With Alabama’s abortion law now more in line with Europe’s laws than America’s, Americans Progressives are going crazy — plus other good political posters.
With Alabama’s abortion law now more in line with Europe’s laws than America’s, Americans Progressives are going crazy — plus other good political posters.
Watching the Democrat primary candidates emerge on the debate stage will be like watching a clown car disgorge its contents. Currently, they’re a joke.
I’ve been looking at the roster of current candidates for the Democrat primary and I have to ask — are any of them normal? Please understand that I’m not talking about qualifications. I’m really just talking about normalcy, as Warren G. Harding would have said. And for the ones who are normal, they are so undistinguished it’s almost breathtaking.
Just think about this roster of announced or thinking-about-announcing Dem presidential candidates. They make Jeb! look like a normal dynamo. Indeed, they make every Republican candidate ever look normal, scintillating, and highly qualified: [Read more…]
The Constitution prohibits reparations that would economically penalize modern Americans for centuries’ old sins for the benefit of other modern Americans.
2020 Democrat presidential candidates immersed in race-obsessed identity politics (as a substitute for the class-based politics of pure Marxism) are pushing the for the Holy Grail of victimhood: Reparations for slavery. They are undeterred by the fact that reparations are wholly impractical, utterly immoral, and counterproductive in that they do not address the problems plaguing the lower socio-economic half of the black community.
This will be the first of several posts dealing with the issue of reparations:
Part I – Constitutional Considerations: Bills of Attainder, Corruption of Blood, & Ex Post Facto Laws.
Part IV – Need for Reparations?
Part IV – Marxism versus Melting Pots
According to the NYT, “2020 Democrats Embrace Race-Conscious Policies, Including Reparations:”
From the very first day of the 2020 presidential race, when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed “generations of discrimination” for black families earning far less than white households, Democratic hopefuls have broadly emphasized racial justice and closing the wealth gap in their policy platforms.
But in recent weeks, some candidates have started embracing specific goals and overtly race-conscious legislation that even the most left-wing elected officials stayed away from in recent years.
Last week, on the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club,” Senator Kamala Harris of California agreed with a host’s suggestion that government reparations for black Americans were necessary to address the legacies of slavery and discrimination. Ms. Harris later affirmed that support in a statement to The New York Times. . . .
The morally driven policy goals of Ms. Harris and Ms. Warren reflect a broader shift in the importance of race and identity issues in the Democratic Party, according to several scholars and political leaders who focus on the intersection of race and politics. While Democrats have long cast themselves as more inclusive than the Republican Party, grass-roots organizers and many liberal voters of all races are now pushing elected officials to go further on policies of racial equality, regardless of any political calculations. . . .
Elizabeth Warren, famed fake Indian and true Leftist wacko, is advancing a tax plan that would effectively rape the U.S. economy.
I’m neither a numbers nor a tax person, but Patrick Ruffini is. I’ll let his tweet thread (which I’ve converted to text for ease of reading) speak for itself:
Don’t call Warren’s tax a 2% tax. Over 10 years it would wipe out 18% of wealth over $50M and over 50 years it would wipe out 64%. Over a billion dollars it would wipe out 27% over 10 years and 82% (!) over 50. And that’s not taking into account the returns on these assets.
We all know about compounding returns. Warren’s 64% wealth tax spread over 50 years would wipe out highly performing assets and use them to fund a bureaucracy with zero social or financial returns.
Due to compound interest, the progressively lower amounts able to be invested year after year due to Warren’s tax would have a much greater effect than 2% a year.
It’s cute that people think these assets aren’t put to use. They’re used to fund the entire startup economy, the #1 net job creator. The massive concentration of wealth is also being used to wipe out malaria, fund clean energy, and reach new frontiers in space.
I flat out trust Jeff Bezos to make these decisions more. I just do. And if you didn’t like the 2016 election results, you do too.
Psst… The Warren tax looks blatantly unconstitutional. It’s not the Wall Street Journal or AEI saying this. It’s… Mother Jones.
