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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

It Explains Everything

For John, BLUFThis is a very cynical view of official Washington.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The National Review, by Professor Victor Davis Hanson, 30 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

The traditional way of looking at the developing scandals at the FBI and among holdover Obama appointees in the DOJ is that the bizarre atmospherics from candidate and President Trump have simply polarized everyone in Washington, and no one quite knows what is going on.

Another, more helpful, exegesis, however, is to understand that if we’d seen a Hillary Clinton victory in November 2016, which was supposed to be a sure thing, there would now be no scandals at all.

That is, the current players probably broke laws and committed ethical violations not just because they were assured there would be no consequences but also because they thought they’d be rewarded for their laxity. . . .

If we consider the mentality of government elite careerists, we see that the election-cycle machinations and later indiscretions of Strzok and Page were not liabilities at all.  They were good investments.  They signaled their loyalty to the incoming administration and that they were worthy of commendation and reward.

Hillary Clinton’s sure victory certainly also explains the likely warping of the FISA courts by FBI careerists seeking to use a suspect dossier to surveille Trump associates — and the apparent requests by Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and others to read surveilled transcripts of Trump associates, unmask names, and leak them to pet reporters.  Again, all these insiders were playing the careerist odds.  What we view as reprehensible behavior, they at the time considered wise investments that would earn rewards with an ascendant President Hillary Clinton.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Not Knowing Which Way to Jump

For John, BLUFAs Manager Casey Stengel said, "Can't anybody here play this game?".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the rule (Hanlon's Razor):
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Via The Wash Post, by Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian, 30 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Justice Department’s inspector general has been focused for months on why Andrew McCabe, as the No. 2 official at the FBI, appeared not to act for about three weeks on a request to examine a batch of Hillary Clinton-related emails found in the latter stages of the 2016 election campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, has been asking witnesses why FBI leadership seemed unwilling to move forward on the examination of emails found on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) until late October — about three weeks after first being alerted to the issue, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

A key question of the internal investigation is whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the Nov. 8 election, these people said.  It is unclear whether the inspector general has reached any conclusions on that point.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Good Planning

For John, BLUFI am impressed that the Hillary Team, which plumbered the 2016 Election, were able to cobble together this tale of Donald Trump malfeasance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Exclusive:  memo written by former journalist Cody Shearer independently sets out some of the allegations made by ex-spy Christopher Steele

From The Guardian, Reporters Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins, 30 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.

The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.

However, the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads.

One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on it suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously.

It is The Guardian, which is certainly left wing, but also has a reputation for rectitude.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Diocesan Reach

For John, BLUFAsking the questions you never thought to ask.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fr Z's Blog, by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, 30 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:


It occurs to me that two of the three people on Apollo 11 were in the military at the time of their trip to the moon.  The command module pilot, Michael Collins, and the lunar module pilot, Buzz Aldrin, were both active duty military at the time of their trip.  Is there an argument to be made that this is sufficient to make the moon part of the Archdiocese of the Military?

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

…as it stands now, it seems that the Moon is under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Orlando.

“ORLANDO?!?’, you may be saying.  “Disneyworld?  EPCOT?  THAT Orlando?”

The idea is that, back in 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, the Diocese of Orlando included Cape Canaveral. Because the journey to the Moon began from the Diocese of Orlando, Orlando had jurisdiction.

There is an anecdote about this.  The late Archbishop Borders, at the time Bishop of Orlando, during an ad limina visit in Rome told Paul VI that he was the bishop of the Moon.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to Randy.

Regards  —  Cliff

Memo Wars

For John, BLUFAs our buddy Rick says, it is all just smoke.  Time will tell.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Mr Byron York, 30 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Yes, House Intelligence Committee Republicans voted Monday evening to release their so-called "FISA abuse" memo to the public, which will happen any day now, after President Trump gives the OK.  That was a done deal, given the GOP has a 13-to-9 advantage on the committee.  Every Republican voted to make the GOP memo public, while every Democrat voted against it.

But there was also a rare moment of bipartisanship for the bitterly divided panel.  At the same meeting, Republicans and Democrats voted unanimously to make the Democratic memo — the counter-memo to the Republican document — available to all members of the House.

That is the same process Republicans, under chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., followed with their memo.  First, make it available to House members.  (That happened on Jan. 18.) Later, after members of both parties have had a chance to read the memo, decide whether to release it to the public.

More than one Republican told me Monday that they plan to support releasing the Democratic memo to the public after a period of time comparable to the Republican example.  (Republicans voted down a Democratic motion to make the Democratic memo public immediately, arguing that House members should have a chance to read it first.)

The big driver on the Democratic Party side is California 28th congressional district Representative Mr Adam Schiff.

The district includes Burbank, Glendale, the Verdugo Hills communities of Sunland and Tujunga, West Hollywood as well as parts of central Los Angeles including Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake.  As it contains Glendale and Little Armenia, it has the largest Armenian-American population of any district in the country.

As I say, the Hillary Democrats are stampeding us into a box canyon and the outcome will not be pretty.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit and Wikipedia.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Obama Presidential Center

For John, BLUFThis is more a monument to the individual than a true research center.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The College Fix, by Mr Drew van Voorhis (San Diego State University), 29 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Faculty at the University of Chicago have joined a growing chorus of Chicagoans voicing alarm and anger over the planned Obama Presidential Center, set to be built in a sprawling historic park in the south side of the city.

Residents and environmentalists alike have signaled frustration and opposition to the plans to build the large, five-building mecca in the heart of the beloved, 140-year-old park flanking Lake Michigan — and many faculty at the private university located blocks away from the site agree.

First off, this is not a standard Presidential Library.  This Presidential Center, like President Hoover's Library, will operate outside the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  Do we see a pattern here?  Maybe the less we know the better.

Someone I know questioned the volume of visitors, given it is on the South Side of Chicago.  Just ask Song Writer, Jim Croce, who told us about Bad, bad Leroy BrownYou remember.

My recommendation is that it be established in Hawaii, The Aloha State, President Obama's place of birth, where it could become a part of the State's tourism industry.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Deadly Century, Continued

For John, BLUFOur abhorrence of Fascism has blinded us to an even greater evil, International Socialism.  Yes, in the early 1940s we worked with the long term threat to defeat the near term threat.  But Communism was still a threat to tens of millions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Francis Turner from L'Ombre de l'Olivier25 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Sometimes you have to feel sorry for Herr Hitler.  The Fuhrer got a terrible rep as a genocidal tyrant but in terms of 20th century murderous tyrants he is – at best – in the top 3.  The same in fact goes for things like ecological and economic mismanagement.  Fascism a.k.a. National Socialism may have been inefficient and poor at the creating economic growth its leaders promised and it’s followers demanded but it didn’t totally trash otherwise viable economies.  Nor did it create ecological disaster zones big enough to be seen from space.

The ideology that did all this, and also pipped Herr Hitler in genocide stakes is International Socialism a.k.a. Communism.

