Monday, March 21, 2016

More worth-reading political news and opinion

Trump-the Far Left "Republican"

Must read: The Definitive Roundup of Trump’s Scandals and Business Failures

How Donald Trump saved Hillary Clinton
In my lifetime, we have gone from an era when the revelation that a candidate had affairs with married women would have disqualified him to an era when the leading GOP candidate brags about it, about cheating on his first two wives and says sex was his personal Vietnam, that he's like a brave soldier. So much for "values voters."

Worth Reading: No, Not Trump, Not Ever. By David Brooks
Excerpt: Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa. Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy. This week, the Politico reporters Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf fact-checked 4.6 hours of Trump speeches and press conferences. They found more than five dozen untrue statements, or one every five minutes.

Polls: Trump Clobbered by Hillary Among Women, Nonwhites, Millennials. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: It's time for another installment of "why Trump is likely to be a general election disaster for Republicans based on the available data."  We've already examined the controversial billionaire's uniquely terrible standing on electoral fundamentals like favorability and candidate characteristics, as well as his worst-in-the-GOP-field pairing against Hillary Clinton. Now let's look at his performance among key swing demographics, starting with women, who comprise more than half of the electorate:

I searched the transcripts of 50 of Trump’s campaign speeches. He (almost) never mentions the Constitution, Liberty or Freedom

Worth reading: Trump Campaign Continues Heavy-Handed Approach to Critical Media
Excerpt: This also gets to my most serious reservation regarding Trump: his unchecked ego will almost certainly be a nightmare if given the power of the executive branch. We've long lamented how thin-skinned the current occupant of the Oval Office is and Trump seems even pettier and more vindictive. This guy will start shredding aspects of the First Amendment during his transition if elected. (If nominated, the media will shred Trump, after helping him to the nomination with endless coverage. ~Bob)

Donald Trump names his favorite president: Bill Clinton

From the Left, but funny: 50 Ways to Leave The Donald. By Gail Collins

Worth Reading: Do Republicans really think Donald Trump will make a good Supreme Court choice? by George F. Will
Excerpt: Republicans who vow to deny Garland a hearing and who pledge to support Donald Trump if he is their party’s nominee are saying: Democracy somehow requires that this vacancy on a non-majoritarian institution must be filled only after voters have had their say through the election of the next president. And constitutional values will be served if the vacancy is filled not by Garland but by someone chosen by President Trump, a stupendously uninformed dilettante who thinks judges “sign” what he refers to as “bills.” There is every reason to think that Trump understands none of the issues pertinent to the Supreme Court’s role in the American regime, and there is no reason to doubt that he would bring to the selection of justices what he brings to all matters — arrogance leavened by frivolousness. Trump’s multiplying Republican apologists do not deny the self-evident — that he is as clueless regarding everything as he is about the nuclear triad. 

Worth Reading: This one political theory explains both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
The Pink Police State. Too true. ~Bob

Worth Reading: GOP's destruction began with Sarah Palin. By Steve Chapman
Excerpt: During Mitt Romney’s recent speech denouncing Donald Trump as “a fraud,” a stark question arose: How did the Republican Party go, in four years, from nominating a sober grown-up with a record of achievement in the public and private sectors to embracing a loudmouthed playboy with a string of bankruptcies and no experience in government? Remember when George W. Bush vowed to “restore honor and dignity to the White House”? Those qualities are no longer in demand. Say what you will about Romney, you would trust him with your wallet or your daughter. Trump? Not a chance.

Trump : Planned Parenthood does "wonderful things"

Donald Trump: "I'm Very Pro Choice," Partial Birth Abortion is OK

Will Trump Clinch The GOP Nomination Before The Convention? We don’t know, but our survey of delegate experts suggests it’ll be close. By HARRY ENTEN and NATE SILVER
Excerpt: The Republican race for the presidential nomination is down to just one man and one number: Donald Trump and 1,237 — the number of delegates required to clinch the nomination. Can Trump win 1,237 delegates by the end of the primary season on June 7? Will he be forced to plunder among the more than 100 unbound or currently uncommitted delegates who will make the trip to Cleveland in order to win on a first ballot at the Republican National Convention? Or are we all but assured of a multi-ballot convention?
Any pundit giving confident answers to these questions is full of it, so FiveThirtyEight surveyed some of the best delegate obsessives and political experts we know on how many delegates they expect Trump to win in the remaining contests.

