Monday, May 22, 2017

Destructive Leaking

For John, BLUFNo good is coming from this kind of leaking, unless the leaker(s) want the Sampson Option, which will hurt their head when the structure collapses on them, and us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I had flagged, last week, this Breitbart article by Reporter Kristina Wong, back on Monday, the 15th of May.  I had a chance to talk to Ms Wong this last Saturday and found her to be intelligent and insightful.  Only today did I make the connection, otherwise I would have asked her about it in detail.

Here is the sub-headline:

Current and former U.S. officials, supposedly concerned that President Trump had shared some “highly classified information” with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S. last week, leaked that information to the Washington Post in an article published Monday.
The next paragraph is:
However, the report admits that it is “unlikely” Trump broke any laws.
This seems like some sort of insanity.  There is highly classified information, that a US Newspaper puts out there for all to see, based on the fact that the US President saw fit to mention it to the Russian Foreign Minister.  Maybe the President was warning a nation that is a de facto ally in the war on terrorism.  But, now, thanks to a selfish and self-centered leaker, and a cooperating media, it is out there for all to see, including terrorist organizations, although I am not sure terrorist organizations couldn't have winkled this out on their own.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

  A friend of mine wrote this morning:  "Most people agree terrorism involves the deliberate targeting of civilians to create fear for some political goal.  Or something like that.  Meaning attacking a foreign occupying force is not terrorism.  Now acknowledging that does not constitute an endorsement of it."

Russian Meddling—Look Deeper

For John, BLUFThat the DNC didn't protect itself should be reason for, at a minimum, shaming by all news media.  Never going to happen.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The LA Times, and Reporter Ann M Simmons, 17 May—Wednesday last.

Ms Simmons says, in part:

The Kremlin has ridiculed the flap in the U.S. over allegations of possible collusion between members of Trump’s campaign during his run for the White House and the president’s seemingly cozy relations with Putin. Moscow has denied meddling in U.S. elections and political affairs.

Putin warned that the United States’ anti-Russian rhetoric could backfire.

“You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

The Poster at InstaPundit, Mr Stephen Green, says of the article, and President Putin:
The denial stinks — Putin’s technique is to sow chaos and reap whatever may come from it.  But his analysis of what Democrats and not-just-a-few Republicans are doing to this country is spot-on.
As someone Commented at the InstaPundit blog post:
Vlad Putin....Voice of Reason

Think of how absurd that sounds.

I am one of those open to Seth Rich being the "leaker" to Wikileaks, but I think we need to do some back story and ask ourselves to what degree President V Putin thinks that SecState H Clinton meddled in the elections in his sphere of influence.  Why would President V Putin NOT think that what was good for the goose is good for the gander?  We (the US) do have a history of interfering in elections in other nations.  For examples, see here and here and here and here and finally here, where the key line is "The officer reportedly described the intelligence agency’s effort as retribution for what Russian President Vladimir Putin considered Clinton’s influence campaign against him while serving as secretary of State.")

What was that line from almost a decade ago?

America's chickens are coming home to roost.

But, I doubt the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, will delve into that issue.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This is not to say that US Influence Operations in the past (or in the future) are a bad thing.  It is to say that we are on a multi-lane road and some of the traffic is going the other way and that if we are not ready for it, shame on us.  The rest of this is merely theater.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Elites Can't Save You, or Themselves

For John, BLUFWhen the Elites are the problem, the People look elsewhere for help.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:
The elites are the problem.
This is Mr Robert W Merry, in The American Conservative, on 18 May 2017.

Here are two early paragraphs:

When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation’s elites, it’s a strong signal that the elites are the problem.  We’re talking here about the elites of both parties.  Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee—a woman who sought to avoid accountability as secretary of state by employing a private email server, contrary to propriety and good sense; who attached herself to a vast nonprofit “good works” institution that actually was a corrupt political machine designed to get the Clintons back into the White House while making them rich; who ran for president, and almost won, without addressing the fundamental problems of the nation and while denigrating large numbers of frustrated and beleaguered Americans as “deplorables.”  The unseemliness in all this was out in plain sight for everyone to see, and yet Democratic elites blithely went about the task of awarding her the nomination, even to the point of employing underhanded techniques to thwart an upstart challenger who was connecting more effectively with Democratic voters.

At least Republican elites resisted the emergence of Trump for as long as they could. Some even attacked him vociferously.  But, unlike in the Democratic Party, the Republican candidate who most effectively captured the underlying sentiment of GOP voters ended up with the nomination.  The Republican elites had to give way.  Why?  Because Republican voters fundamentally favor vulgar, ill-mannered, tawdry politicians?  No, because the elite-generated society of America had become so bad in their view that they turned to the man who most clamorously rebelled against it.

Then the author proceeds to list the areas where the elites have their own crisis, in that the votes think that the solutions offered by the elites are not working for those voters.  This is the crisis.  The elites can claim those voters are Les Deplorables, but unless they become discouraged voters, they are a problem.

Then we see the "slow motion coup" in action.  Not the solution.

Now comes the counterrevolution.  The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy—the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America.  That’s why there is so much talk about impeachment even in the absence of any evidence thus far of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  That’s why the firing of James Comey as FBI director raises the analogy of Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”  That’s why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat.

Ross Douthat, the conservative New York Times columnist, even suggests the elites of Washington should get rid of Trump through the use of the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of the president if a majority of the cabinet informs the Congress that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and if a two-thirds vote of Congress confirms that judgment in the face of a presidential challenge.  This was written of course for such circumstances of presidential incapacity as ill health or injury, but Douthat’s commitment to the counterrevolution is such that he would advocate its use for mere presidential incompetence.