Even if Herr Hitler had succeeded with Generalplan Ost, it is unlikely his ideology would have resulted in deaths matching those of the Marxist-Leninist brand.  Even if he got credit for deaths due to Messrs Benito Mussolini, António Salazar and Francisco Franco

And yet, there are those who admire the Bolivarian Socialist Regime in Venezuela, and those who admire North Korea.  I am blaming the teachers of High School History and College Professors.  They are, at best, negligent, and at worst, sick, twisted individuals.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Jim Peters and George Anthes aside.  And a couple of others.

Democrats for (or against) Immigration

For John, BLUFDemocrats have been all over the immigration map in the last few decades.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Flashback:  Jerry Brown, Biden and other Dems refused to accept Vietnamese refugees

From The World Tribune and its Staff, 30 January 2017.

Here is the lede plus four:

Some liberal Democrats are fighting back tears when discussing President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Muslims from seven nations.

But in 1975, leftist Dems went to great lengths to keep Vietnamese refugees (even orphans) out of the United States.

Trump issued the order, the White House said, so that a better system to vet refugees coming from those nations can be put into place.

The Democrat complaints in 1975 appeared to center on the fact that the refugees were escaping communism, an ideology, analysts say, liberals did not find that objectionable.

Leading the effort to ban the Vietnamese refugees was California’s Gov. Jerry Brown. Other prominent Democrats calling for the ban were Delaware’s Sen. Joe Biden, former presidential “peace candidate” George McGovern, and New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.

Remember that Governor Jerry Brown is not the same as his Father, Governor Pat Brown, who was a real Democrat.

The thing is that these Democrats lost on their stand and now Orange County, California is 17.9% Asian American, with 6.1% of the 3 million plus residents being of Viet-namese extraction.  Former Viet-namese Prime Minister Nguyễn_Cao_Kỳ came to Orange County, where, for a while he ran a liquor store.  He is buried in Whittier, California.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Another great fighter pilot.

Trump v Mueller

For John, BLUFTurning Mr Donald Trump loose in a room full of Federal Prosecutors is dangerous to Mr Trump, the Prosecutors and the population as a whole.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

And the sub-headline:

And as president, he shouldn’t even be asked.

This is from The National Review, by Andrew C McCarthy, 27 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Let’s cut to the chase:  Donald Trump should not agree to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller — and President Trump should not even be asked.

See, there are two Trumps to consider here.  There is the very eccentric and volatile man who is the subject of Mueller’s amorphous investigation.  And there is the president of the United States, who has responsibilities to that vital public office.  Here, the interests of both happen to align.

I am not sure I go with Mr McCarthy that the President shouldn't be asked.

I guess I would be OK with the President being interrogated if he got to ask his own set of questions.  Like has Special Counsel Team member Andrew Weissmann (Chief of the DOJ Criminal Division's Fraud Section) ever violated his responsibilities under Brady?  And then the President could go on to ask Special Counsel Robert Mueller if he had every known of a Brady violation that he had not acted on?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, I am chary of Main Justice and its proper execution of its responsibilities under Brady.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Options Other Than College

For John, BLUFNot everyone needs a college degree to succeed.  But it is the usual path.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Isaac Morehouse Isaac is the Founder and CEO of Praxis.

Today I received an EMail from Mr Morehouse, in which he asked if we need to go to college.  I usually encourage young people to go to college.  It is the regular way.  However, Mr Morehouse lays out an alternative path:

Let's see what it takes to opt-out of college.

You don't have to be the next Jobs or Zuckerberg.  You don't need to be sitting on a billion dollar idea.

You can (and probably should) build a career away from the conveyor belt even if you're not some kind of prodigy.

But you do need a few things.  I outline them in a new post:

Desire for More Than the Good Opinion of Others

Understanding You’re Not Special

Doing More Than Not Doing Something


Forward Tilt


Honesty About What You Want

Read the article to learn more.  At the end, we offer a brand new downloadable guide to building a career without college.
Some of the above points are titles of books Mr Morehouse has written and published.

Worth thinking about.

Regards  —  Cliff

More on Terminal Leave Action

For John, BLUFSure there was something behind the recent decision by Mr McCade.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajamas Media, by Mr David Steinberg, 29 Jan 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Search the internet: Literally not a single media outlet, reporter, pundit, tweet, Russian bot, or cuddly woodland creature had predicted that the FBI's Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should be "expected" to "step down" on Monday.

Yet the New York Times' Adam Goldman -- with a remarkably titled post published just moments after news broke elsewhere that McCabe was out -- wrote that such a move was "Widely Expected".

Yes, my previous post on this topic was based on the Adam Goldman article in The Old Gray Lady.  Yes, "speed is life", but once in a while getting the nuance is important.  Ms Sarah Carter says, via Twitter, there is more coming:
Latest:  sources in bureau telling me whistleblowers feel confident more resignations to come.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Sat 4.3

Mr McCabe Out

For John, BLUFFBI Deputy Director McCabe has gone on terminal leave.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The URL is for The Boston Globe, but the reporter is Mr Adam Goldman, of The Old Gray Lady, datelined 29 January 2018.

Apparently not fired, but going on vacation until he has the time to retire.

Here is one of the story paragraphs:

McCabe, 49, holds a unique position in the political firestorm surrounding the FBI. He was former Director James Comey’s right-hand man, a position that involved him in most of the FBI’s actions that vex President Trump and in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state, a matter that still riles Democrats.
First, the use of the word "vex".  That this pretty ambiguous, in my mind.  From my computer dictionary:
make (someone) feel annoyed, frustrated, or worried, especially with trivial matters: the memory of the conversation still vexed him | (as adjective vexing) : the most vexing questions for policymakers.
So Russiagate is a trivial matter?  I think so, but does everyone?  For a trivial matter it is sure soaking up a lot of Government time.  On the other hand, with the Government, at least two branches, focused on Russiagate it means they aren't focused on imposing more laws and regulations on regular citizens, and that is good.

Then there is the line about the EMail Server, still riling Democrats.  Yes, those in the Hillary Wing of the Democratic Party think they were done dirty by the FBI.  Those to the left of the Hillary Wing probably are also riled, because they believe it was sloppy work on the part of the DNC.

In what I find an irony, Mr Dimitri Alperovitch, of Crowdstrike, has an article, "Stopping the Next Cyber Conflict", published with a dateline of 28 January 2018, at The Cipher Brief.  It was Crowdstrike who seemed to bollocks up the cyber attack on the Democratic National Committee, although there have been alternative explanations.

Hat tip to my Wife, who found this out on the World Wide Web.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I suspect there are residual agreements from the divorce back in 2013.
  Frankly, that is exactly the way I would like to see these things handled.  No vindictive action, just an opportunity to slide out the side door quietly, after a session with the boss, where he thanks the person and his family and wishes the person good luck in the next stage of their life.  And colleagues get a chance to shake hands in farewell.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

George Soros on President Trump

For John, BLUFWell, you know where Mr Soros' millions are going; in support of Progressive (anti-Trump) Candidates.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Debra Heine, 27 January 2018.

