Someone should tell Maxine Waters.

I have been waiting for years to hear something intelligent or even intelligible come from the lips of Maxine Waters. But this year she is all about impeachment. “We’re fiddling while Rome is burning,” insists Rep. Waters. Another Democrat (quelle surprise), Rep. Al Green from Texas, concurs. “The mantra should be ITN — impeach Trump now,” says he.

The liberal activist group MoveOn.org insists that the president “must be impeached immediately.” J.B. Pritzker, a Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois, said, “We simply do not have the luxury of time to wait for months or years.”

[Sources: Don’t Rush to Impeachment, by Steve Chapman; The US Constitution; So, let’s say Trump gets impeached. Then what? By Fred Hiatt]

Their colleagues should advise them to read the Constitution and study American history. Impeachment is an enumerated power of Congress. The requirements for impeachment are strict and difficult to prove. The President must commit “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Only two presidents have been impeached. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached in the House (think of “articles of impeachment” by the House as the equivalent of an ‘”indictment”). However, neither of these presidents was “convicted” in the Senate. The impeachment process only requires a majority in the House of Representatives. However, conviction in the Senate requires a 2/3 rd majority (67 votes). Richard Nixon resigned before he was impeached (although it is a near certainty he would have been and likely convicted in the Senate, as well). To date, no U.S. President has been removed from office by impeachment and conviction (241 years and counting as of July 4, 2017).

As for MoveOn.org’s desire for the president to be “impeached immediately,” the process itself is daunting. More than two years passed after the Watergate break-in before the House Judiciary Committee voted against Nixon – that’s just the Committee that would bring the vote to the floor of the House. The special prosecutor’s investigation of Clinton began in January 1994, and the Monica Lewinsky affair came to light in January 1998, and it was December 1998 before the House approved articles of impeachment.

Let’s hypothesize that Maxine’s fairy godmother waves her wand and grants her wish. The Constitution lays out the precise Order of Succession of the President. (After posting this it was correctly pointed out that the Order of Succession in the Constitution only extends to the Vice President. Further succession is mandated by statute – thank, Dave) It is as follows:

  • Vice President – currently Mike Pence
  • Speaker of the House – currently Paul Ryan
  • President pro tempore of the Senate – currently Orin Hatch
  • Secretary of State – currently Rex Tillerson
  • Secretary of the Treasury – currently Steve Mnuchin
  • Secretary of Defense – currently James Mattis
  • Attorney General – currently Jeff Sessions
  • (For the remainder of the list please see the footnote 1.)

So, Maxine, pretty much everything Trump wants to do would continue under President Pence (or Ryan). As well, President Trump will not disappear. It is even well within the realm of possibility that he could run for president again in 2020 – and make lots of noise along the way (footnote 2).

Fred Hiatt is a Washington Post editorial writer and he HATES TRUMP! Even he says the following: “Trump opponents are kidding themselves if they think that sacking him will restore comity and peace to the nation... Dream on. Here’s a likelier scenario: Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago to regroup, not retreat. Early in the morning, he tweets: “Join me on Day One of our campaign to reverse the most corrupt theft in political history and reclaim the White House in 2020.” His supporters vow to reverse the coup d’etat… Trump was legitimately elected by Americans who knew they were voting for an inexperienced, bombastic… businessman.

Wow! I finally agree with a Fred Hiatt statement. One of the reasons I voted for Trump is that he hadn’t been wallowing in the swamp with the rest of the Washington elites. HE’S NOT A POLITICIAN – THANK GOD!

Roy Filly

Footnote 1:

  • Secretary of the Interior
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Secretary of Commerce
  • Secretary of Labor
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Secretary of Transportation
  • Secretary of Energy
  • Secretary of Education
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Secretary of Homeland Security

Footnote 2: (Brad Chapman)

Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution has the clause…

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Meaning, if an impeached President were to be convicted, one of the two penalties (generally one that would require a separate vote after the conviction passed, which automatically invokes the first penalty, removal from office) that is possible is “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office…”. If the Senate voted to disqualify an impeached and convicted President from future office, he/she could never serve the office again. If they didn’t vote for such disqualification, and the President was still otherwise eligible for the job (had only been elected one term and not served more than two years of another President’s term), he/she could run again and, if elected again, become President again.