Good luck to us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Even Rolling Stone is Wondering

For John, BLUFIt reminds me of the quip from Baseball Manager Casey Stengel, "Can't anybody here play this game?".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
Amid the chaos of James Comey's firing, new questions about the timeline of his fateful investigation
This is from Rolling Stone, by Mr Matt Taibbi.

Here is a prescient quote:

But it's our job in the media to be bothered by little details, and the strange timeline of the Trump-Russia investigation qualifies as a conspicuous loose end.
And here are the last two paragraphs:
We should care. The uncertainty has led to widespread public terror, mass media hysteria and excess, and possibly even panic in the White House itself, where, who knows, Trump may even have risked military confrontation with Russia in an effort to shake the collusion accusations. All of this is exacerbated by the constant stream of leaks and hints at mother lodes of evidence that are just around the corner. It's quite literally driving the country crazy.

The public deserves to know what's going on. It deserved to know before the election, it deserved to know before the inauguration, and it deserves to know now.

Reporter Taibbi has an itch, and well he should.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 19, 2017

SNL Morphs

For John, BLUFAnd this will go on because there are millions (sadly) who think supporters of President Trump are fair game.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you are one of Les Deplorables you are a target for snarky attacks; snarky attacks that would never be tolerated against the bien-pensant.  There it is.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where Are The Others?

For John, BLUFWhat a mess.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The article is from The Washington Examiner The the Reporter is Mr Daniel Chaitin, with a dateline of 17 May.

The appointment was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in his capacity as acting Attorney General, given that A/G has recused himself in this matter.

My question is where are the others?

  • Some appointed to [re]examine Mrs Hillary Clinton's "home brew" server?
  • Someone to examine the allegations that a staffer at the DNC delivered all those EMails to Wikileaks and Mr Julian Assange.
  • Someone to examine the massive leaking to the press of information that should not be leaked from the Executive Branch.
  • Mrs Clinton's Uranium Deal.
  • Others?
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 15, 2017


For John, BLUFThis is costing us lives and hundreds of millions.  Is it worth it?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author of this article is Georgetown Law Professor Phillip Carter and it is published by Slate.

It is about Afghanistan.

And, it is about strategy.  As framed by Phil it is matching Ends, Ways and Means.

I think that the Ends, Ways and Means construct doesn't quite capture it.  I prefer "Matching Objectives, Threats and Opportunities in a Logistically constrained environment."

I do like the Leon Trotsky quote.

According to legend, Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky famously said that “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

So it is with Afghanistan and the Trump administration, which is reportedly considering a recommitment to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, as well as the deployment of 3,500 more U.S. troops.  None of this squares with President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge of an “America First” foreign policy, nor with his healthy skepticism of how America’s long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were managed under Presidents Bush and Obama.  No matter.  The Afghanistan conflict grinds on, and although Trump may not be interested in the details of this war, the war is interested in Trump.

We, as a nation, need to think about Afghanistan, and we need to think about the willingness of certain Islamic groups to use force (e.g., Terrorism) to achieve their goals.

This means that we need to understand how Islam functions and Islam evolves.  Islam is not us, in the sense that Islam is a different socio-political milieu from our own Western World.  Not that Muslims can't be part of our milieu, but an Islamic tribal society does not fit easily into our way of doing business.

If anyone is interested in this, I recommend they read this short article at The Strategy Bridge by Dr Janet Breslin-Smith.

My favorite sentence is:
My argument comes down to this:  we cannot do for anyone what they cannot do for themselves.
To be fair, Janet has been thinking about this for a while and she sees problems in Middle Eastern Muslim Societies.  These are problems that we can not fix.  They must fix them themselves.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Not Seeing The Spin

For John, BLUFToday Democrats can't move on.  Soon no one will be able to move on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This item from The Old Gray Lady, Reported by Mr Peter Baker and Ms Maggie Haberman, 13 May of this year, is an example of looking at something through the other end of the tube.

The Headline, and the Story, suggest that President Trump has a problem because he can't get past the election.  For a lot of Les Deplorables out there the problem is that those who didn't vote for Mr Trump can not get over the fact that he won, and thus maintain that he is illegitimate.

Funnily enough, the photo with the article is of protestors in front of the White House calling for Impeachment, calling President Trump "Putin's Stooge", and suggesting lies and coverups.  That is to say, President Trump is illegitimate.  No wonder the President thinks folks are out to get him.  And just look at the Democrats in Congress, and out of Congress.  The most outspoken is California Representative Maxine Waters (from near where I used to vote, in the Los Angeles Basin).  One has the impression House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer are not far behind her.

This is a rather long excerpt from the article:

WASHINGTON — In the small dining room next to the Oval Office where he works much of the time, President Trump keeps a stack of color-coded maps of the United States representing the results of the 2016 election.  The counties he won are blotchy red and span most of the nation.

Mr. Trump sometimes hands the maps out to visitors as a kind of parting gift, and a framed portrait-size version was hung on a wall in the West Wing last week.  In conversations, the president dwells on the map and its import, reminding visitors about how wrong the polls were and inflating the scope of his victory.

At the root of Mr. Trump’s unpredictable presidency, according to people close to him, is a deep frustration about attacks on his legitimacy, and a worry that Washington does not see him as he sees himself.

As he careens from one controversy to another, many of them of his own making — like his abrupt decision to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who was leading an investigation into the president’s associates — Mr. Trump seems determined to prove that he won the election on his own.  It was not Russian interference. It was not Mr. Comey’s actions in the case involving Hillary Clinton’s emails.  It was not a fluke of the Electoral College system. It was all him.

