A Note From Rod
Can He Win?
Assange Fingers Hillary
“Founders of ISIS”
Shredding the First Amendment
495 Years Since Cortez
For a variety of business, political and family reasons, I haven’t written as the newsletter as often as usual these past couple months. I hope you don’t mind too much. I always promise we won’t flood your inbox, after all.
If you want more regular updates, you can always go straight to the source at RodMartin.org. But you should also follow me on Facebook (my personal wall is here) and Twitter. Those are where you can get the up-to-the-minute stuff.
A lot of people — even longtime Trumpsters — seemed convinced over the past two weeks that the Trump Train has finally derailed.
I don’t disagree that The Donald spent much of July blowing political capital at a staggering rate. The self-inflicted wounds are countless. At times it’s kind of shocking to watch.
Except that it isn’t. There’s a reason amateurs don’t run for President. You learn some things about message discipline in twenty years in politics that can’t easily be learned any other way. You also learn what you just better never say.
Voters rejected the career politicians, and for good reason. But they forgot the utility of those men’s expertise.
Donald Trump has successfully manipulated the New York media for decades. What he’s never done – aside from run for President – is face a unified media that wants to utterly destroy him. Has he even heard of media bias? Maybe. But he’s new to our side, and he certainly hasn’t internalized our (abysmal) expectations of the MSM. We’ve lived this abusive relationship. He’s just discovering it.
As I said repeatedly during the primaries, Trump got away with a lot simply because the media found it funny to watch him trash the rest of our team. But now he’s threatening the most important things in their world. They’re not going to help him do it, and he’s suddenly a fish out of water.
So that’s my glass-half-empty case. Let’s proceed to half-full.
The most important part of half-full is that this is…wait for it…August. Early August, in fact. Had Republicans held their convention when we normally do (early September), we would now be into October and Trump’s chances would be near zero. But in fact, he has most of a month before Labor Day, which is to say, when the non-nerd population starts tuning in.
Let’s put that another way. The Republican Convention ended on a Thursday. The media spent that entire week calling it “dark”, trashing whatever they could, pumping Hillary. Immediately after, they began promoting the Democrat Convention, which began (from a television perspective) on Monday.
So there was never a chance for a meaningful Trump bounce, while Hillary got hers in spades. Even so, it never bounced that high: she topped out at about 10 points up (and even there, the polling in question is pretty questionable).
I said at the time that this would all wash out. And it has. Rasmussen has it a three point race as of Thursday. And yesterday morning’s L.A. Times poll had it statistically tied at 44-43.
If the man could manage some message discipline, he might well be up by 10. He might yet.
So can he?
It’s easy to caricature Donald Trump. But the man is brilliant. Maybe not about policy, maybe not about the mechanics of politics, certainly not about message discipline. But you don’t build a multi-billion dollar empire, a top rated multi-season TV show and enough star power to wipe out the best Republican field in modern times without having a bit of gray matter.
So consider the last few weeks. Should Trump have pushed back at the Khans? No, but they are indeed bad folks, Gold Star Parents or not: the reason to leave them alone is political, not factual. Should Trump have cracked wise about “Second Amendment people”? No, but everyone honest knew he was joking – Dennis Miller would have done it all day – and he’d have gotten away with it during the primary.
Does Donald Trump grasp that something has dramatically changed in his coverage post-convention? Of course. Obsessed with polls, he can see the cause-and-effect when he acts out. The first week or two he could dismiss it. He can’t now.
I could be very wrong, but I do believe Paul Manafort, Kellyanne Conway, et al. are capable of getting Trump on a TelePrompTer, as he was in his outstanding economic policy speech this week.
And note well: the more hits he’s taken, and the more he’s moved in that direction, the more the race has tightened. The Donald can probably process that sort of feedback too.
So can Trump still win this? I think the question is silly. As all of us over the age of 3 have seen, a week in politics is an eternity. And Hillary becomes a riper target by the day.
