Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

LinkSwarm for November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14th, 2014

There’s been so many people offering up so much information on “GruberGate” that I assume anyone reading this blog has seen coverage of it already. The fact that Jonathan Gruber not only lied to the American voters he called “stupid” about ObamaCare, but also got paid $400,000 to do it certainly adds insult to injury. As does the fact that both Nancy Pelosi and members of Obama’s MSM praetorian guard like Vox’s Sarah Kliff are now lying about Gruber’s central involvement in ObamaCare despite having cited him in that capacity earlier.

In other news:

  • Some really interesting nuggets of midterm statistical analysis from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (Hat tip: SooperMexican’s Twitter feed.)
  • Republicans did very well picking up governorships, including some in deep-blue states.
  • Scott Walker just keeps winning.
  • More on the theme: “Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.” (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Britain is poised to silence “extremist” speech. And who gets to determine what’s “extremist”? Why, the government, of course!

    Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

    Why do I get the impression that people pointing out Pakistani Muslim involvement in the Rotherham child rape scandals will be among the first targeted by this new law?

  • It’s not just the British who fail to investigate sex crimes: New Orleans police only investigated 14% of sex crimes.
  • Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.”
  • “Honest, decent and intelligent people rightly perceive feminism as a limitless doctrine of fanatical hatred….Feminism isn’t about equality. Feminism is about hate.”
  • “Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.”
  • Just when the authoritarian left thought they had finally won the culture wars along came #GamerGate.
  • Time has a poll on which word should be “banned” in 2015. “Feminist” not only gets the most votes, it pretty much gets as many votes as all the rest combined.
  • Ted Cruz was right about the shutdown. It turns out that showing Republicans are opposed to horribly unpopular Democratic programs is popular with voters. Who knew?
  • Fake Maine hate crime ends up with accuser charged with “reckless conduct with dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.”
  • Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds’ barratry case has been declared a mistrial.
  • Islamist suicide bomber kills 50 at a high school in Nigeria.
  • Via Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties comes this Jim Schutze piece on how The Texas Tribune’s vaunted independence meant bupkis when it came to the Wallace Hall case.
  • China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”
  • Price manipulation in the gold market?
  • Correction: Last week I gave the impression that Republican Carl DiMaio had won his California U.S. congressional race. That is what the early returns indicated, but he ended up losing a close race.
  • Here’s a dog story that will make your blood boil.
  • More Violence in Mexico

    Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

    In a follow-up to my previous pieces, protestors have set fire to the ruling PRI party’s building in the state of Guerrero. Also, I missed this earlier, but the U.S. state department has warned Americans away from most of Guerrero.

    Violent clashes between police and protestors in Acapulco:

    Here’s author Alfredo Corchado on the situation is Mexico. “I think what happened in Guerrero confirms everything. The situation is very clear. There’s corruption among the authorities with the drug cartels, the organized crime.”

    And here’s a photo gallery. Ignore the dumbass Ferguson comparison.

    More than isolated incidents, less than a revolution…

    Mexico Burning Followup

    Sunday, November 9th, 2014

    The news reports are downplaying last night’s Mexican protests, saying they only succeeded in setting the front door of the ceremonial National Palace alight.

    The dramatic pictures of burning trucks appear to be from Chilpancingo, the capital of the state of Guerrero, which also contains Ayotzinapa, where the massacred students hailed from.

    There are also reports of the PRI Mayor in Oaxaca authorizing police to fire on protestors.

    Vaguely related: A New York Times reporter gets shaken down by a crooked cop in Mexico.

    Undernews: Mexico Burning Tonight

    Saturday, November 8th, 2014

    Doesn’t look like the American MSM have caught up, but Mexico’s National Palace appears to be on fire tonight:

    Government buildings are on fire in other parts of Mexico as well.

    This is the combination of years of endemic corruption, stagnation and incompetence by the government (and especially the ruling PRI party), but most recently the deaths of 43 Mexican students from Ayotzinapa who were “abducted by police on order of a local mayor, and are believed to have been turned over to a gang that killed them and burned their bodies before throwing some remains in a river” just to keep the mayor from being embarrassed by their protests, was the match that set off the explosion.

    Fun how people get upset when you kill off children for political reasons.

    It seems that significant portions of Mexico are fire tonight, and America’s national media seems asleep at the switch…

    LinkSwarm for November 7, 2014

    Friday, November 7th, 2014

    A Friday LinkSwarm after a very eventful week…

  • So exactly when was it that the UK became the child rape capital of the Western world? First Rotherham, now Manchester.

