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

Monday, April 29, 2019

Deeply Sorry

Over the weekend, a story broke that tells us a lot about the Left, the media, and one of their favorite pastimes. The International Edition of the New York Times published a clearly anti-Semitic, anti-Israel cartoon that contains all the tropes that would usually be characterized (had it been, say, an anti-Muslim cartoon) as an "abomination," "an offense to humanity" and an indication that its perpetrators were "bigots and xenophobes."

But the purported newspaper of record couldn't possibly be any of those things. As the voice of the Left, the NYT is always on the side of virtue and justice, so the publication of the cartoon (which I am purposely NOT reproducing for this post) was according to the NYT, "an error in judgement."

No. It. Wasn't.

It was a reflection of a clear anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias of the Left. A bias so prevalent that I suspect the NYT editor who approved publication of the cartoon saw nothing wrong with it because it demonized Israel, Bibi Netanyahu (a favorite target of the past Democrat president) and Donald Trump—three baddies in the warped universe of the leftists.

Like all leftist media sources, the NYT is among the first to label its ideological opponents as "racists," "bigots," "xenophobes" or more recently, "white supremacists." They give no quarter when someone misspeaks or expresses a thought clumsily. That's why the NYT was among the many left-wing media who perpetuated the flat-out lie that Donald Trump had called neo-Nazi white supremacists "fine people." After all, what's a little dishonesty and character assassination when you're on the side of virtue and justice?

A fire storm erupted on social media as soon as the cartoon was discovered, and many avid NYT readers decided that its publication was the last straw. They began to #Walkaway.


At first, the NYT decided to try to tough it out (story here) but as cancelled subscriptions began to pile up and criticism became intense, the times offered an apology.
"We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again."
The Leftist media led by the NYT is always the first to suggest falsely and without evidence that Donald Trump's presidency is the catalyst for bigotry and racism around the world. As I recall, it was Barack Obama who treated Bibi Netanyahu shabbily throughout his presidency, and who was, shall we say, less than friendly to Israel. As a postscript to their apology, I wonder if the editors of the NYT will suggest that it was Barack Obama who was the catalyst for increased anti-Israel, anti-Semitic sentiment among the Left? Sentiment that may have led to the publication of the cartoon. After all, if that argument is true for Trump, it's equally true for Obama.


The NYT cartoon debacle couldn't have occurred at a worse time (for the NYT). A deranged anti-Semite shooter killed on congregant and injured others in a synagogue in Poway, CA. Liz Shield pulls no punches when she writes:
Oh by the way, we had another synagogue shooting this weekend on the last day of Passover. I must have missed all the calls from the cultural vanguard that "we" need to tone down the rhetoric, rhetoric like the smack talk coming from sitting members of congress and left-wing movement groups.

Anti-Semitism is excused and normalized by the media and the Democrats when they fail to critically cover people like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and groups like the Women's March and Black Lives Matter who are aligned with the anti-Semitic BDS movement. The Democrats in congress were unable to pass one of their stupid resolutions that would condemn anti-Semitism. These are not serious folks. Sadly, the Poway synagogue shooting will disappear as fast as the Sri Lanka "Easter worship" slaughter because it's inconvenient to the left's narrative: the Poway gun man was a Trump-hater.


The NYT's blatant bias in the case of the cartoon has caused more than a few people to take the gloves off. Here's Dominic Green on the topic:
What the Times should have said was:
‘We ran a blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon. At a time when anti-Jewish violence and incitement is at levels not seen since 1945, we chose to place gutter racism on our pages. We did this because plenty of our editors share the prejudice of this cartoon; if in doubt, look at our unsigned editorials.

