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The following speech that Donald Trump gave on October 13, 2016 in Florida describes his anti-globalist, anti-elitist movement.

You can find the full text here. The excerpts below, emphases mine, lay out the broad agenda of what he hopes to achieve as president of the United States. This will be old news to those who have been following Trump’s campaign and imminent accession to the White House.

However, it will be news to those who wonder more about the 45th president who assumes office on Friday, January 20, 2017 and get all their information from Big Media, moaning about his tweets. What follows is for those people — wherever they may be in the world:

Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American People.

There is nothing the political establishment will not do, and no lie they will not tell, to hold on to their prestige and power at your expense.

The Washington establishment, and the financial and media corporations that fund it, exists for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself.

The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. As an example, just one single trade deal they’d like to pass, involves trillions of dollars controlled by many countries, corporations and lobbyists.

For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests they partner with, our campaign represents an existential threat.

This is not simply another 4-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not We The People reclaim control over our government.

The political establishment that is trying everything to stop us, is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled this country dry …

It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities …

Let’s be clear on one thing: the corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They are a political special interest, no different than any lobbyist or other financial entity with an agenda

For them, it is a war – and for them, nothing is out of bounds.

This is a struggle for the survival of our nation

This is not just conspiracy but reality, and you and I know it.

The establishment and their media enablers wield control over this nation through means that are well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy your career and reputation. And they will lie, lie and lie even more

When I declared my candidacy, I knew what bad shape our country was in. I had seen firsthand the corruption and the sickness that has taken over our politics. I knew they would throw every lie they could at me, and my family, and my loved ones.

I knew they would stop at nothing to try to stop me.

But I take all of these slings and arrows for you. I take them for our movement, so that we can have our country back.

Our great civilization, here in America and across the civilized world, has come upon a moment of reckoning

But the central base of world political power is here in America, and it is our corrupt political establishment that is the greatest power behind the efforts at radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people.

Their financial resources are unlimited. Their political resources are unlimited. Their media resources are unlimited. And, most importantly, the depths of their immorality is unlimited

Some people warned me this campaign would be a journey to hell. But they are wrong, it will be a journey to heaven because we will help so many people.

In my former life, I was an insider as much as anybody else – and I know what’s like to be an insider. Now I am being punished for leaving their special club and revealing to you their great scam. Because I used to be part of the club, I’m the only one who can fix it. I’m doing this for the people, and this movement is just right – and we will take back this country for you and Make America Great Again.

The corrupt establishment knows that we are an existential threat to their criminal enterprise. They know, that if we win, their power is gone and returned to you. The clouds hanging over our government can be lifted, and replaced with a bright future – but it all depends on whether we let the New York Times decide our future, or whether we let the American people decide our future …

I will not lie to you. These false attacks hurt. To be lied about, to be slandered, to be smeared so publicly and before your family, is painful

But I also know, it’s not about me – it’s about all of you. It’s about all of us, together, as a country

This election is about every man, woman and child in our country who deserves to live in safety, prosperity and peace.

We will rise above the lies, the smears, and the ludicrous slanders from ludicrous reporters …

We will vote to put this corrupt government cartel out of business. We will remove from our politics the special interests who have betrayed our workers, our borders, our freedoms, and our sovereign rights as a nation. We will end the politics of profit, we will end the rule of special interests, we will put a stop to the raiding of our country – and the disenfranchisement of our people.

Our Independence Day is at hand, and it arrives, finally, on November 8th. Join me in taking back our country, and creating a bright and glorious new dawn for our people.

https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/lion-cloud-2.jpg?w=469&h=331

Image credit: The Conservative Treehouse

This week a lengthy dossier and summary about Donald Trump circulated around the world.

It is fake. All of it.

On January 11, Investment Watch Blog (IWB) published an excellent, readable summary of it:

News about the new event including Russia broke the internet this morning. This time, it wasn’t about election hacks and the Democratic party. Instead, it was revealed that Russia is in possession of personal and financial information about Donald Trump. Apparently, the files also included info about Mr. Trump’s sex life. Just a few hours later, Kremlin denied having such files and the President-elect reacted on Twitter, accusing media of witch hunt and an unfair treatment.

The BuzzFeed website published a series of memos which have been floating around for months, containing terrible information about Mr. Trump. You can see those files here. Some allegations made in the memos refer to efforts to influence the elections as well as Trump’s sexual conduct as previously mentioned.

Apparently, it started with the 4chan forum (emphases mine):

The TownHall reports: “What’s worth talking about, however, are swirling claims on Reddit that 4chan users on the board /pol/ completely made the entire thing up. According to a variety of posts on the pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald, a user on /pol/, a 4chan board, made up the most salacious story in the report. He then mailed it to anti-Trump Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who then went to the CIA. The story was then included in the dossier published Tuesday by BuzzFeed News. If this is true, this effectively means that 4chan trolled the U.S. intelligence system and the majority of the U.S. media with what’s basically Donald Trump erotic fanfiction, which is terrifying.”

IWB posted the relevant screenshots from 4chan along with a tweet from Rick Wilson denying /pol/ — the political 4chan forum — was the source.

IWB concludes:

If these allegations turn out to be true, it would mean that Rick Wilson along with BuzzFeed and other media representatives who fed on this story lost their credibility in a single day.

Indeed.

Incidentally, the dossier named a Russian technology expert. However:

What probably happened

Any person or organisation who latched onto this phony dossier did so in an effort to delegitimise Donald Trump’s presidency. That includes Republicans, among them Arizona senator John McCain, who ran against Obama in 2008.

Strangely, an MI6 agent by the name of Steele appears to have been involved in compiling the dossier. The Mirror reports that he has gone into hiding. A ‘Trump insider’ told the BBC’s Daily Politics that British intelligence told him that Jeb Bush paid Steele to embellish the dossier; the more he wrote, the more he was paid.

This tweet summarises what probably happened. Note that it includes Evan McMullin, ex-CIA, who was the very marginal independent presidential candidate that the GOPe put up to sap Trump votes:

A commenter at The Conservative Treehouse gives a fuller possible scenario:

4Chan writes up a hoax.

Rick Wilson, GOPe political operative and massive Trump hater takes the bait.

Wilson disseminates the fake material to anyone who hates Trump.

Tries to get the media to report on it calling it “the thing” on Twitter.

The MSM won’t take the bait.

Steele uses the fake info in a fake report

That fake report is shopped around before the election and no one takes the bait.

With time running out to use the fake report, the uniparty Trump haters get the CIA/IC/FBI to happily launder the report and put their seals on it.

The CIA/IC/FBI tell Trump about the report but don’t show him any documents.

After they told Trump they (someone in the IC) leaked it to the media.

CNN runs with the fake leak.

Buzzfeed publishes the fake document.

Also:

And McCain takes the report to the FBI under the guise of doing something responsible but it’s really because he wants to hurt Trump as everyone knows the report is fake.

