Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reckless, Obnoxious, Ill-Informed...

Donald Trump -- "Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve."

DT -- "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day."

Mark Steyn -- "If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones."

Jim Geraghty with a big "Eff You!" to those Trump supporters suddenly having second thoughts about their guy. Devastatingly on target.

Trump supporters, no one should let you off of that bandwagon now. You should be handcuffed to that Titanic you volunteered to crew.

Donald Trump didn’t suddenly change in the past few days, weeks or months. He’s the same guy he always was, the same guy that most of us in the conservative movement and GOP have been staunchly opposing for the past year. He didn’t abruptly become reckless, obnoxious, ill-informed, erratic, hot-tempered, pathologically dishonest, narcissistic, crude and catastrophically unqualified for the presidency overnight. He’s always been that guy, and you denied it and ignored it and hand-waved it away and made excuses every step of the way because you were convinced that you were so much smarter than the rest of us. You were so certain that you had received some superior wavelength giving you special insight into the Donald; only you could tell that it was all an act. Only you could grasp that his constant courting of controversy was just to get attention from the media. Only you could instinctively sense that his style would play brilliantly in the general election and win over working-class Democrats. (SPOILER ALERT: It won’t.) You insisted that you could “coach him.”

You came to those conclusions not because you’re smarter than the rest of us, but because you’re actually more foolish than the rest of us. You insisted Occam’s Razor couldn’t possibly be true– that Trump acts the way he does because this is who he is, this is the way he is all the time, and he will always be like this. You fooled yourself into believing that Trump was playing this nine-level chess that only you and a few others could perceive and understand. Only you could see the long game.

There is no long game. He’s winging it. There is no grand strategy. There is no master plan. Trump doesn’t look ahead to the next sentence, much less the next step in getting elected.

...Technically we’re supposed to welcome previous Trump fans-turned-foes with open arms. But barring some miraculous comeback by Ted Cruz, the Trump campaign will have cost the Republican Party the presidency after eight years of Obama, and perhaps the Senate and even the House – and Scalia’s replacement on the Court as well. Years of effort spent attempting to dispel the accusations of inherent Republican misogyny, xenophobia, hypocrisy, ignorance and blind rage have been undone by Trump’s campaign. And every Trump advocate in front of a camera had a hand in this.

We’re not just gonna hug it out.

George Will doubts we will ever see a period of scientific and economic advances comparable to the one immediately following the industrial revolution. --

Kevin Williamson on the double standard of justice for leftist elites (Clintons, Lerner, et al) vs. ordinary folk. --

KW states the obvious - Trump is stupid --

Williamson giving a long talk on why things don't work. Essential KW. --

Andrew McCarthy on the possibility of a Loretta Lynch stonewall of a Clinton indictment. --

Jim Lewis, (as quoted by Jim Geraghty) --

The man (Trump) didn’t emerge, all at once and fully formed, from some hidden and benighted hollow in the American psyche. He’s been kicking around for 30 years or more, and he was promoted and schooled, made famous and made wealthy, by the same culture and economy that now reviles him, and finds his success so vexing.

After all, it wasn’t some Klan newsletter that first brought Trump to our attention: It was Time and Esquire and Spy. The Westboro Baptist Church didn’t give him his own TV show: NBC did. And his boasts and lies weren’t posted on Breitbart, they were published by Random House. He was created by people who learned from Andy Warhol, not Jerry Falwell, who knew him from galas at the Met, not fundraisers at Karl Rove’s house, and his original audience was presented to him by Condé Nast, not Guns & Ammo. He owes his celebrity, his money, his arrogance, and his skill at drawing attention to those coastal cultural gatekeepers — presumably mostly liberal — who first elevated him out of general obscurity, making him famous and rewarding him (and, not at all incidentally, themselves) for his idiocies.

Daniel Greenfield examines the Obama administration's insane anti-terror policy. --

If you’re keeping score, freeing Islamic terrorists from Gitmo does not play into the hands of ISIS. Neither does bringing Syrians, many of whom sympathize with Islamic terrorists, into our country. And aiding the Muslim Brotherhood parent organization of ISIS does not play into the Islamic group’s hands.

However if you use the words “Islamic terrorism” or even milder derivatives such as “radical Islamic terrorism”, you are playing into the hands of ISIS. If you call for closer law enforcement scrutiny of Muslim areas before they turn into Molenbeek style no-go zones or suggest ending the stream of new immigrant recruits to ISIS in San Bernardino, Paris or Brussels, you are also playing into the hands of ISIS.

And if you carpet bomb ISIS, destroy its headquarters and training camps, you’re just playing into its hands. According to Obama and his experts, who have wrecked the Middle East, what ISIS fears most is that we’ll ignore it and let it go about its business. And what it wants most is for us to utterly destroy it.

Tens of thousands of Muslim refugees make us safer. But using the words “Muslim terrorism” endangers us. The more Muslims we bring to America, the faster we’ll beat ISIS. As long as we don’t call it the Islamic State or ISIS or ISIL, but follow Secretary of State John Kerry’s lead in calling it Daesh.

Because terrorism has no religion. Even when it’s shouting, “Allahu Akbar”.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Thinks That The Man In The High Castle Is A Documentary

Running a close second in the category of dumb remarks by world leaders responding to the March 22 Brussels terror attacks is perennial dumb commentator, Barack Obama --

"We defeat them in part by saying you are not strong, you are weak."

