Lately, as Vivek Ramaswamy gains more notice in the polls, I notice more than a few negative Xeets(?) on the platform formerly known as Twitter: “Too good to be true,” “too esoteric,” “too slick,” – basically criticisms of his presentation. The impression you are supposed to get is that he’s a snake oil salesman; because the followup dissing is, “this guy just popped up out of nowhere,” “Soros?, WEF?”.
This doesn’t come from Progs. It comes from a subset of Republicans. The WEF and Soros connections are BS ad hominem complaints unworthy of any opponents of Joe Biden. They are worthy of Dan Goldman, Adam Schiff, or Eric Swallwell.
This sniping illustrates an OnlyTrump apprehension that Ramaswamy understands and presents MAGA better than Trump does. They do the same thing to Ron DeSantis for the same reasons.
If we’re criticizing the presentation of MAGA, maybe we need to consider whether Trump is the only vessel capable of it.
We should hope he is not. Trump is not forever, he’s 77. Fortunately, he is NOT the point of MAGA.
IAC, Vivek Ramaswamy didn’t exactly come from nowhere. I posted this in May 2021, but it seems appropriate to post again. 26 minutes. Via Hillsdale College: Woke Capitalism Against America | Vivek Ramaswamy
There is a quite recent Ramaswamy interview with Jordan Peterson worth a watch just to observe Ramaswamy in conversation rather than with a set speech. It’s obvious he has thought long and hard about politics. And life.
There’s a segment where he talks about how he and his wife (a highly regarded throat surgeon) handle the stress of separate careers with two small children. They both thought long and hard about that, even before he decided to run for POTUS.
If you are of an OnlyTrump frame of mind you will agree completely with the Twitter criticisms I’ve noted. Or, for that matter, EVERY criticism of any candidate not named Donald.
While Ramaswamy is not likely to best Trump in the fight for the nomination, the contrasts with Trump are not so much in Trump’s favor. Ramaswamy has the certainty of Trump and is vastly more articulate. He speaks with crystal clarity. None of the ambiguity that repeatedly got Trump in trouble. Ramaswamy speaks specifically of American law and tradition when he explains his policy positions. This has not been a Trump strength.
If you are an OnlyTrumper absolute certainty in your candidate does not give you the slightest qualm. Yet Ramaswamy’s well articulated and seriously considered certainty, 90% congruent with Trump’s, seems to irritate you. So, how can you trust him? It’s early yet. And I’m unsure, but I did find one test.
As a rough measure of trust I compared Ramaswamy’s extemporaneity with Peterson’s. One of Peterson’s endearing features is that he frequently pauses when exploring his own ideas. You can see him thinking, “Is this true?, Is this how I should say it?”
Ramaswamy doesn’t do this, at least in the interview. In his defense he is speaking about well known issues. I doubt there is a policy question that would throw him.
I would like to see him grapple with concepts he hasn’t thoroughly explored, that would be a different interview.
IAC, so far I trust his certainty more than I trust Trump’s. He has historical justification, a superior grasp of economics, a better understanding of the law, and a first generation immigrant’s appreciation of what MAGA should be. And he wouldn’t be Joe Biden’s age by the end of the next POTUS term.
I am experiencing considerable inner turmoil at the spectacle of President Trump’s indictment, as well as at the almost animalistic glee that this spectacle has triggered in the solid bloc of Democrats that currently surrounds me.
I am extraordinarily sad — at the thickheaded ignorance of history that those who are celebrating tonight, reveal; and at what has become of our country.
Don’t people understand — much as they may hate this fellow — that this is exactly what coup leaders in every banana republic, do? Seek to imprison their political opponents?
Especially while the political opponents are on the campaign trail?
Another reason for my discomfort and misery is that I have a guilty conscience, because of what I experienced two decades ago and what I know — things that not that many people have experienced or know, and things that seem to be generally forgotten. These memories bear directly on current events…
I am having relentless flashbacks to where I was and what I was doing in late 2000, when I was a consultant for Vice President Gore’s campaign for the Presidency.