He sits in the dining room or Oval Office stewing over the Russia inquiry that Mr. Comey was managing, arguing to anyone who will listen that the matter is all a Democratic-inspired conspiracy to undermine the validity of his victory.  Even as he was defending his decision to dismiss Mr. Comey last week, Mr. Trump signed an executive order creating a commission to investigate voting fraud in a quixotic effort to prove his unsubstantiated contention that he would have won the popular vote against Mrs. Clinton but for millions of ballots that were illegally cast against him.

Mr. Trump burns with frustration over not getting enough credit for winning the nation’s highest office after having never so much as run for City Council or town alderman.  He ran when pundits predicted he would not, stayed in when they were certain he would drop out, never lost his core supporters and, amid a dysfunctional campaign that was known for self-inflicted wounds, propelled himself to victory over the vastly more experienced Clinton machine.  He expected to be celebrated for it, and that has not happened.

“There’s a lot of anger.  I’ve talked with him about it,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of Mr. Trump’s.  “No other president in history has faced the barrage of press attacks, people calling for him to be impeached before he took the oath of office.”

“I think the way Trump looks at this is — the big club they’ve tried to get at him is the Russia collusion argument,” Mr. Ruddy added.  “Trump sees this as a political attack, not a fair attack on him.”

Read the whole thing and then consider what is going on.  This is important because the contested nature of the November 2016 General Election is getting in the way of working things out inside the Beltway.

Donald Trump is Mr Art of the Deal.  I would say that if you can't cut a deal with Donald Trump then you should probably resign and let someone else try.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Representative Waters said, of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, it would have been fine if a theoretical President Hillary Clinton had done it, but it is bad that the actual President, Donald Trump, did it.

Open Minded

For John, BLUFThere is some hope that the Progressives across our Universities are not going to burn the place down.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline is:
Wesleyan president Michael S. Roth on why universities need affirmative action for the study of conservative, libertarian and religious ideas
This Opinion Piece is from The Wall Street Journal.

(Mr. Roth's recent (2014) book is Beyond the University:  Why Liberal Education Matters.) Here is the first part of the essay:

There is no denying the left-leaning political bias on American college campuses. As data from UCLA's Higher Education Institute show, the professoriate has moved considerably leftward since the late 1980s, especially in the arts and humanities. In New England, where my own university is located, liberal professors outnumber their conservative colleagues by a ratio of 28:1.

How does this bias affect the education we offer? I'd like to think that we left-leaning professors are able to teach the works of conservative thinkers with the same seriousness and attention that we devote to works on our own side of the political spectrum—but do we?

It is hard to be optimistic about this challenge in the wake of recent episodes of campus intolerance for views on the right. Would-be social-justice warriors at Middlebury College transformed the mild-mannered political scientist Charles Murray into a free-speech hero, and campus appearances by the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald and the right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter have been handled badly, turning both women into media martyrs.

Most colleges, of course, host controversial speakers without incident and without much media coverage. In March, for instance, Franklin & Marshall College gave a platform to the Danish editor who published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. There were protests and arguments but no attempt to silence the speaker.

Academics worried about attacks on free speech have felt the need to respond, and they have articulated sound principles. Princeton professors Robert P. George and Cornel West recently attracted lots of supporters for a statement underscoring that "all of us should seek respectfully to engage with people who challenge our views" and that "we should oppose efforts to silence those with whom we disagree—especially on college and university campuses."

The issue, however, isn't whether the occasional conservative, libertarian or religious speaker gets a chance to speak. That is tolerance, an appeal to civility and fairness, but it doesn't take us far enough. To create deeper intellectual and political diversity, we need an affirmative-action program for the full range of conservative ideas and traditions, because on too many of our campuses they seldom get the sustained, scholarly attention that they deserve.

Unfortunately, the rest of the article is behind a pay wall.  Alternatively, it is at your local Library.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Mothers Day

For John, BLUFAnd Ellen.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Happy Mother's Day to Martha and to Cindy and to Michelle, and all the others.

That is all.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Democracy in Jakarta

For John, BLUFNot everyone thinks about politics the same way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the Blog of Law Professor Ann Althouse, out in Madison, Wisconsin.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was given a 2-year sentence (which he will appeal), and he is now in jail, the NYT reports.
Bivitri Susanti, head of the Jakarta chapter of Indonesia’s Association of Constitutional Law Lecturers, criticizes the application of the law:  “It’s not about the speech itself and whether it’s condemning Islam itself.  It’s about whether society believes it’s wrong or annoys them.”

Mass rallies were organized calling for his arrest, with some zealots demanding that the governor be put to death.  Many analysts said that the protests had been orchestrated by his political rivals and that they were a strong factor in his 16-point defeat in last month’s election….

Among Indonesia’s population of 250 million are more than 190 million Muslims, but there are also smaller, influential minorities including Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

“First, this verdict is really intimidating for minority groups,” said Tim Lindsey, director of the Center for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the University of Melbourne.  “Second, it tells Muslim politicians that they should try to use the religion card in other elections.  Religion has never been absent,” he continued, “but this is a real shift. This has been building up for a long time.”

From the Comments at the Althouse Blog (Commenter being "exhelodrvr1") we have this:
That's why we should increase Muslim immigration - it would speed up the process of implementing those ideas.
Here in these United States we have options:
  • We can ignore this as taking place in Indonesia, based on an assumption that nothing that happens in Indonesia ever flows back over to the United States.
  • We can claim that this is just some aberration and not of importance to our overall understanding of Islam.
  • We can put this down to a political party which just uses whatever is at hand to throw at the opposition, telling ourselves that such thinks can't and won't happen in these United States.
  • We can realize that Islam is not just a religion, but also a political philosophy.
  • We can shrug our shoulders and decide that it can't happen here.

