Posts Tagged ‘video’

The Venezuela Diet

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Important Administrative Note: I’ve published additional blog posts, like this one, but for some reason they’re not showing up on the front page of the blog.

“Want to lose weight without drugs, pills, or human rights?”

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

ComeyComeyComeyComeyChameleon….

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is the big story everyone and their dog wants to talk about right now.

I’m looking at the story with the sort of numb acceptance that I view the last three minutes of the TV show coming on before the show you actually want to watch at the end of a long day when you feel too tired and numb to switch channels. (Except for Madam Secretary right before Elementary, because screw that dated love letter to Hillary Clinton.)

Did Comey need to go? Yeah, but he probably wouldn’t make my Top 10 List of Obama Administration Holdovers Who Need Firing.

The amusing thing is, of course, how all the Democrats who wanted Comey fired for investigating Hillary, then retained for sorta exonerating her, then fired for reopening the investigation in light of the Anthony Weiner laptop just days before the election, are now outraged that he’s been fired.

Here’s a clip of some:

For another example, here’s Georgia Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson saying he had “no confidence” in Comey four months ago:

Yet today, Johnson “called Trump’s firing of Comey an ‘assault on our Republic.'”

Stephen Colbert’s trained barking seals seemed delighted at Comey’s firing:

One of the most hilarious things about the Comey firing is that it rekindled the Democrats’ idée fixe on their “Russia hacked the election” fantasy, which they finally appeared ready to move on from. Now it’s going to be

all over again.

Scott Adams explains the cognitive dissonance induced by the Comey firing:

President Trump’s official reason for the Comey firing has to do with a loss of confidence over his handling of the Clinton email investigation. The beauty of that official explanation (true or not) is that it is making heads explode with Democrats and the Opposition Media. How dare President Trump fire the person we publicly demanded he fire!

Now we have a bizarre situation in which both sides (Demcrats and Republicans) wanted Comey fired, but they had different reasons for wanting it. Democrats were upset that he might have torpedoed Hillary Clinton’s campaign by talking about the Weiner laptop discovery of additional Clinton emails close to Election Day. And Republicans hated Comey for not pursuing a criminal case against Clinton for her email server misdeeds. That’s the perfect set-up for cognitive dissonance. I’ll explain:

Democrats and the Opposition Media reflexively oppose almost everything President Trump does. This time he gave them something they wanted, badly, but not for the reason they wanted. That’s a trigger. It forces anti-Trumpers to act angry in public that he did the thing they wanted him to do. And they are.

Trump cleverly addressed the FBI’s Russian collusion investigation by putting the following line in the Comey firing letter: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

That one odd sentence caused every media outlet to display the quote and talk about it, over and over. And when you focus on something, no matter the reason, it rises in importance in your mind. President Trump, the Master Persuader, made all of us think about the “not under investigation” part over, and over, and over.

Roger Simon suggest that we’ll now get a real investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds.

We’ll see…

Clinton Corruption Update for April 13, 2017

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

With Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign due out April 18, it’s high time for a Clinton Corruption update. (And you may quibble that “Hillary being a nasty person” doesn’t qualify as “corruption,” but if I started doing separate “Hillary Clinton is a horrible human being” updates, I’d never have time to sleep…)

The book excerpts show that Hillary was every bit as much a joy to work with as we all suspected:

Hillary was so mad she couldn’t think straight. She was supposed to be focused on the prep session for that night’s Univision debate in Miami, but a potent mix of exhaustion and exasperation bubbled up inside.

She’d been humiliated in the Michigan primary the night before, a loss that not only robbed her of a prime opportunity to put Bernie Sanders down for good but also exposed several of her weaknesses. How could she have been left so vulnerable? She knew — or at least she thought she did. The blame belonged to her campaign team, she believed, for failing to hone her message, energize important constituencies and take care of business in getting voters to the polls. And now, Jake Sullivan, her de facto chief strategist, was giving her lip about the last answer she’d delivered in the prep session.

“That’s not very good,” Sullivan corrected.

“Really?” Hillary snapped back.

The room fell silent.

