Posts Tagged ‘Jihad’

LinkSwarm for December 9, 2016

Friday, December 9th, 2016

The Dallas police and fireman pension fund has halted withdrawals of money to halt a pension run to keep the system (temporarily) solvent. Texas municipal pension debt is a big story with a lot of different ramifications and angles, and I need to do some research before I post, hopefully sometime next week.

In the meantime, enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Why they voted for Trump:

    Working-class Americans have been mocked, maligned, and forgotten long enough. They are fed up and they went to the voting booth last week and said so.

    This election’s “red state” vote had little to do with racism or any phobias. The message we heard last week was, rather, a clear and simple plea from the average blue-collar, small-town mother and father for Washington and other big-city elites to stop belittling, disparaging and vilifying them and their families. It was their way of telling the “know-it-alls”; the politicians and pundits, to stop flying over and driving past their gutted factories and dying towns and pretending they don’t exist and do not matter. They simply wanted the “smarter and more educated” city folks to know that they are tired of insults and that the condescension needs to stop. They voted for Trump because someone finally appeared to care and listen.

    They voted for Trump because he seemed to get it. Finally, someone seemed to understand that the average guy: the plumber, the carpenter, the truck driver, the farmer — the good and decent family man from Dewey, Oklahoma, and from Hillsdale, Michigan — is the one who is now suffering from more cultural disrespect than perhaps anyone else in all the country.

    They voted for Trump because they’re sick and tired of being laughed at. They voted for Trump because they have, frankly, “had it” with being labeled intolerable by those who claim to be tolerant. They voted for Trump because they think it’s deplorable that they are the ones being called “deplorables.”They voted for Trump because they can’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio or read the news without some highbrow elitist in the mainstream media calling them “low-information,” “uneducated white males” who are too dumb to know what’s best for them and too stupid to see that Washington knows best. They voted for Trump because all they want is to have a job, get some respect, pick up a paycheck, go to church, raise their kids and be left alone.

    This is why. This is the explanation.

    Hate had nothing to do with it.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Kurt Schlichter: “The liberals are truly going nuts, and it’s beautiful.”

    They recently resurrected Nancy Pelosi for another glorious term winnowing away the House Democrat caucus. Pretty soon it’s just going to be her and some guy representing Berkeley who they recruited while he was shouting “Workers of the world unite!” at bored coeds on Telegraph Avenue. You know, if you want to reach out to the kind of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, normal Americans who voted for the black guy then allegedly refused to vote for the woman because they are racist, you totally want an ancient, rich, snooty, San Francisco leftist and Botox after-picture like the Nanster.

    The only way you could further alienate these alienated voters is, I don’t know, making your DNC chairman some radical leftist, urban black Muslim who hates guns, loves Farrakhan and who parties with Middle Eastern scumbags who issue fatwas to kill those voters’ soldier sons and daughters. Now, that’s some real diversity, and the Dems should totally get right on it. But seriously, we could never dare to hope that the Democrats would be that stupid. Could we?

    And I had to laugh at this, even a little guiltily:

    Next up at bat is the hard-4 hedgehog that is anti-gun activist and alleged comedian Amy Schumer, another over-praised, over-hyped mediocrity who Tinseltown is trying to force down our throats like the fingers she clearly never forced down hers.

  • Speaking of liberals going nuts, this Washington Post piece about how Trump’s election stole one woman’s sexual desire is an exemplar of the “Middle Aged Feminist Talks About How She’s Very Upset With Politics While Narcissisticly Sharing The Tedious Minutia of Her Life” piece.
  • “Liberals have migrated beyond observable reality into fantasyland.” (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Liberals prove once again how sane and generous they are by suggesting to let Tennessee wildfire victims burn because they voted for Trump.
  • The collapse of the political left:

    The rejection was apparent in the 2010 and subsequent House elections; Republicans have now won House majorities in ten of the last 12 elections, leaving 2006 and 2008 as temporary aberrations. You didn’t hear Hillary Clinton campaign on the glories of Obamacare or the Iran nuclear deal, and her attack on “Trumped-up, trickle-down economics” didn’t strike any chords in the modest-income Midwest.

    Republican success has been even greater in governor and state legislature elections, to the point that Democrats hold governorships and legislative control only in California, Hawaii, Delaware and Rhode Island. After eight years of the Obama presidency, Democrats hold fewer elective offices than at any time since the 1920s.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Hey, maybe liberals should use persuasion rather than automatically label everyone who disagrees with them racist. (Hat tip: Will Shetterly.)
  • Clintonistas are still bitching about Bernie Sanders, saying his challenge to their beloved Queen fatally wounded her. You know, the way Trump having a dozen primary challengers kept him from becoming President.
  • Piers Morgan (I know) on how Donald Trump pwns the media. “Every time they throw their high-minded journalistic toys out of their strollers at one of his tweets, Trump wins.” (Hat Tip: Borepatch.)
  • Trump is blessed by having weak opponents: “How influential did the press expect to be? It ran against Trump in the election and lost. Why should anybody inclined to support the president-elect — roughly half the country, you may recall — pay attention now to a press that has said the usual rules don’t apply? Again, the more the opposition was cranked up, the less effective it became.”
  • Outgoing Vice President Joe Biden says he’s running for President in 2020. It’s not like he would have done worse than Hillary did this year…
  • ObamaCare in one graphic. One big, depressing graphic…
  • Reminder: That “97% of scientists agree than man is causing climate change” factoid is false.
  • Ties between Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist government and the Islamic State.
  • Are NGOs smuggling illegal aliens into Europe with the help of the EU?
  • With her poll ratings dropping, Angela Merkel suggests a burka ban. Such actions would be unnecessary if Merkel hadn’t brought the “refugee” crisis on in the first place.
  • Five Afghan “refugees” charged with raping a 15-year old boy in Sweden. Strangely enough, I don’t remember gay gang rapes of children in Sweden being in the news before the current wave of Islamic immigration…
  • Speaking of Afghan “refugees,” an EU official’s daughter was murdered by one.
  • What Trump’s Taiwan phone call means:

    When evaluating this unorthodox and, yes, risky move, one has to remember that it is China, not the United States, that has been rewriting the rules of engagement in the East and South China Sea. It is China that has been unilaterally asserting territorial claims against its neighbors, China asserting jurisdiction over international waters and air space, China failing to rein in the increasingly serious North Korean nuclear program. The power that is challenging the status quo in Asia is not the United States.

    (Hat tip: The Corner.)

  • Italy’s PM: Hey, give me near absolute power, because that’s never backfired on Italy before! Italy: Get stuffed!
  • In related news, actress Paola Saulino, who promised blow jobs for those who voted against the referendum, says she’s making good on her promise. What? You want pictures of Paola Saulino? Well, if you insist:

    And here are the dates for her “thank you” tour:

    I get the feeling the adoring crowds will make Black Friday look tame by comparison… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Now India is confiscating gold and jewelry from political enemies targets of corruption probes.
  • Canada wants to criminalize pronouns. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • If the New York Times wants to fight “fake news,” perhaps they should look in the mirror.
  • A guide to winning the media wars:

    We all know that independent websites taking Hillary to task on her very real and very deplorable track record of being a compulsive liar is what was truly decisive. The mainstream media knows this, which is why they haven’t actually been focusing on censoring provably fake news sites, but rather have been promoting an agenda to lump any non-establishment perspectives within the umbrella of “fake news” in order to destroy their competition and regain an upper hand in the national narrative. If those of us who value independent media want to thwart this nefarious plan, we need to fully understand what these cretins are up to.