WaPo Fact Checker; Donald Trump flip-flops, then flips and flops more on H-1B visas
Excerpt: For someone who has strong words about the current state of immigration, Donald Trump certainly has inconsistent ideas about what to do about it. Immigration has been the Republican front-runner’s signature issue since he entered the race. He has stuck to his early idea of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but has shifted several times about the H-1B program, which grants temporary visas to non-immigrant workers. We took a look at his major public statements about his view on the H-1B program, and unpacked his flip-floppery. ... We don’t know exactly what to make of his stance — and it’s unclear if Trump even knows himself. However, what we unequivocally can say is that Trump deserves a handful of Upside-Down Pinocchios for his flip-floppery. An Upside-Down Pinocchio

Other Political News and opinion

Worth Reading: The Patriarchy; It’s Forever. By Tom Kratman
Excerpt: One of the chief intellectual failings of those we deem intellectuals – and their running dogs, the intelligentsia – is to mistake the real universe2 for either what’s inside the borders of the polities over which they exercise their malignant influence or, still worse, for the fantasies that can only exist within the weakened brains inhabiting the fever swamps inside their neutronium-dense skulls. By way of example, think here of pacifism, as intellectual a doctrine as exists. Pacifism can only exist to any important degree within a society that will, unwisely, expend its blood and treasure to defend pacifists and which is, to one extent or another, invariably weakened by the presence of pacifists and the baleful influence of pacifism. Imagine, then, a pacifist state. How long does it last before being destroyed by its non-pacifist neighbor? Couple of years? Couple of days? Maybe, if you’re a pacifist tribe on some Pacific islands, it ends as soon as the Maori show up.3 Even where you may find something remotely like that – Costa Rica, say, which has no army – you also find that it exists on sufferance and only because there’s a big brother, us, who guarantees to defend it. Pacifism is truly a parasitical philosophy, except when it’s suicidal. ((Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. I expect that in 20 years they will move his novel Caliphate to the history section. ~Bob. "Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty."  --Robert Heinlein.)

Excerpt: The populist Right’s descent into Trumpism has been accompanied by another chorus of that great daft stupid hymn of American political economy: “We Don’t Make Things Here Anymore.” That is completely untrue, of course: As measured by the Industrial Production Index, we’re producing four times as much today as we did in 1960. Our exports have been flirting with record levels for a while, and we export many times more than what we did in the 1950s or 1960s. The largest markets for our exports are also the countries from which we take most of our imports: Canada, Mexico, and China. This is no surprise. Would you rather be a midlevel employee at a textile mill, or at Apple? “But when you go into Walmart, nothing says ‘Made in the USA.’ Everything says ‘Made in China’!” Some variation on that claim can be heard on every talk-radio show, in every mentally dead Donald Trump speech, and on nine-tenths of the barstools across the fruited plains. (In The Wealth of Nations, circa 1776, Adam smith, considered the founder of economics, said that a nation needs three things to advance economically: A Division of Labor, people free to pursue their own self-interest, and free trade, both internal and external. It remains true today, but politicians like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump can harvest votes by appealing to the economically-ignorant, which constitute a majority, with a support for high tariffs and protectionism. Most people don't have a clue that it was Hoover signing the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill, against the advice of 1,000 economists, which started a world-wide trade war and turned a recession into the Great Depression. Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it. ~Bob)

Excerpt: This month marks the 240th anniversary of the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the watershed rationale for a free-market economy. Today, in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, populist candidates including Donald Trump and self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders are running against many of the central tenets of Smith’s ideas — and with considerable popular success. The Sanders and Trump platforms range from protectionist anti-trade measures to expanded entitlement spending. Such policies are more popular than in previous elections and in some cases even pushing other candidates, especially Hillary Clinton, to grudgingly endorse them. Yet centuries of economic research have demonstrated that on a host of issues, from trade to taxes, economic policy that fosters free markets is critical to economic growth. 

What difference do dead Mexican cops make to Obama? Fast and Furious Weapon Traced to Murder of Three Mexican Police Officers
Excerpt: One of the weapons used in a deadly Mexican shootout last year was traced to the U.S. government's disastrous Fast and Furious operation. Three Mexican police officers were killed in the shootout. (Well, with something like 2,000 assorted high class weapons gone into Mexico from the BATF, that there are still plenty down there killing people is hardly a surprise.  It will be a lot of years before the last of them is seized or destroyed.  Thanks, Mr. Holder, and all the BATF bureaucrats who went along with this patently insane scheme, none of you have suffered the tiniest penalty for not just wasting huge chunks of money and thousands of hours of effort, but for the murders of both Americans and Mexicans through the use of those weapons. We'll never know just how many people died from the use of those guns, except it's too many.  The sheer idiocy of it is beyond mind-blowing. --Del)