“Why don’t you do it?”

The comment was pointed and sarcastic, but she meant it. So for the next 30 minutes, there he was, pretending to be Hillary while she critiqued his performance.

Every time the Yale lawyer and former high school debate champ opened his mouth, Hillary cut him off. “That isn’t very good,” she’d say. “You can do better.” Then she’d hammer him with a Bernie line.

It wasn’t just Sullivan in her crosshairs. She let everyone on her team have it that day. “We haven’t made our case,” she fumed. “We haven’t framed the choice. We haven’t done the politics.”

“She was visibly, unflinchingly pissed off at us as a group,” said one aide who was in the room for the humiliating scene. “And she let us know she felt that way.”

Hillary had been up into the wee hours the night before, agitating over her loss. This is because we made poor choices about where we traveled, she thought. She emailed Robby Mook to tell him she believed she’d spent too much time in the cities of Detroit and Flint and not enough in the working-class white suburbs around them. Sensing just how angry she was, Mook responded by putting together a morning conference call so that Hillary could vent. But that didn’t settle her; if anything, it left her more perplexed and angry, as her debate-prep team witnessed firsthand.

Her aides took the browbeating — one of several she delivered in person and on the phone that day — in silence. They had a lot of their own thoughts on what went wrong, some of which echoed Hillary’s assessment: her message was off for Michigan, and she had refused to go hard against trade; Mook had pinched pennies and failed to put organizers on the ground; the polling and analytics were a touch too rosy, meaning the campaign didn’t know Bernie was ahead; she had set up an ambiguous decisionmaking structure on the campaign; and she’d focused too heavily on black and brown voters at the expense of competing for the whites who had formed her base in 2008. The list went on and on.

The underlying truth — the one that many didn’t want to admit to themselves — was the person ultimately responsible for these decisions, the one whose name was on the ticket, hadn’t corrected these problems, all of which had been brought to her attention before primary day. She’d stuck with the plan, and it had cost her.

(Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

More on the same theme:

“Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left her staff members in tears and unable to work,” a campaign aide told Klein in 2015, according to a New York Post report. “She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her, and she’s become shrill and, at times, even violent.”

According to the report, Hillary blasted a low-level campaign worker who had made a scheduling mistake. When Hillary viciously berated her, the worker turned and began to walk away. That’s when Hillary reportedly grabbed her by the arm.

In one June 2016 report, it was revealed Hillary hurled a Bible at a Secret Service agent’s head, according to former agent Gary Byrne, who said her explosions grew worse as the Clintons’ time in the White House went on.

Byrne warned Hillary was too “erratic, uncontrollable and occasionally violent” for the presidency.

In other Clinton corruption news:

  • RussiaGate: Hillary Clinton and John Podesta’s Troubling Ties to Russia. Much will be familiar to regular BattleSwarm readers, but there’s some nice recap for those coming in cold:

    Unlike the revelations so far concerning Russian ties in the Trump camp, the Clinton deals involved hundreds of millions of dollars and enormous favors that benefitted Russian interests.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton received large sums of money directly and indirectly from Russian officials while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Bill Clinton was paid a cool $500,000 (well above his normal fee) for a speech in Moscow in 2010. Who footed the bill? An investment firm in Moscow called Renaissance Capital, which boasts deep ties to Russian intelligence. The Clinton Foundation itself took money from Russian officials and Putin-connected oligarchs. They also took donations from:

  • Viktor Vekselberg, a Putin confidant who gave through his company, Renova Group
  • Andrey Vavilov, a former Russian government official who was Chairman of SuperOx, a research company that was part of the “nuclear Cluster” at the Russian government’s Skolkovo research facility
  • Elena Baturina, the wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, who apparently gave them money through JSC Inteco, an entity that she controls
  • (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Ditto this National Review piece on the Clintons’ Russian ties:

    The shadiest deal that the Clintons hatched with Russia is called Uranium One. This outrage should mushroom into Hillary and Bill’s radioactive Whitewater scandal.

    Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul and major Clinton Foundation donor, led a group of investors in an enterprise called Uranium One. On June 8, 2010, Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, announced plans to purchase a 51.4 percent stake in the Canadian company, whose international assets included some 20 percent of America’s uranium capacity.

    Because this active ingredient in atomic reactors and nuclear weapons is a strategic commodity, this $1.3 billion deal required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Secretary of State Clinton was one of nine federal department and agency heads on that secretive panel.

    On June 29, 2010, three weeks after Rosatom proposed to Uranium One, Bill Clinton keynoted a seminar staged by Renaissance Capital in Moscow, a reputedly Kremlin-controlled investment bank that promoted this transaction. Renaissance Capital paid Clinton $500,000 for his one-hour speech.

    While CFIUS evaluated Rosatom’s offer, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer observed, “a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” began. “These Canadian mining magnates decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

    These included Uranium One’s then-chairman, Ian Telfer, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) totaled $3.1 million. Giustra himself gave $131.3 million to the Clinton Foundation. Before, during, and after CFIUS’s review, Schweizer calculates, “shareholders involved in this transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives.”

    Others were less enthused about this deal.

    “Russia’s record of transferring dangerous materials and technologies to rogue regimes, such as those in Iran and Syria, is very troubling,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, wrote to CFIUS’s then-chairman, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The top Republicans on the Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Armed Services Committees also signed Ros-Lehtinen’s letter of October 5, 2010.

    “We believe that this potential takeover of U.S. nuclear resources by a Russian government–owned agency would pose great potential harm to the national security of the United States,” the letter read, “and we urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to block the sale.”

    As a CFIUS member, Hillary could have heeded this warning and stopped Vladimir Putin from controlling a fifth of U.S. uranium supplies. America’s chief diplomat and former first lady either welcomed this prospect or was too uncharacteristically demure to make her objections stick.

    In either case, on October 23, 2010, within three weeks of that letter, CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of a majority stake in Uranium One.

    Thanks to subsequent investments, Rosatom’s share of Uranium One grew to 100 percent by January 2013. Robert Gill of Morrison Williams Investment Management told Canada’s Financial Post: “By doing this acquisition, they can continue to build the company they intended to build, but they can do so without the transparency required by the public markets.”

    Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko crowed just after taking total control of Uranium One, “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves.”

    A headline in Pravda boasted on January 22, 2013: “Russian nuclear energy conquers the world.”

    My old friend Michael Caputo performed public-relations work for Renaissance Capital in 1999–2000. He says it subsequently became “a practical arm of Vladimir Putin.” Caputo was stunned at the speed with which CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

    “In 2010–2011, I ran acquisition communications for Safran Group, the French government–controlled defense contractor which bought the US biometrics company L-1,” Caputo wrote in PoliticsNY.net. “It took us almost two years to gain CFIUS approval for France, an historic ally, to purchase a biometrics firm, not even remotely a strategic asset.” He added, “These two CFIUS approvals were happening at precisely the same time. Safran couldn’t buy a break and was questioned at every turn. Somehow, Kremlin-controlled Rosatom’s purchase sailed through on a cool breeze.”

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Even more on John Podesta’s Russian ties:

    Rep. Louie Gohmert, an outspoken House Republican from Texas, is calling for a congressional investigation of John Podesta’s role with Rusnano, a state-run company founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

    Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

    Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

  • And how did Podesta react to these charges? He hit the Daily Caller with a cease and desist letter.
  • “Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta grossed more than $500,000 to represent a Chinese company criminally convicted in March of sending illegal shipments of telecom equipment to Iran.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “New Huma Abedin Emails Reveal Additional Instances of Clinton Sending Classified Information through Unsecured Emails, Special Favors for Clinton Donors.”
  • “Hillary Clinton had astonishing access to top secret documents after she left state department“:

    Hillary Clinton may have resigned her secretary role at the State Department in 2013 – but her access to top secret and classified information didn’t end then.

    Under Barack Obama, she was allowed to continue to view highly sensitive intel documents for years – well past her announced run for the presidency in April 2015, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Why? Toward what possible end?

    So she could better write her memoir.

    File this in the “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” folder.