  • 27-year male Clinton supporter hits 69 year old woman over the head with a chair. In his defense, he really does not look like the sharpest knife in the drawer:

    Or even the sharpest spoon…

  • More fake hate crimes.
  • The amnesty crowd is at it again.

    A DREAM Act 2.0 that addressed these problems — that prosecuted fraud, implemented enforcement, prevented downstream legal immigration, and focused much more narrowly on those who came very young — would possibly be something that even I, were I a congressman, might be able to vote for. But the lack of these elements is clear proof that the amnesty crowd isn’t interested in fixing the specific problem of a sympathetic but small group of people; rather, these young people are simply poster children who have been used for years to try to justify a general amnesty for all illegal aliens. And when the DREAM Act fails, as it will, Pedro Ramirez and his fellows will need to ask the pro-amnesty politicians and lobbying groups why they were sacrificed on the altar of “comprehensive immigration reform.”

  • Instapundit suggests downsizing imperial Washington:

    Donald Trump ran for president on the slogan “Make America Great Again!” And he’s also promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington. But maybe the way to do that is to make Washington a little less great. Because as Washington has prospered over the last several decades — to the point where people are making Hunger Games comparisons — the rest of the country hasn’t done as well.

    So perhaps it’s time for a role-reversal. I propose that over the next several years, we transfer a lot of federal employees out of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, to parts of the country that aren’t doing so well economically. This would provide a boost to places like Buffalo, New York, or Quincy, Illinois, or Fresno, California, while getting federal bureaucrats out of the D.C. bubble.

  • Delusional liberal in Time suggests that people not pay their taxes while Trump is president. So he wants to: A.) Starve the federal government of money, and B.) Put liberals in prison where they can’t vote. OK, but what’s the downside?
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issues a stay of execution for an Alabama inmate. “Lawyers for Smith argue that although the jury rendered a verdict of life without parole, the trial court overrode the jury’s verdict and sentenced Smith to death.” Hmmm…
  • There’s a new cybersecurity commission report out. Guess what? It’s crap!
  • Black Workers’ Suit Accuses Job Agency of Favoring Hispanic Applicants.” Also: “He added that the staff of the MVP office in Cicero ‘was mainly Mexicans’ and that the employees were not welcoming toward African-American job seekers.” Also: “The vast majority of Hispanic job applicants served by MVP were in the United States illegally.” Note: The agency in question is not the Democratic Party, or the federal government… (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Speaking of racial discrimination lawsuits in hiring, CNN is being sued for just that. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Armor car robbery ringleader killed in Houston, accomplices arrested. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Recovering from a devastating spinal injury via power lifting. (Ht tip: Instapundit.)
  • Marxist vegan diner closes. “Ultimately, the restaurant’s popularity among social justice warriors proved unable to sustain its rickety business model.”
  • Naval Base Bombed, Shinto Worshipers Fear Backlash – New York Times – December 8 1941.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Noted without comment: The @EvilMopacATX twitter feed.
  • What’s Happening in the War Against The Islamic State?

    Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

    The twists and turns of the election, Hillary’s corruption, liberal derangement over Trump’s triumph, etc. have pushed a lot of other news stories onto the back-burner.

    One of the big ones being: What the hell is happening in the war against the Islamic State?

    It looks like I’m not the only one to have taken my eye off the ball. Back when Bush was President, there was heavy mainstream media reporting on conflicts in the Middle East. But ever since Obama’s Iraq pullout engendered the rise of the Islamic State, American reporting on the conflict has been (at best) sporadic.

    Which is why I was surprised to see reports that Kurdish-led fighters were closing in on the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa:

    As the Mosul offensive drags into its second month, another fight is raging 450km to the west around Islamic State’s de facto capital at Raqqa, on the Euphrates River in northern Syria. The battle is already a tragedy for Raqqa’s 320,000 civilians, who’ve suffered under brutal Islamic State occupation for more than three years. Many have fled, with thousands crowding into already overflowing refugee camps since the latest fighting began, and others fleeing across the hills towards the Iraqi border even as night-time temperatures plunge below freezing. Their lives, like those of families still in the city, are about to get even harder.

    The battle for Raqqa will shape the Syrian war throughout the coming year. Though smaller than the vast offensive around Mosul, it will be even more significant. It may decide the fate of Islamic State’s “caliphate” in Syria and will set the tone for the incoming Trump administration’s dealings with Turkey and Russia, two critical relationships that will drive events in the region and beyond.

    During a visit to the Middle East last week, I spoke to Syrian, Kurdish, Iraqi and American leaders involved in the campaign. They told me that while the military offensive is progressing about as well as anyone expected, the politics are proving characteristically complex.

    The troops fighting Islamic State in Raqqa come from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a rebel coalition backed by the US, among other countries. SDF units have received a stream of weapons, training and advisers since last year. Supported by coalition airstrikes, they attacked Raqqa early last month, timing the offensive (known as Operation Euphrates Wrath) to coincide with the Mosul assault, to stop Islamic State shifting reinforcements between fronts.

    The SDF has achieved considerable battlefield success. In the past month it has cleared 600sq km of rural terrain in Raqqa province, recapturing 45 villages and expelling hundreds of Islamic State fighters. Many recovered settlements are ruined, however, their populations massacred or driven off by Islamic State, or bombed out by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in previous fighting.

    The frontline sits just north of Raqqa city, in Ayn Issa district, where heavy combat (including coalition airstrikes called in by observers on the ground) has killed as many as 200 Islamic State fighters in the past two weeks.

    In the same timeframe, SDF spokesmen announced the recapture of the towns of Hazima, al-Taweelah and Tel al-Samman, north and west of Raqqa, bringing the SDF main force within 25km of the city’s outskirts, with reconnaissance teams pushing forward to the edge of town.

    Islamic State resistance is increasing as SDF advances, and most commanders expect a ferocious fight against a determined enemy once they reach the fortified downtown area.

    As the investment of Mosul has been going on for weeks, the battle for Raqqa will probably be at least equally slow and grinding, especially given the difficulties inherent in managing a diverse force of various factions:

    More than 25,000 SDF members — by far the largest faction in a force of about 30,000 — come from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the affiliated Women’s Protection Units (YPJ, an all-female combat brigade of 7000 troops). SDF also includes a few hundred Arab fighters from the Shammari tribal confederation, plus an Assyrian Christian militia and a small ethnic Turkmen force. The Shammari have a longstanding blood feud with Islamic State, which has massacred their men and boys and enslaved women and girls as it seeks to intimidate tribes in its region of influence. Christians and Turkmen are fighting for survival against Islamic State, which has engaged in genocidal slaughter against both groups wherever it has gained control. There also is a small secular nationalist force drawn from regime military defectors, the Free Officers Union. But these are minorities, perhaps 15 per cent altogether, in an alliance that is overwhelmingly Kurdish.

    Evidently the fighting is going poorly enough for the Islamic State that their spokesman urged their own soldiers not to flee Raqqa and Mosul. (That would be their new spokesman, the old one having been removed from office by a Hellfire missle.)

    There’s also indications that the Iraqi forces closing in on Mosul have cut off escape routes for Islamic State fighters, though Islamic State forces just launched a counterattack.

    Some have suggested that the Islamic State is preparing to retreat to a desert stronghold, in Wilayat al-Furat near the Iraq-Syrian border if it’s ejected from both Raqqa and Mosul. (This, as far as I can figure, is about where it is.)

    isis-desert-fortress

    More far afield, Libyan militias backed by American airstrikes said they have cleared Sirte, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Libya.

