It occurred to me this morning that, when I play political “word association,” the results are interesting. The game is to think of big events in America, past or present, and then associate a political party name with them, whether because the party was in power at the time or is associated with the ideology. Here goes:
Lefties are thrilled about Melania’s little bit of plagiarism, and no wonder — if they don’t keep Americans focused on that, how are they going to keep American eyes of off the amazing speeches by Pat Smith, whose son died in Benghazi on Hillary’s watch, after which Hillary lied to Smith and then lied about Smith; Marcus Luttrell, who got off the teleprompter to make an impassioned speech about the good our military does and the fact that all lives matter; Rudy Giuliani, who gave a real stem-winder of a speech about American values and Trump’s support for them; Jamiel Shaw, Sabine Durden, and Mary Ann Mendoza, all of whom had children murdered by illegal immigrants who shouldn’t have been here in the first place; Sheriff David Clarke, who spoke about the fact that police protect all Americans; and all the other speakers who spoke to all Americans, rather than separate victim classes of Americans.
These speakers reminded us of America’s laws, which are being broken to our great cost; America’s values, which are under attack; and America’s people, who are being segregated (again) by Democrats when they ought to be pulling together. It was a class act — so what does the Left focus on? Six banal sentences.
Yes, it’s tax day, and what better day could there be to talk about all the distressing, expensive, and scary foolishness in the world?
Ripping off taxpayers with climate change craziness. Today has been a “suffer the climate change” day for me, so it’s appropriate to open with a riff about California’s infamous — and incredibly expensive — high-speed train to nowhere. The Independent Institute, a great libertarian think-tank located right here in the Bay Area, has this to say:
California’s “bullet train” is nowhere near completion, but already the high-speed rail system is taking the state’s voters and taxpayers for a ride. The gulf between the glowing promise and the gloomy reality is gargantuan. For this reason, the agency that manages the voter-approved project, which lacks transparency but not arrogance, has just won the California Golden Fleece Award, a prize Independent Institute gives each quarter to a state or local agency, official, or program guilty of egregiously fleecing taxpayers, consumers, and/or businesses.
When voters approved a $9.95 billion bond measure in 2008 to help fund a high-speed bullet train connecting the San Francisco Bay Area with Southern California, they were promised nonstop service from S.F. to L.A. in 2 hours and 40 minutes, at a total cost of $45 billion—all without taxpayer subsidies. Since then the California High-Speed Rail Authority has planned on dropping nonstop service, changing to non-dedicated tracks, and raising the travel time to almost four hours—changes that would cut ridership and revenue while raising total costs, now estimated at $64 billion.
Read more here and do think about subscribing to the Independent Institute’s newsletter.
And while I’m on the subject of climate change. A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a bunch of kids can continue their climate change lawsuit against the United States government and the Fossil Fuel Industry. If this insanity is not nipped in the bud, the Fossil Fuel Industry will be bankrupted, and all of us will be re-living the wonders of the pre-industrial era, complete with windmill power, Hobbesian mass starvation, and life expectancies in the 30s.
The gift of an “imperfect” child. This segment probably deserves its own post, but I’ll try to pack it in here. I was in a restaurant the other day and saw something one never sees any more in Marin, or anywhere in the Bay Area for that matter: a young child who had clearly been born with Down Syndrome.
There are certainly older people around with Down Syndrome. That the young people are missing isn’t because they’re being cured; it’s because, thanks to amniocentesis testing, they’re being destroyed in utero.
Bush didn’t, Obama wouldn’t, but the next president should: Call into the Oval Office the leaders of Muslim communities throughout America to say, “Because of the First Amendment, the fact that you and the people in your community practice Islam is irrelevant to us in America. Your faith is your business. What is relevant to me as leader of this nation is whether you support America or not. When all of you leave this office, you need to carry a single message to your communities: ‘You are either supportive of America or working to undermine America. If you’re in the latter category, you are on notice here and now that my administration will use every constitutional means available to track you, capture you, prosecute you, and imprison or deport you.’ End of story. Thank you for coming. Goodbye.”
Having got that off my chest, I’m about to engage in a speed round-up, because I’ve got about 40 articles — really good articles — to share with you.
