The Rod Martin Report – January 7, 2017
It’s Over: Trump’s Election Certified
What We Know About “Russian Hacking”
The Post-Brexit Boom, and a Possible Frexit
The UN, Israel and a “One State Solution”
Big Court Moves
Schumer, Kelly and Schadenfreude
The Opportunity Before Us
Friday afternoon, in accordance with the process required by the Constitution and despite ongoing efforts to delegitimize the election, the new Congress counted the Electoral College’s votes and certified Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.
Now Republicans can get to work keeping their many promises (we shall see). And Democrats can get back to less hypocritical ways of defeating them (yeah, right).
Yes, it’s a great start to this new year.
Welcome to 2017, the year when the left may finally meet its match, at the very least in disdain for convention and willingness to do what is required to win.
For Republicans, that’s likely to be a most extreme form of culture shock.
The President-Elect received his much-vaunted briefing on “Russian hacking” today, in which he learned exactly what we already knew: that Russia (and absolutely everyone else, from America to China to the teenager next door) is constantly trying to hack everything, and that we need ever-improving security against that.
The Lame Duck in Chief simultaneously released a report claiming Putin preferred Trump over Clinton and sought to influence the election through propaganda. That report is “shockingly” short on specifics.
But this much is certain: “denigrating” Clinton (as the report says, in appropriately ominous tones) is a far cry from “hacking the election.” And Secretary Clinton, President Clinton and President Obama have been “denigrating” Russia and Vladimir Putin for decades. It isn’t hard to understand why the Russians might “denigrate” them back, especially in the face of another decade of Democrat saber-rattling and contempt.
But then, Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, so that makes it all okay.
Sadly, I was not present for Trump’s intelligence briefing, at which one can presume FBI Director James Comey, DNI James Clapper, NSA Director Mike Rogers and DCI John Brennan also had to explain why they just spent the last month allowing themselves to be used to delegitimize the incoming Administration. But here’s the rest of what we know:
1. So far, not one shred of evidence has been released publicly supporting the contention that Russia “hacked the election,” whatever that means.
2. The Department of Homeland Security did allege that distinctively Russian hacker tools had been used against the DNC, only to be caught lying by a major cybersecurity company, which revealed that the “sophisticated tools” in question were actually old, freely available malware posted online by a private Ukrainian hacker group.
3. Julian Assange – not my favorite guy, but so far 100% accurate in his WikiLeaks publications – swears his sources were neither Russian nor “state actors” of any sort.
He’s also made perfectly clear in the past that his source was probably murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich (a name the Enemedia has pointedly forgotten).
4. Barack Obama’s appointees at the Department of Homeland Security floated a trial balloon in August proposing to centralize all U.S. elections under their control, supposedly due to hacking fears (because after all, a giant Chicago Democrat-led, SEIU-staffed bureaucracy could never be corrupted, much less hacked).
5. The Obama Administration proceeded to do absolutely nothing about this supposed threat to democracy – which was supposedly aimed at its favored candidate – nor even mention it again until after Thanksgiving when the “Trump won because of fake news” meme flopped.
6. When it did get around to remembering “oh yeah, hacking!”, it did so through an anonymous leak to the over-the-top-Democrat Washington Post. This dominated the news in the run-up to the Electoral College vote. The House Intelligence Committee, seeking more verification than an — illegal — anonymous leak, demanded a briefing. The CIA — illegally — refused!
7. On Wednesday, “anonymous U.S. intelligence officials” admitted that WikiLeaks had not received its information from Russia.
8. Oh, and just for good measure, Obama’s people spent a good bit of last week whipping up hysteria about Russia “hacking the power grid”. This was a blatant lie. But it gets worse. Because when the Administration was forced to admit this whole story was false, it did so with an Energy Department press release late on New Year’s Eve, when no one but political junkies like me would ever notice.