    One thing that may be making battlefield progress against the Islamic State possible: Cheap oil prices. Without excess petrodollars to spend, the Islamic State’s backers on the Arabian peninsula (not to mention Anatolia) may not have the spare cash to prop up their miniature caliphate.

    That said, the war against the Islamic State is far from over, and expected it to drag on into the Trump Presidency.

    LinkSwarm for December 2, 2016

    Friday, December 2nd, 2016

    Welcome to the last month of the year! (Insert standard “where has the time gone” lament here.)

    Enjoy the traditional Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Kevin D. Williamson brings the wood:

    The Democratic party is an odd apparatus in which most of the power is held by sanctimonious little old liberal white ladies with graduate degrees and very high incomes — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Randi Weingarten — while the manpower, the vote-power, and the money-power (often in the form of union dues) comes from a disproportionately young and non-white base made up of people who, if they are doing well, might earn one-tenth of the half-million dollars a year Weingarten was paid as the boss of the teachers’ union. They are more likely to be cutting the grass in front of Elizabeth Warren’s multi-million-dollar mansion than moving into one of their own. They roll their eyes at Hillary Rodham Clinton’s risible “abuela” act, having actual abuelas of their own.

    As in the Republican party, the Democrats have a restive base that is more radical than its leadership, more aggressive, and in search of signs of tribal affiliation. The Democratic base is not made up of little old liberal white ladies with seven-, eight-, and nine-figure bank balances, but the party’s leadership is.

  • Alan Derschowitz is not a fan of Rep. Keith Ellison’s DNC Chairman bid:

    What should a political party that has just lost its white working-class, blue-collar base to a “make America great again” nationalist do to try to regain these voters? Why not appoint as the new head of the party a radical left-wing ideologue who has a long history of supporting an anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam racist? Such an appointment will surely bring back rust-belt voters who have lost their jobs to globalization and free trade! Is this really the thinking of those Democratic leaders who are pushing for Keith Ellison to head the Democratic National Committee?

    Keith Ellison is, by all accounts, a decent guy, who is well liked by his congressional colleagues. But it is hard to imagine a worse candidate to take over the DNC at this time. Ellison represents the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, just when the party — if it is to win again — must move to the center in order to bring back the voters it lost to Trump. The Democrats didn’t lose because their candidates weren’t left enough. They won the votes of liberals. The radical voters they lost to Jill Stein were small in number and are not likely to be influenced by the appointment of Ellison. The centrist voters they lost to Trump will only be further alienated by the appointment of a left-wing ideologue, who seems to care more about global issues than jobs in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Ellison’s selection certainly wouldn’t help among Jewish voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania or pro-Israel Christian voters around the country.

    Also, Derschowitz is not buying the “friend of Israel” blather put forth by Ellison defenders:

    Ellison’s voting record also does not support his claim that he has become a “friend” of Israel. He was one of only 8 Congressmen who voted against funding the Iron Dome program, developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel, which helps protect Israeli civilians from Hamas rockets. In 2009, Ellison was one of only two dozen Congressmen to vote “present” rather than vote for a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” And in 2010, Ellison co‐authored a letter to President Obama, calling on him to pressure Israel into opening the border with Gaza. The letter describes the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip as “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents.”

  • Five Thirty Eight asserts that education levels one of the primary determinants of which counties voted for Trump.
  • More electorate analysis: “This is a case where the simplest explanation is the correct one: Donald Trump won because he did exceptionally (indeed, historically) well with the white working class, a bloc that until 2016 was resistant north of the Mason-Dixon line to voting Republican en masse.”
  • Fidel Castro’s murders by the numbers. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Could Marine Le Pen be the leftmost candidate in France’s presidential election?
  • Your government in action: health inspectors deny the homeless a free BBQ meal.
  • Rotherham, post-truth and the “alt-right”:

    Some on the left in the West see certain ideas and even some easily verifiable truths, as plain dangerous, much like the totalitarian communists of yesteryear. Dangerous to public order. Dangerous to the ‘common good’.

    Whilst this section of the left has always existed, it now seems to have become more ‘mainstream’. It seethes and obsesses within carefully-policed ideological echo-chambers. It dominates in universities, trade unions and the public sector. And whereas it was once mainly prevalent in fringe far-left outfits, it has now effectively co-opted the Labour party through its membership and leadership.

    Anyone who has ever tried to engage with this section of the left will know that it doesn’t ‘do debate’ with conservatives on issues like immigration, multiculturalism and identity politics. For it, “the debate is settled”. Opposing views are intrinsically wicked. Such ideas are to be ignored. Muted. Blocked. Banned. Disrupted. Drowned out with fog-horns.

    It does not feel it needs to win the argument nor does it see any reason to engage in one. Where it can apply ‘No Platform’ or ‘Safe Space’ schemes to stymie debate, it will do so assiduously. Where it can’t, it’s adept at innovating campaigns such as #StopFundingHate to help promote the censorship it craves.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Still more on How Trump got elected:

    The privileged worked hard for Trump. Every time they described his people as uneducated white males, implicit dregs, they drove votes to Donald. And they so described the working class unceasingly.

    It made him President. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is how he got in.

    The privileged denigrated all whites unlike themselves. Then Hillary made her “deplorables” speech, confirming her contempt for half of America–those uneducated, shapeless, dull-witted proles in Flyover Land, obese, farting and belching, swilling Bud, watching NASCAR for god’s sake in awful trailers. And why not not sneer at them? Why did Hillary need their votes? Did not Rachel Maddow love her?

    For Trump it was gold, pure gold. If he had written her speech, he could not have come up with a better line to destroy her. It was the purest product of the establishment’s hubris. She did it to herself. Sweet.

    It made him President.

    Black Lives Matter also did yeoman work for the Donald. As they and snowflake Brown Shirts and excited millennials blocked highways and beat Trump’s supporters and shut down rallies, and vandalized cars, and of course looted, they presumably thought they were working against the Trump Monster. Not a chance. Out there in the uncharted barbarian lands between Manhattan and Hollywood, in dark primeval forests where Cro-Magnons are still a rarity, people were sick of lawlessness, and of an establishment that tolerated it. It produced more votes, perhaps not for Trump or even against Hillary but against the class that she represented.

    Immigration. Here Hillary and Obama did great work for Donald. As Obama frantically brought in as many “refugees” as possible from everywhere, anywhere that might not be compatible with the people upon whom he would force them, Hillary promised to import huge numbers of Muslims. It was luminously stupid politics, but politically she was luminously stupid, so it fit.

    It is why she is not President.

    She knew that the backward peoples of Flyover Land ought to want hundreds of thousands of Somalis and Pakistanis and who-knew-what to live with, and if they didn’t, she would force them and it didn’t matter because she had big donors and everybody in the media loved her.

    However incoherent and ignorant Trump was, the Establishment was determined to elect him. Elect him it did.

    (Hat tip: Borepatch.)

  • The end of identity politics? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • You know those sacred medicare funds? Obama has raided them to help take care of illegal aliens.
  • Germany’s security agency infiltrated by a jihadist. (Hat tip: Ace.)
  • The pension fund for Dallas policeman and firefighters is teetering on insolvency thanks to risky investments.
  • Don’t agree with everything in this John Gray essay on the closing of the liberal mind, published right before Trump’s election, but there’s a lot to chew over concerning the post-liberal world order, and especially the Labour Party’s relation to it. “Labour has become unelectable in any foreseeable future.”
  • Banks in India run out of money thanks to the idiot currency ban:

    Many in north India who slept outside banks in freezing conditions woke up in the morning to be told only that no cash had arrived.

