National Review “Never Trumpers” Hold a Summit

Almost exactly 14 months since the editors at conservative National Review published an entire issue dedicated to being “Against Trump,” the magazine held an “ideas summit” titled “Working on a Path Towards Conservatism.”

This doesn’t exactly represent suing for peace, particularly since panelist Peter Wehner, of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, evidently believes the nuclear attack codes should be put in a blind trust during the Trump administration. Yet it appeared that, at least on the Trump side, there were no hard feelings, since Kellyanne Conway, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and HHS Sec. Tom Price appeared at the two–day event.

That may change after the rest of Wehner’s remarks reach the Oval Office. He had no problem personally attacking Trump by recycling the Opposition Media’s false attack lines.

That’s something that struck me about the National Review crowd. During the primary, when Trump appeared at the Values Voters Conference before an audience of evangelicals and conservative Christians, he made a passing reference to “Little Marco” and the crowd immediately booed him to show the remark was out of line.

Yet when Wehner emphatically declared Trump is “erratic, cruel, vindictive and morally corrupt” no one in the crowd of movers–and–shakers let out a peep. It was as if he was speaking before assembly line workers at the “Don’t Blame Me, I voted for Evan McMullin” bumper sticker plant.

The entire “Ideas Summit” atmosphere was one of lukewarm support for president. I can recall no speakers praising the Trump budget that zeroed out agencies conservatives have railed against for decades, yet the crowd gave Speaker Paul Ryan a partial standing ovation after he spent a half hour essentially asking the audience “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes” with regard to his Obamacare Lite bill.

But that’s not all! Ryan’s performance even reminded me of an all–time classic advertising account executive joke, but to learn which joke, you’ll have to click on the link below and finish my column at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/national-review-obamacare-lite-against-trump-paul-ryan/2017/03/22/id/780209/

 

Helping Chuck Schumer Commit Political Suicide

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is preparing to offer Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the gift of a lifetime, but I don’t know if McConnell is astute enough to accept it. Mitch McClellan’s career has been defined by a gopher–like reluctance to risk anything that causes him to stray too far from the safety of his den. (To learn how McConnell earned the nickname “Mitch McClellan,” click here.)

Accepting Schumer’s gift will require Mitch to go head–to–head in the arena of public opinion, which he is evidently reluctant to do since, like most of the Republican leadership in Congress, he doesn’t believe enough in conservative principles to make a compelling case in public.

This is why Trump is president and McConnell isn’t, but that’s another column entirely, which can be found here.

So let me explain another missed opportunity for Republicans to show the American public just how far out of the mainstream Democrats are.

AP reports Schumer “has concluded that denying President Trump his wall is perhaps the surest major defeat Democrats can hand the President in his first year.” And he plans to do it by filibustering the wall.

This is the biggest tactical error Schumer has made since he didn’t object to Fauxcahontas being sworn in.

If only McClellan would exploit Schumer’s gift.

So what can the Curator of the Senate do to exploit Schumer’s gift? All the exciting details can be yours by clicking on the link below and being whisked to my Newsmax.com column. Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/mitch-mcconnell-chuck-schumer-border-wall-filibuster/2017/03/07/id/777474/

 

Business Learns Trump Giveth and Trump Taketh Away

Conservatives always knew Trump’s policies would be a dog’s breakfast of competing initiatives and impulsive proposals. His State of the Administration speech only served to confirm it.

There were solid assurances to reestablish the rule of law and promises to develop a “historic” tax reform program that will make US businesses more competitive with other countries.

Unfortunately, waiting for tax reform from a Republican Congress that supports business because it makes campaign contributions and ignores competition because it doesn’t, is like waiting for a pause in an Obama monologue.

Rather than wait, Trump issued an order that requires the executive branch to remove two old regulations for every new one it issues.

That’s a great start; although something tells me at least initially the regulations deleted are going to be those covering the sodium content of salt pork issued to the Army of the Potomac.

But how does removing burdensome regulations on US business square with requiring those same businesses to provide paid family leave? I know it’s a logical progression from universal Pre–K, which is taxpayer–funded daycare, to paying mothers to raise their own babies, but it’s not logical for Republicans trying to make America competitive.