Take that! you evildoers!

During his half-hour harangue appeasing the communist thugs running Cuba's totalitarian regime, Obama reluctantly spent 51 seconds responding to the Brussels terror attack. His cliché-ridden remarks included this line -
"The thoughts and the prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium."

Remember back to the San Bernadino terror attack in December and the NY Daily News' outrage when Republican spokesmen offered their "thoughts and prayers"?
No such moral outrage was forthcoming from the Daily News after Obama offered his "thoughts and prayers" following the Brussels attack. Apparently, invoking God is inappropriate when Islamists murder with guns but it's perfectly OK when they use bombs.

Vulgar, Stupid, Ignorant, Evil -- Trump touches all the bases.

Ian Tuttle (NRO) expresses proper revulsion at the latest example of Trump's depravity.

Providing welcome comedy relief to our latest run of national and global bad news is James Lileks' column in the March 28 issue of National Review. Lileks asks, why would a terrific, tremendous, beautiful multi-billionaire real estate titan stoop so low as to lend his name to a vitamin supplement hawking scheme? Very, very, VERY funny. (Sorry, it'll cost you a quarter without an NR subscription).

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rule Of Law

I'm disappointed at Roger Simon over at PJ Media for his surrender to the forces of Trumpism and I now ignore anything he has to say regarding the GOP nomination process. However, he has written an excellent article detailing the significance of THE most important issue of the general election campaign, bar none : How will the FBI and the Justice Department (and what we're actually talking about here is the White House) deal with the seemingly overwhelming evidence of Hillary Clinton's national security violations and her influence peddling via the corrupt Clinton Foundation. The judicial treatment of Clinton's alleged crimes will determine whether or not the U.S. has devolved into a banana republic.

Bill Clinton was impeached for two causes -- perjury and obstruction of justice. But the charges concerned a matter of personal conduct and were not deemed serious enough for Clinton to be removed from office, although he was disbarred by the state of Arkansas.

Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency before almost certain impeachment over his coverup of the Watergate break-in, a farcically useless burglary of Democratic headquarters in an election that the Republicans were already winning by a landslide.

Neither of these misdeeds, bad as they were, even remotely approach the magnitude of crimes for which Hillary Clinton is said by many to have committed.

Read the entire piece here. It's important.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Most Opaque Administration In History

Those crazy far right wingers wanting to abolish the IRS...

From yesterday's Washington Post --

Today, nearly 1050 days since the start of the IRS scandal triggered by allegations that the IRS unlawfully and unethically targeted tea party and other conservative organizations for special scrutiny, the litigation continues. One allegedly targeted group brought suit against the IRS for its conduct, and the IRS has resisted the litigation with the same dilatory tactics that infuriated members of Congress.

In the latest development, a federal district court ordered the IRS to turn over information concerning groups that were subject to the mistreatment identified by the agency’s inspector general. The IRS didn’t like this and is now seeking a writ of mandamus in order to avoid having to disclose more information. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is not amused.

Today’s opinion in re United States of America/United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots denying the IRS petition begins:

"Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian —should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.”

Yet in this lawsuit the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it. The plaintiffs seek damages on behalf of themselves and other groups whose applications the IRS treated in the manner described by the Inspector General. The lawsuit has progressed as slowly as the underlying applications themselves: at every turn the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs’ requests for information regarding the IRS’s treatment of the plaintiff class, eventually to the open frustration of the district court. At issue here are IRS “Be On the Lookout” lists of organizations allegedly targeted for unfavorable treatment because of their political beliefs. Those organizations in turn make up the plaintiff class. The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court. We deny the petition."

Don't get too comfortable in your lavish taxpayer funded retirement, Lois Lerner.

If there's a Federal agency under Obama that is even more politicized than the IRS it is the Department of Justice. No wonder Hillary can feign confidence that it won't pursue an indictment of her.

But...maybe it won't matter.

A Huffington Post (!) columnist thinks that Clinton is toast. H. A. Goodman writes that as long as Americans are not allowed to see the 22 Top Secret e-mails that passed through the former Secretary of State's illegal server, she should be denied the Democratic nomination. Considering the source, this is dynamite stuff.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The Department of Futile Gestures springs to action
(Re - Obama administration to announce new security measures at U.S. airports following Brussels attacks)


Cinderella JV team making deep tournament run during March Madness
(Re - #ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks in #Brussels)

Let's face it, every jihad mass murder now prompts an open audition for a job at Hallmark greeting cards.

It's time for the Symbolic Illumination phase of the Useless Gesture Pageant
(Re - Eiffel Tower lights up in solidarity with Belgium after Brussels attacks)

The price of liberty is eternal vigils

Twibbons and hashtags and memes, oh my

Next -- Mark Steyn, he of partial Belgian heritage, who has been writing repeatedly (and to no avail) throughout this century about the surrender of our civilization to Islamism.

As M Jambon, the Belgian Interior Minister, told CNN on Monday:

Jambon says the majority of young Muslims are well integrated into Belgian society, but admits his government has more to do to make some feel "at home" in their own country, given that a sense of alienation can leave them open to the threat of radicalization.

