Oakland Raiders Thrown for a Loss
No, the title does not refer to the football team. I am talking about Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) – those folks who track down and deport the bad dudes who came to America to pursue criminal careers. Seems that ICE was about to grab a number of nasty criminal illegal aliens in a multi-level raid when the mayor of Oakland, California tipped off the culprits. Mayor Libby Schaaf not only admits she did that, but she doubles down by insisting that she is happy to have done it.
ICE managed to pick up approximately 200 felons, but many of the 800 that were missed seem to have taken advantage of Schaaf’s alert. Amazingly, the mayor claimed that her motivation was to prevent people from having to live in fear. Schaaf apparently would rather give aid and comfort to criminals than all the victims and potential victims of their crimes, who still must live in fear of those missed in the raids.
If some low-life informer had done what Schaaf did, he or she would be promptly arrested for obstructing justice. No less of a fate should befall Mayor Schaaf. She should be immediately removed from office for violating her responsibility and oath to uphold the law. We keep saying that no one is above the law and this case will let us know if that is true.
The problem is that she is a liberal Democrat. We see over and over how that ilk sees our rule of law as an inconvenience when pursuing their political and philosophic agenda. How many times have we seen rioting, vandalism, looting and arson overlooked when tied to a pet progressive cause (think Antifa and those Berkley students). Being arrested has become a badge of honor for the radical left – even for ministers like Jesse Jackson and congressmen like Luis Gutierrez.
They seem to not recognize the difference between being arrested, like Martin Luther King, for protesting the unconstitutional and illegal actions of all those Democrat administrations he so eloquently opposed. He was fighting FOR the rule of law and did not engage in destruction and violence to do so. In that case, the Democrat office holders were the lawbreakers.
If we were really a nation of laws, Mayor Schaaf would have been cuffed, arrested and indicted by now. However, it is not too late. But unfortunately, this IS California.
North Korea’s Charlie Brown Strategy
At the beginning of every football season, there is a repeated famous comic strip that has Lucy promising faithfully to tee up the football for Charlie Brown to kick – and every year she snatches the ball back at the last moment. Lucy retains the ball and poor Charlie lands embarrassed on his posterior – again and again.
North Korea has been playing the Lucy role for more than 20 years – but instead of a football to be kicked away, it is the atomic bomb. When the pressure mounts, Kim Jong Un will agree to talks – but his team still keeps possession of the ball – the bomb. They have even received hundreds of millions of dollars to end their nuclear program. More talk, more time, more money, but nothing changes Kim’s Lucy-like behavior. The western world always lands on its collective posterior – apparently insufficiently embarrassed – and North Korea retains the ball.
It is again that season, and like Charlie Brown, many in the world diplomatic community will again embrace gullibility to take yet another chance at kicking the ball – even as the “ball” keeps becoming more dangerous. They believe that maybe this time Lucy will give up the ball. But, what makes them think Kim will abandon a strategy that has worked so well for so many years?
Trump has done an outstanding job of increasing the pressure on Pyongyang. He has increased sanctions and mobilized the world community against North Korea – most notably China and Russia (to some extent). As a result, Kim played nice-nice at the Olympics and let word out that he would be willing to open discussions with South Korea and even the U.S. – although he will not entertain any proposal to give up the nuclear ball. So, what is the point of discussions? Pyongyang will be more than happy to spend months and even years talking over vague proposals as long as they do not affect his aggressive nuclear ambitions.
Hopefully, Trump will not fall into that same trap and allow North Korea to become even a more dangerous nation by talking about talks as the nuclear arsenal continues to grow north of the DMZ. Scary as it may be, it may now be necessary for Charlie Brown to simply take the ball away from Lucy by force.
Yes, there are still opportunities to increase sanctions – and God only knows why there are still unimposed sanctions after all these years. The U.S. should insist upon imposing them immediately and if they do not produce the desired results expeditiously, we must look various military options. Trump should make sure that the nations of the world – allies and adversaries – should know that it is not a threat, but a warning – a promise.
For more than 20 years, ours and most of the world’s policy has been that a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable. So, why have we accepted it for so long, and when do we stop accepting the unacceptable? We really have no choice but to get the ball away from Lucy.
Is it Real Chaos or Chicken Little Hysteria?
Much of the news coverage today seems to come from Chicken Little. If it is not the sky that is falling, they at least see the roof of the White House caving in. Recent left-wing media reports have raised the volume on their duo narratives that the White House is in chaos and that President Trump has become “unhinged.” While one cannot argue with some basic facts – that there have been an unusually substantial number of staffers leaving the White House and a number of people associated with the Trump campaign have been indicted – although none of the indictments speak to collusion or obstruction of justice by Trump or his campaign. But those realities do not inextricably lead to the media conclusion.
In defending his administration from the media’s “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” Trump claimed that “everyone would want to work at the White House” – hyperbole, to be sure. This led MSNBC’s obsessive never-Trumper, Nicole Wallace, to declare the President’s exaggerated statement to be “a lie.” In refutation, the pathetic Wallace declared that “no one wants to work at the White House.” If every exaggeration is to be declared a lie, Wallace told a whopper. Trump is more correct in that he will have no problem filling any vacancies at the White Hours.
To promote these evergreen anti-Trump narratives, the major elitist news outlets quote each other to give the appearance of reality to their one-sided speculations. The New York Times reporters and columnists appear on Morning Joe with regularity and Joe Scarborough pens columns for the New York Times. This game is played repeatedly on a daily basis. It is nothing less than political and professional incest -- making a lie believable by telling it over and over.
The never-Trump media indulges in pseudo psychiatry by reporting on the Presidents thinking and feelings – something they not only have no professional ability to do, but they have absolutely no way to know what Trump thinks and feels. It is their grim fairy tale and they are sticking to it.
The reporting from inside the liberal media bubble seems to reflect more of the hysteria that gripped Democrats and the political left on election night 2016, when their worst nightmare became a reality – and when they first launched the ongoing resistance and never-Trump movements. The media’s motive seems less to inform and more to whip the American public into an anti-Trump, anti-Republican and anti-conservative frenzy that they hope will produce results on Election Day 2018.
They paint a picture of a President who is isolated, bereft of his closest friends. They claim his announcement on tariffs was an indication of his erratic behavior. In fact, Trump still has a very large staff and his statements about tariffs are something he has said as a candidate and throughout his campaign. Hardly something he blurted out in a moment of rage. Trump's appearance at the meeting in which he proposed the tariffs seemed quite informed and rational – even to someone like me who disagrees with his proposed tariffs.
The White House may have to deal with several problems and a bit of discombobulation – more than usual because of Trump’s pugnacious personality -- but accusations of chaos and dysfunction is a bridge too far. Judging from Trump’s upward improvement in some of the polls, it seems many Americans see through the concocted partisan narratives being advanced by Democrats and amplified by a fawning media cabal that, itself, seems to be unhinged at times – a least from professional ethics.
Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.