Trump’s new Commissar of Motherhood is going to be regulating up a storm. What number employees is the cutoff for coverage? Will men get to take advantage of paid leave? What about men who can’t decide if they are a man or a woman? Can homosexuals take off to raise a surrogate child? Is a polygamist limited to children from one wife or do all qualify? Does a mother of twins get twice as much leave? Can a divorced husband take off if he still gets along with the ex–wife and she has a child? Will leave only apply to immediate family or will it be like chain immigration and apply to cousins, uncles and people with similar last names?

Do mothers who abort their child get time off to sooth a guilty conscience? How long does the leave last? If a woman gives birth to a girl and a few years later she decides she’s a boy, can mom take another leave to help with the transition? If a woman adopts an infant, does she qualify? If a woman serves as a surrogate mother can she take paid leave, too?

Will the payment be a percentage of salary or a fixed rate? Will there be a means test? How about a citizenship test? Does a woman continue to earn seniority as she cares for junior? Does the leave clock for a premie start when the child was born or when it should have been born? If a mother’s state already has a paid leave program does she have to choose one or can she double–dip?

Just answering those few questions will generate reams of regulations. Will the Commissar get a free pass on the new one–for–two regulatory rule and start from scratch? Or will he have to persuade other agencies to donate old regulations he can sacrifice on the altar of red tape?

I’m sorry, but this has Ivanka’s fingerprints all over it and no one that I know of voted for her.

This program better left to the states. California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island already have leave programs. The other states are free to follow their lead and burden their businesses, too.

This is not to say I downplay the importance of motherhood. I don’t. Conservatives put much more emphasis on the nurturing of the nuclear family than the left does. Strong families build a strong society.

Let’s say Virginia, where I live, wanted to encourage working mothers to stay home with their children for the first three months. I could support a plan that takes inspiration from the foster parent program.

Virginia pays foster parents $462 a month for children under age four. It could start a new Leg Up on Life program that pays working mothers a similar amount for the first three months of the child’s life. This encourages mothers to take time off from work to establish a relationship with the newborn and removes some of the financial pressure.

In the interest of equity I would allow both working and non–working women to be eligible. In the interest of keeping the program simple, the payment would not be means tested. If women already had paid leave from their place of employment, they could collect both payments.

This program has the advantage of being simple, non–federal and no burden on business. It encourages mothers without discouraging job creation. Best of all it doesn’t establish a federal entitlement Democrats could increase at some time in the future, like Trump’s does.

Civil Servants Foment Civil Insurrection Against Trump

The United States is the only nation on earth where the saboteurs are both well paid and impossible to fire. Some nations call them spies, other nations — Iran comes to mind — claim they are Zionists, but here at home we call them “public servants.”

trump-why-doesnt-what-american-people-want-happenFederal employees have decided they’re the 4th branch of government and if you can believe the opposition media, they intend to do what they can to make the Trump presidency a failure. As Steven Hayward has written, “That bureaucratic government is the partisan instrument of the Democratic Party is the most obvious, yet least remarked upon, trait of our time.”

This is why it’s not surprising the New York Times writes, “Across the vast federal bureaucracy, Donald J. Trump’s arrival in the White House has spread anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance among many of the two million nonpolitical civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president.”

That concept is a convenient misunderstanding of the role of public employees by pretentious public employees. “Working for the public” means they are claiming to work for a concept. One that doesn’t issue annual performance reviews or provide direct supervision.

These “non–political” public employees — who just happened to send an astonishing 95 percent of their presidential campaign contributions to Pantsuit Nation in 2016 — will now claim to act as oracles who can divine the will of “public” and formulate appropriate policy.

If they get their way, it will be the Obama administration all over again without the annoying self–regard and afternoon tee times.

Now I’ve got you wondering: Who will save us? It depends. If someone sends the rest of my Newsmax.com column to President Trump and he takes my advice, there’s hope. See for yourself how I would put recalcitrant bureaucrats in their place by clicking here:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/employees-federal-public/2017/02/14/id/773615/

 

Congressional GOP: The Dogs that Caught the Obamacar

Pity the poor Republican leadership in Congress. There they sit – paralyzed by the power for which they pleaded over the last four elections.

In 2010 when the GOP took control of the House they were powerless because Republicans didn’t have control of the Senate.

obamacare-crushes-middle-classIn 2014 Senate control fell into their hands, yet they were still powerless because Democrats controlled the White House.

Now they control the House, Senate and the presidency, but they remain powerless. This time because the left still controls the media and Jake Tapper doesn’t stand for re–election.