Chicago Law Prof on Obama: “Professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified & never attended any of the faculty meetings” 
Excerpt: I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about “Barry.” Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct

Worth Reading: Hillary Has an NSA Problem. The FBI has been investigating Clinton for months—but an even more secretive Federal agency has its own important beef with her. By John R. Schindler 
Excerpt: That said, if the DoJ declines to prosecute after the Bureau recommends doing so, a leak-fest of a kind not seen in Washington, D.C., since Watergate should be anticipated. The FBI would be angry that its exhaustive investigation was thwarted by dirty deals between Democrats. In that case, a great deal of Clintonian dirty laundry could wind up in the hands of the press, habitual mainstream media covering for the Clintons notwithstanding, perhaps having a major impact on the presidential race this year. The FBI isn’t the only powerful federal agency that Hillary Clinton needs to worry about as she plots her path to the White House between scandals and leaks. For years, she has been on the bad side of the National Security Agency, America’s most important intelligence agency, as revealed by just-released State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. (Voters should read this article; particularly, the lower half. --GBH)

Journalism: The Most Trusted Scam In America

A "living constitution" is no constitution: OBAMA CLAIMS HE CAN FORCE NUNS TO PAY FOR ABORTION. Brief submitted as Supreme Court set to hear arguments in case.
Excerpt: The Obama administration believes it is permitted under the Constitution to force religious organizations to pay for abortions, according to the newest brief filed in the long-running case brought by the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case, which consolidates cases from the Third, Fifth, 10th, and D.C. circuits. If the vote ends up 4-4, due to the absence of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the lower-court rulings, most of which favored the administration, will stand. (Why would a nun need an abortion? --Barb)

Wikileaks Publishes Searchable Hillary Clinton Email Archive

Dems in Panic Over Hillary Candidacy: 'Our Nominee Is a Disaster'
Excerpt: The Republicans may be having their problems with the Trump insurgency, but over on the hard Left, there's no love for the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua: Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat not linked to an FBI investigation. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, then you’re too terrified of Trump’s rallies to realize that Clinton could get indicted. Also, if you can’t fathom the possibility of Donald Trump winning, then keep in mind that most Americans don’t trust or like Hillary Clinton. (Hillary's favorable-unfavorable rating is 47%-53%. trump's is 30%-67%. He's the only candidate she is sure to beat. ~Bob. Frankly, entire country is a disaster about to collapse.  Dem?  Rep? All a disaster.  If this is the best foot forward after years of leading from behind, the Reckoning will be here soon (God's, not man's). --Barb)

Excerpt: Lawmakers grilled National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charlie Bolden during a Thursday congressional hearing on President Barack Obama’s 2017 budget plan. Republicans argued the budget hurts the space agency by diverting more money into global warming research.  NASA’s budget proposal is far more concerned with spending on global warming research than supporting the agency’s mission of space exploration, according to Republican lawmakers. (And everything he has touched--from healthcare (once the world's finest but now "diversified" with medical errors from pressured and limited staffing and hackable electronic records), to medical research (now more prominent in Israel), to credit (those penalty rates have zipped up from 10% to uncontrolled 29.7% after federal "protections") and banks "assessed" penalties by DOJ, energy (wait till he gets done bankrupting coal, oil and gas while chopping birds/bats with turbines and frying them with solar panels, so green), housing (moving to diversify your neighborhood; freedom of choice?  Forget it.)  Signed the executive order that reversed forbidding US taxpayer funds' use for propaganda on the American people.  Signed the executive order to clear wild mustangs from their lands to be sold as meat, reversing years of protection.  Told NASA its main duty was to push Muslims and climate change.  Caliphate in space after they've screwed up Earth with nonstop day/night geoengineering/weather manipulation, eating up the ozone where the weatherman just says every day, "The UV index is HIGH."  (No number given.)  How about, just about what it is on Mars?  Got your x-ray preventative lotion?  As for US space missions, JFK turning in his grave over what the Dems are doing to NASA now.....but then, he was taken out, eh?  What a legacy....  Command economies and dictatorships do not work.  Supply and demand and capitalism do. --Barb)

Hardly News: New Data Shows Obama Least Transparent Prez Ever
Excerpt: President Barack Obama promised at the outset of his White House tenure that his would be the “most transparent administration in history,” but new data made public Friday suggests it has been the least transparent.  Federal officials said they couldn’t find any records for more than one in six, or nearly 130,000, Freedom of Information Act requests, setting a new record low, The Associated Press reported Friday.... “I just don’t believe them. I really question the integrity of their search.”