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Apparently, the “media” hates Trump.

Is anyone surprised to learn that there is now documentation that the “media” has taken a remarkably negative attitude toward President Trump. Who documented it, ask you? Was it some right-wing blogger walking in lockstep with Mr. Trump? Surprisingly, answer I, it was none other than Harvard University. One can hardly accuse Harvard University of being a “right-wing” institution.

[Sources: News coverage of Donald trump’s first 100 days, by Thomas E. Patterson]

This paper examines Trump’s first 100 days in office, not through the lens of what he said about the news media, but what they reported about him (footnote).

While most presidents feel they are unfairly treated by news media, Mr. Trump is correct when he says he has been targeted more than any president in recent history. According to the Harvard study Trump’s first 100 days were a landmark. The graph below is actually hard to believe! The news was “all Trump, all the time.” If one adds in Trump’s administration officials nearly 3/4th of the news was about Trump.

Well, say you, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Wow! Is that ever wrong in the case of our new President. Mr. Trump has stated that no recent president has had the negative coverage he has had. It turns out he is correct by a wide margin. Obama – the WORST president in the history of the Republic – got only half as much negative coverage from the fawning press.

And it never let up even for a minute! In the best week the President had the imbalance was 70/30! In his very first week in office – how much could he have done “wrong” – the negative/positive imbalance was 72% to 28%!

I have written several times that I can no longer even look at the Washington Post or the New York Times. But the Washington Post, while writing negative stories or opinions 83% of the time, was a 5th place finisher! CNN and NBC reported negatively about the President 93% of the time!

Further, it appears that no matter what our President did it was WRONG! Is that even possible? Despite the fact that Obamacare is going down in flames, even the coverage of health care reform was 87% NEGATIVE! 

Of course, when it comes to opining on Mr. Trump’s fitness for office, Pravda on the Potomac (i.e., the Washington Post) rarely said a kind word (96% negative opinions).

The left-wing media is scaring me as an American citizen.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

[From the Patterson article] The research is based on news coverage in the print editions of three U.S. daily papers (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post), the main newscasts of four U.S. television networks (CBS Evening News, CNN’s The Situation Room, Fox’s Special Report, and NBC Nightly News), and three European news outlets (Financial Times, based in London; BBC, Britain’s public service broadcaster; and ARD, Germany’s oldest public service broadcaster). The president’s role as a global leader, and Trump’s pledge to redefine that role, prompted the inclusion of European news in the study.[7]

The newspaper analysis covers all sections except sports, obituaries, and letters to the editor. Op-eds and editorials are included, but letters from the public are not. For television, the analysis covers the full daily content of each network’s major newscast. Network talk shows are not included. Except where individual news outlets are identified, the U.S. percentages presented in this paper are the combined averages for the seven U.S. news outlets whereas the European percentages are the combined averages for the three European news outlets.

The data for our studies are provided by Media Tenor, a firm that specializes in collecting and coding news content. Media Tenor’s coding of print and television news stories is conducted by trained full-time employees who visually evaluate the content. Coding of individual actors (in this case, Trump) is done on a comprehensive basis, capturing all mentions of more than five lines (print) or five seconds (TV) of coverage. For each report, coders identify the source(s), topic(s), and tone. Tone is judged from the perspective of the actor. Negative stories include stories where the actor is criticized directly.

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Understanding the investigations.

I am so confused about all of the current investigations going on in Washington. Thank God, Andrew Klavan’s elucidates and clarifies the muddle. Enjoy.

And thanks to MG for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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The party of lawyers.

A few items are appropriate to begin. First some of my readers noted my silence of the last week and thought the Grim Reaper had visited me. Alas, for the Democrat party, I am still hale and hearty. The University migrated its email server “to the cloud” and to say it has been a disaster would be an understatement. What a mess and it isn’t solved yet.

