Sen. Mike Braun’s Backwards Healthcare Reform

Two years too late a senator has finally taken a tentative step toward increasing competition in the healthcare market, lowering insurance costs and removing the dead hand of Obamacare from the nation’s throat. It’s partial implementation of a plan I’ve advocated, but it repeats my mistake and unfortunately adds a new one.

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

It’s unfair to blame Sen. Mike Braun (R–IN) for being late since he wasn’t in the Senate when Republicans frittered away Obamacare repeal. The problem is his bill attacks cost from the wrong end.

Braun’s plan is called the True Price Act. As he told Breitbart.com, his plan “would require insurers to disclose the negotiated price for each medical service covered by a person’s insurance plan and any cost-sharing amounts (co-pays or deductibles)…The bill would require the prices to be posted on the insurer’s website and in paper form.”

That’s backwards because the insurance companies can’t predict what hospitals charge for a procedure because charges vary according to the rapacity of the facility. Braun says he wants to reverse concentration in the health insurance market by “by making it transparent and competitive, letting the best providers survive.”

His bill would only encourage concentration and limit consumer choice because the only way an insurance company can be certain of a procedure’s cost is if the insurer limits coverage to hospitals it controls or with which it has negotiated an agreement.

The People’s Republic of Maryland proves my point. The Maryland Health Care Commission has a limited program that compares turnkey prices for common procedures affecting patients who are either women, old or both. It found Sinai Hospital charges $32,500 for a knee replacement, while UMD Medical Center at Easton charges over one–third less at $22,700, with fewer readmissions from complications. 

Braun would accomplish more by requiring hospitals that accept federal money to post turnkey charges and forget the insurance companies.

Then Braun repeats my initial mistake and ignores consumer motivation. Most medical shoppers, like whiskey drinkers, tend to associate high cost with high quality, when that isn’t the case. For a patient with a $3,000 deductible it makes both economic and status sense to choose the more expensive hospital. Ten percent co–pay on the costlier procedure wipes out his deductible and the rest of his health care that year is ‘free’!

A better solution is for the feds to encourage insurance companies to give the patient an incentive to be a comparison shopper by sharing the savings when he chooses a less expensive option. Instead of pocketing the $9,800 saved by paying for the knee replacement at UMD Easton, the insurance company could share by applying ten percent of the savings to the patient’s deductible for that year.

The patient would pay ten percent of the procedure ($2,270) and the insurance company would apply ten percent of the savings ($980) and his deductible for the year would be satisfied.

To ensure this wasn’t a one–time–only cost–conscious decision by the patient, the insurer could continue to apply 10 percent of procedure savings for the rest of the year to the patient’s deductible in outlying years.

This is good for the company because it reduces customer churn by giving the patient a reason not to change policies and the customer saves money on future annual deductibles.

Braun is right that cost transparency will encourage competition, but the place to start isn’t with the middlemen. It’s with the hospitals that generate the cost. Currently the consumer has severely limited options when buying insurance. It’s either the price set by the socialized premium mavens at Obamacare. Convert to Christianity and join a cost–sharing plan. Or join millions of uninsured illegals crowding the emergency room.

Sen. Braun would do better to allow insurance companies to offer coverage options and sell across state lines without crony capitalist interference from the various legislatures.

Combine that with price transparency for hospitals and incentives for procedure shopping on the part of patients and healthcare prices will finally start to go down.

The next step will be selling freedom of choice to the public and talking panicked Republicans off the ledge. But that’s another column entirely.

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The Trump Appointee Who Believed Trump

The suggestion that the Trump administration release illegal aliens in sanctuary cities was the inspiration of Deputy White House Policy Coordinator May Davis.

Broaching this idea indicates that Davis is either very courageous or never plans on eating an undisturbed restaurant meal in the DC area again.

Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

Davis’ inspiration is a brilliantly creative example of political jujitsu. It takes what your opponent considers to be a strength — compassion for “undocumented immigrants” — and turns it into a negative when the beneficiaries of the bad idea land on unsuspecting resident’s doorsteps.

Even better, any complaint about receiving more of the illegals the politicians claim to love only exposes their moral exhibitionism.

Unfortunately, the reaction to Davis’ idea is additional proof of why conservatives and Republicans are going to be utterly defeated by the Open Borders left.

The left is focused on ends. The Democrat party wants to change the electorate through immigration regardless of whether the individual immigrant is legal or illegal.

In support of this long–term goal the left ignores hundreds of American citizens killed by illegal aliens. It ignores citizens raped by illegal aliens. It ignores citizens assaulted by illegals. It ignores identity theft, welfare abuse and the billions spent by taxpayers to support illegal aliens.