  • Government of Burkina Faso falls. Evidently people there thought that 27 years of rule for President Blaise Compaore was more than enough…
  • Russia sends more tanks into Ukraine. Looks like we’ll dealing with the fallout of Obama’s “flexibility” for decades… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty).
  • The Pakistani version of Axe Cop sounds a whole lot less entertaining than the American version.
  • DSCC head blames Obama for Senate loss.
  • The DSCC decides that they’ll stop pouring money down the rathole that is Mary Landrieu.
  • “Salon Writer Condemns Arithmetic As Racist.” Or how Jonathan Chait ruthlessly used his Mansplaining Male Math Privilege to oppress Jenny Kutner.
  • Because their attacks on Koch were so successful, Democrats double-down on stupid.
  • U.S. hits targets in Syria. Not ISIS, but “the Khorasan group.” For such a reportedly “small” group, we seem to be bombing them a lot…
  • Fatah and Hamas thoughtfully take a break from trying to kill Jews in order to blow each other up.
  • I’m shocked, shocked that there’s abuse and fraud in the “Obamaphone” program.
  • In addition to national and statewide outbreaks of sanity, there was even an outbreak in Austin, where voters defeated a proposal to expand Capitol Metro’s toy trains.

  • LinkSwarm for October 10, 2014

    Friday, October 10th, 2014

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. I think i may have to stop watch Houston Texans games for the sake of my health…

  • The American MSM may be reluctant to tell the truth about Obama’s many manifest failures, but UK’s Telegraph isn’t.
  • Most Americans see Obama as a failure.
  • I’m shocked, shocked to discover that the IRS is auditing the producer of an anti-ObamaCare movie.
  • One in five Americans will have medical bills in collections this year. Thanks, ObamaCare!
  • How do you know your foreign policy sucks? When even Jimmy Carter is dissing it. And he’s right!
  • Even Piers Morgan calls Obama’s governance as marked by “lethargy and complacency.”
  • Why Harry Reid is attacking Koch: Big money Democratic donors will spend more in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa than all RNC spending across the country combined.
  • Democrats 2014 = Republicans 2006.
  • Democrats pull out all the stops to save Kay Hagen’s North Carolina senate seat. If she wins, I’m sure her family will appreciate the opportunity for more graft in the coming years…
  • Michael Barone says that trends, with so many Democratic incumbents still polling below 45%, indicate the Harry Reid-controlled Senate is still toast. “Rewind back five years: The Obama Democrats expected their major policies to be popular. They expected that most voters would be grateful for the stimulus package, for Obamacare, for raising the tax rate on high earners. They aren’t.”
  • Obama slams billionaires while attending while attending fundraiser at the home of billionaire Rich Richman. Yes, that’s his real name. If I put that in a novel, editors would reject the symbolism as too heavy-handed…
  • Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes won’t even admit to voting for Obama.
  • While the New York Times has gotten around to talking abut American children dying from Enterovirus D68, they’re still refusing to talk about how Obama’s illegal alien influx might have helped bring it here. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten reports from SE Asia: “Sweden is more socialist than Vietnam.” Except for the stupid propaganda loudspeakers…
  • Philadelphia’s deeply indebted public school system actually cancels it’s contract with the teacher’s union. “The move, in which the Philadelphia School Reform Commission invokes emergency powers, comes after the teachers’ union spent more than a year resisting concessions that the commission was seeking even though rising personnel costs have crippled the budget.” How crippling? “The schools’ budget projects spending $44,100 a year in benefits for every $68,700 in wages earned by the average teacher.”
  • NYC School therapist helps handicapped student launch successful Kickstarter. Reward? 30 day suspension.
  • John Kerry spent Wednesday consulting with allies on ISIS and Ebola. Ha, just kidding! He toured a wind turbine.
  • Islamic State supporters threaten to behead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. And by “soldiers” I mean “elementary school children” and by “Iraq” I mean “Rhode Island.”
  • Remember when Bill Clinton ginned up an “epidemic” over a dozen random church burnings? Boko Haram has torched 185.
  • Brett Easton Ellis on Generation Wuss.
  • Iranian professor jailed for associating with “known Zionists.” Like Noam Chomsky. To Islamists, not even an actual hatred of Israel is enough to remove the taint of your Jewishness…
  • “That’s 21st-century U.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.”
  • Top aide to Al Sharpton and boyfriend of top De Blasio adviser in trouble with the law? Inconceivable!
  • An inside view of feminist groupthink and #GamerGate from a former social justice warrior.
  • Random meme pic I made:

  • Random Twitter exchange with Michael Quinn Sullivan:

  • BattleSwarm extends best wishes for a speedy recovery to Borepatch, who wiped out on his motorcycle to the tune of “7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung.” Ouch…
  • LinkSwarm for Friday, October 3, 2014

    Friday, October 3rd, 2014

    Here’s your Friday LinkSwarm of semi-random linkage goodness:

  • ObamaCare’s war on women: higher premiums, cancelled plans, fewer options.
  • ObamaCare has already cost $73 billion and counting.
  • And the Healthcare.Gov website cost 2.5 times what the Obama Administration told us.
  • The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the share of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.

