Monday, February 29, 2016


Megan McArdle at the Bloomberg website has put together a valuable compendium of commentary by ordinary Republicans who are vehemently opposed to Donald Trump's candidacy. McArdle captures the passion of people denouncing what they see as an existential threat to the party to which they are loyal and to the country they love. None of them would ever consider voting for Trump and many of them plan to vote for the Democratic nominee, with some saying they would actually volunteer to work for or contribute money to the Democrat.
McArdle's subjects obliterate the left wing caricature of Republicans and conservatives as ignorant, uncaring, immoral racists and misogynists. Tragically, that caricature now seems justified because of Trump's candidacy.

Here are a few of the many, many quotes from McArdle's article --

"Voted in all levels of elections since 1995 in several starts.  Voted in EVERY SINGLE election. Even obscure ones. While deployed in Iraq, didn't matter. From city council, county commissioner, state representative, all the way up the chain, always voted straight Republican. Of the original 17 Republican candidates from July 2015, I'd vote for any of the other 16. Just #NEVERTRUMP."

"It’s not just that he’s vain, conceited and a braggart. Or that he’s prone to petty put downs, schoolyard taunts, cruel mockery and just plain rudeness. It is that he embodies virtually everything I strive to teach my young sons not to be and not to emulate.

That being wealthy makes one morally superior.
That material wealth is a measure of a man’s true worth.
That boasting about sexual conquests is something to be admired or cheered.
That every challenge to your ideas should be met not with a sound argument about the idea, but with smears, insults and put downs about the person uttering the disagreement.
That legitimate challenges to your ideas should be met with threats of financial ruin or lawsuits.
That the force of government should be wielded by the wealthy against the weak.
That your failures or lack of success must always be attributed not to your lack of intelligence or initiative, but to someone else getting something that’s rightfully yours."

“My grandfather and great-grandfather were white Republicans in Alabama in an era when that simple fact would get the Klan on your lawn. They despised George Wallace. I see more than a little of old Jumpin’ George (as we called him when I was in grade school), and his remarkable ability to pander to the lowest common denominator, in Trump.”

Here's my list of disgraced CINOs (Conservatives in name only) who, by their support of Donald Trump, have shown themselves to be A) ideologically unprincipled and B) dreadfully poor judges of human character. Some of these people have stood behind Trump from the beginning. Others have only recently caved and converted. (e.g. - Roger Simon). This is obviously not a complete list. It will no doubt grow with time, especially if Trump's success continues.

Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Scott Brown, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Jan Brewer, Mike Huckabee, Jeff Sessions, Roger Simon, Mark Steyn.

The only name on this list that truly disappoints is Mark Steyn. It's marginally understandable that a strong believer in the idea of "demography is destiny" would lend his support to someone who prioritizes the problems of illegal (and legal) immigration. It's inexcusable, however that Steyn cannot see the blatant con he's buying into and the disreputable seller he's buying it from.

Steyn remains an exceptional thinker and writer. Here he critiques America's traditional two party system, of which Trump's emergence may signal an end.

Ultimately, Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party has only been possible because of the rigid inflexibility of America's party system. The two-party one-party state, unchanged in 150 years, is unique in the western world, where parties are born and die according to whether there's a market for them. If a genuine market in parties were possible here, this season there would probably be a nationalist party, a conservative party, and a soft-right party - and, over on the other side, a corporatist party and a socialist party. In the British House of Commons, there are currently 11 parties represented, plus four independents. In the Canadian House of Commons, there are five parties. In New Zealand, seven. When The Washington Post's Michael Gerson warns that a Trump nomination would break apart the Republican Party, the implication is that the health of the Republic depends on maintaining the same two parties of the Civil War era for all eternity. Why?

The case for invading Iraq in 2003. Still the right decision after all these years. --

Ben Sasse, the anti-Christie --

Ed Morrissey announces his endorsement of Marco Rubio --

The correct way to react to an endorsement from a bigot. Ronald Reagan (1984) --

"Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse. The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood."

And the wrong way. Donald Trump (2016) --

“I don’t know anything about David Duke okay… I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. I don’t know, did he endorse me? Or what’s going on. Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists.”

"Know Nothing." Trump should lead a new iteration of that pre-Civil War party known for its hateful, nativist ideology.

Blogger conservativecurmudgeon blasts Jeff Sessions' Trump endorsement --

We civilized Americans utterly, utterly reject ALL forms of racism in America– whether it comes from the foul mouth of the Black Lives Matter rent-a-mob, or the cuddly-soft humor in employee lunch-rooms. But, in the early dawn of the 21st century, we tend to think the veneer of this civilization is too broad and deep to be penetrated by the superficial news-cycle. But, it’s not.

...There are likely millions of black Americans that have personal stories about great-grandfathers that were brutalized by the Klan, or a great aunt that was terrorized, or some other now-distant relative that was lynched by this group of sub-human bacteria.

When I think about the horrific conditions of black men, women, their children and families in the Reconstruction-era south, I am certain I would vomit if I knew the complete history. And, I would be racked all the more when I considered this happened in a nation supposedly conceived in the cauldron of individual sanctity and sovereignty.

That we’ve made tremendous strides –more than any other western culture– to remove this cancer from the body politic is beside the point: Yes, we all make jokes about different ethnic groups –including our own– but we don’t make jokes about terrorist groups or their victims. And the Klan is the grandfather of all terrorist groups. And David Duke is America’s answer to Abd al-Rahman al-Nashiri– except we haven’t seen fit to water-board the sniveling bastard.

…and that Donald Trump doesn’t know who this nut-job is affronts the sensibilities of even the most reclusive shut-in whose TV remote stopped working in the early-aughts. Of course video evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump knows full well who David Duke is– there is video evidence of Donald Trump doing the exact opposite of everything he’s ever said, the guys been on TV my whole adult life, in one incarnation or another.
But Senator Sessions? The timing was perfect for your announcement, sir, in support of the most overtly foul major-party candidate since Huey Long. And it points to how little progress we’ve really made.

George Will on Trump --

The night before his promise to make America great again through censorship, Trump, during the Houston debate, said that his sister, a federal judge, signed “a certain bill” and that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito also “signed that bill.” So, the leading Republican candidate, the breadth of whose ignorance is the eighth wonder of the world, actually thinks that judges “sign bills.” Trump is a presidential aspirant who would flunk an eighth-grade civics exam.

...Unfortunately, Rubio recognized reality and found his voice 254 days after Trump’s scabrous announcement of his candidacy to rescue America from Mexican rapists. And 222 days after Trump disparaged John McCain’s war service (“I like people that weren’t captured”). And 95 days after Trump said that maybe a protester at his rally “should have been roughed up.” And 95 days after Trump re-tweeted that 81 percent of white murder victims are killed by blacks. (Eighty-two percent are killed by whites.) And 94 days after Trump said he supports torture “even if it doesn’t work.” And 79 days after Trump said he might have approved the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. And 72 days after Trump proved that he does not know the nuclear triad from the Nutcracker ballet. And 70 days after Trump, having been praised by Vladimir Putin, reciprocated by praising the Russian murderer and dictator.