The week began with Julian Assange fingering the Hildebeast for the murder of 27 year old DNC data analyst Seth Rich. Assange strongly implied that Rich was Wikileaks’ source for the leak of 20,000 DNC emails that took down Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and exposed the DNC’s plotting against Bernie Sanders.
The media, of course, had hysterically spun the hack as Russian, and worked the story for days that Vladimir Putin was trying to elect Donald Trump. Likewise, police reported Rich’s murder as “a robbery gone wrong,” though in fact, the “robbers” left Rich with his money, his credit cards and his phone.
Here’s the video:
Not shockingly, the Assange interview changed the coverage a bit.
Rich died on July 10. On June 22nd, disgraced UN official John Ashe was found dead. Ashe was due in court the following Monday for tax fraud. The UN initially reported he died of a heart attack, but local police later said his throat was crushed by a barbell. Ashe was a key figure in Chinagate, and his testimony was expected to be embarrassing to, and possibly incriminating of, the Clintons.
Fifteen days after Rich’s murder, on July 25th, Joe Montano, a former DNC political director, died of a sudden heart attack, despite no history of heart problems.
One week later, on August 1st, Victor Thorn died of a gunshot wound near his home. The death was ruled a suicide, but Thorn had just concluded a huge book deal and seemed on top of the world. His bestsellers included Crowning Clinton: Why Hillary Shouldn’t Be in the White House, which has been described as “a serious prosecution of Hillary Clinton’s criminal activity,” and Political Insider reports that Thorn had recently begun a new investigation in that vein.
Thorn had appeared numerous times on “The Russell Scott Show” and had actually said on-air, “Russell, if I’m ever found dead, it was murder. I would never kill myself.”
The very next day, August 2nd, Shawn Lucas was found dead in his bathroom. Here’s video of Lucas one month earlier, serving the DNC with a class action suit alleging rigging of the Democratic nomination process against Bernie Sanders (video below).
Okay, I know this sounds conspiracist. And I offer no opinion as to what actually happened here.
But doesn’t this seem a bit like the end of a Godfather movie to you?
Regardless, the real point is the Julian Assange just ensured the question will be taken seriously: who would know better than he what really happened? There’s no question that at least the Seth Rich murder should be investigated. And given the Sanders angle, there are plenty of lefties suddenly asking questions they would normally dismiss out of hand.
The growing list of scandals is clearly beginning to rattle the Clintons. A week ago, Hillary was out telling the bald-faced lie that FBI Director Comey had vindicated her truthfulness. That went over like a lead balloon, and helped reinforce the “Corrupt Hillary” meme (I mean, seriously?). So this morning, Bill went on the attack, accusing Comey directly of “serving up a load of bull.”
Explain to me how this can possibly help Hillary Clinton? Indeed, explain to me how this is not precisely the sort of message indiscipline the entire media was dog piling The Donald for all through July? Focusing on Comey puts his scathing report back in the news, when over 60% believe she should have been indicted and 67% believe she isn’t trustworthy.
So yesterday, Rand Paul added to the bonfire, by telling the Fox News audience that Wikileaks emails also tie Hillary directly to illegal arms sales to ISIS (routed through Benghazi!). Paul even called for Clinton’s indictment and pointed out she could get five years. The video is here:
Then, just for good measure, it was announced yesterday that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is investigating the Clinton Foundation.
I told you from the beginning. These two candidates have the highest negatives of any nominees in history. The victor will be the one who can drive the other’s higher. Trump was right to pick “Crooked Hillary” has her nickname. And the drip drip drip of confirmation bias will take its toll more and more.
Trump did not directly address Hillary’s illegal arms sales to ISIS in his “Obama and Hillary founded ISIS” speeches. But the blowback from that gives him a lot of opportunities to do so. Again, if you haven’t seen it already,you should watch.
He is of course correct. ISIS would not exist if Obama and Hillary hadn’t flubbed the Status of Forces Agreement at the time of the Iraq withdrawal, or done all they could to help the wrong team in Syria. Now, Assange claims he can prove Hillary funneled them weapons.
