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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Today is Inventors’ Day in Argentina

For John, BLUFAnd a boon to aviation it was.  No longer the need to carry wooden pencils and pocket knives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Instapundit, by Professor Gail Heriot, 29 September 2018.

Here is most of the Blog Post:

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, LÁSZLÓ BÍRÓ, THE INVENTOR OF THE FIRST COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL BALLPOINT PEN, WAS BORN:  Journalists aren’t usually great inventors, but the Hungarian-born Bíró was an exception.  He noticed that the ink used on newsprint dried quickly and smudge-free, so he started working on pen that could use that ink.  He patented an early design for a ballpoint pen in Paris in 1938.

As Nazism enveloped Europe, Bíró, who was Jewish, made his way to Argentina.  While there, he filed another patent, this time in the United States, in the name of Bíró Pens of Argentina.  The invention caught the attention of F.G. Miles, who secured a license to manufacture the pens for the Royal Air Force.  The pens were economical and, unlike fountain pens, could write upside down.

After the war, Marcel Bich bought the patent. For the purpose of marketing the pen, Bich shortened his name to “Bic” so that it wouldn’t be confused by English speakers with you-know-what.

There is the whole question of why the German Government thought that it would be better off with all those Jews dead or driven off?  Did they not understand the wealth of creativity they were destroying?  There is a lesson in there.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Danger of a Bridge Too Far

For John, BLUFRunning out the clock and not caring who gets hurt.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Notwithstanding the advice of then Senator Joe Biden that "FBI investigations into nominees are "inconclusive.'"

It was interesting, but consistent, that once Senator Flake proposed a one week FBI review of the allegations by Professor Ford, against then teenage Brett Kavanaugh, that Democrats, and Professor Ford's lawyers, claimed there should be no end date.  I guess they think it should go on until January 2019, or February 2021.

The danger in all this is that it might blow up on Professor Ford.  There is some small, but finite, chance that the FBI will come back and say that Professor Ford is an unreliable witness, or worse, that she made it all up.  That would be devastating to her mental health.

I guess, at the end of the day the Democrats can put the blame on the Republicans, for insisting on a further investigation, rather than just going for a vote of the full Senate.

But, back to the risk, there is this article, by Reporter John Nolte in the 28 September 2018 issue of Breitbart.

I just don't see this thing ending well.  Frankly, I put the blame on DiFi and Chuck Schumer.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Speaking of Clowns, yesterday's Howie Carr Show had a Poll Question on who was the biggest clown on the Democratic side of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  In the initial version of the poll they listed all the Democrats, except for DiFi.

Today's Kulturkampf

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

Here is the sub-headline:

There’s no greater sin than condemning an innocent man without evidence. There’s no greater cowardice than caving in to mob pressure.

Kulturkampf is a "culture struggle", or struggle for cultural survival.

From The Federalist, by Doctoral Researcher Sumantra Maitra, 26 September 2018.

Here is a key paragraph:

The Kavanaugh nomination battle of course is the culmination of this leftist Kulturkampf.  The soft coup didn’t happen in one day.  The Obama era metastasized a massive bloating of public bureaucracy with liberal extremists and ideologues, the spread of campus kangaroo courts, activism, and aggressive public movements and marches, the replacement of news with social media controlled by amoral technocrats and shadowy edited algorithms, and the cultural battlefield totally ceded to the neo-Marxist left.
If you think this isn't the case wait for the next nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.  She is, after all, a member of the People of Praise Community at Norte Dame.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

LL From Debating A Democratic Socialist

For John, BLUF"LL" is short for Lessons Learned.  See, for example, CALL.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

As the democratic socialists become more prominent, both nationally and at our dinner tables, it’s very likely you will find yourself debating one, like I did recently.

From The Federalist, by Senior Contributor Helen Raleigh, 28 September 2018.

Study and prosper.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 28, 2018

People Will DIE!

For John, BLUFI wonder if our former senator, John Forbes Kerry, (75 in December) is positioning for a run for President.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Nicholas Ballast, 12 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State John Kerry, author of Every Day is Extra, predicted that “lives will be lost” due to President Trump’s position on climate change, calling his time in office a matter of “life and death.”

“This is why it’s the anecdote to what Bob Woodward lays out [in his new book Fear:  Trump in the White House].  This book describes how we accept and fight, many times unsuccessfully, more times successfully, to make our democracy work and never had we needed to do that more than right now.  We’re in trouble,” Kerry said about his memoir during a discussion at the Carnegie Center for International Peace on Monday evening.

“I don’t try to be a troublemonger or to be somebody who tries to scare people, but I’m telling you folks – and I write about this in the last chapter of the book – I mean, I wish I could find legal standing to bring a case against Donald Trump for the lives that will be lost and the property that will be damaged and the billions of dollars because of his decision on climate change.  This is life and death. Our democracy matters that much,” he added.

This strikes me as like the idea of putting climate change deniers in jail.  Like Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

The flip side of this is what we do if it turns out Iran has a nuclear capability, which they use.  Do we sue the trio of Kerry, Obama and Rhodes?

However, the idea of a law suit against the (elected) President is an idea that the will of the voters is subject to the whims of lawyers.  I accept that if Congress passes a law that is of questionable constitutionality a law suit is in order.  But shaping foreign policy by law suit seems a little outside the area of unconstitutionality.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFIf you want to look at the Russia approach, follow the TV Series Okkupert (Occupied).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Should a reunited Ukrainian Orthodoxy be recognized by Constantinople as "autocephalous" and therefore not subordinate to Russian Orthodoxy, Moscow's claim to be the "third Rome" would be gravely imperiled.

From The Boston Pilot, by Mr George Weigel, 26 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

While Catholicism has been embroiled in a crisis of sexual abuse and episcopal malfeasance reaching to the highest levels of the Church, Eastern Orthodoxy may be on the verge of an epic crack-up with major ecumenical and geopolitical consequences.

There are three competing Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine today.  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate is in full communion with, and subordinate to, the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow.  Then there are two breakaways from Moscow:  the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.  This tripartite fracture is a scandal, an obstacle to re-evangelizing a broken culture, and an impediment to ecumenism.

There are two reasons this might be of interest to folks in the Greater Lowell area.  The First is the large Orthodox population in our area.  I expect each of us knows someone tied to the Eastern Church.

The second reason is that part of the Ukraine is still under Russian occupation, as Ukraine President Poroshenko pointed out to the UN General Assembly yesterday.

The action in the area of religion detracts from President Putin's view of a vast Russian People.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Are We?