By the way, if anything is surprising – at all – about the supposed hacking of our vital infrastructure, it’s that anyone in Obama’s government took notice. Between 2010 and 2014 alone, DoE alone was successfully hacked 159 times. Did you hear about any of those? Probably not.
You can tell how serious Barack Obama was about cybersecurity prior to December 2016. If there’s no propaganda value in it, it is of no concern to him whatsoever. And as with Obama’s recent assertion that there have been no foreign terror attacks on U.S. soil while he’s been President, those hacks just “never happened.”
So at this point, just to be clear: you do understand that Barack Obama is using the full power of the United States government to delegitimize, and if possible destabilize, the incoming United States government. Right?
Bear in mind, as Donald Trump was just reminded, no one in government, not even Barack Obama, claims that Russia tampered with the vote count.(Though Democrats have succeeded in getting 52% of their party to believe exactly that, which was less than they wanted but precisely the point.)
So even if all of these Democrats (and John McCain and Lindsey Graham, but I repeat myself) are correct about the Russians, say, hacking the DNC, that leaves us with this mind-numbingly obvious question:
Why shouldn’t Putin get a medal for exposing the DNC’s rigging of its own primary, theft of debate questions, anti-Catholic bigotry, collusion with top “journalists”, and mishandling of classified information? (Not to mention John Podesta’s “Spirit Cooking“: yuck.)
Knowing this stuff seems like something average voters might care about. Don’t you think?
Oh, and in that “spirit”, here’s a list of some of the most awful Podesta emails. And note well: the Democrats say the Russians released these emails. Even they aren’t pretending these emails aren’t real.
Obama and company say this is all about stopping “foreign intervention in a free election,” which they tell us is “a threat to democracy,” much as Hillary said challenging an election result was:
This was too much even for some on the left. The L.A. Times published a piece last week reminding us that the United States has “intervened” in foreign elections 81 times since 1946. The Times left out Obama’s own campaigning against Benjamin Netanyahu, against David Cameron, and of course against Brexit.
That last one is especially amusing this week. The Times of London reports that post-Brexit Britain ended 2016 with the world’s best economy. That, of course, is 180 degrees from the predictions of all the elites, from Paul Krugman to the Bank of England, and even surpasses the greatest hopes of Nigel Farage and even myself.
But then, those same elites told us electing Trump would produce not just a market collapse, but a permanent one.
On Friday the Dow hit 19,999.63.
One almost senses a pervasive agenda amongst our fact-checkers and elites, one which affects their prognostications and objectivity, no?
You can get ready for their next round of apocalyptic predictions. The frontrunner in the French Presidential election, Francois Fillon, is a Thatcherite conservative. And his leading opponent, Marine Le Pen, just called for Frexit.
In other foreign policy news, John Kerry’s ludicrous Israel speech was quickly rebuffed, not just by the Israelis, but by the Palestinians, who openly scoffed at it. PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that Kerry had not proposed anything new, and refused even to consider recognition of Israel’s mere right to exist.
On top of that, a majority of Palestinian Arabs rejected Kerry’s “solution” as well.
So much for the Israelis being the obstacle to peace.
The bigger problem, of course, is that Kerry’s boss just killed the Two-State Solution, which has been the basis of the so-called Peace Process since 1967. Even a growing number of Palestinian Arabs are wondering whether a One-State Solution might make more sense.
The answer is yes, but not for the reasons they think. As Caroline Glick has demonstrated, the UN has allowed the PA to overstate their census numbers for a generation. Officially, a One State Solution would result in a nearly 50-50 Jewish-Arab split, destroying the character of the Jewish State. But as Glick shows, the real numbers are about 67-33, in Israel’s favor.
Yet again, an “established, settled truth” turns out to be a lie, and an extremely consequential one.
Hats off to the new U.S. House, which voted overwhelmingly this week to repudiate Obama’s UN resolution.
But there’s oh so much more stench in the cesspool at Turtle Bay. Just one example, these duly-elected 2017 members of the UN Human Rights Council: Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and the United Arab Emirates.