I called this the “Trump wall illustrated edition” but it’s also about Stupid Leftists, the Second Amendment, Gender Madness, and Silly Stuff in our world.
After a manic weekend, I got the chance to put my all into this Bookworm Beat, which covers politics, homelessness, immigration, antisemitism, and more.
Oh, my gosh, but do I have a lot to share with you — and tonight I’ve got the time to do so. Go get a nice cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a few cookies or a little ice cream, find a comfortable chair, and let’s get going.
I should warn you before you begin that these snippets aren’t in any particular order. I’m writing them down in the order in which I first read them. It’s a little chaotic, but consider it a challenging brain teaser.
Trump is not a show-boater about his patriotism. Saturday was “Wreaths Across America” day, a day on which volunteers descended on military cemeteries all over America to decorate veterans’ graves with wreaths. Without fanfare, Trump showed up at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen. I’ll leave you with a few photos of this present and a past president:
By the way, I know that Obama sometimes carried his own umbrella and that gateways can be tough. Still, there was something about Obama and umbrellas…. [Read more…]
Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American ignores the ancient historic forces that dispersed Native American DNA over three continents and many races.
Those of you who know my family history, about which I’ve written here, may be a bit confused. I’m a first generation American, both of whose parents came from Europe, where they have deep roots. How in the heck, then, can I be part Native American?
Well, I am (either that or Asian):
How’d this happen? My friend Jeffrey A. Friedberg, whose writing you can find at Watcher Of Weasels, American Thinker, Conservative Right Wing News, and Intellectual Conservative, made the connection for me: It’s because I have so much Ashkenazi DNA in me. [Read more…]
Trump revoked John Brennan’s security clearance and Proggies went insane — and of course, they went stupid, too. All that and more in this Bookworm Beat.
Apparently “honesty” and “integrity” have a different meaning inside the beltway. I was one of the millions who appreciated Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech at the University of Texas a few years ago, when he spoke about life lessons he’d picked up as a SEAL. Indeed, ever since then, I make my bed every morning. As he said, you’ll start your day with an accomplishment and, if it’s been a bad day, you come home to a nicely made bed. Those are two solid reasons to make a bed.
Just because I like McRaven’s homespun military wisdom, though, doesn’t mean I have to like his politics. Nor do I have to like the loopy Leftist logic that he reveals thanks to his politics. For example, in a much touted op-ed in the WaPo, McRaven actually called John Brennan “a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question….”
It just goes to show that, in both Dem world and D.C. world, “integrity,” “honesty,” and “character” have different meanings than they do in the real world. After all, in the real world, no one would say it shows honesty, integrity, or character to lie repeatedly to Congress, but that’s what Brennan did.
By the way, I’m not even talking about the most recent go-round of lies. I’m talking about the lies in 2014, when Brennan was still living in the wonders of Obama-world. Back then, the lies were wrapped around the illegal activity of the CIA spying on our own government:
As reports emerged Thursday that an internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general found that the CIA “improperly” spied on US Senate staffers when researching the CIA’s dark history of torture, it was hard to conclude anything but the obvious: John Brennan blatantly lied to the American public. Again.
“The facts will come out,” Brennan told NBC News in March after Senator Dianne Feinstein issued a blistering condemnation of the CIA on the Senate floor, accusing his agency of hacking into the computers used by her intelligence committee’s staffers. “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate,” he said.
After the CIA inspector general’s report completely contradicted Brennan’s statements, it now appears Brennan was forced to privately apologize to intelligence committee chairs in a “tense” meeting earlier this week.
Brennan was so bad that, back in 2014, the same WaPo that now has McRaven leaping to Brennan’s defense because Trump yanked Brennan’s security clearance, had its own opinions editor (not a guest) demand that Obama fire Brennan:
An apology and an internal review board might suffice if this were Brennan or intelligence leaders’ first offense, but the track record is far from spotless. In 2011, Brennan claimed that dozens of U.S. drone strikes on overseas targets had not killed a single civilian. This remarkable success rate was not only disputed at the time by news reports — even supporters of the drone program called it “absurd” — but as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New York Times both reported later, President Obama received reports from the very beginning of his presidency about drone strikes killing numerous civilians. As Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser at the time, Brennan would have received these reports as well, so either Brennan knew that his claim was a lie, or he is secretly deaf. Similarly, Brennan denied snooping on Senate computers six weeks after Feinstein first made the accusation to the CIA in private, which means either that he was lying, or he had ignored a serious charge against his agency for six weeks, then spouted off about it without any real knowledge — hardly the behavior expected of an agency director.