[Chuck] Schumer [Senate Minority Leader] knows the IC has a fake report and that a hit from the IC and telegraphs that it’s coming. Basically threatening Trump for days before the leak.

BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal

It should be noted that NBCUniversal is a significant shareholder in BuzzFeed, founded in 2006.

In August 2015, the media organisation invested $200m in the website, which could expand to other countries besides the United States. Over the next year:

NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed … embarked on a number of partnerships, including the latter producing video clips during the Summer Olympics.

The site also ventured into reporting more on politics and special investigations.

In October 2016, NBCUniversal invested an additional $200m.

Therefore, it is interesting that NBC carried a story on January 11 saying that Trump received no briefing on the fake dossier. Perhaps they figure their report could take the heat off BuzzFeed? Who knows?

The Hill reports:

President-elect Donald Trump was never briefed on the allegations that Russian intelligence services have collected compromising information on him, according to NBC and Trump’s transition team

Officials prepared a two-page summary of unverified reports that have been circulating Capitol Hill for months in advance of their Friday meeting with Trump, an intelligence official told NBC, but never discussed it with him. 

CNN

Trump supporters regularly call CNN the ‘Clinton News Network’.

On November 21, roughly two weeks after the election, Trump met privately at Trump Tower with a number of Big Media organisations, including CNN. The New York Post gave this account, excerpted below:

“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.

“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added.

A second source confirmed the fireworks …

“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room, calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.

The Post says that Trump also had a go at NBC. Although he did not name their correspondents, it was clear to the ’30 or 40 people’ in the room that he was talking about Martha Raddatz — sitting there — and Katy Tur.

Trump’s press conference

On Wednesday, January 11, Trump held a press conference near the lifts in Trump Tower.

A noisy exchange took place between the president elect and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who was extremely belligerent in the clip I heard. From The Conservative Treehouse:

• Jim Acosta: “Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question?”
• Trump replied “No, not you, your organization is terrible!”
• Acosta continued: “You are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?”
• Trump reminded Acosta: “don’t be rude.” “I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”

The Daily Mail‘s Quentin Letts, who must have watched a full-length video of the press conference, found it amusing. His is a rollicking write-up, but the problem is that Letts is missing out on the gravity of the situation and Trump’s growly demeanour. The fake dossier was an attempt to take Trump down. It was meant to serve as a precursor to impeachment.

As The Conservative Treehouse points out:

today’s final exposure of the corrupt media, specifically CNN and Buzzfeed, surrounding the false intelligence reports they used to create a completely false narrative – brings the end to a series of events as transparent as the GOPe “splitter strategy” which preceded it.

That ‘series of events’ amounted to a soft coup intended to keep Trump from the White House:

Slightly more than a week after winning the 2016 Presidential Election, the head of the NSA Cyber Command, Admiral Mike Rogers, went to New York and met with the new President-Elect Donald Trump inside Trump Tower.

A month prior to that specific visit, DNI Director James Clapper advised President Obama to fire Admiral Mike Rogers.

There is every indication, every reason to believe, that Admiral Rogers gave President-elect Donald Trump a very specific “heads up“; warning the incoming president of actions which would be undertaken by political operatives within the intelligence community to undermine the construct of the incoming administration.

All activity from that mid-November meeting through to now, points to Rogers giving advanced notice to Trump of a political intelligence scheme which culminated today with the public embarrassment of the those politicized intelligence agencies, operatives and their vessels for disinformation – the media.

Following the meeting with Donald Trump, it clearly appears Admiral Mike Rogers went back into the matrix and, as an outcome of his position, followed orders – but did so with an arms length approach.  The NSA (Rogers) did not support the political intelligence “high confidence” narrative as it was constructed by James Clapper (DNI) and John Brennan (CIA).

What happened next

Shares in Time Warner, owner of CNN took a hit:

That happened despite CNN’s statement earlier that day, before the press conference:

CNN had tried to implicate Trump’s Special Counsel Michael Cohen in the dossier. Trump actually called Cohen to his office with his passport to see if he had been to Russia. Cohen had not.

The outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper quickly issued a statement denouncing the fake dossier:

Let us pray that this concludes these damaging shenanigans. There has never been a coup attempt in American history — until now.

Trump must start draining the swamp as soon as practicable later this month.

click to return to image detailsYesterday’s post about Plough Monday looked at a post-Epiphany tradition revived in the Fens of Cambridgeshire.

Today’s post takes us to Cambridge, where a beloved institution celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2016: Heffers bookshop.

(Photo credit: Heritage Explorer, showing the children’s bookshop in the late 1960s.)

As most Cambridge University colleges are closed to the public, especially during term time, a visit to Heffers is often the closest people get to sharing a slice of the student academic experience. For book lovers and curious tourists, no visit to Cambridge is complete without a trip to Heffers.

The Michaelmas 2016 issue of CAM (Cambridge Alumni Magazine) had a fascinating feature on Heffers. The article, by William Ham Bevan, begins on page 20 of the PDF and continues through page 25. (Michaelmas is the feast of St Michael and All Angels, September 29. Cambridge maintains traditional term names that follow the Church year: Michaelmas, Lent and Easter.)

‘The bookshop known all over the world’

The bookshop is so much a part of town and university life, that author Julie E Bounford, also a tutor at the University of East Anglia, wrote a book about it called This Book Is About Heffers: The Bookshop That Is Known All Over The World. With the help of researcher Rob Webb:

The project is based in part on a fascinating personal collection of photographs, press cuttings and other ‘memorabilia’ of the firm’s activities gathered by the late Winifred Anstee (Julie’s great aunt). This covers staff outings, Heffers family occasions and other key events, dating back to 1913 …

Both Julie’s and Rob’s families have had a long association with Heffers. Julie’s great-grandfather, Frederick Anstee, worked for the company for forty-seven years (starting at the age of thirteen). On his death in 1944, E. W. Heffer wrote an obituary in The Bookseller trade journal. Her great aunt, Winifred Anstee, her grandmother, Lillian Saunders (nee Anstee) and her mother’s cousin, Bryan Anstee, also worked for the firm (as a secretary, shop assistant and printer, respectively).

Rob’s grandfather and father worked for the company during the 1910s and 1940s-70s, respectively. Rob also worked at Heffers during the 1970s.

Bounford, who grew up in Cambridge, has fond memories of the firm’s children’s bookshop, where she bought a paperback every week with her pocket money. Her website has an article about this time in her life, ‘Choosing books, living life’. This would have been around the time the photo at the top of this post was taken. Julie says (emphases mine):

Note the absence of the paraphernalia that you tend to get in children’s bookshops today.  Like children’s diaries, the bookshops were less cluttered in those days.  The focus was the booksChoosing was always a delight but never took long (it took more time to queue for our wares at Sainsbury’s meat and cheese counters afterwards) and I would be even more delighted if the need arose to use the oak library steps to reach a particular volume.