    “I have been doing the rounds of banks for the past 20 days and have been unable to withdraw my own money,” said Balbir Singh, a junior executive in a private firm in New Delhi. “Even on payday the story was the same: the bank said it simply had no money to disburse, even though I have ample credit in my account.”

  • Turkish Lira collapses.
  • Global warming: “Since 1940 the sea level off of northern Washington has dropped about 15 cm. (6 inches).”
  • How Gary Taubes overcame the severe backlash over his famous expose of how low fat diets fail compared to low carb diets like Atkins.
  • Chicago’s real estate market expect to rank dead last. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Will Wallace Hall have the last laugh on his UT records request? (Hat tip: Cahman’s Musings.)
  • Smoking marijuana inhibits blood flow to the brain.
  • The science of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Nothing says “class” like wearing an ascot, sipping a glass of wine, and spray-painting “Fuck Trump” on a supermarket wall.
  • The wit and wisdom of Robert Stacy McCain.
  • A startling factoid:

  • Less startling, still interesting:

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • A concise definition of the issue:

  • LinkSwarm for November 25, 2016

    Friday, November 25th, 2016

    Hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm before you go off to engage in mortal combat to save $5 on an improved deframbulator.

  • Kurt Schlichter on why Democrats won’t autopsy their own corpse. Lots of quote fodder:
    • “If Americans outside the big blue cities don’t care about the social obsessions of aging hippies, indoctrinated millennials, and frigid feminists, then they’re wrong. You can probably fix everything by redoubling your efforts to show them how horrible they are.”

    • “Why pretend to respect their opinions when you don’t respect their opinions. They like guns and America and Jesus, and frankly those things are, at best, embarrassing if not downright horrible. I mean, #Science, right?”
    • “Why bother assembling and analyzing the facts when you know what the answer will be, what it must be: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and whatever other faux-phobias that come slinking out of academia to give you an excuse to hector and nag normal people.”
  • One of the great side effects of the election is the end of the Cult of St. Hillary:

    If you want to see politics based on emotionalism over reason and a borderline-religious devotion to an iconic figure, forget the Trump Army; look instead to the Cult of Clinton.

    Ever since Donald Trump won the presidential election, all eyes, and wringing hands, have been on the white blob who voted for him. These “loud, illiterate and credulous people,” as a sap at Salon brands them, think on an “emotional level.” Bill Moyers warned that ours is a “dark age of unreason,” in which “low information” folks are lining up behind “The Trump Emotion Machine.” Andrew Sullivan said Trump supporters relate to him as a “cult leader fused with the idea of the nation.”

    What’s funny about this is not simply that it’s the biggest chattering-class hissy fit of the 21st century so far — and chattering-class hissy fits are always funny. It’s that whatever you think of Trump (I’m not a fan) or his supporters (I think they’re mostly normal, good people), the fact is they’ve got nothing on the Clinton cult when it comes to creepy, pious worship of a politician.

    By the Cult of Hillary Clinton, I don’t mean the nearly 62 million Americans who voted for her. I have not one doubt that they are as mixed and normal a bag of people as the Trumpites are. No, I mean the Hillary machine—the celebs and activists and hacks who were so devoted to getting her elected and who have spent the past week sobbing and moaning over her loss. These people exhibit cult-like behavior far more than any Trump cheerer I’ve come across.

    Trump supporters view their man as a leader “fused with the idea of the nation”? Perhaps some do, but at least they don’t see him as “light itself.” That’s how Clinton was described in the subhead of a piece for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter. “Maybe [Clinton] is more than a president,” gushed writer Virginia Heffernan. “Maybe she is an idea, a world-historical heroine, light itself,” Nothing this nutty has been said by any of Trump’s media fanboys.

    “Hillary is Athena,” Heffernan continued, adding that “Hillary did everything right in this campaign…She cannot be faulted, criticized, or analyzed for even one more second.”

    That’s a key cry of the Cult of Hillary (as it is among followers of L. Ron Hubbard or devotees of Christ): our gal is beyond criticism, beyond the sober and technical analysis of mere humans.

    Snip.

    As with all saints and prophets, all human manifestations of light itself, the problem is never with them, but with us. We mortals are not worthy of Hillary. “Hillary didn’t fail us, we failed her,” asserted a writer for the Guardian. The press, and by extension the rest of us, “crucified her,” claimed someone at Bustle. We always do that to messiahs, assholes that we are.

    And of course the light of Hillary had to be guarded against blasphemy. Truly did the Cult of Hillary seek to put her beyond “analysis for even one more second.” All that stuff about her emails and Libya was pseudo-scandal, inventions of her aspiring slayers, they told us again and again and again.

    As Thomas Frank says, the insistence that Hillary was scandal-free had a blasphemy-deflecting feel to it. The message was that “Hillary was virtually without flaws… a peerless leader clad in saintly white… a caring benefactor of women and children.” Mother Teresa in a pantsuit, basically. As a result, wrote Frank, “the act of opening a newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.”

    Then there was the reaction to Clinton’s loss. It just wasn’t normal chattering-class behavior. Of course we expect weeping, wailing videos from the likes of Miley Cyrus and Perez Hilton about how Clinton had been robbed of her moment of glory; that’s what celebs do these days. But in the media, too, there was hysteria.

    “‘I feel hated,’ I tell my husband, sobbing in front of the TV in my yoga pants and Hillary sweatshirt, holding my bare neck,” said a feminist in the Guardian. Crying was a major theme. A British feminist recalled all the “Clinton-related crying” she had done: “I’ve cried at the pantsuit flashmob, your Saturday Night Live appearance, and sometimes just while watching the debates.” (Wonder if she cried over the women killed as a result of Hillary’s machinations in Libya? Probably not. In the mind of the Hillary cultists, that didn’t happen—it is utterly spurious, a blasphemy.)

    Then there was Lena Dunham, who came out in hives—actual hives—when she heard Clinton had lost. Her party dress “felt tight and itchy.” She “ached in the places that make me a woman.” I understand being upset and angry at your candidate’s loss, but this is something different; this is what happens, not when a politician does badly, but when your savior, your Athena, “light itself,” is extinguished. The grief is understandable only in the context of the apocalyptic faith they had put in Hillary. Not since Princess Diana kicked the bucket can I remember such a strange, misplaced belief in one woman, and such a weird, post-modern response to someone’s demise (and Clinton isn’t even dead! She just lost!).

    It’s all incredibly revealing. What it points to is a mainstream, Democratic left that is so bereft of ideas and so disconnected from everyday people that it ends up pursuing an utterly substance-free politics of emotion and feeling and doesn’t even realize it’s doing it. They are good, everyone else is bad; they are light itself, everyone else is darkness; and so no self-awareness can exist and no self-criticism can be entertained. Not for even one second, in Heffernan’s words. The Cult of Hillary Clinton is the clearest manifestation yet of the 21st-century problem of life in the political echo chamber.

  • Tabloid writer tells his media counterparts to stop freaking out and crying wolf over Trump:

    A word of neighborly advice to our more genteel media friends, the ones who sit at the high table in their pristine white dinner jackets and ball gowns. You’ve been barfing all over yourselves for a week-and-a-half, and it’s revolting to watch.

    For your own sake, and that of the republic for which you allegedly work, wipe off your chins and regain your composure. I didn’t vote for him either, but Trump won. Pull yourselves together and deal with it, if you ever want to be taken seriously again.