Here is the lede:

At the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this week, liberal billionaire investor George Soros declared that the Trump presidency is a "danger to the world" which will "disappear" in 2020 or sooner.
Mr Soros then goes on to state that "President Trump would like to establish a mafia state but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it."  This from a gentleman who would appear to want to establish a Stalinist state.

The good news is that he (Mr Soros) recognizes the value of the Constitution.  Many of his ilk seem to see it as an impediment to the new heaven and new earth that Progressivism will bring to earth .  You know, like Venezuela.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Not Everyone on the Left Believes the Russia-Trump Narrative

For John, BLUFThe far far Left thinks that the Russia Collusion Investigation is distracting from what needs to be done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Glenn Greenwald’s war on the Russia investigation.

From New York Magazine, by Mr Simon van Zuylen-Wood, 21 January 2018.

Reporter Glenn Greenwald is a contrarian of the left, who has doubts about the US Intelligence apparatus, and who doesn't understand how the left has gone from doubting the Intelligence Community to now embracing it.

A somewhat similar view is presented in this article in The London Review of Books.

Hat tip to my Middle Brother, Lance, for the New York Magazine item.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, January 27, 2018

North Korea Maneuvering

For John, BLUFKim Jung-un and the North Korean Government are using the Olympics to try to maneuver for a breakup of the ROK/US alliance, to make it more easy to gobble up South Korea.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Yonhap News, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 27 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea strongly condemned the South Korea-U.S. alliance Saturday, accusing their joint defense efforts of being aimed at toppling its communist regime and saying such efforts may also lead to an end of ongoing dialogue between the two Koreas.

"The South Korean government must realize its foul military consultation with the U.S. may be a foolish act that will put out the hard-earned chance of improving the North-South relationship and ruin its own fate," Rodong Sinmun, a daily newspaper published by the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a signed commentary.

The commentary was largely aimed at criticizing the two-plus-two Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group talks held last week between Seoul and Washington, in which the allies agreed to continue maintaining U.S. defense assets around the Korean Peninsula.

However, it also came one day after the allies confirmed a resumption of their delayed joint military drills in South Korea immediately following the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to be held in South Korea's PyeongChang from Feb. 9-25.

The Kim Family Regime (KFR) is all about taking control of all of Korea, and preserving the KFR.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Change the Constitution?

For John, BLUFThe thing is, the US Government is designed to avoid a well oiled machine, because that way leads to tyranny.  Be thankful for cranky government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Powerline, 26 January 2018, by Steven Hayward.

Here is the lede plus one:

We should be grateful to Ryan Cooper for acknowledging so forthrightly in The Week what has been obvious to conservatives for a long, long time—liberals really really hate the Constitution, because limited government is an impediment to their endless dreams of ruling over us more completely and fixing every human problem: “America’s Constitution is terrible.  Let’s throw it out and start over.”

Cooper makes five main points, some of which merely expose his constitutional illiteracy.

And here are the five:
  1. Get rid of the Senate filibuster.
  2. Radically change the way House members are elected.
  3. Neuter the Senate.
  4. Elect the president from the House.
  5. Throw the entire Constitution in the garbage.
Regarding Item 1, the filibuster is not part of the Constitution, but does cling to the idea of preventing the majority from oppressing the minority.  Change the filibuster and you change the idea of minority rights.  We are founded on the idea of "Majority Rule/Minority Rights".

Regarding Item 2, the writer, Mr Ryan Cooper, wants to adopt Lawyer Lani Guinier's idea for dealing with limited problems of racial discrimination in voting.  I liked it when Ms Guinier proposed it, back in the early 1990s, but am not so sure today.  One of the things this three in one district does is remove local feelings, local considerations, from the election.  An example from today is Alaska.  Representative Don Young represents the whole state and has represented it at least from when I lived there in 1980. One man for over a half million square miles, a geography that stretches, north to south the distance from Lowell, Massachusetts, to Miami, Florida.  It is a good thing Alaska has a small population, so he can be close to them in terms of degrees of separation.  This is a solution in search of a problem.

The third item is a bad idea unless we redraw all the state lines so that each has an equal amount of population.  The Senate works, and allows our nation to work, because it makes sure the small states don't get stepped on by the big ones, and because it makes sure regions can band together, for good or for ill, to represent their needs.  Otherwise you get succession.

Item number four means replacing the President with a Prime Minister.  That is a whole other thing.  The balancing of the separate branches of government goes away.

Item five is just another way of saying we should be a parliamentary nation, just like all those nations in Europe.  The ones who keep getting into wars and then we have to step in and help them sort it out.  Well, except for the last time, when we in the West agreed to a big, expensive alliance, known as NATO, to "keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the Americans in."

This writer, Mr Cooper, is living Thomas Jefferson's dream of overthrowing the government every nineteen years, with nothing owed to the past.

Mr Hayward ends his own critique of Mr Cooper this way:

I often like to say that “our Constitution may not be perfect, but it’s better than the government we’ve got!” (Or, as I like to say about how the Supreme Court made the Commerce Clause a general writ of central government power:  “If only Stalin had had a Commerce Clause. . .”)  It is a funny thing how a century of the “living Constitution” still leaves liberals unsatisfied, such that they still want to trash the Constitution and write a new one that has as its central feature more power for the government.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I wonder if he means "Progressives"?

Which Way Do Dreamers Break

For John, BLUFI wonder if the law of large numbers comes into play here?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Monica Showalter, 26 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

It makes sense because studies show that most Dreamers are underachievers, many of whom are just high school graduates, heavy welfare users, have petty crime backgrounds, and do not speak English.  It’s almost a given that most won’t make it to the twelve-year finish line without getting into a bar fight, getting caught graffiti-spraying, or be picked up for drunk driving.  The only ones who make it will be those with a work ethic and family values.  Those actually are the ones who could become Republicans in the long run.  Trump knows this.  Democrats don’t.  They believe their own propaganda about all DREAMers being valedictorians.
So, if the statistical analysis doesn't go your way, is it racist?

I don't think so.

But, one should ask if Senator Schumer saw these statistics and concluded that the Dreamers are safe Democrat voters as long as they stay on the California Coast or in the NYC area, but might begin thinking differently if they move to other parts of the nation.

Maybe the same analysis is behind the push to register non-citizens as voters.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, January 26, 2018

Misplacing the Rule Book

For John, BLUFThe President is out of rhythm with the political establishment in DC, and yet seems to be swaying to the tune of Middle America.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Scott Rasmussen dot Com, by Mr Scott Rasmussen, 25 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

President Trump didn’t respond to the so-called shutdown of the federal government in the way that the political class thought he should.  He didn’t get personally involved in detailed negotiations to end the impasse and didn’t convey a sense of crisis to the American people.