She included the announcement on the death of her great-grandfather, a loyal lifelong employee:

On his death in 1944, E. W. Heffer wrote in the trade journal,

‘We are grieved to announce the death suddenly, on Sunday June 18th, 1944, of Mr Frederick Anstee, of 27 Humberstone Road, Cambridge, aged 60 years.  Mr Anstee entered our employment as a boy, forty-seven years ago, and by most faithful, conscientious and capable service he rose to be head of our science department.  He was known, appreciated and respected by a great number of eminent scientists throughout the world.’   The Bookseller, 22nd June, 1944

Origins

In 2014, The Bookhunter on Safari (Bookhunter, for my purposes here) posted an article about Ernest William Heffer (1871-1948).

Today’s readers will be surprised to learn that his father William Heffer, born in 1844, was the son of an agricultural labourer. He married a housemaid, Mary Crick, who later became a cook for a local doctor. At the time of their wedding, Heffer was 18. Mary was 14.

By 1871 the couple had six (of an eventual total of nine) children to support and Heffer was employed as a humble groom.  There is some suggestion that he subsequently managed a public house, but it was apparently with the aid of a modest loan that he was enabled to set up in business as a stationer.

That would be unthinkable today.

Bounford told the CAM reporter that Heffer set up shop in 1876 (p. 24 of the PDF). Heffer started as a stationer, selling paper products and filing boxes to students and faculty. He sold his wares by walking to the colleges with bundles of merchandise. He was so well known that, when he died, the Vice-Chancellor [head] of Cambridge University attended his funeral.

When he started, Heffer’s workshop was at 104 Fitzroy Street. In 1899, he became a printer and publisher, with agreement from London publishers, to keep the cost of books affordable. He first printed Bibles and hymnals. They were such big sellers that he opened a bookshop in 1896 at 3-4 Petty Cury. He was also good at marketing the shop, using branded bookmarks and print advertising. The bookshop sold textbooks and became a regular destination for students.

Bookhunter tells us:

As the younger children grew up in the bookshop, surrounded by books, they naturally enough joined in.  By 1901 five of them were employed in the rapidly growing concern – Kate Adelaide Heffer (1867-1940), Ernest William Heffer (1871-1948), Lucy Mary Heffer (1873-1951), Frank Heffer (1876-1933) and Sidney Heffer (1878-1959).

It was as the oldest son engaged in the bookshop that Ernest William Heffer, the sixth child, became first a partner and eventually head of the firm.  On 7th September 1897 he married Louisa Marion Beak (1869-1939) at All Saints, Peckham.  His new wife was the daughter of the late and rather splendidly named Worthey Beak, a Berkshire farmer.  She had previously been working as a nurse at the Woolwich & Plumstead Cottage Hospital. Living first at 7 Mill Road and later at 24 Chesterton Road, Ernest William and his wife had three children of their own – Arthur Beak Heffer (1899-1931), Eleanor Mary Heffer (1903-1991) and Reuben George Heffer (1908-1995).

Reuben, a trained printer, took over the firm in 1948 and served as chairman between 1951 and 1975. Reuben’s son Nicholas became chairman in 1984.

Bookhunter says that by the end of the 1920s, Ernest William Heffer — the founder’s son — was selling notable second-hand books. He purchased important collections from private individuals. In 1933, he served as president of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. His wife died in 1939. He died a week before Christmas in 1948, aged 77. Although he left a comfortable fortune:

He was buried at the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge (Plot: 1B1), his grave adorned by a simple wooden cross (Find A Grave Memorial# 34761969).

Heffers expanded during the 20th century. Their large stationery store was in Sidney Street, the Penguin paperback shop in Trumpington Street with the children’s bookshop in Trinity Street. I remember these various Heffers shops. Unfortunately, only the Trinity Street branch exists today. It houses everything for reasons which I will explain below.

Services to students

CAM detailed the story of how Heffers became such a local institution: marketing, branding and customer service.

In 1900, Heffers began issuing academic book catalogues to first year students at Cambridge University. Later, the firm printed branded diaries which it issued to undergraduates (p. 24).

Term time

At the beginning of term, Heffers cleared out the front of the main shop to stock it with textbooks. Staff were entirely at the beck and call of students; no publishers reps were allowed to call during that time (p. 24).

Students then and now became well acquainted with Heffers booksellers, particularly once they moved into specialist studies. Employees knew exactly what the student required and where it was located (p. 25).

Until credit cards became well established, Heffers offered credit themselves. A student had only to apply for an account. Payment was collected without fail. Anyone who owed the bookshop more than £20 found that Heffers sent his tutor a copy of the bill!

Extras

Heffers also printed calling cards for undergraduates (p. 25). By the 1930s, everyone had a set. Calling — visiting — cards with one’s name on them enabled someone to indicate they had stopped by to chat in the event no one was there. They were left at the door. By the 1950s, this old social custom was dying out and their production ceased.

Early in the 21st century, Heffers created a small café, which enabled students to relax with a book. With the consolidation of shops a few years later, however, the café disappeared, and children’s books replaced it.

Recent developments

Today, only the shop in Trinity Street exists. It houses everything from stationery to textbooks to paperbacks and children’s books.

In 1999, the Blackwell Group — booksellers based in Oxford but with branches around the country — bought Heffers, which still trades under the original name.

It is interesting to note that Benjamin Henry Blackwell (1849-1924) founded his company in Oxford in 1879, around the same time that Heffer established his. He and his parents were very religious and teetotal. They objected to the government collecting excise tax on alcohol. Like Heffer, Blackwell also served as president of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association.

It seems that Blackwell, still a family-run firm, looked beyond Oxford to make various acquisitions in the 1990s. It is difficult to know whether Heffers could have done likewise. Perhaps the appetite for expansion just wasn’t there.

In any event, Heffers is definitely worth a visit. Everything is well organised. Not a book is out of place. Service is exceptional. Staff are on hand to find that elusive volume for you and do it with ineffable courtesy.

Heffers is a true English experience not to be missed.

 

Perhaps this is not a coincidence after all. Perhaps the financial calendar we received was printed or edited after November 8, 2016 to include this quote for January 2017:

“As long as you’re going to be thinking away, think big.”   (Donald Trump)

This photo from Jose Graterol Designs is an example of thinking big. It shows the company’s decoration of the Mar-a-Lago ballroom for Trump’s New Year’s Eve do in Palm Beach.

This tweet shows the bar in the Trump International Hotel — the Old Post Office — in Washington DC. Mr and Mrs Reince Priebus are on the right in the photo.

Priebus later tweeted:

Trump tweeted:

It is encouraging to see God and blessings mentioned again in a New Year’s political message.