"We're talking about third- and fourth-generation [immigrants]; these youngsters are born in Belgium, even their fathers and mothers are born in Belgium, and still they are open for these kind of messages. This is not normal -- in the U.S., the second generation was the President; here, the fourth generation is an IS fighter -- so that is really something we have to work on."

So "British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow's Train Bombing" is now joined by "Belgian Cabinet Minister Says Tomorrow's Train Bombing Is All Our Fault".

So "we" have to work on it. That means you, the Flemish frequent flyer, poking your head up from the rubble at the airport concourse. And you, the Walloon strap-hanger blinking into the dust and chaos and wondering where the lower part of your left leg went. You are going to "have to work on" it, harder and harder and harder.

And finally, A proposed solution to the problem of ISIS from former Army Col. Kurt Schlister. A course of action decidedly different from one the current president would ever follow. How to WIN a war.

Che Obama

"The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink" - Che Guevara

The clever photoshop is courtesy of Michael Deppisch on Twitter. Also, note the lovely Soviet Nouveau Cuban architecture.

Added 3/23 -- Ethan Epstein (Weekly Standard) writes that the Che Obama picture is even worse than it seems...

The building that Guevara's face adorns is home to the Cuban Ministry of the Interior.

Unlike our own Ministry of the Interior, Cuba's is not charged with innocuous tasks like protecting endangered waterfowl. Rather, it operates the National Revolutionary Police, which, in addition to keeping law and order on the streets, harasses and arrests dissidents, and suppresses "counter-revolutionary" activities. In other words, it's Cuba's version of the Stasi.

Limp wristed Obama with his puppet master, Raul Castro --

Upon seeing this photo, Colin Campbell tweeted -- "Ah, the 'ole limp-arm maneuver to thwart a triumphant photo pic."

Among the multitude of Donald Trump's deficiencies as a candidate is his failure to recognize gold-plated opportunities to attack political opponents, unless he is directly attacked himself. When Elizabeth Warren let loose a string of Trump-denigrating tweets, Trump returned the favor by labeling her "The Indian". (Good one). However, when the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, has a week long series of devastating gaffes, as NRO's Stephen Miller writes, Trump is silent.

In the latest edition of Andrew Klavan's podcast, he discusses Obama's obsequious outreach to Cuba's Castro brothers as well as Kevin Williamson's controversial take on white working class America. Good listening.

Some good Prager University productions --

Larry Schweikart on America's failed Socialist experiment --

Two by George Will -- political correctness, and the speech every college graduate should hear --

Larry Elder asks, "Is America Racist?" --

Former NY Times, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Judith Miller asks, "Did Bush Lie About Iraq?" --

John Kasich's Obamacare burden (And it will get worse) --

How David Brooks created Donald Trump (by rejecting the Tea Party) --

While campaigning for his wife, Bill Clinton commented that we should "put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us." While his statement is true, it's yet another sign that the former president is exhibiting early signs of dementia. One positive feature of senility is uncharacteristic honesty.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why I Am A Conservative

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute explains (far better than I ever could).

Notice that Brooks speaks diplomatically, but his not-so-subtle message is -- You guys on the left keep talking about poverty. We on the right will handle the details.

The key passage in his talk --

There are five reasons that two billion of our brothers and sisters have been pulled out of poverty since I was a kid. Number one: globalization. Number two: free trade. Number three: property rights. Number four: rule of law. Number five: entrepreneurship. It was the free enterprise system spreading around the world after 1970 that did that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tough Love

Kevin Williamson posits what is apparently a controversial idea - people living in economically depressed areas should take control of their lives and try to better themselves. Williamson has been attacked from both the left and the right on this one, though as he points out (his response to his critics linked below), no one has actually disagreed with any of his arguments. Most of the criticism has targeted the harsh tone of his article. One damn lie being spread is that Williamson suggested that working class whites should die. There is no limit to the evil mendacity of the left and the alt right.

David French at NRO defends his colleague --

And Williamson responds to his critics here --

Jim Geraghty writes of the wrongheaded desire of those disenchanted with the current political environment to burn it all down.

You dare not call yourself conservative if you belong to this arson-minded mass. Conservatives are here to preserve, create, and build, not to ignite and destroy. Insofar as the torch is an American political tradition, it’s not a conservative one — it’s the recourse of our country’s worst radicals, from the Klan to the Weather Underground to the Black Panthers to Timothy McVeigh.

...Yes, of course, America has problems. We’ve got paranoid zero-tolerance school administrators suspending kids for pretending their lunchtime sandwich was a gun. We’ve got CEOs getting dismissed by their own corporate boards for past opposition to gay marriage. We’ve got journalists lecturing others about which pronoun to use for a former Olympic hero who changes names and genders. We have 46 million families using food banks and food-service programs, and half-a-million homeless, one quarter of them children.

But let’s have some perspective. This morning, about 50 million American children took the bus to a public school, and for the vast majority of them, nothing went wrong. About 121 million Americans went off to a full-time job, worked hard, and thought about what they would do with their paycheck at the end of the week. For those out of work, there were 5.6 million job openings at the end of 2015, at least 57,000 of them offering on-the-job training. About 60 million married men and women across the country went to bed last night thinking about their spouse — most of them still in love, and not worried about how he left the toilet seat up. Last year, American families adopted about 135,000 children who needed homes. And in the last year of complete statistics, we gave more to charity than ever before.

