Alternative reality

By John Rowerdink

President Joe Biden’s August 31 speech on the Afghanistan withdrawal was ripe with statements requiring further examination.

  1. He says it’s an amazing success but does that comport with what you’ve seen?
  2. Then, in the next breath, he says there was no way to end this in some semblance of an honorable, organized way. It can’t be both an amazing success and an unavoidable mess. Which one have you seen unfold over the last couple of weeks?  Who are you going to believe — Biden or your lying eyes?
  3. He continues to confuse the decision and support for ending the war with the disgusting way he did it. 
  4. He continues to blame President Trump for this mess. Here are two questions about that:
    • With all we know about President Trump, do you think he would let himself be viewed as weak by the rest of the world?
    • Biden reversed all kinds of other decisions Trump made but he left this one in place. So where does that buck stop?
  5. If you see the list of military equipment we left behind, it will make you sick.
  6. How could the president, our diplomats and our military brass be so wrong about the Afghan army’s ability to hold the country for a few years? Did we not work with these people for 20 years?
  7. He said we would get every single American out before we left. Did we do that? No.
  8. We said we would protect the thousands of Afghans who worked with us and get them out if they wanted. Did we do that? No.
  9. We got about 123,000 people out. 5,000 of them were Americans who wanted to leave; 6,000 of them were our troops; and by all accounts, not many of them were the 60,000 Afghans who helped us during the war (give him 12,000 of them). Who were the other 100,000 that we got out and how were they selected? How good was our rushed vetting process? Did we just take whoever the Taliban decided to allow into the airport?  What’s the chance that some of them are terrorists?
  10. We gave the Taliban a list of the Afghans who helped us during the war. What do you suppose they’ll do with that list now that we’re gone?
  11. He says we will still get these people out. Yeah, right.
  12. He talks about our support for women and girls. Go back to Afghanistan in a few months and ask women and girls how they’re doing under the Taliban.
  13. In the days ahead, watch how many of our dollars the Biden administration is going to give the Taliban. So we fight them for 20 years, we then quit and leave them billions of dollars of our military equipment while we plead for them to help us. Then after we’re gone, we send them more taxpayer dollars. How disgusting is that? Is that what he calls an amazing success?
  14. His military advisors wanted him to leave 2,500 troops there to assist the Afghan army, which they had been doing for many months with no loss of American life. The bipartisan Afghanistan Study Group in Congress recommended that we leave troops there. Military testimony to their 2020 report warned that a withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 U.S. service members from Afghanistan would result in “catastrophic consequences for the security and stability of Afghanistan, including the potential resurgence of terrorist organizations that could threaten the U.S. homeland”.
  15. Our NATO allies wanted us to stay and continue to support this NATO mission.
  16. We have 28,000 troops in South Korea more than 60 years after the Korean War, successfully keeping the peace. We have 320,000 troops in Europe more than 70 years after the end of World War II. Was it really so hard to keep 2,500 in Afghanistan? 
  17. But no, Biden wanted zero and this screwed up mess is what we ended up with. 
  18. The President of the United States is living in an alternative reality

Trump 2.0

By Steve Woodward

What I learned at the North Carolina Republican Party Convention in Greenville:

Ernie’s Sub Shop (since 1980) is legitimate, and the best alternative to the NC GOP’s offerings, which left delegates craving airline food.

The ballroom of the Greenville Hilton is a cramped and stifling venue in which conducting a convention is not advisable. It surely was designed by a radical Lefty because it divides people and limits their ability to be heard.

President Donald Trump is reflective but not defeated six months after his inexplicable “loss”, and no longer opposes Joe Bidden as a “sleepy” adversary but as an enemy of our nation’s core values.

His Saturday night (June 5) address to dehydrated convention delegates and donors was, in many ways, vintage Trump. Our “45″ chided the media (which was assembled en masse), China (and its clear role in unleashing the Wuhan virus), and the Biden administration’s already collapsing economy and stature around the world.

What Trump did not do to any significant degree is belabor Biden’s obvious physical and mental limitations, other than mentioning Biden’s talent at falling “up” the stairs to the door of Air Force One. He pointed to the debacle caused by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s deceit, which fueled Wuhan virus hysteria. He acknowledged that he made a huge “bet” when directing the federal government to underwrite the launch of Operation Warp Speed, which ultimately delivered on his promise of virus vaccines in record time by sidestepping normal Food and Drug Administration testing. 

Those like me who were at the White House ellipse on January 6, shivering in bitter cold, and in the Greenville Convention Center on June 5 shivering under blasting air conditioning, could not have escaped the conclusion that Trump has bounced back from the November election outcome more so than many of us. 

That is reason enough to enter the road to 2022 and beyond rejuvenated and determined. The man who remains the heart and soul of the Republican Party is counting on that. (Not to mention the inspiration we can draw from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who spoke with the eloquence of a leader and the common sense of a rancher during her June 5 convention luncheon appearance).