Nigel Farage opened his greeting by saying that if one had put a £10 accumulator on both Brexit and a Trump victory, one would have won £24m! He is highly optimistic about 2017, however, he said we mustn’t feel complacent after the British and American success in 2016:

Some supporters, such as this Latino in Florida, had an all-out New Year’s Trumpfest.

One commentator for American Thinker wrote:

Happy New Year to you all. It’s going to be a new day here in the nation’s capital and, I hope, around the country and world.

Hers is an excellent article well worth reading in full. I will come back to it in an upcoming post.

One of the comments that followed expressed the significance of Trump’s organising his cabinet away from Washington (emphases mine):

Trump has already sent a message to the movers and shakers inside the beltway but I doubt if they caught it. The message is Trump has been wheeling and dealing from Trump Tower in New York which should send a chill down the spine of Washington, DC. Incorporated. The message is that everything inside the beltway is not that important after all … On January 20th Trump will be inaugurated and officialdom in DC will wish they had only Russian hackers with which to deal. Trump will use his office to force Congress to do their jobs for the first time in many years. Congress has spent the last 20 years doing the bidding of corporate America and it shows. Trump will also put the bureaucrats in their place. Trump will order a hiring freeze and massive tax cuts for individuals, businesses and corporations. I suspect that in a few short weeks Washington will get a wake up call and it won’t be at 3 AM. All the fake news will be replaced with what those in Washington will view as earthshaking developments. The interlude after the election provided the main stream media and official Washington one last opportunity to redeem themselves. But the MSM and establishment couldn’t resist showing their true colors for the last time. Now, it’s Trump’s turn.

However, Big Media do not understand. Ross Douthat, a regular columnist for The New York Times, still seems stumped by Trump’s victory:

EVERY January I write a column exploring my faulty analysis and failed prophecies from the preceding year. After last year’s installment, in which I explained how I had underestimated a certain celebrity tycoon, I received a note from Trump Tower — a clipping of the column, scrawled over with a markered note:

Thank you – Now I will work to get you to go a little bit further. Best wishes, Donald Trump.

A year has spun past since then, and whatever comes of the Trump presidency, he can claim at least one promise kept. That column described Trump as a remarkable political phenomenon who nonetheless could not win the Republican nomination, let alone become the president. Now just as he predicted, I must go further: Mea culpa, he could, he has, and I was wrong again.

But my error was different this year than last. In 2015 I underestimated the man himself: Before he descended the Trump Tower escalator into history, I had no idea that he had the savvy, the discipline, or the stamina to run an effective populist campaign.

By the time the actual primary voting began, though, I had a clear-enough handle on the nature of his populist appeal. What I misjudged in 2016 wasn’t Trump; it was the strength of the institutional forces standing between him and the presidency

my intellect and experience were wrong, and Trump’s Napoleonic intuitions were correct: The Republicans were all low-energy men underneath, and the liberal elites were as vulnerable to him as the Cameron Tories and Blairites were to Brexit.

Yes, this will be the running theme of 2017. And what was the end result? Trump trumped them all — and will continue to do so.

Sensible people in other countries will watch with interest.

More voters in Western countries — the French, the Dutch and, one hopes, the Germans — will want anti-globalist political leaders.

There is no guarantee that they will get them, but a rejection of the elites will become more popular this year.

Someone from south central Pennsylvania replied to Douthat:

Trump will not be gone in four years, he will be re-elected by a larger majority. The elites of both parties still don’t understand that their constant fattening at the public trough while the middle class evaporated and the poor became poorer and lost hope was the reason Donald Trump was elected and will be President for eight years. There was a clear choice between Obama / Hillary’s Socialist economic decay and America for the illegal aliens, vs Trump’s vision of an”America for Americans” and a strong U. S./ economy to be achieved by cutting business taxes so businesses would repatriate overseas profits to the U. S., cutting taxes, getting rid of excess regulations stifling American businesses, discouraging the entry of illegal aliens, encouraging industry (NOT government!) to provide more good jobs by improving the economic climate, by NOT punishing job creators in the private sector. Mr. Trump’s campaign was supported by the citizens of America’s heartland and American patriots, many of whom came out to vote for the first time or switched parties because they were tired of the party of the “working man” being the party of the elites and the socially odd.

How true.

Returning to the Trump quote at the top of this post and the exhortation to think big, a reader of The Conservative Treehouse had this to say. Although I was already on my own in the 1980s, living and working far from home, this mirrors my own Trump experience, which I can voice openly only online:

I can remember Donald Trump very well, from when I was a young man – a teenager in the 1980s. It was a time when you could see the positive spirit in America. It dripped from everything. People were proud, the economy was strong – people had options and choices in their lives. Being successful was not a dirty word – and it seemed as if anyone could achieve it – through work. That was always what I was taught, and that seemed to me to be the American Dream.

Trump was well known then, and to me, he represented that simple dream. Yes, he had a little bit to get started with, but so do a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot do. A lot squander their opportunities.

I liked Trump then, and I like him now. When I saw him then (which was more rare), he seemed soft-spoken, sensible, direct – and proud of his accomplishments. I never saw a reason why he shouldn’t be. That’s always been my take.

So – I always liked the Donald …

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) has two excellent posts here and here. Be sure to read the comments which are packed with videos and pictures from Trump’s campaign.

Trump pulled a blinder with his rallies. They were a political epiphany for many.

Trump risked his life and his health to reach as many Americans as he could.

One CTH reader recalled the horror of the cancelled rally in Chicago in March 2016:

I was for Trump from day one but this rally was a seminal moment for me. I stood in line for hours. I was way up front. I felt so happy to be there and was having a blast with the people around me. I could hardly wait to see Trump in person. It was going to be awesome! But it wasn’t.

Instead of watching Trump speak I watched thugs rip signs out of peaceful peoples hands. I saw verbal/physical assaults and had to listen to those savages cheer when the rally was postponed. Afterwards I sat trapped in my car in the parking garage with my windows rolled up and doors locked while those scumbags blocked the exits. Then I had to drive past them flipping me off and throwing stuff at my car when the cops finally let us out two hours later. I had to endure all this simply because I wanted to hear a campaign speech. On the way home I made a solemn vow that I would do everything I could to get Trump elected and I never looked back

I think it was during the second half of the primary (I can’t remember) Trump said … “I will always tell you the truth”. The first time he said this I burst out crying. I started to cry before I could figure out what the hell I was crying about. After years of being lied to by the other side and “our side” I was stunned. His words touched me.

I believed him. I still believe him.

MAGA and Happy New Year!!

There are people all over the West who still believe the lies from Big Media. I will begin exposing these soon, because some took place over the Christmas period.

To my fellow Britons, the French commentators I listen to on radio and anyone else who is ‘scared’ by a ‘literal Hitler’, stop paying so much attention to Big Media!