For John, BLUFWhat is diversity and what is the will of the people, and how do we hold this union together.  "Majority rule and minority rights."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Joe Scarborough
Joe Scarborough Retweeted Dave Wasserman
This is staggering and is a warning to all coastal Democrats.  The party of diversity must also become more geographically diverse.

Dave Wasserman
To Dems who can’t believe what they’re watching, remember:  a majority of the Senate now represents 18% of the population & answers to a subset of voters that is considerably whiter, redder and more rural than the nation as a whole.  That’s the reality of our times.
4:49 AM - 28 Sep 2018

So, considerably whiter and redder, at the same time?

I think it is fair to mention that one of the things that makes the United States work is that we give each of the geographic areas a voice.  If the Senate, like the House of Representatives, was based strictly on population, there would be a lot of unhappiness in vast swaths of the nation, as the fly-over states would be dominated by the bi-coastal population majority.nbsp; I am not sure that would work out well.  The fear in one region of domination by another has already lead to a civil war.

All that said, it is the duty of the Democrats to campaign hard in those "Red" States.  And, the duty of Republicans to campaign in Democratic Party strongholds.

It should also be noted that amongst the 50 States, 12 have a Senator from each of the major parties.  In addition, two states have an independent Senator, one with also a Democrat, and one with a second who is a Republican.  That shows a fair degree of diversity in action.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course there are those who would break up California into several new states to provide diversity of a sorts for the various populations in the Golden State.
  I finally figured out the meaning of the colors red and blue. : I am personally embarrassed it took me so long to figure it out.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Best Hope For Peace

For John, BLUFI think, if this works, and we are generous with Palestine, that other problems may also yield solutions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Bridget Johnson, 26 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

President Trump said today that he thinks a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians could be "more difficult because it's a real-estate deal" but "works better because you have people governing themselves."

Trump indicated at his UN press conference in New York that he'd "love to be able to make a deal with the Israelis and the Palestinians."

"You know, my whole life I was told that's the toughest deal.  And I disagree, I think healthcare is probably tougher, OK, you want to know the truth," he said.  "...Every possible thing is tough about that.  I think we're going to make a deal."

Trump added that senior advisor Jared Kushner, who is overseeing Middle East peace talks, "loves Israel but he's also going to be very fair with the Palestinians."

"He understands it takes two people to be happy, two groups of people to be happy," he said.  "Everybody's got to be happy and that's why it's so tough, because there's been so much hatred and anger for so many years, that's what probably the number one ingredient of toughness is."

The Poster at InstaPundit, Mr Stephen Green, says:
On the outside chance the Palestinians are willing to sit down for genuine negotiations, it will be because Trump was the first U.S. President willing to disabuse them of their notion that all of Israel could be theirs for the taking.
Yes, the President is trying an alternative approach.  Breaking the mold means a chance for peace.  On the other hand, some don't like the idea of peace in the area.  Frankly, the alternative is moving Israel, lock, stock and Wailing Wall to the US.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Conflicting Stories

For John, BLUFWhen the Ford/Kavanaugh story looks like it couldn't get more weird, it does.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Paula Bolyard, 26 September 2018.

Toward the end of the article is this caution:

It's quite possible that the two men are either mentally disturbed or seeking attention—or both.  But their "confessions" highlight the uncertainty that accompanies claims that cannot be substantiated with evidence, which makes them all — including those of Kavanaugh's accusers — highly suspect.
Given what we know, that is a good point.  At this point we basically still know nothing.  Well, we do know that Senator Feinstein did an excellent job orchestrating the opening of this phase of the hearing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

On The Other Hand

For John, BLUFThs morning I looked as a scenario wherein a Blue Wave swept many Democrats into office.  This Post looks at the chance the voters could flow in the opposite direction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

By disparaging Kavanaugh, Democrats have backed themselves into a corner. They might pay in the midterm elections.

From USA Today, by Columnist James S. Robbins, 26 September, 2018.

Then we have this item:

From The New York Daily News, by Ms S.E. Cupp, 26 September 2018.

It will be an interesting election in November, and if the Republicans hold both Houses of Congress it will be even more interesting to see the Press analysis.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hillary Would Change the Constitution

For John, BLUFShe isn't going away.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Our democratic institutions and traditions are under siege.  We need to do everything we can to fight back.

From The Atlantic, by Ms Hillary Rodham Clinton, 16 September 2018.

Of course she would change the constitution.  Given that she lost in 2016, she has to find a flaw in the system to show why she lost when she should not have, at least in her own mind.

This is posted for the purpose of recording Ms Clinton's ideas of the month.

Regards  —  Cliff

Choosing Amongst Candidates

For John, BLUFThe problem with politics is that the candidates may offer you what you want on issue "A", but be opposed to your position on issue "K".  The voter needs to take a whole person view of each candidate.  One voting option might be a third party, or a write-in, as a signal of dissatisfaction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Ms Behar is an extreme example of single issue voting.

I wonder her position if the pro-abortion candidate was anti-Press Freedom?

From Life Site News, by Mr Scott Whitlock, 6 Jan 2016.

Do you think Ms Nina Burleigh feels the same way?

My thought is that voting is a duty, and it includes the duty to be informed.  Informed not just on one issue, but on many issues.  Look with pity on those who think only the informed should vote.  They will eventually define informed as "thinking like I think".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Blumenthal For President

For John, BLUFThe thing is, why do we believe Senator Blumenthal has ever told the truth?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Watching Out Numbered just now on Fox News I heard Senator Richard Blumenthal declare Judge Brett Kavanaugh guilty of sexual crimes and state that if he denies it he will be lying.

With this certainty, why do we need an investigation?

My prime advisor suggests the Senator wishes to run in 2020..

Regards  —  Cliff

January 2019

For John, BLUFThe Republican Congress could assist in this by playing the Kavanaugh confirmation weakly.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Looking at what Statistician Nate Silver is saying at his FiveThirtyEight Blog we see: The question is, what does that mean for January 2018?

By the power recognized by the Ninth Amendment, I predict that a Blue Wave Election will see:

  • There will be, in the words of The Boston Globe, a blue tsunami.
  • The Democratic Party controlled House of Representatives will, breaking precedent, but not the Constitution, elect Mrs Clinton Speaker of the House.
  • Impeachment of Judge Kavanaugh, regardless of if he is confirmed to the Supreme Court.
  • Impeachment of President Trump and Vice President Pence, with Senate conviction.
  • Swearing in of President Hillary Clinton, restoring order to the cosmos.
And, in 2020 the Republicans will sweep to power.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The Constitution is not definitive.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hillary Wants a Comeback Chance

For John, BLUFIs she going to be like Harold Stassen?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

She actually believes she still has a shot at the White House.