Finally, a testament to Hillary Clinton's incompetence and woeful lack of judgement. A comprehensive, two part New York Times feature about the events leading to the current chaos in Libya.

Part One --

Part Two --

It's notable that over the weekend, top DNC official and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her DNC position to openly back Bernie Sanders. She stated the reason for her endorsement on Meet The Press --

"I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, looks at the consequences of the actions they're looking to take, before they take those actions, so we don't continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life."

Consider that. Hillary Clinton's foreign policy judgement was so bad that Bernie Sanders is a preferable choice as commander in chief. Bernie Sanders! who reacts to the term, "foreign policy" the same way Linda Blair reacts to holy water.

Added 3/1 - Bret Stephens' weekly column -- Trump's gutter "conservatism".

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Finally Going After Trump, And Other Stuff

Jonah Goldberg's latest G-File includes his priceless reaction to Trump's claim that he's being targeted by the IRS because of his "strong Christianity".

I was only half listening when Donald Trump came into the spin room on CNN to explain why he’s been audited every year for twelve years.

“I’m always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair — I don’t know, maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else, maybe because I’m doing this, although this is just recently,” Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo immediately following the 10th GOP debate on Thursday night.

Cuomo cut in: “What do you mean religion?”

“Well, maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian, and I feel strongly about it and maybe there’s a bias,” Trump said.

Cuomo cut in again: “You think you can get audited for being a strong Christian?”

“Well, you see what’s happened,” Trump said. “You have many religious groups that are complaining about that. They’ve been complaining about it for a long time.”

“Spit take” doesn’t even come close to describing my reaction. As it was, I gagged so hard my spleen almost came out my nose. It was nearly the first recorded instance of spontaneous self-mummification. I scared the cats because I reacted like members of Delta House when the picture of Flounder appeared on the screen.

There are two possibilities here. Either Donald Trump believes what he said, or he doesn’t. If he does believe this, he’s sufficiently delusional to disqualify himself for public office. If he doesn’t believe this, he thinks his conservative Christian supporters are morons.

Jonah goes on to further mock Trump's "Christianity". He also explains his Trump aversion.

I’ll be as honest as I can about why I dislike Trump. A big part of it is I think he’s a fraud. I think he’s part of the grand and glorious tradition of bunk artists in American history. I think he’s always lied about how rich he is and is lying to this day. And bear in mind, I don’t care how much money he has. The point is he cares. Specifically, he cares that other people think he’s really rich. In fact, that’s his business model. Most long cons require convincing marks that the con man doesn’t actually need the mark’s money. That’s his schtick to a T.

But I can actually get past that. That con-man aspect of him is also kind of charming. It’s not remotely presidential, but as an American character, I can see why some people are amused by Trump, and on occasion I am as well.

The thing I don’t find amusing is that he’s an insecure bully. He really does strike me as Biff from Back to the Future (Part II). His cheap macho posturing and boasting is simply tacky. I see him as a sad and insecure man. And what I truly find so depressing is that millions of Americans see the same blowhard overcompensation and mistake it for strength.

And the notion he’s Reaganesque is bizarre. Reagan was quietly self-confident, largely immune to flattery, and he knew what he stood for thanks to years of thoughtful introspection and deep reading. Moreover, he was a gentleman. Is there anything gentlemanly about Donald Trump? I’ve heard stories that in private he can be a nice guy. Good. But it’s always easy for the richest guy in the room to seem magnanimous, particularly when he owns the room. Regardless, the public Trump is an insecure bully and a boor, and I can’t help but believe that is the truer face of the man.

This is all true but what Goldberg doesn't mention is Trump's vacuity. Whether it's stupidity or, more charitably, just intellectual laziness, it's clear that Trump is not a deep thinker. His coarseness, lack of policy knowledge and an inability to string together clear, grammatically correct sentences (or even one!) reflects this striking lack of erudition. All of which was laid bare by both Rubio's and Cruz's aggressiveness in Thursday night's debate. Trump reacted like an unprepared student questioned by his teacher on the previous night's assignment. He was reduced to begging the moderator to stop asking him so many questions.

To overcome Trump in the upcoming primaries and caucuses, the attack will need to be sustained. Based on follow-up campaign speeches, it looks like it will. Again, I just hope it isn't too late.

BTW, here's a tweet directed at Jonah from a Trump fan -- "Tell me Jew, are you against the wall Israel put up to 'protect' from Palestine the same way you're against Trumps in Mexico?" (He gets lots of these).

Goldberg responded -- "I was in favor of a wall before Trump was. Tell me how long have you been a moron bigot? (Rhetorical Q)."

The blogger at Ace Of Spades HQ derides Trump's intellectual deficiencies as well as his lack of principles. He also makes the point that as far left as Trump seems now, this is as conservative as his campaign is going to be. A surprisingly good post by someone who agrees with some parts of Trump's message.

Chris Christie is in for a big letdown if he thinks he has a chance at being the next VP or AG. As for his backup plan - defection to the jackass party - Good Riddance! He couldn't possibly hurt the GOP more as a Democrat than he already has in 2012 and 2016 as a Republican.
Steve Hayes gives the overstuffed slimeball a well deserved verbal thrashing.

A Wall Street Journal editorial takes note of the belated anti-Trump offensive just initiated by his opponents and suggests some points of attack.

Start with his policy knowledge, which is thinner than topsoil and not as rich. Mr. Rubio challenged Mr. Trump to go beyond his stock line that he’d replace ObamaCare by allowing competition across state lines, which is a good idea but hardly sufficient as a reform. Yet Mr. Trump couldn’t come up with another specific idea to expand private health coverage.

This is typical of Mr. Trump, who told us in November that the voters don’t care about policy details. But Americans want a President to know something about the biggest problems, and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t let him get away with a simple soundbite. The exchange revealed that Mr. Trump doesn’t like to work all that hard to learn anything new. He gets by on instinct and insult.

Speaking of which, in Texas Friday Mr. Trump took his attacks on the press corps to a new level by promising to change the libel laws. “We’re going to open up those libel laws. (John Podhoretz notes that there are no Federal libel laws). So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” he said, sounding like Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ripping the press is old political hat, but it’s not every day that a potential President promises to use government power to punish critics. This follows his attack earlier this week on the Ricketts family of Chicago for donating to a Super Pac that has criticized him. “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!” he tweeted. Does he plan to sic the IRS on them?

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump for the first time invoked the IRS as his reason for not releasing his tax returns. “For many years, I’ve been audited every year. Twelve years, or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me,” he said in the debate. “I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now for two or three years.”

