Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

LinkSwarm for May 29, 2015

Friday, May 29th, 2015

I didn’t get flooded out, but for a while on Memorial Day, I finally had that defensive moat around my house I’d always dreamed of…

  • U.S. economy shrinks in first quarter. (Hat tip: Instapundit, who adds, of course, “unexpectedly!”)
  • Get ready for still more ObamaCare sticker shock.
  • Let he who has never created a shell company to skirt disclosure laws cast the first stone at the Clintons…
  • The Clinton Foundation took money from FIFA, the recently indicated world soccer organization.
  • “Does the Media Hold Anyone to a Lower Ethical Standard than the Clintons?” Save rock stars in the 1970s and Obama 2008—2013, I’d say no…
  • Speaking of rock stars from the 1970s, Ted Nugent has some realistic and pungent advice for the graduating class of 2015:
    1. Life is not fair. Get used to it.

    2. Social justice is a commie scam. Read the drivel of Saul Alinsky and fight it with all you’ve got.
    3. Nobody owes you jacksquat. You will either earn your own way, or feel like a helpless leech. There is no middle ground.

    And there’s more where that came from…

  • Why didn’t the Obama Administration order airstrikes against ISIS columns before they took Ramadi?
  • What Right Wing Nutjob said “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people” in December of 2011? That would be Barack Obama.
  • Why the left launched an attack on geek culture: “The group that expected to define taste and culture by virtue of their previous oppression found themselves instead being forced to make less money and cater to the tastes of a group that not only never sought out the bleeding edge of coolness, but never cared about the concept to begin with.”
  • Dutch tend American WWII graves. “Each grave has been adopted by a Dutch or, in some cases, Belgian or German family, as well as local schools, companies and military organizations. More than 100 people are on a waiting list to become caretakers.” Damn these rains, all this mold pollen is really doing a number on my eyes… (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Bernie Sanders, S&M fantasy pervert.
  • Woman comes to the sudden revelation that she’s being a shrew. “He’s a good man who does a lot for me, and doesn’t deserve to be harassed over little things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.” (Hat tip: Milo Yiannopoulos’ Twitter feed.)
  • Pictures from the Austin flood.
  • Pctures from the Houston flood.
  • Morsi Sentenced To Death in Egypt

    Sunday, May 17th, 2015

    Muslim Brotherhood leader and deposed President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to death, along with more than 100 other people.

    Most of the time, sentencing a popularly elected President ousted from power by the military would be a bad thing. This is not one of those times. Morsi tried to undermine Egypt’s democratic constitutional strictures (however weak and imperfect they were) in the name of turning the country into a radical Islamist state, following the classic African strongman blueprint of “One Man, One Vote, Once.” He lost an existential power struggle with the military and, in the long-standing traditions of the Arab world, he’ll be paying for losing with his life.

    Both Egypt, and the world, will be better for his death, and the ruthless suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    UK Rioters: Nothing Says Classy Like Defacing a WWII Monument

    Sunday, May 10th, 2015

    Evidently the UK hard left is having a giant hissy fit in London over the fact they got their asses kicked by the Tories in this week’s election.

    Also, here’s a helpful hint: When you start throwing things at police, you’re no longer part of a “protest,” you’re part of a “riot.”

    And what says “Class” like defacing a World War II Monument?

    “Hey greatest generation: Screw all of you! Defeating Hitler means nothing unless we can keep increasing the size of the welfare state!”

    All the left’s temper tantrum will accomplish is reminding voters why they gave the Tories a clear majority in the first place.

    Another Greece Update: Back to the Shell Game

    Friday, May 8th, 2015

    And the Greece shell game over implementing reform (or, since it’s Greece, “reform”) continues.

    Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (who’s evidently still doing the negotiating, reports to the contrary notwithstanding) has handed the Eurocrats a proposal that doesn’t match what was discussed in negotiations. It’s like a cheap farce, or a con game to see how long they can keep string Europe along without actually agreeing to anything.

    Greece Syriza government has said to their creditors: Economic reality? We don’t need your stinking economic reality! “Greece defied its international creditors on Thursday, refusing to cut pensions or ease layoffs to meet their demands, dimming prospects of progress next week towards securing desperately needed financial aid.”

    Greece’s government also rehired public sector employees they previously laid off. What’s giving the engine a little more gas when you’re headed for the wall at full speed?