When all was said and done, this skirmish showed the dangers of underestimating President Trump and his ability to connect with voters on issues the political elites ignore.  His approach worked because he instinctively understood the strategic situation far better than Senate Democrats, establishment Republicans, and his other beltway critics.

Here is Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynold's comment.

Weird how this keeps happening, at the same time we’re constantly told he’s a big fat idiot with the emotional stability of a toddler.
President Trump breaks the rules of DC, at a time when a large segment of the rules seem to not make sense.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Thur 4.7

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Schumer Gambit

For John, BLUFThe Blogger thinks that Mr Dan McLaughlin thinks that Senator Schumer has painted himself into a corner.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The National Review, by Mr Dan McLaughlin, 24 January 2018.

Excerpts of this article were posted by Mr Stephen Green, at InstaPundit. He starts out:

Here is the thinking of Mr McLaughlin:
  • Trump will sign basically anything that he can claim includes “The Wall.”
  • Trump would be effectively admitting defeat if he signs something that he can’t claim includes “The Wall”
  • If Trump is on board with an immigration deal with the Senate, that will give cover for it to pass the Republican-controlled House.
  • Most of the Republican voters who care about restricting immigration will take their cues from Trump if he says he got a wall from Schumer, and will be happy and encouraged regardless of what else is in the bill.
  • Most of the Democratic voting base will be furious at Democrats that they did something to make Trump happy – especially on his signature issue – regardless of what else is in the bill. The “Resistance” will treat this as the equivalent of a deal with Hitler.
  • The optics of a smiling Trump signing a bipartisan immigration deal will play well overall for Trump and Republicans, and will help defuse some of the most polarizing arguments against Trump.
  • Schumer expects to have more leverage to extract better terms in 2019, given that the Democrats are universally expected, at a minimum, to gain seats in the House in November.
The Blog Post continues:
Dan concludes, “Now that both Schumer and Trump have declared the wall non-negotiable, one of them has to cave or there’s no deal – a situation that was completely predictable when Schumer made his announcement.”

I’ve been reading Dan for years and respect the heck out of him, but his take might be too generous to Schumer. It isn’t that he doesn’t have any plays to make, but I don’t see any — at least not yet — which overcome his essential bind:

  • Democrats can’t deliver the immigration deal which their most energized voters demand, even to the point of protesting at Schumer’s home.
  • Continued Democratic obstruction on immigration restrictions — which poll surprisingly well (surprising to Beltway types, anyway) — risks turning off the very same Obama-to-Trump voters who Democrats need to win back in November.
This is far from over and Schumer is a crafty Washington player, but for now it looks like a “bad” deal for Schumer might be better than no deal at all.
Time will tell.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Assessed

For John, BLUFAfter a year, some positive comments.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post! By Ms Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, a senior editor at the Federalist, 19 January 2018.

The lede:

This may seem like an odd moment for saying so, but a year into the presidency of Donald Trump, I’m elated.

Trump was not my first or even second choice for president, but a full two years ago I predicted he would win.  I also predicted he’d be a progressive president, which explained why I was not among his supporters and why I am so pleased now.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thinking About the NFL

For John, BLUFThinking about the NFL as a business.  A business with a bad business plan.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I received this item from a friend via EMail.  Being EMail it is totally unreliable, but it has the feel of truth.


In 2009 the NFL Denied team ownership to Rush Limbaugh

In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.

In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said "Know Jesus Know Peace" but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find the Cure" eye black for breast cancer awareness.

In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence.  (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem...)

In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.

In 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11. So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression, all of a sudden...

It seems quite clear based on these facts that the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue:  For God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, for the Memory of 9/11...  But, they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America, and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters (such as BLM, and other leftists).  That is who and what the NFL has shown itself to be.

Let me be perfectly clear.  I will be watching the SuperBowl.  After all, it is the Patriots and the Eagles.  I would do it, if for no other reason, out of loyalty to the recently passed Mr James C Shannon, Jr.  But I would also do it because I live here in New England and I spent about ten years of my life in the Philly area.  I am committed.

But, I am committed to the game, not the NFL.  The NFL lacks any sense of what it means to be an America, notwithstanding its association with American Football.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Contest for Commonwealth Treasurer Nomination

For John, BLUFPatrick O Murphy is back.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the item:
Former Lowell mayor eyes run against Goldberg

Former Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy says he is exploring a possible run for state treasurer, Aaron Curtis of the Lowell Sun reports.  If he runs, Murphy—who at 29 became Lowell’s youngest mayor in 2012—would challenge incumbent Deborah Goldberg in the Democratic primary, running on a progressive platform, his campaign manager (and twin brother) tells the newspaper.

Do I owe a hat tip to MASSterlist, where I read this, or The Lowell Sun, from which they picked it up?

Regards  —  Cliff

John Kerry on the Offensive

For John, BLUFJohn Kerry is running for President and already is trying to thwart the Foreign Policy of the Incumbent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Daily News, Reporter Elizabeth Elizalde, 24 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Former Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly considering a presidential run in 2020.

Kerry met with Hussein Agha, an ally of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in London where he touted the idea when discussing the Middle East’s peace process, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday citing Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv.

Later in the short article we have this paragraph:
In the London meeting, Kerry suggested Abbas should “hold on and be strong” because Trump won’t be in the White House much longer.
Wouldn't this be a violation of the Logan Act?  Maybe not, if you don't think of Palestine as a nation  On the other hand, it is hard to believe Former Secretary of State John F Kerry didn't understand what he was doing.  Unless you think he was a little adrift suggesting the President would not be "in the White House much longer".  Is Mr Kerry part of a Secret Society intent upon conducting a coup against the President?

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.

Hat tip to S E Cupp's Twitter Feed.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Paridise Overrun?

For John, BLUFThe thing is that we have no plans to allow/encourage refugees to go home—to a now better place.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a Reuters report, with reporting by Mr Simon Johnson and editing by Richard Balmforth, 17 January 2018.

Here is the lede:

Sweden will do whatever it takes, including sending in the army, to end a wave of gang violence that has seen a string of deadly shootings, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in Wednesday.
With elections planned for September, law and order is becoming more and more of an issue in Sweden, once seen as a land of peace and contentment.  Remember that they managed to avoid involvement in World War One and World War Two and deliberately avoided involvement in the confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Federal Judge Overrules Trump on DACA

For John, BLUFSchumer wanted this shutdown.  It is just that he misjudged the audience.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall, by Reporter Leah Barkoukis, 10 January 2018.

Yes, I know this is about two weeks late to need, but given actions on Capitol Hill it is still timely.

Here is the lede:

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Tuesday, declaring that the Department of Homeland Security’s “decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise."
Of course there is the question of how Executive Orders become law itself, immune from countermanding Presidential Executive Orders, thus circumventing the Constitutional role of the Congress.  I would think if needed we should pass a Constitutional Amendment to make this point clear.