From National Review, by Kyle Smith, 22 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

When Homer Simpson looks in the mirror, he sees ripped chest muscles and arms like the trunks of beech trees.  When Hillary Clinton looks in the mirror, she sees America’s sweetheart.  She thinks:  America adores me.  She thinks:  America already chose me to be president once!  She thinks:  Everyone is comparing me with Donald Trump and realizing I’m a better choice.  She is hoping for a call that will never come:  an earnest, sobbing plea from the Democratic party to be their standard bearer in 2020.

How else to explain Clinton’s latest media blitzkrieg? You’d think she’d be in Jimmy Carter mode:  quiet, making a display of humility, working hard to rebuild her reputation for posterity by doing good deeds and writing non-political books (like Carter’s disarming series of memoirs).  Instead, she is acting like a fired-up political candidate.  The poor dear actually thinks she’s still in the game.  The woman who, on Election Night 2016, slunk away in ignominy from thousands of supporters in the glass-ceilinged Javits Center without even saying thanks to the many who would have lain down in front of a bus for her, these days is once again singing her fight song.  But it’s a pathetic 4 a.m. karaoke act and no one can bear to tell this frail elderly lady to stop screeching so they can mop the floors and turn out the lights.  Because she has the personality of a cactus and hates everyone, H-Rod never should have entered politics to begin with, but her inability to leave it behind is an embarrassment.  Not to me, mind you.  Not to Republicans.  We all hope she keeps talking.  For us every HRC tweet and MSNBC appearance is a dopamine cookie. It is merely herself she is embarrassing.

Yes, she is running.  Only Hillary can save the Democratic Party and the nation.

Here is how Mr Smith winds up his article:

“You won’t be surprised to hear this,” Clinton informs us in the tweet calling for this radical revision of the Constitution.  No, we aren’t surprised, just as we weren’t surprised to learn that the end result of a Supreme Court case about whether it’s okay to censor a film critical of Hillary Clinton was Clinton calling for a rewrite of the First Amendment to prevent the likes of Citizens United from being rude to her.  It isn’t surprising at all that Hillary Rodham Clinton would keep relitigating the 2016 election she so astoundingly and hilariously managed to lose and call for the upending of norms as old as the Republic for such a self-serving purpose.  What might be surprising is that Clinton would be so brazen as to think “let’s abolish the Electoral College” is an applause line, rather than just a reminder that she failed to connect to voters in the heartland.  Hillary Clinton should do herself a favor and realize that big-time politics is done with her.  The good news is she has the rest of her life to spend more time on her hobbies. Like Chardonnay.
The thing that worries me is that there are Democrats running to the left of Mrs Clinton, who is to the left of her husband, former President William Jefferson Clinton, the last successful Democratic occupant of the White House.  I don't believe this to be a formula for success across the fruited plain.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Double Standards

For John, BLUFI would never suggest that Senator Hirono just shut up, but she thinks that is what I should do.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

When it mattered in her own backyard, with a male Democratic senator, she turned a blind eye to sexual abuse

From National Review, by Reporter John Fund, 23 September 2018.

Sadly, for me, this story involves allegations against a hero of mine, the late Senator Daniel Inouye.

If it wasn't for double standards the Democrats wouldn't have any standards at all.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Looking at the Dark Side

For John, BLUFYes, if that looks like a giant blue wave about to crash over us, things look grim.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Conservative! by Mr Rod Dreher, 24 September 2018.

Here is the lede:

Here are some cheerful words from regular commenter Matt in VA. If you don’t normally read the comments section, he’s a gay Millennial populist who cannot stand either the Democrats or the GOP
And boy is Matt cranky.

Thank God the Parousia isn't far off.  Unfortunately, before then is the Tribulation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Apparently You CAN Get Fired From A Federal Job

For John, BLUFA sort of underground journalism, doing the jobs credentialed journalists won't.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

DSA Is Democratic Socialists of America.

From PJ Media, by Ms Debra Heine, 24 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The far-left Department of Justice employee who was caught on video saying that she couldn't get fired, apparently got fired.

In an undercover Project Veritas video, resistance leader Allison Hrabar admitted that she does research on the home addresses and license plates of private individuals so she and her socialist comrades can harass the individuals at their homes.

I hate to see someone fired.  On the other hand, I dislike people taking taxpayers' money under false pretenses.  And especially annoying is having folks occupying a desk, subverting the office mission, while denying a possible serious worker a job they would be happy to do, and do well.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFIt is a real thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is the title of a blog post at ¡No-Pasaran!, 30 August 2018.  It is from this blog post:

Here is the lede plus one:
As I write this, I was supposed to be talking about Putin’s Russia on the French station Radio Courtoisie.

That came about a few months ago, when I was contacted by a charming French journalist who had heard me speak on that subject at a conference in England.

The prospect of talking for 90 minutes in French was daunting because my command of that tongue could only charitably be described as uncertain.  But I agreed to do it, especially since the musical interludes were to be provided by the sublime pianist Penelope Blackie (aka Mrs Boot).

When we met in Paris, my interviewer said she was envious of Britain, where it was still possible to express conservative views in all media.

The left, she said, had such tight control of the papers, broadcast media and publishing that many conservative books published by les Anglo-Saxons would never see the light of day in France.

Then here is the denouement of the story:
Late last night, my interviewer sent me an e-mail specifying the broadcast slots, and I was about to forward it to all and sundry in France.  But then, seconds later, another e-mail arrived:

“I’ve just had a phone call from the Radio Courtoisie director and editor-in-chief Madame Dominique Paoli.  She has decided to cancel the broadcast because it ‘contains violent libellous accusations against Putin that could draw the ire of the Russian embassy’.”

Madame Dominique Paoli.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been censored, but never for that reason.

For ‘violent’ though my accusations against Putin might have been, they certainly weren’t libellous – for the simple reason that they were all true.

We are seeing the leading edge of this kind of thing on the Internet, in China, being aided and abetted by Google.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 24, 2018

Mia Farrow Speaks Up

For John, BLUFHollywood and DC seem more alike in the area of sexual harassment and abuse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Breitbart! by Reporter Jerome Hudson, 24 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Actress Mia Farrow took to Twitter on Sunday and called on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to “resign” his position on the country’s highest court.

“And another thing is painfully clear all over again Clarence Thomas has no business on the Supreme Court.  He should resign,” Mia Farrow wrote.

Her son is Reporter Ronan Farrow, who has had two two recent articles on "sex scandals" published in the New Yorker.

What provoked this outbreak?  The Democrats feel pretty confident they can control the narrative, with the help of the Media, but until they have a "Chinese like" control of the Internet they shouldn't be too cocky.