The Obama presidency was really the good old days. Congress could bravely vote to repeal Obamacare secure in the knowledge the bill would never take effect because Obama would veto it. And it he did.

All those votes were so many talking points in a re–election commercial. Now a vote to repeal Obamacare will pass and result in the Opposition Media’s veto. And our timid, public trough–feeders fear the consequences.

Damn, no one told them winning in 2016 would mean they’re now responsible!

So what are Congressional Republicans going to do? You’ll have to read the rest of my column on Newsmax to find out. Plus there’s a bonus: I answer the main arguments leftists have against repeal. Clip and save for your member of congress. Thanks for reading.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Obamacare-premiums-repeal-replace/2017/02/23/id/775154/

 

Federal Judges Rewrite the 2nd Amendment

The most confusing dependent clause in the history of the nation, at least as far as personal liberty goes, is the one that begins the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights. The full text of the amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

gun-control-cagle-cartoonTo understand what the Founders meant it helps to understand how much the former colonists disliked a standing army. As far as the Continental Congress was concerned the Revolution could be fought and won using an army composed entirely of citizen volunteers organized into local militia companies.

George Washington, the man actually in charge of the fighting, thought this was madness. He and the Congress had a running battle throughout the war over recruiting, equipping and paying a regular army. Washington believed only a professional, disciplined body of troops armed with military weapons could defeat the British.

Militia units simply wouldn’t stand up to line infantry. Civilians in the colonies usually owned rifles, not muskets. This meant a civilian could fire accurately at longer distances than a smooth–bore musket, but his rate of fire was not as rapid as the easier–loading musket.

Rate of fire, however, was secondary to the main problem with civilian arms: The inability to attach a bayonet to the rifle. Regular infantry charged with fixed bayonets and the men with spears always overwhelmed the men with clubs.

Militia members weren’t forbidden to buy muskets with bayonet lugs on the barrel. It was simply a matter of choice. Civilians would rather shoot a deer at 100 yds. and walk up to claim dinner, as opposed to chasing Bambi down and stabbing him with a bayonet.

As the war progressed militia units were used as skirmishers to pepper British troops with long range fire and then retire behind the regulars as the lines closed. So in the end both Washington and Congress were partially correct.

Once the war concluded under the Articles of Confederation the regular army languished, except for a remnant that manned frontier forts. State militias, again composed of volunteers bringing privately own weapons, provided defense against Indian raids and other disorder.

Before the outbreak of the Civil War there was private militia cavalry and even artillery companies operating without government control.

The role of civilian militia volunteers was codified in the Bill of Rights by the 2nd Amendment and the lasting rancor against a large regular army was found in the 3rd Amendment, which prohibited quartering troops in private homes.

The word “militia” in the 2nd Amendment means the “arms” citizens have a “right” to bear are by definition weapons of war. The Constitution doesn’t give us the right to own a BB gun or participate in paintball conflicts.

The Constitution gives us the right to own and bear light infantry weapons.

That fact escapes all leftist judges. They think government grants the right, when the Constitution obviously holds the right exists independently of government, which shall not infringe upon it.

The case that cannot be made by anyone reading the plain language of the amendment and knowing anything of history is that the 2nd Amendment does not cover weapons that are either military in nature or resemble military weapons.

Yet that is exactly what the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals did when it voted 10–to–4 to uphold an unconstitutional Maryland law that bans ownership of “assault weapons and large–capacity magazines.”

Ignoring “militia,” “arms” and “shall not infringe” the court sounded more like Chief Justice Oprah Winfrey when it concluded, “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war.”

Only the justices don’t have to extend anything, the 2nd Amendment already protects “weapons of war.” Their job was to stop an obvious infringement upon that right.

Evidently the justices equate a militia to a sort of colonial bowling league. Just as you wouldn’t want bowlers rolling a cannonball down the lane, you wouldn’t want civilians owning a “military style” rifle. The problem with that reasoning is the militia was designed and expected to function in place of a regular military and to fulfill that role civilians must, by necessity, have weapons of a “military nature.”

Enlightened judges may not like the language of the Constitution. They may think the language is outmoded and superseded by modern life. But it is a violation of their oath of office to re–write the document to their liking or ignore provisions with which they disagree.

The Founders wisely provided a mechanism to amend the Constitution. It involves Congress, the states and voting. It does not include 10 politicians in black robes.