As demonstrated in Greenville, even if Trump never again runs for elected office, the sheer force of his personality will assist state parties in raising millions of dollars to support Republican campaigns. NC GOP chairman Michael Whatley informed delegates that Trump’s presence guaranteed that last Saturday’s fundraiser would reap the largest collection in party history. By four times, in fact.

In the unlikely event that Trump decides not to run for President in 2024, he will have positioned the Republican Party’s conservatives to rise up in defiance of the Socialist tsunami sweeping upon our shores. As our culture crumbles, constitutional rights slip away, religious freedoms evaporate, inflation soars and economic growth stagnates, we must look to the Trump example. We stand firm. We don’t back down. We elect candidates who execute on their promises from day one. We make America great again. Again.

The Mueller effect

By Steve Woodward

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russian operatives and the Trump 2016 campaign finally produced a report after two years. The investigation determined no such collusion went on at any time, which was obvious with or without Mueller’s conclusion.

Collusion was a false narrative ginned up by Democrats and their media accomplices to ensure that Donald Trump’s presidency would be cast under a cloud of illegitimacy from day one. For those who loathe Trump, it was readily embraced, as was every other baseless allegation about Trump’s past and present.

In the aftermath, Democrats and Never-Trumper Republicans magnified Mueller’s refusal to “exonerate” Trump of obstruction during the marathon investigation. But obstruction was an element Mueller introduced with presumably deliberate intentions.

Charlotte attorney Stowe Rose, writing for North State Journal, observes that Mueller might not have brought down a sitting president, as anticipated by the corrupt media, but nonetheless achieved more far reaching goals, belying his previous stature as a man associated foremost with integrity. Rose insightfully paints a picture of a sinister Bob Mueller.

“Mueller (in his press conference) added that ‘… our Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrong-doing’,” Rose writes.  “Mueller thus tacitly provided the Democrats with the pretext to pursue further investigations and even impeachment proceedings, and the encouragement to do so.”

This was certainly Mueller’s intention from the moment he was appointed. He deliberately spent $40 million of taxpayers’ dollars to protract the drama and try to turn public opinion against the Trump White House. His scheme was hiding in plain sight, Rose concludes.

Not only has Mueller imposed a judicial standard straight out of Stalinist Russia, but he has exceeded his authority under the Special Counsel regulations.  These regulations do not authorize the Special Counsel to make recommendations that Congress consider or pursue further investigatory hearings or impeachment proceedings.

Rose’s assessment of Mueller’s fleeting chapter in American history is chilling and, no doubt, on the mark. The Democrats and the Washington establishment might some day regret the new “normal” they created when it is, inevitably, turned on them.

“What has taken place over the past three years is arguably the most egregious and damaging case of government corruption ever in the history of the United States,” writes Rose. “Unless those persons behind this scheme are held to account for their actions, this type of corruption will become an accepted aspect of our government and our electoral system, just as it characterizes unstable, corrupt regimes elsewhere in the world.”

Trump is accused of dividing our great country. What shall be said of those who seek to destroy it?

 

 

 

 

Send in the clowns

… Where are the clowns. Send in the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here.” – Stephen Sondheim, 1973

By Steve Woodward

It is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to avoid opinion columnists who are so wrong on so many topics. Their renderings ramble on and on, littered with unsubstantiated statistics and unsourced assertions. I’m encountering these diatribes despite never, ever reading op-ed pages in The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Who needs those formerly credible publications when one can find the same extremes of anti-Republican, anti-Trump, pro-left vitriol in The Pilot? The April 28 edition showcased Robert Levy observing that illegal immigrants pouring across the southern border are the reason for the nation’s robust economy; William Shaw praising North Carolina teachers, who are not union members, for planning a union-style, May 1 March on Raleigh that will force school closures; and Don Tortorice lamenting Donald Trump’s strategy to rein in China’s intellectual property theft by imposing tariffs on its U.S. exports to trigger, for once, negotiations.

Levy’s tirade veered way off the rails in several passages, but this is the laugh-out-loud portion that is pure fantasy: “(Illegal immigrants in the workplace keep) employment numbers artificially high and unemployment, especially for blacks and Hispanics, artificially low.” Using this premise, we are supposed to believe that Democrats, who deliberately do nothing to stop illegal immigration, are nonetheless willing to let Trump get all of the credit for historically low unemployment and wage growth. Who does Levy think he is the kidding? Democrats would rather their voters (citizens, ex-cons and aliens) receive an entitlement than a job, every time.

Shaw cheers teachers who will abandon their responsibilities to swarm downtown Raleigh on May 1 during a demonstration coordinated by the National Education Association’s state affiliate (the NEA doggedly maintains presence in states without teachers’ unions). Teacher pay in North Carolina has risen steadily five consecutive years but “while progress is being made, teachers should not expect greater largesse from the General Assembly if they silence their voices.” What about the voices of parents who wonder why teacher pay always must go up regardless of student performance in the classroom? What about kids who can’t read in middle school?