As I’ve written elsewhere — and as I am trying desperately to remind everyone who will now listen, on every podcast that will have me — I was advising from a distance, and looped in, intermittently, to discussions within the campaign that were both public and private, about exactly the same issues that are now apparently criminal offenses even to entertain, let alone to mention in actual words.
So were almost all of the lawyers, campaign consultants, advisors and staffers of Gore 2000. So was the candidate himself, visibly.
“I have given Mr. Weiss full power and authority to investigate Hunter Biden and the Biden family. We must conduct a thorough investigation so we can know which crimes to sweep under the rug,” said Garland.
Plans to slow walk the investigation past all statutes of limitation have been revised to take advantage of expanded power to hide evidence from Congress.
That special counsel, who is in charge of those prosecutors, is David Weiss. Appointed US attorney for the District of Delaware by Donald Trump. Trump said Weiss shared his vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.’
Weiss has been at least nominally in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation (admitted tax evasion, proven gun crimes, probable Foreign Agents Registration Act violations) since 2018. It’s logical for AG Merrick Garland to continue Weiss’ oversight of the investigation. Whether that serves Justice is a separate question.
In a March Senate committee hearing Merrick Garland insisted that he would not interfere with the investigation. Weiss, he said, had “full authority” to carry out the investigation and choose the jurisdiction if necessary. Weiss was “not to be denied anything that he needs.” Whether this turned out to be true is disputed.
Weiss is the same prosecutor who approved Hunter Biden’s plea deal – which constituted a gentle touch on the wrist (no slapping, absolutely no jail time) for crimes for which offspring not related to Joe Biden have received years long sentences. But, that’s only two of the three parts of the investigation for which Weiss was responsible.
His prosecutors tried to hide the FARA related parts (still under investigation, they say) of the plea agreement. The judge wasn’t fooled. When she challenged the buried and sweeping future immunity for FARA crimes (broadly, arranging favors for foreigners without registering as a lobbyist), Hunter’s lawyers withdrew from the plea deal. The Feds are now simply admitting the deal is kaput.
It must be getting serious if Garland is citing Departmental Rules. He’s a master of ignoring them. And the announcement wasn’t held for a Friday night information dump.
Maybe Donald Trump simply forgot the personnel management lessons he got in the 2016 campaign and the first year of his Presidency. Michael Cohen, Omarosa Newman, Anthony Scaramucci, Paul Manafort…
You might ask, “Where is Kellyanne Conway when you need her?”
Why? Well, he desperately needs a steadying influence.
You are probably already aware of Trump’s recent flurry of intemperate and foolish outbursts, soon to be a Prog campaign advertising buy. But JIC, at Powerline a précis: Donald Trump, RIP
My understanding is that Trump did not assemble the pictures himself, but that they were part of an article he appended to a Truth Social post. This is not an excuse. That he(!?) failed to notice himself(!?) threatening a black man with a baseball bat is not believable. If you do believe that… it’s even worse: A potential CiC did it unwittingly?
To make this sort of discernment error in your public communications is not, shall we say, indicative of sober reflection. To do it on the same day you warn against “potential death and destruction,” is beyond my comprehension. To do both when a quarter of the country already is wrongly convinced you incited an insurrection?
It was always too much to expect the tiniest forbearance from The Donald, and he has been mercilessly harassed for 7 years by those who would tear down the law to an extent that would make Mother Theresa swear. He accomplished many positive things as President.
But, grant causes for this stone deaf bullshit though I might, I cannot find any rational justification for it. This is his 2016 campaign on crack.
Reasonable, if less informed people could not be blamed for supposing the Jan/6 Committee had a point.
Trump supporters who do not recoil from this need to reflect. But they are the people who will defend him, again making the Jan/6 Committee seem reasonable.
He has already alienated those who consider DeSantis a credible alternative. He insists on sacrificing votes in the general election, should he be nominated.