Seriously? Why not just have a “human rights” council composed of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot?
Your tax dollars pay for this.
By the way, the December jobs report showed 95,102,000 Americans no longer in the labor force, up almost 20% since Barack Obama took office. Across the entire United States, December jobs rose by a mere 156,000, which is barely more than Donald Trump has managed since the election.
Here’s your RMR Irony of the Week: Barack Obama is building a wall. Around his new house.
No word yet on why the ex-President needs security while you don’t, but that’s only because the question is racist.
Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuckie Schumer now says he wishes the Dems had thought better of triggering the nuclear option. Which is pretty funny considering we all told the Dems that someday there’d be this thing called an election, and well, you know.
The problem for Schumer is that he’s promising he’ll block any Trump Supreme Court nominee, which is now, well, almost impossible. And was completely possible before he and Dirty Harry Reid got greedy.
And it’s actually even better than that. Trump will be able to appoint at least 103 federal judges immediately upon taking office, twice Barack Obama’s 2009 total. He may even be able to flip the heretofore permanently leftist 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
With that pesky 60-vote rule out of the way, the only people he has to win over are Republicans. Thanks Dems!
But before you get all sympathetic for Chuckie, watch him here on CNN, exhibiting the high degree of bipartisanship he demanded of Republicans these last eight years:
Here’s the money quote: “The only way we’re going to work with Trump is if he moves completely in our direction and abandons his Republican colleagues.”
Republicans have a history of giving away the store in the pursuit of a false bipartisanship. This is enough blatant, honest hypocrisy to snap even them out of their Stockholm Syndrome. So for pouring fuel on the Trumpian fire, Chuck Schumer is our RMR Hero of the Week (Sarcastic Edition).
As long as we’re enjoying yet another round of schadenfreude, Megyn Kelly departs Fox News this week. She’s headed to NBC where she belongs, to be replaced by the even-better-than-we-thought-he-was Tucker Carlson.
I have no great axe to grind against Kelly. She was good more often than she wasn’t, and if she doesn’t lurch left she’ll do at least as much good for America’s most left-wing fake-news-prone network as Joe Scarborough.
But – speaking as a Ted Cruz bundler – once Donald Trump got in Kelly’s head, the supposedly unflappable anchor never recovered, never again managed objectivity.
It was sad. And now it’s over. At least on channels I actually watch.
Speaking of NBC, a study out today shows that ABC, CBS and NBC (in all its forms) haven’t used the term “lame duck” as to Barack Obama even once. Ever.
But that’s okay. Benjamin Netanyahu has. So has the Russian Foreign Ministry:
I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.
And speaking of courts, this week the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that, at least for the purposes of the state’s wrongful death statute, unborn children are human beings entitled to the protections of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
For this, and with utmost and truest rejoicing, the Alabama judges are our RMR Heroes of the Week (Serious Edition). Their ruling sets up a potential Supreme Court fight which will likely be decided by Trump’s replacement for Antonin Scalia – whom we continue to hope will be Ted Cruz – and by Anthony Kennedy, who seems likely enough to rule for the law at least in this context.
But should the 80-year-old Kennedy, or the health-challenged 83-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsberg, suddenly cease to be factors, a second Trump appointee might become the basis for a new Supreme Court majority not only overturning Roe, but actually applying the protections of the 14th Amendment to the unborn broadly. This would represent a federal Constitutional right to life, overnight, without the fifty state-by-state battles the pro-life movement has always assumed were their best-case hope.
Whether the Alabama ruling sets up this battle, or whether Kennedy and Ginsburg might hang on another 20 years, remains to be seen. But hope is in the air. And either way, House Speaker Paul Ryan just made clear that Planned Parenthood is getting defunded. And that’s cause for plenty of rejoicing all by itself.
t’s not just the infant-body-parts-traffickers who are about to get the axe. Under growing pressure from conservative leaders, Mitch McConnell set a Senate vote on repealing Obamacare for next week.