The goal of a permanent leftist voting majority is too important to be delayed by sympathy for citizens whose luck ran out.

Republicans focus on staying in office while staying out of late night comedy sketches. They care more about avoiding a negative reaction by the leftist street (like the Arab street only without burning tires) than they do about achieving goals.

Judging by the reaction of National Review writer David French you’d have thought the idea of giving sanctuary cities more of the diversity that makes us so strong came from some community college Deplorable with a BMI of 50, instead of a graduate of Harvard Law School and former president of the Federalist Society in Cambridge.

French contends using “human beings as pawns” is repugnant, cruel and in his opinion “politically disastrous.” He’s also worried about Opposition Media coverage of the “compassion” that will be displayed in San Francisco when the caravan of illegals arrives.

This petticoat–ruffling on French’s part is another form of surrender. Preserving the status quo on immigration equals defeat. Unless we work to change some of the variables in this equation the only unknown is when Republicans eventually disappear.

The “human beings” French is protecting with McAllen, TX’s tax dollars are volunteers here only to strip-mine American generosity. They continue to volunteer because there is no downside to being an illegal. If putting them on a bus is “cruel” then so be it. Let’s hope word gets back to Latin America.

French’s indirect support of the current catch–and–release policy means Trump is punishing the residents of states that voted for him, namely Arizona and Texas. What’s sensible about that? What is repugnant about giving voters that support sanctuary politicians more of the illegals they long to embrace?

French contends it will cause “chaos” there. Good. Better California and Massachusetts than Yuma, AZ which has just declared a state of emergency.

Reaction within the executive branch was no better. The fascists in the White House were routed by a red tape wielding defender of the administrative state. The New York Times reports Davis’ idea was presented to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence who exercised the bureaucrat’s veto. He claimed ICE would be subject to “liability issues” during transport and had concerns about budget allocations.

And this character is supposed to be a “hard liner” on enforcement.

It’s not Albence’s job to approve or disapprove of the administration’s policy. His job to execute administration policy.

Donald Trump was given a nationwide mandate by voters to carry out his campaign platform. Albence hasn’t been elected to anything. He doesn’t run an ‘independent agency.’ He’s part of the administration. If he can’t perform his duties he needs to resign.

And how does the man who pledged to drain the swamp respond when some random alligator burps? Instead of sending a message by firing Albence, Trump surrenders again.

If Trump can’t find the motivation to impose his will on his own administration there is no chance he can impose his will on the open borders left. Winning this fight is going to take a sustained effort and a willingness to be impervious to the Sad Story Industrial Complex run by the Opposition Media. I don’t think Trump or his appointees have what it takes.

Millions of voters across the nation who want their country back voted for Trump in 2016. It’s too bad he couldn’t convince any of them to join his administration.

Sanctuary Neighborhood Prepares to Repel Invaders

Arlandria is a sanctuary neighborhood in a sanctuary city next to a sanctuary county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Residents there are worried about a caravan of Prius–driving invaders that threaten to change the culture of the neighborhood.

This concern requires some clarification.

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

Arlandrians aren’t opposed to semi–literate identity thieves sneaking across the border to depress US wages, burden the schools and require the rest of us to ‘Press 1 for English.’ Those folks might be relatives! Residents aren’t opposed to Hispaniards gaming the ‘asylum’ system to take advantage of US welfare. Nor are they against chain migration that U–Hauls entire Latin American villages north.

Why that would be wrong! That sort of thinking is classist, ‘racist’, xenophobic and anti–Democrat.

What toasts their tamales is the prospect of well–paid, highly literate, childless Amazon workers moving into their “transplanted Hispanic culture” and buying a house while making a significant contribution to the tax base.

The Washington Post’s coverage of this example of NEMPTism (Spanish for NIMBY) is additional proof irony is dead on the left. The WoePost reporter can’t see the humor in a neighborhood that turns a blind eye to illegals protesting when citizens might move in, too.

This quote says it all, and in Spanish no less, “We have to organize, we have to be unified, we have to have one objective, one solution,” Luis Salmerón, a 17-year resident, said through a translator. “This is as much for me as for our kids, our grandkids and future generations. We want to be a collective force to preserve our community.”

Arlandria is where “More than half of the residents are younger than 30, and nearly half were born in Latin America, according to the 2017 U.S. Census American Community Survey.” And “men lean on cars to discuss in Spanish the issues of the day.”