Victor Davis Hanson compares some of Trump's outrages to those of esteemed leftists and finds common ground in depravity.

Trump reprehensibly has urged his supporters to physically tangle with opponents. But, after Chicago, did he emulate a presidential urge “to argue with them and get in their face!”? When Trump does his next Philadelphia rally, will he, in Obama fashion, egg on his Trumpsters with this: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

Or maybe Trump could adapt another line from Obama and use it with his working-class white supporters, cautioning them that, instead of sitting out the election, they should say, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” Or maybe Trump could try still another adaptation of a line from President Obama for those stubborn senators who favor open borders: “Those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

...We could play this tu quoque all day long, but the fact that we can play it at all suggests that Trump is hardly, by current standards, beyond the pale, much less that he is aberrant in U.S. presidential-campaign history. He is or is not as uncouth as Barack Obama, who has mocked the disabled, the wealthy, typical white people, the religious, and the purported clingers, and has compared opponents to Iranian theocrats and said that George W. Bush was “unpatriotic” — all as relish to wrecking America’s health-care system, doubling the national debt, setting race relations back six decades, politicizing federal bureaucracies, ignoring federal law, and leaving the Middle East in shambles and our enemies on the ascendant.

...I would not vote for Donald Trump in the primary, given that I have no idea what he would do as president and thus most certainly hope he does not get the nomination. But he seems about on par with the current president, in terms of reckless speeches, inexperience, crudity, and cluelessness. Yet I don’t recall hearing that many in the Democratic party ever felt that Obama’s provocative and ignorant campaign utterances, along with his past associations with the likes of Tony Rezko, Revernd Wright, Bill Ayers, and Father Pfleger, had driven them to vote for a far more sober and judicious John McCain or Mitt Romney.

Will Franken is a London performance artist who spent seven months as a transgender woman before converting back to a man. He recounts his experience and progressives' less than tolerant reception of his reconversion.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Quotable Wisdom

Abraham Lincoln -- "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

John Tabin (Twitter) -- "Contemplating the merits of the Oxford comma as I head down to Florida to see my parents, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio."

Kevin Williamson was asked on Twitter why he doesn't vote and he replied (I'm paraphrasing) -- "The expressive value of not voting is greater than the instrumental value of doing so."

If Trump gets the nomination, I will utilize this principle for myself on November 8.

Williamson -- "Pope Francis, who as an economist is one hell of a theologian, insists that we can have capitalism if we will care for the people, which gets it exactly backward: We can care for the poor if we have capitalism."

BTW, The article from which this came is KW's look at voluntary charity - the ethical and most effective way to do philanthropy. Link to it here --

Williamson -- “The Democrats inflicted upon this republic a so-called constitutional scholar who abuses and subverts the Constitution at every turn — we’ll answer with a guy who doesn’t even know how a bill becomes a law, or care!”

Jonah Goldberg -- "When John Ashcroft warned Americans that conjuring false fears of lost liberties helped the enemy, the entire New York Times editorial board got its dress over its head. But when Obama and his fans routinely say that “Republican rhetoric” is a recruiting tool for ISIS, they all nod like a crate of bobbleheads in an earthquake."

Goldberg -- "Obama has complete confidence in the (immigration) screening procedures. Well, okay. He also had complete confidence in the IRS, the VA, and the team building When Obama declares complete confidence in a government agency, that’s a good time to buy gold."

Goldberg -- "My very short, partial, explanation for why the system seems rigged for the benefit of rich people has to do with the fact that complexity is a subsidy. The more rules and regulations the government creates, the more it creates a society where people with resources — good educations, good lawyers, good lobbyists, and good connections — can rise while those without such resources are left to climb hurdles on their own."

Goldberg -- (From the latest G-File - The invasion of the conservative body snatchers...)

"I’m losing the will to rebut Donald Trump’s “arguments” because he really doesn’t make any."

"...If you listen to Trump’s answers to almost any question about how he will fix a problem, he uses up the first 95 percent of his time explaining, re-explaining and demagoguing about how bad the problem is. (That is, if he’s not talking about polls.) Then in the last few seconds, he says we’ll fix the problem by being really smart or by winning or by hiring the best people. In other words, he has no idea how to fix it."

Jay Nordlinger -- "Years ago, I worked briefly for a man who seemed to be a classic one-percenter. He was employed in a prestigious law firm and had been to the best schools: Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard, I believe, and in that order. One day, I asked him about his earlier life. And my eyes widened as he talked. He was from West Virginia. His family didn’t have running water, as I remember. He himself didn’t have proper shoes until he was 14. He didn’t have any books, either. But a prominent man in town — I think it was a banker — let him use his private library. And that helped this kid, Michael, a lot. Later, when the world looked at him, I’m sure they saw nothing but “white privilege.” But they knew nothing. Absolutely nothing."

Nordlinger -- "The loser in 2012, in my judgment, was not Mitt Romney but the American people: who were stupid enough to opt for Obama over Romney. Mitt Romney is one of the most capable, most intelligent, most experienced, and most decent men ever to run for president. That Americans opted against him said more about them (us) than about him."