So is it 12 years of audits, or only two or three? And no matter the years, an audit doesn’t mean he can’t release his returns. The IRS explains on its website that “most audits will be of returns filed within the last two years” and “if a substantial error is identified, the IRS will not go back more than the last six years.” So even if Mr. Trump wanted to keep his returns confidential during an audit, he could still release returns from the last decade. His resort to the IRS—an agency most conservatives loathe—is a political excuse and diversion. This reached almost comic proportions when he told CNN that he might be audited so much because he’s “a strong Christian.”

...Most surprising perhaps was Mr. Trump’s stumble on what is supposed to be his signature issue, illegal immigration. For months Mr. Trump has railed about illegals for committing crimes and stealing American jobs. Well, Mr. Trump doesn’t practice what he’s now preaching.

According to a New York Times report, some 300 Americans have applied or were referred to work at Mar-a-lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, but 94% were turned down. The resort filled the slots with foreign guest workers. Mr. Trump explained there aren’t enough “qualified” Americans to go around, especially in season, and that without these foreign workers “you hurt your business.” Wait a minute. That’s our argument for immigration reform and more legal immigration. Mr. Trump fails his own immigration test.

Sen. Rubio also brought up the illegal Polish workers Mr. Trump brought in to demolish the New York building replaced by Trump Tower. Mr. Trump has said he didn’t know these workers were illegal, and that he wouldn’t settle the legal claim against him on principle. But settle he did, in an agreement that remains under seal.

The lawyer, Hillary Clinton, made the following comment regarding Second Amendment rights --

"We’ve got to say to the gun lobby, you know what, there is a constitutional right for people to own guns, but there’s also a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that enables us to have a safe country where we are able to protect our children and others from this senseless gun violence."

The lawyer, Hillary Clinton apparently can't tell the difference between The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence.

Conservative commentator Kurt Schlister is also a lawyer who never misses an opportunity to point out that the lawyer Clinton flunked the D.C. bar exam. He marked her dubious achievement with the following zinger, "To do that, you literally have to answer the question, “What is a tort?” by drawing a picture of small cake."

Following lawyer Clinton's recent display of ignorance he again raised the issue of lawyer Clinton's failure to pass the bar. "Doing that is like studying Spanish for five years and then not being able to order a burrito."

For her sake, the lawyer Clinton would be well advised to become better acquainted with the U.S. Federal Codes she violated with her e-mail shenanigans than she is with our founding documents.

Oh yeah, one more thing. What if Bush said it?

Mark Hemingway at The Federalist takes another crack at explaining the Trump phenomenon, laying the blame squarely on the decline of America's work ethic and the corresponding reaction from the blue collar working community. Hemingway observes that a large portion of the Sanders - Clinton crowd sees work as a journey to self-fulfillment rather than as a necessary means for earning a living by producing products and services of value. He points to this asinine exchange on a Hillary Clinton Facebook Q and A --

Q - Secretary Clinton, what advice would you give to your younger self in college that you didn’t know then?

A - You never know what’s going to happen in life. Get the best education you can, learn as much as you can about the world around you, and take opportunities as they come. And most of all, do what you love. Don’t take a job just for money – take a job because it’s meaningful. Find time for family. Find time for relationships. All of that adds up to a life that can provide a lot of satisfaction.

One of my favorite lines is, ‘I’ve loved and been loved. All the rest is background music.’ I never would have understood what that meant when I was in college. -H

While this reads like so much Hallmark pablum we take for granted, if you think about it, it’s hard not to be offended by this Forest Gumpery. Seriously, did she just say “don’t take a job just for the money”? Is that why Clinton and her husband spent a decade giving speeches to Goldman Sachs for $300,000 and a favor to be named later? Or struck million-dollar deals with shady post-Soviet oligarchs with terrible human rights records?

But if there’s another piece of advice here that absolutely disqualifies Clinton for the presidency, it’s “do what you love.” The truth is, that is simply not an option for most people. When it’s 39 degrees and raining in February, do you think the guy who picks up your trash is staring at your acrid, bacteria-laden refuse at 6 a.m. and saying, “Thank God, I love what I do”?

Our ‘follow your bliss’ culture doesn’t begin to appreciate coal miners even as it obsessively venerates people whose contributions to society aren’t very tangible.
Indeed, it is precisely this cultural disconnect about the value of work that explains why there’s an open revolt in both parties and the future seems so uncertain.

A thoughtful and well-written essay.

Kevin Williamson assails the idea of stimulus packages to boost economies, taking particular aim at the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 --

In Herbert Hoover’s America, we could build the Empire State Building in 410 days. In Barack Obama’s America, seven long years and a half-trillion bucks won’t fix a damned bridge over Podunk Creek in East Stank, Arkansas.

...Robert Conquest’s first law of politics is that everyone is a conservative about what he knows best. Former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman illustrated that when he observed about his chosen profession: “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.” Stimulus spending is the triple espresso of economic policy: It might give you a short-term energy boost, but it’s no substitute for eating right, sleeping eight hours a night, and going to the gym from time to time.

Added 2/28 --

KW lets Trump know what he thinks of his threat to "open up" libel laws, making it easier to sue media outlets for criticizing politicians like himself. Kevin dares the orange-faced buffoon to sue him.

Because a claim must be false to be libelous, truth is an absolute defense against libel. So, for instance, if I write that Donald Trump is a blazing jackass who has driven his companies into bankruptcy four times, mainly because he doesn’t know how to handle debt, Trump can’t do anything about that, because it is true. If I write that Trump is poorly positioned to take on Wall Street because he owes practically every bank on the street enormous sums of money, I’m golden, because it is true. If I write that Donald J. Trump is a lowlife who has cheated on his wives and betrayed his own family and the families of others through his remarkable personal commitment to adultery, Trump has no recourse, because this is true. If I write that the fact that Melania Trump was a client of Trump’s dopey little modeling agency strikes me as creepy indeed — I advocate the separation of sex and payroll — I’m on solid ground, because the facts of the case are not in dispute. If I write that you credulous yokels who believe that Trump is self-funding his presidential campaign have fallen for an obvious lie, I am protected by the fact that this is documented truth.

The Resurgent's Erick Erickson precisely expresses my view --

Yes, Trump voters are right.  If Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination for President and conservatives sit it out, Hillary Clinton will get elected.
That is the point of getting the disclosure out there in the primary that we won’t vote for Donald in the general.  Trump voters need to understand that a Hillary Presidency will be on them.  If they want to gamble that they can get Donald across the finish line without us, let them.  It is their choice.
As much as they will want to complain that those of us who refused to support Donald got Hillary elected, the fact is that we gave them plenty of time to realize what would happen and they still chose Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.
So a Hillary Presidency is theirs.  They went with a guy knowing so many of us would never support him.  Their choice.  I will never, ever support Donald Trump.  Ever.