Second, this has been a week where I wanted to throw up my hands in despair and considered ending The Rugged Individualist. Donald Trump is no mainstream politician. It’s one of the reasons he was elected. However, he is becoming his own worst enemy – and that is saying something for a man who has more political enemies in Washington and the media than any elected official in living memory.

But it occurred to me as I listened to this week’s news that Democrats differed from Mr. Trump in a very significant way. Mr. Trump in not a lawyer. I wish to state that I have nothing against lawyers. As a person who works in the arena of medical litigation as an expert witness I have given upwards of 80 depositions and have given trial testimony approximately 30-40 times. The lawyers with whom I have worked are all of very high caliber. But, when they speak they have been trained to choose their words with precision. Mr. Trump has not.

Indeed, the Democrat Party has become a party of lawyers. They like to cast themselves as the party of working people, or of struggling middle-class families, or of aggrieved and downtrodden Americans of every stripe (“stripes” they promulgate though their penchant for “identity politics”). However, with the nomination of Hillary Clinton and Tom Kaine, all eight available spots on the last four national tickets have gone to working attorneys. (Oops! Hillary was not a “working attorney.” Her Arkansas license was suspended in 2002 for failing to complete her continuing legal education requirements. Bill Clinton also was not a “working attorney.” He was disbarred!)

[Sources: The Lawyer’s Party, by Bruce Walker and Lawyers and their rule-loving views dominate the Democratic Party, by Michael Medved]

The Democratic Party has become the Lawyers’ Party. Reaching all the way back to 1980, 14 of 18 Democratic nominations for president and vice president went to members of the bar. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are lawyers.  Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama are lawyers. Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school. (Al Gore did not complete his studies at Vanderbilt Law School before capturing the congressional seat once held by his lawyer father.) Indeed, every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school. 

This means that only one Democratic nominee for president or vice president (the peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter) never attended law school, nor enjoyed deep familial connections to the legal profession. 

Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office forty years ago.

The Republican Party is different. President Bush and Vice President Cheney were businessmen, as were Mitt Romney and Donald Trump. McCain was a Naval officer. Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan and Mike Pence – none are lawyers. The leaders of the Republican Revolution were not lawyers. Newt Gingrich was a history professor; Tom Delay was an exterminator; and Dick Armey was an economist.
Also, when it comes to financially supporting candidates, lawyers flock to the Democrat Party.
Democrats mock and scorn Americans who create wealth or provide goods and services that people want. I guess that is because they make their money suing these people.
Roy Filly
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Just for fun. Military wisdom: Part I.

We need to rebuild our military. These men and women face some tough odds. Over the years they have developed some “strategies” and some “advice” for those who follow them. One must admire the pragmatism of those whose lives are on the line. Enjoy these tidbits.

Roy Filly

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Odds and ends.

One can barely hear oneself think amid the din that erupted following President Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey. Democrats (including Hillary) have been claiming for months that he cost Clinton the election and should have been fired. Now, however, they consider him to be a martyr to the constitution and his termination to be “a constitutional crisis.”

But other important things are happening and in two weeks Washington will move on to the next “scandal” and continue to fail to do what it is they are paid (and/or elected) to do.

Fake news of the day:

Fake news abounds. For example a report was widely promulgated that, “Days before he was fired, James Comey, former FBI director, asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in resources for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.” The DOJ responded saying “None of this happened. The entire story is a fabrication.” The New York Times editors actually had the temerity to ask whether, “the presidency was effectively stolen by a hostile foreign power.”

Obamacare on the brink:

The real “non-fake” news from yesterday was that Aetna, America’s 4th largest healthcare insurance provider, pulled out of Obamacare. You can bet no Democrat wanted to talk about that. The insurance giant sustained $700 million in losses in a mere two years and estimates it will lose $200 million in  2017. Before Obamacare’s insurance provisions were enforced, there were 395 insurers selling plans in the individual markets. By 2017, 45 percent had dropped out. Add to this fact – 6.5 million Americans would rather pay the Obamacare penalties than buy insurance through its failed exchanges.