Does anyone else have an option?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fatima Third Secret

For John, BLUFFaith is a pilgrimage.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This story is by Reporter Andrea Gigliarducci and published in the Boston Archdiocese Weekly, The Pilot

Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The third secret of Fatima deals with past events, but at the same time its call to conversion is always current, always up to date, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State emeritus.

In an interview with CNA, Cardinal Bertone spoke about the third secret of Fatima, how the decision to release the secret was made, and his memories of his three meetings with Sr. Lucia, the longest-living of the three shepherd children who had been the custodian of the secret until it was released by the Vatican at the request of Pope John Paul II.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearance to three shepherd children in 1917. Pope Francis is making a two-day pilgrimage to Fatima May 12-13 to celebrate the centenary and to canonize two of the children, Francisco and Jacinta Marta.

The “third secret of Fatima” refers to a message during the apparitions predicting suffering and persecution of the Pope and the Church. Unlike the first two secrets – a vision of hell and a prediction of World War II – the third secret was not initially revealed by Sr. Lucia. At first, she said that Mary had not yet permitted her to reveal it to the world. Later, the Vatican chose to keep it secret until 2000, when it was finally revealed.

The Fatima apparitions “confirm some encouraging news,” Cardinal Bertone said, “that the Mother of the Son of God Incarnated and Our Mother does not abandon humanity in the course of history. She is present, and watches over humanity as the spokesperson and guarantor of God’s Mercy. She is the mediator of salvation.”

On his way to Portugal for his 2010 apostolic trip, the cardinal noted, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that in addition to referencing the suffering of Pope John Paul II, the third secret points to realities involving the future of the Church, “which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident.”

That means, he added, that “the vision implies the need for a passion of the Church, which naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope, yet the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is sufferings of the Church that are announced. The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world.”

There is much more at the Link, above.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Resplendent?

For John, BLUFLife is hard.  It is harder when you are a Democrat.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I am not keeping up.  It seems Washington Post Blogger Chris Cillizza, "The Fix", is now with CNN as Editor-at-large.

Much has been written about how President Trump's election has had a profound impact on the Republican party.   What's drawn less attention — but deserves more! -- is how Trump is affecting Democrats.

Sure, we've seen coverage of how Trump's election has emboldened the liberal left whose call for confrontation at all times has become the rallying cry of the party.  (This New Yorker profile of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer describes the rapid evolution from compromise to confrontation well.)

What's drawn less attention is how Trump's presidency has convinced liberals that every bad thing whispered about any Republican is, by default, true.  Consider that in the last week alone, liberal outrage has been sparked on (at least) four occasions by alleged incidents that simply aren't accurate.

Then Editor-at-large Cillizza goes on to discuss the four.

Mr Cillizza doesn't use the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome", but it is "Trump Derangement Syndrome".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fatima Today

For John, BLUFAs an aside, the Influenza Pandemic was good for business.  Some 3 to 5% of the world's population died.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Reporter for this Old Gray Lady report is Mr Raphael Minder.

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the first appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children at Fatima, in Portugal.

This news story is about the Pope in Portugal canonizing the two sibling, cousins of the older Lúcia de Jesus dos Santos.  They died during the influenza pandemic that devastated Europe, and the world, following World War I (1918-1919).  Francisco Marto died at home on 4 April 1919, age ten, while Jacinta died in a hospital on 20 February 1920, age nine.  The case for Sister Lúcia, who died in 2005, is still being processed.

By the way, the Holy Father asks us which Mary we know (Source is ZENIT):

“Pilgrims with Mary… But which Mary?”  Francis called on those gathered to consider.

“Do we consider her ‘a teacher of the spiritual life,’ the first to follow Jesus on the ‘narrow way’ of the cross by giving us an example, or a Lady ‘unapproachable’ and impossible to imitate?”

To us, is she “a woman ‘blessed because she believed’ always and everywhere in God’s words (cf. Lk 1:42.45), or a ‘plaster statue’ from whom we beg favours at little cost?” : Or is she “the Virgin Mary of the Gospel, venerated by the Church at prayer,” or “a Mary of our own making?”

And, here are "Three ways to obtain an indulgence for the 100-year Fatima anniversary".

UPDATE:  There is someone out there predicting that World War III will start today, the 100th Anniversary of the first Fatima Apparition, and that it will end on 13 October, the 100th Anniversary o the last of the Fatima Apparitions.  RECOMMENDATION:  Pray for the conversion of Russia.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking to 2018

For John, BLUFThe Democrats think that repeal of "Obama Care" will hurt the Republicans in the 2018 elections.  I think they could be wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
The fastest way to lose Congress is by not repealing ObamaCare.
This is the Editorial Writers of The Wall Street Journal.  This is from earlier in the week.  Here is the lede plus one:
Barack Obama emerged from his short-lived political retirement on Sunday to call on Members of Congress to show the “political courage” to preserve ObamaCare.  But wait.  That plea doesn’t square with the deluge of recent stories predicting that Republicans have doomed their majority in 2018 by voting last week to repeal ObamaCare.  How does it take “political courage” to oppose something that everyone claims is politically suicidal?

Perhaps because the predictors of Republican doom could be wrong.  The midterm election is still 18 months away, and many events will intervene that could influence the result.  But even if the campaign does turn on repealing ObamaCare, we’d argue that the politics are better for Republicans if they pass their reform and fulfill a campaign promise than if they fail and then duck and cover.

I think the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal are correct to the extent they say that the Republican Base is expecting the Republicans in do the repeal and replace of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

For the Republicans in Congress to back off will hurt them in 2018.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The WSJ has a firewall, but this seems to be the firewall free version.

PP&ACA Not Working

For John, BLUFTransparency is missing in the area of healthcare.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This from the Blogger, The Writer in Black, at the eponymously named The Writer in Black Blog.