‘We’re so soaked in this that none of us thought that it might be an error to publish a cartoon with clear precursors in fascist, communist, Arab nationalist and Islamist propaganda. Rather than explain this away in the passive tense, we’re going to name the editors who signed off on this cartoon, and fire them.’
Of course, the Times will do none of this. There won’t be a comparative demonstration of why this kind of imagery is so obnoxious, because the Times is histrionically sensitive to giving offense to any group except the groups that it identifies as objects of contempt: Republicans, white Southerners, Easter worshippers, people who like Brexit, and ‘Zionists’, a euphemism which one recent survey counted as 92 percent of American Jews.

Nor will there be any kind of acknowledgment that the publication of this cartoon reflects the unexamined moral rot of the left in Europe and the United States, in which anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, whether about Jews or Russian ‘collusion’, play so central a role.
"Moral rot" is harsh, but absolutely correct. Just this week, hard-core leftist groups at UC-Berkeley (where else?) held a meeting in which they shouted "f*ck Zionists" and then reportedly claimed that Israel's IDF was training American police forces to kill people of color. Anti-semitism? Nah, it just that they care so, so much about the oppressed.

UPDATE-3 (4-30-2019):

The NYT and the other leftist media regularly publish anti-Israel articles and cartoons and then make the outrageous claim that their advocacy of policies that would cripple the Israeli economy (e.g., BDS) or better, dissolve the Jewish state entirely (absurd "peace proposals) are anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist. There are certainly anti-Semiotes on the right—lots of them—but their despicable world view isn't cloaked in fauz virtue and justice. The Left's anti-Semitism is different ... and growing ... rapidly.

Professor Alan Dershowitz comments:
I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and the New York Times has a right to continue its biased reporting and editorializing. But despite my support for freedom of speech, I am attending a protest in front of the New York Times this afternoon to express my freedom of speech against how the New York Times has chosen to exercise its. There is no inconsistency in defending the right to express bigotry and at the same time protesting that bigotry. When I defended the rights of Communists and Nazis to express their venomous philosophies, I also insisted on expressing my contempt for their philosophy. I did the same when I defended the rights of Palestinian students to fly the Palestinian flag in commemoration of the death of Arafat. I went out of my way to defend the right of students to express their support of this mass murder. But I also went out of my way to condemn Arafat and those who support him and praise his memory. I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.

Nor is the publication of this anti-Semitic cartoon a one-off. For years now, the New York Times op-ed pages have been one-sidedly anti-Israel. Its reporting has often been provably false, and all the errors tend to favor Israel's enemies. Most recently, the New York Times published an op-ed declaring, on Easter Sunday, that the crucified Jesus was probably a Palestinian. How absurd. How preposterous. How predictable.

In recent years, it has become more and more difficult to distinguish between the reporting of the New York Times and their editorializing. Sometimes its editors hide behind the euphemism "news analysis," when allowing personal opinions to be published on the front page. More recently, they haven't even bothered to offer any cover. The reporting itself, as repeatedly demonstrated by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), has been filled with anti-Israel errors.
There has been widespread condemnation of the NYT cartoon, but the media's typical "go-to" voices among the Democrats and the Left have been notably silent or surprisingly muted. What exactly, are the positions of Ilhan Omar (D-MN), or Rashida Talib (D-MI) or Alexandria Ocasio Cortex (D-NY) or for that matter, half of the Democratic field for president? They may have, in fact, parroted the usual generic "hate has no place ..." bullshit, but what exactly is their position on anti-Zionism?

The vast majority of American Jews continue to support the Democratic party, and many would characterize themselves as left of center. To them, I say, absorb this recent NYT cartoon incident, merge it with literally hundreds of other anti-Semitic words, speeches, policies, and actions coming out of the Left, and then decide if the Democrats and the Left are truly your friends. #Walkaway.

A FINAL THOUGHT (4/30/2019):

Richard Fernandez ("@WretchardtheCat) is one of the best thinkers on the Web. He tweets in response to the NYT cartoon debacle and why it is that a non-trivial portion of the liberal intellectual class (I use the word 'intellectual' loosely) is caught up in Jew-Hatred masked as anti-Zionism:

The "intellectual class" fervently wants to believe that it's only violent white supremacists who lurk in the dark just beyond what we can see. White supremacists, intellectuals argue, are the true anti-Semites and only they represent a threat. But the dark is limitless and it envelops others, some obvious, others slightly less so.