The UN is a USA taxpayer money pit.

The USA pays 28.5% of the costs of UN Peacekeepers. This is more than 185 other U.N. member states combined and more than all of the other permanent members of the Security Council combined. Even Bill Clinton agreed the US was being screwed by the UN when it came to paying for peacekeepers – and this is a man who understands the concept!

Further, UN peacekeepers have had their “problems” shall we kindly say. The “peacekeeping mission” to Somalia is a great example. Not only is Somalia “not at peace” it is difficult to call it a country with a straight face. Then, who can forget Rwanda. The UN had an “Assistance Mission” for Rwanda in 1994, which knew about the impending genocide, but its peacekeepers to stop the murderous rampage of the Hutus who killed almost a million members of the Tutsi minority.

UN peacekeepers were accused of paying women and young girls they were supposed to be protecting for sex, and sometimes raping them (Democratic Republic of Congo in 2005). Similar allegations were reported in Cambodia, Bosnia and Haiti.

We are working for “safe zones” in Syria. Good luck with that if UN Peacekeepers are in charge. More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men were murdered at the hands of Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995  – that town was a UN Peacekeeping “safe zone.”

And we get to pay for all this nonsense. Big government is bad government. It’s axiomatic.

Roy Filly

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The Death Tax.

As I have said many times before, the Democrat Party has never met a tax it didn’t like. Why is that, ask you? Because, answer I, “all taxes lead to ‘fairness’” in their opinion (and a stronger grasp on power, but they never mention that aspect).

President Trump wants to eliminate the “death tax.” Is he “unfair?” So let’s look at the Death Tax and “fairness.”

Currently, the United States has the fourth highest estate or inheritance tax rate in the OECD at 40 percent—nearly three times the OECD simple average of 15 percent. Despite its high tax rate, the U.S. estate tax accounts for less than 1 percent of total federal revenue.

Of course, Hillary’s plan during her campaign was to further increase the death tax. I have opined previously on the tenets of communism as the backbone of modern “progressivism.” Well, guess where the notion of the “death tax” originated? Very good – its origin came from the Communist Manifesto.

The Death Tax is the second, third, or fourth tax on earnings. It is sometimes hard to believe that the Democrats have forgotten that a “3 cent tax on tea” helped to foment the American Revolution. For instance, corporations pay tax on their income. When they distribute some of their earnings to their shareholders as dividends, those dividends are taxed again. In this example the citizen has already been twice taxed. However, when he or she dies, (recall that all taxes on their accumulated wealth have already been extracted) the government wants yet another bite of the apple.

The “death tax” has been modified so many times, it’s a joke (footnote).

Here are other reasons this tax is ineffectual and unfair and should be eliminated:

President Trump is not only correct in his desire to end this tax, he is FAIR MINDED.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

In the Revenue Act of September 8, 1916, as the United States was on the brink of entering World War I, Congress enacted the current estate tax, imposed at rates of 1 percent to 10 percent on taxable estates over $50,000.

In the Act of March 3, 1917, the rates were generally increased by half, to levels of 1½ percent to 15 percent.

In its version of the Revenue Act of 1926, when the gross rates ranged from 1 percent to 20 percent, the House of Representatives raised the state death tax credit to 80 percent of the basic tax, while the Senate version would have repealed the estate tax.

1. Taxation of appreciation at death or at the time of gifts (carryover basis enacted in 1976, repealed in 1980, and enacted again in 2001, effective only for 2010).

2. Unification of the gift and estate taxes. a. Same rates (1976). b. Same base – tax-inclusive (1976, for gifts within three years of death). c. Single exemption (1976 – until 2004). d. Abolition of the “gifts in contemplation of death” rule (1976).