One form of that pressure was an Open Letter released last week. It’s worth a look if only to see the signers, among whom are numerous Trump Transition Team members – including Ken Blackwell, who is heading up the domestic transition – innocuously identified by their “day job” titles.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen without Donald Trump’s blessing.
Finally (and speaking of the Transition Team), one of Donald Trump’s most encouraging picks early on was my friend Peter Thiel, who has been especially active in seeking to reform the FDA drug approval process.
Far too many people die each year, and far too many innovative drugs never make it to market, for entirely arbitrary legal reasons. And if that’s not bad enough, the current regime stifles the very venture capital that could change that, creating the modern pharmaceutical oligopoly Democrats claim to hate. Everything that makes Silicon Valley such a wonder is turned on its head in health. And you and your loved ones pay the price.
But biotech is just one example of this. There are others. Too many others. Which is one of the other reasons I was so encouraged by Peter’s involvement.
You may have heard of Elon Musk and SpaceX. Elon was, for a time, CEO of PayPal, back when we were a startup, as was Peter. Elon is revolutionizing access to space. That’s every bit as important as Columbus revolutionizing access to the New World.
Elon says he means to get to Mars in the next decade, and to settle a million people there by late mid-century. Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and others are racing him.
Perhaps that all sounds like hyperbole to you. But consider this.
The plausibility of Musk’s statement lies not merely in his track record, but in his success creating and landing reusable rockets. Imagine what an airline ticket would cost if you had to build a new 737 every time you flew.
Currently, an Atlas V launch costs about $150 million. Elon’s Falcon 9 can do the same thing for $70 million (amazing what innovation and entrepreneurship can do outside the space-industrial complex).
But if Elon is able to see his new invention through, he’ll be able to reduce the cost of a launch to just $700,000. At the scale shown in the video above, it’s dramatically less even than that.
Elon has a tiny fraction of the government’s, Boeing’s and Lockheed Martin’s resources. They’ve all been at it for decades longer. So one has to wonder: why didn’t they figure out how to land a rocket in, say, about 1980?
Likely answer: government was paying a “single payer” price, and of course no one was complaining. For 60 years, NASA has been Medicare Meets Space. And just as with socialized medicine, you lost. Back of the envelope math suggests that the difference in price would have added up to a savings equivalent to the cost of another Apollo program.
And that’s just launching the satellites and space probes of the past several decades. That’s not Mars ships or colonies. But it might well be the difference between what we’ve had and what we don’t.
Let’s put that another way. By stifling innovation, your government robbed you of about $108 billion. We could have gone to Mars on that. We could have bought 1,100 F-35 fighter jets for that. Or 40 nuclear submarines. Or 28 World Trade Centers. Or the entire annual budget of the American Heart Association for 141 years.
But the real issue isn’t the lost money: it’s the lost opportunity. People crossed the Great Plains in Conestoga wagons. But they called that most fertile of lands “the Great American Desert” because with then-existing technology it was largely unusable.
It took the transcontinental railroad to settle what became America’s breadbasket, to feed the growing cities, to tap the vast mineral wealth of a continent, to unite our nation from sea to shining sea. From a handful of settlements hugging the East Coast, cheap rail and steamboat transport spawned an era of opportunity and technological advance like nothing the world had ever seen, forging the greatest power on Earth and vaulting humankind’s standard of living from the outhouse to the iPhone.
And it all happened in about the same time we’ve squandered since Sputnik.
This is one of oh so many reasons the 2016 election was important. It’s easy to get lost in the immediate issues that were and are at stake. But it was also about the lost opportunities socialism has and would have stolen from us, opportunities we’d have never seen that we might miss them, from dramatically greater lifespans to the incalculable benefits of a multiplanetary civilization and a billion unimaginable things in between.
We owed and owe our children, and the whole world, better. Let us endeavor to make the most of that opportunity which we have been given in this glorious new 2017, and in all the years remaining to us so long as we have breath.
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