In the dark, we find Islamists and their Muslim and non-Muslim supporters, whose virulent anti-Semitism would give any white supremacist a run for his money. But even further in the swirling mists, we have the relative newcomers—members of the group that is represented by their media source of record, The New York Times. Leftist "intellectuals" think they have defined the sole perpetrators of anti-Semitism, but what they fail to realize is that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Parable

In the coming months we're going to hear a lot about "democratic socialism" and how it's very, very different from the kind of socialism that destroys countries and impoverishes people and has done so repeatedly for the past century. We'll hear apologists throughout the media, along with a long line of Democrats, academics, supposed intellectuals, and brainless celebrities tell us—capitalism bad, socialism good. And because far too many people listen to their nonsense, presidential contenders who espouse socialist ideology will prosper—at least for a while.

Of course, the proper way to refute the socialists' utopian claims is to present multiple historical instances of socialism's myriad failures, hard facts that refute its economic promises, and actual human testimony to depict the damage that it does to basically everyone except those who are its thought leaders. But none of that will work because the same magical thinking that causes people to consider socialism in the first place also deflects historic truth, economic facts, and human testimony.

So maybe a parable might suffice. This, one, offered by a Belmont Club commenter, "BattleofthePyramids," is appropriate:
Once upon a time I met an old man in the old country, formerly a small farmer with a couple of cows, sheep, goats, chickens. Now he had nothing, but was gracious enough to invite me in. Over Vodka and potatoes, we talked:

Me; "Old friend, what happened? How did your life come to this?"

Old man: "In the days of the revolution, a Glorious Socialist said, "give us power and we will make everything better and save the children." "So, the people voted him in." He then said to me: "comrade, you have two cows. This is not fair. Give your neighbor one." I said: "My neighbor is a blacksmith, he knows nothing of cows."

Leader: "If you do not give him your cow, you are an enemy of the people." And he pointed to the gallows in the village.

Old Man: "So what could I do? I gave my neighbor the cow. And then the leader said "Now sell your milk for one peso per liter."

Old Man: "If I sell my milk for one peso per liter, I will not have enough money to get hay for my cow. He will starve."

Leader: "Are you an enemy of the people, comrade?"

Old man: "So, I sold the milk for one peso per liter, and the cows died. But an election was coming and I hoped the people would throw out the leader. Instead the leader came to me and said: "If your cows are dead, then cook them and give meat to the people. And he said to the people: Today I will give you meat. Vote for me tomorrow and I will make things better for your children."

Old man: "So, I cooked the cows, and the people loved the leader and voted for him again. After the vote there were no cows. So the leader came to me and said: Comrade, you have two sheep. This is not fair...."
No. It. Isn't. But socialists get to define what is fair and what is not. And if you disagree with their assessment of fairness, "Are you an enemy of the people, comrade?"

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Donald Trump's administration has had an array of significant accomplishments. On the domestic front, he had been far more successful than his predecessor. The U.S. economy is roaring, and the middle class and people of color are doing significantly better today than five years ago, jobless claims are at a 50 year low, wages are up, and public sentiment on the future is solid. On the foreign policy front, Trump has also accomplished far more than the elites who ran our policy for the past few decades. But Trump's bombastic and combative style could negate his accomplishments with voters. Many people view him as "unpresidential."

Noting this dichotomy, Glen Reynold of Instapundit thinks that the Dems might have a good chance of defeating Trump in the 2020. "All they have to do," writes Reynolds, "is not act crazy. And they can't even do that."