    Other Greek debt crisis tidbits:

  • Greece introduces mandatory surcharges on tax withdrawals above €1,000 Euros.
  • Plus an 18% hotel and restaurant tax. Extra bonus: It will hit some tourists who have already prepaid for vacations. “It’s catastrophic.”
  • Living life under the threat of default. “I’ve got a bad feeling we’re not going to get a good ending.”
  • European “Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said that if Greece left the single currency area, the ‘Anglo-Saxon world’ would try everything to break it up.” Hey Jean Claude: Reality is doing a great job breaking up the Eurozone all by itself, between its unsustainable welfare state, its aging population, and the insistence of Euroelites on cutting those filthy commoners from having any say in the matter. And as for the “Anglo-Saxon world” trying to break up the Eurozone, have you seen whose in charge of things these days?
  • Greece’s Blazing Saddles act is wearing thin. (I seem to remember having made this exact comparison before…)
  • Tories Win Outright Majority in UK Elections

    Friday, May 8th, 2015

    David Cameron’s Conservative Party won an outright majority in parliamentary elections and will be forming the next government. Labour, after having managed to piss off almost everyone during last year’s vote on Scottish independence, was essentially wiped out in Scotland, all but one of their MPs replaced by candidates from the Scottish National Party, and right now is losing 26 seats. The Liberal Democrats were all but wiped out elsewhere, losing 48 seats, and UKIP managed nearly four million votes, but only a single parliamentary seat.

    These were not the results which most pollsters foresaw, none of which saw the Tories getting more than 285 seats. Between this and the Israeli election results, it’s almost as if media pollsters have a systematic bias in favor of the big government parties favored by media elites…

    Will Cameron govern more conservatively with an outright majority now that he no longer needs the rump of the Liberal Democrats in a coalition? Possibly. But if he reneges on his promise to hold a referendum on EU membership no later than 2017, expect to see a huge backlash against his leadership.

    Update: Final count is 331 Conservative MPs.

    Greece Shuffles Deck Chairs

    Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

    Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has been demoted, evidently because the EuroCrats he was negotiating with hated his guts (a significant drawback when you’re trying to convince creditors to pour more money down the rathole that is the Greek economy).

    Will it make any difference to debt negotiations? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on which of two reasons he was fired for:

    Option 1.) Varoufakis was the designated Bad Cop in negotiations, and now he’s the symbolic sacrifice. “Golly, that Varoufakis guy was sure a jerk when he asked you to give us more loans without getting any reform in return! Now that I’m here as Mr. Good Cop instead, I’m sure you’ll give us give us more loans without getting any reform in return because we’re asking really, really nicely.”

    Option 2.) A lightbulb (or at least a dim, flickering candle) has finally gone off above the heads of the ruling far-left Syrizia Party that they will, in fact, actually have to implement real reforms if they want to shake more dough out of Mean Aunt Angela, and that implementing reform will only mean they’re really boned, while defaulting and leaving the Euro would mean they would be completely and utterly boned.

    Arguing for Option 2 is Reality and Logic, which have had very little to do with Syriza policy heretofore. Arguing against it is every single action of the Greek ruling class over the last five years. Best case, probably-too-optimistic scenario is that they’re going to try the God Cop Con first, then, when it fails (and it will), they may actually be dragged kicking and screaming to Option 2. Or at least appear to do so as part of the extend and pretend strategy that has characterized the entire Greek debt crisis since the beginning.

    None of it changes the underlying problem: The Greek welfare state is unsustainable, they’ve run out of other people’s money to pay for it, and they refuse to reform it, even at the point of impending national bankruptcy.

    Did I Say the Clintons Earned $2 Million Off Russian Uranium Deals? I Meant $31 Million

    Friday, April 24th, 2015

    Looks like yesterday’s story on the Clinton bribe machine underestimated the amount of money the Clinton Foundation received from oligarchs connected to the Rosatom energy agency.

    By an order of magnitude.

    The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

    Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

    Like getting his wife to approve deals once she was Secretary of State.

    If I wrote a novel in which a major American political figure received at least $33 million (and counting) from Russian oligarchs, and still ran for higher office, it would be rejected as too unbelievable…

    Pentagon Map Fails To Show Territory Gained by ISIS

    Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

    The good news is that the anti-Islamic State forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, have successfully pushed back ISIS in some areas. This has lead to the Pentagon claiming that ISIS has lost territory, and can “no longer able to operate freely in roughly 25 to 30 percent of populated areas of Iraqi territory where it once could.”