Katherine Timpf -- "When allegations of sexual misconduct emerged during Bill’s 1992 presidential run, she’s reported to have said “Who is going to find out? These women are trash. Nobody’s going to believe them.” Multiple people also report that she called the women “sluts” and “whores” — you know, for daring to be raped. A private investigator named Ivan Duda claims that, after Bill lost his second governor’s race, Hillary told him: “I want you to get rid of all these b****** he’s seeing . . . I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control.”

George Will -- "The argument for progressive taxation must demonstrate this: such taxation does not do more harm by slowing economic growth than faster economic growth would do good by its distributive effects."

"...The arguments for progressive taxation range from the feeble to the sinister. The case for it is not uneasy, it is nonexistent."

Will -- "President Franklin Roosevelt was right to say: “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

Will -- "If, however, Donald Trump’s vitriol pumps up the number of voters, this will at least lay to rest the canard that high voter turnout is a sign of social health."

Winston Churchill -- “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Joseph Rago -- "Drinkers can also no longer enjoy “Donald J. Trump: The World’s Finest Super Premium Vodka, Success Distilled,” which was discontinued in 2011, though it is unclear if anyone ever enjoyed it. A connoisseur at the website Vodkaphiles compares the flavor to “gas station burritos, slightly expired 2% milk, hard boiled eggs, and canned pears.”

Nate Silver -- "If a year ago you'd drawn up 1000 scenarios and ranked them from best to worst possible outcome for the GOP, this would be like No. 997."

From a conservative on Twitter -- "Watching Rubio in a townhall. He's so good. We're so stupid. We're so very stupid."

Edmund Burke -- “He that sets his home on fire because his fingers are frostbitten can never be a fit instructor in the method of providing our habitations with a cheerful and salutary warmth.”

Mona Charen uses Burke's quote in an article detailing what Republican primary voters are throwing away by supporting Donald Trump. Very good piece. Here are some excerpts.

"The Republican party is choosing an odd time to commit suicide. Obama’s two victories were painful setbacks, but in the Obama era the Democrats lost 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats, 910 legislative seats, eleven governorships, and 30 legislative chambers. All that stood between Republicans and real reform at the federal level was the White House — and the Democrats were sleep walking toward nominating the least popular major player in American politics."

"...Here are a few words of praise for the Republicans. The Republican party has become more reform-minded and more conservative over the past 30 years. The Arlen Specters and Bob Packwoods are pretty much gone. In their places are dynamic, smart, and articulate leaders such as Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, Cory Gardner, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Susana Martinez, and Marco Rubio. The party has become more conservative and more ethnically diverse.

Between 2008 and 2014, when Republicans were the minority in the Senate, they blocked cap and trade, the “public option” in Obamacare, and card check. Republicans declined to give President Obama universal pre-K, the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” expanded unemployment benefits, a higher federal minimum wage, varieties of gun control, mandatory paid sick leave, a tax on multinational corporations, higher taxes on individuals, and more. They passed bills authorizing the Keystone pipeline (which was vetoed) and trade promotion authority (the one issue Obama is not wrong about). They endorsed entitlement reform."

Charen leaves out that they also repealed Obamacare. (Which Obama vetoed).

"...Those who encouraged the “burn it down” mania and who popularized the narrative that a malign Republican “establishment” was responsible for the state of the nation may be many things but they are not conservative. Conservatives respect institutions and traditions. They understand that process is ultimately more important than policy outcomes because it guarantees legitimacy and political stability. Laws can be repealed. That is why Obama’s worst offenses were not Dodd/Frank, the stimulus bill, or Obamacare, as bad as those were. His worst offenses were against Constitutional constraints. He governed by executive fiat and got away with it, thus undermining the rule of law."

Christina H. Sommers -- "Want to narrow the gender wage gap? Women should major in petroleum engineering instead of psychology or education."

Another reason for the mythical gender wage gap? Men do risky occupations. Women, not so much. --

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

National Propaganda Radio

From The American Thinker blogsite --

A thorough repudiation of the (un-)Affordable Care Act comes from, of all places, state-run National Public Radio. Timed to be buried by Super Tuesday coverage, NPR this week released a new study that indicates that Obamacare has failed on almost all levels.

The poll, by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, shows that three quarters of Americans think health care in their state has not improved under Obamacare. The survey says more people think health care has gotten worse (26%) than better (15%). Forty-nine percent of people think health care has stayed about the same.

And I hope you haven’t been making plans of what to do with that $2,500 a year you’ll be saving on premiums. The NPR poll confirms that that was just another in Obama’s litany of lies. Forty-five percent of respondents said their premiums had gone up, while 46% said their premiums had stayed about the same. Only 4% said their premiums had actually gone down, as Obama promised they would.

Along with higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles have gone up for 35% of people. Fifty-six percent say they’ve stayed about the same. Again, only 4% of those surveyed said their copays and deductibles have actually gone down.

Meanwhile, the increased benefits Obama swore we’d get apparently haven’t materialized. Seventy percent of people said their benefits have stayed about the same. Twelve percent said their benefits have actually decreased. Only 16% of people polled said they have better benefits now than before Obamacare.

The article then points to this opening paragraph in an NPR article discussing the results of its poll.