This is a statistical look at how we deal with pre-existing conditions.  Here is a helpful paragraph on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

It’s not risk sharing like standard insurance.  It’s wealth transfer taking money from those who got their insurance before they had expensive medical conditions and using it to provide for those who waited.
That is it.  Insurance is about spreading unknown, but anticipated risks amongst a normal population.  The authors of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act assumed that young, healthy people would buy insurance, thus helping to carry the burden of the overall system.  They didn't, notwithstanding a tax on them for not having purchased health insurance.

If we need catastrophic health insurance and insurance for those with pre-existing conditions that are very expensive then we need to tax all of our citizens to fund this health care.  The PP&ACA is not a fix for this problem, as the slow but steady exit of insurance companies like Aetna shows us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saving US Health Care

For John, BLUFAction needs to be taken, but the Republicans are disunited and the Democrats are in a Zombie state.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Walter Russell Mead, in his American Interest piece yesterday, mentioned that the Aetna Insurance organization is pulling out of the remaining states where it officers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  That is not a good sign.

Here are two key paragraphs:

In any case, the thing that is slowly killing Obamacare, with or without Republican help, is the same thing that is making it so hard for the GOP to come up with an alternative:  American health care costs too much.  Solving this problem isn’t just about litigating the merits of Obamacare or Trumpcare; it’s about ensuring that the American people have access to the health care they want and need while keeping the country solvent.

We can’t do this all at once by some mighty government fiat—or, for that matter, through a blind faith in private markets.  It took two generations for us to work ourselves into our present mess, and it will take time to work our way back to a sane and sustainable system.

And I don't see how the advocated "single payer" solution will fix anything.  That is changing the premium payer from the individual to the Federal (or State) government, with the money for such payments coming from taxes or from increased federal debt.  That does nothing to get costs under control.  If you want to see how that will work, think the Department of Veteran Affairs.

As Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds says, "What can't go on won't go on." Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And aren't some establishments still waivered from having to participate in the PP & ACA?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

But Who Watches the Watcher?

For John, BLUFIs there some natural upper limit to the number of Special Councils we can have at any one time?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Fiscal Times and columnist Ed Morrissey.

Captain Ed seems to want to do the Judgment of Solomon thing and impose two Special Councils, one for the Russian "Hacking" and Collusion imbroglio and one for the Mrs Clinton Classified EMail gross mishandling brouhaha.

I don't think we need even one, but if Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are so distraught, then I think this would work for me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Remember, the Blogger at Captain's Cabin, who broke the Canadian vote buying scandal a few years back?
  Yes, I know that is so last year, but it provides balance and shows that everyone is equal before the law.  And that there was no past favoritism.

What Really Changed at DOJ?

For John, BLUFIf it is the "Russian thing" then President Trump appears to have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Washington Times and Reporter Tammy Bruce, Thursday, 11 May 2017.

Here are two interesting paragraphs:

The fact is this:  With the firing of Mr. Comey, Andrew McCabe is now the acting FBI director.  About Mr. McCabe’s wife, the Daily Mail reported:  “Before McCabe was appointed as the Deputy Director of the FBI, his wife Jill McCabe ran as a Democrat for the Virginia State senate in 2015.  Her campaign received funds from the state Democratic Party and a political action committee run by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.  McAuliffe is a close friend of the Clintons and before his group, Common Good VA, donated to McCabe’s campaign, Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for the PAC.”

Even without this Democratic partisan waiting in the wings to take over the FBI, it’s clear no investigation at the FBI is quashed because the director leaves. No matter who takes the helm, the work in progress continues.

I will be interested in seeing who the President nominates to be the new Director of the FBI and how the US Senate responds to this nomination, providing advice and consent.

The other thing to consider is if, absent leaked information, we would ever know of the gross carelessness of Mrs Hillary Clinton in handling classified information.  Would we ever know about how the Democratic National Committee mistreated Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Primaries?  Would we ever known about the sleaze at the DNC Headquarters?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Marine Le Pen, Socialist

For John, BLUFLabels are being slapped on things with no regard to the things or the labels.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On Democracy Now (LTC, Channel 8), just now, they had a clip of US Senator Bernie Sanders saying that French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen was a right wing person.

Does the good Senator understand that she is a Socialist?

Probably not.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Comey Memo

For John, BLUFI think the case is pretty straight forward.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At this above link, from The Wash Post, on 9 May 2017, is the 9 May Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Rod J Rosenstein to the US Attorney General, Subject "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI".

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump's Real Sin

For John, BLUFTrump didn't just win, he rejected the values of the Progressives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from a site known as American Greatness, by Dr Mark Bauerlein, a Senior Editor at First Things and Professor of English at Emory University,

Here is an excerpt that sums up the thesis:

Which brings us back to Donald Trump.  Why do people hate him so?  Because he won’t accept this appointed condition.  He has no white guilt.  He doesn’t feel any male guilt, either, or American guilt or Christian guilt.  He talks about the United States with uncritical approval—’America First’—and that’s a thought crime in the eyes of liberals.
Here is how Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds sums it up:
He rejects their assumed position of moral and intellectual supremacy.  Which is both fair, and painful, because that position has always been a lie.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crisis in Cameroon

For John, BLUFThere is nations coming together and there is nations with the majority trying to change the minority, against the will of the minority.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Crisis in Cameroon

Lowell Resident Fru Nkimbeng has been on City Life talking about the problem in the nation of Cameroon.  The nation was originally an amalgam of Francophone and Anglophone areas, separate in language and legal approach.  However, the separation of the two portions has been eliminated by the majority Francophone controlled central government trying to impose its views on the minority Anglophone.

This will be discussed by a panel of experts on this Thursday, 11 May, at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation (LTC) at 7:00 PM.