And I'll add --


Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Call To Action

Charles C. W. Cooke offers up a cri de coeur, imploring conservatives to get serious about taking down Donald Trump. Among the profusion of recent anti-Trump commentary, Cooke's piece stands out. He laments the enormous opportunity the GOP is close to squandering by not rejecting the vulgar demagogue and he suggests a war strategy - he calls it a Manhattan Project - to attack Trump with everything the anti-Trump forces have at their disposal. And, as he makes clear, there is much they could use. One hopes that his words are heeded and that it is not too late.

Far from being at the bottom of its fortunes, the GOP is in fact coming to the end of a long, slow, tough effort to rebuild after the disaster of 2008 — an effort that would benefit everybody involved if it could be completed. At present, the party’s primary national problem is that it does not run the White House, and, therefore, cannot overcome the final constitutional hurdle to ushering in significant nationwide change despite its huge power in the House, its small advantage in the Senate, and its considerable presence in the states. If Donald Trump were to be the party’s nominee — and if his being so were to do to both the presidential and down-ballot races what polling suggests it would — this problem would not be solved so much as reset from scratch. 

...And if that should happen? Well, suffice it to say that it would be an unmitigated, unalloyed, potentially unsalvageable disaster. For the first time in years, the Right’s defenses would be completely destroyed, perhaps never to be rebuilt. Swiftly, the courts would be packed with ideologues; immediately, Congress would run through the remaining items on the Obama-Clinton laundry list; before the voters had a chance to stop them, the White House would usher in an irreversible amnesty; and, Trump having been turned into a pariah by a hostile press, his “anti-PC” attitude would be rendered toxic in perpetuity. The likely result of Trump’s selection as the Republican nominee, in other words, would be the entrenchment of all that his supporters claim vehemently to hate. That thrill that his acolytes would feel when they saw Trump named the winner of the primaries? It’d be gone in a matter of minutes.

If I sound frightened or eschatological in my tone, that’s because I am — not, pace Trump’s obsessed chorus, because I am worried about the security of my job or scared that I will lose some mythical umbilical link to Reince Priebus’s champagne parties, but because we are fighting for everything here and a plurality of the Right’s voters are sleepwalking in lockstep with the other side.

Tom Nichols at The Federalist (!!) declares that he prefers Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton is despicable but Donald Trump is worse. My hands almost could not type those words, because I think Hillary Clinton is one of the worst human beings in American politics. She has few principles that I can discern, other than her firm conviction that she deserves the Oval Office for enabling and then defending her sexually neurotic husband. She lies as easily as the rest of us breathe. She has compromised national security through sheer laziness at best, and corrupt intent at worst. If elected, she will enrich Wall Street and raid the public coffers while preaching hateful doctrines of identity politics to distract America’s poor and working classes.

Morally unmoored, emotionally unstable, a crony capitalist of the worst kind, Trump will be every bit as liberal as Hillary. But Trump will be worse. Morally unmoored, emotionally unstable, a crony capitalist of the worst kind, Trump will be every bit as liberal as Hillary—perhaps more so, given his statements over the years. He is by reflex and instinct a New York Democrat whose formal party affiliation is negotiable, as is everything about him. He has little commitment to anything but himself and his “deals,” none of which will work in favor of conservatives or their priorities.

His judicial appointments will likely be liberal friends from New York. His Great Wall of Mexico will never be built, and employers will go right on hiring cheap labor and outsourcing jobs, just as Trump does with his made-in-Mexico suits. His China Smoot-Hawley Tariff will never be implemented. His administration, led by a vulgar, aging man-child who is firmly pro-abortion, who jokes about having sex with his daughter, and brags about his wealth, will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable among us—including the unborn.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Since Trump Brought It Up - The Truth About Iraq

Victor Davis Hanson does an excellent job chronologically documenting the events ultimately leading to Barack Obama's squandering our victory in Iraq. Hanson saves the best for last, contrasting our abandonment of Iraq (in return for an Obama campaign talking point) with our firm commitment to Korea a half century earlier. This is must reading.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Invasive Leftism

That's the term used by David Gelernter to explain the seemingly inexplicable rise of Donald Trump. Gelernter argues that this phenomenon, otherwise known as political correctness, is not merely a side issue, but is the predominant force driving the GOP revolt against itself.

Political correctness means that when the Marines discover that combat units are less effective if they include women, a hack overrules them. What's more important, guys, combat effectiveness or leftist dogma? No contest! Nor is it hard to notice that putting women in combat is not exactly the kind of issue that most American women are losing sleep over. It matters only to a small, powerful clique of delusional ideologues. (The insinuation that our p.c. military is upholding the rights of women everywhere, that your average American woman values feminist dogma over the strongest-possible fighting force—as if women were just too ditzy to care about boring things like winning battles—is rage-making.)

...The IRS attacks conservative groups — and not one IRS worker has the integrity or guts to resign on principle, not one. Political correctness is a creed, and the creed holds that American conservatives are ignorant, stupid, and evil. This has been the creed for a generation, but people are angry now because we see, for the first time, political correctness powering an administration and a federal bureaucracy the way a big V-8 powers a sports car. The Department of Justice contributes its opinion that the IRS was guilty of no crime — and has made other politically slanted decisions too; and those decisions all express the credo of thought-police liberalism, as captured by the motto soon to be mounted (we hear) above the main door at the White House, the IRS, and the DOJ: We know what's best; you shut up.

...Christians are persecuted, enslaved, murdered in the Middle East, but the Obama regime is not interested. In a distant but related twist, Obama orders Christian organizations to dispense contraceptives whether they want to or not. This is political correctness in action — invasive leftism.

...Why, by the way, was Trump alone honored by a proposal in the British Parliament that he be banned from the country? Something about Trump drives Europeans crazy. Not the things that drive me crazy: his slandering John McCain, mocking a disabled reporter, revealing no concept of American foreign policy, repeating that ugly lie about George W. Bush supposedly tricking us into war with Iraq. The British don't care about such things one way or the other — they are used to American vulgarians. But a man who attacks political correctness is attacking the holy of holies, the whole basis of governance in Europe, where galloping p.c. is the established religion—and has been effective for half a century at keeping the masses quiet so their rulers can arrange everybody's life properly. Europe never has been comfortable with democracy.

...Cruz, Rubio, Bush, and Carson — even Kasich — could slam thought-police liberalism in every speech. They'd concede that Trump was right to bring the issue forward. Their own records are perfectly consistent with despising political correctness. It's just that they lacked the wisdom or maybe the courage to acknowledge how deep this corruption reaches into America's soul. It's not too late for them to join him in exposing this cancer afflicting America's spirit, the malign and ferocious arrogance of p.c.

David Gelernter is a brilliant computer scientist at Yale University. Back in 1993, he was severely injured by one of the Unabomber's bombs. His son, Joshua also writes on political issues. One notable article of Joshua's appeared in NRO last December when he exposed the silliness of the latest Paris "climate change" agreement.

