The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The New Face

In a post a few weeks ago, I noted that after the horrific anti-Semitic murders in Pittsburgh, the media (not to mention the Democrats) redicovered that anti-Semitism had reared its ugly head on the Right. At the same time, they couldn't resist implying that somehow Donald Trump enabled such violent bigotry. I further noted that the Democrats and the media assiduously avoid any mention of anti-Semitism on the Left, leaving the clear implication that it's only a right-wing phenomenon.

As proof, consider the recent election of two new Democrat house members, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan's 13th Congressional District. Both are poster children for the media's new obsession with identity politics because they are women, Muslims, and persons of color. They are being lauded with gushing coverage and flattering photo spreads. They are both representative, say many observers, of the new face of the Democratic Party. Only one small issue—both are virulently anti-Israel and as a consequence, borderline anti-Semitic.

David Harsanyi comments:
The 2018 midterm will bring many new faces to Washington, but few will find as much adoration as Ilhan Omar. One of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Omar, who will represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, is a Somali refugee with a celebrity aura and an uplifting story.

What went curiously unmentioned in all the flattering post-election coverage, however, was that Omar, who replaces Keith Ellison — a former acolyte of anti-Semitic minister Louis Farrakhan — also has some exotic notions about the Jewish people.

In a 2012 tweet, for instance, the Democrat explained that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.”

Meanwhile, the other Muslim woman headed to Congress is Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants who wants to cut aid to the Jewish state because supporting it “doesn’t fit the values of our country.” [She is, of course, notably silent on the more than 300 Hamas rockets fired from Gaza that have directly targeted Israeli civilian neighborhoods over the past few days. Those rocket "values" it seems are perfectly okay with her and at least some of the Democrat voters who put her in office.]

Writer David Steinberg identified 105 news stories written in the immediate aftermath of Omar’s victory, and not a single one mentioned that she believed Jewry possessed mind-control abilities or that Israel was “evil.” No one called on the Democratic Party to distance itself from this rhetoric.

No one at the partisan Anti-Defamation League, ostensibly tasked with stopping anti-Jewish libel but in reality busy hyperventilating over every far-flung right-wing bigot with a handful of supporters, paid her any attention.

Now, it isn’t inherently anti-Semitic to be critical of Israeli political leadership or policies. The Democratic Party antagonism toward the Jewish state has been well-established over the past decade. But Omar used a well-worn anti-Semitic trope about the preternatural ability of a nefarious Jewish cabal to deceive the world ...

To accuse the only democratic state in the Middle East, which grants more liberal rights to its Muslim citizens than any Arab nation, of being an “apartheid regime” is, on an intellectual level, grossly disingenuous or incredibly ignorant. And when a politician singles out Jewish allies as “evil,” but ignores every brutal theocratic regime in the area, it’s certainly noteworthy.
Indeed, it is, but not by the Democrat's trained hamsters in the media.

The hamsters do the bidding of their Democrat trainers and demand that every mainstream GOP politician publicly and explicitly disavow every right-wing crazy who expresses anti-Semitic sentiment and further demands that those same GOP politicians explain why the right wing crazy hasn't been somehow encouraged by Donald Trump.

Odd, then, that the hamsters never ask mainstream Democrat politicians (think: Chuck Schumer or Elizabeth Warren, for example) to disavow the statements of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. For that matter, how about asking why the blatant anti-Israel positions of the previous administration haven't somehow been a catalyst for current anti-Semitism on the Left? Nah, that's not a line of inquiry that anyone in the media wants to pursue.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Under Threat

Florida is a big state with 67 counties and almost 21 million people. Sixty-five of those countries reported their election results in a timely manner, following the law in every respect. Only two, both predominantly Democratic strongholds, did not report their results as mandated by the law and are now "finding" votes that were never reported in the overall vote count. Curious, isn't it?