Look at other sources of news and analysis, too, if you truly are interested in what is happening politically in the United States: The Conservative Treehouse, The_Donald (independent), Hillary is 44 (an ex-Democrat from 2008) and No Quarter (another ex-Democrat from 2008, Trump-neutral but a former CIA man with excellent geopolitical analyses).

There isn’t a more self-sacrificing man on the world stage today than Donald Trump. Time will bear this out. This is what we can expect in less than three weeks’ time:

President-elect Trump is cutting short the usual inaugural parade and limiting the number of balls so he can hit the ground running.

That indicates to me he will start working the afternoon of his inauguration. The world can hardly wait.

Fireworks Barking Park londonevents2011_comHappy New Year to all my readers!

2016 proved to be the year of the impossible made possible.

The Brexit vote, the Cubs winning the World Series after 108 years and Donald Trump’s election are only three such examples. We lived through ground-breaking history this year.

Hand of God leedsacukMany people — especially agnostics — commented online that the Hand of God was all over various events that took place. Some of those people returned to the Church. Others, previously unchurched, converted. (The best anecdotal evidence can be found in comments at The_Donald.)

2017 looks even more exciting with regard to change and a break with the past. Light will shine on darkness. Those guilty of lying, malfeasance and indecency will be exposed and shamed. Many God-fearing people will be stunned by what they see in the news. The evil of the past revealed — and the power of the good to come — will cause scoffers to repent.

Therefore, I look forward to the New Year for the first time in decades.

I pray that divine grace and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit imbue and guide each of us in the year ahead. May God bless us all.

This year, two old and significant predictions about Donald Trump as president surfaced.

The older one dates from 1990. Scott Adams foresaw this in Dilbert 26 years ago:

 

In 2000, the Simpsons’ creators predicted a Trump presidency. Lisa succeeds him as the first female president and sets out to fix ‘Trump’s’ budget deficit.

As the narrator of this fascinating selection of clips from The Simpsons explains, there was no animation of Trump in the 2000 episode, just a mention of his name.

The animation of Trump came later in a 2015 short made after he declared his candidacy at Trump Tower. In it, Homer gets lost in the vortex of the billionaire’s hair.

The video above has more odd predictions from The Simpsons. Some are more accurate than others. Of particular interest is the 1997 clip showing iPhone-type mobile devices and another one from that year about Ebola. Fascinating!

The following images come from #ChristmasMorning.

This was my favourite:

Donald Trump received applause and a standing ovation when he went to a Christmas Eve service. This is the Episcopal church where he and Melania were married:

Please note that the following film is not as billed. The young men in the film are not Muslim. They are Italians who pulled down a Wishing Tree in Naples — in 2015:

 

The post-election events of just this week alone could be turned into a potboiler of a television series.

I feel bad for people who didn’t have the time (work, family) or inclination (closed-mindedness) to follow this election every day. Those who didn’t have the time are excused. The second group do not realise how serious the situation in the United States is today.

America is in grave danger. People who warned against Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 will be proven correct. Some news items in this post illustrate that.

Mischief afoot — fake news from Big Media

Last weekend, America’s news shows discussed at length stories in the Washington Post and New York Times that ‘intelligence officials’ (anonymous, but within the CIA) stated that the Russian government

hacked the U.S. election.

The Conservative Treehouse pointed out:

First, the media’s choice of wording is critical within both reports.

It is impossible to “hack an election“.  What was hacked was the DNC email system, and John Podesta’s email.  WikiLeaks published the content of both “hacks”.

Additionally, WikiLeaks has denied the source of the information was a foreign government.

Both The Washington Post and New York Times, simultaneously, published articles on Friday claiming anonymous sources within the CIA (note: intensely political CIA Chief John Brennan in charge) point to the Russian government as the originators of the hacking.   However, both articles are written with very obtuse and non specific language intended to cover over the fact these reports are not actually stating the official intelligence community are making these specific claims.

All other media outlets subsequently take this illogically based presentation and spin their coverage whereby the “DNC hacked” becomes “the election hacked“.

On Monday, December 12 John Podesta responded to a request from 10 Democratic electors, including a daughter of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for more information about the CIA’s assertions that Russians were involved in affecting the outcome of the election.

That day, Politico reported (emphases mine):

“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Podesta said in a statement Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed” …

Podesta’s statement is the first public statement from the Clinton campaign raising questions about the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory.

… Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO on Monday that Trump is a “potentially dangerous president.”

On Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey threw a spanner into the works:

In telephone conversations with Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the e-mails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

What’s more, Comey told Trump that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, agreed with this FBI assessment.

The only member of the U.S. intelligence community who was ready to assert that the Russians sanctioned the hacking was John Brennan, the director of the CIA, according to sources who were briefed on Comey’s conversations with Trump.

Later that day, Fox News reported lawmakers were furious that a House Intelligence Committee briefing on the matter was cancelled:

Anger on Capitol Hill boiled over Wednesday night after the intelligence community’s alleged “intransigence” forced the cancellation of a House Intelligence Committee briefing on claims of Russian interference in the U.S. election. 

“Somebody has the time to leak it to The Washington Post and The New York Times, but they don’t have the time to come to Congress,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a member of the committee, told Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “It’s their job to come. They don’t have any choice. They have to come in, especially when they have created this.”

… Fox News was told the CIA Director John Brennan declined to provide a briefer, citing its focus on the full review requested by President Obama. The other agencies did not respond to the committee’s request, which is unusual given the panel is the most-senior committee with jurisdiction.

Larry Johnson, the founder of No Quarter, used to work for the CIA. He picked up on this story in his post, ‘John Brennan’s Failed Soft Coup?’ He wrote:

This should be setting off alarm bells throughout the U.S. Government, but especially within the intel community and the military. CIA Director John Brennan appears to have tried and failed to take out Donald Trump. It is his Agency that spread the lie that Russia made it possible for Trump to win the Presidency. This was not the idle opinion of some underling. Someone was given permission to tell elected Legislators a lie. A bald faced lie. Brennan, and no one else, bears ultimate responsibility for this lie.

When the news first broke last Friday that the CIA had told Senators that Russia essentially gave the election to Donald Trump the politicians and pundits infesting Washington were up in arms. Hell, even John McCain and Lindsay “Little Old Lady” Graham jumped on the hysteria bandwagon to voice outrage and threaten Russia. Tonight we learn that Brennan was lying.

There’s more at the link, but it is important to see this:

I have heard from knowledgeable friends that Clapper finally decided he would not walk the plank for John Brennan. Clapper has lied once before to the Senate and apparently felt that he could stomach no more lies. This isolated Brennan. He has no place to hide now. He could have sent a briefer who would have had to endure the indignity of admitting that the CIA had no hard evidence to buttress its speculation that Russia favored Trump.

This is more than a lie folks. This represents the first time in my life that the Director of the CIA has tried to intervene and disrupt a Presidential election. Brennan should be immediately dismissed and he should pray to God (or Allah) that he is not prosecuted for sedition. Given his prior service as the Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia, one begins to wonder if he has been protecting the interests of America or serving those of a foreign power?

