Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

LinkSwarm for May 3, 2019

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Lot’s of rage by Democrats in this week’s LinkSwarm over Attorney General William Barr over, well, something.

  • The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest since 1969.
  • Followup: Baltimore’s Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh resigns following FBI/IRS raids on home and workplace following the “Healthy Holly” bribery scandal. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Poll: Percentage of Democrats who see border ‘crisis’ jumps 17 points since January.”
  • Old and Busted: “Trump is guilty of treason!” Revised: “Trump is guilty of collusion!” Revised: “Trump is guilty of obstruction!” Revised: “Trump is guilty of something! Release the report!” (Report released.) “Ummm…Barr’s summary was slightly off on one point! Impeach!” Trump Derangement Syndrome is a helluva drug…
  • Indeed, they’re just pissed that Barr’s summary of the report was accurate, meaning the Democrats had three weeks they couldn’t lie about the report. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Checkmate. How President Trump’s legal team outfoxed Mueller.” From the newly resurrected Human Events, this is a detailed legal analysis of how a memo written by William Barr before he became Attorney General laid the groundwork for curtailed Robert Mueller using an overly-expansive definition of “obstruction.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti pleads not guilty to federal wire fraud and tax evasion charges. (Hat tip: Roger Simon.)
  • “F.B.I. Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet With Trump Aide in 2016.” You know, a spy. Here’s a handy decoder for the “covering for Democrats” speak:

  • “Ukrainian embassy confirms DNC contractor solicited Trump dirt in 2016.”
  • More Democratic compassion:

  • Deputy shot in Caldwell County. However, unlike most cases, there are some really stupid decisions on both sides.
  • Facebook banned Milo Yannopoulos, Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan for “extremism,” and the Washington Post headline initially called them all “far right” before a ton of criticism forced them to correct the headline. Because Louis Farrakhan is so well-known for palling around with conservatives. (Facebook is a private entity and can do what it wants, but I don’t want any of those people banned. Let them speak and let people debate their ideas/lunacy/etc. or not as they feel).
  • Even CNN is starting to get a clue:

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Speaking of CNN: “CNN Poll: Overwhelming Majority Want Investigation into Obama DOJ Spying on Trump.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • The members of the Flint, Michigan City Council sound like real winners.
  • “Norwegian fisherman have discovered a beluga whale wearing a tight harness with a camera attachment – sparking speculation the animal belongs to the Russian Navy.” I wouldn’t be surprised, especially since we have our own dolphin program… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The new “Supermajority” organization is just another stalking horse for Planned Parenthood.
  • “Israeli ambassador calls NYT ‘cesspool of hostility.'” Correct, though that’s really two more words than necessary…
  • The latest counterculture icon to be found guilty of WrongThink by Social Justice Warriors is (rolls dice)…cartoonist Robert Crumb.
  • “Covington kid sues NBC for $275 million.” Good. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Lance Morrow reviews Robert Caro’s Working. “If I were teaching journalism or nonfiction writing, especially the writing of history and biography, I would build a course around Caro, with Working as my primary text and scenes from his Johnson books as case studies.”
  • In the “trouble in places you may not have heard of” department, clashes broke out on the African nation of Benin (between Nigeria and Togo on the Ivory Coast) when the ruling party held a parliamentary election from which opposition parties were excluded.
  • Dispatches from Social Justice Warrior land: “Trinity College professor tweets ‘whiteness is terrorism,’ refers to Barack and Michelle Obama as ‘white kneegrows.’”
  • Japan’s Emperor Akihito abdicated, Emperor Naruhito mounting the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, marking the end of the Heisei era and inaugurating the Reiwa era.
  • Actor James Woods is still in the Twitter Gulag:

  • Woman awakens after 27 year coma. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Unhappy meals. Now if only every one came with mopping teenage Goth girl figurines…
  • “‘Mortal Kombat’ Introduces Brutal New Fatality Where Your Character Just States An Opposing Viewpoint…One character says, ‘There are only two genders,’ and his opponent instantly melts into nothing, being unable to handle the opposing viewpoint. Another character suggests that capitalism isn’t all bad, and his opponent’s head instantly falls off.”
  • Legging it.
  • Venezuela: Scenes From A Revolution

    Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

    What better celebration of Victims of Communism Day than open revolt against an oppressive socialist government?

    Interim President Juan Guaido has called for a military revolt against socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro, supported by the United States and numerous other non-scumbag nations. Naturally, the scumbag nations are supporting Maduro. “According to Secretary Pompeo, Maduro was preparing to flee to Cuba until the Russians persuaded him to stay put.”

    Showing the usual restraint of socialist dictators, Venezuelan troops loyal to Maduro have been running over protestors with armored vehicles:

    Unfortunately, the military does not seem to have joined Guaido in mass. But Manuel Figuera, the head of the secret police (and extremely powerful position in dictatorships) has joined the rebellion, and many Venezuelans who fled are looking to join.

    But there’s good economic news for Venezuela! Their inflation rate fell to a mere 1.62 million percent in March, down from 2.30 million percent!

    Related: Dwight just gave this to me as a birthday gift:

    All the better to tell just when that hyperinflated 1 Billion Bolivar note was printed…

    LinkSwarm for April 26, 2019

    Friday, April 26th, 2019

    Democratic mayors behaving badly, violence, mayhem, and an Easter Bunny smackdown. Welcome to your Friday LinkSwarm!

  • Long, detailed post on FISA abuse under the Obama Administration. Fully 85% of all Obama Administration requests were not compliant with federal law.
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka slams Obama and praises President Trump. Unions are also not wild about the “Green New Deal.”
  • Kurt Schlichter revels in the misery of #NeverTrumpers after the Mueller Report:

    Now, it’s not really fair to imply that the Never Trumpers hate Trump solely because he’s vulgar and crude – or, as normal people see it, unwilling to meekly take the guff the Never Trumpers’ country club class pals dish out like a proper gentleman should. They do find him aesthetically displeasing, but it also gnaws at them because every time he stands up to the garbage Democrats, the garbage press, or the garbage jerks and pervs of Hollywood, his refusal to knuckle-under reminds Team Fail that they don’t have the stones to do the same. He shames their cowardly weakness.

    It’s clear, in retrospect, that George W. Bush’s supine acceptance of the abuse the elite heaped upon him was not because he was too classy and too decent to respond in kind. Since Obama left office and he rediscovered his vocal cords, Bush has had zero problem trashing Trump and Trump supporters who, like many of us, stood by Bush in the ’00s while Bush was treading water in a sea of mediocrity. No, it’s clear that W was afraid to fight back against fellow members of the ruling class. He cared about being part of the club. Not The Donald. Trump, by fighting, demonstrates that the establishment GOPers are weak. And it eats at them.

    But besides providing a manly contrast to their own gimp-like submission to the leftist establishment, Trump infuriates the Never Trumpers for another reason. He’s kicked them out of their comfy sinecures. One of Trump’s magical powers is to make his enemies reveal their own grift complicity, and boy, have they ever. As a result, while once the mandarins of Conservative, Inc., traded on their insider influence and privilege, under Trump they are outsiders. Copies of the Weekly Standard used to be all over the Bush White House. Now, if its inept crew had not slammed it into an iceberg, you would be lucky to find a few pages at the bottom of Barron’s pet iguana’s cage.

    Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and all the rest are nobodies, relegated to occasionally joining CNN panels and fighting with Ana Navarro over the doughnuts in the green room. Where’s Bob Corker now? Jeff Flake hasn’t even got an MSNBC gig; I think last week he was the dude who offered to supersize my order.

  • The Twilight of Liberalism:

    it is not the abstract logic of liberalism that is flawed, but rather the attempt to apply it to fallible humans. Like communism, liberalism conflicts with immutable human characteristics. However, unlike communism, certain kinds of liberalism (the industrial liberalism of the 1900s, for example) work because they are moderated by the material conditions of society. But as those moderating conditions are obliterated by technology, the problems of post-industrial liberalism have become clearer. The ultimate problem is this: Humans desire unfettered freedom, but need the discipline that constraint provides. Without such discipline, they risk slumping into an empty and unsatisfying hedonism that is ruinous to communities and to society more broadly.

    Those who are intelligent and self-controlled often create their own constraints and can therefore thrive in post-industrial societies that are radically unlike the societies in which humans evolved. Those who are less intelligent or self-controlled, however, often fail to create successful constraints and therefore suffer when once powerful cultural guardrails (such as religion, strict norms, civic groups, and so on) are destroyed by accelerating innovation and secularism. The result is a growing cultural and economic gap between segments of the population which, when coupled with the declining outcomes for a once thriving middle class, fuels growing bitterness and discontent. Combine this with a trend toward cosmopolitanism that increases ethnic and religious diversity and therefore potential sources of faction and conflict, and liberalism’s immediate prospects look bleak.

    The authors also posit technological change as one of the biggest drivers of challenge to the old liberal order.

  • Followup: Remember how Baltimore’s Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh took over $100,000 in bribes disguised as book sales? Well, now the feds have raided her house and office:

    Hauling out boxes of “Healthy Holly” books and documents, dozens of federal law enforcement agents Thursday struck homes, businesses and government buildings across Baltimore as an investigation into Mayor Catherine Pugh’s business dealings widened.

    FBI agents and IRS officials executed search warrants at her City Hall office, Pugh’s two houses, and offices of the mayor’s allies, as the growing scandal consumed the city’s attention, generated national headlines and provoked fresh calls for the embattled Democratic mayor’s resignation.

    Snip.

    Dave Fitz, an FBI spokesman, confirmed that agents from the Baltimore FBI office and the Washington IRS office searched at least six addresses. The U.S. attorney’s office confirmed the location of a seventh search. The actions were the first confirmation that federal authorities, as well as state officials, were investigating the mayor’s activities.