In the mid–1980’s so many “residents came from a town called Chirilagua, fleeing civil war” the neighborhood was soon called Chirilagua. That was then. Today these refugees enjoying the laughably termed “Temporary Protected Status” are still there lingering on through the decades.

The civil war is long over. Now Salvadorians remain claiming fear of gang violence, political oppression or bad weather (global warming), while simultaneously providing a beachhead for illegals heading north.

Gentrifying Gringos have already made attempts to impose their will on the neighborhood. “Some Arlandria residents still resent a developer who renamed a strip shopping center in the heart of their neighborhood “Del Ray North” and rented space to an upscale pet store.”

Why the nerve of that capitalist! There is no market for Corgis in Arlandria.

Now Amazon is building a headquarters in Arlington and Virginia Tech is constructing a $1 billion graduate campus in the vicinity. Employees, academics and students will have to live somewhere and Arlandria residents are thinking “there goes the neighborhood.”

That’s why la gente are up in arms. Or at least the gente with a media connection.

Sinister market forces are at work right now. The man who owns the Tiger Market grocery and deli was presented with “a buyout offer that would pay him $1.5 million more than what he owes on the property” and activistas want to put a stop to those shenanigans muy pronto.

Meanwhile the Tiger Market jefe intends to stay put and upgrade his inventory to attract “more affluent customers.” It’s unknown whether activistas will consider the addition of kale and free–range tofu to be an insult to the barrio.

The owner of a barber shop believes Amazon means jobs for his clients. The non–entrepreneurial agitator fighting Amazon believes, “What is coming is displacement.”

And there you have it. It was one thing to flee MS–13 in El Salvador and only to discover the gang is now next door. It’s another kettle of pez entirely to flee Amazon in Virginia.

The situation does disprove one conservative complaint regarding mass illegal immigration. These Arlandrians have taken a tentative step into the much despised “melting pot” and potential assimilation. They now fit quite nicely into the mold of the left’s permanent grievance industry.

Trump and the Roar of the Paper Tiger

After spending the last two years on the sidelines warming up on a stationary bike, President Trump has decided it’s time for him to get into the immigration game. When Agent Orange is unleashed illegal immigration will once again be, well, illegal!

Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle, GA

The situation is grim. The Get–Tough–on–the–Border–Guy will be taking in more illegals than Obama did at his laissez-faire peak. Estimates for this year alone are in the neighborhood of 1.5 million more additions to the diversity that is our strength.

So, it’s probably a good idea for Trump to stop being a figurehead in his own government and get serious about fulfilling his primary campaign promise. Or as the Washington Post puts it, “As Trump struggles to curb unauthorized immigration, his rhetoric gets tougher, but quick solutions are elusive.”

That could be because Trump’s a paper tiger. Even his “tough rhetoric” comes with its own set of problems. His pronouncements have a tendency to expire before the problem is solved.

Trump promises to close the Mexico border and then before traffic cones are airlifted from a factory in China he changes his mind and avocado shipments are safe until the next temper tantrum.

Trump tells one audience the US is full up of immigrants and it’s time to call a halt until he can build a fire under the melting pot. Then he tells another he’s decided to double the number of H–2B guest worker visas.

That will certainly cut down on groundskeeper arrests at Trump resorts, but the increase will continue to keep citizen farm wages at Juarez levels while Hispaniard workers brought in for the harvest can scout locations for the rest of their family who will join them after the visa expires.

Our Border–Guard–in–Chief has a list of culprits he’s blaming for the immigration crisis including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. He rails against the judicial system. Trump has special scorn for Democrats who won’t help. And he attacks illegal–enabling lawyers who coach fraudulent asylum applicants on the exact language needed to trigger the conveyor belt of US largesse.

The truth is the person responsible for the failure to keep Trump’s immigration promises is the same person he sees in the mirror each morning when the president conducts a muster drill for his hair. Trump bears 80 percent of the responsibility for the failure and passive–aggressive, housebroken conservative Mitch McConnell, Curator of the Senate, bears the rest.

I’m with Michelle Malkin who told Breitbart, “I don’t want to hear empty threats anymore about how [Trump’s] going to do what he should have done many, many, many months ago. What are you waiting for? Do it.”

Every suggestion that follows should have been done in January 2017. Clean house at the Department of Homeland Security. Kirstjen Nielsen was a start but there are plenty more like her.

Why is the present legal staff incapable of finding loopholes in immigration law that Trump can exploit to expand enforcement? Evidently leftist lawyers can find plenty because thousands of illegals are currently streaming through the gaps. Only those ‘serving’ the Trump administration find the immigration code impervious to an interpretation that puts citizens first.

Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigration Studies gave Breitbart seven actions Trump could take, some of which you’ve read here before. The new ones are force Mexico to sign a Safe Third Country Agreement so ‘asylum’ applicants can wait for a ruling in México lindo. And stop issuing work permits to asylum applicants already in the US.

The Trump voting base was under the impression they were electing a man who would reverse the tide of illegals streaming across our southern border and deport the 25 million illegals, including their dependents, who have taken up an unvexed residence in the US.

Nothing has changed during the months Trump dithered.

A Pew Research Center survey says Republican voters still rank sealing the border and deportations as “their top priority to ensure a better quality of life for themselves and their middle–class families.”

Meanwhile voters are coming to the realization they elected Jeb Bush without the naps.

Methodists Decide to Believe the Bible

Recently the United Methodist Church held a denomination meeting in St. Louis and the outcome for Christians was almost as momentous as the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683. The threat to Christendom at Vienna was external. An Islamic army of Ottoman Turks was knocking on the door to Central Europe until the attack was broken by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

For the Methodists, the threat was internal. A coalition of alphabet–apostates thought they were on the cusp of overturning thousands of years of instruction regarding homosexuality. The goal was to have the United Methodist Church endorse homosexual marriage and practicing homosexual pastors.

Delegates voted on three options. The ‘Simple Plan’ was essentially let it all hang out. Any language in the Methodist Book of Discipline that reflected the Bible’s clear instruction on homosexuality (the Washington Post reporter called it “exclusionary language”) was to be removed and let the good times roll!

The “One Church Plan” was endorsed by craven Methodist denominational ‘leadership’ and a grab–bag of therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of theology. This hypocritical approach let church leaders continue to ignore congregations violating the Book of Discipline. As long as the money keeps flowing into HQ, the ‘leadership’ was fine with these hotbeds of heresy.

The last option was the ‘Traditional Plan.’ That choice would return the Methodists to faithfully following Jesus and Scripture as regards homosexuality.

It looked as bad for the Methodists as it did for the Viennese.

In a supreme irony, the alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates used a message to persuade delegates that was biblically based. They asked the same question that the serpent used in the Garden of Eden, namely “Did God really say that?”

The Methodist delegates answered, “yes.”

There are a number of ways the media could report on this surprising development. One would to follow the headline of this column: “In an upset, the United Methodist Church Decides to Believe the Bible.” That covers the element of surprise and the Methodist’s return to their foundational belief regarding homosexuality.

Or the reporter could have focused on demographics and how African churches provided the votes to carry the Traditional Plan and what this means for the direction of the denomination in the future.

Instead the Washington Post choose ‘Christian bullies pick on innocent homosexuals.’ Only one person was interviewed who wasn’t part of the alphabet army and he was asked about statistics. Other interviewees were ‘victims of intolerance.’

That’s false because Christians aren’t singling out the consonant crusaders with ‘hate’ and rejection. How can one explain the vote to the irreligious chroniclers of ‘what’s happen’n’ now at the WoePost?

How about this? WoePost owner Jeff Bezos decides to go to church. He has three options, two of which would meet with disapproval.

If lover boy shows up at the sanctuary with his adulterous squeeze instead of his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. If Bezos shows up with the squeeze and his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. But if Jeff appears with only his wife, the congregation will assume they’re working on the marriage and accept them both.

Christian churches don’t encourage anyone who demonstrates an open rebellion against God while in the pew.

This entire effort on the part of the alternate–lifestyle, alternate–Bible cabal was entirely political and not religious. As Kermit Rainman explains, “…homosexual activists and their allies know that the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic found in the Bible is the last bastion of defense holding back the widespread embrace of homosexuality throughout the culture. They understand that if Bible-believing Christians and Jews can be convinced that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes, then the battle to fully implement their political and social goals will be won.”

Rewriting the Bible is a project of the left and it is purely secular and wholly selfish. St. Louis Heretics were easy to spot with their rainbow bandanas, Black Lives Matter t–shirts, “Justice for All” buttons, feminist slogans and their raised fists when the vote didn’t go their way.

Fortunately, Methodist delegates voted to return to following Christ and stop following the culture.

No Business Is Safe from the Left’s Ignorance & Envy

The late Darryl Royal once explained the problem with cockroaches, “It’s not what they eat and tote off, it’s what they fall into and mess up.”

That pretty much sums up the left’s impact on economics. Recently the most visible example was Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez’ attack on Amazon’s plans for a New York City headquarters. The ignorant but passionate congresswoman opposed the project because the company is owned by the world’s richest man and the deal was rife with crony capitalism.