Trump’s Wall Can Be a Memorial, Too

There’s been a great deal of controversy regarding who is going to pay for Trump’s border wall. The option that’s most popular is sending Mexico a bill. This would require the man Mark Steyn calls “President Piñata” to bring a big check to the groundbreaking ceremony or possibly pay on the installment plan — like rent–to–own furniture in an illegal’s crash pad.

trump-wall-if-you-build-it-they-wont-comeShould the Mexican check not materialize or if it bounces like a jumping bean there are alternatives. Oklahoma has a remittance tax that puts a one percent fee on all wire transfers sent out–of–state. According to the Center for Immigration Studies a similar US tax would mainly fall on illegals and could bring in between one a two billion dollars a year.

More than enough to pay for the wall with some left over for environmental stalling studies.

Or there’s always the even more controversial tariff on imported Mexican goods.

Frankly, I don’t care who pays as long as the wall is built, but my wife did have an innovative idea to provide seed funding while details on the larger payments are worked out. It has the dual advantage of not requiring tax dollars and proving to the opposition media there is broad–based support for Trump’s wall.

She wants Trump to sell individual bricks or cinder blocks to Americans who want a part of the wall for themselves. The American public made it possible to tear down the Berlin Wall that kept Germans in; why not let them make it possible to build the border wall to keep illegals out?

This is an ideal solution for a capitalist entrepreneur like the president. Each commemorative block could contain a message from the donor. It could be something as simple as “Thank you President Trump” or pointed as “Why Isn’t Ted Kennedy Buried Under this Wall?”

Her original idea was more specific regarding sales. She thought victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens would be happy to buy a brick. I like this, too, although I would have a sliding price scale for each brick depending upon the crime involved. I think the two bricks I buy for friends killed by drunken illegals should get a discount, while the man who wants to immortalize “I was frightened by illegals in the 7/11 parking lot” should pay full freight.

The brick commemorating my daughter’s car that was totaled by an illegal would fit somewhere between the two extremes.

Trump could save on construction expenses by requiring all illegals in federal detention be put to work building the wall inspired by their law breaking. The symmetry certainly has its appeal. Currently there is no real penalty to being repeatedly caught violating our border, other than processing delays before Obama holdovers send you north.

A few months operating a shovel for free might serve as a real deterrent.

If the brick idea doesn’t appeal to the White House, how about taking the money Trump doesn’t send to Sanctuary Cities and spend that on the wall? The solution is a twofer: Financing and poetic justice.

Until recently I’ve been stumped trying to understand the motivation behind declaring one’s city a safe haven for lawbreakers. Why should the Mexican who steals privileges that don’t belong to him get a free pass and the citizen who steals a cellphone be arrested?

What possible benefit is it to law–abiding residents for elected officials to encourage the in–migration of a criminal underclass? Unless the underclass is all in the backyard, celebrating Cinco de Mayo with the rest of the family.

California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon introduced a bill to make the entire state of California a Sanctuary, because “half of my family would be eligible for deportation under [Trump’s] executive order.”

De Leon is more than willing to risk forfeiting millions of dollars in federal money if it means he won’t have to travel to Matamoros to enjoy grandma’s tamales.

It’s also De Leon’s belief that if Americans can donate half their insurance premiums to pay for Obamacare coverage for someone else, they should have no problem splitting their identity with a “hard working” illegal. After all De Leon contends identity theft is “…what you need to survive, to work in this country.”

Personally I wouldn’t want to dine in a restaurant that wouldn’t let you send back a bad entre and I wouldn’t want to live in a state that won’t send back a bad hombre.

De Leon and the rest of the illegal enablers participating in a conspiracy to obstruct federal law are not only importing members of their tribe at the expense of citizens, they also appear to be importing the corrupt Mexican politics the “refugees” are supposedly fleeing.

Trump Protesters Do Violence to “Peaceful”

The inauguration will be a learning experience for President Trump in more ways than one. To begin with, he’ll see first hand just how hard it will be to re–establish the rule of law in the United States and he will learn just how deep the “resistance” to his administration extends into government.

My fear is Trump’s inauguration will either be an asymmetrical warfare defeat for security forces or a willing surrender. The homeland security apparatus appears to be preparing to prevent an attack by jihadis when the big threat to the ceremony is an attack by jerks.

trump-protestThe mainstream media who vilified and lied about candidate Trump can now hardly wait to cover Trump inauguration protests it helped generate. The Washington Post is fired up, “Planning for protesters is taking up more bandwidth ahead of the quadrennial festivities in the District than at any time in over a decade.”