His egomania is a progressive disease. I am convinced he will run third party should he fail at the GOP nomination. He seems quite willing to destroy any chance of keeping the Dems out of the White House in 2024.
Another Republican might lose even if there is no third party run. But imagine the effect of a Trump campaign of the sort he is already conducting. Cloward-Piven from the right.
Trump has a point. He is no longer capable of making it to anyone who is not a lemming.
Do I still prefer Donald Trump to Joe Biden? Yes. But I hope I am not forced to make that choice. I did vote Libertarian when he ran against Hillary.
Among the most guileful, if transparently self-serving, arguments I’ve heard in favor of spreading student debt to every taxpayer – from a youngster whose degree was fully financed by parents – is that wiping the student slate clean would benefit everyone because of the important contributions student debt ‘victims’ could make if they no longer had to worry about the burden of holding up their end of freely signed contracts.
Freedom from the indentured servitude they accepted would enable them to more quickly apply their elite credentials and superior expertise, contributing to the welfare of society. Translated, this means they can get on with their lives: Borrow money to start a business, buy a house, start a family, afford a planet saving electric car, contribute to the most enlightened charities, vote for more spending… The simplest formulation is, “If we get to be looters, we will become better makers quicker than anyone else. And everyone gets a share!” (Apologies to Milo Minderbinder.)
I do not know how Equity of the implied redistribution is assured, and I assume Equity is very important. Maybe a new Federal Department?
This same ingenue has been heard to argue that we needn’t worry about government spending in any case, because we are on the brink of marvelous technological advances which make the at least half trillion dollar cost of spreading student debt to everyone else look like spare change.
This explosive growth of wealth theory is interesting enough for another long post, but I do have some questions to mention here.
In the context of the student loan pillaging, the minimum increase in general wealth would have to be substantially more than half a trillion. For example, we need to account for all the small businesses that wouldn’t be started because some taxpayers won’t be able to afford it; or a down payment on a house. Etc..
So, if the starting point is north of half a trillion dollars, what is the limit to spending we should consider? Is there any? Are we into full MMT? How much debt will be erased by this unprecedented expansion of wealth?
It seems to me we should minimally aspire to eliminating the national debt, and establishing true trust funds for social entitlement programs. Including a contingency fund for things like reparations. Again, what’s the limit on current spending if we assume such miraculous future growth?
This news is so good, and so imminent (arguably it must occur withing the span of a single generation) that I have to wonder why we just don’t wait for it to happen. And THEN pay off the student loans. Or, better, let the people who incurred the debt pay it off with their new found wealth.
OK. I conflated arguments which appear not strictly meant to be taken together. But there is a direct line between freeing the potential of these embryonic John Galts and economic nirvana. Expecting consistency in such ideas isn’t unreasonable. If we’re going to accept “the elite will contribute more than it costs” argument, it’s fair to ask how much faith we can put in the overall economic acumen of the bright young people who are proposing it. Who are preparing to become stewards of the economy.
The bottom line is that looting of taxpayers on behalf of students will damage the economy. Even if you accept the “benefits everyone” argument, those benefits are not immediate. Let’s just let the people who benefited from the loans they took (because they thought they would benefit financially) pay them off. As a bonus, not paying them off via taxation preemptively reduces the national debt by at least half a trillion dollars.
However, perhaps you find economic arguments insufficient. And you consider the question of fairness to those who responsibly discharged their student debt to be irrelevant… Let’s take a look at legal objections and precedent.
A major argument for proponents is that a Presidential executive order is legal under the 2003 HEROES Act. Randi Winegarten certainly doesn’t see any legal barrier:
If you can take the word of a person responsible for closing classrooms that she’s concerned about “our students” you might consider that what she means by “our” is ownership, not stewardship. She does not mean students under care and protection, she means revenue bots.
The HEROES Act of 2003 was sponsored by Republican John Kline of Minnesota, who had served 25 years as a U.S. Marine. When he introduced the bill in the House of Representatives, he declared that it would help “the troops who protect and defend the United States.”
