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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Nightmare ‘Establishment Strikes Back’ sequel stirs up Washington swamp

Forget Donald Trump; forget Hillary Clinton; forget Barack Obama; forget Devin Nunes, Adam “shifty” Schiff, Robert Mueller, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Christopher Wray, Chuck Grassley, the FBI, the FISA court, James Comey, Jim Jordan, Lisa Page, Loretta Lynch, Mark Meadows, Matt Gaetz, Peter Strzok, Rod Rosenstein, Sara Carter, Sharyl Attkisson, Christopher Steele, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson.

Empire Strikes BackWhat do any of these people know about Russia’s role in the 2016 election? Nothing! All we need to do is ask former President George W. Bush for the real scoop – he’ll give it to us straight!

W. made headlines yesterday by providing his own personal take on the exploding scandal rocking Washington – and not so surprisingly, Bush wasn’t on the side of President Donald Trump. Louis Nelson of Politico reported, “Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that there is ‘pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled’ in the 2016 presidential election, a seeming rebuke of President Donald Trump, who has at times questioned the intelligence community’s assessment that the Kremlin is to blame.

“’Whether (Russia) affected the outcome is another question,’ Bush said at conference in Abu Dhabi, according to a USA Today report. ‘It’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.’”

Really, George? Haven’t we been talking about “trusting the results” for a year and a half now? Ever since candidate Trump suggested during his final debate with Hillary Clinton that he wasn’t ready to rubber-stamp the election results ahead of time Democrats and other Trump-haters have bashed him relentlessly for simply questioning the integrity of the democratic system.

When Trump won the Electoral College, however, their tone changed. Crooked Hillary’s handlers introduced their “Russians did it!” fairytale and things haven’t been the same.

Nelson continued, “The former president did not mention Trump by name, but Bush’s unequivocal statements on the issue ran counter to the rhetoric that has emerged from the Trump administration. Trump himself was slow to accept the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia had operated an interference campaign targeting the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the aim of aiding his candidacy, insisting for a time that it was China or even a ‘400-pound person sitting in bed.’”

Maybe it was a 400-pound Russian guy lying in bed next to the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page while the married (to other people) lovers texted each other the latest gossip about Trump fixing the 2016 election courtesy of his ‘ol pal Vlad Putin and the Rusky borscht boys, all no doubt holdovers from bygone KGB days. 

Aside from the fact George W. Bush, as a former president, no longer receives first-hand intelligence briefings (and wouldn’t know any different than the rest of us), what the heck is he doing in a foreign country (and speaking to a foreign audience) undermining the credibility and legitimacy of the current President of the United States? Is George W. still so bitter over Trump’s savaging of little brother Jeb in the GOP primaries that he feels compelled to endanger the country’s prestige and potentially its national security by perpetuating false and salacious rumors (that the Russians interfered in the election)?

It appears over a year’s worth of exposing the sordid details of the intelligence community’s twisting of facts (and ignoring others) to advance the meddling narrative wasn’t enough to convince Bush that if anything, Trump’s opponent colluded with Russians to steal the election.

Does Bush not read the papers? Or is he so blinded by his own Trump hate that he blurts out nonsense on subjects he really knows nothing about?

Bush left the presidency over nine years ago yet the stench from his final term in office has hardly subsided at all. Thanks largely to Bush and his establishment cronies the conservative cause was set back decades; under his leadership the GOP morphed into a pro-amnesty, big spending, big bailouts, intervene-everywhere party. By the time Bush left the White House Republicans were in such disrepute that three-quarters of the country was itching to escort him to Andrews Air Force Base for his final taxpayer financed flight out of town.

Even now under the “outsider” leadership of President Trump the GOP is having difficulty shedding its big government snake skin. The budget deal announced by party leaders this week was nothing short of a complete sellout on spending. It was shameful – and most definitely, harmful to everyone’s cause.

The Editors of National Review wrote, “[T]his is a bad deal. It is a bad deal because it hikes domestic spending. It is a bad deal, as well, because it may end the chance for a conservative legislative achievement in 2018.

“A two-year spending deal means Republicans probably won’t go to the trouble of passing a formal budget for 2019. That would mean no chance for a so-called reconciliation process that could allow them to enact meaningful legislation with only 50 votes in the Senate. If Republicans accept this deal and then forgo the reconciliation process, they will have given up their chance to pass a law without Democratic support, and measures such as easing the Obamacare regulations that will contribute to higher premiums in the coming years or reforming welfare will stand no chance of making it through Congress. With this deal, Republicans are hurting the chance to add to their ledger of accomplishments prior to November.”