    Here’s a map:

    The bad news? The Pentagon’s optimistic analysis does not include territory the Islamic State gained elsewhere.

    The upshot? Obama’s strategy of doing just enough to keep reporters from asking questions has resulted in tiny gains, but mostly in perpetuating an unstable status quo.

    (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)

    The Clinton Foundation Bribe Machine

    Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

    The Clinton Foundation foreign bribery scandal just keeps getting bigger:

    The headline in Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when the newspaper served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

    The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

    But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

    At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

    Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

    And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

    Now the Clinton Foundation is having to refile five years of tax returns:

    Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

    The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

    The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

    Snip.

    For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

    Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period. Those governments were identified on the foundation’s annually updated donor list, along with broad indications of how much each had cumulatively given since they began donating.

    I’m sure that common Americans can relate to simply leaving tens of millions of dollars off their tax returns. Happens all the time! “Oh hey, I forgot to report this $29 I won at slots in a layover in Las Vegas. Oh, and also this $2.35 million I got from shady Russian oligarchs! Just completely slipped my mind! Silly me!”

    Donating money to the Clinton Foundation also appears to be the fastest way to win State Department awards: “Twenty-two of the 37 corporations nominated for a prestigious State Department award — and six of the eight ultimate winners — while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton family foundation.”

    There once was a very old lady
    Whose financial dealings were quite shady
    She made a great dash
    Scooping up Clinton Cash
    Then told her media flacks “Now save me!”

    (Hat tips: Ace of Spades, Jammie Wearing Fool.)

    LinkSwarm for April 20, 2015

    Monday, April 20th, 2015

    Last week was incredibly busy for sundry reasons. It would be nice to get the Friday LinkSwarm back to Friday, but in the meantime, enjoy the Monday version:

  • “One of the reasons why Obamacare remains stubbornly unpopular is because most Americans don’t like to think of themselves as being the sort of people who would punch nuns.”
  • The idea that the tea-party movement is animated or motivated by racism is pure fiction.
  • Wait a minute, an actual useful article from Vox on the assumptions underlying the Iran deal, and the case against those assumptions? I’m as shocked as anyone.

    One of the greatest advantages of sanctions as a coercive tool is their effect over time. Dismantling this thing, which in a way is what we’re doing, is kind of like taking money out of your retirement account early. As we let these sanctions work over time, by the time we got to 2012, they were really in dire straits. If a deal is signed this year and then in 2017 they cheat, it would take years and years and years of penalizing them before we could ever get back to the situation we had in 2012.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Women expelled from Calgary Expo due to thoughtcrimes.
  • Ten takeaways from Rolling Stone‘s UVA rape hoax.
  • “On the Internet, when all the social context is stripped away and you don’t even have to look at the face of the person you’re being mean to, shame loses its social, restorative function. Shame-storming isn’t punishment. It’s a weapon.”
  • Old and Busted: Getting Montazuma’s Revenge in Mexico. The New Hotness: Thanks to Obama’s illegal alien amnesty, now it’s coming to you! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “Tsarnaev is, literally, a traitorous, child-murdering cop killer.”
  • The Kurds are kicking ISIS’s ass: “Picking a fight with the Kurds is a little like going to war against Lebanon’s Druze or the Israelis. It’s like trying to invade and occupy Texas.”
  • Islamic State beheads man for witchcraft.
  • People are burning and looting immigrant shops in South Africa. “South Africa, with a population of about 50 million, is home to an estimated 5 million immigrants….South Africa’s unemployment stood at 24 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.” Doesn’t seem like a recipe for social harmony…
  • Parenting Protip: Although I’m unmarried and childless, I’m pretty sure the answer to “Mom, will you buy booze and weed for my naked Twister orgy, then have sex with my underage boyfriends?” should be “No.”
  • It doesn’t take six months to repair plumbing problems at a Wal-Mart. What gives? (Hat tip: Zero Hedge)
  • A blind person with a stick would be better than Hillary Clinton at reading people around her.”
  • De Blasio brings class warfare to Iowa.
  • Now that Rahm Emanuel has been reelected, he no longer needs to pretend to obey your puny peasant laws. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Here’s what’s roiling the Whacko American community these days.
  • Buzzfeed has outdone itself. You will be staggered by their amazing psychic powers…