The deal sets various goals for 2023, and for 2050 through 2100. It is absurd to think that the world’s foreign ministers can intelligently discuss what the world’s climate, industry, transportation, or energy markets will look like in 2023 — much less 2050 or 2100.

Consider that 2023 is eight years from now. Eight years ago, did anyone at COP21 know Uber was coming? Did any of those foreign ministers know how popular drones would become? That new supersonic passenger planes would be in development? That four different private companies would be launching space flights? That two companies would be going forward with tests of “hyper-loop” transportation? Did they know that zero-friction “quantum levitation” would be demonstrated? Or that hydrogen-powered cars would become commercially available? Did they know about the fracking boom?

Of course not. Michael Crichton — the brilliant novelist and thinker — posed this question in a speech at Caltech in 2003, re climate predictions for 2100. What environmental problems would men in 1900 have predicted for 2000? Where to get enough horses, and what to do with all the manure. “Horse pollution was bad in 1900,” said Crichton. How much worse would someone in 1900 expect it to “be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?

“But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport." And in 2000, France was getting 80 percent of its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Japan were getting more than 30 percent from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn’t know what an atom was. They didn’t know its structure. They also didn’t know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, Internet, interferon, instant replay, remote sensing, remote control, speed dialing, gene therapy, gene splicing, genes, spot welding, heat-seeking, bipolar, Prozac, leotards, lap dancing, e-mail, tape recorders, CDs, airbags, plastic explosive, plastic, robots, cars, liposuction, transduction, superconduction, dish antennas, step aerobics, smoothies, twelve-step, ultrasound, nylon, rayon, Teflon, fiber optics, carpal tunnel, laser surgery, laparoscopy, corneal transplant, kidney transplant, AIDS. None of this would have meant anything to a person in the year 1900. They wouldn’t know what you are talking about.

Now: you tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it’s even worth thinking about. Our [emissions] models just carry the present into the future. They’re bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives it a moment’s thought knows it.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Socialism With Power

Ever notice that there are no "Communist hunters" or Nuremberg-style tribunals for Communist crimes against humanity? That victims of Communism are accorded a tiny fraction of the attention bestowed upon victims of Nazism or fascism? Yesterday's Wall Street Journal Notable and Quotable feature addresses this failure, a failure that helps explain the popularity of malefactors such as Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama --

From historian Alan Charles Kors’s “Can There Be an ‘After Socialism’?” for the Atlas Society, Sept. 27, 2003:

No cause, ever, in the history of all mankind, has produced more coldblooded tyrants, more slaughtered innocents, and more orphans than socialism with power. It surpassed, exponentially, all other systems of production in turning out the dead. The bodies are all around us. And here is the problem: No one talks about them. No one honors them. No one does penance for them. No one has committed suicide for having been an apologist for those who did this to them. No one pays for them. No one is hunted down to account for them. It is exactly what Solzhenitsyn foresaw in The Gulag Archipelago: “No, no one would have to answer. No one would be looked into.” . . .

To be moral beings, we must acknowledge these awful things appropriately and bear witness to the responsibilities of these most murderous times. Until socialism— like Nazism or fascism confronted by the death camps and the slaughter of innocents—is confronted with its lived reality, the greatest atrocities of all recorded human life, we will not live “after socialism.”

It will not happen. The pathology of Western intellectuals has committed them to an adversarial relationship with the culture—free markets and individual rights—that has produced the greatest alleviation of suffering; the greatest liberation from want, ignorance, and superstition; and the greatest increase of bounty and opportunity in the history of all human life.

This pathology allows Western intellectuals to step around the Everest of bodies of the victims of Communism without a tear, a scruple, a regret, an act of contrition, or a reevaluation of self, soul, and mind.

Apple Corp.'s refusal to cooperate with the FBI in extracting information from a San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone provides the impetus for yet another entertaining anti-government rant from Kevin Williamson.

You know what would be better than prosecuting those who helped the San Bernardino jihadists? Stopping them, i.e., for the Men in Black to do their goddamned jobs. An arranged marriage to a Pakistani woman who spent years doing . . . something . . . in Saudi Arabia? Those two murderous misfits had more red flags on them than Bernie Sanders’s front yard on May Day, and the best minds in American law enforcement and intelligence did precisely squat to stop their rampage. Having failed to do its job, the federal government now seeks even more power — the power to compel Apple to write code rendering the security measures in its products useless — as a reward for its failure.

...From the IRS to the ATF to the DEA to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s super-secret toilet e-mail server, the federal government has shown, time and again, that it cannot be trusted with any combination of power and sensitive information. Its usual range of official motion traces an arc from indifference through incompetence to malice.

...Maybe your experience is different. In my experience, what government actually does at every level is hassle me and take my money while failing to do the basic things that we constituted it to do. The borders are a joke, the roads crumbling, the schools a sty of corruption and miseducation, and the police, as a wise man once put it, are a janitorial service that takes your body away after the deed has been done. Perhaps it is appropriate that our next presidential election may very well pit a reality-television grotesque against an antediluvian Red from Brooklyn. American politics consists of an increasingly bitter and hate-fueled fight over an increasingly irrelevant institution. If Apple disappeared tomorrow, the world would notice. You can’t say the same about the TSA or the Small Business Administration, and it is not entirely clear that you could say much better about the FBI.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Occam And Trump

Donald Trump recently boasted that "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?" At the last GOP debate he did something arguably as bad - he propagated the blood libel that George W. Bush knew that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs but sent Americans to their death in Iraq anyway. Of course, this hasn't caused much of a dent in Trump's popularity. He's maintained his lead of roughly 20 points in South Carolina primary polls.

There have been several serious attempts to explain the Trump phenomenon and below are links to two excellent examples. But I believe the best explanation is the one stated by that sleazy, slimy architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber. People are stupid.

Walter Russell Mead -

Charles Murray -

Also, Kevin Williamson, detailing Trump's bankruptcies, blows up the braggart's claims of his superior business acumen.

On the topic of Saddam Hussein - (Op-ed in the NY Times!!) Middle East expert Kyle Orton repudiates the myth that the removal of the Iraqi dictator led to the rise of ISIS. On the contrary, Orton argues, the terror group had its origins beginning in the mid 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war when Hussein embraced Sunni Islamism. The U.S. invasion of Iraq under Bush did not create ISIS. It eliminated its creator.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Here's a link to a video of Marco Rubio's off-the-cuff response to an African-American who asks about black distrust of the Republican Party.

This will beat Hillary Clinton's "You know what aahm talkin' 'bout" and Joe Biden's "They're gonna put y'all back in chains" blackface imitations every time.

Also - David French asks why the anti-war left isn't protesting Russian war crimes.