A series of polls in key states by NPR and its partners finds that more than half of adults in the U.S. believe the Affordable Care Act has either helped the people of their state or has had no effect.

The correct interpretation of the data is, of course -- Three quarters of Americans think health care in their state has not improved or gotten worse under Obamacare.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


A couple of revealing graphs.

A) -- When you raise the price of something, you get less of it. Seattle raises its minimum wage and (no surprise) employment drops. The "progressive" project continues - putting minorities and the poor out of work and increasing their dependence on government.

B) -- A major reason why Donald Trump is doing as well as he is - free air time.

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Question...

If Hillary Clinton is indicted and is still elected president, can she legally pardon herself?

Hillary in handcuffs joke

Clinton and her cronies continue to furiously spin the steady stream of damaging e-mail scandal revelations. They have no choice. If Democratic primary voters believe that there is even a small chance that Clinton and/or her associates could be indicted, they will be disinclined to vote for her. Many already are.

Clinton likes to say she never sent or received anything marked "classified". Of course not. Nothing is ever marked "classified". Documents are "classified" as confidential, secret, top secret and the highest level of top secret, special access privilege. All four of these categories of documents were mishandled negligently by Clinton while she was Secretary of State.

Former intelligence analyst John Schindler shows how Clinton's latest distortion - "no evidence of foreign hacking" - is the latest in her series of disingenuous nonsense.

There is wordsmithing of a classic Clintonian kind going on here that requires a bit of unpacking. In the first place, the use of the term “hacking” obscures as much as it explains. It’s not a word normally used by intelligence services, since it conjures images of unwashed teenagers in basements. Spy agencies which practice advanced signals intelligence or SIGINT instead use terms like “active SIGINT” to describe their sophisticated, multilayered efforts to break into protected or encrypted information systems.

...Unencrypted IT systems don’t need “hacking”—normal SIGINT interception will suffice. Ms. Clinton’s “private” email, which was wholly unencrypted for a time, was incredibly vulnerable to interception, since it was traveling unprotected on normal commercial networks, which is where SIGINT operators lurk, searching for nuggets of gold.

They hunt for data with search terms called “selectors”—a specific phone number, a chatroom handle, an email address: here Ms. Clinton’s use of the “” server was the SIGINT equivalent of waving a huge “I’m right here” flag at hostile intelligence services. Since the number of spy agencies worldwide capable of advanced SIGINT operations numbers in the many dozens, with Russia and China in the top five, that Ms. Clinton’s emails wound up in the wrong hands is a very safe bet, as any experienced spy will attest.

Judge Andrew Napolitano lists a few of Clinton's offenses that will eventually destroy her ambitions - if justice is rightly served.

(The) search for a conspiracy will take Mrs. Clinton down the road to perdition — to the end of her hopes. Along that road are instructions to a subordinate to divert all her government emails through her private server. On the side of that road are emails instructing her aides to remove “secret” markings from documents and resend the documents to her via a non-secure fax machine.

On that road are emails revealing the names of secret undercover intelligence assets, the locations of North Korean nuclear facilities, the transcripts of telephone conversations among foreign intelligence agents, and the travel plans of then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in the days before he was murdered.

We should learn soon whether we are a nation of laws or a banana republic with separate rules for the rich and powerful.

Blogger Ace graded the performances of yesterday's GOP debate participants. He gave Cruz an A-, Rubio a B, Kasich a D-, and briefly explained his reasoning for each. Then he got to Trump. The entertaining critique is worth reading in its entirety --

Repudiated the Jeff Sessions Immigration Plan -- which was the only reason to support him -- by declaring he was "changing" and "softening" it because we need all these highly-skilled people to take our jobs. Then said he would be "flexible" on the wall and deporting illegals and pretty much admitted he'd said as much to the New York Times editorial board, and then, in case you were unsure if you'd heard him right, praised Marco Rubio's Amnesty plan as "fine" and a good opening bargaining position.

Kept talking about his hand-size and then, just when you thought this was getting weird, brought it back into a more sensible area by assuring the world that his penis size was sufficient for most.
He then added some substance to his foreign policy platform by declaring that he would force American soldiers to break the law and murder children.

On other issues, he was less reassuring.

His answers to questions about Trump University and the budget were somewhat uncomfortable to watch, in much the same way that it is uncomfortable to watch a bus full of circus clowns crash into a school for blind children and even worse the clowns were doing their "Gasoline Comedy" act that day and now all the blind children are on fire and the clowns are trying to squirt water on them with their stupid lapel-flowers but the flowers are just squirting out more gas and the children are crying tears of fire out of their Unseeing Dead Eyes and holy shit a couple of the clowns look like they have boners and they're chasing around the fiery blind children trying to rub up on them with these bobbling clown-boners with big red bulbs on their tips.

In other words, as Trump would say: Not the best. Really not terrific. A real mess!

Grade: I don't even know how to even start grading this. As far as a letter grade, I give a red X carved crudely through the face of a rotting pig with a bunch of stripper-glitter tossed on it.

Want to know why all this won't matter and Trump will win anyway? Because the electorate is populated with the products of our education system --

More anti-Trump commentary, this by Steve Hayes. A stark contrast in intelligence, knowledge, dignity and values - Trump and Hayes.