And last year, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to Congress when he told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and the Senate Intelligence Committee that the National Security Agency did not collect any kind of data on millions of Americans, a claim later disproved by documents leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. Despite Clapper receiving criticism from both sides of the aisle, the damage to Clapper’s and the White House’s credibility on intelligence and civil liberties issues and, well, the fact that lying to Congress is a crime (though one that’s difficult to prosecute), Obama has not disciplined Clapper in any way.
Brennan is a bad apple and has always been a bad apple, going back to his communist days. Once upon a time, the Left understood this, but Leftists are so infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome that, as many have said, if Trump figured out a way to cure cancer, the Leftists would demand he stop hurting cancer.
Oh, and to the extent McRaven, in the WaPo piece, asked to have his security clearance pulled too, I think Trump should oblige him. First, security clearance is a privilege, not a right, and one that operates to benefit the U.S., not the security holder. Which leads me to the second point, which is that McRaven has shown that his years at the Pentagon have warped his values, common sense, and ability to understand the common meaning of words. That’s not a good man to possess to valuable a privilege. Anyway who can look at the hysterical, dishonest Brennan and think he’s a safe man to trust with a security clearance has proven himself too lacking in sense to have his own clearance.
Incidentally, the current crop of lies against Trump don’t stop with denying that Brennan lies. Just in case you read the defense of Brennan that he was the point man on the bin Laden raid, he wasn’t:
#FakeNews MSM is calling Brennan the “point man on the Bin Laden raid.”
He wasn’t. He wasn’t even working for CIA then. He was WH Homeland Security Advisor. He was simply a non essential body in the Situation Room watching the raid.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) August 16, 2018
If the Left says something, the rule isn’t “trust but verify.” It’s “don’t trust; verify everything.”
I’ll give the last word on the subject to Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who issued a scathing indictment against Brennan and supporting Trump’s decision:
A trip through a few days worth of my Facebook posts shows that, with little effort, I can expose Proggies to ideas and facts they usually miss or ignore.
Of late, between paying work, family demands, and a touch of the blecchies (not the flu, thank goodness, but I wasn’t feeling great), I’ve been posting on my real-me Facebook more than I’ve been blogging. Blogging requires paragraphs; Facebook requires sentences, a word here or there, or no comment at all to introduce an article.
My two goals on Facebook are to entertain people, so they keep coming back to my feed, and to place before them things that they won’t normally see as they shuffle back and forth between The New York Times, The Washington Post, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and the usual mono-ideologues who make up their intellectual world. I try to do the latter in an entirely non-judgmental way, so that people will stop and think, rather than block and argue.
To give you a sense of my M.O., here’s a sampling of things from my real-me Facebook feed over the last few days, many of which you’ll probably recognize from Instapundit and other familiar sites:
I knew that Cape Town’s imminent water shortage was its own fault because it failed to plan for drought, despite living where they regularly occur and despite a population much larger than the last time a drought rolled around. That was the same problem California had with its recent drought (and may continue to have, because last year’s big rains, rather than heralding the end of drought seem to have been just a pause). What I didn’t know was that it was South Africa’s poisonous antipathy to Israel that prevented it from saving itself. Now, when I see Cape Towners lined up with little cans at communal fountains, I don’t feel sorry for them, just as I really didn’t feel sorry for Californians (myself included) stupid enough to live in a state that failed to prepare for inevitable dry periods.