The location is 246 Market Street, here in Lowell.  Nearby is the Leo Roy Parking Garage.

It should be an interesting panel discussion and worth your attending.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The Anglophone portion uses Common Law and the Francophone uses "Civil Law".
  I would be there but I have to be at the meeting of the License Commission at the same time.

Understanding Oneself

For John, BLUFThere is wisdom in many unexplored nooks and crannies.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

For reasons I don't really understand, I get the newsletter In & Out, from W Magazine. Once is a while I see something good, like this quote from Justin Vivian Bond:
"I used to wanna change the world.  Now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity."
That Justin Vivian Bond is to some degree a transgendered person neither adds to or distracts from the insight of the quote.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Life—Pain and Hope

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Snow Flakes, you don't learn this in college.  You learn it in life, if you engage.

For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This article, at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), is by Mr Jeffrey A Tucker, from Thursday, 4 May 2017.

Five Bad Things

  1. No one is ever wrong. People will defend an opinion or an action until the end, even if every bit of logic and evidence runs contrary
  2. Excellence makes you a target of envy and can often harm your prospects for success.
  3. Average people will sacrifice every principle and every truth for the sake of security.
  4. If you ever wonder why people around you are behaving strangely, or believing and doing seemingly irrational things, you can find the answer by asking the question: what’s in it for them?
  5. Absolutely no one can keep a secret.
Five Good Things
  1. There are human miracles all around you if you only take the time and have a mind to notice. Human action is not scripted.
  2. Humans are survivors. Everyone faces seeming disasters in life: deaths in the family, divorces, job terminations, houses burning down.
  3. At some point in your life, your heart will be broken through some devastating betrayal and you will be tempted by the idea that love is not real, that it is a made-up delusion. This is false. Love comes in many forms and is authentic…
  4. In childhood, we supposed that everyone around us was well-intentioned, but later discovered otherwise in adulthood. You can wallow in this or see beyond it. Most people, despite all foibles and failings, have a heart.
  5. Powerful institutions can be scary and ominous, but look more closely. No power can ultimately rule this world. The promises of politicians, even the most powerful, turn to dust…
Go to the link to see each idea developed more fully.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jeffrey A. Tucker Jeffrey A. Tucker Thursday, May 04, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Balanced Examination on Health Care

For John, BLUFWhen the Government delves in, someone is helped and someone is hurt.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
Arguing about this as if beneficiaries of ACA don't exist isn't right.  Arguing about it as if people like me don't is also not right.
This is from Columnist Mary Katharine Ham, win The Federalist, on 5 May 2017. Here is the lede plus two:
You may know me as a political pundit and writer who has spoken publicly about how the Affordable Care Act negatively affected my family.  What you might not know is two years ago, I was a seven-month-pregnant widow with one toddler who got a letter two weeks after my husband died, informing me I’d lost my third or fourth health insurance plan since the Affordable Care Act passed.  If you’ll remember, the promise was that I could keep my plan if I liked it.  I could not.

I predicted what would happen to my family’s insurance, and to much less fortunate people subjected to the exchanges with us, many of whom have seen doubled premiums and tripled deductibles.  If you’ll remember, the promise was everyone’s premiums would go down.  They did not.  For predicting it, I was routinely called a lying hack in public.  It’s a hazard of the job, but I wasn’t lying.  I was right.  I also thought it was improbable the federal and state governments could handle building these exchanges and that they’d likely blow up and be inoperable, thereby preventing people like me from actually purchasing the new plans the ACA required we purchase.  Again, I was not lying for partisan gain.

ACA has helped people.  I know some of them well!  I have two friends with serious health challenges, one of whom I can say was probably kept alive by Obamacare; the other by the fact she was able to keep her grandfathered pre-ACA plan.  I am not in the habit of asserting any piece of health legislation is either perfect or a tool of evil designed by hateful actors.  They’re not.  I will not assert either of these fundamentally shallow and manipulative things about either ACA or adjustments to it (and, yes, this piece of House legislation is an adjustment or a reform, not a repeal, which would change dramatically in the Senate if taken up and change again before eventual passage).

To whom do people go when the promises of politicians are negated by their legislation?

What does are Senior Senator, Ms E Warren, think about this?  Is our Junior Senator, whatever his name is, even aware of this?  Where does our US Rep, Ms Niki Tsongas, stand on this?  Right now they seem to be on the "just let it roll" platform, watching the train rumble through the station.  Maybe they don't even know there is a crash coming.  Maybe they think they can blame it on President Trump, or Speaker Paul Ryan.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

New Unemployment Number

For John, BLUFTo be fair, do we think President Trump has turned the economy around?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Tennessee Star, today.  Here is the lede plus one:
The economy gave out a medium-sized roar on Friday, when the federal government announced unemployment dropped to 4.4 percent.

The nation also added 211,000 jobs in April. The unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March.

But, the best part is the comment by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, who said:
U-6?  Yes, we normally get fed the U-3 Unemployment rate.  The U-6 is the seasonally adjusted Total Unemployment, including those marginally attached to the labor force, and is 8.6%.

Remember Senator Bernie Sanders?  The U-6 is the Unemployment Rate he campaigned on for the Democratic Party nomination last year.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 5, 2017

Glass Houses

For John, BLUFOn the other hand, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, aside from the Shadow.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In my previous Blog Post I mentioned a new book by British Author Douglas Murray.  Back in 2011 he wrote Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry.  While it isn't the same spelling, it jogged my memory about the Jimmy Savile imbroglio and the fact that the famed and fabled Broadcasting House had hushed up Mr Savile's crimes.  Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG.  So, today I saw this headline:
It isn't that Mr Mark Thompson was responsible for Sir Jimmy Savile's activities, but he was the Director-General of the BBC while the activities were being hushed up.  And yet he feels fit to go after Fox News and in a very aggressive fashion.