While former Veep Joe Biden thinsks the Republicans are the "dregs of society" he needs to keep in mind that they have their own paths of communication.

Hat tip to the Breitbart.

Regards  —  Cliff

Chicago Steering Foreign Policy

For John, BLUFThere is the "Wag the Dog" theory of politics, the idea being that one creates a foreign policy uproar to distract from other actions.  In this case it is a city, albeit a large city, is playing this game.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There is a warning, not for this blog, but for the linked article, for language use.

From The American Thinker, by Ms Monica Showalter, 21 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

With all of Chicago's problems and scandals, from its Caracas-level violence to its financial straits to its corrupt and sex-harassing pols to its Obama library sweetheart deal to its issues with illegals to even Catholic Church scandals, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is concerned about...Venezuela – and, more specifically, the prospect that President Trump might invade it, which, in his mind, could only be for political gain.

CNBC's John Harwood reports:

Rahm Emanuel, the former top aide to President Barack Obama who is now Chicago's mayor, is publicly warning that the mercurial commander-in-chief may blow past the hesitation of national security advisors in search of a rally-around-the-flag political boost.  He wants Congress to flash caution lights.

"We have a phrase in this country: the October surprise," Emanuel, Obama's first White House chief of staff, told me in an interview.  "I think in this situation he is looking to do anything and will do anything."

I think the problems in Chicago have gotten to Mayor Emanuel and it has caused him to go off the rails.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Something May Have Happened, or Not

For John, BLUFMr Rod Rosenstein in still on my good guy list, but the future is still unexplored territory.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Axios, by Jonathan Swan, early 23 September 2018.

Or something else.  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did meet with President Trump's Chief of Staff, General Kelly, this morning.  For all we know they exchanged fishing flies.

That said, if Mr Rosenstein offered to resign, that would be an ethical thing to do, if it was something like "If the President would like my resignation I would offer it."  That would be in stark contrast to Ms Sally Yates.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Spying State

For John, BLUFSpies are going to spy.  Congress is supposed to protect us from that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Twitter: @instapundit 20 hours ago
A 2015 memo from then-Attorney General @EricHolder reveals that the feds can use FISA to spy on journalists.
Which leads to this article:

Here is the sub-headline:

And the guidelines for spying on journalists may be even looser under Trump.

From Reason, by Mr Joe Setyon, 18 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The federal government can use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on journalists.  So said a pair of 2015 Justice Department memos, including one from then–Attorney General Eric Holder.

FISA is controversial in itself. The act is supposed to be used to justify surveillance on foreign targets.  But as Reason's Scott Shackford has explained, intelligence agencies often use it to secretly spy on American citizens, sometimes without a warrant.

Did Attorney General Eric Holder not recall the outrage over the FBI, under Director J Edgar Hoover, spying, against the Constitution, on the rev Martin Luther King?  Apparently not.

Then there is this counter-intuitive assertion:

While the memos date to the Obama era, the Trump administration seems willing to snoop on journalists as well.  Earlier this year, the Justice Department demanded the phone and email records of New York Times reporter Ali Watkins in an attempt to find out whether her source, a former Senate aide, had leaked classified information.

Eddington suspects the guidelines for spying on journalists under President Donald Trump may be "looser" than they were under Obama, especially given Trump's "almost daily stated antipathy towards the press as a whole."

Regardless of who's in the White House, one constant remains:  The federal government doesn't seem to have any problems with going after journalists.

Do the editors at Reason realize that because of the Mueller investigation Mr Trump has little to no control over the Department of Justice.  I am not sure we can even call it the Sessions DOJ.  It is probably the Rosenstein DOJ.  It sure seems that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as part of his silent coup, is trying to make it so.

At the end of the day, however, the point needs to be made that the Department of Justice, rather than thinking of the FISA Court as a limited tool, is widening its use beyond where they should.  It is time for Congress to revisit this statute.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Silicon Valley More Helpful than the Kremlin?

For John, BLUFIf you don't read widely and distrust everyone you just don't understand how serious the situation is.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Tyler O'Neil, 23 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

When Donald Trump surprised the world by winning the 2016 election, liberals clung to the idea that his victory was illegitimate because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.  According to a psychologist who supported Clinton in 2016, however, Google's bias in Clinton's favor may remove even that symbolic victory from her.

Almost all of Clinton's popular vote margin could be attributed to Google bias, making her win "negligible." Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist who earned his Ph.D. at Harvard, actually reported this finding last year, but he explains how it works in the upcoming film "The Creepy Line."

Epstein made a stir in 2015 by reporting in Politico that Google could "rig" the 2016 election.  This story discussed the results of his study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  That study found that "biased search ranking can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters from 20% or more — up to 80% in some demographic groups."

Wait, the folks we should be investigating is "Google?

I wonder what they think of the Electoral College?  Does the Electoral College, at least today, help negate this "Google" advantage?

The thing that is really worrying to me is the work Google is doing with the People's Republic of China, to censor and manipulate the Internet.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Watch What You Say in France

For John, BLUFIs this very "Soviet-like" or is it just very "European-like"?  Over there they don't make a fetish of free speech, the way we do in the AngloSphere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far right has been left shocked and furious after a court ordered her to be examined by a psychiatrist to determine if she "is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions".

From The Local/AFP, by Reporter Ben McPartland, 20 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Le Pen, who is head of the former National Front party - now National Rally (Rassemblement National) revealed on Twitter her shock and anger at being ordered to undertake a psychiatric assessment.

The unusual summoning is in relation to Le Pen having tweeted out gruesome propaganda images from terror group Isis that showed the bodies of people having been executed by the so-called Islamic State.

In March Le Pen was charged with circulating "violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity" and that can be viewed by a minor.

And as part of their investigation it appears magistrates in Nanterre near Paris have ordered Le Pen to visit a psychiatrist for an expert assessment.

"I thought I had been through it all: well, no! For denouncing the horrors of Daesh (Isis) by tweets the "justice system" has referred me for a psychiatric assessment. How far will they go?!" she said on Thursday.

The really scary part is that with the World Wide Web it is possible for European nations to impose their totalitarian rules on the rest of us.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 23, 2018

NYT Reveals Deep State at Work

For John, BLUFIn the article linked to the writer notes that Fox News Host Sean Hannity advises President Trump to not fire DOJ Deputy Director Rob Rosenstein over the recent revelations.  I agree.  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  Let Mr Rosenstein show his own ethical character and trust the American Voters.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Columnist Michael Goodwin, 22 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

President Trump is not generally given to understatement, but he soft-pedaled problems at the Department of Justice.  There is, he said Friday, a “lingering stench” there.