Commenting on this video (of Russian jets dropping cluster bombs in densely populated Aleppo, Syria) in the Jolt, my colleague Jim Geraghty asks, “Where are all the people protesting in the streets of Europe and the United States? Where are the giant paper-mâché heads?” I recognized long ago that the beating heart of the anti-war Left isn’t pacifism but deep hatred for America, Israel, and — to a lesser extent — our British and French allies.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Socialism's Savage Suffering

In today's WSJ, a look at current day Venezuela, a country blessed with a large coastline and abundant natural resources including the world's second largest oil reserves and large supplies of diamonds, bauxite, gold, iron ore and natural gas. Alas, countering the nation's blessings is the self-imposed curse of collectivism.

In a hospital in the far west of this beleaguered country, the economic crisis took a grim toll in the past week: Six infants died because there wasn’t enough medicine or functioning respirators.

...Medical associations and health-care specialists say preventable deaths have been on the rise because of lack of medication, equipment and doctors. The country’s leading trade group for drugstores says 90% of medicines are scarce.

On a recent day at the University Hospital of Maracaibo, in Venezuela’s second-largest city, patients lay on bare beds in rooms with dirty floors. There was no running water, medicine, cleaning supplies or food. Feces floated in the toilets. Medical staffers there said gang members roam the halls, forcing underpaid and harassed doctors to lock themselves in the offices to avoid assaults.

Ah, yes. Free, unhindered, single payer access to medical care for everyone, rich and poor!

Some more fun facts revealed in the article --

Here in the capital [Caracas], the crisis has turned ordinary life into an ordeal for nearly everyone. Chronic power outages have prompted the government to begin rationing electricity, darkening shopping malls. Homes and apartments regularly suffer water shortages.

Rosalba Castellano, 74 years old, spent hours this week in what has become a desperate routine for millions: waiting in long lines to buy whatever food is available. She walked away with just two liters of cooking oil.

“I hoped to buy toilet paper, rice, pasta,” she said. “But you can’t find them.” Her only choice will be to hunt for the goods at marked-up prices on the black market. The government, she said, “is putting us through savage suffering.”

...Inflation in this oil-rich country is expected to hit a world’s-worst 700% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The economy shrank by 10% last year and is expected to decline another 8% this year, according to the IMF, the worst performance in the world. And there is no end in sight.

...Venezuela’s murder rate has climbed to 90 per 100,000 residents, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a nongovernment group that focuses on crime. That would be the world’s second-highest rate after El Salvador, and far exceeds the U.S. rate of about four per 100,000.

...Venezuela used to export rice, coffee and meat. It now imports all three. It even imports its own bank notes, ordered from European firms and flown in on 747 jets.

The number of private companies in the country shrank by 20% between 2006 and 2014, according to Datanalisis. Multinationals such as Clorox Co. have simply left. Others including Ford Motor Co. and Oreo-maker Mondelez have written down the value of their local businesses to zero.

Hey, let's get us some of that! Feel The Bern, 2016!

Added 2/19 (Thanks to!) --

One other thing on a different subject - Jonah Goldberg's weekly G-File contains some observations regarding Herbert Hoover which were prompted by a Sanders-level comment from Bernie Sanders at the last Democrat debate --

Sanders :
And then what (FDR) did is redefine the role of government. You know, you had Herbert Hoover before that saying, no, we got to only worry about the deficit. So what if mass unemployment exists? So what if children are going hungry? That’s not the role of the government.

And when FDR said, “Yeah, it is,” that we’re going to use all of the resources that we have to create jobs, to build homes, to feed people, to protect the farmers, we are a nation which if we come together there is nothing that we could not accomplish.

Goldberg's response --

I’m not a big fan of Herbert Hoover, but the notion that he was this heartless bastard cheapskate is total mythmaking. Even William Leuchtenburg, the dean of New Deal historians, has conceded that “almost every historian now recognizes that the image of Hoover as a ‘do-nothing’ president is inaccurate.” Indeed, the sad fact is that if Hoover had done nothing, the Great Depression probably would never have become Great in the first place. Doing nothing did wonders for the Depression of 1920–21.

Hoover was the father of the New Deal (and Woodrow Wilson was the grandfather). As I’ve written many times before in this “news”letter, Hoover was a progressive Republican. Here’s how he defended himself at the GOP convention in 1932:

"Two courses were open to us. We might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private business and to the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic. We put that program in action. Our measures have repelled these attacks of fear and panic. . . . We have used the credit of the Government to aid and protect our institutions, both public and private. We have provided methods and assurances that none suffer from hunger or cold amongst our people. We have instituted measures to assist our farmers and our homeowners. We have created vast agencies for employment."

The piece is vintage Goldberg. Another excerpt --

We all know how many times the titular head of the Democratic party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been asked to distinguish between socialism and whatever dog’s breakfast the Democratic party stands for. Clinton gets asked that question often as well, and usually responds with her patented “I Don’t Like Your Question So I Will Laugh To Distract You” Cackle®.

Read it all here --

Friday, February 12, 2016


Steve Hayes takes an in-depth look at the real Marco Rubio. Far from being the "robot" his detractors claim, the Florida senator is one of the most thoughtful and unscripted of politicians.

David French seconds Hayes' view.

Victor Davis Hanson on the left's ideology test for identity group labeling --

Much of the liberal press has ridiculed Rubio and Cruz, either because their appearances and Cuban ancestry do not quite make them authentic “Latinos” or “Hispanics,” or because their conservative politics disqualify them as deserving minorities and instead make them seem ungrateful to their liberal benefactors. In this unhinged way of thinking, a quite dark Clarence Thomas, who grew up destitute in the old Jim Crow South, is not as authentic an African-American as Barack Obama, who is of half-Kenyan ancestry and was raised by his upper-middle-class white grandparents and schooled at Honolulu’s most exclusive prep school. Make Obama right-wing and Thomas left-wing, and journalists would question Obama about everything from his prep school to his name change at age ten.

...Someone raised in poverty who rejects the liberal creed is stamped inauthentic while someone far better off but solidly leftwing is approved of as legitimate. The noted philosopher, scholar, and economist Thomas Sowell was raised in utter poverty in Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s. Somehow he is not deemed a proper representative of the pre–Civil Rights black experience, while the college-dropout and racial provocateur Ta-Nehisi Coates is, despite growing up in relative middle-class security during the age of affirmative action. Coates writes autobiographies damning white America for problems in the black community; Sowell offers data to urge self-help and inner reflection. One is useful for claims on government assistance, the other antithetical to that effort. Thus Sowell is considered not really black. “Ta-Nehisi” sends a tingle up the leg of a white liberal in a way that “Tom” does not.

By the way, one of the more opaque and misleading euphemisms deployed by the left is "affirmative action". Much like the word "choice", "AA" a meaningless term on its face. However, it serves its purpose perfectly, allowing its users to avoid the term correctly describing the actual practice - "racism". (Just as "choice" is a stand-in for "abortion").