Taylor Jones Hoover Digest

Amazon then dealt a telling blow to New York City’s economic and business climate by giving AOC exactly what she wanted. The company canceled its plans.

In Tulsa city council member Vanessa Hall–Harper is the Ocasio–Cortez of the prairie. Her self–appointed mission is attacking the greatest gift to parents since the invention of the disposal diaper. Namely, the Dollar Store.

For me the Dollar Store was an integral part of parenting. A trip was a reward for good behavior. A spontaneous treat. Or a bribe to end whining. I gave my son his money and let him pick whatever he wanted. (A dangerous practice in Target or Walmart.)

And who cares if he quickly tired of the toy or it broke, because IT ONLY COST A DOLLAR!

Meanwhile, HH sees that dollar price tag as a savage assault on low–income Tulsans through using predatory pricing.

HH’s crackpot theories on the market and competition are nothing new as Bernie, AOC and Fauxcahontas demonstrate. What’s new is the platform she’s given to share the ignorance. If ‘The Nation’ or ‘In These Times’ had profiled her fight against dollar deodorant, mouthwash and Mentos it would’ve been no surprise.

But this story was in the Washington Post. And the WoePost’s national business reporter, Rachel Siegel, was mixing her own anti–business incompetence with that of the politician. Sounding like an Ulta shopper, she asserts Dollar Stores “trade in economic despair” and “undercut grocery stores” on everyday items “pushing them out of business.” Then she relays the risible claim that Dollar Stores aren’t “just a response to poverty — but a cause.”

After reading that you’d think Dollar Stores were a division of Trump Industries colluding with Russia to drive Safeway out of business.

It never occurs to Siegel or HH that the money management saves on not having to mark prices is offset by the lower disposable income of the customer base. That’s why Dollar Stores aren’t found next to the Apple Store. Management can’t afford the rent.

There’s a Dollar Store in my suburb. The county is in the top 20 most wealthy and the median household income is $126,000. The store is located next to a Food Lion that shows no signs of packing up to leave and there’s not been an outbreak of poverty or dispair since it opened.

Not only is the WoePost angry about Dollar Store pricing, it has issues with inventory and display, “Most Dollar Generals don’t sell produce”. Those that tried to appease the ignorati were condemned because “grapes, apples, avocados, potatoes [are] sandwiched between bags of fried pork skins and cases of Michelob Ultra.”

Tulsa tried to fight capitalism with cronyism and funded a grocery store through a “development grant”, but that store closed in 2014 driven out of business by dollar balloons.

Naturally the solution to combat “geographic privilege” is more crony capitalism. This time the tax dollars go to a pair of subsidy farmers who have never operated a grocery store in their lives.

That would be a sign if anyone in city hall were paying attention.

A business model that offers limited income shoppers a limited inventory with a limited price isn’t good enough for ideologues. In the left’s fantasy economics, the only reason Dean & Deluca aren’t in the ghetto is because the Dollar Store got their first.

Libertarian titans of commerce who believe their support of come–as–you–are bathrooms and donations to ‘pride’ parades they never attend will spare them the insensate wrath of the leftist mob are pulling the wool over their own eyes. Amazon and Dollar Store aren’t outliers.

They’re a harbinger.

Why Voters Like Trump in Spite of His Failures

Donald Trump is remarkably cheerful for a man sitting in the smoking ruins of his presidency. He promised to get tough with China and end our trade imbalance. This week the Department of Commerce reports our trade deficit is $621 billion, much higher than the level that existed during the Obama administration.

Trump’s second summit with North Korean nuclear maven Kim Jong–un was less successful than the first inconclusive gab–fest.

Worst of all, after frittering away two years when Republicans controlled the Senate and the House, Trump’s promise to build a wall and end illegal immigration is in shambles. Illegals currently pour across the border at a rate that will more than triple that of the Obama regime. Trump’s call for a “Deportation Force” may have vanished beneath the swamp, but he’s building a “Space Force” that will apprehend any illegals who achieve low earth orbit.

The budget bill he signed after shutting down the government is worse than the bill be refused to sign before the shutdown. Trump’s ‘victory’ bill has a tiny $1.3 billion dollars for his wall and that pittance is limited to constructing 55 miles of “bollard fencing”. That will make it harder for gas–guzzling SUVs to cross the border, but won’t stop any of the zapato traffic.

Trump hasn’t even managed to scrounge up a ballpoint pen to sign the executive order banning anchor babies he promised way back in November of 2018.