Education, the Great Equalizer. By Allen West
Excerpt: This incredible journey upon which I traveled has enabled me to go and speak at places unimaginable – yet attainable. And why are these things attainable? Because a good quality education is the great equalizer.
I have spoken at Cornell, Marquette, Northwestern, Liberty, Tennessee, and several other universities. But what one notices about being on the campus of Hillsdale College is the impeccable level of knowledge of our Constitution, and the ability of the students to reason with precise logic and debate with utter confidence. The other thing you have to love about Hillsdale is that it is one of the premier Liberal Arts colleges in the country, and it does not take federal dollars.

Worth hearing: Special Interests Revealed--Government Gone Wild
In 10 years, private sector employment has grown 1%, government employment 15%.

NJ police renew call for escaped domestic terrorists in Cuba to return to US
Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, posted a video message to Facebook on Thursday in which he warned the public of four domestic terrorists Cuba is harboring. Fuentes said the four are responsible for the deaths of 17 police officers, five American civilians and two U.S. servicemen and 159 bombings. ... Morales, whose bombs caused multiple deaths and injuries, escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba where he's been living since the late 1980s. (Terrorists, bomb makers, cop killers, all protected by Cuban regime and so close to US heartland.  Reportedly, dissidents arrested prior to POTUS' arrival.  Such is life in a dictatorship. --Barb)

Does Obama care? Dozens Of Cubans Arrested Amid Obama’s Arrival
Excerpt: The arrival of President Barack Obama to Cuba on Sunday came after more than 50 dissidents and demonstrators were arrested in the streets of Havana. Before Air Force One’s late afternoon touchdown, the wives and relatives of jailed anti-Castro activists, known as the Ladies in White, marched along the city streets like they have every Sunday for the past 46 weeks going to and from Mass.

Cruz Assembles an Unlikely Team of Foreign-Policy Rivals. By Eli Lake
Excerpt: In a year when the Republican Party is breaking apart because of Donald Trump, the only man left with a chance to beat him is trying to build a big tent -- by GOP standards -- when it comes to foreign affairs.  On Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz is set to announce his campaign's national security advisory team, and it includes many foreign-policy insurgents and a few more establishment types. The list includes conservatives who disagree on one of the most pressing issues facing the next president: defining and confronting radical Islam.

He won't: Obama Urged to Press Havana on Cuban Interrogation of American POWs
Excerpt: White House silent on whether Obama will seek answers from Castro on Cuban torturers in Vietnam

Religion of Peace News

Interesting: Betting on Gray Sludge: What Fun. By Fred Reed
Excerpt: Things do not look good. The country is disintegrating. The borders are open, against the will of much of the population. Our universities are in sharp decline, the students a rebellious unschooled rabble portending a peasant future. The economy gutters and standards of living fall. Jobs are few and becoming fewer. Racial animosity is high and rising, with blacks out of control and looting at will. ... As one example among many: If white Southerners genitally mutilated their daughters, practiced honor killing, and didn’t allow their girls to go to school, the Islamophiles would erupt in fury. They overlook these practices in Moslems because they are using Moslems as a means of  punishing people they loathe , such as white Southerners.

Worth Reading: Osama bin Laden’s ‘Bookshelf’ Reveals al Qaeda’s Long Game. By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr
Excerpt: When 113 new documents recovered in 2011 during the fatal raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, became publicly available this month, perhaps the most noteworthy insight they offered was the extent of the strategic patience, to borrow a phrase from the Obama administration, possessed by al Qaeda.
Along with other captured documents, what the U.S. Director of National Intelligence calls “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf” reveals the cunning long-term planning that characterized the group’s approach at the time of bin Laden’s death, and that continues to guide it today, affecting not least the actions of its affiliate, the al Nusra Front in Syria.
The record shows that the United States often has overlooked the extent of al Qaeda’s patient approach, sometimes mistaking its relative quiet for inactivity or collapse, and our failure to understand the group has helped it to gain critical operating space, and even worse, has sometimes caused us to blunder into its traps.

Iran to build a statue of captured US sailors. Iran's Revolutionary Guard likely to cause outrage in US with plans to build a statue of 10 American Marines captured in January as a "tourist attraction"
Hope thy include a statue of John Kerry. ~Bob

2 Americans among 5 dead in Istanbul suicide bomb attack, WH says

American soldier killed in ISIS rocket attack in northern Iraq, official says
Excerpt: An American soldier was killed when a rocket fired by ISIS landed near his position in Makhmur, a town 75 miles southeast of Mosul, a U.S. defense official told Fox News Saturday. (Rockets are a bitch. Killed a lot of guys in Vietnam, including a friend of mine. ~Bob

The terrified town which has even cancelled Earth Hour over migrant sex attack fears. A TOWN hit by a spate of sex attacks blamed on newly-arriving migrants has cancelled a festival that will take place under the cover of darkness over safety fears for women.