    Snip.

    Shortly after the raids began, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called on Pugh, who has taken a paid leave of absence as mayor, to resign. The Republican governor had asked the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor on April 1 to investigate Pugh’s sales of her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s book series to the University of Maryland Medical System while she was on its unpaid board of directors.

    “Today, agents for the FBI and the IRS executed search warrants at the mayor’s homes and offices,” Hogan said. “Now, more than ever, Baltimore city needs strong and responsible leadership. Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

    When a raid involves both the FBI and the IRS, usually that’s a bad sign.

  • And speaking of Democratic mayors committing fraud, Edinburg, Texas Mayor Richard Molina was arrested on voting fraud charges:

    At times appearing unfazed by the severity of his circumstances, Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina was guided into a Pharr courtroom Thursday morning after he and his wife surrendered themselves to law enforcement to face multiple election fraud charges. The scene was notably different from when Molina entered a state of the city address just one year ago, shadowboxing and wielding a championship belt.

    Now, allegations from a Texas Attorney General’s office investigation into the city’s 2017 municipal election have cast Molina as allegedly cheating his way into the mayoral seat by having people who live outside of the city vote for him.

    An hour after he turned himself in at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Edinburg office, Molina stood before Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jaime “Jerry” Muñoz, who presides out of Pharr, and was charged with two counts of illegal voting and one count of engaging in organized election fraud — second- and first-degree felonies, respectively.

    Molina, 40, was then escorted to Hidalgo County jail where he was quickly booked in and out on a combined $20,000 cash surety bond, and promptly headed to a city workshop to discuss the future of a city golf course.

    It was business as usual for a mayor who has faced scrutiny since he unseated Edinburg’s longtime mayor, Richard Garcia, in November 2017 by 1,240 votes. Such scrutiny has only increased over the past year as the AG’s office arrested more than a dozen people on illegal voting charges tied to the election.

    And the voting fraud, sadly, seems business as usual in both the Rio Grande Valley in general and Hidalgo County specifically… (Hat tip: Dwight.)

  • The Press Will Learn Nothing From the Russiagate Fiasco.”

    You know what was fake news? Most of the Russiagate story. There was no Trump-Russia conspiracy, that thing we just spent three years chasing. The Mueller Report is crystal clear on this.

    He didn’t just “fail to establish” evidence of crime. His report is full of incredibly damning passages, like one about Russian officialdom’s efforts to reach the Trump campaign after the election: “They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect.”

    Not only was there no “collusion,” the two camps didn’t even have each others’ phone numbers!

    In March of 2017, in one of the first of what would become a mountain of mafia-hierarchy-style “Trump-Russia contacts” graphics in major newspapers, the Washington Post described an email Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sent to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. They called it “the most direct interaction yet of a top Trump aide and a senior member of Putin’s government.”

    The report shows the whole episode was a joke. In order to further the Trump Tower project-that-never-was, Cohen literally cold-emailed the Kremlin. More than that, he entered the email incorrectly, so the letter initially didn’t even arrive. When he finally fixed the mistake, Peskov didn’t answer back.

    That was “the most direct interaction yet of a top Trump aide and a senior member of Putin’s government”!

    As outlined in his initial mandate, Mueller explored “any links” between the Russian government and the campaign of Donald Trump. His conclusion spoke directly to the question of whether there was any kind of quid pro quo between the two sides:

    “The investigation examined whether these contacts involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future.”

    In other words, all those fancy org charts were meaningless. Because there was no conspiracy, all those “walls are closing in” reports — and there were a ton of them — were wrong. We were told we’d hit “turning point” after “turning point” leading to the “the beginning of the end,” with Trump certain, soon, to either resign in shame, Nixon-style, or be impeached.

    The “RNC platform” change story was a canard, according to Mueller. The exchanges Trump figures had with ambassador Sergei Kislyak were “brief, public, and non-substantive.” The conversations Jeff Sessions had with Kislyak at the convention didn’t “include any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.” Mueller added “investigators did not establish that [Carter] Page conspired with the Russian government.”

    There was no blackmail, no secret bribe from Rosneft, no five-year cultivation plan, no evidence of any kind of any relationship that ever existed between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Michael Cohen “never traveled to Prague.”

    The whole Steele dossier appears to have been bunk, with even Bob Woodward now saying the “highly questionable” document “needs to be investigated.” The Times similarly is reporting, two-plus years late, that “people familiar” with Steele’s work began to have “misgivings about [the report’s] reliability arose not long after the document became public.”

    Reporters are going to insist all they did was accurately report the developments of a real investigation. They didn’t imply vast criminality that wasn’t there, or hoodwink audiences into thinking a Watergate-style ending was just around the corner, or routinely blow meaningless episodes like the Sessions-Kislyak meeting out of proportion, or regularly smear people who not only weren’t part of a conspiracy but had no connection to anything (see here for an example).

    They’ll also claim they didn’t spend years openly rooting for indictment and impeachment via wish-casted predictions disguised as reporting and commentary, or denouncing people who doubted the conspiracy as spies and Putin apologists, or clearing their broadcast panels and op-ed pages of skeptics while giving big stages to craven conspiracy-spinners like Malcolm Nance and Luke Harding.

    (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)

  • Mark Steyn notes that between the Notre Dame fire and the bombing of Christian churches in Sri Lanka, our journalists have reached new levels in truth avoidance:

    It used to be said that ninety per cent of news is announcing Lord Jones is dead to people who were entirely unaware that Lord Jones was ever alive. Now the trick is to announce Lord Jones is dead and ensure that people remain entirely unaware of why he is no longer alive. One senses that a line was crossed in yesterday’s coverage. As one of our Oz Steyn Club members, Kate Smyth, put it, the media have advanced from dhimmitude to full-blown taqiyya.

    The lights are going out on the most basic of journalistic instincts: Who, what, when, where, why. All are subordinate to the Narrative – or Official Lie. All day yesterday and into today, if you had glanced at the telly, switched on the radio or surfed the big news sites of the Internet, you would have thought the Tamil Tigers were back “with a vengeance”, as The Economist put it – even though with one exception (the 1990 police massacre) the death toll was higher than any individual attack the Tigers had ever pulled off.

  • This seems like big news: “The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House abandon a U.S. surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone calls and text messages.”
  • Interesting thread on Gregory Craig, Obama’s White House Counsel who was recently indicted for crimes in his Ukraine work with Paul Manafort, and also Ted kennedy’s top foreign policy guy back when he was secretly asking for the Soviets to help him against Reagan.
  • “The partisan warfare over the Mueller report will rage, but one thing cannot be denied: Former President Barack Obama looks just plain bad. On his watch, the Russians meddled in our democracy while his administration did nothing about it.”
  • Russia launches world’s largest submarine. “The six hundred foot long submarine displaces more water than a World War I battleship and can dive to a depth of 1,700 feet.” More: “The nuclear-powered Belgorod is neither an attack submarine nor a ballistic missile sub. A special mission submarine, Belgorod will be a mothership to other undersea vessels. The sub can carry a payload on its back, behind the sail, or a Losharik class mini-submarine that attaches and detaches to the bottom of the hull.”
  • The Philippines threaten war over the canuck garbage menace.
  • M. J. Hegar, the Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. John Carter for the Texas 31st congressional district last year, announced that she’s running against John Cornyn. If she couldn’t take Carter in the Betomania midterm of 2018, she stands approximately no chance against Cornyn in the Presidential year of 2020.
  • “Sarah Wickline Hull was 20 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.”
  • Former State Department employee Candace Marie Claiborne pleads guilty to concealing contacts from communist China. From the 2017 indictment:

    According to the affidavit in support of the complaint and arrest warrant, which was unsealed today, Claiborne began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She has served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai, China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintains a Top Secret security clearance. Claiborne also is required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency.

    Despite such a requirement, the affidavit alleges, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years. According to the affidavit, the gifts and benefits included cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, an Apple iPhone and laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, and a monthly stipend. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, the affidavit alleges, while others were provided through a co-conspirator.

    Notable is how cheaply her allegiance was bought: “Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents, who, shortly after wiring $2,480 to Claiborne.”

  • Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander reportedly defects. “Brigadier General Ali Nasiri, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Protection Bureau, is said to have fled to the West after a fallout with the representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC….General Nasiri was said to have fled with hundreds of classified documents, which could be of great value to the United States.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Katy human trafficking sting results in 44 arrests. (Hat tip: Governor Greg Abbott on Twitter.)
  • “The Bail Project is an unprecedented effort to combat mass incarceration at the front end of the system…We pay bail for people in need, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.” Like Samuel Scott. “Just hours after a nonprofit group posted bail for a man accused of assaulting his wife, the suspect went to the woman’s home and brutally murdered her.”
  • Kansas schools rebel against Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Ouch! 28-vehicle, multiple-fatality crash in Colorado.
  • Man who shot four people in self-defense, killing one, turns down plea deal, gets acquitted by jury in Philadelphia. (Hat tip: Karl Rehn.)
  • No matter how badly you’ve ever failed a class, you’ve never failed one “police cadet accidentally shoots two fellow cadets” bad. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • More on the Boeing 737 Max stall issue. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Australian feminist coffee shop that charged men a surcharge goes out of business. That will teach the patriarchy!
  • Shocking truth from the Washington Post: “If you’re in debt, you don’t deserve a vacation.” (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Savage:

  • Florida Man gets ass kicked by the Easter bunny.
  • Speaking of oversized ears, here’s a chart of everything Disney owns. Including Vice.
  • “New Poll Reveals Americans Strongly In Favor Of Legalizing Comedy.”
  • This just seems like a really bad idea. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Heh:

  • “Epic Troll: Jesus To Return Moments Before Avengers: Endgame Premieres.”
  • Happy Friday!