In an April 29 column for RealClearEducation.com, Terry Stoops of the The John Locke Foundation observes that despite endless calls for higher teacher pay “results from state achievement tests administered last year show that only 56 percent of elementary and middle school students were proficient in math, and just 57 percent were proficient in reading.”

Why do teachers refuse to demonstrate to students that pay rises on the tide of merit, not entitlement? The students should be the ones in the streets.

Tortorice’s column is written like a textbook lecture, perhaps to be expected of a former professor at the Law School of the College of William and Mary. It is full of eye-glazing statistics and purports that tariffs are never paid by the country on which they are imposed. But Tortorice misses the essential point of the Trump-era tariffs on China. This so-called trade war is moving the two countries toward a long-term trade agreement with a goal of eliminating tariffs in both directions over time. Talks, potentially the final round, are ongoing as we speak. The imbalanced global trade system has been entrenched for too long and would never be challenged without a period of economic pain.

The columnist insists American taxpayers are paying for tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, yet the U.S. economy is growing every quarter (per a 3.2% GDP uptick in Q1), consumer confidence moved higher in a recent survey and inflation fears are off the table. Americans with a long view would rather reach an agreement that deters China from stealing intellectual property and gradually reduces tariffs.

This trio of diversions from reality pale in comparison to the unhinged column by ex-Reagan speechwriter and decades long pundit Peggy Noonan in the April 27-28 weekend editions of The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the innumerable ways in which the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have rewarded American citizens for their votes in 2016, Noonan is incensed that Trump has failed because he did not seek to pacify members of the Washington establishment (she calls them “the old ambassadors) who were willing to give him a chance. If, that is, he came around. Which Trump did not, thankfully.

“One by one,” she writes, “the ambassadors shut down and turned away. … They feared Madness of King George-ism. They’d come to think the president was, irredeemably, a screwball.”

The Swamp guards the status quo at any cost, but Trump is the one who is dangerous? The ambassadors, when they were younger, were equally skeptical of the fitness for the presidency of Noonan’s old boss, Ronald Reagan. Even when Americans cheered a booming 1980s economy long overdue, the ambassadors scowled and ordered another martini.

Now, here we are 30 years later. Noonan wrote beautiful words which once complimented the warm delivery of President Reagan. But her recent column was delivered like a manifesto written from a cabin in the woods after the meds ran out.

“There is an unarticulated wish out there to return to some past in which things were deeply imperfect and certainly divided but on some level tranquil, and not half mad,” wrote Noonan, who we assume uses “out there” and the Upper East Side of New York interchangeably, and chose not to name the deeply imperfect Barack Obama.

She reveals herself as just another horrified, well-heeled bystander peering over her bifocals, who longs for the return of a ruling elite in Washington and is incapable of understanding that this is just the opposite of what ordinary Americans between the coasts desire and will vote again to avoid in 2020 and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Tiger

By Steve Woodward

Joining millions of television viewers as golf legend Tiger Woods defied insurmountable odds to win his fifth Masters green jacket, 14 years after claiming his fourth, was intensely nostalgic.

I love the game of golf. Yet Tiger’s Masters resurgence had nothing to do with golf. Close your eyes. It’s 2005. Tiger was invincible. America was great, the indispensable nation. Our kids were still kids. Our backs were not stiff and sore. The media was, mostly, committed to journalistic integrity. Saddam Hussein was defeated in Iraq. The U.S. economy had roared back from the dot-com bubble. 9/11 still united us as a nation. George W. Bush had begun his second term as our 43rd President.

Tiger 2019
Tiger Woods wins fifth Masters.

Less than two decades ago, when Tiger Woods was the undisputed No. 1 golfer in the world, we took so much for granted that today, in 2019, is up for grabs, in jeopardy of demise.

Marriage was defined, as through the ages, as a union between a man and a woman. Gay marriage was not legally recognized.

The U.S.-Mexico border was secure.

A male was a male; a female a female. He, she. Men’s and women’s rooms.

No one faced a penalty for refusing to purchase medical insurance they either did not need or could not afford.

Speakers invited to university campuses rarely were uninvited due to the threat of violence posed by other student groups; and those who fulfilled their engagements rarely required security or feared for their well being.

There were no openly anti-semitic or progressive socialists serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected federal servants were duty bound to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Barack Obama was a junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, working on a book in his spare time. Hillary Clinton was a junior Senator from Arkansas representing New York.

Tattoo shops were not very busy. Men wore suits and ties to work. Comedians were funny, entertaining.

I closed my eyes on Masters Sunday. Those harmonious Augusta National birds were chirping as if outside my window. Crowds roared as Tiger moved into a lead he would not relinquish. If only for a moment, it was 2005.