UNUSUAL WEAPON SAVED EUROPE FROM ISLAMIC DOMINATION. Bill Federer recounts battles of Lepanto, Spanish Armada
Excerpt: Muslims promised the defenders of Cypus that if they surrendered, they would be allowed to leave. Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha broke his promise and flayed alive the Venetian commander. He then killed all 6,000 Christian prisoners. (Watching an old "Star Trek" tonight with war between the Klingons and the Federation.  Always thought the analogy was Russians to Americans; however, Muslims to Christians more meaningful today. --Barb. Better account: Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World. By Roger Crowley 
I asked LtCol Tom Kratman, USA (Ret.), the author of excellent military science fiction, for a recommendation for a high school graduation gift for a nephew of my wife who is joining the Army. (My fault, I think; the last time I saw the lad he was about 10 and I showed him the manual of arms with a training rifle.) The book looked so good, I bought a copy for myself. It is excellent history. I knew, of course, about the siege of Malta and Lepanto, but this filled in all the details. The author writes, "The idea of conquest was central to the Sultanate, intricately interwoven with it's holder's position as leader of the Muslim world. ... Only spectacular conquests could legitimize a sultan." The battle of Lepanto, the most decisive sea battle between Salamis and Trafalgar, ended the efforts of the Muslim Ottomans to conquer Europe and capture Rome, though they rebuilt their lost fleet. I was interested to learn that the commander of the Holy League, Catholic King Philip II of Spain's illegitimate half brother Don Juan, was only 22. Philip had ordered him not to fight to preserve the fleet, but he was eager for battle and glory. Some interesting notes: One of the fleet's Spanish arquebusiers was Maria la Bailadora, a flamenco dancer, disguised as a man to stay with her lover. The writer Cervantes, then 24, was there as a volunteer and was wounded in the battle.  25,000 Muslims died as did 15,000 Christians, but 12,000 Christian galley slaves were freed. (Both sides depended on slaves, often but not always of the opposite religion, to power their fleets. Raids by Muslim pirates/slave catchers were one of the causes of the conflict.) The author writes that, "Not until Loos in 1915 would this rate of slaughter be surpassed." I highly recommend this well researched and balanced history. ~Bob)

Reform? Misunderstanding Islam
Excerpt: In a February 25, 2016 interview for FrontPage Magazine, notable Islamic reformer Tawfik Hamid listed several ways to combat Islamic terrorism, which he regards as founded on a “literal understanding of the Islamic texts” (italics mine) and on “Islam as it is currently taught and practiced in the vast majority of Muslim communities.” A winning strategy against violent jihad, he continues, would therefore entail the use of “negative deterrents”; support for “theological reforms within Islam that encourage peaceful co-existence”; encouragement of “education reforms” to counter standard Islamic teachings; effective use of the Internet; rendering radical organizations accountable; and putting an end to political correctness, which “prevents serious discussion, or criticism of Islam.” ...Regrettably, many of his suggestions tend to beg the question and are devoid of practical application. (Islam badly needs a reformation. I badly need to be 30, healthy and wealthy. Both equally likely to happen. ~Bob)

Caliphate Army posts ‘hit list’ of Minnesota cops to be assassinated

Chilling First-Hand Account of ISIS Massacre of Nuns
Excerpt: The surviving nun of the ISIS attack on an old-age home in Yemen has provided an account of the incident, detailing the gruesome killings.

Video: Muslim migrants punch, kick, ram journalists with car in Sweden’s “Little Mogadishu” no-go zone

Of Interest

Too Funny: Bryan Lewis 'I Think My Dogs A Democrat'

Satire: Pentagon Declares Global War On Whistleblowers

Satire: Captured Paris attacker sentenced to make mild disagreement at Trump rally
Excerpt: The French judicial system is reeling in shock after the controversial sentencing of Salah Abdeslam, a captured terrorist involved in the November 2015 attacks in Paris. According to a French press release following the hearing, Abdeslam will be forced to attend a Donald Trump rally and verbally profess a mild disagreement.
The sentence, delivered after a quick extradition from Belgium and guilty plea in France, left the normally composed Abdeslam wracked with sobs in the courtroom, his head down on the table in front of him. ... One idea was to have Abdeslam present statistical and factual evidence countering Donald Trump’s statements, but there is little evidence it would be understood and it therefore may not produce a reaction sufficient to satisfy the sentencing requirements.

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