  • Clinton Corruption Update for April 24, 2019

    Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

    No one expects the unexpected return of the Clinton Corruption Update! Surprise is one of our chief weapons…

    With the Mueller document clearing away the cobwebs of the Russian collusion fantasy, we can finally focus on the other half of the scandularity. There’s news on the Clinton Corruption front, namely the recovery of still more Hillary emails:

    Judicial Watch announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President. The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner.

    E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, made the disclosure to Judicial Watch as part of court-ordered discovery into the Clinton email issue.

    U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as Priestap, to be deposed or answer writer questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

    Priestap was asked by Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Hillary Clinton, her former staff, and government agencies from which “email repositories were obtained.” Priestap responded with the following non-exhaustive list:

    • Bryan Pagliano
    • Cheryl Mills
    • Executive Office of the President [Emphasis added]
    • Heather Samuelson
    • Jacob Sullivan
    • Justin Cooper
    • United States Department of State
    • United States Secret Service
    • Williams & Connolly LLP

    Who knew that so many people enjoyed Hillary’s recipes and yoga tips?

    Priestap, is serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and helped oversee both the Clinton email and the 2016 presidential campaign investigations. Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.

    “This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated – Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.”

    The complete text of Priestap’s response is here.

    Now some other Clinton Corruption news that’s been cooking on the back burner for a while:

  • “FEC Records Indicate Hillary Campaign Illegally Laundered $84 Million.” That’s the DNC scheme we’ve covered before. Also, a familiar name shows up in the story:

    Dan Backer, a campaign-finance lawyer and attorney-of-record in the lawsuit, explained the underlying law in an article for Investor’s Business Daily: Under federal law, “an individual donor can contribute $2,700 to any candidate, $10,000 to any state party committee, and (during the 2016 cycle) $33,400 to a national party’s main account. These groups can all get together and take a single check from a donor for the sum of those contribution limits—it’s legal because the donor cannot exceed the base limit for any one recipient. And state parties can make unlimited transfer to their national party.”

    This legal loophole allows “bundlers” to raise large sums of money from wealthy donors—more than $400,000 at a time—filtering the funds to the national committees. Democrats and Republicans alike exploit this tactic. But once the money reaches the national committees, other limits apply.

    Suspecting the DNC had exceeded those limits, a client of Backer’s, the Committee to Defend the President, began reviewing FEC filings to determine whether there was excessive coordination between the DNC and Clinton. What Backer discovered, as he explained in an interview, was much worse. There was “extensive evidence in the Democrats’ own FEC reports, when coupled with their own public statements that demonstrated massive straw man contributions papered through the state parties, to the DNC, and then directly to Clinton’s campaign—in clear violation of federal campaign-finance law.”

    That’s the same Dan Backer who runs a number of scam PACs. Nice to see him doing something useful for a change, but you still shouldn’t contribute to any of his PACs.

  • Break out the tiny violins: “The Clinton Foundation saw contributions dry up approximately 90% over a three-year period between 2014 and 2017.”
  • “Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.”
  • Russia’s GRU military intelligence service used fraudulent emails to gain access to large amounts of sensitive emails and documents that were then disseminated via covert GRU websites during the 2016 presidential election campaign influence operation, according to the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.” The GRU evidently used spearphising to penetrate the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The piece details the methods. This section was one of the most heavily redacted in the Mueller report. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Reminder: The Russia Collusion Hoax Was Hatched By Hillary Clinton and Her Aides Just Hours After Her Loss, and Fed to a Supportive Media to Explain Away Her Failure — and Theirs.” Including the key role of former CIA director John Brennan in the whole thing.
  • Hillary Clinton spawned the Russia hoax. Christopher Steele is merely its front man.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • It only took two and a half years, but even the New York Times has finally figured out that the Steele Dossier was complete and utter garbage. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • “U.S. Spends $90 Million to Help a few Dozen Afghan Women Get Jobs.” Guess who was involved?

    The U.S. government has blown almost $90 million on a doomed project to help Afghan women enter the workforce with a big chunk of the money going to a Clinton-aligned “development” company that reaped big bucks from Uncle Sam while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The cash flows through the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), which is charged with providing global economic, development and humanitarian assistance. In this case USAID allocated $216 million to supposedly help tens of thousands of Afghan women get jobs and gain promotions over five years. Known as “Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs,” the endeavor was launched in 2014 and tens of millions of dollars later it’s proven to be a major failure…Of interesting note is that one of the biggest contracts went to a company, Chemonics International, with close ties to the Clintons.

    (Hat tip: Borepatch.)

  • Hillary Clinton said confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would bring back slavery.

  • “Easter Worshipers”:

  • Here’s an unlikely bombshell from almost a year ago: “Putin Claims U.S. Intelligence Agents Funneled $400 Million To Clinton Campaign.” Given the source and how little we’ve heard about this claim since, I have to assume there was nothing to it.
  • A new-ish book related to the topic at hand: The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump
  • MUUUUEEELLLLEEERRRR MAAAAAAAANNNNIIIIIAAAAA!!!!!

    Thursday, April 18th, 2019

    It’s Heeeeerrrreeeee!

    Yes, now you too can read the Mueller Report, on which so many liberal hopes were pinned, only to be dashed (at least for that ever-dwindling pool of liberals capable of ration thought) by Attorney General William Barr’s summary that there was no collusion and no obstruction, a fact confirmed by Barr in his press conference this morning. Since then, those who swallowed the Trump Russia Collusion Fantasy hook, line and sinker have been clinging to ever more fanciful theories in order to continue believing that the 2016 Presidential election could somehow still be undone by the report. Others, against all evidence, swore up and done that the Mueller Report would “never be released.”

    Of those who continued to cling to the Trump Russia Collusion Fantasy after Barr’s summary, one wonders how many of them will be convinced by actually reading the report. I suspect many Democrats are simply too invested in the delusional belief structure to ever give it up, and no amount of evidence can ever change their minds.

    Skimming the report itself, it appears that less than 10% of it has been redacted, and each redaction has been labeled with the reason for the redaction (Harm to Ongoing Matter (i.e., continuing investigations into other criminal or spying activity), Personal Privacy, Investigative Technique (such as confidential NSA electronic intercept techniques), and Grand Jury).

    A few Democrats asserted (some jokingly, some not) that the entire report would only consist of page after page of black boxes completely blotting out the text. Thus far I see exactly one page that meets that criteria (page 30).

    Unfortunately, one of the sections I was most interested in reading (that on Russia hacking the Clinton campaign), is also one of the most heavily redacted (pages 176-179).

    I do wonder if some of the redactions are information that implicate the Clinton campaign on working with foreign sources to fabricate the Steele report. Time will tell…

    But Barr’s overall assessment of the report still stands no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    Hopefully I’ll get a chance to read the entire report over the next week.

    Now some reactions:

    And a callback to a classic:

    For Democrats still clinging to the Trump Russia Collusion Fantasy, I’ll leave the final word to William Shatner:

    LinkSwarm for April 5, 2019

    Friday, April 5th, 2019

    I’m knee deep in doing my taxes, so if you haven’t started working on your yearly tithe to Caesar, now would be a good time.

    On to the LinkSwarm:

  • “How bad does border have to be for Democrats to admit it’s an emergency?”

    Is there any number of illegal border crossings into the United States that would strike Democrats as an emergency?

    As they resisted President Trump’s efforts to stem the flow of illegal migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, many Democrats made the point that fewer migrants are coming today than years ago, during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. The implication was that today’s situation cannot be an emergency, because it used to be worse.

    That doesn’t make sense, of course. One could argue that crossings were an unaddressed emergency back then, and that today’s figures, although lower, also qualify as an emergency.

    But now, the border numbers are surging back to the bad old days. It appears that Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 100,000 people in March (the precise figure has not yet been released), a pace that could mean more than 1,000,000 apprehensions this year.

    For some perspective: According to Border Patrol statistics, U.S. authorities caught 1,643,679 people trying to cross the border illegally from Mexico in fiscal 2000. In 2001 the number was 1,235,718. In 2002 it was 929,809. In 2003 it was 905,065. In 2004 it topped the million mark again, with 1,139,282. In 2005 it was 1,171,396. In 2006 it was 1,071,972.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • “March Madness: Report Shows 196,000 New Jobs, Unemployment Rate at 3.8%.”
  • Dems Have Vastly More to Fear from Full Mueller Report than GOP“:

    The full text of the Mueller report is a booby-trap for the Democrats. And many of them not named Schiff must know or suspect it….The natural question will then be — what was all this for? Cui bono? A full airing of the report, what Nadler claims he wants, will instead “open the door,” as they say in court, more than ever for an investigation of why this probe was launched in the first place, by whom and for what reason. The results of that investigation will be quite scary, if not humiliating, for Democrats because they will lead close to, if not over, their highest doorstep — the portals of the Oval Office during the previous administration.

    Snip.

    Besides whatever Barr decides to do, several other vectors are pointing at the Democrats and their DOJ/FBI/media allies. One is obviously hearings from the Senate Judiciary Committee under chairman Lindsey Graham. The second is the investigation into the provenance of the Russia probe and the attendant FISA court decisions (Steele dossier, etc.) to spy on U.S. citizens by inspector general Michael Horowitz. He is supposed to be working in concert with John Huber, a U.S. attorney appointed by Jeff Sessions ages ago with the power to carry out in the courts the results of Horowitz’s discoveries and who has since been silent.

  • “The Top 5 Investigations Obstructed by the Obama Administration.” And you know that EmailGate, Iran and Fast and Furious are on there. Honestly, this list could have been twice as long… (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • How the fake Russian collusion narrative was carried out, and why people should have been skeptical of it:

    I noticed that the Russia narrative was increasingly being clung to as an explanation for the media’s failures to understand the country they purport to cover. I pushed back against the idea that the American people had been duped by “fake news” (which then meant something else entirely, we might remember) or “Russia” when they voted for Trump, even if such a vote was obviously unfathomable to most media figures.