Michael Tanner --

When Bernie and his followers talk about socialism, they don’t really want to turn the U.S. into Venezuela or Cuba. They want to have socialism while keeping all the benefits of capitalism — having their cake and eating it too. That’s why Bernie frequently cites Sweden and Denmark as examples of socialism. This ignores the fact that both countries have long since understood that you can’t really tax and spend your way to prosperity. Call them SINOs — Socialists in Name Only. 

In fact, when it comes to international trade and business regulations, both Sweden and Denmark are less socialist than the United States, according to the most recent Economic Freedom of the World rankings. In the 1990s, Sweden introduced school choice into elementary education, and it has even partially privatized its social-security system. Denmark recently cut the duration of unemployment benefits, and both countries have significantly reduced their corporate-income-tax rates; the Danish government has slashed the rate from 32 percent in 2000 to 23.5 percent last year. That can’t be what Bernie Sanders wants, can it?

Jazz Shaw on the results of Maine's efforts at reforming its food stamp program --

In response to the growth in food stamp dependence, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, recently established work requirements on recipients who are without dependents and able-bodied. In Maine, all able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service.

Job openings for lower-skill workers are abundant in Maine, and for those ABAWD recipients who cannot find immediate employment, Maine offers both training and community service slots. But despite vigorous outreach efforts by the government to encourage participation, most childless adult recipients in Maine refused to participate in training or even to perform community service for six hours per week. When ABAWD recipients refused to participate, their food stamp benefits ceased.

You’ll note that the requirements here aren’t exactly onerous. If you do have some sort of employment you’re supposed to report it. If not, the job training programs are free. And if you don’t wish to do either, you can put in six hours of community service per week. That doesn’t exactly take up all your free time, and yet the number of people who rejected all of those options was overwhelming.
So how did that shake out?

In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.

That’s an 80% drop in 90 days. How astounding is that? And it represents a serious savings for the taxpayers in terms of keeping the state’s budget afloat, though the majority of the cash comes from the federal government. But what of all the people who were no longer receiving the benefit? Are they starving? As it turns out, the study shows that a substantial number of recipients were working “off the books.” (And likely not paying taxes on their income either.) That allowed them to qualify for any number of social welfare programs while still having a cash income. Those folks dropped off the rolls quickly rather than have to own up to their income.
Compare that for a moment to New York City, where Mayor de Blasio has essentially thrown welfare reform into reverse.

The number of New Yorkers on welfare is reportedly on the rise, with about 13,000 more people being added to the rolls during the mayor’s first year in office.

The New York Post is reporting that the cash assistance program swelled by 4 percent in 2014.

According to an advanced look at the “Poverty and Progress in New York” report, the jump comes the same year the city added around 90,000 jobs.

Are we to believe that Maine is somehow unique, with an extraordinary number of residents signing up on the dole when they don’t actually qualify or are otherwise able to work but choose not to? Or perhaps New York City is just a mecca for paragons of honesty who would never short sheet the system. Both are unlikely. Welfare reform (or workfare, as we once called it) is being crushed by progressive elements at all levels of government and the results speak for themselves. What’s happening in Maine should be the benchmark for how to move forward rather than a target of criticism by Democrats.

The Obama years have resulted in a substantial reduction in the nation's labor force participation rate. It is roughly 63% - a level not seen since the late 1970s. 95 million Americans, an appalling number, are currently out of the workforce. At the same time, 47 million Americans receive food stamps, up from 33 million at the start of Obama's first term, a 40+% increase. Tanner's report shows that applying even minimal restrictions on food stamp eligibility will reduce both of these appalling numbers. And since the Obama administration is committed to maintaining, if not increasing government dependence, it is up to the states to take the lead in putting people back to work.

Dennis Prager, pointing out the deceits, distortions and outright lies uttered by Obama in his recent speech at a Baltimore mosque. A few of these are listed below.   --

President Obama: “So let’s start with this fact: For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace. And the very word itself, ‘Islam,’ comes from ‘salam’ — peace.”

Why did Mr. Obama say this? Even Muslim websites acknowledge that “Islam” means “submission” [to Allah], that it comes from the Arabic root “aslama” meaning submission, and that “Islam” is the command form of that verb.

That’s why “Muslim” means “One who submits,” not “One who is peaceful.”

Obama: “We have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric and violence against everyone. And that includes against Muslims here in the United States of America.”

Two facts are relevant here. One is that religious hate crimes are exceedingly rare in America. The other is that in 2014, the last year for which we have data, Jews were targets of hate crimes four times more frequently than Muslims.

Obama: “I often hear it said that we need moral clarity in this fight. And the suggestion is somehow that if I would simply say, these are all Islamic terrorists, then we would actually have solved the problem by now, apparently.”
Almost every time the president has given a talk, he has made extensive use of the straw man — a false target that he then attacks and destroys. This is one such example. No one has ever said that if the president were merely to identify Islamic terrorists by name instead of nameless “violent extremists,” “we would actually have solved the problem by now.”

What drives most Americans crazy is that the president of the United States refuses to name the enemy. And this rewriting of reality filters down to many American institutions. Increasingly, for example, when (and if) 9/11 is taught in American schools, those who attacked America that day are never identified as Muslims.

On those two political malignancies, Trump and Sanders --

Mona Charen --

Senator Bernie Sanders believes that eight years of the most leftist president in American history have left the plutocrats in total control. Channeling the late Hugo Chavez, he promises to lift the minimum wage to $15 per hour, provide free college educations for all, and deliver universal health care (with only a small tax on the middle class). How will he pay for it? “With a tax on Wall Street speculation.”

Charles Krauthammer --

Take Sanders’s New Hampshire victory speech. It promised the moon: college education, free; universal health care, free; world peace, also free because we won’t be “the policeman of the world” (mythical Sunni armies will presumably be doing that for us). Plus a guaranteed $15 minimum wage. All to be achieved by taxing the rich. Who can be against a “speculation” tax (whatever that means)?

So with Trump. Leave it to him. Jobs will flow back in a rush from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from everywhere. Universal health care, with Obamacare replaced by “something terrific.” Veterans finally taken care of. Drugs stopped cold at the border. Indeed, an end to drug addiction itself. Victory upon victory of every kind.

How? That question never comes up anymore. No one expects an answer. His will be done, on earth if not yet in heaven. Yes, people love Trump’s contempt for the “establishment” — which as far as I can tell means anything not Trump — but what is truly thrilling is the promise of a near-biblical restoration. As painless as Sanders’s.

The young Democrats swooning for Sanders appear unfamiliar with socialism’s century-long career, a dismal tale of ruination from Russia to Cuba to Venezuela. Indeed, are they even aware that China’s greatest reduction in poverty in human history correlates precisely with the degree to which it has given up socialism?