The senate deal was so stupid on its face that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “genuine breakthrough.” Schumer was giddy at the prospect of virtually unlimited spending for domestic programs -- nearly $130 billion over the previously agreed to budget caps. Meanwhile GOP leaders crowed about the extra $160 billion (above caps) for a boost in defense outlays.

The editors of National Review called more borrowing for the military “welcome news.”

What’s going on here? First George W. Bush spouts off about Russian conspiracy theories and then the so-called “leadership” of the Republican Party gets all chummy with Chucky Schumer and agrees to pop the top off budget caps as if they were a shaken soda bottle on a hot day. Whatever happened to Republicans fighting for the country’s fiscal future? Don’t debts matter anymore? Apparently all the GOP’s campaign promises to safeguard the government’s purse strings for future generations were just gusts of hot air.

It’s a nightmare – or the latest sequel in the “Establishment Strikes Back” movie genre.

Thankfully not every Republican agreed with the leaders’ “money for everything” spending spree. Rachel Bade, Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris of Politico reported, “Fiscal hawks on Capitol Hill panned the budget deal reached by Republican leaders and Democrats on Wednesday as fiscally irresponsible and an abrogation of the GOP's congressional majorities…

“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called it ‘a terrible, no good, rotten way to run your government.’

“’It’s a really bad idea to blow through the budget caps,’ Paul said. ‘It’s bad for the country.’”

The senate deal also included a one-year extension on the debt ceiling, which essentially means there isn’t a “ceiling” at all for those months. Federal lawmakers now enjoy an unrestricted credit card -- and you know they’ll use it! In exchange for votes House GOP leaders offered conservatives another committee to study the deficit issue – but of course any resulting recommendations would need approval from two-thirds of Congress.

In other words, the sky’s the limit here.

The Politico article did make it sound like there was significant conservative opposition to ballooning government spending, but even if enough House members opposed the increases there would be Democrats to fill in the holes. The opposition party may hate everything about President Trump but they’re more than willing to go along when the pot is sweetened with pork and welfare money.

Republicans apparently now favor both Keynesian-style deficit spending and supply-side tax cuts. This odd combination resulted in massive economic growth in the 1980’s but now the national debt exceeds a year’s worth of GDP output from the entire U.S. economy. Congress throws around hundreds of billions of dollars like it was Monopoly money. Didn’t they realize the game was designed to teach kids about fiscal choices?

Spending is out of control. Notice how no one talks about constitutional amendments to restrain it anymore. Those days are gone and so is any realistic discussion of curtailing the problem. Economist Walter E. Williams offered his own proposal, writing at CNS News, “Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress. That's a misguided vision, for the simple reason that in any real economic sense, as opposed to an accounting sense, the federal budget is always balanced…

“The nation needs a constitutional amendment that limits congressional spending to a fixed fraction, say 20 percent, of the GDP. It might stipulate that the limit could be exceeded only if the president declared a state of emergency and two-thirds of both houses of Congress voted to approve the spending. By the way, the Founding Fathers would be horrified by today's congressional spending. From 1787 to the 1920s, except in wartime, federal government spending never exceeded 4 percent of our GDP.”

Yes, the Founding Fathers would be aghast at much of what’s going on these days, including a former president going abroad and undercutting the current one. Shameful. There was a great deal of philosophical divergence in our republic’s earliest days but the one thing they could agree on was “hanging together” -- or they would most certainly all hang separately.

In other words, our forefathers were “America First” through and through; it’s a concept today’s ruling class elites just don’t seem to grasp.

If anyone needed further evidence that the DC swamp was alive and well, the events of this week provided it. Regardless of what happens with spending the mere proposal to ignore budget caps in such dramatic fashion was troubling and sets a horrible precedent for years to come.

Note: The House passed a version of the big spending bill early Friday morning. Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner reported, “The House early Friday morning passed a bipartisan bill to keep the government open, several hours into a partial government closure and despite division within both parties over the legislation.

“Dozens of Republicans and Democrats voted against the bill, which provides government funding until March 23 and sets a marker for federal spending levels for the next two years. The legislation also suspends the nation’s borrowing limit for one year, and provides nearly $90 billion in disaster relief for states and territories devastated by recent wildfires and hurricanes.”

In other words, Congress voted to keep the government open just for the sake of keeping the government open. When is this ever going to change?

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