    The Russia strategy Clinton had deployed was being picked up by Obama’s intelligence agencies and spread far and wide by American media, and it annoyed Trump. When he’d dismiss the fevered theories that Russian meddling was the reason Hillary Clinton had failed to visit the upper Midwest, intelligence analysts responded by threatening him with leaks.

  • “Why Aren’t Democrats Winning the Hispanic Vote 80-20 or 90-10?” The assumption seems to be that Hispanic votes are a birthright for the Democratic Party, and their media partisans are perplexed that they’re not. “While many Democrats expected Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies, especially the family separation debacle, to produce a decisive shift to the left among Hispanics, that has not proved to be the case.” Why would Hispanic American citizens be any less worried about illegal alien crime or taking jobs than any other American group? (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Hey, remember when all those top Virginia Democrats were called on to resign? “Two of the three officials, Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, wore blackface decades ago. The third, Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax, has been accused of two instances of sexual assault.” Well, they haven’t and they’re not. Evidently the press finally realized that each of them had (D)s after their name…
  • Chinese woman carrying malware arrested at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s frequent vacation home in Florida.
  • “Pence Issues Turkey Ultimatum: ‘Choose Between Remaining NATO Member Or Buying Russian S-400.’ I don’t think Erdogan’s Turkey should be kicked out of NATO for buying Russian anti-aircraft missiles, they should be kicked out of NATO for running a repressive jihadist scumbag regime. And we shouldn’t be selling them F-35s in any case.
  • Trump Is Turning NATO Into a Viable Military Force.” “The Trump administration has made great strides in recent months to transform the cash-strapped and perpetually ailing North Atlantic Treaty Organization into a viable global military force that has the capabilities to confront Russia and other rogue regimes allied with terror forces.”
  • Some interesting maps showing American land use. (Hat tip: Gregory Benford on Facebook.)
  • 34% at Trump’s Michigan rally were Democrats.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Sell something to a Clifornian on Amazon or eBay? The California taxman is coming for you. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The executive orders of Presidents can be undone by future presidents. Except Lightbringer MclegTingle. His word is sacred law!”
  • “Seattle residents are losing patience with the city’s out-of-control homelessness problem.”

    Exhausted by a decade of rising disorder and property crime—now two-and-a-half times higher than Los Angeles’s and four times higher than New York City’s—Seattle voters may have reached the point of “compassion fatigue.” According to the Seattle Times, 53 percent of Seattle voters now support a “zero-tolerance policy” on homeless encampments; 62 percent believe that the problem is getting worse because the city “wastes money by being inefficient” and “is not accountable for how the money is spent,” and that “too many resources are spent on the wrong approaches to the problem.” The city council insists that new tax revenues are necessary, including a head tax on large employers, but only 7 percent of Seattle voters think that the city is “not spending enough to really solve the problem.” For a famously progressive city, this is a remarkable shift in public opinion.

    (Previously.)(Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • How to spot “Ventriloquist Journalism“:

    Reporters have in mind a specific quote they’d like to have from you, and have developed great skill in teasing it out of people. Think of it as just one aspect of fake news. I had quite a bit of first-hand experience with this during my years in Washington, and I got good at spotting the technique and having the discipline not to give in to the usual reporter’s tricks. Often I’d get a call from a reporter wanting my comment on something the Bush Administration was doing, and the question, in substance, was usually: “Don’t you think the Bush Administration is doing the wrong thing?” (Though always more artfully put than that.) And when I didn’t give the answer the “reporter” was looking for, they’d keep asking the same question over and over again in different forms, because what they needed for their story was a way to say something like, “But even a conservative at the American Enterprise Institute thinks Bush is making a mistake. ‘Bush is making a mistake,’ said Steven Hayward. . .” Sometimes a reporter would keep me on the phone for 30 minutes or more, hoping I’d give in. I learned the discipline of never giving in to this trick, and what do you know? I was never quoted in any of the stories that “reporters” like this filed. Nor did any of the information or analysis I had about the issue make it into the story, because background information and perspective was not what the reporter was looking for.

  • Which congressional incumbents have or haven’t filed for reelection.
  • Conservative Brian Hagedorn wins election to Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • Just in case it actually needed to be said, reparations for slavery are an incredibly stupid idea:

    Any attempt to discharge the moral crimes of the 18th and 19th centuries with monetary payments in the 21st century is doomed to fail. The logistical and definitional obstacles alone would be a nightmare. The majority of white Americans have no ancestral link to antebellum slavery — they are descendants of the millions of immigrants who came to the United States after slavery had been abolished. Of the remainder, few had any slaveholding forbears: Slavery was abolished in most Northeastern states within 15 years of the American Revolution, while in most of the West it never existed at all. Even in the South at the peak of its “slaveocracy,” at least 75 percent of whites never owned slaves.

    That’s just where the complications start. To whom would reparations be owed? Millions of black Americans are recent immigrants or the children of those immigrants, and have no family link to slavery. Are they entitled to compensation for what slaves endured? How about whites whose ancestors were slaves? Or blacks descended from slaveholders? What of the 1.8 million biracial people who identified themselves in the last Census as both black and white? Should they expect to collect reparations, or to pay them?

  • “Disney Ordered To Pay Reparations To Longtime Star Wars Fans.”
  • Almost did a post on all the Unplanned Twitter shenanigans. Basically: Twitter briefly suspends, and then farks with, the Twitter account for a pro-life movie. If you followed it, Twitter would automatically unfollow the account. The shenanigans stopped when enough people noticed, with the result that not only did Unplanned land in the top five for box office that week, but now their Twitter account has far more followers than Planned Parenthood’s official Twitter account. This suggests that a half-century worth of preference falsification by the abortion industry and their media allies is finally falling apart.
  • UK asks EU for more time for Brexit. At this point it’s not even a farce, because a farce is supposed to be funny…
  • I don’t buy this “pro-Brexit forces are trying to sabotage trains” thing for a minute. Remember the mythical “Sons of the Gestapo” who supposedly derailed a train during the Clinton Administration’s militia panic and then were never heard from again?
  • “The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Everything That’s Wrong With Liberalism.” (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty.)
  • Usually whens someone pays $100,000 for a book, they’re getting a rare collectable. Unless it’s a thinly disguised bribe for Baltimore’s Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • If you thought Joe Don Baker’s Mitchell was a bad cop, you haven’t met this one.
  • MS-13 member on Texas Ten Most Wanted list captured. Seven of the ten are listed as “White (Hispanic) Male” and an eighth is named “Jesus Alberto Villegas.” It doesn’t say (at least on that page) how many are illegal aliens. In other news, Texas has its own Top Ten Most Wanted List.
  • Spree shooters kill fewer Americans per year than dog attacks. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Meet Antonio Gramsci, the Godfather of Cultural Marxism.

    Gramsci argued that the Bolshevik Russian revolution of 1917 worked because the conditions were ripe for such a sudden upheaval. He described the Russian revolution as an example of a “war of movement” due to its sudden and complete overthrow of the existing governing structure of society. Gramsci reasoned that in Russia in 1917, “the state was everything, civil society was primordial and gelatinous.”

    As such, a direct attack on the current rulers could be effective because there existed no other significant structure or institutions of political influence that needed to be overcome.

    In Western societies, by contrast, Gramsci observed that the state is “only an outer ditch” behind which lies a robust and sturdy civil society.

    Gramsci believed that the conditions in Russia in 1917 that made revolution possible would not materialize in more advanced capitalist countries in the West. The strategy must be different and must include a mass democratic movement, an ideological struggle.

    His advocacy of a war of position instead of a war of movement was not a rebuke of revolution itself, just a differing tactic—a tactic that required the infiltration of influential organizations that make up civil society. Gramsci likened these organizations to the “trenches” in which the war of position would need to be fought.

    The massive structures of the modern democracies, both as state organizations, and as complexes of associations in civil society, constitute for the art of politics as it were the “trenches” and the permanent fortifications of the front in the war of position: they render merely “partial” the element of maneuver which before used the “the whole” of war, etc.

    Gramsci argued that a “frontal attack” on established institutions like governments in Western societies may face significant resistance and thus need greater preparation—with the main groundwork being the development of a collective will among the people and a takeover of leadership among civil society and key political positions.

    Snip.

    Gramsci, however, viewed civil society in Western societies to be a strong defensive system for the current State, which in turn existed to protect the interest of the capitalist class.

    “In the West, there was a proper relation between state and civil society, and when the state trembled a sturdy structure of civil society was at once revealed. The state was only an outer ditch, behind which there stood a powerful system of fortresses and earthworks,” he wrote. In short, in times when the state itself may have shown weakness to overthrow from opposing ideological forces, the institutions of civil society provided political reinforcement for the existing order.

    In his view, a new collective will is required to advance this war of position for the revolution. To him, it is vital to evaluate what can stand in the way of this will, i.e. certain influential social groups with the prevailing capitalist ideologies that could impede this progress.

    Gramsci spoke of organizations including churches, charities, the media, schools, universities and “economic corporate” power as organizations that needed to be invaded by socialist thinkers.

    The new dictatorship of the proletariat in the West, according to Gramsci, could only arise out of an active consensus of the working masses—led by those critical civil society organizations generating an ideological hegemony.

    As Gramsci described it, hegemony means “cultural, moral and ideological” leadership over allied and subordinate groups. The intellectuals, once ensconced, should attain leadership roles over these groups’ members by consent. They would achieve direction over the movement by persuasion rather than domination or coercion.

    The goal of the war of position is to shape a new collective will of the masses in order to weaken the defenses that civil society provides to the current capitalist state.