It seems that the current crop of over 20 Democrat presidential contenders are trying to out-woke one another. Someone makes an extreme proposal, one that will cost trillions, be impossible to implement, and could never become legislation anyway. Rather than calling it crazy, another contender will double down, offering an even more extreme proposal. "Free" (e.g., college, healthcare) seems to be an operative word within the Dem primary field. That, and demonizing businesses, profit, capitalism, and any other concept that doesn't fit into the socialist world view.

A case in point occurred just a few days ago when Bernie Sanders, the socialist icon who wants to be president, argued in a Democratic town hall on CNN, that he believes convicted felons who are in prison should have the right to vote. Another candidate, Kamala Harris, when asked what she thought, suggested that we should have a "conversation" about it. I'm sure some candidates will come to their senses and reject this truly crazy notion, but so far, with the exception of Pete Buttigieg, they have been silent on the matter.

Because the socialist, hard-core progressive wing of the Democratic party operates on magical thinking, there's really no point in presenting logical arguments that might occur in an actual "conversation." After all, the goal of almost all socialists and more than a few progressives is to take positions, regardless of their grounding in reality (or sanity), that allow them to demonstrate their superior virtue. Hence, with Sanders' voting proposal, all prisoners — terrorists, murderers, drug lords, rapists, white supremacists, pedophiles, Ponzi scheme operators, crooked politicians, ... — deserve the right to make their voices heard because in the fantasy world of the Dems, all of these prisoners have been unfairly incarcerated..

Uhhhh ... No. They. Don't.

And the suggestion that they do, that they should be allowed to vote is ... crazy.

I could go on, and talk about "collusion," "obstruction" "You MUST believe the woman," "fake hate crimes," open borders, the collective inability of most Dems to use the adjective "Islamic" with the noun "Terror" when mass murder occurs.


To repeat: "All the Dems have to do is not act crazy. And they can't even do that."


Every day, the crazy continues. Today, it's Dem presidential contender, Cory Booker, who in pandering to the hard-left Democrat base made a few comments on noted anti-Semite, Ilhan Omar (D-MN). But more on this in a moment.

Ryan Saavedra summarizes Omar's sordid history of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American comments [links to all claims are contained in the original]:
Omar was condemned for promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories used by Nazi Germany; for stating that she did not understand why her anti-Semitism was offensive to American Jews; for supporting the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement; for suggesting that Israel should not be allowed to exist as a Jewish state; for comparing Israel to the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism; for embracing anti-Semites the moment she was sworn into office; for promoting the anti-Semitic conspiracy that pro-Israel groups were paying U.S. politicians to be loyal to Israel; for accusing Jewish members of Congress of conspiring against her to silence her; for accusing Jewish members of expecting her to have dual loyalties to Israel; and for trivializing the 9/11 terrorist attacks as "some people did something."
When asked what he thought of Omar (a darling of the left-wing on the Democratic party), Booker said:
"Thank you for your question. The criticisms of Congresswoman Omar, what Donald Trump has been saying about her is reprehensible, it is trafficking in Islamophobia, and it should be condemned by everyone ... This kind of selective condemnation should be a chorus of people condemning it."
Yep ... anyone who criticizes Omar's comment's is an "Islamaphobe." Anyone who questions her specious claims is "reprehensible." Anyone who has the temerity to utter a negative word about her is to be "condemned." Omar is bullet proof, immune from criticism, because ... "victim."

To repeat yet again: "All the Dems have to do is not act crazy. And they can't even do that."

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Four Constituencies—Revisited

Over the past two years, I've discussed the "four constituencies" at length. It is this group that has lead the charge to unseat a duly elected president—by any means necessary. Let's review just who populates the four constituencies—

1. Democrats and their progressive supporters
2. the #NeverTrump GOP and their establishment supporters
3. left-leaning trained hamsters throughout the mainstream media
4. the "deep state" as evidenced by partisan government workers in virtually every agency

Establishment elites that populate the four constituencies are conducting a soft coup to negate the results of a presidential election. But they aren't nearly as smart, as ethical, or as competent as they keep telling us they are. They operate with impunity because they control the narrative, but their narrative is propaganda, it does not reflect reality.