A “stench” doesn’t describe the situation.  A snake pit is more like it.

The report by The New York Times that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plotted to remove Trump, either by wearing a wire or invoking the 25th Amendment, cements forever the fact that there was and still is a deep state centered in the nation’s top law-enforcement agency.  This was a plot by power-mad individuals who aimed to overturn the 2016 election and thwart the will of voters.

Mr Goodwin believes The Old Gray Lady?  I am shocked.  It is the same paper it was in the 1930s, with Reporter Walter Duranty.

On the other hand, it is nice of the NYT to so dramatically real the actual existence of a "Deep State", working inside the US Government, to thwart the will of the voters.

The real mystery is why this came out when it did.  Yes, it could just be an accident of nature.  On the other hand, it could be former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe trying to reprise the role of FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.  Maybe the Newspaper of Record regrets that The Washington Post beat them badly on the Watergate Story.

Mr Goodwin did comment on New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer "warning" the President not to fire Mr Rosenstein.  Of course Senator Schumer did.  It makes him look like he is a big man down in DC.  And to think, he could be the next US Senate Majority Leader.  That would be a joke on all the voters.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You might know him better as Deep Throat, a pseudonym for a high ranking FBI official, taken from the title of a 1972 pornographic movie, which I did not see.

Chuck Schumer's Bluster

For John, BLUFMyself, I think the President should appear at the door of the White House with Mr Rosenstein, all smiles, saying how tough the job is for the Deputy AG.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline (one of several):

Chuck Schumer warned Trump not to use the revelation as an excuse to fire Rosenstein, whom the president blames for hiring Robert Mueller

From The Daily Mail, by The Mail's US Political Editor, David Martosko, 21 September 2018.

Frankly, this sounds like more bluster from the Senate Minority Leader.  What would he do?  Throw a temper tantrum?

I would be much more impressed if Mr Schumer had expressed a wee bit of concern for a Deputy Attorney General suggesting we need to sideline the President.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I, for one, think Mr Rosenstein was joking around.

Chancellor Merkel v the German Intel Community

For John, BLUFEven if an agency styles itself the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, it should not run roughshod over the elected political leadership.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters News Service, by Mr Paul Carrel, 14 September 2018.

A longish article, here is the meat of it:

The rift opened up in October 2015, when Merkel put her chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, in charge of Germany’s response to the refugee crisis, with Emily Haber - a diplomat - acting as point person in the Interior Ministry.

That chain of command effectively shut out the security services, which couldn’t get face time with Merkel.

“That totally frustrated these people ... they were horrified,” said Alexander.

So, it isn't just in the United States were the Intelligence Community appears to be at odds with the leader of the elected government.

In this case it is Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hans-Georg Maassen, chief of the BfV intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (German:  Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz or BfV).

Regarding the event that exposed this problem, here is a view from Mr Rick Moran and the magazine American Thinker.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jews Out of Labour

For John, BLUFWhen we start judging and making binary choices a lot of nuance gets lost and "marginal" groups find themselves in trouble.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From The Algemeiner, by Reporter Ben Cohen, 7 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

A long-feared purge of pro-Israel parliamentarians from the British Labour Party began in earnest on Thursday, with one party meeting even broadcast live over the internet by PressTV — the official English-language mouthpiece of the Iranian regime.

Pro-Israel MPs Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker both lost no-confidence votes at packed constituency meetings on Thursday night.

Purge is the appropriate term, given that it is the Labour Party.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hearing On! [Maybe]

For John, BLUFNo matter how this goes, if the Democrats take control of the House in January, there will be calls for impeachment.  I hope Judge Kavanaugh is impeached, because the trial will be interesting.  It will settle nothing, but it will be interesting.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by NYT Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, 22 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus three from my EMail Notice of this story:

Lawyers for the woman who’s accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault decades ago when they were teenagers say they've accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request for her to tell her story.

But attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford say in a letter to the committee’s Republican majority that they want to set up a time later Saturday to keep discussing terms of Ford’s appearance.

The letter says Ford ‘‘accepts’’ the committee’s request that in the coming week she would ‘‘provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct.’’

The lawyers say they are ‘‘hopeful that we can reach agreement on details’’ of Ford’s appearance.

I am glad Senator Grassley granted the extra day.

I hope the Senate does not just summarily throw out the time honored tradition of innocent until proven guilty.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A 911 Awakening

For John, BLUFNot everyone in Europe suffers from groupthink.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

‘Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.’

From The National Review, by Annika Hernroth Rothstein, 11 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

On September 11, 2001, I was sitting on the floor of my sister’s living room, babysitting her one-year-old daughter.  We were lazily playing, with the afternoon news on the TV in the background.  The first thing I noticed was how the anchor’s voice changed.  The woman was saying “Wait, wait,” while staring to the side of the camera.  There had been a horrible accident, she said, as I watched the smoke pour out of the first tower.  When the second plane hit, I hoped beyond hope she was right.

I had just gotten back from a year in France. A few months earlier, I’d been standing in a crowded bar on Place de Clichy, celebrating my 20th birthday.  I remember that night, although several bottles of bad white wine say I shouldn’t.  I was surrounded by my peers, other upper-middle-class liberals who had fled to Paris to fulfill their fantasy.  We had come to this historical city to live the life of songs and books and Technicolor movies. We were radicals.  We were heroes.  We were going to change the world.

The people with me in that bar were a random sample of the political atmosphere of Europe at the time.  Militant feminists, pro-Palestinians, members of the autonomic environmentalist movement, and your run-of the-mill anti-government thugs.  Having a friend who had been jailed for rioting was as necessary as a Malcolm X T-shirt and a back-pocket paperback of Catcher in the Rye.  I gladly picked up that uniform, just as I picked up rocks and banners knowing that this was the ticket to ride.

Raised in a family of academics, this was a natural evolution on my part and a result of a serious political interest.  I identified as an intellectual and as a political thinker with a critical mind.  What I failed to acknowledge at the time was that my country was a controlled environment and that the spectrum on which political analysis took place was limited.  Not unlike The Truman Show, where the choices you think you are making were already made for you long ago, and any dreams of a different fate are swiftly corrected.

I left my one-bedroom apartment in the chic slum of the 19th Arrondissement in June 2001.  I was headed back to Gothenburg, Sweden, and the mass protest against the EU summit and George W. Bush.  I planned to be back in time to see the first leaves fall on the Champs Elysées.  Turns out, that didn’t happen.

What happened was the ends of 911.

Sometimes you have to adjust who you think of as friends.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Value of Hearings?