And, if a federal judge ruled back son 10 January, kicking of a months long litigation, why are the Democrats so antsy to get legislation  The DACA situation is frozen in time.  The March deadline isn't real as long as the Federal Case hasn't been resolved.  So what is going on here?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2 Tue 0

The Source of the Shutdown

For John, BLUFAs Bridge Players say, "A cheap trick now costs you later".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an Opinion Piece in The Wash Post, by Mr Marc A. Thiessen, 22 January 2018.

But, so you can see the comments, here is the short Blog Post by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, at 8:28 today.

From the Blog post:

Democrats just got rolled.  They can blame Barack Obama.  “If he had wanted to act, he could have.  Obama’s party controlled the House, and Democrats had a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority.  If Obama really wanted to pass either the Dream Act or comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans were powerless to stop him. But he didn’t do it.”

He didn’t do it because it was highly unpopular and would have seriously damaged the Democrats’ position.  Dem strategy has always been to sucker the Republicans into taking this highly unpopular move, after which Democrats would happily reap the benefits of imported voters.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Immigration—The Elites vs the People

For John, BLUFAnd the majority of voters dislike "chain migration".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Cutting chain migration even more popular than legalizing Dreamers

By Reporter Stephen Dinan, of The Washington Times, 22 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

A government shutdown is in the rearview mirror, but the outlines of a looming immigration deal remain murky with the sides still far apart — though the latest polling suggests President Trump’s bargaining position may be strong.

A Harvard-Harris poll taken in the run-up to the shutdown found Americans strongly support granting citizenship rights to illegal immigrant Dreamers.  But they also back Mr. Trump’s three demands for a border wall, limits to the chain of family migration and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Most striking of all is the public’s demand for lower overall legal immigration — a position that has little traction on Capitol Hill but one that is overwhelmingly popular across the country.

This is a hot topic these days.  In fact, Professor Walter Russell Mead had an OpEd in The Wall Street Journal, Monday, the 22nd—"Immigration Is Still Radioactive".  The sub-headline is "A debate between naive elitism and ugly nativism only impedes pragmatic reforms."

Using terms like "naive elitism" and "ugly nativism" are not helpful, especially the last term, which is particularly ugly. : It is like "former Nazi", from which there is no hope for reform  In the mean time this is a problem that is crying for a new analytic approach.

For example, what do the sociologists tell us about the loading factor.  How many immigrants from different cultures will it take to tip us politically or economically away from what works for us, from what makes us attractive to emigrants from other nations?  Or even creates emigration pressures?

For the political scientists, how much assimilation do we need for incomers to understand our political system and work within it.  Based on Cambodians living in Lowell, or Portuguese, this doesn't seem like a big deal, but is it?  There have been questions about how Somalis have settled in in the US.

The other thing that strikes me is how easily some sweep illegal immigration up into immigration as a whole, ignoring the issue of the adverse impact of scofflaws.  If you came in illegally, why would you conform to other laws about citizenship, or drivers licenses, or other things?  Further, allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country may work against our understanding of the legitimacy of refugees, who are a whole other category.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2 Mon 0

  Why the references to the Lusitanians?  Because Portugal was, up until 1968, a dictatorship under Salazar (from 1932 to 1968).
  I am amazed that the best known Somali in America, here via the Netherlands, Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been tagged as a right winger, because she is opposed to FGM.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Impact of "Fake" News

For John, BLUFThis idea that the version of news presented isn't the real truth goes back to Yellow Journalism, and a hundred years before that.  I understand the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, hired a newspaper published as a State employee, to help fund the gentleman's journal, The National Gazette.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Benedict Carey, 2 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Fake news evolved from seedy internet sideshow to serious electoral threat so quickly that behavioral scientists had little time to answer basic questions about it, like who was reading what, how much real news they also consumed and whether targeted fact-checking efforts ever hit a target.

Sure, surveys abound, asking people what they remember reading.  But these are only as precise as the respondents’ shifty recollections and subject to a malleable definition of “fake.”  The term “fake news” itself has evolved into an all-purpose smear, used by politicians and the president to deride journalism they don’t like.

But now the first hard data on fake-news consumption has arrived.  Researchers last week posted an analysis of the browsing histories of thousands of adults during the run-up to the 2016 election — a real-time picture of who viewed which fake stories, and what real news those people were seeing at the same time.

This seems to suggest the "Russian interference" may be less of a problem than we thought.

The other thing that jumped out was how the author differentiated between politicians and the President.  I wonder if that is a blind spot for old line media?  Is this President, President Trump, not a sublime politicians?

Regards  —  Cliff
-2 Sat 3.0

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Judges Gone Wild

For John, BLUFI'm thinking Constitutional Amendment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:

Court orders government to do so for all driver's licenses issued

From WND, 21 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

California will take the next step in blurring the lines between citizens and non-citizens beginning April Fool’s Day when the state complies with a court order to begin automatically registering to vote all those who are granted driver’s licenses.

The state has long provided driver’s licenses to all who simply claimed, without proof, that they were citizens of in the country legally.  There were no checks made or documentation required.

But beginning April 1 every person who gets a California driver’s license will be automatically entitled to vote.

I wonder if this extends to licenses to drive trucks and buses?

As a side thought, if you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump, as Law Prof Glenn Harlan Reynolds might say.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

FBI Fail

For John, BLUFThere is no excuse for this.  Makes one think of Rose Mary Woods' missing 18 and a half minutes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Caller and Reporter Chuck Ross, 21 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

The FBI “failed to preserve” five months worth of text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI employees who made pro-Clinton and anti-Trump comments while working on the Clinton email and the Russia collusion investigations.

The disclosure was made Friday in a letter sent by the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).

“The Department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI’s technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page,” Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department, wrote to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of HSGAC.

If Efrem Zimbalist, Junior, was still with the FBI I might be willing to give them a pass, but those days are long gone.  Heck, I would even settle for Daughter Stephanie.  Now all we have is a Clown Car.

I would have hoped for better from the new Administration.  It is almost bad enough to make you think you have the whiff of a Deep State.

And, there is the small point about the duty of Government Agencies to Preserve Records—National Archives and all that sort of thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Fri 4.5

Decorum Lost

For John, BLUFDo reporters lack all sense of self-respect?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Entertainment Daily and Reporter Rebecca Carter, 17 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

President Donald Trump got fed up with CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, and kicked him out of a White House press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Acosta, who is currently the Chief White House Correspondent for the cable network, pressed Trump with questions about his views on immigration.

But as the president attempted to wrap up the conference, Acosta continued to ask questions prompting Trump to demand that the reporter leave the room.

I can understand Reporter Jim Acosta's insistence on asking more and more question, given the world is ending on Sunday, 4 February 2018 and we all will be dead and there will be no more press conferences.  Why the rest of us would then care about this is hard to understand.