Over the past two years, Democrats have become hysterical over the notion that Russian trolls and bots conducted a disinformation campaign on social media that they claim (with absolutely no evidence) was coordinated with the Trump campaign and led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton. The Dems tell us that never, ever, ever should non-citizens do anything to affect election results. Odd, then, that prominent Democrat lawyers, representing losing senatorial and gubernatorial candidates Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum, have implicitly argued in open court that votes cast by non-citizens in either Broward or Palm Beach counties should be counted as valid votes.

Here's the court transcript:

So ... a misleading or dishonest post on twitter by a non-citizen is a national catastrophe, but an actual vote by a non-citizen is perfectly okay as long as that vote has been cast for a Democrat. Incredible!

D.C. McCallister writes:
The canvassing board was tasked with reviewing ballots after irregularities were reported in Broward and Palm Beach counties. As of Friday afternoon these were the only two counties in Florida that hadn’t completed counting absentee votes. Broward had also failed to report early voting ballots, which is a violation of state law that requires local canvassing boards to report all early voting and absentee results to the state within 30 minutes after the polls close.

When tabulating the votes on election night, Broward County’s results showed significantly fewer votes than other races on the ballot—25,000. Over the next several days, election officials scrambled to add early in-person votes and absentee ballots to the count. This increased numbers for the Democrats, moving the races into recount margins.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio accused the Broward County elections office of blatantly violating state law. “No early votes have been case since Sunday,” he tweeted. “They had 2 days to tabulate them & submit to the state by 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as required by law. Yet as of latest update these are only partially completed.”

Barnett promised that Republicans are closely monitoring the recount as the canvassing boards review the ballots. “We want to make sure the Democrats don’t steal this election,” he said. “They’re trying everything they can to win even if it’s illegal.”
What is most astonishing is the brazen manner in which this is occurring. It's almost as if the Democrats know they will will not be held accountable for illegality; that the media, reporting events as if they were watching a local pie eating contest, will not do any investigation that might hurt the Dem's case, and that past history (think: the 2008 election in Minnesota that allowed Al Franken to steal an election he lost) is on their side.

The Dems are quite fond of telling us all that ever since 2016, "our democracy is under threat." Sure is ... and their blatant attempt to steal two more elections proves it.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Do-Overs

When you consider the post-election debacle in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach Counties, you just can't escape the irony. Over the past two years, we've seen the Democrats hyperventilate over wholly unsubstantiated claimed that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to swing an election. They're on firmer ground with their claim that Russian trolls and bots "influenced" the election and have voiced their concern in no uncertain terms. But Russian trolls and bots produce only disinformation that might influence less discerning voters, not actual voter fraud. Keep that in mind as you read further.

Nonetheless, the Dems are the first to say, "Election interference is a threat to our democracy." They're right.

Yet those same Dems are surprisingly sanguine when two blue counties in Florida now find lots and lots of uncounted votes after two close elections won by GOP candidates. Convenient, isn't it?

But according to the Dems, it's just a coincidence that Broward and Palm Beach counties have now found uncounted and unreported votes days after the election while an odd twist of fate has it that both counties are strongly Democratic. It's merely a meaningless footnote that Democrat election officials in Broward county have a long and sordid history of near-fraudulent behavior during and after elections and have been sanctioned by the courts. Yeah, it's all just an accident of fate, providence, serendipity.

Let's get real! It's also a blatant attempt to steal an election that the Democrats in both counties and throughout Florida thought they had in the bag. They can't blame the Russkies for any of this, so the next best thing is to miraculously find uncounted votes long after the legally mandated deadline for reporting those votes had expired. Democrat lawyers will now descend on Broward and Palm Beach counties, yelling "voter suppression," "racism" and any other epithet that might gain them sympathy. It's all a scam, but it just might work. And now, this manufactured chaos has lead the Florida Election Commission to demand a recount in both races—still more opportunity for foul play.

Mollie Hemmingway comments on this banana republic behavior and on the media's seeming lack of interest:
To make sure that votes aren’t being invented or destroyed to effect an outcome, one of the first priorities of any election supervisor is to announce how many ballots are in possession and how many remain to be counted. To fail to do this, as the Broward County and Palm Beach County Supervisors had, is to open themselves up to the accusation of massive vote fraud.