And:

This also completely destroys the Democrat effort to gather support to brief the Electors, who have no security clearances. How in the world can you justify briefing Electors when you are refusing to brief members of Congress who do have the clearances?

In today’s Washington Post, John Podesta blamed the FBI — and people connected with Donald Trump — for Hillary’s loss:

Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.

Podesta’s picture accompanying the article is priceless. Sorry, the Democrats have only themselves to blame. The Podesta WikiLeaks made it abundantly clear that the Democrats — and Hillary — do not like everyday Americans. They also do not like each other.

On the Russian interference front, I have seen reports this week that a British MP said Russians were to blame for Brexit. Someone in Germany thought the Russians could be influencing their election set for next year. Don’t believe it for a moment!

The faithless elector — more fake news from Big Media

Chris Suprun is a Republican elector for Texas. He doesn’t want to vote for Donald Trump, the voters’ choice in that state. Not voting for the winner in one’s state makes one a ‘faithless’ elector.

He is one of a handful of ‘Hamilton electors’ who take the moral high ground. The expression  ‘Hamilton elector’ did not surface until this year. These people claim to be voting in the manner of Alexander Hamilton, instrumental in establishing the Electoral College in the infancy of the United States.

Suprun probably thought he had it made when the New York Times published his op-ed on December 5 listing the many reasons why Trump is no good.

He lives in the Dallas area and works as a paramedic.

He wrote some interesting things, including these gems:

Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation.

I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.

Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.

Rule No. 1 for electors: vote for the winning candidate in your state. Each elector signs a pledge to do just that. Any elector who has a problem with that should stand down. (I couldn’t be an elector. I was for Gore in 2000. I could not have cast a vote for W then or in 2004.)

The next day, Americans made their responses known. YourVoice Radio host Bill Mitchell rightly said Suprun should be stripped of his electorship. Mitchell took a poll asking what the public thought. 98% of the 4601 participants said he should be withdrawn as an elector.

A man from Texas started a petition on Change.org to demand that very thing. Unfortunately, it is still 14,000+ votes shy of the necessary 50,000. The Electoral College vote takes place on Monday. Still, it was worth a try and a decent effort.

On December 8, Suprun appeared on Tucker Carlson, who confronted him over his soi-disant description of ‘moral elector’. He told Carlson that several other electors have contacted him and they have had very interesting conversations:

Discussing the upcoming vote with other EC Republican electors could be interpreted as an ‘ILLEGAL electoral college coup d’état’. Such actions could give rise to charges of treason, rebellion, insurrection or sedition.

The following day, news emerged that the media contact company Suprun had on his Twitter account is Van Jones’s (former Obama adviser) PR firm. Did they come up with ‘Hamilton elector’ and ‘moral elector’?

After tweets about Megaphone Strategies appeared, Suprun listed a different media contact on his Twitter page. Texas ABC television news affiliate WFAA contacted both firms:

Two public relations firms he has hired – Megaphone Strategies and Fenton Communications – responded to our requests for an interview saying: “Suprun’s schedule is jammed packed.”

But that wasn’t all. His first responder story turned out to be bunk:

on at least two occasions over the last couple years at crowded Major League Baseball games, Suprun has been introduced as a 9/11 veteran before throwing out first pitches.

“He claimed to be a first responder with the Manassas Park [Virginia] Fire Department on September 11, 2001 and personally told us stories ‘I was fighting fire that day at the Pentagon.’ No, I was on a medic unit that day at the Pentagon and you make a phone call to Manassas Park and you find out that he wasn’t even employed there until October 2001,” said a first responder who knows Suprun and only agreed to speak about him if his identity was concealed.

The City of Manassas Park confirmed to WFAA that it hired Suprun on October 10, 2001, one month after the 9/11 attacks.

The fire chief there added that his department never even responded to the Pentagon or any of the 9/11 sites.

And there is more, much more. His CV is littered with lies:

It shows he was, at the time this story aired on WFAA, a paramedic with Air Methods air ambulance service. But Christina Brodsly, a spokeswoman for that company, said he is not an employee there.

Suprun also claims to currently be a paramedic with Freedom EMS in Dallas. But records from the Texas Department of State Health Services indicate there’s no such company. A firm with that name used to exist in Houston, but it went out of business in 2008, according to DSHS.

The article goes on to say that Chris Suprun — upholder of the nation’s morality when it comes to voting for a president — has been bankrupt for most of the past five years. He was released from bankruptcy supervision only this month.

The story isn’t over yet, though. On December 12, Gotnews revealed that this moral guardian depends on his wife to work to pay off their $200,000 debt owed to various creditors. Suprun and his wife have three young children.

Gotnews got digging. While Mrs Suprun is busy working to support the family, her moralistic husband has been surfing on the cheating website Ashley Madison:

According to the data, Suprun joined Ashley Madison in February 2012, just six months after joint-filing for bankruptcy with his wife, Dianne Michelle Suprun, in September 2011, and paid for an “affair guarantee” in September 2012.

Where did he get the money?

An “affair guarantee”, which costs $249 today, is a discounted “package” for “credits” that allow men to chat with potential cheating partners on the website. Suprun, who had three kids under the age of 10 at the time, listed himself on the site as “attached male seeking female.”

Gotnews tells us:

Even though he used a throw-away e-mail address and changed his birth date by a few days, the Ashley Madison credit card data is unmistakably Suprun …

There’s only one Stephen Christopher Suprun, from Texas, born in March 1974, and the P.O. box is one of many P.O. boxes registered to Stephen Christopher Suprun that can be found with a quick search of any public records database.

It’s also the same P.O. box used for Suprun’s “Never Forget 9/11” charity, which he still lists on his Twitter profile …

There’s more at the link.

And this upstanding man — someone who has lied about his career, being a 9/11 first responder and also registered with a cheater’s website — has a problem voting for Donald Trump?

News becomes ‘performance art’

Tucker Carlson recently had another guest from Newsweek. Kurt Eichenwald appeared, alleging that Trump had been in a mental hospital for treatment in the 1980s or early 1990s. Eichenwald explained some of the background but spent nine minutes avoiding giving a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether the president elect actually was a patient.

Carlson rightly accused Eichenwald of ‘filibustering’, winding down the time so he wouldn’t have to give an answer to a topic he himself raised as the issue he wanted to discuss. He never did give an answer and accused Carlson of interrupting him. Eichenwald ended by saying he had an important message from the CIA. He never delivered that, either. Meanwhile, he occasionally waved around a white binder that read ‘Tucker Carlson Falsehoods’.

This interview was very strange indeed. Carlson called it ‘performance art’ and ‘the craziest interview’ he’d ever done, which it probably was:

The_Donald has more, including partial transcripts of the dialogue.