Everybody loves MacDonald’s — even Lefties. That’s why, back in 1990, when the first MacDonald’s opened in the former Soviet Union, 30,000 Russians lined up for the chance to eat there:
Emotional support pets on planes are too often a scam. I adore my dog, who makes me happy, and I’d definitely be a less panicked airplane passenger if I held him in my arms, but he’s still not medically necessary, and most other so-called emotional support pets aren’t either. The way people have abused the service pet exception to animals on planes is especially bad because it’s making things so difficult for those people who genuinely need an animal at their side to help them navigate their world or to guard them against dangerous seizures and other serious ailments. And so I said on Facebook.
Sharyl Attkisson, one of the last honest reporters, explained that the Nunes memo indicates that the FBI violated Woods Procedures. So that my friends don’t have to exhaust themselves clicking over to the article, I explain that this means that the FBI isn’t attesting to its own probity, or even the probity of the person who assembled a dossier. It needs to make a colorable showing that the person who first voiced the information — the anonymous source — is credible. I added that I was interested in learning more about those sources. Since then, of course, we’ve had intimations that the sources are Sidney Blumenthal and friends, people so devious and untrustworthy that only the Clintons could bear their presence. I haven’t mentioned those last facts to my Proggie friends. [Read more…]
Trump was clever, not racist, when he used a ceremony honoring Navajo Code Talkers to remind people that his nickname for Elizabeth Warren is Pocahontas.
The media and other Progressives in my world have been focusing non-stop on Trump’s decision, at a ceremony honoring WWII Navajo Code Talkers, to throw in a reference to Elizabeth Warren, whom he invariably calls “Pocahontas.” The media is correct that the line seemed weirdly out of place and that, if one assumes it was a joke, it failed to get any laughter — or, indeed, any response at all — from the assembled audience:
While the room was silent, within seconds of his referring to Warren as Pocahontas, the drive-by media and its political class went into action. How dare Trump be so “racist”! Old media and social media were flooded with a declamation from Warren herself about the utter racism behind calling her Pocahontas:
“There he was, at a ceremony to honor Native Americans, men who have really put it all on the line to save American lives, to save lives of people, our allies, during World War II, really amazing people. And President Trump couldn’t even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur,” Warren told Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Well, golly, I thought. Racist insults sure have changed since I was a kid. Back in the day, there were a lot of specific words of racist opprobrium floating around, such as kike, nigger, yid, spic, and pollak. Thankfully, except in small, ugly redoubts, those words have vanished from popular usage.
There were also insults tied to ugly stereotypes: “he jewed me down,” “look at that lazy negro boy,” “what a dumb pollak,” and “there goes another drunken Irishman.” We children in the 1960s had a lot of stupid jokes, which I won’t repeat here, tied to some of those stereotypes. Again, those insults have died away, as they should have.
And of course, there were “guilt by association” insults that tied a disfavored person, race, or religion to a particularly horrible representative of his class. No Jewish person ever wants to be called a Shylock. For a certain class of educated American, it’s still an insult to be called a Benedict Arnold. And we conservatives live in a world of reductio ad Hitlerlum. So yes, certain proper names can be insulting. [Read more…]
“There’s a lot of data,” Ms. Huffington said, “that shows when there’s one woman on the board it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.”
“Actually,” Mr. Bonderman said, “what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”
As is true for many jokes, there’s an element of truth in it. On average, women talk more than men — about 13,000 words more per day, which is a significant number. (My theory is that this is because women are responsible for training children in language.)
True or not, good joke or bad one, the outrage is so irritating. The perpetual cycle of victimhood, accusation, and purging is profoundly un-American. It’s a loathsome medieval mindset that needs to be excised, although I don’t know how one cuts out this rot once it’s taken hold.
Even before Bonderman’s fall (and I don’t feel sorry for him because he’s a Progressive, which means he’s part of the problem), women were up in arms because the shrewish Elizabeth Warren and openly obnoxious Kamala Harris were silenced for violating Senate rules or decorum. Of course, what feminists consciously ignore is that similarly situated men would have been silenced too.
The difference, of course, is that the men wouldn’t have claimed victim status. In the case of Warren and Harris, however, an entire industry of t-shirts, mugs, posters, and bumper stickers instantly sprang up about the irremediable evil of men interrupting women.