And, for those who think the President lacks a certain decorum, what about Reporter Acosta?  Is he modeling himself after the President?  Yes.  Next question.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

-2, Fri 0.5

Another Assessment of Year One

For John, BLUFI totally misread the headline.  It is the author who is an African-American Mother and Veteran, not President Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Well, of course it is Fox News.  This Opinion Piece is from Ms Kathy Barnette, 20 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Much has changed since President Trump took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017. But one thing has remained constant – the anger and vitriol directed at the president from the left, many Democrats, many in the media, and even some folks who call themselves Republicans. Few presidents have been so demonized and denounced.

The president has been accused of being incompetent, a racist, mentally ill, senile and corrupt. Investigations of his alleged collusion with Russia to win the election go on and on and on with no end in sight.

Use these guidelines to save more, make the most of your contributions and build a retirement income plan. The resistance to President Trump has gotten so hysterical that Jen Statsky, a writer and comedian who has written for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon;” Parks and Recreation” and “Broad City” even tweeted that “if you support Trump you should have your children taken away, etc etc.”

Now that we’ve arrived at the one-year mark of the Trump presidency, I’ve done some soul-searching regarding my support of the man elected by the American people to lead our nation. As a black woman, a mother and a veteran, am I doing the right thing to continue backing President Trump? Is he really as awful – even evil – as his critics claim? Are his ideas half-baked and dangerous? Is he harming the nation I love?

Nice item, worth reading.  She points out that he is making a difference, and that is important.

Exit question.  Which group in America is most hurt by illegal immigration?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Parsing for the Truth

For John, BLUFThere is a kernel of truth in President Trump's comment about third world nations.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Conservative, by Mr Rod Dreher, 19 January 2018.

Another person who is willing to look at all facets of this item in the punch bowl.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

- 2 / Thur 4.5

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Critical Theory, Critically Analyzed

For John, BLUFThe Universities have become places where the received truth can not be questioned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Quillette, by Uri Harris, 17 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Critical Theory draws heavily on Karl Marx’s notion of ideology.  Because the bourgeoisie controlled the means of production, Marx suggested, they controlled the culture.  Consequently, the laws, beliefs, and morality of society reflected the interests of the bourgeoisie.  And importantly, people were unaware that this was the case.  In other words, capitalism created a situation where the interests of a particular group of people—those who controlled society—were made to appear to be universal truths and values, when in fact they were not.

The founders of critical theory developed this notion.  By identifying the distorting effects power had on society’s beliefs and values, they believed they could achieve a more accurate picture of the world.  And when people saw things as they really were, they would liberate themselves.  “Theory,” they suggested, always serves the interests of certain people; traditional theory, because it is uncritical towards power, automatically serves the powerful, while critical theory, because it unmasks these interests, serves the powerless.

All theory is political, they said, and by choosing critical theory over traditional theory one chooses to challenge the status quo, in accordance with Marx’s famous statement:  “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”

There’s no question critical theory can be useful, and that viewing societal elements—beliefs, values, norms, institutions—through a lens of power and examining whose interests they serve can provide highly valuable insights.  But as it becomes more widespread and its adherents more powerful a challenging situation emerges, because then critical theory must then be turned on itself.

From the article one sees that, coming out of a Marxist analysis, we questioned the past, but having done so, we stopped questioning.  The reason we have not collapsed from this is, as Adam Smith said, "There is a great deal of ruin in a nation."  We can only hope that we can plow through this phase and look back and see the good things of the past and bring them back into the mainstream.  I am hoping that, aside from a few believes, the American People realize that Marxism in action is about enslavement of the people, body, mind and soul.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  It was a quip to Sir John Sinclair, upon the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York, in October 1777

Friday, January 19, 2018

The CSA's Recent Victory

For John, BLUFJeff Davis, the worse Democrat President ever, is notching a new victory for the South and States' Rights.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Sacramento Bee, by Reporter Angela Hart, 18 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The state’s top cop issued a warning to California employers Thursday that businesses face legal repercussions, including fines up to $10,000, if they assist federal immigration authorities with a potential widespread immigration crackdown.

“It’s important, given these rumors that are out there, to let people know – more specifically today, employers – that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a news conference.  “We will prosecute those who violate the law.”

Becerra’s warning comes as fears spread of mass workplace raids following reports that immigration agents plan to target Northern California communities for deportations due in part to the state’s “sanctuary” law, which seeks to restrict local law enforcement agencies’ ability to cooperate with immigration authorities.

This is where the US Constitution's Supremacy Clause comes into play.  This evening Fox News Commentator Tucker Carlson mentioned the Supreme Court ruling of 1803, Marbury v. Madison.

Former Vice President John C. Calhoun is celebrating, from the other side of eternity.

Regards  —  Cliff

Facebook Profit Drive

For John, BLUFThere comes a time to step away from Facebook.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From NBC News, by Jo Ling Kent, Chiara Sottile, Emma Goss and Alyssa Newcomb, 16 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

With more than 2 billion users, Facebook's reach now rivals that of Christianity and exceeds that of Islam.  However, the network's laser focus on profits and user growth has come at the expense of its users, according to one former Facebook manager who is now speaking out against the social platform.

"One of the things that I saw consistently as part of my job was the company just continuously prioritized user growth and making money over protecting users," the ex-manager, Sandy Parakilas, who worked at Facebook for 16 months,  starting in 2011, told NBC News.  During his tenure at Facebook, Parakilas led third-party advertising, privacy and policy compliance on Facebook's app platform.

As Facebook transitioned from a Harvard dorm-room project into one of the world's most valuable companies, its power grew in ways that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg never could have anticipated.

It is a long read and there is no definitive smoking gun, but it is an interesting look at social media.

On the other hand, the best defense of truth is a population that samples news from many sources and keeps an open mind, including not jumping to conclusions.

Regards  —  Cliff

Eureka:  Fires Out West

For John, BLUFLaws have both good and bad consequences.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Richard Zuber, 18 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

After raging through almost all of December, the so-called Thomas fire, California's largest wildfire ever recorded, was finally contained on January 12.  While the worst is behind us (for now), the fact that last year's wildfires so violently spun out of control puts the spotlight on the Golden State's government and its lack of fire prevention measures.

The fires across the state caused unprecedented damage and loss of life.  Unsurprisingly, California governor Jerry Brown was quick to pin the blame on climate change for the forest fires' ferocity and extraordinary longevity this season.  Whatever truth there may be to this, it would be a mistake to gloss over how misguided policies and regulations have hurt California's ability to prevent and respond to fires.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), shrubs and live and dead vegetation are the most important factor in forest fires, being an easily ignitable fuel source that helps spread the flames quickly over vast distances.  For a dry and warm state prone to fires, regular clearing measures removing this vegetation should be common sense.  However, California has enacted several laws that heavily restrict such vital fire-preventing measures as logging, removal of dead trees, and clearing of dry underbrush.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Family Disagreement

For John, BLUFFar bigger than Watergate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

My wife and I are having a disagreement on the issue of the intersection of the Continuing Resolution and the Memo about FBI abuse of the FISA Court.  She says blow it up and expose all the hypocrisy and the hypocrites.  I say use it as a bargaining chip to keep the Government open.