And it didn’t end when he got off air. A bizarre series of tweets ensued. Someone also sent him an assault gif, which Eichenwald’s ‘wife’ said, using his account, gave him a seizure. (The assault gifs are linked to in the aforementioned The_Donald thread. Don’t look. They are potentially dangerous for people prone to seizures.) It’s unclear whether his wife was actually tweeting on his behalf. Then Eichenwald couldn’t find the all-important CIA message. Let’s hope it wasn’t sensitive information!

This man appears to have a peculiar journalistic past with regard to an incident involving investigating pornography (more here). That was in 2007. This year, he was a big water carrier for Hillary Clinton and is sure there is a link between Trump and the Kremlin. He got aggressive about the issue with a fellow journalist in October and began tweeting repeatedly about it.

Faithful electors in the majority

Regardless of Chris Suprun, two reports state that the electors are highly likely to be faithful to the process and to their states’ voters.

Politico reports that Suprun is the only faithless Republican elector we know about. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is contacting their electors to ensure they will be voting for Trump. the article goes on to say that the RNC routinely contacts them after presidential elections. However, this year, there’s a difference as the Democratic National Committee has also been contacting GOP electors in an effort to discourage them from voting for Trump.

Trump currently has 306 electoral votes. He needs 270 to win:

If 37 Republican electors rejected him, he’d fall below the 270-vote threshold necessary to become president, sending the election to the House of Representatives for a January vote.

Democrats are attempting to persuade Republican electors to vote for someone like John Kasich of Ohio instead of Trump. However, Kasich said he does not want electoral votes.

Being a faithless elector is not a light matter in some states. Utah:

binds electors to support the candidate who won the statewide popular vote, as the most prominent reason he won’t consider voting for someone other than Trump. Similar laws exist in 29 states, including 14 where Trump won.

The penalties for violating these laws vary widely, with some states carrying no penalty at all, some issuing modest fines, and some requiring immediate replacement of electors. One state, New Mexico, treats “faithless” electoral votes as felonies.

Two Republican electors have already resigned, but still have until the day of the Electoral College vote to change their minds. If they do not turn up on the day in their respective state capitals, they will be replaced with alternates.

Business Insider reported that the Associated Press was able to contact all 538 electors and interview 330 of them:

finding widespread Democratic aggravation with the electoral process but little expectation that the hustle of anti-Trump maneuvering could derail him. For that to happen, Republican-appointed electors would have to stage an unprecedented defection and Democrats would need to buck tradition, too, by peeling away from Hillary Clinton and swinging behind a consensus candidate in sufficient numbers.

Business Insider tells us that Bret Chiafalo of Everett, Washington, co-founded Hamilton Electors. He said that the goal of the group is to steer electors away from the two main party candidates to a third party candidate. However, electors say the group’s tactics leave something to be desired:

“We got a stack of letters from idiots,” said Republican elector Edward Robson, 86, a Phoenix homebuilder.

Fellow elector Carole Joyce, 72, a state committeewoman in Phoenix and retired public-health nurse, was more charitable.

“They’ve caused me great distress on my computer, that’s for sure,” she said.

Trump appointees

On a brighter note, Deplorable Dave from New York not only has a fun countdown calendar but also a highly useful blog page of Trump appointees with the briefest of comments by each name. He updates it every day. It’s well worth visiting between now and the inauguration.

There aren’t many open posts left, which is good. That means the Trump administration can be up and running by January 20.

The Conservative Treehouse has timely analyses of new and potential appointments. Trump has drawn heavily on senior military officers. Former Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke is the latest; he is likely to be the new Secretary of the Interior.

What is also interesting is that Trump is approaching conservative media personalities such as Monica Crowley, appointed to the National Security Council, and Kimberly Guilfoyle as his potential White House press secretary.

What’s next

Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s thank you tour ends this weekend.

Trump has three appearances. He will hold a rally in Orlando on Friday evening. On Saturday afternoon, he will media at the airport in Mobile, Alabama. Then he will meet Pence an hour later in the city’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the final rally.

A Nigerian newspaper recently republished an article about Trump by Pat Buchanan but changed the title to something much better: ‘Trump, Tribune of the American People’. How wonderful!

On Monday, December 19, the Electoral College will vote. Although the votes are not counted in the House of Representatives until early January, the media often give an indication before then of the expected result. If credible news appears, I’ll provide an update.

What president-elect has ever done a nationwide ‘thank you’ tour?

Donald Trump is the first.

This is something the taxpayer is not shelling out for.

He began on December 1 with a rally in Cincinnati (fast-forward to the 45- or 50-minute mark):

On December 6, he appeared in Fayetteville, NC:

On December 8, he gave an address in Des Moines, Iowa:

VP-elect Mike Pence is joining him at some of these rallies and is also doing a few of his own. Visit Trump’s Schedule page for upcoming events.

RSBN (Right Side Broadcast Network) will be covering all of these rallies just as they did during the campaign season. And, just like the campaign rallies, the crowds are the same in the Thank You Tour.

I think Trump misses doing rallies, exhausting as they must have been, especially near the end with two or three in one day. He enjoys being with regular Americans.

Contrast that with Hillary Clinton, who is going to throw a thank you party for her wealthiest donors. Forget the campaign workers:

In other Trump news, it really is time to ‘drain the swamp’:

And:

Trump is really enjoying having the military around him:

I’ll write about Gen Mattis in another post. He has been called a military monk: never married, no children — his profession is his vocation. He is also a military historian and is well read on countless battles going all the way back to the Ancient World.

I mention that now because two English friends of mine expressed horror at a general nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ getting anywhere near the US Department of Defense. I told them they had nothing to worry about. He is a sensible man. He doesn’t even like the name ‘Mad Dog’, which came about as a compliment from his fellow Marines a long time ago. But I digress.

The Breitbart article tells us this is:

a move that has been described as “unprecedented” by some analysts.

Trump has already named retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his secretary of defense and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as White House National Security Adviser.

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, a border security hawk and the U.S. military’s longest serving general, has emerged as the president-elect’s top contender for Secretary of Homeland Security.

Two other retired high-ranking military officer, Army Gen. David Petraeus and Navy Adm. Michael Rogers are also being considered for top posts within the Trump administration.

Gen. Petraeus could be the next Secretary of State and Adm. Rogers the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Senate will have to confirm Gens. Mattis, Petraeus, and Kelly for their cabinet posts.

The Left are freaking out:

In the WaPo op/ed, [post-doctoral researcher Peter] White criticizes Trump for trying to place more than three high-ranking military officers within his cabinet, arguing that doing so would place the United States in the same category as dictator-led autocracies such as  Zimbabwe, adding that advanced democracies have no more than two military officers holding top positions in the executive branch.