Needless to say, the usual RINO panties are in a wad: Trump is clearly deranged, they tell us. But do you remember how Mitt Romney completely wimped out against Obama in the last two debates? Remember how Bob Dole spent the whole 1996 campaign referring to “My good friend President Clinton”?
Whatever you might say about Donald Trump, you never have to worry about him doing that. The man fights. And lying down hasn’t worked that well for us.
The MSM-#NeverTrump axis spent a good bit of today claiming Trump tried to walk back his statement. But that’s hooey. Here’s what he said:
Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) “the founder” of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2016
This is not a flip-flop, any more than John Kerry joking about assassinating George W. Bush was a serious death threat. Trump merely pointed out that his statement — which was obviously not literal —wasn’t literal. And this is the trap the left tries to spring on all Republicans again and again: twisting our words into things they don’t mean or taking them hyper-literally to make them appear absurd.
It’s the same game they play when they tell us that (for example) the Bible uses the phrase “four corners of the Earth” in a particularly poetic passage, which they tell us “proves” that the Bible posits a flat Earth. That’s moronic nonsense, but it’s great propaganda, which is to say, an obvious lie.
Trump doesn’t put up with it. Again, the man fights. And you don’t have to love him to love that.
Meanwhile, speaking of Hillary and Syria, Syrians are forcing Christians to hide their Bibles and hold worship services in secret amid Muslim death threats.
But they’re not in Syria. They’re in Germany, home of the Reformation.
Two million Muslims have been “resettled” in the U.S. since 9/11. There weren’t even one million in all of history before 9/11.
Can someone explain why anyone would want to do this?
The religious angle might be a clue.
You’ve probably never heard of the unelected Iowa Civil Rights Commission. But just before last month’s Republican National Convention, it announced that Iowa pastors may not preach any sermon in any service “open to the public” which might cause any transgendered person to feel “unwelcome.”
“Unwelcome.” That’s the standard.
Yes, the left is finally starting to ban preaching. In America. That’s what’s at stake this fall.
To illustrate, let’s apply the Democrats’ standard to other things. Imagine if the Federal Election Commission were to rule that no Republican convention could allow speakers who might cause any Democrat to feel “unwelcome.” Or any Black Lives Matter protestor could hold a rally that might cause any police officer to feel “unwelcome.”
The difference? Neither Democrats nor Republicans would ever do the latter;the former is more or less what Iowa Democrats just did.
Nor is it just churches that are under this assault. Several Democrat state attorneys general are currently threatening companies including ExxonMobil with “fraud” prosecutions for insufficiently promoting the left’s views on climate change. One must not merely tow the party line: you must actually love Big Brother. The new Democrat platform demands these witch hunts be carried out at the national level, against any target the left chooses to shake down (and for any cause it adopts).
Eight months ago, New York enacted a city ordinance imposing a $250,000 fine for each use of any pronoun a transgendered person finds offensive. A biological male wants to be called “she” (or “zhe” or “hir”; and yes, those are among the scores of new pronouns you better get right)? That’s $250,000 per “mistake” (or refusal to say what you’re told, which we quaintly used to call “freedom”). You could easily run up a multi-million dollar tab in a single conversation.
This new law – not proposal, not platform plank, law – does apply to pastors and churches. But it applies to everyone else too. Politics is unavoidable: you either participate or you are ruled by your enemies.
And there are real enemies. The Democrats are systematically seeking to criminalize any opinion with which they disagree. This is, in a word, totalitarianism.
If I sound a bit more sanguine about Donald Trump than some, this is why. It is one thing to look at Trump and fear a fascist (although these five scholars of the history and practice of fascism, leftwing Trump opponents all, tell us he isn’t one). I was for the other guy, remember? I can list The Donald’s flaws all day.
But in the face of the organized crime state Dinesh D’Souza so brilliantly warns us about in Hillary’s America; in the face of the shredding of the First Amendment and the criminalizing of Christianity; in the face of her Supreme Court picks, and her flood of illegals (she’s promised instant total amnesty within her first 100 days, quite apart from the one million Syrians), and the consequent permanent demographic and political shifts, and the forcing of all of us into Medicare, and the abolition of even such nods to reality as the right to call schoolchildren “boys” and “girls”…
…Isn’t it perhaps time to consider that we’re in a war, and that whatever it takes to beat her might be worth it?