  • The middle class is poorer today than it was in 1989. Thanks, Obama! (Hat tip: Instapundit).
  • World Health Organization refuses to approve experimental drugs for Ebola patients. Because they might get sick…
  • CDC chief thinks a ban on travelers from Ebola-infected countries would be “wrong.” Wrong for who? People who won’t get infected?
  • Real Salon or parody Salon? “The problem with ‘Ebola’: The troubling, xenophobic language of disease.”
  • And if Ebola wasn’t bad enough, Enterovirus D68 has been found in four people who died.
  • And that Enterovirus D68 outbreak may be related to Obama’s decision not to deport illegal aliens.
  • Even 60% of Democrats think Obama is a wuss when it comes to ISIS.
  • U.S. troops fighting in the warkinetic overseas contingency engagement against ISIS are not eligible for campaign medals.
  • NRA’s Political victory Fund has released their ranking of candidates. That’s the one for Texas, but you can select all the other states as well.
  • Liberals are hypocrites when it comes to big bucks “dark money” fundraising.
  • The places where our self-appointed elites congregate are turning into precisely the places where actual voters are getting thinner and thinner on the ground.”
  • Despite what radical feminists would have you believe, sex crimes on campus are going down, not up.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: voting fraud is real.
  • Appeals court finds Texas abortion laws constitutional.
  • “‘He’s from Texas, honey,’ I yelled at the television, startling the cats, ‘That’s not “armed”, that’s “dressed”, you island-dwelling herbivore! Jesus, you cud-chewing Eloi, how do you people open packages? With your teeth, like an animal?” For a bonus, try to work “cud-chewing Eloi” into your next conversation… (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • More domestic violence in the MSM than the NFL: ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Times.
  • Bill Maher goes after liberals being soft on Islam. “Saudi women can’t vote or drive or hold a job or leave the house without a man. Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue than an evangelical Christian bakery refusing to make gay wedding cakes. ”
  • What happens when you bail out of an SR-71 at Mach 3 and 78,000 feet.
  • Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but something about this film has “suck” written all over it…
  • Two words: Homemade flamethrower.

  • The Unexpected Return of This Week(ish) in Jihad

    Thursday, September 25th, 2014

    Bombing, revolution, and other jihad-related news breaking out, so let’s dust off this old headline category and throw up some links.

  • Our air force continues to bomb ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, including hitting their oil refineries.
  • France has been helping us bomb ISIS in Iraq as well, though evidently not in Syria.
  • Syrian Kurds flee into Turkey.
  • Did Hamas just give up control of Gaza? If so, I’d say Israel won the war decisively…
  • Houthi rebels have taken Yemen’s capital of Sana’a just a day after signing a peace treaty with the government. They follow Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, a Zaidi Shia (i.e., Fivers rather than Twelvers) as opposed to the formerly ruling Sunnis. I can’t tell from scanty news reports how interested they are in jihad or imposing Sharia law (or imposing more Sharia law, since the existing constitution is evidently partially based on it).
  • Jury finds Arab Bank liable for supporting Hamas by paying out martyrdom payments for suicide bombings in Israel.
  • “Coming Soon in Aceh [Indonesia]: Shariah Law for Non-Muslims. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Jihadists are eyeing the porous Mexican border as a way to launch terrorist attacks in the U.S.
  • Obama praises “moderate” Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah who backed a fatwa on U.S. soldiers. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • From French fries to fatwa: the deadly path to jihad of Numan Haider.”
  • Actual ABC headline: “How #ISIS Is Complicating Al Franken’s Reelection Bid.” (Hat tip: Creeping Sharia.)
  • “Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone.”

    Sunday, September 21st, 2014

    That’s the headline on this Hisham Melhem piece on the comprehensive failure of the entire Arab world.

    The jihadists of the Islamic State, in other words, did not emerge from nowhere. They climbed out of a rotting, empty hulk—what was left of a broken-down civilization. They are a gruesome manifestation of a deeper malady afflicting Arab political culture, which was stagnant, repressive and patriarchal after the decades of authoritarian rule that led to the disastrous defeat in the 1967 war with Israel. That defeat sounded the death knell of Arab nationalism and the resurgence of political Islam, which projected itself as the alternative to the more secular ideologies that had dominated the Arab republics since the Second World War. If Arab decline was the problem, then “Islam is the solution,” the Islamists said—and they believed it.

    At their core, both political currents—Arab nationalism and Islamism—are driven by atavistic impulses and a regressive outlook on life that is grounded in a mostly mythologized past. Many Islamists, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (the wellspring of such groups)—whether they say it explicitly or hint at it—are still on a ceaseless quest to resurrect the old Ottoman Caliphate. Still more radical types—the Salafists—yearn for a return to the puritanical days of Prophet Muhammad and his companions. For most Islamists, democracy means only majoritarian rule, and the rule of sharia law, which codifies gender inequality and discrimination against non-Muslims.

