Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Vanishing Obama Presidency!

ONE YEAR AGO, Barack Obama’s presidency came to an end. His election as the nation’s first black president was a major accomplishment for him and for the nation. Time will never erase that achievement.
But as time passes, this may be just about his only lasting political accomplishment; his legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives are disappearing rapidly. On domestic policy:
  • Energy: The Keystone XL Pipeline has been approved. The Dakota Access Pipeline has been approved and is operational. U.S. energy production is up, and gas prices are down. Deep Obama administration reductions in offshore drilling leases are in the process of being reversed.
  • Education: The Obama Education Department’s Title IX “guidance” to colleges and universities mandating how to treat sexual assault cases has been rescinded. Numerous Education Department programs begun in the Obama administration are being terminated.
  • Environment: The Obama EPA’s Clean Power Plan to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, the implementation of which was already blocked by the Supreme Court, has been rescinded.
  • Labor: The Obama-controlled National Labor Relations Board rule treating franchise chains as single employers for the purpose of collective bargaining has been repealed.
  • National parks: Obama’s vast additions to U.S. national monuments in Utah have been rescinded.
  • Internet: Net neutrality has been repealed.
  • Immigration: The Obama executive order on Deferred Action Against Parents of Americans, which was blocked by a federal court, has been rescinded. His executive order on Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals has been rescinded, awaiting potential congressional action.
  • Health care: Obamacare has been significantly modified by regulations to allow new, less costly forms of health insurance and by the repeal of the individual mandate. Additional regulatory changes are coming this year. As the health exchanges continue to shrink, the principal impact of Obamacare will be the expansion of Medicaid enrollment.
  • Consumer protection: The structure of the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Agency has been ruled unconstitutional by the District of Columbia Circuit Court because it is unanswerable to any elected government official. The CFPB is facing additional legal and legislative challenges.
  • Economy: The economic recovery beginning in 2009 produced historically slow economic growth, a declining labor participation rate, stagnant wages and increasing food stamp usage. Today’s economy is growing more rapidly, the labor participation rate is up, wages are beginning to rise, and food stamp usage is down.
On foreign policy:
  • Military: Reductions in military spending and U.S. troop levels are being reversed.
  • ISIS: Changes to the Obama rules of engagement for using military force led to the rapid defeat of ISIS.
  • Environment: The United States has announced its intent to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
  • Trade: The United States declined to join the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership.
  • Iran nuclear deal: The president has declined to certify the Iran nuclear agreement, which the Obama administration negotiated, setting the stage for withdrawal or modification.
  • Syria: The president has used military force to enforce Obama’s “red line” against Syria’s use of chemical weapons.
  • Ukraine: U.S. policy toward Ukraine is changing; the U.S. will now send lethal weapons to assist Ukraine in resisting Russian aggression.
  • Cuba: Obama’s opening to Cuba has been put on hold.
  • Israel: The United States and Israel have restored their historically close relationship.
  • Egypt: The flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been replaced by U.S. support for Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Overall, with the exception of a shrinking Obamacare and the CFPB, no significant initiative of the Obama administration remains in place. The near doubling of the federal debt during his eight-year presidency — from $10 trillion to $19 trillion — seems like a very high price to pay for such ephemeral results.
The Obama presidency is vanishing before our eyes. In only 12 short months, the legacy of Obama’s presidency is best captured by the motto of a well-known disaster restoration company: “like it never even happened.”
Jeff Bergner

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

“…The Half-Truth, the Alt-Truth, and Anything But the Truth”

The above was lifted from the text of the new Oath of Office and Ethics swearing ceremony that will soon be required of every elected official and mainstream media reporter.

I oughtta know; I wrote it.

2017 will be remembered by any remaining historians with integrity as a watershed year for the Government-Media Axis of Liars. With the surprise election of Donald Trump, the MSM (Mainstream Media) was publicly shamed by the revelations (courtesy of “alternative” news sites and social media) of their intimate collusion at every level of the Establishment, most notably, the inadvertent public unmasking of the Deep State.

Desperate times call for desperate action, especially by those who are – well, - desperate. The threat to the Deep State/Establishment government by the ascension of a political Outsider kicked that desperation into passing gear as “CYA” became the Order of the Day, necessary to preserve the corrupted status quo cohorts in the MSM portrayed as Truth and Fact, not the mistruths, half-truths and outright lies they actually are. Occasionally, there was a Good Truth and a Bad Truth reported to satisfy the Fly-Over Rubes who might actually be paying attention instead of concentrating on Dancing With The Stars.