3. Unlimited marital deduction, including income interests (1981).

4. Repeal of the exclusion of interests in qualified retirement plans (1984).

5. More explicit rules governing disclaimers (1976).

6. An “orphan exclusion” equal to the amount of the gift tax annual exclusion multiplied by the number of years by which the orphan is under 21 (roughly in 1976 – repealed in 1981).

7. Tightening of the deduction rules for transfers to charity (1969)

I think you get the point. I could list many more “revisions.”

 

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Graphs and charts to ponder.

Nothing new here. Let’s move on.

The graph shows the world population distribution in 1950. The surprise isn’t Asia, but Europe. Their population was more than the Americas combined! And nearly more than the Americas and Africa combined.

Well, I doubt they polled American doctors, but I was surprised to find the USA that far down the list.

FYI, dropping the “death tax” will have very little effect on federal tax revenue.

It appears that the charge by the Democrat Party that “big business doesn’t pay their ‘fair share'” is bogus.

I was surprised that Germany was only 15%.

Roy Filly

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Politics in cartoon form.

If only the Senate will cooperate.

And hopefully the giant “screw-job” will find its rightful place in the trash bin of history.

Roy Filly

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And they call us “Deplorables” racists.

Hillary tossed me into the “basket of deplorables” along with 63,000,000 other Americans who voted for Donald Trump (well, in fairness to her statement, she stated that only half of us, 31,500,000 Americans, were “deplorable”). You know, we “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it,” Americans. Today let’s talk about “liberals” and racism.

Liberals admire the socialist concepts of Karl Marx. They probably have never read a translation of Das Capital (footnote), or even seen the actual book. They have probably also never seen the pamphlet he co-authored with Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” But they are believers. Why is that, ask you. Because, answer I, their leaders have read it and believe in it. Liberalism, Socialism and Marxism can be uttered in the same breath and with the same meaning.

[Source: The ugly racism of Karl Marx, by Walter E. Williams]

Although “May Day” started in the USA, it is more strongly associated with communism – “workers of the world, unite!” I can recall the evening news coverage of the May Day parades in Red Square. In the US we see leftist radicals and unionists worshipping the ideals of communism on May Day.

Most liberals who voted for Hillary and agreed that I am a “racist” because I voted for Trump, fail to realize that their socialist hero was a flaming racist.

[From the Williams article] For those who see Marx as their hero, there are a few historical tidbits they might find interesting. Nathaniel Weyl, himself a former communist, dug them up for his 1979 book, “Karl Marx: Racist.”

For example, Marx didn’t think much of Mexicans. When the United States annexed California after the Mexican War, Marx sarcastically asked, “Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?”

Engels shared Marx’s contempt for Mexicans, explaining: “In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States.”

I guess building a wall to make our border secure is small potatoes when compared to the rantings of Marx and Engels. Additionally, black Americans may be interested in Marx’s attitudes toward them.

[From the Williams article] In a letter to Engels (referring to a political candidate running against him who was Jewish) Marx wrote: “It is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes who had joined Moses’ exodus from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother on the paternal side had not interbred with a n—–. (Yep! He used the “N” word – RF.) Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro substance must produce a peculiar product.”

Engels shared Marx’s racial philosophy… (Engels wrote of a different candidate), “Being in his quality as a n—–, (Yep! He used the “N” word, too – RF.) a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.(As the candidate was running in a French election, I guess he didn’t think much of the French either – RF.)

Jewish Americans voted 71% for Hillary and 25% for Trump. I wonder how many of the 71% realize that Marx was also a flaming anti-Semite.

[From the Williams article] As seen in his essay titled “On the Jewish Question,” which was published in 1844. Marx asked: What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.

And let us not forget that communists MURDERED more than 100 million people who didn’t agree with their notions (they were mostly Christian Caucasians and Mongoloids). So the philosophy spawned by Marx and Engels saw fit to either hate or murder just about every race and religion. These were NOT NICE GUYS! The Democrat Party should try “virtue-signaling” those realities.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

In 1867, Marx wrote the first volume of “Das Kapital.” The second and third volumes were published posthumously, edited by Engels.

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