    What kind of president will Trump be? It’s a tad too early to say, isn’t it? The media are supposed to tell us what happened, not speculate on the future. But its incessant scaremongering, the utter lack of proportionality and the shameless use of double standards are an embarrassment, one that is demeaning the value of the institution. The press’ frantic need to keep the outrage meter dialed up to 11 at all times creates the risk that a desensitized populace will simply shrug off any genuine White House scandals that may lie in the future (or may not).

    Hysteria is causing leading media organizations to mix up their news reporting with their editorializing like never before, but instead of mingling like chocolate and peanut butter, the two are creating a taste that’s like brushing your teeth after drinking orange juice.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Trump finally offically wins Michigan.
  • Electors receive death threats. More of that vaunted liberal tolerance we keep hearing about…
  • How Clinton lost the Midwest. “Decent people don’t like to be called racists and told that their religion needs to be changed.”
  • It’s not just the DNC race: Bernie Sanders supporters are challenging Democratic Party insiders in races across the country.
  • Andrew Cuomo’s top aides indicted for corruption.
  • “Influential gay rights advocate and top Obama donor, Terry Bean” arrested for child rape.
  • More on Democratic Representative and DNC chair Keith Ellison’s radical anti-police roots.
  • The defense Intelligence Agency warned Obama that pulling out of Iraq might lead to the rise of an Islamic State.
  • “One by One, ISIS Social Media Experts Are Killed as Result of F.B.I. Program.” My reaction: 😊 (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • More of those “mostly peaceful” protestors we keep hearing about, this time in North Dakota (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The reason the micro-group of neo-Nazis got attention is the media. It’s not the Right. This is an active attempt by CNN and others to paint all conservatives as anti-Semites. It’s disgusting.” Or why Richard Spencer is the new Westboro Baptist Church: A tiny, unimportant thing constantly hyped by the mainstream media as a way to paint Republicans as evil. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Interactive map of the war(s) in Iraq and Syria.
  • “Sanctuary cities” mean sanctuaries for career criminals.
  • How Trump could implement immigration enforcement in his first hundred days.
  • Mickey Kaus wonders if Democrats are finally willing to flip to an enforcement-first approach, giving up on amnesty to take the issue off the table and win back working class white voters. That idea makes a lot of sense, which is why I’m sure Democrats will never go for it…
  • Palestinians are shootinge each other, since the border wall makes it difficult to shoot Israelis. “The violence, much of it directed at a Fatah leadership seen as corrupt and out of touch.” Has there ever been a single moment in the history of “Palestine” when their leadership wasn’t “corrupt” and “out of touch”?
  • More Trump dividends: France cancels umpteenth Israel-Palestine summit because nobody gives a rat’s ass.
  • Twitter suspends the account of their own founder. That’s some mighty fine vetting process you’ve got going on there, Jack… (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Anti-Trump parody hat company files for bankruptcy.
  • A cure for AIDS?
  • Heh:

    Stolen from a random Twitter liberal who was very, very upset about it…

  • A Dive Down Into The DNC Chair Race

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

    Following any electoral disaster, the recriminations come think and heavy, and after watching an election all America’s left-wing elites thought was in the bag slip away, Democrats have thrown an absolute hissy fit of rage.

    It’s against that backdrop, and the backdrop of Bernie Sanders supporters disgruntled at Debbie Wasserman Schultz putting both thumbs, a big toe, and half a cankle on the scale to tip the primaries to Hillary Clinton, that Democrats will choose their next Democratic National Committee chair sometime between now and March 31, 2017.

    So here’s a roundup of the contenders, pretenders, and offenders in the DNC Chair race:

  • Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Ellison gets victimhood identity politics points for being both black and a Muslim (in fact, the only Muslim in congress). Among prominent Democrats who have publically declared they’re backing Ellison are:
    • Bernie Sanders.

    • Massachusetts Senator progressive sweetheart and pretend Indian Elizabeth Warren.
    • Outgoing Senate Minority Leader and mysterious accident victim Harry Reid
    • Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
    • Both of Minnesota’s Senators (Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken).
    • Michigan Rep. John Conyers, who is, in fact, still alive, having spent more than 51 years in congress. (Congrats on your son showing up safe, by the way.)
    • Alex Soros.
  • Former Vermont Governor, former DNC chair, onetime Presidential contender and dance remix inspiration.
  • South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison has also launched a DNC chair bid. Harrison, like Ellison, is black, but what other qualifications does he have? As Republicans hold the state House, Senate and Governor’s mansion in South Carolina, Harrison does not seem to have accomplished notably much as state chair. However: “Harrison also joined the Podesta Group, a lobbying and consulting firm founded by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.” Presumably Harrison is either the designated Clinton Machine candidate, or a guy trying to raise his national profile for his own reasons.
  • Labor Secretary Tom Perez is also reportedly considering a run.
  • As is Democratic National Committee Finance Chairman Henry Munoz III.
  • Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego is said to be considering a run, supposedly with the backing of fellow Rep. Linda Sanchez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The fact the most prominent link I could find focusing on Gallego’s prospects is from “NewsTaco” should give you some idea of the outlook on his chances.
  • Ilyse She Wolf of the SS Hogue, chairman of the National Abortion Rights Action League, is claimed to be considering a run. One wonders why. After getting knifed in the back over ObamaCare, the party’s vestigial pro-life wing was pretty much wiped out in 2010. To paraphrase This Is Spinal Tap: You ask yourself how much more pro-abortion could the Democratic Party be. And the answer is none, none more pro-abortion.
  • California Rep. Xavier Becerra gets tossed in at the end of many lists, much like a college basketball team appears near the bottom of the “also receiving votes” of weekly polls.
  • Former Maryland governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley got into the race and then dropped even more quickly than he dropped his Presidential bid, which was plenty quick. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has also bowed out.

    Baring an unlikely heavyweight stepping in (like Hillarysaurus or the Golfer in Chief), the race will probably come down to Ellison vs. Dean.

    As DNC chair from 2005 to 2009, Dean was either very effective at pursuing a 50-state strategy that paved the way for Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008, or else he was very lucky at coming in just as Republican dissatisfaction with Bush43 was cresting. (As Charlemagne notes in the musical Pippin, “It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.”) Dean won his chairmanship the first time around as a liberal firebrand (“Yeaggggh!”), but as a prominent Hillary backer in 2016, he’s getting pegged as the default “status quo” candidate compared to Ellison.

    And Ellison is something else:

    Ellison was the first Muslim elected to federal office when he won his seat in 2006. Ellison also has had ties with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

    Ellison repeatedly has been regarded as one of the most liberal members of Congress.

    He supported impeaching then-Vice President Dick Cheney, compared President George W. Bush to Hitler, and blamed Bush for the September 11 attacks.

    Ellison also has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood:

    Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”

    It gets worse. In 2008, Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood organization: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.”

    Given that, it’s no surprise that Ellison is not a fan of Israel, supporting the “divestment” movement and hanging around with anti-Israel groups like The U.S. Campaign.

    As a result, Jewish Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed at the prospect of Ellison heading the DNC: “The rise of Ellison could drive Jews out of the Democratic Party, according to Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a private wealth manager who worked in the administrations of New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, and New York Governor George Pataki, a Republican. “There are many longtime Jewish Democrats who are on the fence about whether to stay in a party that has been tilting away from Israel—and if Ellison is elected, I believe a good percentage of them will leave the party.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

    Scott Johnson at Powerline has been following Elison’s rise for a decade. He’s not a fan:

    As the Minnesota’s Fifth District representative in Congress, Keith Ellison has a good gig. He’s a hustler who is accustomed to exploiting the ignorance of voters in a one-party district in a town with a one-party newspaper. Ellison has exploited the ignorance of his constituents in lying repeatedly about his personal history, as I tried to show in “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.”