Added 3/5 --

Coarse, crude, vulgar, tasteless, profane, lewd -- there is no shortage of appropriate adjectives to describe Donald Trump. Andrew McCarthy reflects on a culture that could allow such a man to become a leading candidate for president.

And this nugget from Ben Shapiro --

I fondly recall Federalist #89, in which James Madison pointed out that his penis was far out of proportion to his diminutive height.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


A Venn Diagram revealing faulty logic at the NY Times --

A Facebook post by former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov --

I'm enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.

Here is a link to the transcript of Mitt Romney's rousing speech today attacking Donald Trump.

And here is a link to Ross Douthat's commentary on Romney's speech.

The idea that Trump can’t be beaten is insane; the idea that he shouldn’t be beaten is immoral; the idea that it isn’t worth even trying to beat him is the lamest thing I’ve ever seen in politics. So good on Romney for trying: All that is necessary for the triumph of Trump, it would seem, is for party men to do nothing — while telling themselves, mournfully, that there just wasn’t anything to be done.

Yuval Levin --

From every angle, the Republican race looks like an epic tragedy of blinding hubris. If any one of these men who would be president had a more properly proportional understanding of his own prospects and limits, the coming calamity would be averted. But as none of them does, that calamity keeps coming.

The prospect of a Trump–Clinton matchup therefore remains very real. That at this moment, with the country struggling to come to terms with its 21st-century circumstances, the two parties would reach for two 70-year-olds to save them from the future — both of them intensely unpopular, reckless with power, blinded by nostalgia, and devoid of vision — is awfully discouraging. And it leaves me wondering if the baby boomers, as voters and leaders, will ever stop wrecking the country.

Kevin Williamson on the dilemma facing principled conservatives, that doing the right thing is politically unpopular --

Having been elevated in the 2010 elections and fortified in subsequent elections, congressional Republicans have made a little bit of progress on the deficit, which was reduced from 8.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2015. In 2007, before the credit crisis and the subsequent recession, it had been about 1.1 percent of GDP — too high for the liking of many deficit hawks, but arguably manageable.

Another way to look at the spending problem is deficit compared to revenue, i.e., how much we’re borrowing to finance spending vs. how much we’re taking in. This gives you an idea of what the “stretch” is, what we’d need to cover in additional taxes or reduce through spending cuts to bring expenditures in line with income. In 2010, the deficit was 60 percent of revenue ($1.29 trillion deficit vs. $2.16 trillion revenue), whereas in 2015 the deficit was 13 percent of revenue ($439 billion deficit vs. $3.25 trillion revenue). For those of you who habitually ask what it is that congressional Republicans have accomplished, that’s it: Despite having Barack Obama in the White House and a public that clamored for more benefits and lower taxes, the deficit has been reduced substantially in absolute terms, relative to GDP, relative to the federal budget, and relative to revenue, since the height of Democratic power under the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate.

That triumvirate, let’s not forget, was generously financed by Donald Trump, who thinks he should be the Republican presidential nominee.

KW again --

George H. W. Bush, who completed his flying mission in World War II with his airplane on fire after being shot in the head before bailing out over the Pacific and dodging angry Japanese intent on eating him? Meh. What’s that compared to playing a tough guy on television or throwing a temper tantrum about Macy’s?

...“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was last season’s “I’ll build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it.” This season’s version will work out the same, if American voters are in fact childish and unpatriotic enough to invest Trump with the power of the presidency in a fit of pique. I hope they don’t. But I don’t put it past them, either. They’ve done it before. Immediately before, in fact. Yes, Trump is a con artist. No, he isn’t the first. The last one didn’t work out too well.

Andrew Klavan --

First quotes the NY Times and then comments --

Heather Cox Richardson, a Boston College professor and the author of a new history of the Republican Party, predicts a violent rupture that cleaves the party in two: a hard-line conservatism, as embodied by Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich and Mr. Trump, and an old-fashioned strain of moderate Republicanism that recalls Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Nelson Rockefeller.

If Professor Richardson thinks Donald Trump is a hard-line conservative, she should no more be writing about Republicans than I should be writing about quantum mechanics. Because she doesn't know what she's talking about.

What is splitting the Republican Party in two is the very fact that Trump is not a conservative. He favors government health care. He favors disastrous protectionism. He favors less freedom of speech in the form of new libel laws making it easier for him to sue those who criticize him. He sends friendly signals to the haters of blacks and Jews. Plus he's a foul-mouthed thug who treats women like dirt — which may be fine for the Clintons, but is unacceptable behavior in any conservative circle I've ever been in.

...What are conservatives to do then if Trump becomes the nominee of the Republican Party? How are they to express themselves politically without becoming irrelevant?

I hear plenty of Republican tweeters and even commentators saying: "Chill out." "Get on board the Trump train or get run over!" "You can't argue with success." For the record, my responses are "No," "Kiss my ass," and "You bet I can," in that order.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung Yet

The 1996 World Series pitted the New York Yankees against the Atlanta Braves. The defending champion Braves were heavy favorites with a potent offense and a starting pitching rotation that included three Hall of Famers - Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. It was widely assumed that Atlanta had the Series wrapped up after winning the first two games by a composite score of 16-1, both in New York no less. Some Atlanta writers went even further, telling everyone to never mind the current Yankees and to start comparing the Braves to the 1927 and 1936 Yankee teams that are generally considered to be the best of all time. Well, someone neglected to tell this to the 1996 Yankee team. New York went on to sweep the next four games (three of which were in Atlanta) and win the Series 4-2. Sportswriter Mitch Albom pointed out that what the pundits forgot is that before a winner is anointed, the games must first be played.