For John, BLUFSomeone suggested that hearings for Supreme Court Nominations became popular as a way of dealing with those favoring racial integration.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from a larger article at Politico Magazine:

Here is a comment from Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds:
If the Republicans hold the Senate, Mitch McConnell should use this precedent — together with the nonstop disruption of the hearings — to put Trump’s next nominee directly to a floor vote with no hearings, on three days’ notice.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wanting to Breath Free

For John, BLUFThe Brits have found, once again, that the Continent is not a place that values individual freedom.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Sterling" is the nickname for the British currency, the British Pound note.

From Reuters, by Reporters Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew MacAskill, 21 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that Brexit talks with the European Union had hit an impasse, defiantly challenging the bloc to come up with its own plans a day after EU leaders savaged her proposals.

At a summit in Austria on Thursday, EU leaders rejected May’s “Chequers” plan, saying she needed to give ground on trade and customs arrangements for the UK border with Ireland.

The British media said the response had left her proposals in tatters, and May angrily struck back in a televised address from her Downing Street office, saying neither side should expect the impossible from the other.

“Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect,” May said.  “The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.”

The last paragraph of the article is the best:
“The referendum was the largest democratic exercise this country has ever undergone,” said May, who has repeatedly ruled out a second vote following the original 2016 referendum.  “To deny its legitimacy or frustrate its result threatens public trust in our democracy.”

On the nose!

People calling for a "second" vote are the clueless cousins of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Remember his line?

Democracy is like a streetcar.  When you come to your stop, you get off.
We, here in these United States, need to get around this by leaving as much as we can to the individual states.  Then, if you don't like the laws in Massachusetts, or Montana, you can move to another state.  People not all being alike, it is good to leave room for variability.  And for the fabled Rights of Englishmen.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 21, 2018

Second Shoe

For John, BLUFThis is a hard fought nomination, so expect the fight to go to the wire.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Do you think a second shoe will drop re Kavanaugh, this weekend?

I wouldn't bet a lot of money on it, but I would take a small side bet.  The Democrats need some insurance for their Professor Ford ploy.

Regards  —  Cliff

Can't Take a Joke

For John, BLUFI think President Trump and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Rosenstein should appear together on the front steps of the White House, tomorrow, saying "like asking the Russians for Hillary's EMails, this was a joke."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From WRAL, but of an article from The Old Gray Lady, by NYT Reporters Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt, 21 September 2018.

Here is the lede:

The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Donald Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office for being unfit.
First off, this has been denied by Mr Rosenstein.  Denied. The alternative story, as mentioned this evening by Ms Laura Ingrham (FOX News Source) is that it was said in jest, as a joke.

But, except to beat another news source to the headline, why would The Old Gray Lady publish this kind of thing.  The President (and a lot of Republicans) is complaining about a "Deep State", and Democrats and the Media are denying it, and here comes the Newspaper of Record talking about it.

Maybe it is part of a Democratic Party political action to further disrupt the Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.  This would perhaps be in line with Mr Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.  Or perhaps something out of some old Soviet Playbook, as maskirovka.

Given that this revelation comes from former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who supposedly forwarded it to Mr Robert Mueller, perhaps that is where to look.  Was this just another part of the confusion and deception that involved the Steele Dossier and the FISA Court and mid-level DOJ Officials who felt a disturbance in the force on Election Night 2016?

I like the simple answer, which is The Old Gray Lady playing to the prejudices of its readership, the clerisy, trying to give them hope that someday 2016 will be reversed and cosmic order restored.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Give Jane a Break

For John, BLUFI don't want to live my life defined by who I dislike.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mediatite, by Reporter Joseph A. Wulfsohn, 20 September 2018.

If this event, back during the US efforts to defend South Viet-nam from aggression by the North, is beyond your memory, then move on and forget about it.

If, like me, you remember this, especially if you are a Veteran of the Viet-nam war, then this is more personal.  I am a veteran of said war, two tours.  On my first tour I had 100 "Counters" or missions over North Viet-nam.  I am a "River Rat", which is to say I have been north of the Red River.  So, I feel free to hold an opinion.

The thing is, unlike most of my fellow Veterans, I think it is time to embrace Jane Fonda, forgive her for her stance on the war, and her stupidities, and move on.

As a friend of mine, a Viet-nam Era Vet, said the other day, "But then, I don’t much want to stand in front of Christ and God and explain how I feel entitled to not forgive when they do so without qualification.  I might be uncomfortable in that confrontation…".

Indeed.  Besides, there are quite a few current characters much more deserving of my disdain.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 20, 2018

More Subtle Motivations

For John, BLUFThis theory is she is taking one for the team—with her being a higher ed professor, can't we safely assume that the team is "Democrats"?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Blog Mistress Ann Althouse, who, at 0630 this morning, is picking up on a comment by "PJ".

Here is the quote:

"Isn't it clear that delay advantages the Dems only if Kavanaugh is confirmed?  The theory that explains every action the accuser and the Dems have taken is:  they want the confirmation to occur as close as possible to the midterm elections in order to enrage the Dem base into turning out in huge numbers.  If Kavanaugh is defeated close to the midterms, it is the GOP base that will be enraged into turning out.  Same result (though likely to a lesser extent) if the Dems induce Kavanaugh to withdraw or delay the vote past the midterms.  And Kavanaugh's confirmation will not move the Court so significantly to the right as to outweigh the potential advantage of controlling both houses of Congress.  The Dems want Kavanaugh confirmed, under circumstances that will enrage the Dem base as much as possible, and as close to the midterm election date as possible. "
Professor Ford, known in her later life as being part of a complex conspiracy to help elect Democrats to Congress.  I am betting she eventually regrets it, or dies a bitter woman.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Sense of Decency

For John, BLUFThe loss of civility in DC is appalling .  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Chicago Tribune, by Contact Reporter John Kass, 19 September 2018.

Here is a key paragraph:

You’d hear about it in tales told by history teachers to frighten children, about Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy and his wild, unsubstantiated charges without evidence, of communists hiding under America’s beds.
US Army lawyer Joseph Welch did ask of Senator Joseph McCarty, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?  At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Yeah, about that, there is the thought that the Venona Papers suggest that "Tail Gunner Joe" McCarthy wasn't all wrong.

But, yes, I am embarrassed for my Mother, a Democrat, that she lived her last years in Rancho Mirage, but not as an immediate neighbor of Senator Feinstein and her husband.

UPDATE:  Corrected Spelling error in title.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I felt a great disturbance in the Force..

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest the SJWs have gone over the top, have jumped the shark.