    As a Republican, I’d be delighted to see Ellison win. Like Wasserman Schultz, he’s be a part-time Chair at a moment in history they desperately need a full-time chair. More importantly, he’d drag the Democratic Party even further left, double-down on the victimhood identity politics that’s driving normal people out of the party, and do everything possible to make 2018 look an awful lot like 2010. On the plus side, as a Bernie backer, he might finally cleanse the DNC of the Clinton Machine’s stench once and for all (assuming current felony investigations don’t do that for him).

    I fear that Dean, far closer to being a centrist, would concentrate on building up the Democratic Party’s election infrastructure in all 50 states like he did in his previous tenure. Dean was also very successful at fundraising, and would probably be far more likely to keep “big money” donating to the Democrats in the Age of Trump than Ellison. Dean would be bad for the Republican Party, but possibly good for America if he also junked the Social Justice Warrior wing of the party and put a stop to the endless victimhood identity politics race baiting. That would be a real service. The downside is that the Clintonistas would probably keep lurking in the party machinery.

    “The first big test for those running will come [when] the candidates meet with state party leaders at the national gathering of Democratic chairmen in Denver.”

    Concrete: Border Walls and Battlefields

    Sunday, November 20th, 2016

    Since one of my readers has a keen interest in concrete (hello, Andrew!), I though this round up on the battlefield uses of concrete would be of interest. And by “interest” I mean “slow Sunday filler.”

    One of the first uses for concrete on the battlefield was in response to growing numbers of IEDs. As early as 2004, the major tactical and technical focus in Iraq was oriented at stopping these roadside bombs. One of the primary tactics used to fight the IED threat was to line every major road with twelve-foot-tall concrete T-walls. Soldiers spent days, weeks, and months lining first every major highway and then other, smaller roads with concrete barriers. At over $600 a barrier, the cost of concrete during the eight years of the Iraq War was billions of dollars.

    o be sure, concrete walls did not eliminate the IED threat. As with any protective obstacle, they should have been under direct observation, which was not always feasible. Consequently, the enemy adapted by placing IEDs in or on top of barriers. They also used advanced forms of IEDs from foreign sources—explosively formed penetrators, many of which US military officials believe originated in Iran—that could penetrate any concrete wall. This allowed IEDs to be placed on the opposite, non-road side of barriers. But the concrete walls did take away the ease of access for enemy forces to emplace IEDs, degrade the lethality of their homemade devices, and forced them towards specialized materials that could be interdicted at checkpoints—which themselves were most effective when concrete walls were used to canalize traffic to them. They also took away the ability of insurgents to freely transit Baghdad with large, vehicle-borne IEDs, which created mass casualties and threatened the authority of the Iraqi government.

    IEDs were not the only major threat to American forces. Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, US forces also began to come under direct attack by mortars and rockets in their outposts and bases. These attacks became even more dangerous when US forces moved out of large bases and into smaller outposts deep in cities and among the populations, where the ability to maintain safe standoff distances or retaliate to indirect fire was difficult for fear of causing civilian casualties. Again, the solution was concrete. Slabs were placed to form not only the walls of compounds, but also walls around and bunkers between every structure within them. This significantly reduced the effects of any enemy incoming fire.

    They also used concrete to besiege Sadr City:

    In March 2008, in what would later be called the Battle for Sadr City, coalition forces weaponized concrete. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had ended a standing ceasefire in response to the government of Iraq’s offensive in the southern, mainly Shiite city of Basra, and set in motion large-scale attacks by loyal members of Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM), the Sadrists’ armed militia, against coalition and Iraqi forces across Baghdad. Their attacks included overrunning Iraqi security forces’ checkpoints, infesting Baghdad’s roads with IEDs, and launching 107-mm rockets and mortar fire at targets in Baghdad, including the International Zone (aka the Green Zone).

    The keys to the enemy’s operation were their resources and support within Sadr City. This Shiite enclave is over thirteen square miles in size and, at the time of the battle, was estimated to have over two million residents. Coalition forces had previously conducted successful raids against JAM leadership in Sadr City. But any element that went into Sadr City had only a few minutes to get in and out before JAM forces were able to swarm like killer bees on the intruders. Finally, after an October 2007 air strike that killed a number of civilians, the Iraqi prime minister placed Sadr City off limits to US forces. This entire sector of Baghdad was a safe haven for enemy forces from which to launch attacks, and a no-go area without express permission from the highest command levels.

    In response to the situation, the US forces basically engaged in siege warfare. But atypical to historic examples, instead of attacking to break through fortified wall, they imposed the siege on the enemy by building walls. Reminiscent of a medieval siege engine, each night US forces drove up to the limits off Sadr City with massive cranes and trucks loaded with twelve-foot-tall T-walls. On a good night, soldiers could emplace over 122 barriers. Enemy forces attacked the soldiers putting in the walls and it was not uncommon to be hanging concrete while attack helicopters, tanks, and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles returned fire.

    Within thirty days, soldiers emplaced over 3,000 T-wall sections to create a three-mile wall that interconnected with previously emplaced walls and ultimately completed the encirclement of Sadr City. The wall successfully restricted the ability of JAM to move supplies and conduct attacks outside the now-enclosed enclave, took away critical firing points outside the wall from which the International Zone was within range of their rockets and mortars, and created checkpoints were known terrorists could be separated from the population. Iraqi security forces and US soldiers did enter the city to clear major sections, but the wall allowed them to reduce external attacks and conduct operations at their initiative.

    Their very effectiveness is the real reason Democrats oppose building the wall along the Mexico border: Walls work.

    In other concrete news:

  • Other effective walls liberals hate include those Israel built around the West Bank and Gaza, which have radically reduced terrorist attacks by Palestinians. Lebanon must have leaned something from that approach, because now they’re building a tall concrete wall and watchtowers “around the Ain al-Hilweh [Palestinian] refugee camp in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon.”
  • Concrete that protects electronics from EMP attack.
  • In the “new-to-me” category, evidently concrete canvas is now available for both military and civilian uses.
  • (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Clinton Corruption/Election Update for November 7, 2016

    Monday, November 7th, 2016

    The election is tomorrow, so let’s just combine the Clinton Corruption update with the election news update:

  • FBI punts again.
  • Qatar gave the Clinton Foundation $1 million for Bill Clinton’s birthday while Hillary was head of the State Department, in violation of Department policy and Clinton’s own “ethics agreement,” and without Hillary informing the State Department. “While Qatar was obvious engaged in pay to play, what makes this instance even worse, is that Hillary and Bill were confident enough they could simply get away with it by never telling the State Department of the new influence money.”
  • Impending calamity for the Clintons:

    When the Clintons left the White House in 2001, pilfering over $190,000 worth of china, flatware, rugs, and furniture as they cleared out, they claimed they were flat broke. Their net worth today is now in excess of $150 million, accumulated not by traditional means of work and investment, but rather by pay-for-play influence peddling through speeches and Clinton Foundation fundraising — with the tacit understanding that the Clintons would be in a position to return favors to donors after Hillary won the 2016 presidential election.

    The Clintons symbolize the institutionalization of corruption in Washington, which now permeates almost all the government agencies. Even the so-called independent Federal Reserve has been corrupted by politicians whose profligate deficit spending puts pressure on the Fed to maintain a zero-interest policy that artificially masks the real cost and risk of a growing unsustainable level of debt.