As any PAC-12 football coach can tell you, Desperation plays are usually problematic and most often deadly. Such has been the case with the hubris-laced plans of the Deep State to Deep Six Donald Trump and/or his presidency. While laughingly unsuccessful, the desperation for self-preservation remains a powerful motivator. It has been recently revealed the Trump Administration and certain Republicans in Congress are engaged in behind-the-scenes talks not only to extend the Government’s “bulk surveillance authority” (spying on individual citizens without suspicion or Probable Cause) but to extend that power even further by declaring, as a matter of law, any information obtained would be valid, lawful evidence in any criminal prosecution, thereby effectively gutting the protections of the 4th Amendment. In Desperation mode to maintain the corrupt Establishment/Deep State, the “tyranny of the Majority” in Congress is moving forward surreptitiously to eviscerate even more of what Freedom, Liberty and Individual Rights remain.

Not to worry. This is a bi-partisan effort.

On the other side of the aisle, recent comments by the President and certain Democrats strongly suggest the World’s Greatest Negotiator is open to “deals” that would get his autograph on legislation for “Dreamers” and other Immigration issues anathema to his base and a contradiction of the dogmatic “you can be sure of that” promises made during the campaign. Put more simply: The Donald appears ready and willing to cut whatever deals necessary and “take the heat” to win the Inside-The-Swamp Popularity Contest to remain in power.

The above “oath” has become necessary to acknowledge and justify both politicians and media members in their on-going obfuscation of Truth and Fact.

All this goes to prove the prescience of a distant relative of Lord John E. Acton, Lord Alfred E. Neuman-Acton who infamously observed: “Power corrupts; absolute power is kinda neat!”

Friday, January 5, 2018

This Just In (NOT)

From our “Clippings From The Editing Room Floor” dept.”, comes this face-palming story that begins:

“The third trial of Cliven Bundy has ended in a mistrial. The prosecution failed to turn over documents that would have helped the defense.”

Put more bluntly:

"The trial of Nevada rancher and leader of the Sagebrush Rebellion, Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant ended yesterday in a mistrial. Why? Because the government had lied out of its ass to the judge and hidden evidence that would have significantly aided the defense. In other words, in a legal system that has reframed “adversarial” to mean “win at any cost”, the prosecutors decided to put Bundy away and they decided that a little perjury was no big deal. It was, as they say, a day ending in “y.”

Who wouldda/couldda thunk it!? America’s pristine, “Rule of Law-Justice for All” Judicial System, featuring officers, agents, prosecutors and institutionalized bureaucrats of the “Deep State” Bowling Team would play “Hide The Weeny” with exculpatory evidence? Say it isn’t so, AG Jeff! (Sarc: OFF) At least we can rejoice Presiding Robe, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro, still maintained a firm grip on jurisprudence: “The failure to turn over such evidence violates due process.”

And here's the rest of the story...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Watercolor Experience

Writing my first “novel” (technically a “novella”) (more technically a “memoir”) has been an eye-opening experience (technically both eyes).

My first eye saw how difficult it was to write something I had actually lived. Just relating an experience - how hard could that be? As usual, the devil is in the details. Just typing words describing a series of events: not too difficult. Revealing personal thoughts and feelings to an audience of (mostly) strangers: very difficult. Think about it for a second: Do you have the guts to pull off something like that? Many don’t and wouldn’t want to under any circumstances. After all, there is that “privacy” thing. And, like your virginity, once lost, it’s gone forever. Maybe “integrity” would be a better example; there’s no upside to losing that. But 50 years of revealing bits and pieces of personal and political philosophy to broadcast and print media audiences around the country neutralized the occasional self-doubt.

But I digress…

The other eye saw something totally unexpected: the response from men who read the story. My presumption was more women would get into the plot faster and easier than most guys I know. And they did. But one by one, men of all ages wrote to me about their “Lauren” experience. Granted, none had gone as far my “Watercolor Memories”, but the emotional results were remarkably the same. Being from Mars, as John Gray says, we men are not inclined to casually chat about such things; the John Wayne gene is still strong in most of us not identifying as Snowflakes.

Man or Woman, if you haven’t read the book, take a peek here on Amazon and here on the Facebook page

Spoiler Alert: you may hook yourself into actually reading the whole thing! Then maybe you will share your thoughts with the rest of us…!