Of course, this is speculation, as neither of us have seen the memo.

This is from a report at Zero Hedge, by Mr Tyler Durden, 18 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

All hell is breaking loose in Washington D.C. after a four-page memo detailing extensive FISA court abuse was made available to the entire House of Representatives Thursday. The contents of the memo are so explosive, says Journalist Sara Carter, that it could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice and the end of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.
These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates. -Sara Carter
Here is what I propose:

  • The Democrats agree to a budget deal.
  • The Memo on the FBI messing with the FISA Court is kept secret.
  • The Mueller investigation goes away with Special Counsel Mueller saying there is no there there.
  • Senator Schumer and Rep Pelosi jointly announce that they agree with Special Counsel Mueller that there is no there there.
  • The President provides broad amnesty to Ms Clinton, Rep Wasserman-Schultz, Mr James Comey and some others.
  • Involved FBI and other involved DOJ officials quietly resign.
  • The rest of us, the Citizens of this Great Nation outside DC, breath a sigh of relief that we weren't turned into a third rate banana republic.
My wife wants it all to come out, every wretched bit, so it doesn't look like the Republicans are hiding something.

What do you think? free polls

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Kim Dominates the Olympics

For John, BLUFIt seems that North Korea's Kim Jung-un is winning the public relations game at this time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Young people and conservatives in South Korea accuse President Moon Jae-in of sacrificing Olympic ideals for diplomatic expediency

From The Guardian, by Reporter Justin Mccurry, 19 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

South Korea is facing a public backlash over its sports rapprochement with North Korea, with critics accusing the government of turning next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics into the “Pyongyang Olympics”.

After three high-level meetings along their border in little over a week, North and South Korea have proposed forming a joint women’s ice hockey team and allowing their athletes to march together under one flag at next month’s games in South Korea.

Despite the logistical challenges posed by North Korea’s eleventh-hour agreement to compete in Pyeongchang, the International Olympic Committee is expected to give the proposal a sympathetic hearing when it meets officials from both countries in Lausanne on Saturday.

But young people and conservatives in South Korea have accused the country’s president, Moon Jae-in, of sacrificing Olympic ideals for diplomatic expediency.

Moon’s approval rating fell to a four-month low of 67% on Friday, in a reflection of the public’s lukewarm response to his attempts to promote an Olympic détente he hopes will lead to a diplomatic breakthrough over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

In the US it is all President Trump's fault for being belligerent with regard to Leader Kim Jung-un.  However, in South Korea, it turns out that President Moon is in trouble for being too easy on Leader Kim.  That Leader Kim is one foxy operative.

EXIT QUESTION:  Do you sometimes feel reports confuse sentences and paragraphs?  Back when I was young, before the earth started to cool, I thought paragraphs were a collection of sentences, not single sentences.  Then, later in my life, I was taught that sentences shouldn't be more than twenty words in length.  Oh, it was so long ago.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lack of Freedom Up North

For John, BLUFThose Canadians are wonderful people, but they don't have a real Bill of Rights.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Groups opposing the move point out the Charter also protects the freedom of expression and freedom of religion

Actually, I didn't think Canada had a Free Speech Rule.

So, this is from The Ottawa Citizen (Canada), by Mr Brian Platt, 12 January 2018.

Here is the lede:

Canada’s employment minister says churches and other religious groups are eligible for a federal grant to hire summer students as long as their core mandate agrees with access to abortion.
Then these four paragraphs follow:
However, it remains unclear what exactly counts as a core mandate.

The new attestation on the Canada Summer Jobs grant was aimed at anti-abortion groups, but Catholic, evangelical and other religious organizations are arguing it’s unprecedented, unfair and possibly illegal to be forced to attest to their views on abortion while applying.  They also worry this attestation will start being required for other government grants and programs.

Speaking at a cabinet retreat in London, Ont., Employment Minister Patty Hajdu said she’s comfortable with the attestation, which requires applicants to check a box saying they have a core mandate that respects “reproductive rights.”  The online application can’t be submitted unless the box is checked.

“In terms of church groups that are concerned that this may invalidate them from funding, in fact, my perspective is that it won’t, as long as their core mandate agrees with those hard won rights and freedoms that Canadians expect us to stand up for,” she said.

This is how one gets underground religious movements.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Coming Train Wreck?

For John, BLUFI think perhaps the Democrats think they can pin another Federal Government Shutdown on the Republicans.  They will have most of the media on their side.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the NewsBusters website, by Mr Rich Noyes, 18 January 2018.

Here is the 6 October 2013 quote from Senator Chuck Schumer:

We want to negotiate without a gun to our head.  Speaker Boehner comes in and he says, basically -- it's sort of like this:  Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage, and then says 'Let's negotiate over the price of your house.'

You know, we could do the same thing on immigration We believe strongly in immigration reform.  We could say, 'we're shutting down the government, we're not gonna raise the debt ceiling, until you pass immigration reform.'  It would be governmental chaos.

Of course, now is different.  A 2013 promise is obviated by … ah, Trump.  That is all I can figure.  Two New Yorkers and one has to prove to the other that he is tougher.  Is there some other explanation?

The only other possible explanation is that that prig, Senator Dick Durbin, who sees himself as Sampson, has the photos.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Nuclear Deterrence Morality

For John, BLUFNuclear Deterrence isn't a good thing, but the alternative, coercion by a nation with a handful of nuclear weapons may well be worse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This article is from the Boston Dioceses Newspaper, The Pilot, by Mr Russell Shaw, a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and has served as communications director for the U.S. Bishops.  The Dateline is 17 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Nuclear disarmament hasn't happened in these 35 years, and now North Korea has joined the nuclear club, President Trump speaks of using these weapons, and the U.S. and other nuclear powers are busy modernizing their stockpiles.

"We are at the limit of what is licit." In early December Pope Francis offered that assessment of nuclear deterrence during a question and answer session with reporters on the plane back to Rome from Bangladesh.

A month before, the Pope had strongly suggested that the "limit" had already been exceeded. "The threat of their [nuclear weapons'] use, as well as their very possession, is firmly to be condemned," he said in a message to a Vatican-sponsored conference on nuclear disarmament.

This wasn't the first time a pope has challenged the morality of nuclear deterrence. In a message to the United Nations General Assembly in 1982 Pope John Paul II granted only a grudging interim toleration to deterrence ("may still be judged morally acceptable") as a stage on the way to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The American bishops relied on that judgment of conditional, temporary toleration of deterrence in their 1983 collective pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace.

But it's now 35 years since St. John Paul delivered his judgment and the bishops repeated it, and Pope Francis has just raised the moral bar a lot higher.

As well he might. Nuclear disarmament hasn't happened in these 35 years, and now North Korea has joined the nuclear club, President Trump speaks of using these weapons, and the U.S. and other nuclear powers are busy modernizing their stockpiles. The countries that now have nuclear arms are the U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Several others are in a position to acquire them fairly quickly if they so desire.

Then the article goes on to talking about deterrence in action, and the moral implications.

I have to admit I couldn't resist firing back, in the Comments Section, over may own signature:

War is immoral.  We (the human race) killed millions in WWII not counting the two (three, actually) nuclear devices torched off.  Millions.  And WWI (The Great War), while not as bad, still led to the deaths of millions.  And there was Mao and Pol Pot.

I guess we could do away with War, and Nuclear Weapons, if we all submitted to a one world government.  Unfortunately, such an institution would likely result in some people feeling oppressed and then rising up against such a centralized government.  Especially if that one world government turned out to be oppressive, to disregard things that we think of as human rights.  It makes me think of the need for subsidiarity, which works against a functioning one world government.

There are no easy answers here.  And, yes, I have played with nuclear weapons, as an aircrew member, a squadron level planner and a NATO Air Headquarters level planner.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Conform or Die

For John, BLUFI am not sure the left can hold it together.  The path of catering to an ever increasing number of "minority" groups will eventually pit one against the other, although before that happens some will trip themselves up over trying to cater to all groups, which will not be possible.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Under the heading "ZEITGEIST", Writer David Cole, and Taki Magazine, look at what is happening "on the left".  The dateline is 2 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Her name was Nari and she was the tallest Korean girl I’d ever seen. Six foot, at least.  It was 1996 and we were on our second date when she started talking politics.  Naturally, I assumed she’d be leftist.  She was a student at UCLA…’nuff said.  But I wasn’t prepared for just how leftist she was.  “I plan to devote my life to hegemony,” she told me over dinner.  I asked her what she meant by that.  “At school they call me ‘Red Emma,’ after Emma Goldman.  But I’m far more radical than she was.  She believed in free expression, the right of the oppressed to find their own voice.  That’s a mistake.  We need hegemony.  One party, and one set of ideas, enforced vigorously, with swift action taken against any non-hegemonic thoughts or expressions.  Everyone needs to be in lockstep, or we can’t move forward.”

I’d grown up surrounded by leftists, mostly Jewish, and almost all cut from the Emma Goldman cloth.  In other words, people who at least paid lip service to the notion of free thought and expression.  I’d never before encountered someone who I could so clearly envision running a Stalinist gulag or a Maoist reeducation center.v Someone who wanted to enforce “thought hegemony,” and who wanted to visit that nightmare upon not just the ruling class, but the “oppressed” as well.  And it startled me how quick she was to brag about it.

These days, Nari is a degreed academic (of course) who runs a think tank at a major U.S. university.  I don’t know if she’s still battling for her beloved hegemony, but I do know that the ideas she espoused that night have steadily grown in popularity among American leftists.  Mind you, leftism has always been marked by purity purges.  Communism, the definitive expression of leftist ideals in the 20th century, was as brutal to its own adherents (and to its supposedly beloved “oppressed”) as it was to its “reactionary” enemies.  The party loved nothing more than to continually police its own for signs of “counterrevolutionary thought,” sending incorrect thinkers to reeducation camps, or sometimes just executing them outright.  This practice of seeking ideological purity found its logical conclusion under the Khmer Rouge, which routinely put children in charge of labor camps and death squads, due to a belief that the very young were pure and uncorrupted by “reactionary” ideas.

The Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cambodia…hegemony.  One party, one goal, one way of thinking.

“With fewer and fewer fresh victims to bully, the left is being forced to attack its own.”

While the Progressives, or at least the Democrats, see the second half of 2018 developing into "the happy times" ("Die Glückliche Zeit"), it is possible that they will end up, as the author suggests, as a time of cannibalism.

Time will tell.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hate Group Errors

For John, BLUFI guess we just have to use our own common sense to sift through all the groups that claim to protect us from bigotry and hate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A "hate group" list loved by the media is bogus.

A summary of a POD Cast from Reason, by Reporters John Stossel and Maxim Lott, 16 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

There are dangerous hate groups in America. So a group called the Southern Poverty Law Center promises to warn us about them. They release an annual list of hate groups in America.

The media cover it, but John Stossel says they shouldn't.  It's a scam.

It lists Ayaan Hirsi Ali—who grew up Muslim in Somalia and suffered female genital mutilation—as an "anti-Muslim extremist." Just because she now speaks out against radical Islam.

I have listened to Ms Ali on TV and she seems pretty reasonable and far from being a "hater".  And, given that she doesn't buy into FGM, it is possible that she is justifiably unhappy with those who do that sort of thing.

Then there is the conservative Family Research Council, listed as a "hate group."  that is the group attacked by a shooter, who later told law enforcement that he picked the group because he saw they were on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map and he wanted to fight bigots.

And no, they don't list Antifa as a hate group, strangely.  Or not.

The SPLC is just another progressive group that wants to make sure you think the way they want you to think.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course, if she is a hater, then so are the rest of us who reject that form of dealing with female sexuality.  One wonders if Mr Morris Dees, the Center's founder, had his own wife and daughters suffer FGM, in solidarity with Somali Muslims?
  Think of Lenin or Stalin.

A Theocracy Threatened

For John, BLUFThe Iranians may be fomenting trouble abroad (Syria, Iraq, Germany) but they also have trouble at home.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Well, they might be if they were Anglo-Saxon identifying folks here in the US.

From Pajama Media, by Reporter Robert Spencer, 15 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

“We should have an Iranian republic, not an Islamic republic,” said one Iranian protester.  “Islam cannot address our needs.”

The protesters chanted:  “We don’t want an Islamic republic! … Clerics, shame on you, let go of our country!”  Some even chanted:  “Reza Shah, bless your soul!”, referring to the former Shah of Iran who had set the nation on a secularizing, pro-Western course.

All of this raises the question: in the U.S., we are constantly told that opposition to Sharia constitutes bigotry and “Islamophobia.”  So how did Iran come to be filled with bigoted “Islamophobes”?

Here is a further excerpt:
Julie Lenarz of Britain’s Human Security Center observed in December 2015: “It is astonishing that the West cultivates an ever-closer alliance with a theocratic regime widely known for its abysmal human rights record and aggressive behavior in the region. They hang men for the ‘crime’ of writing poems; or engaging in peaceful protest; or loving someone of the same sex. Women are stoned for being raped and Iranian law even allows for juvenile executions. Iran is averaging three hangings per day at the moment and remains a pariah state with no regard for human life. In a despicable form of moral myopia, the gold rush for business, as the international sanctions regime begins to unravel, has made Western governments blind to the suffering of ordinary Iranians at the hands of the Ayatollahs.”
While I won't try to characterize Iran, it is not a place I would wish to live.  Would you?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You know, those who believe in the Rights of Englishmen, common law, the Declaration of Independence, private property and capitalism and the concept of subsidiarity and similar ideas.