Administration apologists claim Trump’s judicial appointments, the tax cut and regulatory reform are more than enough reason to re–elect him, but that’s like praising a super hero for simply owning a cape.

Any of the 2016 GOP presidential aspirants would have done the same and that includes chronic fatigue sufferer Jeb Bush.

What separated Trump from the rest was his hardline stance on illegal immigration. One might make a case that the tipping point for immigration occurred when businesses began ordering callers to “Press 1 for English”, but Trump promised to reverse the tide.

His repeated immigration failures will make it very hard for this ‘Deplorable’ to vote for him in 2020, but I may prove to be the exception.

Trump may win in spite of his repeated failures.

A politician who doesn’t have a genuine personal connection with his voting base lives or dies politically according to his performance in office. Bush the Elder and Nixon before him are prime examples. Trump has that invaluable personal connection and it supersedes his lack of accomplishment on his signature issue.

The iconic image of his recent speech at CPAC proves my point. After a brief introduction Trump enters from stage right and before he walks to the podium he turns and embraces the Stars and Stripes.

The picture went worldwide in an instant. It will be the mental image most voters retain from his endless two plus hours speech. You look at him holding Old Glory and you know and he knows that he’s mugging. But it’s inspired, patriotic mugging.

No media consultant or speech preparation expert suggested he do it. The gesture was a spur–of–the–moment impulse that instantly connected with every member of his base and resonated with anyone who still loves the USA.

Can you imagine any Democrat doing likewise? That party has an almost biblical view of the flag. As the hymn ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ says in another context, the left views our flag as “the emblem of suffering and shame.”

Hillary might have grabbed a flagpole to keep from falling down, but not out of any affection for the flag or what it represents.

Trumps gesture bonds with the average patriotic American. Beato, the Texas flavor of the month, thinks being quirky equals a personal connection with the electorate. Skateboarding into an appearance or livestreaming your colonoscopy may appeal to immature trend surfers in the media, but it’s not presidential. And it’s not lasting.

Spontaneous patriotic symbolism is not something one associates with the humorless apparatchiks that compose the Democrat presidential field.

Trump is impulsive, funny and he loves our country. The combination may be enough to earn him four more years.

What Nixon and Trump Have in Common

It’s hard to believe Richard Nixon, the consummate, disciplined insider, and Donald Trump, the shambolic, impulsive outsider, have anything in common, but it’s true. Both men shared the belief that winning a national election should convey political power.

Acting on the belief a national majority gave him a popular mandate to make changes in Washington cost Nixon his presidency. Just mentioning draining the swamp in passing is in the process of costing Trump his.

Nixon’s “third–rate burglary” in the Watergate complex provided the bureaucracy and its allies in the Democrat Congress the pretext to drive him from office.

Forty–three years later the administrative state had grown so powerful that it required no cooperation from Trump to supply a crime. His investigation is based on speculation and conjecture supplied by political enemies and it began shortly after the swearing in ceremony.

Both investigations are designed to nullify an election by using the power of the administrative state to taint and drive from office a president who wants to change the way Washington operates.

As Henry Kissinger wrote, “Nixon provoked a revolution…For reasons unrelated to the issues and unforeseeable by the people who voted for what Nixon represented, this choice was now being annulled.”

As in usual in these matters, Alexis de Tocqueville — the crystal ball of the 19thCentury — warned of the danger of the administrative state. He wrote that centralized administration is what despotism will look like in democratic times.

During his second term Nixon planned to confront the permanent bureaucracy. In a November radio address he said, “If this kind of [bureaucratic] growth were projected indefinitely in the future, the result would be catastrophic. We would have an America top heavy with bureaucratic meddling, weighted down by big government, suffocated by taxes, robbed of its soul.”

Trump in his scattershot manner has spoken of eliminating entire cabinet agencies and moving the surviving headquarters out of Washington. That sentiment was one reason Marini had confidence in Trump, “his perspective was that of a citizen’s and a common–sense view of what politics should be.”

Both faced daunting obstacles. Nixon had a Congress controlled entirely by the Democrat Party. Trump had what Nixon earlier termed a “timid [Republican] party” controlled by Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. And both presidents were “resisted by the combined and determined inertia of Congress and the bureaucracy.”

Marini writes, “Although Woodward and Bernstein were lauded as investigative reporters they served merely as a conduit by which the bureaucracy [the FBI and other leakers] could undermine the authority of an elected officeholder.”

Disgraced FBI agent Andrew McCabe and his cabal of administrative state functionaries demonstrated contempt for the democratic process and “the instinct for self–preservation at all costs” when they began spying on Trump before the election and concocted “Russia Collusion” after.