As with women’s documented talkativeness, there’s a little linguistic silence here too. One of the best, most eye-opening, most-interesting books I’ve ever read is Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand : Women and Men in Conversation. In it, Tannen discusses the differing way in which men and women communicate, differences that are already apparent in pre-school children.
The distinction I remember most vividly is the one about interruptions. Old jokes always had it that women endlessly interrupted men. In fact, studies show that men and women both interrupt speech about equally. The difference lies, not in the number of interruptions, but in the nature.
Conversationally, men are more hierarchical in speech than women are. Women speaking with women prize fellowship and parity; men speaking with men are constantly doing verbal one-upmanship.
The two sexes’ interruptions mirror their conversational goals: women chime in with the speaker and offer support; men try to hijack each other. Two examples will suffice:
Woman 1: I was driving along and this guy just cut me off on the freeway . . .
Woman 2: Oh, I know. I hate it when that happens, it’s really scary . . .
Woman 1: That’s right. I was in a cold sweat . . .
And so it goes, with the women instinctively carrying on the conversation like a round of Frère Jacques, making beautiful, overlapping conversational harmony with each other. (This conversational melody may also explain why women use more words.)
With guys, it’s a little different:
Man 1: I was driving along and this guy just cut me off on the freeway . . .
Man 2: Wait a sec. Waiter! Hey, is our food coming out soon? I’m starving.
At this point, depending on how large a fight for control the men are having, Man 1 can go Beta and abandon his story or go Alpha and fight back for conversational control. That’s how men talk. It’s not sexist, because it’s not a conversational style that’s deliberately targeted against women. It just is.
Rather than whining like pathetic victims, women should just politely seize the conversational ball again. They can even note — politely — what the man has done, which often forces an apology and a more moderate interruption style.
Of course, neither Warren nor Harris occupied high enough ground in their cases to make that polite objection. Both were rule-violating harridans who were appropriately silenced. But that doesn’t stop the bleating sheep in their wake, always willing again to claim victim status in order to score political points.
For 8 years, my open threads have been depressing. This one, though, had me feeling remarkably cheerful as there’s a lot of good news under President Trump.
I am very pleased with the airstrike President Trump ordered in Syria. Chemical weapons are a national security threat to every nation in the world, no matter where they are deployed. Every nation has an obligation to act against them.
All poison gasses are nasty, but sarin is particularly horrible. There’s are whole Generations of Xs, Ys, and Zs, not to mention the millennials and post-millenials, who have no memory of the 1995 sarin attack in the Tokyo subway. I remember, though, how dreadful it was — and how easy it was to loose that chemical on a civilian population.
For Obama to have crawled away from his red line, and then handed the matter over to Russia, which manifestly failed to remove chemical weapons from inside Syria, was a terrifying failure of leadership. Trump did what presidents have always done and should always need room to do: he didn’t declare war; he simply sent a sharp warning shot over an enemy’s bow, with the implicit threat that there’s much more where that came from.
I’m also willing to bet that Trump, having decided upon an objective, told the military to do it and then turned his attention to other things. In this, he would be unlike Obama, who was never even a Boy Scout, but who nevertheless felt competent to micromanage military strategy. Trump has a good eye for talent and, once that talent is on board, he delegates. That’s how leadership is supposed to work.
I was out and about earlier today, and heard two women talking about the airstrike. Actually, one woman was telling the other, who was not current on the news.
What surprised me, given that this conversation took place in Marin between two women who were quite obviously Hillary voters, is that the narrator was quite supportive of Trump. You could tell she thought he did the right thing, considering the sheer horror of the attack. However, thanks to a media that has turned on a dime from hating Putin to trusting him implicitly, she was under the impression that Trump ought to have gotten Congress’s permission first. It did not seem to occur to her that these type of warning strikes are well within the Chief Executive’s power. To drag them before Congress would make it impossible to act quickly about provocations that require immediate, but limited, attention.
In the age of Trump, we no longer have politics as usual, and thank the good Lord for that. The usual politics for the past eight years have been too damn toxic.