    For the better part of eight years of the Obama administration, polls have consistently shown that nearly 70% of Americans believe that the United States is headed in the wrong direction. Separately, a recent MSNBC poll shows “liar” is the most common word that comes to mind when voters think of Hillary Clinton. Another recent NBC poll shows that only 11% think of Hillary as honest and trustworthy. Even if one doubts the accuracy of these polls, how is it possible for a majority to think the country can get on a better track by electing as the next U.S. President a liar who embodies the corrupt status quo?

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Normal people don’t see Islamic State military oilfield gains as an “opportunity”. But Clinton cronies aren’t normal people.
  • Chelsea Clinton used the Clinton Foundation as her own personal piggy bank to pay for her wedding. “If true people (then) worth well into 8 figures used 501c3 $ to pay for a wedding.”
  • The mystery of the Clinton Foundation’s missing $20 million in Haiti relief funds. Money that came from Frank Giustra and Carlos Slim. Also involved: Jean Marc Villain, who oversaw the fund while going through his own bankruptcy, and who “violated state laws in 2001 when he did not file donation reports for the Haitian-American Political Caucus.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Hey Hillary? Think you could stop mentioning classified war information in emails from your illegal private server? KThxBye – John Podesta”
  • Clinton News Network gonna Clinton News Network.
  • Scott Adams shows you how to unhypnotize a Clinton supporter.
  • “Market Indicator Gives Trump An 86% Chance Of Winning The Election.”
  • Chris Wallace: “I think the media could not do a worse job than this year….It’s like watching a badly refereed basketball game where we’re seeing make-up calls and we’re seeing particularly print going – and I’m not a Trump defender at all – but going after Trump in ways that I think violate every canon of ethics for news reporting.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Bill Clinton tells donors borders are going to be porous “for a very long time.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Clinton advisor Jennifer Palmieri admits that some Clinton Foundation donors wanted pro quo for their quid. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Hillary’s coughing fit returns.
  • Sunday Trump held rallies in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Notice how neatly those stops align with Michael Moore’s contention that Trump will sweep the rust belt. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The fact that the Clinton campaign is panicing over Michigan, deploying both Bill Clinton and Obama there, also lend credence to the theory. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • False story alert: That story about a “murder suicide” of an FBI agent who leaked Clinton scandal info from the non-existent “Denver Guardian” is a hoax.
  • Noted without comment: “Farrakhan compares Hillary Clinton to Hitler.”
  • LinkSwarm for November 4, 2016

    Friday, November 4th, 2016

    Believe it or not, there is some non-Presidential race news. But yeah, I’m starting with that:

  • Trump takes lead in Florida.
  • Tied in Colorado. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Another poll shows Trump leading in Virginia. Trump jumped 10 points from early October, and Hillary dropped 5 points.
  • Trump up 13 with independents in D+7 poll. That’s a Trump rise of 6 points and a Clinton fall of 7 points. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • And he’s within the margin of error, down only one point in Michigan.
  • Michael Moore on why trump will win: “He is the human Molotov Cocktail that they’ve been waiting for; the human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them.”
  • “Former Democrat pollster Pat Caddell says this year’s election could be like 1980 – a 40 state Trump landslide.”
  • Early black voting is down this year. Bad sign for Hillary? Maybe.
  • Why Trump will win, and what comes after:

    Trump will win because:

    • The polls pervasively understate his support (the “shy Trump voter”).

    • Enthusiasm for Clinton is low, enthusiasm for Trump is high. Early voting is showing a pattern closer to 2008 than 2012 (high turnout). Given the enthusiasm gap, this is bad news for Clinton and supports the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
    • This (like 2008) is a “Change Election”. Three quarters or more of voters think that the country is on the wrong track. Clinton is the insider, Trump is the outsider. Advantage: Trump.
    • The Clinton camp is paralyzed by the emerging scandals. It’s been 5 days [post is from 11/2 – LP] and there’s no coherent reply to the FBI reopening the email investigation. The paralysis says that Clinton’s inner circle is divided on what to do, and she has poor leadership skills – and so the campaign twists in the wind. This is a very, very bad sign for her.
    • The Marc Rich announcement today is almost inexplicable. There’s no reason that a FOIA request announcement couldn’t wait until after the election. Instead, it came out 4 days after the previous FBI announcement. My take is that Obama has polling showing that she’s going to lose, and lose big. It’s no secret that the Obamas and the Clintons despise each other – this is his chance to dismantle the Clinton machine in the Democratic party (and hill the resulting power vacuum with his people).
    • The UK betting markets are showing the same pattern as before the Brexit vote – a few big money bets on Clinton (as with Remain), but a huge number of small bets on Trump (Leave).
    • Independents are leaving Gary Johnson and breaking hard for Trump. The latest poll from North Carolina has Johnson down 5 and Trump up 5. This feels like more confirmation of the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
    • There is very little or no equivalent data pointing to a strengthening by Clinton. If she were actually as far ahead as we’ve been told, there would be evidence dropping from the trees. There isn’t.
  • Florida paper apologizes to readers for such biased, anti-Trump coverage.
  • Things are getting really, really bad in Turkey. This is not a surprise, and the writing was on the wall when the “coup” failed and Erdogan’s crackdown began. But Erdogan’s purge is even more extensive than I anticipated.
  • And Iraq is threatening war with Turkey over Turkish troops in Iraq.
  • Speaking of Iraq, the good news is that Iraqi forces seem to slowly but surely be taking back Mosul from the Islamic State.
  • There’s already a no fly zone in Syria: Russia’s no fly zone.
  • But the press’ instance on focusing on trivia means that we’re not talking about the five wars America is currently involved in.
  • Indeed, the press prefers to talk about Trump’s sex life instead of Hillary’s corruption or the massive failure of ObamaCare.
  • Estonia prepares to defend itself from Russia.
  • “Sheriff Clarke: Gun Control Was Meant to Keep Arms Away from Black People.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Do most felons obtain their gun illegally? Yes. Says who? The felons themselves. (Hat tip: Hsoi.)
  • What China learned from the Gulf War. And what they then unlearned: “China did try adding more officers selected for skills rather than loyalty but since 2010 have shifted back to the “loyalty first” model. This was necessary because of problems eliminating the corruption in the military and the realization that the military would more likely be needed to deal with an internal threat rather than an external one.” (Hat tip: Austin Bay at Instapundit.)
  • ESPN lost 621,000 cable subscribers in October. “Of we’re very conservative and project that ESPN continues to lose 3 million subscribers a year…within five years ESPN will be bringing in less subscriber revenue than they’ve committed for sports rights.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Science” has its own superstitions. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • America’s first airplane hijacking, from 1939. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Topless, under-age drunk, taking a selfie and crashing into a cop car are no way to go through life, Aggie girl.
  • Syria: Sometimes All the Options Are Bad

    Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

    Certain factions of the Washington establishment (here’s a good example) are demanding that Obama “do something” to stop the fighting around Aleppo in Syria, the “something” in this case being the threat of force, or even actual use thereof, to stop Russian airstrikes and prevent a “humanitarian disaster.” And Hillary Clinton is calling for a no-fly zone.

    To which I reply: Why?

    We can’t back the good guys in the Syrian civil war because there are no good guys. Assad’s ruling faction are scumbags. The Russians backing Assad are scumbags. Hezbollah, fighting on Assad’s side, are scumbags. The Iranian mullahs backing Assad are scumbags. Turkey is currently ruled by Erdogan’s Islamist scumbags, and Turkey is more interested in attacking the Kurds than the Islamic State. The Free Syrian Army is riddled with Islamist scumbags. The al-Nusra front are scumbags. The Islamic State is made up of the very worst scumbags in the region (and world). The only notable faction that aren’t scumbags are the Kurds, who, as an ethnic and geographic minority, are in no position to rule Syria, or even a significant fraction of it.