A Cruz convert explains why. The most interesting point is that Trump started with something no other Republican has had since Reagan — vast name recognition.
Slowly catching on to the fact that Trump is the Republican Obama. I’ve been saying from Day 1 that Trump is a white Obama. He promises hope and change by using government power to shape America to his will. And let me say, that is my sole problem with Trump: That he’s all about big government, precisely as Obama is. I find that unacceptable. Jonathan Tobin is another one who’s finally figured out the whole Obama Doppelgänger thing.
Trump is a special interest candidate. And that special interest is Donald Trump.
Is the media sitting on big Trump stories? Ted Cruz thinks that there are some horrible stories to be told about Trump, which wouldn’t surprise me given his sordid personal life and . . . ah . . . colorful business life. Once Trump is the candidate, says Cruz, the media will “suddenly” discover stories that make Trump unelectable. I think Cruz is right because we all know the media, don’t we?
Trump’s enemy list makes me like him. George Soros has given money to 187 different special interest groups that are attacking Trump. (To be honest, a lot of them are attacking Cruz too. Indeed, on Sunday, I heard a New Yorker news hour on NPR during which the speakers agreed that Cruz is the more dangerous of the two leading Republican candidates because he actually believes in the Constitution.) In other words, here’s a list of 187 Soros-funded organizations that try to destroy anything conservative.
Will Trump win the nomination? Scott Elliott, an extremely astute election watcher and a man with a history of accurate election predictions, is not a Trump fan. He’s therefore created the “Stop-Trump-O-Meter,” which tracks the outcomes of state primaries and projects the outcome at the convention. Even if you’re a Trump fan, you’ll like Scott’s meter, because, if you ignore the name, it tells in a clear way where the candidates stand in the Republican primary.
If you destroy the polite people, you create room for the impolite ones. Glenn Reynolds points out that the GOP, RINOS, and the Leftist media establishment did everything possible to destroy the happy, tidy, law-abiding Tea Party. Now they’re horrified that destroying the Tea Party left rage in its place.
USA Today editors question Hillary’s fitness for office. USA Today, in its quest to be “America’s newspaper,” the one read in more hotel lobbies than any other paper, is careful about taking strong partisan stands. That’s why it’s impressive that the editors see Hillary’s penchant for secrecy, and the security-evading steps she took in pursuit of her paranoia, as a serious impediment to the presidency.
Having watched the Republican debate on Tuesday, I decided that it behooved me to watch the Democrat debate today. A few things before I begin. First, I did not take notes, so I’m riffing here a bit without any specific road map. Second, I tried to watch the debate through two filters: a sane conservative filter and a unicorns and fairies Progressive filter. Third, barring short video clips, I hadn’t seen Hillary talk at length in years and I hadn’t seen Bernie talk at all. As for O’Malley (is that his name?), I’d never seen him talk at all. (I prefer reading to watching videos.) With those parameters in mind, here goes:
I’ll start with the voices. As I commented with regard to the Republican debate, voices matter to me. Ten minutes into the debate, I knew precisely whom — or, should I say, what — each candidate brought mind. This is Hillary:
What an incredibly grating, hectoring attack dog she is.
This is Bernie:
If you have time today to read only one thing, you must read Kevin Williamson’s The Democrats’ Theme for 2016 Is Totalitarianism. I’ll get you started, and then you have to click on the link to finish:
At the beginning of December, Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell asked Secretary of State John Kerry whether Charles and David Koch, two libertarian political activists, should be considered — his remarkable words — “an enemy of the state.” He posed the same question about Exxon, and John Kerry, who could have been president of these United States, said that he looked forward to the seizure of Exxon’s assets for the crime of “proselytizing” impermissibly about the question of global warming.
An enemy of the state? That’s the Democrats’ theme for the New Year: totalitarianism.
Donald Trump may talk like a brownshirt, but the Democrats mean business. For those of you keeping track, the Democrats and their allies on the left have now: voted in the Senate to repeal the First Amendment, proposed imprisoning people for holding the wrong views on global warming, sought to prohibit the showing of a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, proposed banning politically unpopular academic research, demanded that funding politically unpopular organizations and causes be made a crime and that the RICO organized-crime statute be used as a weapon against targeted political groups. They have filed felony charges against a Republican governor for vetoing a piece of legislation, engaged in naked political persecutions of members of Congress, and used the IRS and the ATF as weapons against political critics.