A handful of excellent points about wiretapping. I haven’t had much to say about the wiretapping because I’ve been too busy eating popcorn as I’ve watched the fact-free “Trump is a Putin stooge” narrative collapse, only to be replaced by a fact-filled “Obama spied on Trump, on probably on the other Republican candidates” narrative.
The only thing more fun than watching the truth come out is watching the media contortions to avoid accepting that Obama just eclipsed Watergate as the worst political scandal ever. Moreover, many of them must be grappling with the fact that they may face criminal charges for knowingly releasing to the public improperly unmasked names.
Here are a few of my favorite posts on the subject:
The Progressive meltdown over Trump’s Electoral College victory continues unabated and has gone from the merely undemocratic practice of street violence and personal abuse to the seriously, dangerously undemocratic practice of seeking to undermine the legitimacy of an election. To the Progressive defense that conservatives were just as bad in 2008 or 2012 . . . well, as always, the Progressives are wrong.
Conservatives never took to the streets and abandoned themselves to mob violence. That is a strictly Leftist activity. There’s a straight line from shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s Tawana Brawley circus to the dangerous freeway obstructions that the Left currently loves to so much. These are not about freedom of expression; they are a form of blackmail directed at a functioning society.
Conversely, Tea Party rallies, which were directed at Obama’s policies, not his legitimacy, were cheery affairs, after which the attendees cleaned up their litter. This was true political expression, not mob violence.
Even worse than mob violence, though, is the Progressive attack on democracy itself. What Progressives are doing is drastically more dangerous than the fact that a significant subsection of conservatives were convinced that Obama, who baited them by hiding his birth certificate, failed to meet the constitutional requirement that he be a native-born American.
(Incidentally, my feeling has long been that he was indeed born in Hawaii. What I think he’s hiding is in the transcripts, which will probably show that he falsely claimed Kenyan or Indonesian birth to get admitted into college and to obtain financial aid. And of course, they’ll show that “the smartest president ever” was a really bad student. This is just a theory, though, and I freely admit that I have no evidence to support it.)
Yes, many conservatives did attack Obama vigorously in an effort to roust him from office and, as the Progressives love to note, Trump was part of that “birth certificate” constituency. The important thing to remember, though, is that this conduct was directed against Obama. The goal was to prove that Obama was unqualified ab initio and had no right to be in the White House.
Progressives are doing something much more extreme than attacking a candidate (although their frenzied effort to equate him to Hitler is dire and dangerous): They are challenging the entire republican democratic process that underlies America’s smooth and safe transition of power every four to hate years. While their hatred is directed at Trump, they’re attacking the heart of the country itself. Moreover, they’re escalating.
Here it is: Your daily reminder that the revamped website for the Watcher’s Council is a brilliant collaborative online effort called WOW! Magazine. Since I last posted an update, Council members and their friends have uploaded all of these spot-on articles:
I don’t believe I’m exaggerating when I say that, if you visit WOW! Magazine regularly, you will be as caught up on the headlines as a New York Times or Yahoo News reader except that, unlike the readers of those publications, you’ll have a solid grasp of facts and be thinking about serious and honest indepth analyses.
True confession: I didn’t watch the convention last night. Mr. Bookworm, whose politics don’t align with mine, got to the TV first.
I did read about it, however, and I came away with the impression that it was a blessing that so many turncoat GOP operatives stayed away. Frankly, operatives are dull. Instead, this convention put up real people, with real concerns.
Also, the Melania “plagiarism” is a tempest in a teapot. The only thing it’s good for is giving Leftist something to say. Their problem with last night’s convention is that, other than Melania’s borrowed phrases (something everyone in politics does, Joe Biden more than most), there’s nothing they can point out without making themselves look like racists, cop haters, law-breakers, or America haters. Put another way, if the only thing that Lefties can pick on is five or six borrowed phrases, it was a staggeringly successful first night.
You’re not a fascist demagogue if you’re arguing for a return to the status quo of 2006 or so. Victor Davis Hanson made an excellent point at the top of his list at National Review (a #NeverTrump bastion) detailing the ten reasons Trump might win: