persuasion talents.

I quickly determined that agreeing to the interview would be foolhardy. Obviously it was going to be a hit piece. The writer weakly tried to conceal that fact, but failed miserably.

If I agreed to the interview, I knew I would be making myself the target of ridicule and shame, baring my flaws to the world – both the real ones and the fake news ones. No rational person would agree to such an interview. It was a suicide mission.

So I agreed to the interview.

Regular readers know I don’t experience embarrassment like normal people. I just thought it would be funny to have them write about how wrong I was… just as the election was about to prove how right I was.

The day I agreed to the interview, I told my girlfriend Kristina that I was going to be the subject of a “hit piece” in Bloomberg. When the writer asked to speak to my brother, for background, I told him it was a hit piece, but I invited him to do it anyway, just for fun. Obviously, no sane person would agree to be interviewed for hit piece on his own family.

So my brother agreed to the interview.

We’ll have a good laugh about it later today. He got framed as a gullible idiot for “believing” something my mom told us when we were kids.

Check the article here and see if you can spot the fake news and the places where context has been tweaked to make things look both true and misleading at the same time. I’ll tell you what you missed, if anything, after you read it. Compare your impressions to my Fake News Report Card below.

Here’s the Bloomberg article by Caroline Winter.

OK, now read the Bloomberg article and then go back to the original link at the top to read what he says about what she says. And I will confess that I could not get through the Carol Winter article, neither before I read what Adams wrote nor after. But you will get the point nonetheless.

Waleed says what he thinks

This is from Tim Blair and although he doesn’t say it, represents as blatant an example of anti-semitism in the public space as ever I have seen in this country. Tim’s title is: WALEED SPEAKS FIRST, THINKS LATER.

Even for an intellectual, Waleed Aly is surprisingly dumb.

His assumptions are often informed more by media class groupthink than by any study of objective reality. Recall, for example, his 2013 claim that the Boston Marathon bombers could have been “self-styled American patriots.”

Brainiac Waleed subsequently offered another theory, this time about a Melbourne self-defence training program:

The class at the gym in Caulfield, Victoria, in Melbourne’s south-east, teaches people Israeli Army combat techniques to ‘take down terrorists’.

During a panel discussion after the segment was aired, Aly, a Muslim, raised his eyebrows, smiled and asked: ‘If I rocked up with my mates Mustafa and Hamoudi, do you reckon they’d let us train?’

Waleed should have asked a few more questions first:

The Krav Maga program’s founder, Avi Yemini, said a Muslim had been enrolled in that same class and demanded the TV host take back his ‘underhanded’ remarks.

Nailed it, Waleed. The Logie-winning bore, by the way, yesterday described the London terror attack as an example of “international extremism”, whatever the hell that is.

“Whatever the hell that is” is misdirection. A euphemism for radical Islamic terrorism, the invisible and non-existent – that is, invisible and non-existent on the left – form of mass murder that will only get worse until it is dealt with. Here is a more accurate approach.

Doing the left’s work for them

This is the question Powerline’s John Hinderaker asks: SO, WERE TRUMP’S TWEETS RIGHT AFTER ALL?. This is what he quotes:

Members of the intelligence community collected “incidental” communications of the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.

House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced “dozens” of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were “widely disseminated.”

He said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia or Russians and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower — as President Trump has suggested. Nunes also was unsure if then President-elect Trump was captured by the surveillance, which occurred in November, December and January.

That the intelligence agencies of the American government under a Democrat administration should be undertaking surveillance in any respect of the Republican nominee for President is a scandal of the most extraordinary kind. This is the work of a police state, not an open and democratic society. The issue of the moment is to make it clear that IF this happened, then that is an INDICTABLE OFFENCE that should cause individual to END UP IN JAIL. Since we know that as far back as January, before Trump was inaugurated, exactly this kind of surveillance was being reported in the New York Times, there should be no doubting that something absolutely unacceptable was going on. This is from the NYT of January 19:

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

How did the NYT know? Who authorised such leaks? Why is there no one being prosecuted? What was the role of the previous administration – the administration of the then-president – in any and all of this? That is what we would like to know. Instead, this is what we find at Powerline, and so many others who are on the conservative side of politics:

Closer to the heart of the matter may be Nunes’s observation that the identities of Trump associates subject to such incidental surveillance were “widely disseminated.” This “unmasking” is a federal crime, as House members discussed with Comey and Rogers on Monday. So, while President Trump may have been wrong in believing that the Obama administration directed surveillance at him or his associates–the jury is still out on that question–he was certainly right to be angry about the fact that information reflecting badly on his associates, collected through apparently legal surveillance, was leaked to the press in an effort to damage his campaign or his administration.

Weak, weak, weak! Every conjecture might be wrong, but that is taken for granted. Here the issue is what did happen and who did it and for what reason? Because it certainly looks like something very wrong, very illegal and very ominous really did take place.