On the college campuses, they shout down unpopular ideas or simply forbid nonconforming views from being heard there in the first place. They have declared academic freedom an “outdated concept” and have gone the full Orwell, declaring that freedom is oppressive and that they should not be expected to tolerate ideas that they do not share. They are demanding mandatory ideological indoctrination sessions for nonconforming students. They have violently assaulted students studying in libraries and assaulted student journalists documenting their activities. They have staged dozens of phony hate crimes and sexual assaults as a pretext for persecuting unpopular organizations and people.
What they cannot achieve by legislation or litigation, they seek to achieve by simple violence, left-wing activists having smashed, looted, and burned portions of Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, where Koreans and other Asian minorities were specifically targeted. As on college campuses, they have made a point of assaulting journalists documenting their violence. They have rioted in Philadelphia and in other cities.
They are not backing away from that. Hillary Rodham Clinton may do her vice-principal shtick, but Bernie Sanders is calling for “revolution,” and by “revolution” he means crushing the economic and political rights of opponents in order to prevent them from having a say in political debate. Sounding oddly like Henry Ford, he seethes as he talks about scheming foreigners and international bankers working nefariously behind the scenes to undermine American interests, while his admirers brandish such traditional symbols of totalitarianism as the hammer-and-sickle flag.
Read the rest here.
When it comes to un-American, nothing beats Progressives trying to shelter a bad idea:
The Obama administration and the current crop of Democrat presidential candidates have backbones of steel when it comes to their refusal to finger “radical Islam” as the perpetrator of violent terrorism around the world. If England and America had practiced that same policy back in 1939 and 1942, we would all be speaking German right now, and the Muslims (staunch Hitler allies) would be enjoying the wonders of a Jew-free world.
What the Democrats will not acknowledge is that when evil comes calling, only three things can happen: You oppose it, you join it, or you die from it. Their silence means that Democrats are not opposing it, forcing America to be complicit with it or die from it. Sensible Americans are appalled by this policy approach. Progressives, however, know their candidates are doing what needs to be done.
Thus, Progressives are convinced that, if we just throw enough “love bombs” at Islam, the radical Islamists will be charmed by what deeply spiritual and kind people we are, throw down their guns, and return their home-made explosives to their original purpose as fertilizer. One wonders how in the world the Progressives got it into their collective heads that people who auction off prepubescent girls and boys as sex slaves, crucify children, toss gays off of off the tops of buildings so as to stone them at the bottom, and glory in decapitating, drowning, burning, and blowing up Christians and prisoners of war are likely to be beguiled into harmlessness because an old hippie croons “I still love you.”
In a must-read article, Caroline Glick nails everything that’s wrong with the Leftist approach to radical Islam, all of which starts with its insistence that there is no such thing as radical Islam:
Although I missed the Democrat debate, a friend of mine watched it and sent his observations. It says a lot that, despite my attending an opera, which is one of my least favorite forms of entertainment, after reading what my friend wrote I actually feel that I had the better evening than those stuck staring at the boob tube (a term that’s come into its own again thanks to last night’s evil clown show). Here they are — my friend’s real-time notes and observations:
There was no substantive debate of anything, really, which seemed intentional and driven by the format. There was far more substantive debate at the Republican debates with 10-11 people on stage than with 5 on stage (4 if you discount Webb, who was rarely called on) at this debate. The questions came lightening fast and there were few if any follow ups.
Everyone of them but Webb tried to get to the left of Saunders. Hillary tried to get both to left and right of Saunders simultaneously by claiming a nonspecific nuance in most of her answers. Neat trick.
Webb was the only adult in the room. He did not pander to the base and, indeed, virtually every answer he gave would likely find support on the right, some a majority of support. Expect his non-existent polling numbers to go negative by tomorrow.