Jay Cost comments on this often despicable cabal that sows chaos and political discontent across the country:
Now let’s think about part one of the Mueller report: the finding of no collusion. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. It was all a hoax — paid in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign. And yet . . . and yet! A vast concatenation of journalists, public officials, and public intellectuals have been screeching from the top of their lungs for more than two years about the dire threat to the republic. They even managed to jawbone the tech companies into restricting speech on social-media sites to combat this insidious threat.

Have they ever been more wrong?

Why yes! Yes they have!

The Russia hoax was only the latest in a long chain of grievous errors. In the past 20 years, the number of times that our civic betters have royally screwed up is astounding. They missed 9/11. They wrongly thought Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. They didn’t see that Iraq was sliding into chaos by late 2005. They allowed Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden to steal our secrets. They didn’t see the 2008–09 economic crisis coming until it hit them square in the jaw. They missed how a vast array of government policies and decisions contributed to it. They told us that the stimulus would reduce unemployment. They assured us that if we liked our health care we could keep it. They couldn’t even get a website running. They let Libya and Syria fall into chaos.

That works out to be about one massive screw-up every 20 or so months. That is insane. The array of mistakes is bipartisan, and it has been committed collectively by journalists, bureaucrats, and public intellectuals. There is one, abiding constant: The people tasked with the day-to-day management and oversight of our government have an arrogance-to-excellence ratio that is shockingly high.
And with that as a backdrop, the same four constituencies keep insisting that they know best. If we just follow their lead, if we just invalidate a presidential election, all will be fine.

But take a beat and consider the past record of the four constituencies. It ain't good. They care about only one thing—maintained their positions of power and influence. Trump threatens that—the rest is just fall out.


Despite all of their influence, their overarching control of the mainstream media, and their meddling with the levers of government, the four constituencies have been proven to be nothing more than the perpetrators of a "collusion" hoax. Even worse, they were proven wrong by an investigator they chose and approved, by an investigative team that was at best ambivalent about Trump and far more likely, anti-Trump. And still Trump was exonerated. Collusion was a hoax.

But the four constituencies had an insurance policy. They falsely accused the President of the United States of collusion with an adversary and then "investigated" that false accusation for more than two years. As their hysterical (and false) accusations accumulated, they were certain that Trrump would say or do something—anything!—that could be construed as "obstruction." No matter that Trump was falsely accused in the most vicious and dishonest manner; no matter that there was no crime—NONE!; no matter that the trained hamsters created fake news to further vilify a sitting president, if Trump expressed understandable anger at the myriad false accusations, the media bias, the loaded investigative team, the lies promulgated by Democrats, if he suggested that the investigation was bogus and should be stopped, he had fallen into their "gotcha" trap. So now its "obstruction, obstruction, obstruction," just as it was "collusion, collusion collusion."

Funny thing is, the allegations of obstruction have about as much credence as the allegations of collusion. None.

But the circus continues.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Medicare for All

I have on a number of occasions suggested that far-left economist and columnist, Paul Krugman, often operates on the edge of ideological madness. But even crazy people have moments of clarity. Krugman recently wrote this about the new healthcare holy grail for the Democrats: "Medicare for All."
“A Medicare for All plan would in effect say to these people, ‘We’re going to take away your current plan, but trust us, the replacement will be better. And we’re going to impose a bunch of new taxes to pay for all this, but trust us, it will be less than you and your employer currently pay in premiums.’ ”
The thing that fascinates me about socialists (and make no mistake, the Democratic party is embracing socialism enthusiastically) is that they believe that big government is efficient and effective, and cares (about you) in ways that big business does not. Never mind that there are thousands of examples of big government inefficiency; no matter that there is so much fraud and abuse in government programs that they are literally uncountable and untraceable; never mind that the image of uncaring government workers is a justified stereotype across virtually every government agency. No matter that without a profit motive, big government has no incentive whatsoever to pair down costs, look for more efficient methods or otherwise keep expenses under control. In fact, there's a perverse counter-incentive to do just the opposite. The Dems believe that "this time will be different!" But, why exactly?

The problem is magical thinking—the belief that if you're on the side of virtue (and Dems believe this unequivocally) you can wish away inefficiency, ineffectiveness and uncaring people. Never mind the cost, say the magical thinkers, we'll just raise taxes on the rich and add a "small" payroll tax for everyone else. Somehow, magically, the payroll tax will be smaller than the collective cost of medical premiums because—socialism!

The editorial board of the Chicago Tribune comments on this fantasy:
A 2016 study by the liberal Urban Institute estimated that Sanders’ program would boost federal outlays by $32 trillion over a decade. To put that in perspective, remember that total federal expenditures this year will be about $4.4 trillion. Advocates say a single-payer system would eliminate so much waste that it would reduce overall national health spending, but the Urban Institute found it would raise costs by a hefty 17 percent. Nor have Sanders & Co. devised a way to pay for that: The liberal Tax Policy Center found a funding shortfall of $16.6 trillion over 10 years, which roughly equals the entire federal debt currently held by the public.
But cost isn't the only issue. In order to keep costs from bankrupting a country, medical procedures will be rationed. In the U.K., a new study indicates that many elderly are relegated to blindness because they no longer qualify for timely cataract surgery (a simple procedure currently in the US). That won't happen here, argue the proponents of Medicare for All, but as cost pressures rise as they surely will, how can that promise be kept?

And, then of course, there's something that most American cherish—freedom of choice. James Freeman comments:
One section of [Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All"] bill, entitled “Freedom of Choice,” includes the following text:
Any individual entitled to benefits under this Act may obtain health services from any institution, agency, or individual qualified to participate under this Act.
In other words, you are free to choose any doctor the federal government allows you to choose. On at least one point, Mr. Sanders is being honest. He’s not even trying to sell the Obama whopper that patients will get to keep the plans and the doctors they like.
That's sooo socialist. Big government and its minders (i.e., Bernie and his democratic socialist crew) will make us all dependent on government for our care, and then make those care decisions for us all. After all, it takes a village.

And if you say, "Screw it, I want to go my own way?" Freeman notes what socialists have in store:
Section 107 of the draft bill states that once the plan is fully implemented: shall be unlawful for—
(1) a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act; or
(2) an employer to provide benefits for an employee, former employee, or the dependents of an employee or former employee that duplicate the benefits provided under this Act.
Of course, none of those concerns are worthy of consideration because when you're on the side of the angels, details and freedom of choice don't really matter. The prevailing attitude seems to be—give us control of governance, and we'll figure stuff out so that social justice is achieved. But what about ...

-- Availability of the care (e.g., specialists, clinics) you need?
-- The quality of care you get?
-- The length of time you'll need to wait for care?
-- The on-going cost to the country?
-- Freedom to choose your doctor, your provider, your hospital?
-- The impact of stratospheric taxes on the economy? jobs? businesses?

No worries about any of that ... the Democratic Socialists will figure it all out. Or they won't.


In his recent town hall on FoxNews Network, Bernie Sanders presented the usual tropes about the high costs of medical care in the USA, the avaricious greed of insurance companies, and the claim that somehow—magically—Medicare-for-All would reduce the costs of medical care. Sure, he said, taxes would go up, but less, he claimed, than the current cost of health care premiums. He never provided any evidence that would be true. Never addressed the roll that a massive government bureaucracy plays in siphoning off tax money to perpetuate itself, rather than applying that money to medical care. He promised that everyone could keep their hospital and their doctor (gosh, does that sound familiar?), and laughably, suggested that we should use the VA as an example of well-run government care (that would be the same VA that has patients wait for months or years for procedures). He suggested that Medicare is loved by all seniors, but forgot to mention that the program is projected to go bankrupt in less than a decade.