    And let’s face the grim truth: There is no evidence whatever that Islam in its various political forms is compatible with modern democracy.

    A few pieces of Melhem’s piece are erroneous: “As terrorist organizations, al Qaeda and Islamic State are different from the Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative movement that renounced violence years ago, although it did dabble with violence in the past.” That’s only because the Egypt’s military forced them to refrain from large-scale violence on pain of death. We saw how quickly this restraint was cast aside when Morsi assumed power. The only differences between al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are of degree, tactical choice, and certain Islamic Eschatological doctrinal differences as to exactly what sort of oppressive Islamic theocracy imposing Sharia law are the ideal end-state.

    But those flaws aside, it’s still an admirably clear-eyed distillation of the horrific, bloody, dysfunctional nature of the Arab world. Read the whole thing.

    My Take On Foreign Policy’s Takedown of Obama’s Foreign Policy

    Monday, September 15th, 2014

    This piece in Foreign Policy has been making the rounds. It talks at length, in an inside-baseball manner, of how the Obama Administration’s feckless and incompetent behavior has damaged America’s interests around the world.

    A taste:

    The problem is that in seeking to sidestep the pitfalls that plagued Bush, Obama has inadvertently created his own. Yet unlike Bush, whose flaw-riddled first-term foreign policy was followed by important and not fully appreciated second-term course corrections, Obama seems steadfast in his resistance both to learning from his past errors and to managing his team so that future errors are prevented. It is hard to think of a recent president who has grown so little in office.

    That’s why many in the right wing of the blogsphere have been singing its praises. And indeed, many of the criticisms leveled are devastatingly on-target. However, I have a somewhat orthogonal take on the piece, and what it’s actually trying to do.

    Consider all of the foreign policy debacles either not covered by the piece at all, or else only mentioned in passing:

  • Benghazi
  • Or, for that matter, any of the embassy attacks
  • The failure to address the challenge presented by radical Islam (three mentions of terrorism, mainly critical of Bush’s handling, and one of the Islamic State)
  • The Iranian nuclear program
  • Gaza (and, in fact, Israel is only mentioned once in passing)
  • Egypt is mentioned only once in passing
  • Ukraine is only mentioned in passing.
  • Broadly speaking, two viewpoints run through the piece, each of which acts, in their own way, as exercises in blame-shifting:

  • An inside-Foggy Bottom view of the embarrassing amateur-hour actions of Obama appointees screwing everything up.
  • “It’s not Hillary’s fault!”
  • As an example of the latter, take this sentence:

    “Concentrating power in the White House increases the likelihood of groupthink, especially in second terms like this one, when many of the stronger and diverse voices in the administration have left and have not been replaced by equally strong and diverse successors.”

    Hear that, John Kerry? That’s the sound of Hillary shoving a shiv right between your ribs.

    The groundwork for most (if not all) of the foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration’s second term were laid in its first. Clinton’s emphasis on “soft power” over the military, the premature withdrawal from Iraq, the failure to obtain a status-of-forces agreement there, the counterproductive-to-disastrous regime change in Libya, the lack of any strategy for the “Arab Spring” (and subsequent failure to stem the entirely predictable turn toward radical Islamization several Arab Spring countries took), the failure to foresee a post-Mubarak Egypt, the asinine embrace of Morsi’s obviously despotic Muslim Brotherhood government, the obvious failure of the “reset” with Russia; all occurred or had their seeds planted when Hillary was Secretary of State, and all have contributed mightily to America’s global loss of prestige and respect.

    But the whitewashing of Hillary Clinton’s record is no surprise, given that the author, David Rothkopf, “joined the Clinton Administration in 1993 as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Policy and Development.”

    I’m also guessing that Susan Rice was among the sources for the piece, given that he follows criticism of her for calling the German Foreign Minister a “M@therf@cker” with the softball “It is a particularly frustrating Achilles’ heel for someone who is well known among her friends as having the capacity to be very warm, humorous, and engaging,” which just reeks of assuaging a source. (Really, has any serious policy profile of any high Republican administration official every used the phrase “very warm, humorous, and engaging”?)

    I also get the impression from this and other bits of Hillary apologia that she really, really has it in for former Deputy National Security Adviser and current White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (he’s the guy that looks like Lurch in that “watch us kill Bin Laden” photo). Note that I’m not taking sides in this dispute; it’s entirely possible that both of them suck…

    The piece is worth reading for showing that even the long-time deep state apparatchiks at Foggy Bottom feel embarrassed at the Obama Administration’s gross foreign policy incompetence. But it also needs to be taken with several grains of salt as yet-another piece of battlespace preparation for Hillary 2016…