Here is the lede and next four paragraphs from a Reporter Miles Goslett item in Heat Street, yesterday.

Recent departures from Fox News after various accusations were levelled at high-profile figures reignites a matter of great importance concerning New York Times CEO Mark Thompson.

Thompson, who was director-general and editor-in-chief of the BBC in London before taking up his current post at the Times in 2012, has always maintained he knew nothing about the serial sexual abuse of children and young people committed by the former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, who died aged 84 in October 2011.

Thompson says he first heard about this after leaving the BBC in September 2012.

However, a lot of evidence calls Thompson’s account into question.  In the present climate, with the Times leading the charge against Fox News, it is well worth going over this again.

It must be noted from the outset that it isn’t the case that Thompson could have personally stopped the abuse from occurring.  This is about Thompson’s personal integrity – a value which the Times holds dear.

Do I believe Mr Thompson should step down as President and CEO of The New York Times Company?  Yes.

Maybe he and Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly could all get together once a month for lunch in some swank Manhattan restaurant.

And, in the mean time, perhaps The Boston Globe can do a "Spotlight" story on the Old Gray Lady and its boss.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And crimes they were, notwithstanding Wikipedia referring to them as a sexual abuse scandal.

The Future of Europe?

For John, BLUFDon't be too optimistic.  You are too young to remember the line from British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The book is now out and in my queue for reading, after I get past War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success into Political Victory, by Ms Nadia Schadlow, PhD, who is, I understand, moving to the staff on the National Security Council.

I learned about this book on Europe by Mr Douglas Murray from a blog post by Mr Rod Dreher, "The Suicide Of Europe", on 30 April 2017.

Here is how the blog post starts out:

British journalist and public intellectual Douglas Murray — who, for the record, is a) conservative, b) atheist, and c) openly gay — says that Europe is well on its way to civilizational suicide.  Excerpts:
Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter. When I say that Europe is in the process of killing itself, I do not mean that the burden of European Commission regulation has become overbearing or that the European Convention on Human Rights has not done enough to satisfy the demands of a particular community.

I mean that the civilisation we know as Europe is in the process of committing suicide and that neither Britain nor any other western European country can avoid that fate, because we all appear to suffer from the same symptoms and maladies.

As a result, by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive, Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.

Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument. Those in power seem persuaded that it would not matter if the people and culture of Europe were lost to the world.

Even some atheists understand that the whole idea of The West could be lost.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 4, 2017

deru kugi wa utareru

For John, BLUFHaving a reasonable discussion seems unlikely.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

OK, this is another shot by Columnist Bret Stephens, of The Old Gray Lady.  This effort is dated 4 May 2017.  In case you don't remember, Mr Stephens is the chap who tried to bring some reason to the climate change discussion and got pummeled by responses.  In this column he notes:
I’ve been accused of obscurantism, closet climate denialism and willful misdirection — all for the crime of insufficiently attesting to the dangers of a warming trend I do not deny.
You dare not question the conventional, the received, wisdom of the Progressive realm and of the Snow Flakes who populate it.  Mr Stephens did it.

Now he is back with another swack at the issue.  Here is the lede plus two:

“Converting biomass feedstocks to biofuels is an environmentally friendly process.  So is using biofuels for transportation.  When we use bioethanol instead of gasoline, we help reduce atmospheric CO2.”

These confident assurances come from “Biofuels:  A Solution for Climate Change,” a paper published in 1999 by the Clinton administration’s Department of Energy.  Feels a little dated in its scientific assumptions, doesn’t it?

I raise the subject of biofuels since the subject of science — what we know as opposed to what we think we know about it — has been on my mind in recent days.  I’ve been accused of obscurantism, closet climate denialism and willful misdirection — all for the crime of insufficiently attesting to the dangers of a warming trend I do not deny.

I just want to know the facts.  The thing is, what I knew to be true yesterday (salt is bad for you) I know know is false (yes, salt can be good for you).

Well, and I want to know if there are any positives to Global Warming Climate Change.  For example, what does a warming of the climate do to farming in Canada and Siberia?  Do we get a net increase in food production or a net decrease.  Or, I would settle for knowing who knows the answer.

Hat tip to the Tweeter Lachlan Markay.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Translation from Japanese:  The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

Doing Right

For John, BLUFA great video.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An eight minute video about the Japanese Americans soldiers in World War II.  Go For Broke was their motto.

I first heard of the 442nd in High School, from my Sophomore Civics Teacher, who said he was an officer in that storied unit.  In front of the class he was telling one of our classmates about how proud she should be of her Nisei heritage.  Frankly, she looked dubious.  But, she should have been proud.

Hat tip to my Classmate, Jeff, who represents the other half of the story, being Jewish.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Was Knowledge Invented Just Yesterday?

For John, BLUFAgatha Christie is rolling in her grave.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from InstaPundit Contributor Ed Driscoll.  It appear Ed knows the way to San Jose.

I quote in full:

SO #WOKE IT’S STUPID: New York Times and Entertainment Weekly Contributor and Film Reviewer Blasts Murder on the Orient Express Remake For Not Featuring Any… Asians.

Near the beginning of All the President’s Men, Robert Redford, playing a very green Bob Woodward, asks Jack Warden, playing crusty but midlevel Washington Post editor Harry Rosenfeld, who is Nixon aide Chuck Colson.  Warden’s character responds, “Sit down.  You know I’m glad you asked me that question.  The reason I’m glad you asked me is because if you had asked Simons or Bradlee they woulda said, ‘You know we’re gonna have to fire this schmuck at once because he’s so dumb.’”

Evidently, such sherpas no longer exist to aid tyro journalists at major metropolitan outposts of the DNC-MSM.