Yeah, I know. Sports is not politics. The winners in sports are almost always athletically superior than their opponents or harder working or both. Politics is largely a beauty contest or a matter of who can sell himself most effectively. Knowledge, intelligence and good judgement are less important than charisma and celebrity. And we're currently paying the price (BHO) for this lack of a political meritocracy. Still, the outcomes of political contests are not final until all the votes are counted, or in the case of the nomination process, until a candidate has accumulated a majority of delegates.

So, I don't get it. It seems as if there's a disconnect between the media's perception that Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee and the reality that he may not be. Pre-Super Tuesday predictions were that Trump would win 9-10 (out of 11) states and between 250 and 300 delegates. More than 300 could be considered a smashing victory and less than 250 a disappointment. Well Trump won 7 states and somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 delegates. He has a total of (again, approximately) 320 delegates to about 230 for Ted Cruz and about 110 for Marco Rubio. 1237 is needed to win. And the race is over?

The raw vote totals look even less impressive for Trump. Rubio's and Cruz' combined 49.7% easily beats Trump's 34.2%. This points out a major part of the Republicans' problem which is that they have two viable, closely matched anti-Trump candidates. If the Democrats had someone of the caliber of, say, a Joe Biden taking votes from Hillary Clinton, then they might be in the same situation as the GOP with Bernie Sanders playing Donald Trump's role. As it is, Sanders is doing remarkably well, even after what pundits claim was a bad Super Tuesday for him. Clinton beat him 486-321 yesterday, giving her a 577-386 delegate overall lead, with 2383 needed to win. That hardly seems insurmountable. And this is before the indictment.

John McCormack at The Weekly Standard notes that three Trump victories yesterday (Vermont, Virginia and Arkansas) were won by less than three points each and that the delegate distribution from these three would not have been appreciably different had he lost them all. Had he lost all three, McCormack says the perception would have been that Trump had a bad night winning only 4 out of 11. Take John Kasich out of the race and that's what would have happened.

Three states that Trump lost were closed primary (AK, OK) or caucus (MN) states, meaning that only registered Republicans could vote in them. (Technically, Massachusetts is a "closed" state, but only in that a voter declares his party when he shows up at the polls.) The only closed state that Trump has won is the Nevada caucus and voting irregularities make those results suspect. Trump does better in open voting states, probably because many Democrats are crossing over to vote for him, either because they adore his left wing politics or they're hoping to help give Hillary an easy opponent. The majority of upcoming contests are closed, including all four on Saturday and 8 out of the next 10.

Wait. There's more. Exit polls Tuesday showed that only 27 percent of voters had heard about Trump's reluctance to denounce David Duke's endorsement. Only 20 percent had heard about the Trump University scam and lawsuit. Only 13 percent had heard about the failure of Trump Mortgage. This information will become common knowledge at some point. Better for it to be in the next two weeks with ads flooding the airwaves in contested states than after the nominating process has ended and the Democrats get to do the flooding nationwide.

Donald Trump securing the GOP nomination would be bad news indeed but he can't do it without winning the games first. And he's not nearly as good as the 1996 Atlanta Braves were.

Other stuff --

James Lileks puts humor aside (for the most part) and reacts to Erick Erickson's call #NeverTrump.

Holman Jenkins (WSJ) tells Trump (and Sanders) supporters to quit blaming "elites" for many of their self-inflicted problems.

To be honest and impolitic, the Trump voter smacks of a child who unleashes recriminations against mommy and daddy because the world is imperfect.

The blaming of elites has gone too far. The American voter has a big hand in his own disappointments. His retirement system has been a conspicuous demographic Ponzi scheme for at least two generations, yet he keeps voting for unfunded benefits. The Obama administration complains in its latest economic report about declining state and local investment because all the money is going to the unfunded pension promises negotiated by public-sector employees (i.e., voters) without also negotiating the taxes to make good on them.

Yet voters have welcomed being gulled with talk of lockboxes and trust funds while their payroll taxes are diverted to unrelated, voter-pleasing spending and the alleged trust funds are filled with IOUs by the government to itself.

Voters stood idly by or cheered as politicians loaded up our economy with regulations and growth-killing institutions that undermine productivity.

Yet Trump voters, like children, now say, But you promised!

Kevin Williamson gets nostalgic for smoke-filled back rooms.

It was democracy that did the parties in, of course. One of the harebrained progressive reforms foisted upon our republic is the so-called open primary, which amounts to something close to the abolition of political parties as such. If anybody can vote in the Republican primary — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, independent, etc. — then membership in the party does not mean very much, and, hence, the party itself does not mean very much. Instead of two main political parties, we have two available channels for the communication of populist spite; the parties themselves are mere conveniences for political entrepreneurs and demagogues. Trump might as easily have run as a Democrat — he is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, and he raves about the wonderful things the butchers at Planned Parenthood do — but the opening was more attractive on the R side.

In a Prager U. production, Adam Carolla tells us who not to vote for.