Pat Condell speaks his mind on Cologne and other mass incidents of Muslim men committing sex crimes,
That “99% of women in Egypt have been physically molested” stat is shocking enough that I went looking for evidence of it, and this was evidently Condell’s source. It says that 99% have been sexual harassed, but a mere “96.5 percent of the women who’d been harassed said they’d been physically assaulted.” So Condell’s stat is slightly off, but the percentage is still staggering, assuming the UN report is accurate…
Presidential elections, Islamic terrorism, gun rights, crooked locksmiths: Something for (almost) everyone in your Friday LinkSwarm:
So why did Hillary Clinton take $675,000 for three speeches Goldman Sachs? “That’s what they offered.” I actually like the refreshing honesty about that answer, since we already know Granny Crooked McCankles is all about the benjamins. But Hillary saying she hadn’t decided to run for President yet when she took the money? That’s just pissing on our leg and calling it rain…
Why is the Republican establishment willing to consider one heresy to their worldview (subsidizing the working poor) but not another (actually enforcing immigration law and securing the borders)?
According to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz gave us ObamaCare. By voting to confirm John Roberts. Before Cruz was even in the senate. Hey, why should Ted Cruz even bother to run for President if he’s capable of time travel?
To recap: Gun-control activists declared Virginia their proving ground and poured unbelievable amounts of money into a state-senate election; then they lost that election; then they bet big on executive actions instituting new gun control; they watched as those actions were not only reversed but gun rights were expanded.
If we take Virginia as the bellwether that the gun-control activists envisioned, then gun control is dead as a 2016 issue.
And according to this legal paper by Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, lower courts are scrutinizing even modest post-Heller gun rights restrictions.
Ever see John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, the film starring Sean Connery and Michael Cain based on the Rudyard Kipling story of the same name? It features Connery as a British soldier mistaken for a god by a remote tribe, a mistake Connery plays to his advantage, right up until his would-be queen bites him, the resulting blood proving that he’s a mere mortal.
His subsequent fall is swift.
I’m reminded of that fall by news that, according to a PPP poll, Donald Trump has dropped nine points following his second place finish in Iowa. Trump’s sense of popular inevitability was always one of his greatest assets, but after Ted Cruz successfully smote him, Trump too has been revealed as a mere mortal, and that sense of inevitability is bleeding away…
The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.
The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.
Inflation has gotten so bad that Venezuelans are now paying more than 1000 bolivars to the dollar on the black market. Which is why the government is flying in planeloads of money. As P. J. O’Rouke said of similar hyperinflation in Nicaragua’s own socialist paradise economy: “You have to go to Moscow University two or three times to make money worth this little.”
But with the opposition party having defeated the socialists in parliamentary elections, they can turn things around, right? Well…
Socialist president Nicolas Maduro has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can’t remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Not only that, but Maduro has picked someone who doesn’t even believe there’s such a thing as inflation to be the country’s economic czar. “When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up,” the new minister wrote, “they are not in the presence of ‘inflation,’ ” but rather “parasitic” businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this — let me be clear — “theory,” printing too much money never causes inflation. And so Venezuela will continue to do so. If past hyperinflations are any guide, this will keep going until Venezuela can’t even afford to run its printing presses anymore — unless Maduro gets kicked out first.
But for now, at least, a specter is haunting Venezuela — the specter of failed economic policies.
Philip K. Dick once noted that reality is that which, if you ignore it, doesn’t go away. Socialists may not believe in hyperinflation, but hyperinflation very much believes in socialism…
Texas Monthly‘s Erica Grieder offers up a field guide to Ted Cruz for her fellow reporters. Including such nuggets as “Ted Cruz is not a fire-breathing extremist” (this is true; I’ve never once seen him breath fire) and “Cruz is smarter than us” (which is undoubtedly true for the vast majority of reporters covering him). While I have some quibbles here and there, the piece is well worth reading, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Cruz. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
More: “What they’re failing to perceive is that such an effort reinforced Cruz’s claim that he will work for the people. Trump has been making the same claim, and a lot of people believe him. But in Iowa, at least, Cruz had a chance to show the people that he meant it. That’s what clinched the caucus.”