Heather Macdonald continues her crusade to correct the myths perpetrated by the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Fatal police shootings make up a much larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths than black homicide deaths. According to the (Washington) Post database, in 2015 officers killed 662 whites and Hispanics, and 258 blacks. (The overwhelming majority of all those police-shooting victims were attacking the officer, often with a gun.) Using the 2014 homicide numbers as an approximation of 2015’s, those 662 white and Hispanic victims of police shootings would make up 12% of all white and Hispanic homicide deaths. That is three times the proportion of black deaths that result from police shootings.

The lower proportion of black deaths due to police shootings can be attributed to the lamentable black-on-black homicide rate. There were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014—the most recent year for which such data are available—compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.

Police officers—of all races—are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.

Some may find evidence of police bias in the fact that blacks make up 26% of the police-shooting victims, compared with their 13% representation in the national population. But as residents of poor black neighborhoods know too well, violent crimes are disproportionately committed by blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15% of the population there.

...The Black Lives Matter movement claims that white officers are especially prone to shooting innocent blacks due to racial bias, but this too is a myth. A March 2015 Justice Department report on the Philadelphia Police Department found that black and Hispanic officers were much more likely than white officers to shoot blacks based on “threat misperception”—that is, the mistaken belief that a civilian is armed.

A 2015 study by University of Pennsylvania criminologist Greg Ridgeway, formerly acting director of the National Institute of Justice, found that, at a crime scene where gunfire is involved, black officers in the New York City Police Department were 3.3 times more likely to discharge their weapons than other officers at the scene.

A group of National Security experts reveal the existential dangers posed by nuclear armed North Korea and Iran. And yes, they claim, Iran already has nukes.

Iran is following North Korea’s example — as a strategic partner allied by treaty and pledged to share scientific and military technology. Iran sacrificed its overt civilian nuclear program to deceive the Obama administration, to lift international sanctions, to prevent Western military action, while a clandestine military nuclear program no doubt continues underground. That is why Iran, under the nuclear deal, will not allow inspection of its military facilities and prohibits interviewing scientists — it is concealing the dimensions and status of Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.

We assess, from U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency reports and other sources, that Iran probably already has nuclear weapons. Over 13 years ago, prior to 2003, Iran was manufacturing nuclear-weapon components, like bridge-wire detonators and neutron initiators, performing non-fissile explosive experiments of an implosion nuclear device, and working on the design of a nuclear warhead for the Shahab-III missile.

Thirteen years ago Iran was already a threshold nuclear-missile state. It is implausible that Iran suspended its program for over a decade for a nuclear deal with President Obama.

Iran probably has nuclear warheads for the Shahab-III medium-range missile, which they tested for making EMP attacks. Two recent tests violate UN agreements, demonstrating that Iran is brazenly developing its nuclear-capable missiles. Iran already has the largest medium-range ballistic-missile force in the Middle East.

Iran could be building a nuclear-capable missile force, partly hidden in tunnels, as suggested by its dramatic revelation of a vast underground missile-basing system last year. Iran is building toward a large, deployable, survivable, war-fighting missile force — to which nuclear weapons can be swiftly added as they are manufactured.

And at a time of its choosing, Iran could launch a surprise EMP attack against the United States by satellite, as they have apparently practiced with help from North Korea.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

We Did! Build That

Kevin Williamson nails it, explaining, precisely, the problem - the perversity, really - with leftist thinking in general and Hillaryism in particular. Here's KW's piece in its entirety. It should be read aloud in prime-time at the GOP convention this year by someone capable of properly conveying the outrage. --

Hillary Rodham Clinton is not qualified to be president of the United States of America, because she doesn’t know what the United States of America are.

Terry Shumaker, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad (I wonder what that gig cost him) and current abject minion in the service of Mrs. Clinton, quotes Herself telling an audience in New Hampshire: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.”

There is a very old English word for people who are required to perform service as a rent for their existence, and that word is serf. Serfdom is a form of bondage.

Americans are not serfs. We are not sharecroppers on Herself’s farm or in vassalage to that smear of thieving nincompoopery in Washington that purports to rule us.

We don’t owe you any damned rent.

The American proposition is precisely the opposite of what Herself imagines: The U.S. government exists at our sufferance, not the other way around. We have governments because there are some things that we as individuals have a hard time doing through private enterprise, and we have a federal government because there are things that the several states cannot manage separately, such as national defense and border security. (And, bang-up job on the latter, Washington.)

A president isn’t a prince, and a citizen isn’t a serf.

Herself’s invocation of serfdom is the logical extension of “You Didn’t Build That”-ism, the backward philosophy under which the free citizen is obliged to justify his life and his prosperity to the state, in order to satisfy the economic self-interest, status-seeking, and power-lust of such lamentable specimens as Elizabeth Warren, a ridiculous little scold who has never done a single useful thing in her entire public life. The American model is precisely the opposite: Government has to justify itself to us. The states created the federal government, not the other way around, and the citizens created the states, not the other way around.

We don’t owe these jackasses any service. They owe us service: services they routinely fail to perform. We’ve got jihadis shooting up California while the government doesn’t even bother to track visa overstays or properly scan entrants from Pakistan by way of Saudi Arabia (because what could possibly go wrong in that scenario?) in spite of being legally obliged to do so. Instead, the powers that be in Washington are literally masturbating the day away* when they aren’t busy poisoning veterans to death with dope**.

These people—these people—are going to lecture us on citizenship? How about you skip the homilies and do your damned jobs? Of course Americans perform service: in our families, in our churches, in civic organizations, through charity. We serve because we believe in it, not because we have to justify our consumption of O2 to some despicable low-rent Lady Macbeth who is so keenly aware of her own profiteering and corruption that she violated a stack of federal statutes to keep her work correspondence away from proper oversight. We may be called to justify ourselves before God one day, but not before that.

Herself imagines the United States of America to be a nation of serfs. Whom do you think she imagines as their overlord?

And that is why any sane and self-respecting country would have kept this woman far away from any public office, much less let her flirt with the presidency.



Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Barack Obama would sooner give up golf than proceed with the long overdue criminal prosecution of the potential savior of his blighted legacy. But Andrew McCarthy believes that Obama has an even stronger incentive to lay off his former Secretary of State.

...We have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama.

From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information. He discussed sensitive matters on a non-government, non-secure e-mail system that could easily be penetrated by foreign governments (among other rogue actors). By doing so, he left an electronic- and paper-trail that was outside the government’s tightly secured repositories for classified information. He also personally indulged, and thus implicitly endorsed, Clinton’s use of private e-mail to do government business.

...A prosecution of Clinton might expose that Obama engaged in recklessness similar to Clinton’s, albeit on a far smaller scale. Moreover, Clinton would likely argue in her defense that the president, who is ultimately responsible for safeguarding classified information, not only authorized Clinton to use private e-mail but knowingly used it himself in order to communicate with Clinton.

And Deroy Murdock asks intelligence experts to explain the devastating damage that was done to our national security by Clinton's mishandling of classified material.