All without a single pang of conscience, because the administrative state is convinced of its own rectitude.

The confrontation that drove Nixon from office and is paralyzing Trump is essentially a test of the consent of the governed. Our nation was founded on that principle. An unaccountable, unelected administrative state that makes its own law flies in the face of consent of the governed, because the governed have no way to challenge the bureaucracy.

Marini observes “Congress has stopped legislating and started delegating.” Congress is an “oversight body” given to theatrical displays instead of demanding accountability from the administrative state.

The only national referendum where voters have a say on the direction of the federal government is the presidential election. Michael Anton said at the event the people who elected Nixon and Trump “have a sentimental attachment to the Constitution” that swamp residents find quaint. Marini concurs and adds, “the people that elected Trump think elections should make a difference.”

It’s the administrative state’s central mission to prove those voters wrong. Currently, the bureaucrats are winning.

Howard Schultz Could Use a Little Caffeine

Howard Stern has the same likelihood of being elected president in 2020 as Howard Schultz, but the Stern campaign would be much more interesting. And Stern already has nationwide name identification that ‘Starbucks’ Schultz lacks.

Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer, NC

Outside the business pages, the only major coverage Schultz has received in the recent past has been negative. Howard’s news coverage includes the hilarious ‘Race Together’ effort where Starbucks’ baristas were instructed to grill customers about America’s ‘systemic race problems’, while America’s first black president observed from the Oval Office.

Followed by his decision to have Starbucks become a concessionaire for the homeless by opening restrooms to everyone after a former Philadelphia store manager called the cops on two black non–customers.

Both indicate Howard doesn’t function well in the spotlight.

Then there is the personality deficit. Schultz may be the life of the party in private but in public he exhibits a combination of earnestness and tentativeness that reminds one of Jimmy Carter. Only Howard has a lackey carrying his bags.

After Schultz announced he was considering a run the left immediately attacked him. He was found guilty of giving the race to Trump if he ran as an independent. A conclusion I’m not sure is correct.

Previously Howard’s political home was identical to pre–president Trump. His decision to vote and contribute to Democrats is probably similar. It’s the party all the cool people in their social circle favor. Plus, Schultz is one of those snobs who judges a city’s sophistication by whether or not one can buy a copy of the Sunday New York Times.

Schultz is fluent in the liturgy of the Church of Diversity. He supports “choice” and all its attendant evils. He is proud of the fact same–sex marriage is part of Starbucks’ “corporate DNA.” But don’t interpret “same–sex” to mean it applies to individuals. Employees can shift sexes with the seasons and the company health insurance will cover the surgery.

Mr. Coffee believes in Global Warming, supports “sustainability”, is an enthusiastic supporter of coddling the homeless and says Viva la amnesty for illegals.

Even with social policies supported by our elite overlords, Schultz knows he doesn’t stand a chance in a Democrat presidential primary because he embraces some issues that adults support.

He’s concerned about the growing national debt. During an interview on “Morning Joe” (no pun intended) he insulted two bird brains with one comment when he said Sen. Fauxcahontas’ net worth confiscation plan will lead to socialism.

Cost is one of the reasons he’s against Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D–Inquisition) “Medicare for All” giveaway and that goes double for free college tuition. Schultz fears the assorted leftist pie–in–the–sky programs will add $40 trillion in debt, at a time Democrats are now the cost–is–no–object party.

Howard even had the temerity to claim the federal government needs to be “interrupted” because it isn’t working. When any leftist knows the government runs like clockwork. It employs hundreds of thousands of reliable Democrat voters who — when they aren’t resisting President Trump — always vote to expand government. Add to that the fact Schultz is a rich white guy who is not afraid to say the American Dream worked for him and the result isn’t a presidential candidate; it’s a candidate for the Ocasio–Cortez Re–Education Camp.

Schultz’ positions mean he is neither fish nor fowl. Instead he appears to be a Libertarian. Libertarianism is a hybrid political philosophy based on a faulty premise. The Libertarian contends it’s possible to build a fiscally sound and individually responsible society on a foundation of capitalists, drug users and sexual reprobates.

Libertarians support all the social pathologies currently facilitating our cultural decline. Their policy on drug use, abortion, alternate lifestyles, immigration and amnesty is let it all hang out — just keep your cotton pickin’ hands off my money.

Libertarians believe that it’s possible to have a country where the personal lives of its citizens are a riot of dissolution, yet somehow their fiscal life is supposed to be positively Swiss in its probity.