For John, BLUFIf we are not willing to explore ideas we differ with we are going to be going down an ever narrowing funnel, knowing less and less about the real world.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The editor sparked outrage after defending his decision to publish a lengthy essay by a former Canadian radio host who was accused of sexual assault by several women.

From Buzz Feed, by Reporter Ms Tasneem Nashrulla, 19 September 2018.

Here is the lede:

Ian Buruma, the editor of the New York Review of Books who sparked outrage after publishing an essay by Jian Ghomeshi, no longer works at the magazine, an NYRB spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday.
So, these two names may be a little obscure, so here are the Wikipedia bios:

This is where we enter the realm of totalitarianism.  That is, limitations on free speech.  It is a shame.  It is a shame for Mr Buruma and it is a shame for the readers of The New York Review of Books.  It is a shame for thee and me.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hillary:  Save the Republic, Vote Democrat

For John, BLUFThe other way to look it is, protect the swamp by voting Democrat in November, and help us hide the truth from you.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Clinton said an anonymous New York Times op-ed was "horrifying" and raised the likelihood that Trump might try a purge of staff he suspects of working against him.

From NBC News, by Reporter Dennis Romero, 19 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Hillary Clinton predicted Tuesday that President Donald Trump will "wholesale fire people" in the White House and become increasingly unaccountable if Democrats don't check his power by winning a majority of seats in the House or Senate in the November midterm elections.

Clinton made the remarks during the former secretary of state's appearance on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Our Government Helping Us

For John, BLUFMaybe these folks think that Government is about taking taxpayer resources to allow them to conduct their own brand of political propaganda.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter J. Christian Adams, 19 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The latest video from James O'Keefe's Project Veritas captures a Department of Justice employee admitting that she does research on the home addresses and license plates of private individuals who are then targeted for loud protests at their homes by socialist demonstrators.  Other socialist protesters familiar with the process for discovering home addresses of targets strongly infer that Justice Department LexisNexis accounts are used by a socialist Justice Department employee to identify home address of targets.

The Justice Department employee, Allison Hrabar, organized a loud heckling protest of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen while she ate a private dinner at a D.C. restaurant.  Hrabar was able to locate Nielsen on a Tuesday evening last June.

The question, after the first question, is if Socialists are abusing their positions in the US Government, why would we believe the Democrats aren't also?

When asked directly by one of O'Keefe's undercover journalists whether she uses her DOJ LexisNexis account, another comrade of Hrabar's, Natarajan Subramanian, who appears familiar with her activities and works for the Government Accountability Office, says:  "I mean she has used it, she uses it probably on her work computer ... we are all walking a line in a lot of ways."
The Government Accountability Office (GAO)?  These are the folks who are supposed to be Congressional Watchdog.  These are the folks who go out and investigate the activities of other Government Employees and Contractors, to ensure there is no fraud and a minimum of incompetence in the execution of federal operations.

If I wasn't me, this would make me very cynical.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The first question is why these folks can't be fired for the abuse of their position in the Civil Service?
  Back in the old days this was the Government Accounting Office, after their function of doing accounting.  The US Congress is supposed to be the Government Accountability Office.  That is why they have the power to hold hearings and call witnesses.

Planning for 2020, "R" Style

For John, BLUFThis will be an interesting competition, on all sides.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Reporter Joe Concha, 14 September 2018.

Not that Mr Bill Kristol would run himself, but he is looking to back a candidate.

Here is the lede plus one:

Conservative commentator and outspoken "Never Trump" critic Bill Kristol says he is building a "war machine" within the Republican party to challenge President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, according to CNBC.

Kristol told the network that he's preparing "for a primary run against Trump," adding that Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is on his shortlist of possible candidates.

It is the American Way.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cupcake Diplomacy

For John, BLUFAt least it isn't all grim out there in the DC suburbs, as we sweat out the Kavanaugh Hearings.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Tyler O'Neil, 18 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

On Tuesday night, the press added yet another indignity to the family of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.BY TYLER O'NEIL SEPTEMBER 18, 2018 CBS News reporter Kathryn Watson revealed that reporters had besieged the family home of Kavanaugh.BY TYLER O'NEIL SEPTEMBER 18, 2018 The judge's wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, had a very classy response to this situation.

"Per our CBS News cameraman at Kavanaugh's house, his wife handed out cupcakes from Sprinkles to any of the photogs and producers who wanted them," Watson tweeted.

Not just any cupcakes, but Sprinkles.

Like Ed Driscoll,

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

You Miscreants, Shut Up

For John, BLUFI am disappointed in current Democratic Party performance, or the performance of some members thereof.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall, by Reporter Timothy Meads 16 September 2018.

Here is the lede:

The Washington Post reported this afternoon that Stanford professor Christine Blasey Ford is the woman behind the confidential letter given to Sen. Dianne Feinstein accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault as a teenager.  According to the Post, Ford initially refrained from revealing the alleged information of a horrendous sexual assault due to privacy concerns for herself and her family.  But she thought it was her duty to come forward on the record after the advice of Washington lawyer Debra Katz.  Katz, however, has a long history of dismissing sexual assault allegations against liberal politicians, donating to left-wing causes, and even publicly demonizing all Trump advisors as "miscreants" who are worse than deplorables.
So, I am assuming that miscreant is worse than deplorable.

But, where does that term sit vis-a-via former Vice President Joe Biden's "Dregs of society" phrase from last weekend?

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden assailed President Trump’s supporters during a speech Saturday at the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, lamenting that “virulent people” and the “dregs of society” still had a friend in the White House.
The Democrats are becoming more and more erudite and colorful as the November election nears.

But, they (the Democrats) still favor political advantage over fairness and justice.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Who Do You Trust?

For John, BLUFI say trust no one, and cut the cards.  The flip side of that is "Trust, but verify".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Chuck Todd’s recent article in The Atlantic was an insult to the intelligence of those of us who are ordinary voters and avid media consumers.

And here is Friday's Poll from Saturday's edition of The [Lowell] Sun, 15 September 2018.

Yes, those are probably "older Caucasian voters".  The kind of folks who actually get out and vote.

From The Federalist, by Saritha Prabhu, 14 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Chuck Todd’s recent article in The Atlantic was an insult to the intelligence of those of us who are ordinary voters and avid media consumers.  He blames conservative media and their stars for the unprecedented distrust and credibility problems mainstream media outlets face.

That’s right: he thinks millions of Americans loathe and distrust the national press solely because Fox News, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity regularly—and falsely, in his opinion—tell their viewers about the bias in national media.  He is being either clueless or dishonest, and it might be a bit of both.