Saunders should be running for President of Sweden. What I am about to say is not an overstatement: It became apparent during the debate that what he is calling for is a worker’s revolution, irrespective of votes. He is not merely far left, he is a true Marxist drunk on the crowds coming to his rallies.
Not a single one of them went after Hillary on the emails. It was pathetic. And there was no mention of the possibility of her facing prosecution. Nor was there a single question or comment raised about the quid pro quo’s between her, the Clinton Foundation, and third parties while in office, nor her lack of compliance with the conflicts of interest agreement she made with the White House. It was Hillary and four Pajama Boys on stage. Only Hillary and Anderson showed the slightest hint of testosterone.
While Clinton generated by far the most applause, the biggest sustained applause of the night came when Saunders said quite forcefully to get off the e-mail issue. My understanding is his campaign has already put out a campaign donation mailer featuring that YouTube moment.
Webb’s answers were pretty much greeted with silence. He has no business being on that stage. Whatever his view of the Democrat Party is, it is a view that reality passed by at least two decades ago.
Hildabeast’s voice is nails on a chalkboard.
My notes are below, with the questions in caps.
Bill Whittle is always good. A furious Bill Whittle is even better — and Bill Whittle is mighty angry as he looks at illiberal “liberals” who blame guns for the societal diseases they’ve created, diseases whose outbreaks take the form of angry, vindictive, fatherless boys who need desperately to make all men in the world finally pay attention to them. These are boys and young men, moreover, who are constantly being told that their innate manly virtues, things such as physicality, energy, and loyalty, are disgraceful flaws that lead to rape and murder, and that must therefore be eradicated so as to create the next generation of purer, more womanly man. (I, of course, believe those virtues must be channeled into becoming sheepdogs who protect society.)
Please watch the video (and share it if you can). Then, when you’re done, stick with me for a few more thoughts I have on the subject:
I’ll begin with adding a few more common denominators to the shooters, other than physically or emotionally absent fathers: First, when one removes from the equation (a) Muslims, (b) the Roseberg shooter who was apparently a registered independent, and (c) the Charleston shooter who was unaffiliated, for almost 20 years now the shooters either have been Democrats or have come from homes that were strongly Democrat. The lesson to be drawn, of course, is that Democrats should be banned from having guns.
Second, it appears that, with the exception of the Muslim shooters, all or most of the shooters them have been on some form of drug, whether they were self-administering illegal drugs or getting treated with a cocktail of ADHD and depression drugs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the drugs themselves are the problem. It may indicate, however, that these troubled young men should have been taken off the streets, rather than stuffed with pills and moved through the system.
Third, because the shooters who weren’t Democrats, unaffiliated, or Independents have all been Muslims, the gun grabbers might want to tailor their grabs so that, in addition to Democrats being denied guns, Muslims are denied them too. Just saying….
I’m not certain that this man served during the Civil War, but he may well have — or, at the very least, he was in the military during the lead-up to war. (I’ve been thinking about the Civil War a lot since our recent trip to Civil War battlefields.) Lt. Grigsby’s eternal message falls into the category of “some things never change”:
Hat tip: Wolf Howling
How Leftists think
One of the my Leftist Facebook friends was outraged that the Republican-controlled House repealed a law requiring meat to have a country-of-origin label. He and his friends instantly started talking about evil Republicans trying to poison Americans. They were taken aback when I pointed out that the article makes clear that (a) the existing law was about to be gutted anyway by the World Trade Organization; (b) that the problem involved the WTO’s claim that the existing law was unfair to Mexico and Canada; and (c) that this wasn’t a repeal but was simply a committee vote, with all but six Democrats on board.
What really confused my Facebook friend, though, was when I suggested that the market could handle this one without the government. Thus, I said, meat suppliers that are targeting people who care about meat’s origin will label their product voluntarily as part of their effort to sell the product. This whole voluntary thing, especially when tied with the wisdom of the marketplace thing, just didn’t compute.
Bruce Jenner may not end up as happy as he hopes
Although Bruce Jenner has opted to leave his mini Bruce alone, he’s certainly had a boob job and who knows what else (lower rib removal?) to make himself look more feminine. I really couldn’t care less what Bruce does (that is, I’m neither for or against his journey), but I do wonder how happy he’ll actually be.