The Rod Martin Report – September 9, 2017
The North Dakota Speech and “Energy Dominance”
The DACA Decision: Why It Matters, What’s Next
What Do “Dreamers” Dream?
Trump Smacks Ryan and McConnell
Why The North Korean H-Bomb May Force a War
Schadenfreude Section: The “Resistance”, Russia, Dumb Celebs & Hillary
Coming off Hurricane Harvey, we are now staring down Hurricane Irma (especially those of us here in Florida). It genuinely appears to be a monster storm, so please pray for all those in its path. It has already done a great deal of harm in the Caribbean and the worst is likely yet to come.
There are many ways you can help, but my personal favorite is Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, which annually mobilizes more volunteers for such service than any other organization in America except the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
You can give or volunteer by clicking here.
Largely overshadowed in a week dominated by DACA, North Korea and the debt ceiling deal was the President’s speech in North Dakota. But you need to take note. When even the Trump-skeptic Wall Street Journal says “Maybe The Obama Era Really Is Ending”, you know the winds really are changing.
Proudly standing before an oil refinery in Mandan, flanked by billionaire fracking innovator Harold Hamm, Trump never mentioned his predecessor, but he did outline plans to end Obama’s restrictions on U.S. oil production, approve pipelines, and achieve “energy dominance” (not the mere “independence” of yesteryear, which politicians never meant anyway).
Indeed, “dominance” is the right word. This year’s surge in U.S. oil exports – from a legally-mandated zero for the past four decades to as much as 1.1 million barrels per day now – is creating painful disruption for Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran and Russia, at just about the worst time imaginable for all of them.
That’s a happy catastrophe fueled by two things Democrats have long fought: lifting needless legal restrictions on the oil industry, and the technological boom known as fracking, which has doubled U.S. oil production in an era that was supposed to see oil’s end.
Trump is doubling down on all of this. “Dominance” he says, which means more than you think. A barrel of oil exported from the U.S. is a barrel our opponents can’t sell. It’s a barrel our allies don’t have to buy from our enemies. And it’s money in our pockets that we used to export to Caracas and Riyadh.
This one policy initiative could eliminate 80% of America’s trade deficit, and upend the global order in our favor. But the President also focused his comments on what is truly the best tax reform plan of our lifetimes (five quick points on what makes it so great here).
Donald Trump does not think small.
The left’s response? Just as last week when all of the criticism of Trump’s disaster relief effort focused on the First Lady’s footware, this week, they expressed horror and disgust that the President’s daughter calls him “daddy”.
How dare she, after all. Doesn’t she know the Trumps aren’t allowed to have a normal family? (Here’s Colbert, and here’s the San Francisco Chronicle.)
Here’s the clip. Judge for yourself if it’s not one of the sweeter Presidential moments on record. And also whether these inane leftists didn’t have better things to cover this week.
One of those things was DACA.
Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order is a variation on the Rahm “never let a crisis go to waste” Emanuel’s theme: never miss a chance to exploit a tragedy. And from Katrina (“Bush is a racist who deliberately undermined the dikes to commit genocide against black people”) to Charleston (“All law-abiding citizens must be disarmed because Dylan Roof murdered people needlessly disarmed in a gun-free zone”), Democrats shamelessly exploit tragedy like cows eat grass.
That’s DACA in a nutshell. DACA is an amnesty program for the 800,000 or so children brought here by illegal alien parents. The argument is that sending them home would be “cruel” because they’ve never known any home but America.
It’s not that Democrats don’t have a point. It’s just that that isn’t their real point.
It also misses the point. The 800,000 children? They aren’t children. Indeed, estimates of their average age range between 26 and 32.
The left (and the Christian left in particular) harangues that Trump wants to punish the children for the sins of their fathers. But when you’ve been an adult for a decade, and you know you’re breaking the law, your sins are your own. Indeed, they’re a choice you make every single day.
Twenty-six is old enough to choose to stop living as a criminal.
They also aren’t entitled to anything. Tear-jerker arguments notwithstanding – and I am not unsympathetic to them – this point is glaring. The so-called “dreamers” have received what millions more dream of: years of their lives spent in America. They’ve received free educations, and lots of other free stuff too, but more than anything else, the opportunity just to be here.
Think of it as a twenty-year exchange student program. And believe me, plenty of foreign students would kill for it.
Or try that another way: If your parents sneaked you into Disney World without paying, would it be Disney’s fault when they booted you out? Or does Disney have a duty to give you a free ticket? In fact, does Disney have a duty to give you a free lifetime pass if you’ve been illegally in the park for the last 20 years?
But perhaps the most hypocritical aspect of all this is the fake patriotism, the outright jingoism of it. Leftists (and yes, that includes the Christian left) untiringly tell us that America is suffused with racism and oppression, a terror state, filled with people starving in the streets. But bring up immigration and suddenly they think that every place except America is such an unmitigated hell that it’s “cruel” to expect people to live there?
Maybe they should travel more. They do know that many Americans actually retire to Mexico and Central America (the countries where nearly all of the “dreamers” are citizens). Right?
Have they actually seen House Hunters International?
The mind just boggles.
And even then, that leaves unanswered the question of what the “dreamers” are dreaming of. But quite a few of them have told us:
Just in case you’d forgotten.
So what is the real point? In two parts.
DACA is blatantly unconstitutional, less executive order and more rule by decree. That’s a feature, not a bug. Frustrated by his inability to get the legislative branch to give him his way, the Obamanation decided, on this and many other things, to do what he wanted on his own. DACA is at best an enormously illegal and troubling power grab by the executive branch.
That usurpation has been characteristic of leftist governments throughout the world, and of Democrat Presidents here as well, from Wilson to FDR to Johnson and Clinton. And from shuttering Republican-owned GM dealerships (but not their Democrat counterparts), to using the IRS to shut down the President’s enemies, to illegally selectively implementing Obamacare, to imposing climate “rules” that he could not get through Congress, Barack Obama has exceeded all who’ve gone before him.
That ever-increasing authoritarian ratchet assumed – because the left universally assumed – Hillary would win. Though executive acts can easily be rescinded by the next President, Obama had no fear of this because he “knew” Hillary would uphold and expand it. And likewise, he “knew” she would replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, probably with a 40-year-old in a Che shirt. The Revolution was at hand.
And he would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids.
On Tuesday, despite his apparent support for the program itself, Donald Trump rescinded DACA, perhaps the first time in our lifetimes that a President actually strengthened the separation of powers.
Obama ruled as a tyrant. Donald Trump is governing as a President. And for that reason, Donald Trump is our RMR Hero of the Week.
But using the plight of children to unconstitutionally expand presidential power is just part it. DACA is also part of the left’s broader effort, actively pursued for a generation now, to flood the country with what can only be termed “undocumented Democrats”, illegal voters (made legal as soon as feasible) who can make up for Democrats’ otherwise declining numbers and make conservatives a permanent minority.
This is why the Gang of Eight deal tried to create a means to have every illegal alien voting within five years. “Demography is destiny” is not a slogan: it’s a strategy.
So what’s a President to do?
DACA is just one small part of that plan. The wall, and border enforcement generally, is vastly more important: it’s the difference between 800,000 mostly-Americans and something between 20 million and an unlimited deluge of foreign Democrat pawns, with more than a few gang members and terrorists thrown in, all voting as soon as the left can rig it. If Congress uses the six months the President has given them to pass a constitutionally-legitimate legislative version of DACA, they will have acted with reasonable compassion, at comparatively little cost to the body politic.
Lots of conservatives – particularly of the #NeverTrump sort – lost it over Trump’s giving Congress a chance to act (as if they don’t always have that chance regardless). And indeed, the President clearly signaled his willingness to sign an appropriate bill. It was almost as though he was begging them to act.
Still, what strikes me about the sentence above are the words “the President has given”. Because Donald Trump doesn’t give away anything. Presumably he has a bargain in mind, not just the sort of pre-surrender we’re used to from Ryan and McConnell.
So let’s examine that.