Bernie did what all socialists do—he made attractive promises that he knows he can't keep. He offered "free" stuff that isn't free at all. He used class warfare as a lever to gain support. He relied on the innumeracy of broad swathes of the electorate to promise solvency, lower costs and better care, when experience outside our country (think: the U.K NHS) indicates that none of those things will be achieved without confiscatory taxes, the rationing of care, and a reduction in freedom of choice. Bernie is a likeable con man, much like another committed socialist, Hugo Chavez, was at the beginning. Think about that for just a sec.


Just this week, the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare announced that both programs are in serious financial trouble and will become insolvent in about one decade. Kate Davidson reports:
WASHINGTON—Social Security’s costs are expected to exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits.

The new projection, released Monday by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare, is rosier than one made in their 2018 annual report, which anticipated the program would run in the red by the end of last year.

The improved forecast stems in part from the health of the labor market, which has boosted workers’ paychecks and fueled higher tax revenue. But the programs’ unsustainable long-term outlook is little changed from last year.

By 2035, the trust funds for both programs will be depleted, and Social Security will no longer be able to pay its full scheduled benefits unless Congress steps in to shore up the program, according to the report. The program’s income comes from tax revenue and interest from its trust fund.

“Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing,” the trustees wrote, urging lawmakers to take action sooner rather than later to give policy makers enough time to phase in changes.

Without changes, by 2035 Social Security recipients will get only about three-quarters of their scheduled benefits.
Of course, this long-standing reality has no bearing on the fantasy thinking of politicians like Sanders or most of the rest of the Democrat presidential field. Somehow, magically, they'll fix it all, and save money, and provide even higher quality medical care to EVERYONE.

Yeah ... right.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Adjective Averse

When noted anti-Semite and Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, (D-MN) spoke at a CAIR conference and referred to the events of September 11, 2001 as:"some people did something," more than a few Americans were offended by her words and the fact that they were spoken at a conference sponsored by an Islamist front group that implicitly advocates Muslim Supremacy. The trained hamsters in the mainstream media along with far too many Democrats and progressives leaped to her defense, suggesting that any criticism of her dismissive words was "racist" and "Islamophobic."

It appears that specific identification of the perpetrators of an attack that murdered almost 3,000 Americans is no longer allowed in polite (read: politically correct) company. In fact the entire media now appears to be adjective-averse in such instances.

But not always. About a month ago, "some people did something" in New Zealand, perpetrating a heinous attack that killed 57 Muslims in a Mosque in Christchurch. In this case, rejecting the notion that adjectives could not be used, the media correctly and rapidly identified the lone suspect as a "white supremacist." They spent days and days dissecting his words and motivations, examining his white supremacist philosophy and damning his murderous behavior. Appropriate in all respects.

This weekend, "some people did something" in Sri Lanka, perpetrating a heinous attack that killed over 300 Christians in multiple churches and hotels in Columbo on one of the holiest weeks of the Christian calendar. In this case, the media has chosen to return to its adjective-averse approach. The perpetrator, it seems, is an Islamist group, but you'd never know that by listening to majority of news coverage. For example, this morning NBC News reported the story with plenty of video, commentary and eyewitness testimony. They talked about "terrorists" and even went so far as to use the word "extremist," but the word "Muslim" did not appear in the story until almost 3.5 minutes in—an eternity in broadcast journalism. Few, if any, media sources have spent time dissecting words and motivations of the terrorists, examining their Muslim supremacist philosophy and damning their murderous behavior.

Is the fact that the terrorists were Muslim not relevant? Or is it that the Ilhan Omars of the West have succeeded in their strategy to convince the trained hamsters that any use of the adjective "Muslim" to describe terrorists is "Islamophobic?" The terrorists who killed 300+ in Sri Lanka are as much Muslim Supremacists as the perpetrator in New Zealand who killed 57 was a White Supremacist. Why are they described and discussed so differently?