Yeah, the cure might be worse than the disease. But that’s speculation. That’s fear. She’s real. And all our worst predictions are coming to a head, now, here.
That’s not very glass-half-full, I know.
But it could be.
If you haven’t seen Dinesh’s movie, go. Here’s the trailer. Most important thing you’ll see this year. And take friends.
By the way, this Saturday is the 495th anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlan (today’s Mexico City) to Cortez.
The Spanish get a bad rap for this. Yes, in many ways they acted in a way one might describe as “medieval.” But this is probably because…wait for it…they were a medieval culture at the end of the Middle Ages. Perspective matters.
More to the point, the Spanish had just spent 700 years – yes, seven entire centuries, or three times as long as there’s been a United States – fighting to reconquer their own homeland from Muslim occupiers, the Moors. It was Ferdinand and Isabella who completed this mighty task, and mere weeks later, they sent Christopher Columbus to the New World.
The scope of the Spanish endeavor – their wish to bring the benefits of their Christian civilization to the world – is still breathtaking. On Columbus’s second voyage, he brought 1,100 men to found a colony on the north coast of Hispaniola. Imagine Apollo 12 taking 1,100 colonists to the Moon in November 1969. It’s just staggering.
And indeed, from Sonoma to Santiago, from Pensacola to the Pampas, wherever the Spaniards went they built cathedrals and cities to rival those of Europe, nearly a century before my ancestors built a handful of wooden homes at Jamestown.
Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t trade. But respect should be paid.
Dr. Jack Wheeler tells the story of Cortez in Mexico in a perfectly wonderful historical novel,The Jade Steps. It’s an engaging read, but you’ll also learn a lot, not least the politically incorrect truth that Cortez and his men did not overwhelm the poor natives with “unfair” futuristic technology, but rather led an uprising of the Mexican peoples against their Aztec oppressors, an invading minority far more evil than the Moors whom the preceding generation of Spaniards had defeated.
It’s a fantastic story. It’s a blow for the truth. And buying and reading it is a great way to thank teh great Jack Wheeler — architect of the Reagan Doctrine and “Indiana Jones of the Right” — for his years of scholarship and striving to enlighten us all.
You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it. Do your friends a favor and pass it along; and remember, there’s a lot more we publish each week that doesn’t make the newsletter.
by Rod D. Martin
It’s finally happening. Democrats are actually banning — not talking about banning, not blogging about banning, banning — preaching with which they disagree.
by Marian L. Tupy
So Democratic Socialism is “the way of the future”? One should hope not. In five key charts, we look at how once-rising Venezuela — floating on a sea of oil — has been trashed by Socialism and surpassed by comparatively poor Chile, whose contrarian experiment with free markets has made it the first country south of our border ever to become a First World country.
If you care about envy, you’re a Socialist. If you care about the poor, you’re a Capitalist.
by Edward Ellegood
It was an eventful week in space development, from a new contract for a crewed SpaceX mission to plans for humans to Mars by 2033. Read all the latest in our newest feature, “Space News Roundup”, at RodMartin.org.
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Rod has said from the very beginning of the Saudi attempt to bankrupt America’s frackers that fracking was (and is) perhaps the greatest tech story of the decade, that American technology and innovation would prevail, and that OPEC (and Russia) would not only lose but would be left in ugly desperate straits.
Few believed this. Rod was right. Again.
by Matt Ridley
As Professor Calestous Juma points out in his wonderful new book, Innovation and Its Enemies, innovation is the engine of human progress and of the eradication of poverty. It is the physical means by which we push back the Curse, and it requires a certain moral understanding just to exist.
by Jack Kelly
Today is the 495th anniversary of Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs, the bloodiest most evil people to ever walk this Earth. Jack Kelly does a masterful job retelling this endlessly-misrepresented story, something everyone should learn and understand.
You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it.
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