At that time, many college students and recent grads who were members of the National Guard and Reserves were being deployed to carry out Operation Iraqi Freedom and anti-terror operations in response to the slaughter of 2,977 people on 9/11.
Stating that the bill was “simple in its purpose” and “specific in its intent,” Kline explained that it will “assist students who are being called up to active duty or active service” and those who are impacted by “a war, military contingency operation or a national emergency.” He also emphasized that the bill would do this “without affecting the integrity” of student loan programs.
Demonstrating just how simple and specific the bill was, the official legislative record shows that the House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 421–1 with only “forty minutes of debate.” The Senate then passed it “without amendment by unanimous consent.” If all 100 senators were present, this is a margin of 521 to 1.
The Penn Wharton Budget Model estimates that Biden’s student loan cancellations and payment reductions will cost $605 billion to more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. This amounts to an average cost of roughly $4,700 to $7,700 for every household in the United States.
The Biden administration claims that the HEROES Acts of 2003 gives them that power, but Congressional records prove just the opposite is true. These include the introduction of the law, the debate of the law, the votes on the law, and the text of the law.
Moreover, the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that unless Congress clearly delegates such powers to the president, these types of actions are illegal.
There’s more. Even Nancy Pelosi knew it would be illegal before she stopped knowing it
If the Court cannot stop the president from raiding the Treasury to buy votes and reward friends on the most implausible of legal pretexts, what is it for? A majority of the Court appears to recognize that the HEROES Act does not grant the power in question — a reality that even Nancy Pelosi acknowledged until it became clear that Biden intended to act when he could not get such a plan through Congress.
The statute says that the secretary of education can “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs” when “necessary in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency.” Chief Justice John Roberts set the tone for the argument by noting that Justice Antonin Scalia once observed that “modified in our view connotes moderate change. He said it might be good English to say that the French Revolution modified the status of the French nobility, but only because there’s a figure of speech called understatement and a literary device known as sarcasm.” Moreover, the chief justice observed that, even if terms such as “waive or modify” could be construed to encompass the outright cancellation of student debt, the Court’s “major question doctrine” requires more — namely, a citation to “clear congressional authorization” of the specific action taken by the administration. No one can plausibly claim that the HEROES Act even anticipated, much less green-lighted, half a trillion dollars in relief to a favored class of debtors without additional congressional input.
The entire idea was a Democrat political ploy prior to the mid-terms.
Biden has justified spending such an incredible amount without first obtaining congressional approval by invoking the HEROES Act, a 9/11-era law designed to allow the federal government to provide student debt relief to soldiers who were forced to withdraw from college to enter active duty. Under the HEROES Act, the Secretary of Education is granted the authority to waive “any statutory or regulatory provision” relating to student loan repayment or assistance programs during a time of “a war or other military operation or national emergency.”
The legal ground justifying Biden’s student loan relief plan has always been shaky—and obviously politically motivated. As higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz told CNBC earlier this month, “If it was an emergency, why wait three years to provide the forgiveness? Why present it in a political framework, as fulfilling a campaign promise?”
Finally, let’s not forget who promoted this problem. Student indebtedness owes most of its problematic nature to debt encouraging Federal programs and the use of that easy money to fund the explosion of a diversity/inclusion/equity (DIE. AKA DEI) Administrative cadre in our universities. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING is a quintessential example of government causing a problem for which the ‘fix’ is more government intervention.
Chicago is electing a mayor today. The candidates are not simply corrupt, they are degenerate. The execrable Lori Lightfoot, for example, may be re-elected. While it’s not clear any other candidate is better, some are even worse.
It reminds me of Carl Sandberg’s 1914 poem Chicago. The opening line was cemented in my mind 60 years ago.
Carl Sandberg loved the city. He captures Chicago’s essence: What made it a great city. He sees the dark side, but also a flourishing metropolis: Big, vibrant, strong, industrious, creative.
I’m sure he would shed a tear at what it has become.
By Carl Sandburg
“Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.”