    Now I have an excuse to embed this:

  • “CNN Blames Ratings Slump On Lack Of News They Want To Report.” “It’s perfectly natural to see a little bit of a dip in ratings when your entire narrative is being destroyed and you’d rather just not talk about it,” Stelter added. “All part of the business.”
  • The story behind designing the best/worst major league baseball uniforms in history: the Houston Astros orange rainbow.
  • You know that whole “We’ve got to drop rote memorization and teach critical thinking!” thing? It’s not just bunk, it’s really old bunk. “Memorization and practice are still essential elements of learning and prepare students for the kind of higher level thinking we all claim to value.”
  • Have I ever shared The Worst Web Page In History with you before? If not, behold the abomination in all its glory! (Or rather, a snapshot of the page as it existed in 2005.) Bonus: it’s from a radical leftist! (Warning: Everything!)
  • AAFolds.
  • LinkSwarm for March 29, 2019

    Friday, March 29th, 2019

    The aftermath of [rock DJ voice] NO COLLUSION WEEKEND dominates today’s LinkSwarm.

  • It will take years to undo the damage of Russiagate:

    Millions of Americans have been led to believe that President Trump committed treason, and any day he could be led out of the White House in chains. They wake up every day thinking this could be the day that Mueller gets Trump. These poor souls should be facing a tough reality this weekend. But hold the Xanax, at least for now. The media and Democrat Party have dug themselves so deeply in a hole, they must keep on digging. That’s absolutely terrible for this country, as has been this entire endeavor.

    If our country is ever to recover from this mess, we can’t forget how we got here. Russians were attempting to hack both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee in late 2015. Whether the DNC was ultimately hacked or suffered an internal leak, the truth remains that the DNC documents and emails obtained by WikiLeaks showed the entire country that Hillary Clinton, and those around her, were corrupt and would bend the rules (or worse) for power. There was never a real and fair contest between her and Bernie Sanders.

    As soon as the Clinton campaign realized its misdeeds toward Bernie had been made public, they blamed Russia. They immediately began putting out a narrative that attempted to say Russia had acted to favor Trump, which included paying Fusion GPS—a notorious propaganda outfit with ties to loads of so-called journalists—to create ties between Trump and Russia.

    Snip.

    In short, the Hillary campaign peppered the Obama executive branch with allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. The Obama intelligence apparatus, pushed on by Obama’s Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, was only too happy to run with it. Jim Comey’s FBI then used those Word documents to get a warrant from a secret court to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide, which allowed the FBI to spy on the rival political party’s presidential campaign.

    The FBI’s involvement allowed Fusion GPS and the journalists it was working with to put out all sorts of stories before the election, meant to damage Trump’s candidacy. These stories alleged that the ties between Trump and Russia were so serious, the FBI was investigating them. For example, CNN and others ran stories about the FBI looking into Trump because there was supposedly a computer in Trump Tower that was communicating with a Russian bank.

    Snip.

    Once Trump won, all hell broke loose. There was talk of stopping him with the Electoral College, and protestors wrecked parts of DC. Obama’s deputy attorney general Sally Yates sent FBI agents to entrap Mike Flynn, at the time Trump’s national security advisor, using a 200-year-old law that is never enforced, unconstitutional, and routinely violated by every incoming presidential administration.

    The mainstream media was just as deranged. For the entire year of 2017, anything that could damage Trump, no matter how outlandish, was published. Journalistic standards collapsed.

    To MSNBC and CNN, every spurious and anonymously sourced report, which was always called a “bombshell,” was a sign that the “walls were closing in” on the Trump presidency. CNN famously reported on a Trump Jr. email, which could have shown collusion, until they realized they got the date of the email wrong. ABC News anchor Brian Ross produced a false report that caused the stock market to drop, and was eventually let go by ABC over the issue. These are but a few examples.

    It’s a nice summary of the whole “Russian collusion” madness. Read the whole thing.

  • “50+ Journalists, Politicians, Celebrities, and Grifters Who Peddled the Russia Collusion Hoax.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Matt Tabbi of Rolling Stone is even more damning of the media that hyped the Russian collusion fantasy, and those partisans trying to ignore Mueller’s conclusions:

    The report’s most-quoted line read, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    In essence, Mueller punted the question of obstruction back to Barr, who together with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein has already decided the report didn’t provide enough evidence to support a criminal charge in any of the “number of actions” committed by Trump that raised the specter of obstruction.

    This isn’t surprising, given that Barr is a Trump appointee. The Atlantic is one of many outlets to have already cried foul about this (“Barr’s Startling and Unseemly Haste” is the name of one piece). But Barr’s letter includes a telling detail from Mueller himself on this issue (emphasis mine):

    In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction…

    In other words, it was Mueller, not Barr, who concluded there was no underlying crime, so if the next stage of this madness is haggling over an obstruction charge, that would likely entail calling for a prosecution of Trump for obstructing an investigation into what even Mueller deemed non-crime.

    Snip.

    MSNBC HOST Chris Matthews said something very similar. First, he recounted his dismay as he learned over the weekend there wouldn’t be new indictments of Trump family members, his inner circle, etc. From there, Matthews deduced, “There’s not going to be even a hidden charge…. They don’t have him on collusion.”

    Members of the media like Matthews spent two years speaking of Mueller in mythical tones, hyping him as the savior who was pushing those “walls” that were forever said to be “closing in” on Trump. Mueller, it was repeatedly said, was helping bring about “the beginning of the end.”

    Over and over, audiences were told the investigation had hit a “turning point,” after which Trump would either resign or be impeached, because as Brian Williams put it, “Donald Trump is done.”

    This manipulative brand of news programming preyed upon the emotional devastation of liberal audiences, particularly the older people who watch cable. It told them the horror they felt over Trump’s election would be alleviated in short order. The median age of the CNN viewer is 60 and MSNBC’s is 65, and these people were urged for years to place their trust in Santa BOB, who knew all and whose investigation would surely lead to impeachment and “the end.”

    All you had to do was keep turning in, because the good news could come any minute now! The bombshell is coming! Never mind that this is causing our profits to soar. Don’t wonder about our motives, even though outlets like MSNBC saw a 62 percent bump in viewership in the first full year of Russiagate coverage. Just keep tuning in. The walls are closing in!

    That was bad enough, but now that the Mueller dream seems to have died, news organizations are acting like they didn’t hype Mueller as savior.

    “Robert Mueller was never going to end Trump’s Presidency,” says Vox.

    Matthews, in a tone that suggested he was being the sober adult delivering tough love, completed his thought about how “they don’t have him on collusion” by saying, with a shrug of undisguised disappointment:

    “So I think the Democrats have got to win the election.” He added, “There’s no waiting around for uncle Robert to take care of everything.”

    I know no one cares how this sounds to non-Democrats, but this is a member of the media looking sad that Democrats would have to resort to actual democracy to win the White House back.

    Given that “collusion” has turned out to be dry well, to the ordinary viewer it will look a hell of lot like the MSNBCs of the world humped a fake story for two consecutive years in the hopes of overturning election results ahead of time. Trump couldn’t have asked for a juicier campaign issue, and an easier way to argue that “elites” don’t respect the democratic choices of flyover voters. It’s hard to imagine what could look worse.

    (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)

  • Even the New York Times‘s Bret Stephens says Democrats and the media blew it:

    The fiasco was to assume that the result of Mueller’s investigation was a forgone conclusion. And to believe that the existence of dots was enough to prove that they had to connect. And to report on it nonstop, breathlessly, as if the levee would break any second. And to turn Adam Schiff into a celebrity guest. And to belittle or exclude contrarian voices.

    Last July, I wrote of the special counsel’s inquiry: “The smart play is to defend the integrity of Mueller’s investigation and invest as little political capital as possible in predicting the result. If Mueller discovers a crime, that’s a gift to the president’s opponents. If he discovers nothing, it shouldn’t become a humiliating liability.”

    Instead, as Matt Taibbi perceptively observed last week, what we have is a W.M.D.-size self-inflicted media disaster, which ought to require some extensive self-criticism before we breathlessly move on to Trump’s latest alleged idiocy. Assume for a moment that Trump’s odd Russia behavior, including the obsequiousness toward Vladimir Putin and the routine eruptions against Mueller, was merely a way of baiting journalists for years.

    If so, he could hardly have played us better: He’d be the Keyser Söze of media manipulation. To adapt a line, perhaps the greatest trick Trump ever pulled was to convince the world his brain didn’t exist.

    (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)

  • Lee Smith in Tablet was even more critical of the media:

    The media criticism of the media’s performance covering Russiagate is misleadingly anodyne—OK, sure the press did a bad job, but to be fair there really was a lot of suspicious stuff going on and now let’s all get back to doing our important work. But two years of false and misleading Russiagate coverage was not a mistake, or a symptom of lax fact-checking.

    Russiagate was an information operation from the beginning, in which dozens of individual reporters and institutions actively partnered with paid political operatives like Glenn Simpson and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence officials like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr to smear Trump and his circle, and then to topple him. None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensable partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation.

    The campaign was waged not in hidden corners of the internet, but rather by the country’s most prestigious news organizations—including, but not only, The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC. The farce that has passed for public discourse the last two years was fueled by a concerted effort of the media and the pundit class to obscure gaping holes in logic as well as law. And yet, they all appeared to be credible because the institutions sustaining them are credible.

    Michael McFaul was U.S. ambassador to Moscow—he knows everything about Russia. He wouldn’t invent stuff about national security matters out of thin air. Jane Mayer is a national treasure, one of America’s greatest living journalists who penned a long profile of Christopher Steele in the pages of the New Yorker. Susan Hennessy is a former intelligence community lawyer, who appears as an expert on TV. And how about her colleague at the Lawfare blog, Benjamin Wittes, a Brookings Institution fellow and a personal friend of James Comey? You think he didn’t have the inside dope, every time he posted a “Boom” GIF on Twitter predicting the final nail just about to be hammered in Trump’s coffin?