I liked the last sentence best, but middle paragraph isn't so bad either.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cell Phones

For John, BLUFYes, not every place is like Cambridge, Mass.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Pre a Tweet from Mr Phil Elliot, Mrs Clinton is blaming cell phones for her lost, amongst other things.
"You cannot get cell coverage for mile," Clinton says of the places that voted against her.
What can I say?  When you're right you're right.

Where are the comments about Obama Voters, still looking for some hope, switching to Mr Trump?  "You've gotta have heart, Miles 'n' miles 'n' miles of heart, Oh, it's fine to be a genius of course, But keep that old horse before the cart, First you've gotta have heart."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

How Far Off Was President Trump?

For John, BLUFThe control of history is the control of the narrative.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The best part of this Ann Althouse Blog post is the clip of the song "You Gotta Have Heart" from Damn Yankees. The lede:
The BBC spoke to David Blight (Yale), Judith Geisberg (Villanova), and Jim Grossman (American Historical Association). I love the way they've broken this down into 5 individual statements, like whether Jackson was "a swashbuckler" and whether he was "tough" and had "a big heart."
By the way, I think the issue is not Jackson vs Lincoln, but rather President Lincoln's predecessor, President James Buchanan, who just let the South just slip away.  President Buchanan, like President Jackson, was a Democrat.

Here is Professor Althouse's final sentence:

One of the reasons Trump won was because he offered the common people liberation from that kind of bullying from the elite.
This is a very important point.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Near Future

For John, BLUFI think this is malarkey.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an article in Salon, by Reporter Chauncey Devega, on 1 May, appropriately.

Here is the sub-headline:

American democracy is in crisis. The election of Donald Trump feels like a state of emergency made normal.
Here is the lede plus two:
Trump has threatened violence against his political enemies.  He has made clear he does not believe in the norms and traditions of American democracy — unless they serve his interests.  Trump and his advisers consider a free press to be enemies of his regime.  Trump repeatedly lies and has a profoundly estranged relationship with empirical reality.  He uses obvious and naked racism, nativism and bigotry to mobilize his voters and to disparage entire groups of people such as Latinos and Muslims.

Trump is threatening to eliminate an independent judiciary and wants to punish judges who dare to stand against his illegal and unconstitutional mandates.  In what appears to be a violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution,  Trump is using the office of the presidency to enrich himself, his family and his inner circle by peddling influence and access to corporations, foreign countries and wealthy individuals.  Trump and his representatives also believe that he is above the law and cannot be prosecuted for any crimes while in office.

What can the American people do to resist Donald Trump?  What lessons can history teach about the rise of authoritarianism and fascism and how democracies collapse?  Are there ways that individuals can fight back on a daily basis and in their own personal lives against the political and cultural forces that gave rise to Trump’s movement? How long does American democracy have before the poison that Donald Trump and the Republican Party injected into the country’s body politic becomes lethal?

Poison injected into the body politic?  Is this person for real?  Does he see the protests and violence from the Progressives as just normal for the body politic and President Trump and his backers and their calm demeanor antithetical to democracy?

Further down, the interviewee says:

The attempt to undo the Enlightenment as a way to undo institutions, that is fascism.
So, can we say that Daesh (ISIS) is fascist?

And what about other groups?  Pick one.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 1, 2017

Just Like in the Old Days

For John, BLUFWhere local Democrats are going is not a good place.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Law Professor Tom Smith and the Blog Right Coast.  It is from Sunday, 30 April.  Here is his excerpt from the City Journal.
Do these pro-illegal-immigrationists really want to follow the nullification movement of the 1830s, when South Carolina toyed with the idea that it could reject a tariff passed by Congress, because it weighed so heavily on that state’s economy?
The question is, are the Democrats going back to their nullification ways from before the Civil War.

Regards  —  Cliff

Macron to Give Back Calais

For John, BLUFIt's a joke.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Samizdata Blogger Perry de Havilland, writing from London.

BACKGROUND:  The French Presidential Election Runoff is this coming Sunday, 7 May.  One of the candidates, Mr Emmanuel Macron has touched on the issue of refugee camps near Calais, France, on the English Channel.  This is where those waiting to go to (sneak into) England await their chance.  These folks are held up in France (and Belgium) under the Juxtaposed controls Agreement.

At any are, Mr Perry de Havilland has some fun with the headline, based on English History:

The moment I saw this headline: Macron vows to renegotiate Calais treaty with Britain, I felt a frisson of excitement, and no doubt Mary Tudor’s ghostly inscribed heart started beating once again!  Perhaps for the first time since January 8th, 1558, that splendid little town will soon be back under its rightful rulers.
Hat tip to Samizdata.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This is the kid who wanted to marry his teacher, and did.

Why Hillary Lost, Study # 6,789

For John, BLUFIt wasn't misogyny.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from an unnamed Reporter at MicroSoft News. Here is the lede plus three.
A group of top Democratic Party strategists have used new data about last year's presidential election to reach a startling conclusion about why Hillary Clinton lost.  Now they just need to persuade the rest of the party they're right.

Many Democrats have a shorthand explanation for Clinton's defeat: Her base didn't turn out, Donald Trump's did and the difference was too much to overcome.

But new information shows that Clinton had a much bigger problem with voters who had supported President Barack Obama in 2012 but backed Trump four years later.

Those Obama-Trump voters effectively accounted for more than two-thirds of the reason Clinton lost, according to Matt Canter, a senior vice president of the Democratic political firm Global Strategy Group.  In his group's analysis, about 70 percent of Clinton's failure to reach Obama's vote total in 2012 was because she lost these voters.

But why did those Obama voters go Trump?

Hat tip to the drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff