The Bookworm Beat 4/7/17 — the “it’s good news when Donald Trump is president” edition and open thread

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.

Donald Trump at CPAC 2016I 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:

► Lee Smith has a scathing, explosive report about the fact that Obama’s spying was not limited to Trump. It’s reasonable to believe that, during the lead-up to the Iran agreement, Obama was practicing the technique on pro-Israel groups, in a very blatant way. For the rest of these Obamagate links, I’m going to just have one sentence summaries, but you really need to read the following paragraph in toto:

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism—activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”

► It’s a week old, but Andrew Klavan’s look at Obama’s action and the media response has aged very well.

► As always, you can count on John Nolte for a great summary about the whole scandal, organized neatly by topic.

► Don Surber’s not bothering to hide the fact that he knew all along that Trump predicated exactly how the narrative would play out when he launched his “wiretapping” post.

► Because the wiretapping scandal is also a media scandal, it’s wonderful to see Mike Cernovich, who broke the Susan Rice story, school the execrable Democrat party hack Scott Pelley about real and fake news. In Pelley’s world, it’s always real if a Democrat says so. Cernovich has a slightly higher standard.

► Scott Adams was not impressed by Susan Rice’s peculiarly phrased statement that she did not leak “nothing to nobody.” When a presumably educated person slips into double negatives, you know there’s something going on.

A quick laundry-list of things you’ll want to read:

► While the media is obsessing about Russia, Trump is rapidly and successfully working his way through a conservative to-do list.

► As I do, Roger Simon thinks that Trump made all the right moves when it came to responding to Syria’s chemical warfare.

► Here’s something that will perplex Progressives: The more that people know about Islam and Muslims, the less they like Islam and the less they trust Muslims. It will take a better mind than mine to figure that one out. (That’s me being sarcastic, by the way.)

► President Trump may be doing wonderful things, but it’s still not safe to be a red in a blue state.

► In France, one professor who knows Islam very, very well does not blame the West for the attacks against it; he blames a radical strand of Islam that’s been allowed to grow unchecked.

► British Colonel Richard Kemp gets it: The Palestinians don’t want a two-state solution; they want to destroy Israel:

► Daniel Greenfield explains how the Democrats turned away from their historic support for Israel.

► Today’s “women’s” movement is a political juggernaut that has no room in it for women who won’t toe 100% of the party line.

► Ty Cobb was a long ago victim of a vicious smear campaign falsely portraying him as a racist:

► The whole world just learned that a degree from a prestigious American college is worth less than the paper its printed on because the universities’ overarching goal is to ensure that their students know nothing except Progressive propaganda.

► Even The Simpsons has figured out that Yale is a joke. (Be sure to watch the whole video.)

► Daniel Pipes points out what I’ve been complaining about since dropping my Little Bookworm off at an Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College: A history education is reductive — that is, it closes, rather than opens, students’ minds — because the teachers know only their politically correct thesis and are incapable of imparting any greater knowledge or context to the students.

► Obama went a long way to destroying American public school education when he decided that it was better to pander to, than discipline, misbehaving students.

► Elizabeth Warren’s unaccountable Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is driving money out of the marketplace, destroying community banks, and harming small businesses:

► Old news to those of us with rational brains, but impossible-to-accept news to those in thrall to climate change fear: the models do not, will not, and cannot work.

► I bet that you did not know that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was not really a silly comedy. Instead, as properly edited, it was a shattering, bold, historical epic:

Don’t abandon french fries in favor of kale. Potatoes have their virtues and a well-rounded diet will always serve you best. (Except when it comes to chocolate. I don’t believe in eating chocolate in moderation.)

► I’ve always loved Split Enz One Step Ahead of You and was blown away by Neil Finn’s live cover of his group’s big hit:

Photo credit: Donald Trump at CPAC 2016, by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license.