Inviting a bill legalizing the so-called “dreamers” provokes action: there will surely be a bill. Ryan will lead the charge personally. It may pass, or it may not. If it doesn’t, it’s not because Trump didn’t try, but he also upheld the Constitution. Trump wins.
On the other hand, what if it does pass? A lot will have gone into passage, including deals across the aisle. And there the fun begins.
The Republican Congress just punted on border wall funding, again. Trump’s excellent merit-based immigration plan was widely panned. Tax reform is coming up. So are a lot of nominations needing confirmation, still being held up to an unprecedented degree by brazen Democrats and by Republican leaders who won’t crack the whip.
Normal Republicans can’t conceive of bargaining for those things. On Sunday, before Trump’s announcement, I watched a former Romney aide make the case on Fox that Trump should keep DACA, and Congress should pass their own version of it, and no one should attach border wall funding to the bill because “that would be too controversial.”
These people are too pathetic to live.
By adding the six-month delay, Trump has given Congress a chance to act, but he holds all the cards: whatever Congress does, it won’t do it with a veto-proof majority. So they can either deal, or they can watch DACA disappear.
Either way Trump wins.
Oh, and by the way: post-DACA announcement, Trump’s approval rating ticked up to 46% for the first time in two months. Take that RINOs.
And if that’s not enough, then the President pulled the rug out from under RINOs by cutting a debt ceiling deal with the Democrats. And Paul Ryan was just gobsmacked.
Don’t misunderstand: there’s a case to be made for tying the debt ceiling to reforms. I’ve made it. I get it. That’s what we’d normally demand of our team.
But everyone in Washington knew the debt ceiling was getting raised. What’s more important is that, in the next two and a half months, a do-nothing Congress has to find time to actually appropriate funds for the government to operate, enact major tax reform legislation, possibly readdress healthcare, plus half a dozen other things.
And did I mention healthcare, you know, the ironclad promise Republicans fumbled? And the border wall funding they just punted, without bothering to consult the President (because, you know, they think they don’t need to)? Or Trump’s immigration reform bill, which they largely ignored?
Oh, and disaster relief. Which had to happen (and thanks to the President, did happen) yesterday. Or did you sleep through Katrina? (Apparently Paul Ryan did.)
So Trump sent a message to his uselessly unreliable partners, and just got things done. He sat down with Pelosi and Schumer, ignoring Ryan and McConnell as they’ve been ignoring him, and worked out a deal: hurricane funding now, a three month debt ceiling increase, done.
Trump took action for the country, in spite of his own party. To normal people, that’s a huge win. And the only thing it cost was the consternation of some Republican “leaders” who badly needed a wakeup call.
Is that really all it cost us? Yes. And aside from the short-term win, it gained us quite a lot.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said it outright on Fox Business yesterday: the President’s deal clears the way for tax reform, which will absorb most of the next three months. My skepticism about olive branches to the Dems abounds, but still: the deal also shows Pelosi and Schumer that Trump isn’t as intractable as they’ve been, that the right deal can be made. That’s a new tactical advantage for the master negotiator, especially as he draws them into his web on DACA.
Even so, that’s not the most important thing Trump won.
What Trump really achieved is a clear and overpowering warning to Ryan and McConnell: get your team together or get run over. Healthcare could have been done. It wasn’t, because Republicans couldn’t unite. That’s certainly a betrayal by John McCain and Lisa Murkowski. But it’s mostly a failure of leadership.
Once again, #NeverTrump-land declared betrayal and defeat. But they’re missing the point, even when they almost get it. Take the otherwise brilliant Ben Shapiro’s hysterical “Wednesday Was Trump’s First Day As A Democratic President” (which at least has the virtue of, possibly for the first time, admitting he’s been a Republican so far). Ben gives a list of seven reasons all of this is a nightmare, and then writes:
*All of which means that Ryan and McConnell are now on the hook: they’d better start passing conservative legislation themselves. They can’t rely on Trump for leadership or support. But if they don’t begin putting conservative legislation on his desk to sign, he’ll continue to hobnob with Schumer and Pelosi.”
Yeah Ben, they better start “passing conservative legislation themselves.” Because only Congress gets to pass legislation , Trump’s exact point in rescinding DACA. And while you’re waiting for The Donald to wave his magic wand and do Ryan and McConnell’s jobs for them, please name a single piece of conservative legislation the President hasn’t signed.
You can’t. So maybe these fake “leaders” should actually unite, do their jobs and send him some.
Point indelibly made.
Lou Dobbs’s take on all this was choice. Take the less than two minutes needed to watch:
In the middle of all this, North Korea claims (reasonably credibly) to have tested an actual H-Bomb.
This matters. There was a time when North Korea’s atomic weaponry was a bit of a joke. But an H-Bomb means a significant EMP capability. And orbited in one or just a few seemingly peaceful satellites, the NORKs could unleash a doomsday scenario on America with only a handful of bombs, no chance to shoot them down, and without any warning.
The Administration made its concern clear instantly. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that North Korea is “begging for war.” The President sent additional forces and armaments to the peninsula, and eliminated warhead limits on South Korean missiles. He also raised the possibility of cutting off trade with any country that trades with North Korea.
North Korea’s top trading partners? China, India, Russia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Pakistan.
It remains to be seen what happens next. After the President’s “fire and fury” speech, Kim backed down over Guam. But the situation has taken a decidedly ugly turn that the United States simply cannot ignore. And yes, war could be a real option.
Oh, and don’t forget: whatever we let North Korea have, Iran has it too.
And speaking of the “Resistance” we surely must mention the National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco, which this week announced “we are all Antifa”, and actually endorsed their violence.
Meanwhile, the evil Southern Poverty Law Center, the alleged “anti-hate” group about which we spoke so much last week and which condemns people like Dr. Dobson and the American Family Association as neo-Nazis, also addressed Antifa, apparently for the first time. SPLC President Richard Cohen said that while the violent radical group’s tactics are “wrongheaded”, he could not call them a hate group.
You know, like that scary Family Research Council, or the Conservative Republicans of Texas.
That was perhaps not their best moment. But then neither was this. The SPLC – which as we discussed last week is now helping determine Google’s search results – was caught stashing $69 million in offshore accounts. I bet Tim Cook was thrilled to hear that.
But they were not the only ones caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Last week we told you about the revelation that fired FBI Director James Comey had cleared Hillary Clinton before bothering to investigate her. This week we learned that Comey wasn’t the one who cleared her: Barack Obama was.
We’re still awaiting word of CNN’s breathless demands for obstruction of justice charges against the former President.
Speaking of, the Russia investigation is unraveling for the Democrats. First, the FBI revealed that there is “no sign of interference” by the Trump Administration. Then, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed key FBI and DOJ officials over the fake Russia dossier, now known to have been paid for by the Clinton campaign.
All of which seemed far less amusing than news that CNN has pulled its investigative team off the Trump-Russia story completely. It seems they were reporting too much #FakeNews.
Put a fork in this narrative. It’s done.
Last week I told you that the left sees Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as punishment for America’s sins against progressivism. This week Jennifer Lawrence doubled down on that, saying the hurricanes are nature’s wrath for electing Donald Trump.
Who knew weather worked that way?
Of course, Lawrence probably learned everything she knows about science from #FakeScientist Bill Nye. Nye was out in force this week blaming the hurricanes on “climate change.”
The problem? That’s 100% science-free. A veritable “war on science”, as it were.
How do I know this? Good of you to ask! Here’s an entire report, entitled “Global Warming and Hurricanes”, from NOAA, your government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, basically the national weathermen. The conclusion:
“In summary, neither our model projections for the 21st century nor our analyses of trends in Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm counts over the past 120+ yr support the notion that greenhouse gas-induced warming leads to large increases in either tropical storm or overall hurricane numbers in the Atlantic.”
That’s gotta hurt.
Of course Ms. Lawrence is far from the only dumb celebrity. NFL millionaires are protesting the national anthem again. Result? Double-digit drops in NFL ratings. Again.
Maybe they should have studied something besides PE in college. They might have learned not to kill the goose that lays their golden eggs.
And then of course there’s Hillary’s new book, What Happened, to be released this coming week. If you pay close attention, it’s a question that answers itself, right on the cover.
Not shockingly, the woman who saw no need to campaign in Wisconsin doesn’t see it that way. She makes one excuse after another, from #FakeNews (which did nothing but help her) to the fake Russia narrative (which a far better book — Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign — demonstrates was hatched by John Podesta and Robby Mook “within 24 hours” of her loss).
What Happened adds some new ones, most notably the idea that The Entitled One’s loss is Bernie Sanders’s fault. You know, because he didn’t step aside for her, or something.
Note well that this is the same Bernie Sanders against whom Hillary and the DNC conspired to steal the nomination, a theft uncovered by the DNC email leak (not hack) that resulted in the firing of the DNC Chair on opening day of the Democrat National Convention. That’s the same Debbie Wasserman Schultz, by the way, whose IT aide appears to have been a Pakistani spy, and whom she gave access to every classified secret known to the House Intelligence Committee.
Yeah, it’s Bernie’s fault.
No wonder even Hillary’s own surrogates are saying they wish “she’d just shut the f*ck up and go away.”
Speaking of Hillary’s thefts from Bernie, how about this: illegal voters appear to have tipped New Hampshire from Trump to Clinton.
No wonder Democrats are so desperate to shut down Trump’s voter fraud commission, even while claiming Hillary lost due to Russian fraud.
Think about that for a minute.
By the way, there were other theories about Hillary’s loss. Note who retweeted the one below.
Troll Level: Expert.
These items should troll Dems and RINOs alike:
Sheriff David Clarke got a new job this week, running a pro-Trump Super PAC. Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore is beating Luther Strange by double digits – 52-36 – for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama: that will make lots of Dem and RINO heads pop. And when a liberal Minnesota high school banned flags, this was the students’ reaction:
Yeah, all in all, a pretty good week.
That may seem contradictory, and in some ways it is. It is certainly a sign that things are getting better under the new Administration, in numerous tangible ways not least of them economic.
But there are bigger reasons.
No one wants division, and few are evil enough to want the political violence we’re increasingly seeing. But polarization is clarifying. It’s an opportunity for real debate and real decisions.
America lacked that for decades. The liberal consensus that formed following the 1929 Crash (which, just to be clear, took place under a Republican President — Herbert Hoover — who was every bit as far left on economics has his successor Franklin Roosevelt) lasted for much of the 20th Century. Core assumptions were not questioned for decades, except in odd corners such as William F. Buckley’s study. When Nixon said “we are all Keynesians now” he meant it, however unhappily.
Ronald Reagan’s election began to change that: suddenly the Presidency was in the hands of a true believer who also happened to be a gifted communicator. But he was the exception in a country and a party marinated in a different way of thinking. The left had used its decades of power well, to write the country’s laws and procedural rules, to take complete control of its courts, its schools, its media. No one politician, no matter how gifted, could overcome it all.
Historically, ideological and partisan shifts in America have come swiftly: the Revolution, the Civil War, the Depression. I have long said that we are in such a shift, but that it’s in slow motion. And it has been, since roughly Reagan. Slow motion gives time for a lot of back-and-forth, victories as well as defeats, heroes as well as traitors. We’ve seen all of those things.
But the internet’s disruption of the left’s monopoly on the commanding heights of our culture’s persuasive power has produced this moment. Americans are indeed divided. But they’re right to be optimistic. Political violence will be its own cure, as people on both sides recoil from it in revulsion. The left’s corruption — as well as the right’s — will be exposed in the light of the true debate division produces. Mike Huckabee has always said that light is the best disinfectant. As usual, he’s right.
This is a chaotic moment. It will become more so. My friend Neil Howe explained a large part of why in his brilliant The Fourth Turning (he has a new book coming soon, focused on the Crisis). The fight for the soul of America is far from over, but it will be concluded, and decisively, sooner than you think.
So pray for Florida. Keep up the fight. Keep the faith. We’re winning, folks. America is winning. Most of the fight is still ahead, but it is absolutely a fight we can continue to win.
I am confident we will.
You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it. The Rod Martin Report was the most accurate analysis of 2016. 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.
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