    To the extent that Obama’s imaginary red lines and desultory, ineffectual backing of Syrian rebel groups have harmed America’s reputation for competence in the region, the damage has already been done. (Indeed, the Obama/Clinton/Kerry strategy for fomenting regime change in the hope that things would turn out better, like a liberal funhouse mirror distorted reflection of George W. Bush’s far more limited regime change goals in Iraq, have made things worse across the region.) We have no pressing national interest at stake in the Syrian civil war, there’s not a contending faction (outside the peripherally-involved Kurds) worth backing, and it’s not apparent what such an intervention might reasonably achieve.

    All of which makes me incredulous when I read pieces that suggest that Obama is considering military actions in Syria.

    Even some on the right have been agitating for the United States to “do something” in Syria, and S. E. Cupp’s Twitter timeline has gone to an “all heart-tugging photos of Syrian children” format without saying why it is the United State’s interest to intervene in Syria or proposing anything concrete as to what form that intervention should take.

    A large part of the current push to intervene in Syria seems to be coming from an interest group called The Syria Campaign. Who is behind it?

    From that Zero Hedge piece:

    A careful look at the origins and operation of The Syria Campaign raises doubts about the outfit’s image as an authentic voice for Syrian civilians, and should invite serious questions about the agenda of its partner organizations as well.
    A creation of international PR firms

    Best known for its work on liberal social issues with well-funded progressive clients like the ACLU and the police reform group, Campaign Zero, the New York- and London-based public relations firm Purpose promises to deliver creatively executed campaigns that produce either a “behavior change,” “perception change,” “policy change” or “infrastructure change.” As the Syrian conflict entered its third year, this company was ready to effect a regime change.

    On Feb. 3, 2014, Anna Nolan, the senior strategist at Purpose, posted a job listing. According to Nolan’s listing, her firm was seeking “two interns to join the team at Purpose to help launch a new movement for Syria.”

    At around the same time, another Purpose staffer named Ali Weiner posted a job listing seeking a paid intern for the PR firm’s new Syrian Voices project. “Together with Syrians in the diaspora and NGO partners,” Weiner wrote, “Purpose is building a movement that will amplify the voices of moderate, non-violent Syrians and mobilize people in the Middle East and around the world to call for specific changes in the political and humanitarian situation in the region.” She explained that the staffer would report “to a Strategist based primarily in London, but will work closely with the Purpose teams in both London and New York.”

    On June 16, 2014, Purpose founder Jeremy Heimans drafted articles of association for The Syria Campaign’s parent company. Called the Voices Project, Heimans registered the company at 3 Bull Lane, St. Ives Cambridgeshire, England. It was one of 91 private limited companies listed at the address. Sadri would not explain why The Syria Campaign had chosen this location or why it was registered as a private company.

    Along with Heimans, Purpose Europe director Tim Dixon was appointed to The Syria Campaign’s board of directors. So was John Jackson, a Purpose strategist who previously co-directed the Burma Campaign U.K. that lobbied the EU for sanctions against that country’s ruling regime. (Jackson claimed credit for The Syria Campaign’s successful push to remove Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s re-election campaign ads from Facebook.) Anna Nolan became The Syria Campaign’s project director, even as she remained listed as the strategy director at Purpose.

    From The Syria Campaign’s own website:

    The Syria Campaign is a non-profit organisation registered as a company in the United Kingdom as The Voices Project—company number 8825761. (You can’t be a registered charity in the UK if most of your work is campaigning.)

    We have a Governing Board who are legally responsible for the organisation and oversee strategy and finance for The Syria Campaign. The board members are Daniel Gorman, Ben Stewart, Sawsan Asfari, Tim Dixon and Lina de Sergie.

  • Jeremy Heimans co-founded “a campaign group in the U.S. presidential elections that used crowd-funding to help a group of women whose loved ones were in Iraq hire a private jet to follow Vice-President Dick Cheney on his campaign stops, in what became known as the “‘Chasing Cheney’ tour” among other leftist activism.
  • Daniel Gorman heads “the UK’s largest festival of contemporary Arab culture.”
  • Ben Stewart is a Greenpeace activist who has a grudge against Russia for detaining 30 of his fellow travelers.
  • Sawsan Asfari is “active in various charities that help Palestinians across the Arab world” and is the wife of Syrian-born British billionaire Ayman Asfari.
  • Lina de Sergie seems to more commonly go by Lina Sergie Attar. “She is a Syrian-American architect and writer from Aleppo. She co-developed Karam’s Innovative Education initiatives: the creative therapy and holistic wellness program for displaced Syrian children and the Karam Leadership Program, an entrepreneurship and technology program for displaced Syrian youth.” Yes, I’m sure “holistic wellness” is a big priority for Syrian refugees. Karam’s Mission Statement: “We develop Innovative Education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distribute Smart Aid to Syrian families, and fund Sustainable Development projects initiated by Syrians for Syrians.”
  • Tim Dixon has quite an extensive resume, being a former speechwriter to two Australian Labor Party Prime Ministers and involved in a large number of causes:

    – a large-scale initiative to help change hearts and minds on the global refugee crisis;
    – The Syria Campaign, to move the world to action on the humanitarian crisis in Syria;
    – Everytown, the movement to tackle gun violence in America

  • Etc.

    So, to summarize: It’s run by international left-wing activists in favor of Europe accepting more “Syrian” “refugees”, soft jihadis, and gun banners.

    These are not the sort of people I want driving American national security decisions.

    The situation in Syria is horrible, but outside territory held by the Islamic State, it’s the same type of horrible that has plagued the Middle East pretty much constantly absent control by a ruling power with sufficient force to keep the endemic ethnic strife under wraps. Wars there are fought under Hama rules, not those of the Geneva Convention.

    It is not in the best interests of the United States to intervene militarily in Syria. We have no compelling national security interest in Syria right now, there’s no faction worth backing, and trying to “create safe areas” or “establish no-fly zones” would be dangerous, cost-prohibitive and unlikely to succeed.

    Sometimes the best choice is doing nothing at all.

    LinkSwarm for October 14, 2016

    Friday, October 14th, 2016

    This year…

  • Rasmussen has Trump ahead.
  • Italy’s economy is a mile high house of cards.
  • Citigroup, parent of Citibank, had a huge role in staffing and shaping the agenda of Obama’s first term.
  • Cracked on the country/city divide fueling Trump’s rise.
  • Wisconsin Senate candidate Russ Feingold admits that he and Hillary Clinton want to disarm Americans.
  • Competitive shooter stopped Minnesota mall jihad rampage. (Hat tip: KR Training.)
  • Social Justice Warriors hate women’s magazines.
  • Peak New Hampshire.
  • Lawyers file fake lawsuits against fake plaintiffs to obtain fake judgements to take down real comments off the Internet, then pressure Google to deindex the offending article, all evidently at the behest of a “reputation management” firm. Presumably The King in Yellow is not involved…
  • Scandal claims another Andrew Cuomo advisor. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “Liberalism has lost the loyalty of the downtrodden that once, with admittedly mixed motives, it set out to help. That’s a loss it’s unlikely to survive.”
  • Library addition: Nine William F. Buckley, Jr. non-fiction books, seven signed.
  • Shorter than usual, for Reasons.

    Have a nice weekend.