The New York Times agrees. No surprise there:

Turning to the retired officers reflects Mr. Trump’s preference for having strong, even swaggering, men around him. But it worries national security experts and even other retired generals, who say that if Mr. Trump stacks critical jobs purely with warriors, it could lead to an undue emphasis on military force in American foreign policy.

Apparently, having a civilian in charge of defence is one of America’s oldest constitutional traditions. But Breitbart says:

When the U.S. Department of Defense replaced the War Department in 1947, Congress determined that the Secretary was to be appointed from “civilian life,” noting no military officer could hold the post until seven years after his or her service.

Right. So this came about after the Second World War, not 1787.

In any event, the president — a civilian — is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Mattis will require a waiver, because he has not been a civilian for seven years:

Congress has the prerogative to issue a waiver. It did just that under President Truman, who appointed five-star Army Gen. George C. Marshall to serve as Pentagon chief from 1950 to 1951.

Let’s wait and see what happens.

If it doesn’t work, he will change it quickly, just as he has done over the decades in the Trump Organization.

Photograph by Nadav Kander for TIMEThere is another big Trump news item this week. He is Time‘s Person of the Year.

Thank goodness. When I voted a few weeks ago in their poll, it took ages to get to the page with his name. It seemed to be at the end of a rather long list of candidates. Julian Assange was also top in people’s estimation, with the president-elect second.

Their cover story article is okay but hardly supportive. I would be interested in seeing the copy they wrote on Hillary, which they surely must have done weeks ago. This piece seems like a rush job.

As such, Trump fans won’t be thrilled, but low-info people might learn something. It covers the election campaign, features an interview with him and soundbites from chief of staff Reince Priebus and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

Nadav Kander’s photographs are excellent, particularly those in black and white. The man should win an award for them. Priebus looks completely different as does Conway. Kander’s lighting and angle give his subjects depth and presence.

Time also explained why they chose Trump:

For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.

Regardless of Time‘s perspective, I couldn’t help but think of all the NeverTrump people I know. What will they say now that his picture is everywhere? Some of these people will be receiving the magazine in their letter boxes. Others will see it at news-stands or at the supermarket.

Many people told me this year that I was wrong about Trump. ‘Trump can’t win,’ they told me time and time again, looking at me as if I were feeble-minded.

I’m glad my better half went to place a bet on Trump winning. We got 4-to-1 odds. We didn’t bet a lot, because with three or four weeks to go before the election, there was no certainty at all. The man at the betting shop had a quizzical expression when SpouseMouse placed the bet: ‘Really? Are you sure?’

To all the people who treated me as if I were senile, I hope they see this Time magazine cover so often within the next week that they never forget you can’t stump the Trump.

Last week, I wrote about Jill Stein’s divisive petitions for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — states which Donald Trump won.

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette tweeted the following information on December 6:

Many of us were surprised no one in authority in Michigan said this in the first place. Stein got approximately 1% of the vote in every state. She never had legal standing.

Anyway:

TRO — temporary restraining order.

And:

An ABC affiliate in Michigan, WLOX, has an excellent summary from the Associated Press of what happened in the Stein recount states, some of which is referred to below.

Wisconsin

As of December 5, 23 of 72 counties have finished their recount. In those counties, Trump gained 105 votes and Hillary Clinton lost 41 votes. Overall, Trump won by approximately 22,000 votes.

On Friday, December 9, a federal judge will hear a lawsuit filed last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount.

Michigan

In addition to the tweets from AG Schuette, Trump won Michigan by approximately 10,700 votes.

This was the state’s third recount. The first two caused the delay in Michigan posting the election result for several days.

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) discusses the difficulty of counting votes in Detroit:

If anyone thought a Michigan ballot recount was going to end up being a net positive for Hillary Clinton, they are intellectually disconnected from understanding the reality of how fraudulent the most democrat precincts are in Wayne County (Detroit) Michigan.

CTH cites an article from the Detroit News that states:

Michigan’s largest county voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but officials couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 610 of 1,680 precincts during a countywide canvass of vote results late last month.

Most of those are in heavily Democratic Detroit, where the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662.

According to state law, precincts whose poll books don’t match with ballots can’t be recounted. If that happens, original election results stand. 

As to who pays for this utter waste of time and resources, although the Republican-majority Michigan legislature just approved a measure requiring candidates who won less than 5% of the vote to pay the cost of the recount, Democrats point out this measure came into play after Stein filed for the recount. They do not think she should have to pay for it. The cost would be in the millions of dollars. Stein has the money. She can pay and she should. That is why she was raising funds on Thanksgiving Day.

Pennsylvania

If Michigan’s recount is called off, it looks as if Pennsylvania’s would be, too.

So far, Trump’s lead there has shrunk by about 20,000 votes. He now leads Clinton by 44,000 votes. The margin is still enough to avoid a recount of the entire state. If such a recount had to proceed, it would probably not be finished in time for the Electoral College vote on December 19.

Pennsylvania law states that one must have concrete evidence that voting irregularity occurred. Stein merely stated that the state’s election system is ‘a national disgrace’. Well, anyone can say that. The recounts in certain counties went ahead, however, based on petitions from Pennsylvanians about their local districts.

The Billy Penn site reports that little changed in Philadelphia’s recount:

The great Philadelphia recount has ended, and Hillary Clinton got five more votes than she had in her previous total …

Donald Trump’s number stayed the same, as did the totals for Independent candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein after the City Commissioners Office recounted votes in 75 of Philadelphia’s more than 1600 voting divisions. The recount had been launched by 250-plus Philadelphia residents answering the call of Stein, who asked for three petitioners in each of Pennsylvania’s voting district to file recounts to assist in her attempts to get a statewide recount through a Commonwealth Court and then Federal Court lawsuit.

Stein’s camp had planned on using the district-level recounts as possible evidence for hacking or fraud. The recount turned up no instances of fraud or hacking here, City Commissioner Al Schmidt said, emphasizing the difficulty of hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet …

The five extra votes for Clinton, he said, came from paper provisional or absentee ballots that were undetected by the optical scanner that counted votes in the days following the election. Schmidt said this can happen when people don’t mark their choices clearly on paper ballots or, ridiculous as it sounds, use a green highlighter instead of a pen or pencil …

On Monday, December 5, Stein announced in front of Trump Tower that she was going to file a federal lawsuit for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. This will be heard on Friday, December 9. The Michigan decision might well have an impact on the result in the Pennsylvania hearing. However, if Stein wins the case, a statewide recount would begin.

Nevada

The Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente, who finished in Nevada with under 1% of the vote, has paid $14,000 for a partial recount, mostly affecting Las Vegas’s 92 precincts. The other eight precincts are elsewhere in the state.

If the total recount shows a 1% discrepancy for De La Fuente or Clinton, a statewide recount goes ahead. The partial recount is expected to be complete by the end of the week.

————————————————————————————

I’ll provide a final update when it becomes available.

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