    And it wasn’t just Clinton who kept the power of top secret access. It was six of her former staffers, who went by the tag of “research assistants.”

  • “Hillary has no plans to return to work at Clinton Foundation.” Yes, “work.” Because cashing checks from influence-seekers is so strenuous…
  • The hagiographers at Vanity Fair talk about Hillary coming out of the woods.
  • Bill Maher: Stay in the woods:

    The shrill, annoying woman acting as Social Justice Warrior Policer of Jokes and Defender of the Hillary Faith is evidently Neera Tanden. Every time she speaks, just imagine tiny votes flying on fairy wings from the Democratic to the Republican side of the ledger; she’s that annoying.

  • A tweet, with video:

  • United Airlines Drags Doctor Off Flight For Not Volunteering

    Monday, April 10th, 2017

    Here’s the incident that’s roiling the Twitters this morning:

    From the description:

    On the 9th April, 2017, a man was forcibly removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 in Chicago, set for Louisville. While we’d normally say that until we have all the information, we have no information at all, the United response tends to confirm the incident as described by passengers. United Airlines said that … “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”

    Does rather put a Soviet spin on the word “volunteer,” doesn’t it?

    Reportedly, the man removed was a doctor who needed to see a patient. Also, word on Twitter (caveats, etc.) is that he was ejected so a United employee could fly free.

    Obviously this is a situation that required police to drag a man off a plane. That will teach you to sit quietly in the seat you lawfully paid for, comrade!

    Pat Condell: “Hello Angry Losers”

    Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

    Pat Condell has a message for those who are still fighting Brexit: “Your bitter and abusive response to Brexit makes the fact that you lost almost as pleasing as the fact that we won.”

    Some choice quotes:

    Now that Britain is officially leaving the anti-democratic European Union, many of us who voted for that happy day are hoping that the people who have been spitting feathers for the last nine months telling us how ignorant and stupid we are for not selling out our birthright will finally show a little dignity and accept the referendum result. This applies especially to all you public progressives, angry intellectuals, failed politicians, media hacks, and tinpot celebrities who are still bristling at being overruled by those you clearly regard as your inferiors. Indeed, the one thing that comes through all the lamenting and teeth-gnashing is a quite visceral contempt for the knowledge and intelligence of the general public.

    Snip.

    We voted for the things that are important to us, and not for the things that are important to you, so naturally you assume that we walked on our knuckles to the polling station and voted with a heavy blunt instrument. You impugn our motives with your own nasty assumptions, you blithely dismiss us as little Englanders, and sneer at our opinions as if we have no right to hold them. To you, we’re not only wrong politically, but morally too. Either too stupid to understand the issues, or too busy eating out of a bucket in front of the TV to pay attention, or just plain racist. It’s the same condescending backlash we’ve seen against Trump voters in the United States. And it’s the same condescending people who are behind it, people like you. Your bitter and abusive response to Brexit makes the fact that you lost almost as pleasing as the fact that we won, especially given your selective support for democracy. When you win a vote, oh, it’s the will of the people, but when you lose, suddenly it’s the tyranny of the majority, and the rules weren’t fair, and they need to be changed retrospectively, or you’ll throw a tantrum.

    Snip.

    Look at the unholy mess that all those PhDs in economics have made of the single currency. They clearly don’t know what they’re doing. Or, even worse, they do. Either way, their disastrous vanity project has impoverished an entire generation and punished the people of southern Europe, essentially for not being German enough. Somebody should have told them that everyone in Europe would need to be a lot more German if this thing was ever going to work. Their irresponsible migrant policy seems calculated to flood a borderless Europe with criminals, terrorists and rapists. They flout their own rules to expose us to the most violent dregs of humanity who have no right to be here, none of whom we can deport, and whose presence is going to make things permanently more dangerous for all women and girls. Politically, they throw their weight around and behave like dictators. They remove elected governments that won’t do their bidding.

    Snip.