Let me explain some of the many reasons the national media’s approval ratings have been tanking.  It is because our biggest and most prestigious media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, The Washington Post, and The New York Times have become mutant ninja outfits in the Trump era.  They have not only joined the opposition but have joined the Resistance, becoming nothing but propaganda machines that actively present alternative realities to the American public.

One of Donald Trump’s favors for American voters, through his candidacy and presidency, has been to reveal to a majority of them just how biased and dishonest their media is.  I say this as a former Democrat who used to implicitly trust our national press to give me an even-handed picture of our politics.

And then that trust was destroyed, as the writer shows us.

I think anyone who thinks they know the outcome of the November election is fooling themselves.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Not Letting Go

For John, BLUFDo you think 75 year old John Forbes Kerry still harbors presidential ambitions?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From , by Reporters Nahal Toosi, Matthew Choi and Jesus Rodriguez, 14 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his predecessor John Kerry clashed Friday over the latter's private meetings with Iranian officials, a remarkable war of words that had both sides accusing the other of dishonesty.

Pompeo alleged that, by holding "beyond inappropriate" meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Kerry was undermining U.S. foreign policy in an "unprecedented" manner.  The secretary's comments came after President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet that Kerry’s meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif were “illegal.”

Kerry and his aides dismissed such allegations as utter bunk, pointing out that Kerry had briefed Pompeo and the State Department about his discussions with Zarif.  Kerry twisted the knife even more on Twitter by raising Trump's legal woes, saying the president should "be more worried about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran's [foreign minister]."

It was an ugly and astonishing exchange for two men who have held the title of chief U.S. diplomat, a role that traditionally is supposed to stay above partisan fray.  But it was just another indication of the unusually bitter relationship between the members of the Barack Obama administration and the Trump team.  Obama aides are particularly upset with Trump for abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a signature accomplishment for Kerry that numerous Obama staffers helped craft.

Since the United States does not have a Parliamentary form of Government, we don't have a tradition of a Shadow Cabinet.  However, it appears former Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry has not only set himself up as the alternative SecState, but is actively negotiating on behalf of some future Democratic Party President.

This is more indication that the collective Democratic Party believes that the Trump Administration is illegitimate.  It also suggests they are prepared to push it over the side, lock, stock and barrel, at the first opportunity.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wrong, But Funny

For John, BLUFI want to know if they are teaching the Battle of Vienna.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Dallas News, by Ms Lauren McGaughy, Texas Government Reporter, 14 September 2018.

And Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater is out, but the "heroism" of the defenders of the Alamo remains in.

This doesn't mean Hillary can't be mentioned, or discussed, but that she is no longer a learning objective, bless her little heart.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 14, 2018

Kavanaugh Interrogation Hearing Winds Down

For John, BLUFI hope that if the tables are reversed that the GOP doesn't play payback on Supreme Court nominations.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Althouse, a blog post by Professor Ann Althouse, 14 September 2018.

Here is a key paragraph:

I find the Democrats' fight against Kavanaugh so irksome.  Have you seen Ruth Bader Ginsburg's denouncement of the "highly partisan show"?
Professor Althouse then quotes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
"The way it was was right.  The way it is is wrong."
The system is broken.  It may take a while to fix it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr Manafort's Lobbying Efforts

For John, BLUFAs Rush Limbaugh suggests, maybe some don't want all this to come out.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Politico, by Reporter Marianne Levine, 14 September 2018.

Here is a key paragraph:

Court documents and filings with the Justice Department previously revealed some of the members of Manafort’s Hapsburg Group and showed that they met with dozens of members of Congress, congressional staffers and Obama administration officials.  But Friday brought the first indication that the campaign stretched to the top of the U.S. government.
Involved in this is Mueller Team member Andrew Weissmann.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fixing Selective Service

For John, BLUFThis is a long existing inequality in our law.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Toni Airaksinen, 13 September 2018.

Here are three key paragraphs:

The lawsuit, filed by California lawyer Marc Angelucci, challenges the SSS’s policy of requiring that all United States men sign up for the draft.  According to federal law, all men must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday or face a variety of penalties.

“It’s what a man’s got to do.  By registering, a young man stays eligible for jobs, college loans and job grants, job training, driver's license in most states, and U.S. citizenship for most immigrant men,” exhorts the draft’s website.

Obtained by PJ Media, the lawsuit explains that about 16 million men are currently registered by the SSS.  These men are, essentially, “on call” soldiers until they turn 26.  The SSS claims this is “voluntary participation.”  The lawsuit deems it “unconstitutional.”

At the Instapundit Blog site, poster Stephen Green says "End it don’t mend it."  I say mend it, by requiring all to register, regardless of gender identification.

If we just end the draft it leaves us thinking that society still thinks it is a male thing.  We need to pin this down as an equality issue before we abolish it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Watch Those Rural Red Places

For John, BLUFRepublicans shouldn't get cocky.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Brookings Institution blog, "The Avenue", by Analysts Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton, 9 September 2018.

Here is the lede:

In the midst of one of the longest economic expansions in decades, we have not been the only analysts to note signs of a modest but real reversal of fortunes in small town and rural America.
Because of the genius of the American system, those more rural areas have a voice..

Regards  —  Cliff

911 From the Other Side

For John, BLUFThe perpetrators of the 911 attacks, back in 2001, al-Qaddafi, has not gone away and the US is the focus of their attention.  The US is the main enemy .  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Long War Journal, by Mr Thomas Joscelyn, 11 September 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Al Qaeda released a new message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings earlier today.  Titled “How to Confront America,” the talk is intended to rally jihadists and supporters against their common perceived enemy.  Much of the message is not a how-to so much as it is a restatement of al Qaeda’s anti-American view.

Zawahiri portrays the US as the chief enemy of Muslims around the globe.  Of course, al Qaeda has repeatedly plotted and called for terrorist attacks inside the West.  But that is not the only way Zawahiri thinks the jihadists should continue to fight the Americans.

“We must wage the war – in any part of the Islamic World – as if it is a single war with different fronts against a united enemy,” Zawahiri explains.  The wars in “the tribal areas in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere” are not just “between the Muslims and the local governments only,” according to Zawahiri.  Instead, these conflicts have “always been between the Muslims and the system of the major international criminals – America being the foremost.”

In Zawahiri’s framework, there is no firm line between al Qaeda’s so-called far and near enemies, as they are all part of the same global war.

In our thinking we need to differentiate between the Taliban (Afghanistan) and al-Qaeda (Global jihad).

We can pull out of Afghanistan, and while that might placate the Taliban, it will not placate al-Qaeda.  The terrorist threat will remain.

Hat tip to Defense News, "Early Bird Edition".

Regards  —  Cliff