If you're still searching for that perfect stocking stuffer for those Baby Boomers on your list who "experienced" the '60s, you can't get much better than this little sugar plum that will dance in their heads way beyond Christmas. "For the youngsters" (Ed Sullivan!), the history of what their parents or grandparents went through couldn't be made more entertaining. At 107 pages, the interest of even the least attentive among them will be riveted - I promise.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Media Handbook: Public Apology Words and Phrases Required for Sexual Harassers:

Please forward to appropriate parties:

“I”…”sorry”… “so sorry”…”truly sorry”…”cherished friends”…”me”…”surrounded by loved ones”…. “getting help”…”I”…”me”…”repair the damage”…”restore the trust”…”disappointed in me”…”hard look at myself” … ”ashamed” … embarrassed” … “need to listen to women”…”any number is too many”…”warm person”…”committed to regaining your trust”…”don’t recall”…”mischaracterized”…”I”… “me”...”not resigning” (politicians only).

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Early Holiday Spirits!

Sent over from my other day job at Libertas Media Project, here is a Special Pre-Holiday "Judging Freedom" episode featuring renowned winemaker, Richard Arrowood of Amapola Creek Vineyards and Founder and former namesake for Arrowood Wines, Sonoma Valley. I've known Richard since my days on KSFO/San Franciso. He's a great guy along with being one of the wine world's foremost authorities.

Richard gives us a local's perspective on the disastrous Napa/Sonoma fires, then shifts to some Q&A about wine pairings with holiday foods, and other fun stuff. It's a great 20-minute yap-fest with a super-star of wine!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the swamp

As one alternate juror put it, "I felt like a little kid that finds out there is no Santa Claus." This was the remark of one citizen who observed testimony and other evidence arising from the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident, in which an innocent woman and her 14-year-old son were ambushed and gunned down by federal agents over what was, at worst, a minor infraction that could easily have been remedied without violence.

Then, in the following year, the Waco incident proved, once again, that there is no government Santa Claus. Seventy-six men, women, and children were killed in a fire started by the improper use of tear gas by federal agents after four of the agents were killed trying to gain forced entry to the building housing the targeted cult members. Yet the cult leader could easily have been arrested in prior days, when he had voluntarily visited the federal office to which he had been summoned.

Years later, I am finding the same childlike reaction expressed by the juror in myself with regard to the massive and pervasive corruption in Washington, D.C. that is slowly being revealed in the Uranium One scandal, and in the Mueller probe aimed at destroying the presidency of Donald Trump. There is no Santa Claus, no honesty in government.

What was demonstrated by the Ruby Ridge and Waco events is that government is like fire: necessary in its place and dangerous when it breaches its containment.

Until recently, I had always been convinced that however corrupt the government is, at least there are honesty and integrity in the upper reaches of law enforcement. My faith had been tested, but not shattered, when what I considered to be a few rogue officers went berserk and slaughtered the aforementioned innocent Americans in an abuse of power.

Now I understand that the problem is vastly worse than my worst fears had ever led me to believe. We are faced not with a few renegade cops, but with ensconced corruption almost beyond imagining.

Pardon the reference to the NFL team owner who said that we "can't have the inmates running the prison," but in fact, we now have criminals running the government.

The Obama administration was, as far as I can see, a criminal enterprise. It was as if the Mafia had taken control of the nation. It took the good fortune of an unexpected election of a rogue candidate to the office of the presidency to expose just how deep is that cesspool of depravity in Washington.

That unexpectedness was key. Had Trump been far head in the polls for an entire year, had his election been widely predicted by the media, there would have been time enough for the inmates to destroy more of the evidence, to (so to speak) wipe their servers with a cloth, and to fabricate better lies. They confidently assumed that Clinton would win and that her presidency would continue to shield them, to continue filling the trough from which they slurped.

As it was, the light switch was thrown unexpectedly, and the cockroaches could not scurry fast enough to avoid being discovered. Thank you to those who ridiculed Trump's chances of winning.

The sad part is that even when caught red-handed, many of the guilty parties get away with their crimes. They know how the system works. They have connections. Their accomplices in the news media cover for them. And they have bribed a generation of indolents and illegals with your tax dollars to remain their dependents for life. Their fraudulent votes will continue to elect criminals to many seats in Congress and elsewhere. Holdovers and leftovers from the Obama years will continue to contaminate the innards of government.

The swamp-dwellers have spent their entire lives perfecting their skills. They spend 24/7 and 365 doing nothing but scheming and plotting, and doing it all with your money. They are experts at deceit and subversion.

In other words, it will take more than torches and pitchforks to unseat them from their thrones. It will take something that not even the most skilled of them can understand – principled and courageous citizens. We will win, but it will be painful and difficult, with many a setback along the way. We will be called upon to sacrifice. The Tree of Liberty demands it.