Unfortunately, in actual practice just as the personal becomes the political; the personal also undermines the fiscal, which is why Libertarianism can never succeed.

It’s true the Schultz combination of social libertinism and fiscal caution (a relative term with leftists) may attract swing Democrats that reluctantly voted for Hillary because they were appalled by Trump. But Schultz will also attract Never–Trumpers and reluctant Trump supporters suffering from voter’s remorse.

That combination of nominally GOP voters, along with disillusioned Trumpistas who stay home, could be enough to guarantee whatever Commissar gets the Democrat nodwill be our next president.

Another Crop of Illegals Moves North

The savage response of the Trump administration to last November’s illegal alien caravan was such an object lesson for potential lawbreakers that the newest Illegal Alien Reunion Tour making its way through Mexico is 30 percent larger.

AFP estimated the 2018 horde totaled 7,000 potential recipients of Uncle Sam’s largesse. Jeff Bezo’s WoePost reports that the latest herd may number over 10,000.

Another Trump crackdown on illegals like that and we can just deed Texas over to the good folks in Honduras.

Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch, OH

It’s ironic that Uncle Sam’s illegal alien problems were initially caused by migrant workers moving north to help with the harvest of tomatoes and cantaloupes. Now our high–profile illegal immigration problems are caused by migrant social workers moving south to harvest the next caravan of so–called ‘asylum seekers’.

And don’t be misled by the Opposition Media. Illegals, unaccompanied minors and ‘asylum seekers’ are a cash crop much more valuable than the tomatoes that are supposed to rot in the field if our borders aren’t kept open.

Non–profit organizations, lawyers, federal employees and other components of the illegal–industrial complex are paid millions to service the needs of people who don’t deserve to be in the US in the first place. Salaries for all the compassionate do-gooders–at–our–expense, housing for illegals, transportation for illegals, food for the illegals; after a while it all adds up.

It’s a perverse incentive for continued lawbreaking when a captured illegal is allowed to stay in the US while his case adds to the constipation clogging immigration courts. Particularly since GETTING INTO THE US was his goal all along.

It’s like letting the LA Rams commit a flagrant interference penalty against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game and letting the Rams go to the Superbowl while the Goodell brain trust dithers over what to do about it.

You can see why the Trump decision to release ‘asylum seekers’ and others into Mexico, instead of the US, was so controversial. It’s fine for a migrant social worker to go caravan harvesting down south, but the compassion complex that processes the crop doesn’t want to do so on the wrong side of the border.

Trump’s sensible decision prompted 2020 leftist presidential aspirant Julian Castro to make a suggestion with which I partially agreed. Castro told “Face the Nation” he wants to put ankle monitors on illegals. That way “you’re able to monitor where people are in the country.”

As long as the country where they’re waiting is Mexico, I could care less about their precise location. I want monitors acting more like the buzzers at Fuddruckers one gets while awaiting an order. Once it starts buzzing you pick up your burger. When the illegal’s buzzes he reports to court. In the meantime, he’s off the taxpayer’s dime.

Unfortunately, none of this will be done and Trump won’t get our wall. The federal government has no interest in solving illegal immigration. When Democrats say they support border security, they’re lying. And when the Republican leadership says they support border security, they’re lying, too.

Seven of the 9/11 hijackers either overstayed their visas or made fraudulent visa applications. The death of 2,980 Americans wasn’t enough to motivate Congress to solve the visa overstay problem.

It would be simple to require visitors from nations with a significant number of visa overstays to post a bond. Hasn’t happened. Requiring DHS to match entry and exit records would give an accurate overstay count. Hasn’t happened. Almost 3,000 dead isn’t enough motivation.

It’s the same with illegal alien crime. The deaths, rapes, robberies and assaults aren’t in one fell swoop, like 9/11, but are a steady flow that Congress also ignores. Co–conspirators say illegals are no more likely to commit a crime than citizens. That’s another lie.

John R. Lott, Jr. analyzed the illegal crime data and the numbers are shocking. Lott found, “Compared to American citizens, illegal aliens are more than twice as likely to be convicted for armed robbery, child molestation, and for sexual assault…nearly three times as likely to be convicted of murder and manslaughter …more than four times as likely to be convicted of a drive-by shooting, and for extortion …[and] more than five times as likely to be convicted of kidnapping.”

His conclusion, “If illegal aliens committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries.”

That’s why we need the wall, accelerated deportations, mandatory E–Verify for jobs, an end to anchor babies and a tax on remittances. Maybe you should ask your Member of Congress why citizens don’t have any of those protections. Are they representing citizens or Latin America?