Citizens can not have confidence that ballots are not being destroyed, or created, when supervisors fail to immediately announce how many ballots are on hand.

Florida law also requires that vote-by-mail and absentee ballots are accounted for within 30 minutes of polls closing. While the other 65 counties [the majority are Red] in Florida had no problem following this state law, the supervisors of Broward County and Palm Beach County refused to follow that law.

Florida law also requires that the Department of State be given reports every 45 minutes until results are completely filed. Palm Beach County has refused to do this.

Despite these stunning violations of law, and [Senator Marco] Rubio’s cry to stop the madness in these counties that have a history of election problems, media seemed largely uninterested in what was happening in Florida.
Have you ever noticed that despite the statistical odds, these recounts always seem to find more Democrat votes—never the other way around. Gosh, you'd think that once in a while the GOP vote count would grow during a recount. Nah.

And by the way, for those progressives who still think that George W. Bush stole the 2000 election, a definitive study by none other than the NYT (certainly no friend of the GOP) indicated that the Florida vote count that gave Bush the presidency was accurate and untainted, so spare me the ill-informed what-about comparisons that are bound to occur.

The good news is that the Dem attempt to subvert the vote is so blatant that the GOP candidates won't roll over (as many have done in the past). It's time to put a stop to this stuff ... and soon.

The Dems are relentless in their quest for power, and that's okay, until it crosses the line into unethical, dishonest, and possibly criminal activity. It appears that they already crossed that line. As an aside, it looks like the Dems are very concerned about aggressive push back against the press when Donald Trump does it verbally, but when a Palm Beach election supervisor who threatens to have reporters jailed trying to get information about this election, crickets.

Let's assume for a moment that Democrat officials in Broward and Palm Beach County county are simply incompetent and forgot to process votes when they were mandated to process them. There are laws and regulations that govern the validity of those votes, and those laws and rule MUST be followed. That's not "voter suppression," that's the rule of law. If there is fraud, the guilty should go to jail. And for the voters whose ballots were uncounted due to the incompetence of election officials? They might want to vote for competent governance that wouldn't make such egregious mistakes (or participate in criminal conduct). But that's next time ... for this election, follow the law and the existing regulations and rules—there should be no do-overs.

UPDATE:
--------------

Roger Simon overstates things—but only slightly—when he writes:
We're Honduras now.

No Banana Republic -- past or present -- could really outdo Florida when it comes to electoral corruption. After all, the population of the Sunshine State is roughly the same as the populations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua combined. It's also larger than the population of Guatemala by itself.

Too bad Garcia Márquez is dead and can't write another novel like One Hundred Years of Solitude to describe life in Florida as he did of Colombia when it was hugely corrupt. He could win a second Nobel Prize. (Yes, I know the author was a Castro crony, but nobody's perfect.)

So who's responsible for this nauseating state of affairs? The Democrats, no surprise, behave as if Boss Tweed were reincarnated in Miami Beach, bringing down their best Fusion GPS lawyer from the Perkins Coie mafia of Trump dossier fame to oversee the recount. As long as you're on the "correct" side of things, by any means necessary, right?
I can only hope that the general electorate will view this Democrat stunt in much the same way they viewed the Kavanaugh cesspool—unethical, dishonest, and repugnant. But then again, the Dems live by the BAMN credo—by any means necessary. And if that taints the electoral process and causes many to lose faith in democratic elections? That's a small price to pay for power, right?

Sarah Hoyt puts an exclamation point on all of this when she writes: "Memo to the dems: You’re playing with fire in a powder arsenal. None of us will enjoy the explosion. And you might find, to your shock, you’ve destroyed the only country on Earth who would tolerate your shenanigans."

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Antifa Mob

Antifa represents the worst of the extreme left. It's true that they are not representative of the vast majority of Democrats or progressives, but what's troubling is that Democrats and progressives do very little to condemn Antifa's often violent "protests," their mob-like threatening behavior, or their extreme and often unhinged rhetoric.* Dems and their trained hamsters in the media prefer to refer to Antifa mobs as "activists" or "protestors," when they are actually violent thugs who operate under the cover of social activism and the truly ridiculous claim of anti-Fascism.

This past week an Antifa mob visited conservative commentator Tucker Carlson's residence and implicitly threatened his wife and children. Some Democrats, to their credit, condemned Antifa's actions, but far too many were either silent or tried to justify the mob's actions.

Jim Treacher comments but first quotes the chant of the Antifa mob outside Carlson's house:
"You can't hide. You're not safe. We know where you sleep."

But don't call these people an angry mob, right?

Now, how much of an actual threat are these morons? The guy with the megaphone sounds like he barely has the upper-body strength to hold up a megaphone. But their intent is clear: intimidation. If you say things they don't like, they'll find out where you live. They'll stand outside your house, yelling and screaming. If they can't convince people you're wrong, they'll just try to stop you from speaking altogether. "Anti-fascist" now means "extra-fascist."

This is an escalation from this lefty group's previous "success," yelling at Ted Cruz in a restaurant. At least that was a semi-public place. At least they didn't go to Cruz's private residence.

Yet.

You can go ahead and hate Tucker, or any other pundit, for any reason you want. I don't agree with him on everything either. That doesn't mean you need to be standing outside his house, threatening him and his family. I wouldn't do it to Jim Acosta or Chris Hayes or any other talking head I don't like.
Carlson is an aggressive interviewer and a conservative voice, but he has never suggested violence against the Left, and never questioned a leftist position without backing it up with a reasoned argument. Leftists may not agree with his positions or his reasoning, but an attempt to silence or threaten him is akin to the tactics of the very fascists that the Antifa mob claims to want to eliminate. They are either too stupid, too historically ignorant, or too extreme in their fanatic beliefs to recognize the repugnant irony of their actions.

CBS reporter (and one of the few professional journalists that remain in the main stream media) Sharyl Attkisson responded to the Antifa threats against Carlson in the following way:
@SharylAttkisson: As told in "The Smear," [her best selling book on political smears] people usually aren't targeted unless they're effective. I'm going to start watching @TuckerCarlson to see what he's doing that so worries them. They're in essence saying: he's making a difference. If it weren't so ugly, it would be a compliment.
There is nothing that Antifa does that should be construed as a compliment. They exemplify an extreme faction on the Left that is totalitarian—agree with us or we will shut you down. But they go beyond simple rhetoric and move ever-closer to outright violence. If true white supremacists on the right stood outside a residence and threatened, say, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, the media would be be gripped by hysteria in its 24-7 condemnation of Donald Trump for fostering an atmosphere in which an intelligent voice on the left is threatened by right-wing extremists.

Odd, then, that the response to Carlson's situation is so muted. Odd that no national Democratic figure (here's a suggestion—Maxine Waters—who has advocated confrontation herself) is blamed for their extreme actions. Odd ... but hardly surprising.

FOOTNOTE:
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* Contrast this to the universal condemnation of right-wing extremists by nationally recognized members of the GOP. And by the way, Antifa is little different in action or tactics to neo-Nazis, so any attempt to suggest that this is an apples-and-oranges comparison is intellectually dishonest.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Threats

Among the many post-midterm narratives promoted by Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media is one that argues that "white women" are responsible for the losses suffered by progressive superstars Beto O'Rouke in TX, Andrew Gillum in FL (although the Dems are working overtime to reverse the results of that election), and Stacy Abrams in GA. If it wasn't for "uniformed white women" who do the bidding of their "white supremacist husbands" who themselves are members of the "patriarchy," every one of those progressive heroes would now be preparing to lead us in the manner of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. The tragedy of it all is numbing.

Because I'm a de facto member of "the patriarchy," I'll allow a person of another gender to comment. Allie Stuckey writes:
One Twitter warrior deemed white women “footsoldiers of the patriarchy” for voting Republican, claiming that their decision is based on a desire to submit to their husbands. Jemele Hill, staff writer for The Atlantic, argued that white women are not “the face of feminism,” because they voted for Ted Cruz and, in 2016, for Donald Trump. A viral tweet listed Republicans for which white women voted in the midterms and concluded, “white women gonna white.”

Don’t worry, though. The Women’s March is here to help us out: “There’s a lot of work to do, white women. A lot of learning. A lot of growing. We want to do it with you.”

Phew! For a second there I thought we were going to have to continue navigating these scary political waters on our own. I’m so relieved to know that, instead of thinking for ourselves, we’ll have obscure liberal Twitter activists and Linda Sarsour guiding us. I’m hoping my tyrannical husband won’t be too upset with me for going against his commands. Last week he gave me an extra fifty cents in my allowance and told me to “buy something pretty,” so maybe he’ll be just as gracious when I tell him I’ve started forming my own opinions.

The irony is, of course, rich. Leftist feminists, long-asserting the strength and independence of women, now argue that some women are so weak that they need to depend on liberals to tell them how to vote. They cannot fathom that we Republican “white women” may actually have different values than they do. It must be because we are “foot soldiers of the patriarchy.” (That’s newspeak for “self-hating idiots.”)

When certain demographics vote majoritively for Democrats, those people are smart, brave, strong, important. Ninety-seven percent of black women voting for Abrams has nothing to do with identity politics or the belief in the false narrative that big government policies will benefit them. No, they’re wise. White women who vote for Republicans, though—they’re idiots.
The Left's inability to see both the irony and hypocrisy of their position on women is astonishing. Then again, in their eyes, you're NOT a woman unless you're a leftist. You are NOT to be believed, you are NOT to be respected, your are NOT protected by their blanket argument that any disagreement with a Leftist woman is misogyny—nothing more and nothing less.

In fact, at the risk of over generalizing, the identity politics crowd is very, very selective in assigning identities. You're not a Muslim if you criticize Islam (think: Ayann Hersi Ali), you're not a black if you're a conservative black (think: Thomas Sowell) or even an African American who has the temerity to think for themselves (think: Kanye West or Candice Owens). You're not a Latino if you're a Republican (think: Ted Cruz), and you're certainly not a woman if you're a conservative (think: Nikki Haley). In fact, you're not a Jew is you're foolish enough to question whether guilty until proven innocent or BDS is an appropriate philosophy.

What you are is a threat ... to the insane notion that all women, all blacks, all Latinos, all Muslims, and all Jews MUST toe the leftish line, MUST align exclusively with Democrats, and MUST never, ever have any thought that conflicts with the prevailing narrative promoted by the trained hamsters in the media. And threats MUST be eliminated ... by any means necessary.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

A Purple Puddle

The mid-term elections contained a few surprises, but were basically pro forma. Glen Reynolds describes the outcome nicely:
Well, it wasn’t the huge Blue Wave we were promised, a change in Congress on a par with the Tea Party’s “shellacking” of President Barack Obama in 2010, or President Bill Clinton’s big midterm losses in 1994. It looks more like a Blue Slosh. Or maybe a Purple Puddle. The Democrats regained some ground, but it wasn’t the overwhelming repudiation of President Donald Trump and the Republicans they were hoping for.

We'll now move into the gridlocked atmosphere that characterizes much of the preceding administration. Congress will get little done, but since the only thing a divided congress every does is grow the size and scope of the federal government, that's not an entirely bad outcome.

Sure, the Democrats in the House will insist on harassing Donald Trump and conducting meaningless investigations that will further divide the country. That will almost certainly lead to chaos in Washington as Democrat luminaries like Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, and Gerald Nadler take over important committee leadership and work hard to ruin the final two years of Donald Trump‘s first term as president.

Exit polls indicate that Trump's combative style does not play well across the electorate, even though the same electorate think that many of his domestic and foreign policy accomplishments are pretty good.

Overall, I'd say the mid-terms were a win for the Dems who are now back in the game. But very few of us who differ with the Democrats on important policy issues will respond to their win by:

— Going into a deep depression,
— hyperventilating or screaming primally,
— threatening to leave the country,
— suggesting that the destruction of the nation is just around the corner,
— calling anyone a Nazi,
— joining any #Resistance,
— destroying property in faux protests,
— wearing costumes,
— indulging false claims of sexual harassment,
— blaming the Russians or the electoral college, or any other aspect of the voting system ...

or generally having a two year tantrum that might befit a 3-year old.

It's possible, I suppose, that Donald Trump will moderate his tone, but I don't count on it. It's also possible that the Democrats have learned a lesson from the Kavanaugh debacle and will moderate theirs, but I doubt that as well.

It’s almost as if both the Dems and Trump can’t help themselves. But maybe, some innate wisdom will prevail, and the Democratic Party will try to work with the GOP to actually accomplish things that benefit the people of the United States.

Nah ... that won’t happen either.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Contrast

On this mid-term election day, the Democrats are poised to take over the House of Representatives. If you are to believe their trained hamsters in the media, the era of Trump will be all but over, decency and civility will be reintroduced to American politics, and our democracy will be saved.

I don't think any of that will happen after a Democrat "win" today, even if the Dems should pull off the unexpected and take the Senate as well. Instead, as a reaction to their collective nervous breakdown over the past two years, vindictiveness will reign. Myriad "investigations" will be launched to cripple an elected president, and nothing will be accomplished by the Congress. Then again, it's possible, although not probable, that the mid-terms might yield a different result. That would be interesting.*

David French comments on the one thing that all politicians (Dem and GOP) do really, really well—hypocrisy. He writes:
Democrats claim that now is a critical time for public hygiene. It’s time to hold corrupt, self-aggrandizing politicians accountable. I agree.

Ask your Democratic candidate if he or she is willing to publicly condemn New Jersey senator Robert Menendez — tried for public corruption and admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for doing favors for a wealthy contributor in exchange for lavish gifts — the way that so many conservatives condemned (and ultimately rejected) Roy Moore.

Democrats claim that now is the time to reject the politics of personal destruction. They look at a president who calls people names, who spins out wild conspiracy theories (Ted Cruz’s father participated in the Kennedy assassination? Really?), and they demand better. I agree.

Look at your Democratic candidate’s actions regarding Brett Kavanaugh. Did they credit facially implausible gang-rape allegations? Did they presume his guilt and declare they “believed survivors” even without substantiation and in the face of contradictory evidence? Did they participate in a campaign to destroy a man’s life and career, only to drop the whole matter the instant he was confirmed?

Democrats decry Republican extremism and alarmism. They look at wild claims about the border caravan, wasteful troop deployments, and alarmist rhetoric about criminals and Middle Easterners. They condemn family separation. They decry Trump’s “enemy of the people” rhetoric. They believe that Trump and his allies are dangerously raising tensions in the American body politic. I agree.

Ask where your Democratic candidate stands on Hillary Clinton’s rejection of civility, Cory Booker’s call for protesters to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” Eric Holder’s declaration that “when they go low, we kick them,” or Maxine Waters’s ominous demand that “if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

And while you’re at it, ask your Democratic candidates if the challenge of Donald Trump is so grave that they’re willing to moderate their positions on abortion, immigration, health care, gun rights, or religious liberty even in the slightest to win your support.

There are those who will read this piece and decry the “whataboutism” or the “both sides-ism,” but isn’t every single election an evaluation of both sides? Don’t we have to compare and contrast candidates?
My guess is that the average voter knows relatively little about their candidates and couldn't cogently discuss the contrast between the two. Instead they vote their gut.

We'll see what their gut has decided over the next 24 hours. But no matter what, life will go on, the democracy will NOT be under threat nor will it have been saved. Most important, I suspect that there will be no nervous breakdown or childish tantrum should the Dems prevail.

FOOTNOTE:
--------------
* Ann Althouse comments on the unlikely event that the Dems do NOT take over the House:
You might think Trump has set the midterms up as a referendum on himself, and I think that's true. But if the GOP wins, Trump antagonists are not going to give it to Trump and say his referendum passed and bow to democratic choice. They're going to say that racism won, and resisting and fighting is even more important now that we know so many Americans have been caught up in Trump's horrible scheme.
I think that's about right. In fact, the same general commentary will occur if the vote is relatively close (to explain why it was close). Oh well.