    Many more jumped on the dog pile along with them, validating each other’s tweets and breathless insider sourcing. The point was to thicken the echo chamber, with voices from the right as well as the left in order to make it seem real. Hey, if this many experts are saying so, there must be something to it.

    Except, there wasn’t—ever.

    American democracy is premised on a free press that does its best to provide the public with information. Misinforming the public is like dumping toxic waste in the rivers. It poisoned our democracy—and it continues to do so. In fact, the most important thing for the public to understand is that Russiagate is not unique. It’s the way that the expert class opines on everything now, from immigration to foreign policy.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • “The report showed that the so-called Trump Dossier, which was compiled by a former MI6 spook, Christopher Steele, and funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, is a total work of fiction. There was no collusion. There was no blackmail or any of that innuendo. If anything, this operation executed on behalf of Democrats shows collusion between Russia, Steele, DNC, and the Clintons.”
  • Scott Adams enjoys the media freakout over the Mueller report’s total vindication of President Trump.
  • It turns out that lying to your viewers constantly for two years is not a great business model.
  • Speaking of the media getting it wrong: “USA Today Blacklists The Federalist For The Crime Of Getting The Trump-Russia Story Right.”

  • “Mueller Orders Trump To Sit On Scale To See If He Weighs The Same As A Duck.”
  • President Trump held what appeared to be a very well-attended rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

  • I keep thinking I should do an update on Brexit news, but there isn’t really any. Parliament, having stripped Prime Minister Therese May of the power to negotiate Brexit, will neither shit nor get off the pot.
  • “Transgender “Women” Bully Rape Crisis Center, Get Funding Pulled.” What’s real rape compared to the crime of using the wrong pronoun?
  • “The REAL Collusion, Part 2: What Is the Connection Between James Clapper, Victor Pinchuk, and CTO of Only Company To Work on Hacked DNC Server?”
  • “Green New Deal” defeated in the Senate, with 0 votes for and 57 against, most Democrats voting “present.” Because actually calling your insane, economy-wrecking resolution for a vote is just a dirty trick…
  • Ilhan Omar Has Been Holding Secret Fundraisers For Groups That Support Terrorism.”

    Omar recently spoke in Florida at a private event hosted by Islamic Relief, a charity organization long said to have deep ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Israel. Over the weekend, she will appear at another private event in California that is hosted by CAIR-CA PAC, a political action committee affiliated with the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR a group that was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive terror-funding incident.

  • Hmmm: “Gerald Goines, the HPD officer at the center of a botched drug raid, retires.” “Goines’ retirement came a day after Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that he expected more than one officer to be criminally charged for their actions in the ill-fated raid.”
  • Hmmm Part II: “Houston police investigator probing failed drug raid relieved of duty.” “Angel August was taken off duty with pay on March 13, according to a Houston Police Department spokesman. Officials have not yet publicly divulged the reason for their decision to bench August, who joined the department in 2011. August was the officer who filed the initial report a day after the Jan. 28 shooting at 7815 Harding Street that left two residents dead and five police officers injured, according to a police report obtained by the Houston Chronicle under the state open records law.” (Hat tip (for both): Dwight.)
  • “Video shows fired Paterson [New Jersey] police officer brutally assaulting hospital patient.” A patient who was flat on his back on a stretcher at the time.
  • Even the Illinois Prosecutor’s Bar Association condemned the Jussie Smollett dismissal as “abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State.”
  • Two Mexican drug cartels clashed in Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, just over the border from Roma, Texas. “Both cartel factions used numerous grenades and incendiary devices in order to disable the other sides armored SUVs. The clashes left several burned-out vehicles throughout the city and the surrounding areas.” A nearby Mexican army base did nothing to stop the violence. (Hat tip: Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton on Twitter.)
  • Criminal pro-tip: When looking for a potential victim, try not to pick an off-duty policewoman:

  • “92 percent of illegal immigrant families ignore deportations.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Homeland Missile Defense System Successfully Intercepts ICBM Target.” (Hat tip: John Bolton’s Twitter feed.)
  • A quicker Navy plan to get to 355 ships. But many questions remain. (Hat tip: CDR Salamander via The Other McCain.)
  • New Zealand bans guns. Result? “Of the 1.2M gun owners registered there, 37 have turned them in.”
  • Liberals are increasingly shocked that Joe Rogan has interesting people on his show and allows them to speak their minds. Link goes to the Althouse comments session rather than the article she’s linking to, since the comments are far more interesting. Today’s SJW-riddled liberals seem terrified and outraged by anyone allowing even the slight shred of heresy from their orthodoxy. I forget what the first Rogan interview I stumbled across was (probably one with Bill Burr), but he’s someone that actually let’s his guests just talk and express their ideas without trying to argue or interrupt.
  • Andrew Sullivan: “Maybe Hollywood should stop depicting working class white Americans as racist bigots if they want to avoid reelecting Trump.” Hollywood liberals: “Silence, blasphemer!” (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • “Microsoft takes control of 99 domains operated by Iranian state hackers.”
  • BOOM! (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Sick And Tired Of All This Prosperity, Nation To Try Socialism For A While.”
  • Stephen Jay Gould fell pray to the same bias he thought he was condemning.
  • The scourge of fake wasabi.
  • Unwrapping a Gutenberg Bible.
  • LinkSwarm for March 22, 2019

    Friday, March 22nd, 2019

    Hope you’re enjoying the spring weather! This week: Jexodus, Clinton emails (yet again), and a fair amount about aircraft. Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • President Donald Trump calls for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Since Israeli has controlled the Golan Heights for more than half a century, this would not be a radical and surprising move were it not for much of the world’s (and the Democratic Party’s) antipathy to the Jewish state. Expect liberal Jewish Democrats (see below) to fiercely condemn the move…
  • How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide.” Or so says those notorious pro-Trump shills at Politico. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • How dare Chelsea Clinton defend the Jews?

    For those of us who consider Chelsea Clinton a cringe-inducing banality, that she could be accused of anything so momentous, never mind a racist slaughter in the Antipodes, was puzzling indeed. And so it was with great curiosity that I read the Buzzfeed piece in which the pair explain their actions. In it, they accuse Clinton of having “stoked hatred against” all Muslims, everywhere, with a single tweet criticizing just a single one, Ilhan Omar. When the Democratic congresswoman complained about lawmakers being forced to pledge “allegiance to a foreign country,” she wasn’t repeating a hoary anti-Semitic trope which has instigated all manner of desecrations and violent attacks and pogroms. No, according to these NYU coeds, exemplars of American higher education as impressive as those Yale students who screamed at a distinguished professor for hours over Halloween costumes, Omar was “speaking the truth about the massive influence of the Israel lobby in this country.”

    It is Rep. Omar who is the victim here. “Chelsea hurt our fight against white supremacy when she stood by the petty weaponizers of antisemitism, showing no regard for Rep. Omar and the hatred being directed at her,” Asaf and Dweik declared. English translation: People who are left wing, Muslim or “of color” cannot be anti-Semites, and those who say otherwise will be condemned as handmaidens of Jim Crow. This is especially true if the person in question is, like IIhan Omar, all three.

    Reading the many progressive identity-based defenses of Omar, which repeatedly and pointlessly invoke the fact that she is a hijabi-wearing black refugee being criticized by a white native-born American woman, one gets the impression that this particular legislator can pretty much say whatever she wants and expect to be absolved for it: Her canonization as a left-wing hero is necessary, and irrevocable.

    Omar can’t be an anti-Semite because members of “marginalized” groups are inherently virtuous. This is the ultimate logic of identity politics. Jussie Smollett just had to be telling the truth; he is black and gay and progressive and his purported assailants were white and straight and wearing MAGA hats. But when Asaf and Dweik insist that she “did nothing wrong except challenge the status quo,” they are taking the side of anti-Semites over Jews. They are normalizing anti-Semitism.

    They are not the only ones. For a growing number of progressives, anti-Semitism has become an ideological obligation as central to their political identity as the Universal Basic Income, Green New Deal, a 70-percent marginal tax rate, and free higher education. These progressives, of course, cannot openly say this. Anti-Semitism is bad. Some of their best friends are Jews. The Holocaust happened. So they need to redefine anti-Semitism out of existence, while redistributing the valuable cultural capital of Jewish historical suffering to more deserving groups. Thus, the phenomena of “white Jews.”

    However, I think the author misses one obvious reason Democrats pander to Muslims: They’ve decided they need their votes more than they need Jewish votes, therefore Jews are expendable in order to keep the victimhood identity politics coalition together.

  • More of Jexodus:

    The negative Jexodus will be the aftermath of a radicalization that splits the Democrats, as it did Labour in the UK along dividing lines of militant socialism, Islamism, and anti-Semitism. These three ‘isms’ will split Jewish Democrats alone those same lines leaving the radicals on the inside and moderates outside. Those Jews who remain will be required to prove their loyalty by denouncing Jews and Israel. These demands will be put forward in the stridently anti-Semitic tones commonplace on the fringes of the Left.

    The 2020 season is just getting started and the Sanders campaign’s deputy press secretary, an illegal alien, already accused Jews of being disloyal, and Elizabeth Warren issued a statement in defense of Rep. Omar accusing Jews of inventing anti-Semitism accusations to silence criticism of Israel. It’s no coincidence that these overt shows of anti-Semitism are coming from the leftiest figures in the race.

    And it will only get worse.

    Jewish lefties have a high degree of tolerance for anti-Semitism. But ultimately the only Jews who will be able to remain in the Dem ranks will have very thick skins and career ambitions, like Chuck Schumer, harbor a complicated mix of shame and hatred for Jewishness, like Bernie Sanders, or have no connection to anything Jewish beyond their last names, like your average millennial Obama official.

    The Democrats have shown no ability to moderate their extremist drift. The movements pushing them leftward are, like the Democratic Socialists of America, openly supportive of anti-Semitism.

    That’s the easiest case to make for Jexodus because the Democrats will be the ones to make it.

    Jews will exit the Dems voluntarily or they will be forced out.

    Snip.

    Jewish Democrats have responded to the outbreak of anti-Semitism with the usual nebbish excuses, blaming Israel, Netanyahu, and the ‘politicization of anti-Semitism”. But socialist movements were anti-Semitic before Zionism and Jesse Jackson was slurring Jews as ‘hymies’ long before Netanyahu.

    Israel is a convenient excuse for anti-Semitism, not only by anti-Semites, but by their Jewish apologists who are eager to exercise a sense of control over a hatred that cannot be controlled, by taking the blame. And then placing it as far away as possible, on another country thousands of miles away.

    The anti-Semites blame the Jews. The Jews blame Israel. And nothing is learned from the experience.

  • Ukraine opens investigations of attempts to interfere in the U.S. Presidential elections in favor of Hillary Clinton. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Speaking of Clinton, in “newly revealed emails, [she] discussed classified foreign policy matters, secretive ‘private’ comms channel with Israel.” That is to say, emails from her secret, illegal, unsecured server, which means that back-channel might not have been so “private” after all. I might have to restart the Clinton Corruption Watch updates. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • A masterful takedown of Max Boot’s new book by Sohrab Ahmari:

    The liberal consensus, then, has emerged as a profoundly illiberal, repressive force—precisely because it grants the autonomous individual such wide berth to define what is good and true. If maximizing individual autonomy is the highest good and, indeed, the very purpose of political community, then for ­Chelsea Manning to exercise “her” autonomy requires the state to compel the rest of us to say that “she” wasn’t born male. And even absent state compulsion, as already exists in Canada and elsewhere, the institutions charged with upholding the consensus—corporations, big tech, universities, and elite media—can exact a high price for dissent.

    Snip.

    In Europe and, to a lesser extent, in the U.S., raising a peep about ­unrestricted mass migration was treated as phobic. Likewise, the guardians of the consensus drummed out of the public square those who questioned the wisdom of replicating the West’s political forms in ­societies shaped by history, and countless other factors, to favor order, community, and authority over individual autonomy. On the home front, economic growth, interconnectedness, and openness were treated as the only ideals worthy of the name.

  • Kurt Schilchter says we’re going to lose the coming war with China.

    We’re hanging our whole maritime strategy in the Pacific Ocean around a few of these big, super-expensive iron airfields. If a carrier battle group (a carrier rolls with a posse like an old school rapper) gets within aircraft flight range of an enemy, then the enemy will have a bad day. So, what’s the super-obvious counter to our carrier strategy? Well, how about a bunch of relatively cheap missiles with a longer range than the carrier’s aircraft? And – surprise – what are the Chinese doing? Building a bunch of hypersonic and ballistic anti-ship missiles to pummel our flattops long before the F-35s and F-18s can reach the Chinese mainland. We know this because the Chinese are telling us they intend to do it, with the intent of neutering our combat power and breaking our will to fight by causing thousands of casualties in one fell swoop.

    The vulnerability of our carriers is no surprise; the Navy has been warned about it for years. There are a number of ideas out there to address the issue, but the Navy resists. One good one is to replace the limited numbers of (again) super-expensive, short-range manned aircraft with a bunch more long range drones. Except that means the Naval aviation community would have to admit the Top Gun era is in the past, and that’s too hard. So they buy a bunch of pricy, shiny manned fighters that can’t get the job done.

  • Speaking of fighting the last war, the Air Force plans to buy more F-15Xs and less F-35s, supposedly because the non-stealthy F-15X can carry more weapons and work with F35s to deliver more ordinance. The F-35 has its issues, but this is probably the wrong decision. The Air Force still hasn’t figured out an optimal 21st century platform for carrying out close air support, a mission that institutionally has been among the least favored of its priorities.
  • Offutt Air Force Base sits near Omaha, the home of the Strategic Air Command and several vital aircraft, was affected by the recent flooding.
  • The compounding issues that led to the Boeing 737Max crashes.
  • Russia’s navy sucks:

    The Russian Navy is in trouble. After years of coasting on the largesse of the Cold War, Russia’s navy is set to tumble in size and relevance over the next two decades. Older ships and equipment produced for the once-mighty Soviet Navy are wearing out and the country can’t afford to replace them.

    Snip.

    Russia’s economy, flat on its back for more than a decade, started to claw back in the mid-2000s, thanks in large part to spiking oil prices. Today Russia is the fourth largest spender on defense worldwide. In 2017, the earliest year in which comparisons are possible, Russia’s gross domestic product amounted to $1.5 trillion dollars, of which it spent 4.3 percent on defense. That works out to $66.3 billion for Moscow’s war machine, trailing only the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia (yes, Saudi Arabia spends more on defense than Russia).

    Snip.

    Today, 28 years after the end of the Soviet Union, Russia still relies mostly on Soviet-era ships. The country’s sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, has suffered from repeated mechanical problems and should be, but probably won’t be, retired immediately. Russia has built no cruisers since 1991, relying on the five impressive-but-aging Kirov and Slava-class cruisers to act as the country’s major surface combatants. Russia has built only one destroyer since the Cold War, the Admiral Chabanenko. Chabanenko was laid down in 1989 and commissioned into service in 1999.

    Likewise, most of Russia’s submarine fleet still consists of Soviet-era submarines, including Delta-class ballistic missile submarines, Oscar-class cruise missile submarines, and Akula, Sierra, Victor, and Kilo-class attack submarines, which have been in service for so long they are still referred to by the code names they were given in Soviet service.

    (Hat tip: CDR Salamander via The Other McCain.)

  • Inside the Russian Collusion Industry:

    Key Democratic operatives and private investigators who tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign by claiming he was a tool of the Kremlin have rebooted their operation since his election with a multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to persuade major media outlets and lawmakers that the president should be impeached.

    The effort has successfully placed a series of questionable stories alleging secret back channels and meetings between Trump associates and Russian spies, while influencing related investigations and reports from Congress.

    The operation’s nerve center is a Washington-based nonprofit called The Democracy Integrity Project, or TDIP. Among other activities, it pumps out daily “research” briefings to prominent Washington journalists, as well as congressional staffers, to keep the Russia “collusion” narrative alive.

    TDIP is led by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator, Clinton administration volunteer and top staffer to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. It employs the key opposition-research figures behind the salacious and unverified dossier: Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Its financial backers include the actor/director Rob Reiner and billionaire activist George Soros.

  • Speaking of Soros, here’s a list of all the left-wing oprganizations Soros funds, over 200 of them. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Brexit slightly delayed. Probably until April 12. At which time Theresa May and the EU will probably find some other excuse to delay it again…
  • The MSM continues to lie about president Trump’s Charlottesville remarks. Scott Adams has been noting this for a long time:

  • How Democrats are going to ensure President Trump’s reelection:

    Democrats have floated radical proposals designed only to appeal to the far-left progressive wing of the party. Those ideas include stacking the Supreme Court or, at the very least, implementing term limits for justices; pushing for a constitutional amendment to end the electoral college; reducing the voting age to 16; and ending the legislative filibuster.

    These do not represent the return to norms and values moderate Americans want.

    It’s not fringe Democratic candidates floating such ideas but prominent presidential candidates like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand.

    Mind you, that’s in addition to the Democratic support for the Green New Deal, a massive government undertaking that one former Congressional Budget Office director estimated could cost as much as $93 trillion.

    Let’s be honest: Democrats wouldn’t have offered up such ideas if Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016. This is all about Donald Trump and supposedly creating an environment to react to the Trump presidency which can prevent someone like Trump from winning again (via the electoral college).

  • Vietnam veteran finally wins two decade battle against his homeowner’s association to fly the American flag. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • “Facebook Stored Hundreds of Millions of User Passwords in Plain Text for Years.”
  • Speaking of Facebook, Joe Bob Briggs notes that the best way to suppress hate speech is not to suppress hate speech.

    I’ve seen Klan rallies that are so lame they don’t get noticed. Why don’t they get noticed? Because they chose some town that was wise enough not to care whether they gathered there or not. The Klan has no power until it goes into an area that hates it. Clarence Brandenburg knew this. He could have spoken down in the Appalachian part of Ohio, but he chose sophisticated urban Cincinnati instead. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to prison. It was a great Klan recruiting year.

  • More corrupt featherbedding from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner:

    Tomorrow, a Houston taxpayer named Darryl Chapman will ask a judge to stop the new contract with Cigna, calling it an illegal procurement, rigged from the start to make sure they won. The court hearing is scheduled for 1:00 pm in Judge Steven Kirkland’s court.

    One of the allegations is that Cigna was given information about medical claims that another company United Healthcare wasn’t given.

    But why would city hall ever play favorites? Isn’t it supposed to be what’s in the best interest of taxpayers and of city employees and their families?

    It’s hard not to notice that the Mayor’s close friend Cindy Clifford was in the room during the vote. Clifford was the head of Mayor Turner’s Inaugural Committee. She’s been on the winning side of a curious number of big city contracts since then.

    City records show she’s the lobbyist for Cigna. The Mayor pushed through the Cigna deal today, even after learning the legal action had been filed.

  • The end of SXSW plus St. Patrick’s Day equals a police shootout and a dead body in a Masarati. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Shut up and be funny.
  • Is Qatar staffing up a couple of foreign mercenary tank battalions?

    Qatar faces an ongoing and immediate threat of destruction by revolution [by] its population of foreign workers. Qatari citizens make up only 12% of the actual population of Qatar. 88% of the populace are imported labor, and Qatar treats them horribly. It is a case that the UK Independent rightly describes as “modern slavery,” and there are far more slaves being abused than there are citizens abusing them.

    For every Qatari citizen — male, female, adult, child, elderly — there are seven working age foreigners walking around who have legitimate reasons to hate them…. [this] explains Qatar’s sudden decision to purchase many new tanks and mobile artillery, allegedly to prepare itself against soccer riots in the 2022 World Cup. You don’t need tanks to stop a soccer riot. However, the Leopard tank variation they are purchasing is optimized for urban warfare; and the mobile artillery can be used to fire canister, while providing the gunners with cover from improvised weapons like Molotov Cocktails, or rifles seized from the police.

  • Brazilian Nuclear Fuel Convoy Attacked By Heavily Armed Gangsters.”
  • Oklahoma sheriff and staff quit rather than return prisoners to unsafe jail. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Here’s a long (too long) essay about how the need for social media positivity is killing honest book reviewing. But it also displays that insular “only high literature talked about by inner circles of New York cognoscente is worth talking about” attitude that’s a contributing factor to most readers tuning out.
  • The shocking truth about Trump’s America:

  • The Who lead singer Roger Daltry is not impressed with Remainers having cases of the vapors:

  • Justice Brett Busby sworn in on the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Like a Netflix show? Good luck, because Netflix is never going to review it, because long show runs are not part of their business models.
  • When the Dominatrix Moved In Next Door.” Neighbors go all NIMBY on a “kink collective.” That’s what you get for moving into such a backward, sex-hating location as [checks notes] Brooklyn. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Is this a great state or what?

  • And you thought American sports fans were crazy.
  • Happy National Puppy Day!

  • LinkSwarm for March 8, 2019

    Friday, March 8th, 2019

    Turning and turning in a widening gyre…

    You would think a simple condemnation of antisemitism would be an easy thing for House Democrats to do. You’d be wrong. Like the UK’s Labour Party, the Social Justice Warrior rot has crept into the Democrats to the point where they are institutionally hostile to Israel and Jews. The need for Muslim votes outweighs forthright condemnation of one of the world’s oldest (and deadliest) prejudices.

    So enjoy a LinkSwarm while you wait for the blood-red tide of anarchy to be loosed on the world:

  • The Democratic Party Has Normalized Anti-Semitism: “No educated human believes [Democratic Rep. Ilhan] Omar inadvertently accused “Benjamin”-grubbing Rootless Cosmopolitans of hypnotizing the world for their evil. These are long-standing, conspiratorial attacks on the Jewish people, used by anti-Semites on right and left, and popular throughout the Islamic world.” (Hat tip: Sean Davis on Twitter.)
  • And the hits keep coming! New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for and end to the U.S.-Israel special relationship. I’m sure such a position could never negatively impact reelection chances for a congresswoman representing New York City…
  • “More than 76,000 migrants crossed the southern border illegally last month, the highest number in 12 years. So much for all those media “fact checks” arguing that there’s no emergency to justify President Trump’s wall.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Mexico is helping the Trump Administration enforce border controls. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • “Federal judge temporarily blocks Texas from purging voters in citizenship review. U.S. District Judge Fred Biery called the review “ham-handed” and ordered counties not to remove any voters from the rolls without his approval and “a conclusive showing that the person is ineligible to vote.” I know it will shock you to learn that Biery is a Clinton appointee. Can’t purge those precious illegal alien votes for Democrats off the rolls…
  • “Last week a new pro-illegal alien organization launched in the Lone Star State: Texans for Economic Growth. The group, which appears to contain more chambers of commerce than actual businesses, is directly tied to Partnership for a New American Economy, a “comprehensive immigration reform” (pro-amnesty) organization headed by two billionaires, the anti-gun former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch; a host of other media elites; big business CEOs; and mayors.” They oppose ending state subsidies for illegal aliens.
  • UPS stops delivering to Muslim no-go zones in Sweden.
  • India’s “cold start” military doctrine against Pakistan.
  • Is Pakistan finally doing something about terrorism? “Pakistan intensified its crackdown against Islamist militants on Thursday, with the government announcing it had taken control of 182 religious schools and detained more than 100 people as part of its push against banned groups.” Don’t believe it. As sure as the heat is off, expect those same militants to be released and go right back on the ISI payroll…
  • The government is approaching the opiod epidemic all wrong. “‘Today’s non-medical opioid users are not yesterday’s patients.’ Medical users usually do not become addicts.” (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • We have a winner for Stupidest tweet of the Year:

  • It’s ten years since Obama’s Russian reset. “By the time Trump took office, just over two years ago, a greatly emboldened Russia had effectively digested Crimea, was engaged on a rapidly expanding scale in joint military exercises with China, was energetically cultivating such clients in the Western Hemisphere as the USSR’s old comrade Cuba and Putin’s pals in Venezuela, and was militarily entrenched in Syria as a mainstay of the Assad regime.”
  • Speaking of Venezuela, the Magic Power of Socialism™ has reached the point where they can’t even keep the lights on.
  • F-35C declared ready for combat. The “C” designates the aircraft carrier variant, which was first rolled out 10 years ago. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Is Rep. Dan Crenshaw the future of the GOP?

    Crenshaw might be the congressional GOP’s best answer to AOC, but he decidedly doesn’t want to be seen as a Republican version of the 29-year-old New York Democrat, who is “always trying to embrace radicalism,” he told me during a recent interview in his new office on the fourth floor of the Cannon House Office Building. He wants to take his party in a more traditional—not radical—direction. “We have to make conservatism cool and exciting again,” is how he described his mission in politics when I first met him a year ago. “We have to bring back that Reagan optimism.”

    Crenshaw’s combination of traditional conservatism and rising popularity put him in an unusual position in Congress. He describes himself as a “plain old conservative”—he supports free trade, wants to reform Medicare and Social Security, and thinks American troops should stay in Afghanistan (where an IED took one of the veteran’s eyes) as long as they’re needed to prevent another 9/11. That puts him at odds with Trump, whom Crenshaw has been unafraid to criticize, going so far as to call his rhetoric “insane” and “hateful” during the 2016 presidential campaign. But Crenshaw is more “Sometimes Trump” than “Never Trump.” He is not pushing for a 2020 Republican primary challenge and is not trying to write off Trump’s wing of the party—hence, his warm reception at CPAC. In fact, Crenshaw has praised the president for his policies on immigration, even recently voting in support of Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a border wall, a move many conservatives opposed.

    Ignore the “dares to take on Trump” angle of the article. Crenshaw’s biggest advantage is a temperament almost completely opposite from Trump’s, which voters may look for in 2024.

  • New Jersey city agrees to pay $27M to lease property it sold for $1.” Corruption? In New Jersey? Try to contain your shock…
  • Follow-up: Police officer involved in deadly Houston shooting decides to retire. How convienant. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Guy behind Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was literally a paid KGB stooge.
  • Former Texas congressman Ralph Hall died at age 95. Hall was a conservative Democrat who endorsed George W. Bush for President in 2000, then switched to the GOP in 2004, one of the last conservative Democratic office holders to leave the party. “Hall had always been a thorn in Democrats’ side even before he changed parties. In 1985, he voted ‘present’ rather than support then-Speaker Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill’s, D-Mass., reelection. ”
  • How Buc-ees conquered the world (or at least Texas).
  • Eyeglasses are a ripoff. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Titania McGrath unmasked. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Captain Mary Sue:

    Two years ago, Wonder Woman proved a female-led superhero movie could reach the highest levels of the genre, with Gal Gadot proving robust and redoubtable, yet also charming and feminine. I spent Captain Marvel waiting for Gadot. What I got was Brie Larson: charmless, humorless, a character so without texture that she might as well be made out of aluminum.

    Captain Marvel might be the first blockbuster movie whose animating idea is fear. Every page of the script betrays terror of what people might say about the film on social media. Give Carol Danvers a love interest? Eek! No, women can’t be defined by the men in their lives! Make her vulnerable? OMG, no, that’s crazy. Feminine? What century are you from if you think females should be feminine? Toward the end of the movie, when a villain preparing for an epic confrontation with Carol, the fighter pilot turned Superwoman, chides her that she will fail because she can’t control her emotions, there is no tension whatsoever. We’ve just spent two hours watching her be utterly unfazed by anything. Giving Carol actual emotions would, of course, lead to at least 27 people calling the film misogynist on Twitter, and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are petrified of that.

    Just to be completely, unerringly, let’s-bubble-wrap-the-universe safe, Boden and Fleck decided to make Danvers stronger than strong, fiercer than fierce, braver than brave. Larson spends the entire movie being insouciant, kicking butt, delivering her lines in an I-got-this monotone and staring down everything with a Blue Steel gaze of supreme confidence. Superheroes are defined by their limitations — Superman’s Kryptonite, Batman’s mortality — but Captain Marvel is just an invincible bore. The screenplay by Boden, Fleck, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, with a story by the three of them plus Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve, presents us with Brie Larson’s Carol being amazingly strong and resilient at the beginning, middle, and end. This isn’t an arc, it’s a straight line.

  • Jerry Merryman, co-inventor of the pocket calculator, RIP.
  • “Ilhan Omar Withdraws Support From Bill To Save The Earth After Learning That’s Where Israel Is.” “When I made the Green New Deal, I thought weather like storms and earthquakes were all caused by climate change, but now I’ve learned from Representative Omar that lots of that is actually from Jewish-controlled weather machines.”
  • The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity…

    Tucker Carlson: “No Russian Collusion”

    Thursday, February 14th, 2019

    Tucker Carlson articulates the conclusion that the senate investigative committee came to, which is the same conclusion every non-Trump Derangement Suyndrome sufferer who was paying attention came to months ago:

    “‘No Russian collusion’ is a lot like ‘Moon landing actually happened.'”