13 Quick Takeaways From The Iowa Caucuses. Including the fact that Hillary is a horrible candidate, and the media is far more obsessed with a Republican populist candidate that got 25% of the vote than the Democratic populist candidate that got 50%.
Now that was an interesting Iowa caucus! On the Republican side, Ted Cruz came in first (8 delegates), Donald Trump second (7 delegates), with Marco Rubio nipping at his heels for third (7 delegates).
On the Democratic side, it appears that Hillary Clinton eked out a historically narrow victory over Bernie Sanders. I say “appears” since last night it was reported that results from 90 precincts had gone missing. Given her serial history of lawbreaking, and the entire weight of the DNC all-in on dragging her over the finish line, would anyone put it past Hillary to monkey-wrench the process to avoid a narrow loss?
Let’s take a look at last night’s biggest winners and losers:
Winner: Ted Cruz: Given no chance at the beginning of the cycle, or even a few months ago, Cruz pulled out a clear victory against a candidate given eight months of unprecedented free media coverage. As I noted while following his 2012 senate race, Cruz is a smart, disciplined and indefatigable campaigner, a true conservative, and will make a great President.
Loser: Donald Trump: See above. A novice politician pulling 24% and second place in the Iowa caucuses would normally be cause for celebration, but Trump roared into Iowa like a juggernaut on a wave of unbelievable media interest and limped out like a hobbled mule. For all the talk about Trump’s money making a difference, there are few signs any of it was spent on an effective ground game. And for once he wasn’t bragging after the results came in.
Loser: Jeb Bush: Remember a year ago how everyone was predicting Bush’s fundraising machine and organizational muscle would bulldoze his rivals aside? Not so much. Bush ended up spending $2,884 per Iowa vote to come in sixth.
Winner: Marco Rubio: A strong third keeps him in the game, and he’s well situated to pick up deep-pocketed Bush backers who aren’t turned off by the huge amounts of money they’ve already thrown away.
Losers: Governors running for President. It used to be that Governor was seen as the idle perquisite for running for President (Reagan, Bush43, Clinton, Carter, etc.), but not only did Jeb Bush come in sixth, John Kaisch, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Jim Gilmore (who we’ll mention only because he was a governor, since he got a whopping 12 votes in all of Iowa) all did even worse, Martin O’Malley came in an exceptionally distant third on the Democratic side, and Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki didn’t even make it to Iowa. Huckabee and O’Mally have suspended their campaigns, and the other governors should follow suit.
Loser: Rand Paul: Few expected Paul to win, but few expected him to do markedly worse than his father. He should drop out
Losers: The remaining Republican candidates. At this point there’s no path to victory for Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina or Rick Santorum. They should drop out as well.
Winner: Bernie Sanders: He went from being a crazy old socialist with no chance of winning to a crazy old socialist who fought the Clinton machine to a virtual tie.
Loser: Hillary Clinton: She desperately needed to win Iowa and got it, maybe (the Iowa Democratic Party is refusing to release actual vote totals, as opposed to precinct results), with the help of some missing ballots and unlikely coin flips, by the skin of her teeth, but she vastly underperformed in a race that was supposed to be cakewalk for her a year ago. “Her inability to ride a first-class ground organization to a decisive triumph underscores the candidate’s weakness and the lack of a message that resonates with primary voters.” And there were accusations that Hillary was using paid staffers as precinct chairmen.
It’s now a three man race on the Republican side, and a dog fight on the Democratic side.
Early Iowa Caucus results show Cruz leading 28% to Trump’s 25%. Given the huge lead in free coverage and buzz Trump enjoyed the last eight months, that has to count as a big victory. Marco Rubio was running third, at 22%.