    We get it that you don’t want to be governed by the opinions of people you don’t respect. Why do you think that we, the majority, don’t want to be governed by your opinions? Sovereignty matters to us in a way that clearly it doesn’t matter to you, but that doesn’t make us ignorant, immoral, narrow-minded, xenophobic, racist, or thick, and it takes a hell of a lot of arrogance for an intelligent person not to see that. But you keep doing it your way. Keep telling us we got it wrong because we’re too stupid and ignorant, and maybe a bit racist, to know any better. Keep insulting and patronising us, calling us little Englanders, and telling us we’re too dumb and irresponsible to have an opinion at all, and maybe we’ll change our minds. Yeah, and maybe we’ll all celebrate next Christmas on Mars. You never know. Britain is leaving the European Union because we voted for it fair and square, and the rotten un-mandated, unrepresentative European Union is deservedly dying. I don’t know what else to tell you. If it’s too much to bear, put your fingers in your ears and close your eyes. It will all be over soon.

    Still disagree about Ukraine, but otherwise he’s spot on.

    Rep. Beto O’Rourke Declares For Ted Cruz’s Senate Seat

    Saturday, April 1st, 2017

    El Paso Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke is officially running for Ted Cruz’s senate seat in 2018.

    Cruz will still be a prohibitive favorite incumbent with a national profile, a battle-tested campaign team and demonstrated fundraising prowess running in a deep red state. However, in O’Rourke he faces something he’s never run into in a statewide race: A serious Democratic office holder who actually wants to run, something notable absent in 2012.

    O’Rouke is not someone to sleep on. The same year Cruz was elected to the Senate, O’Rouke knocked off 8-term Democratic incumbent Silvestre Reyes in a district that’s 79.5% Hispanic. I suspect that he would make a much more formidable general election opponent than the much-better-known Rep. Joaquin Castro. But whether he can get by the likely better-funded Castro in the Democratic primary is another matter.

    O’Rourke is talking about running an unconventional campaign:

    But the El Paso Democrat is earnestly bullish that he will go to the Senate through a strategy of bringing retail politics to a state of 27 million people.

    He has no pollster and no consultants at this point, and said he has no interest in hiring operatives of that ilk.

    “Since 1988, when Lloyd Bentsen won re-election to the Senate, Democrats have spent close to a billion dollars on consultants and pollsters and experts and campaign wizards and have performed terribly,” he said.

    The approach offers a clear contrast with Cruz, who has used his own consultants to devastating effect in his races for the U.S. Senate and the White House. Last month, several members of Cruz’s political team showed attendees at the Conservative Political Action Convention a presentation of his presidential campaign’s investment and innovations in data analytics.

    Certainly Democrats need to change something about running statewide campaigns in Texas, but the “blame the consultants” strategy seems to be yet another case of Democrats ignoring the fact that their liberal policies are unpopular with the Texas electorate.

    Then there’s the money issue:

    Cruz begins the race with $4.2 million in campaign money. And the early signs amid O’Rourke’s run is that Tea Party groups and establishment organizations will line up with tens of millions of dollars to back Cruz at the slightest sign of trouble.

    Nationally, Democrats have no appetite at this point to spend serious money in Texas, and O’Rourke is not accepting money from political action committees. He, like all federal candidates, has no control over whether a super PAC opts to get involved.

    But anyone opposing Cruz is a likely magnet for angry liberal dollars. And O’Rourke could have the makings of a Bernie Sanders-type fundraising operation. He is one of the most adept politicians when it comes to social media and was an early adopter of building a following with Facebook Live, a means of broadcasting events through that website.

    That’s the problem for Texas Democrats: The message that pulls in nationwide liberal dollars is not the message that wins statewide in Texas, as Wendy Davis can attest.

    And that will be the problem for O’Rourke, who seems to be a doctrinaire liberal on just about every issue, from gun control to the border wall to abortion. Indeed, there does not seem to be any issue where O’Rourke is any less liberal than Davis, and he’s arguably worse on gun control.

    If O’Rourke makes it past Castro in the primary, Democrats will probably find out, yet again, that the liberal Democratic policies are still out-of-step with Texas voters.

    Bonus: O’Rourke was in a punk band called Foss in college. Here they are pretending to be a gospel band to get on a Christian access show:

    Well, O’Rourke probably made the right decision not to pursue a musical career. I don’t think Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra were hearing footsteps…

    Follow-Up: Same Robbery, Different Angles

    Thursday, March 16th, 2017

    This is more extensive footage of the same robbery from different angles:

    And Hsoi’s comment on the previous video appears to be correct: Security guard Brian Harrison does appear to have to re-cock the slide during the fight, indicating some sort of misfire.

    Pat Condell on Feminism and Muslim Rape Culture

    Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

    Once again, Pat Condell brings the wood when it comes to feminism turning a blind eye to the Islamic rape culture growing in Europe:

    “How threatening does this invasion get before you vote against it?”

    Tidbit: A Syrian “refugee” received all of two months in jail for raping and sodomizing a 13-year old.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Anne Marie Waters that Condell mentions, she’s director of Sharia Watch UK. Here’s her website.

    NRA Sticks It To The New York Times

    Sunday, March 5th, 2017

    Via Ace of Spades comes this masterful NRA slam of the New York Times:

    Etched in Eternity: Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens

    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    Easily the most emotional part of President Trump’s joint address to congress was his tribute to fallen Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, the first solider who died under President Trump’s watch, with his widow Carryn Owens in the audience.

    Ryan died as he lived — a warrior, a hero, battling against terrorism, and securing our nation. I just spoke to our great General Mattis just now who reconfirmed that, and I quote, Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy. Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.

    Following the tribute was a full two minutes of standing ovation for Owens and his widow everyone in attendance (with the notable exception of several prominent Democrats, including former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and newly-elected DNC Vice Chair Rep. Keith Ellison).

    It was clearly the emotional highlight of President Trump’s speech, and arguable of any joint address/state of the union address in recent memory. And Trump’s gentle quip “I think he just broke a record” was a masterful way to bring the moment to a satisfying denouement and continue the speech.

    Here’s an overview of Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens’ career serving his country:

    Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens

    Died Jan. 29, 2017 Supporting U.S. Central Command operations
    36, of Peoria, Illinois; assigned to a special warfare unit based on the U.S. East Coast; died of wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaida.

    The Department of Defense today has identified Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens as the first American war casualty of the President Donald Trump era.

    Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill., died Jan.29 of wounds received during a raid conducted in Yemen. Three other service members were wounded in the raid.

    Nava Special Warfare Command confirmed Owens was assigned to an “East Coast-based Special Warfare unit.” While multiple news outlets are reporting the unit as Seal Team Six, the Navy would not confirm.

    An estimated 14 al-Qaida terrorists were killed during the raid, according to a release by the U.S. Central Command.

    “Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said in a White House press release on Jan. 29. “My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member.

    A fifth service member was injured when “a U.S. military aircraft assisting in the operation experienced a hard landing at a nearby location,” according to the CENTCOM release.

    That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing and was intentionally destroyed.

    Owens enlisted in the Navy in Aug. 24, 1998. After initially training as a cryptologic technician (communications), he served his initial tour of duty at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, Maryland, before attending basic and advanced SEAL training in Coronado, California, completing training in December 2002.

    His first tour as a SEAL was at a West Coast unit, followed by three consecutive East Coast unit tours. He was on his fifth team tour when he was killed. He’d been with that unit just over two years.

    He was selected for chief petty officer in 2009.

    Along with his SEAL Trident and Basic Parachutist wings, he is qualified to wear the following awards:

    Navy/Marine Corps Medal
    Bronze Star w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
    Bronze Star
    Joint Service Commendation Medal w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
    Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards)
    Joint Service Achievement Medal
    Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards)
    Combat Action Ribbon
    Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 awards)
    Good Conduct Medal (6 awards)
    Presidential Unit Citation (3 awards)
    National Defense Service Medal
    Afghanistan Campaign Medal
    Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
    Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
    Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8 awards)

    The Navy doesn’t hand out Navy/Marine Corps Medals or Bronze Stars (with or without the Combat V) to just anyone. Senior Chief Owens was clearly an American hero, which makes it all the more inexplicable that prominent Democrats would fail to stand for the ovation to him and his widow.