The focus of security planning should be on people coming to enjoy the inauguration. These citizens should be able to travel to and from the event safely and otherwise undisturbed as they celebrate the victory they worked so hard to produce.

Unfortunately, planning priorities are exactly backwards. I have yet to read a statement by any security functionary, police chief, mayor, congressman or even K–9 dog assuring law–abiding citizens here to witness a peaceful transfer of power that the government will do its best to make sure Trump supporters enjoy the day.

The sentiment seems to be: What did you expect? We voted for Hillary.

Official pronouncements certainly fail to reassure law–abiding Trump voters who plan to attend the festivities. See for yourself what collaborating officialdom says and what a rule–of–law response to disruption should be by clicking the link below and reading the rest of my Newsmax.com Insider column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/trump-inauguration-protest-illegal/2017/01/17/id/769037/

 

Uncle Remus’ Solution to Obamacare Repeal

“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”

Uncle Remus Stories

Gullible Republican House and Senate members, convinced that repealing Obamacare also involves replacing Obamacare, are preparing to throw Democrats right into the middle of the federal briar patch that is their natural home.

repeal-obamacare-cartoon-heller-495x342

Sure Democrats are making a big deal out of the repeal of Obamacare — there are even rumors Obama himself cut back to golfing only six days per week — yet replacing Democrat meddling in the healthcare marketplace with Republican meddling is no improvement and worse still, gives Democrats an avenue to expand their interference in the future.

Think of Obamacare as one of those patients with a pre–existing cancer. The merciful response is to eradicate the cancer once and for all. There will be some pain and uncertainty, but in the long run the patient and the country will be much better.

Exchanging Obamacare for some jury–rigged replacement only means Republicans decided they want a tumor of their own. It makes federal intrusion into healthcare a permanent feature of modern life.

Our weak, vacillating GOP leadership faces a Treaty of Versailles situation. At the conclusion of World War I the allies wanted to end Germany’s war–making capability, but during negotiations the allies made a crucial mistake. They repealed the Imperial German Army and its General Staff, replacing it with a smaller Weimar Army. German bureaucrats just hid General Staff personnel in a tame sounding “troop office.”

When Hitler came to power the foundation of the Wehrmacht already existed, all he had to do was add manpower. That’s the danger for “Mitch McClellan” and Paul Ryan: Replacing Obamacare with the Wehrmacht–in–waiting. When the next Democrat Congress or president takes office they simply have to ramp up spending and “reform” the Republican replacement and we’re back where we started.

So what should Republicans do after repealing Obamacare? I have a four–point program that protects Constitutional government, taxpayers and patients. You can find all the details by clicking on the link below and going to my Newsmax.com Insider column.

Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/obamacare-repeal-replace-legislation/2017/01/12/id/768208/

 

 

McConnell & Ryan Join Trump Troika Under Duress

It appears the Trump, McConnell, Ryan honeymoon is over before the marriage was consummated.

term-limits-adSure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan made the right noises just after Trump’s astonishing victory. On the Senate floor McConnell said, “Speaker Ryan and I have had productive discussions with the president-elect last week and we’re both looking forward to working with him.”

McConnell was even ready to take on Obamacare, “It’s pretty high on our agenda, as you know. I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people.”

Yes it’s been on Mitch’s “honey–do” list for almost a decade, just under “defund National Endowment for the Arts,” “zero out PBS” and declare war on North Viet Nam.

I always had my doubts as to the durability of this menagerie of three. As 1 Corinthians 14:8 advices: “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?”

And as McConnell has proven over the years his whoopee cushion call–to–action inspires neither his troops nor the voters. (For complete details on McConnell’s reluctance to fight for conservative principles see my earlier column here.)

Now that Trump is serious about “draining the swamp” and the denizens thereof, not only is a divorce in prospect — the fight over who gets custody of the GOP is going to be nasty. In a post–election interview with “60 Minutes” Trump declared, “We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits. We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

That choking noise you just heard was McConnell gagging on his Senate Bean Soup.

So what’s the time–server’s response and the Trumpista solution? You can find out by clicking the link below and traveling to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/president-elect-trump-mcconnell-paul-ryan-term-limits/2016/11/22/id/760234/