As if to make my point, examine the two tweets on two different terror incidents offered by past Democratic icon, Hillary Clinton:

Hillary names the victims of the attack in NZ explicitly; yet she alludes to Easter worshippers (not "Christians) in her tweet on Sri Lanka. Hillary is hardly adjective averse in her NZ tweet, calling the perpetrators "white supremacist terrorists." She was far more circumspect, avoiding the word "terrorists" altogether and never, ever, ever using the words "Islamic" or "Muslim" or even "Islamist" in her Sri Lanka tweet. Finally, she tells us that her heart breaks for the global Muslim community and condemns the NZ atrocity, but somehow, she merely prays for the unnamed victims (again, she cannot utter the word "Christian") and does not suggest that the global community "condemn" Islamic terror, but rather "stand against [unnamed] hatred and violence."

If all of this weren't so predictable, it would be astonishing.


Aggressive intelligence work and tons of human and financial resources have reduced the number of terror incidents in the USA and have caused many Americans to forget the threat of Islamic terrorism. David Harsanyi discusses this and then writes:
... the American left continues to downplay the danger [of Islamic terrorism], first by arguing that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, then by lumping every white-skinned person who commits a terrorist act into one imaginary coherent political movement to contrast against it. It’s true that Americans have been spared much Islamic terror since 2002—a year that, curiously, nearly every graph media uses to measure domestic terrorism starts—but only because we’ve spent billions of dollars each year and immense resources, both in lives and treasure, keeping it out of the country and fighting it abroad.

Another reason the majority of Americans might not comprehend Islamic radicalism’s reach is the skewed intensity of the media coverage. Political correctness and a chilling fear of being labeled “Islamophobic” makes it difficult to honestly report on terrorism around the world.

In addition to the massacre this Easter in Sri Lanka, at least 200 Christian civilians have been murdered in Africa by Islamic militants thus far in 2019—many of them killed by machete, some by bombings. Many more Christians have been murdered during the past calendar year.

In November 2018, for example, 42 people were slaughtered in an attack on a Catholic mission in the Central African Republic. In October, 55 Christians were murdered by a group of Islamists in Nigeria. Another 29 were killed when 10 churches were burned down in Ethiopia last summer. Another seven Coptic Christians were gunned down in Egypt—and others spared only because of the good work of police.

There are pockets of racists in the world, and individuals who engage in terrible acts of violence against innocent people. These are dangerous men, capable of doing tremendous damage. But no group threatens global peace the same way that political Islam does. None has its reach or material and theological support. None has created more mayhem and death in the world since the end of the Cold War. The Sri Lankan massacre is just another harrowing reminder.
In much the same way as political correctness creates cognitive dissonance among thinking people—deep down, they know it's B.S., but everyone gaslights it so it must be the right way ... or maybe not—the left thinks that by being adjective averse, people won't connect Islam and terror. That, of course, says more about the leftists' condescending view of the intelligence of the general public than it does about their attempt to downplay Islam's role in worldwide terror.

If you're honest, in the first moments after you hear about a terror incident, the very first thought that enters your mind is Islamic terror. That's because the vast majority of terror cases are connected to Islamists, even if the trained hamsters in the media and elites on both sides of the aisle don't want to admit it.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

"Crazy S#*!"

Of all the journalists who have reported on the Mueller probe over the past two years, Kim Strassel has been one of the most accurate, providing needed context and probing commentary on a politically motivated witch hunt. She was also among the first to break the true bombshells associated with this investigative farce that turned into an abuse of governmental power. Based on irrefutable evidence, much of it in the written words of the perpetrators, elements of the FBI, the intelligence community and possibly, the Obama administration actively worked to undermine a 2016 presidential candidate and then to unseat him once he attained victory in the 2016 presidential election. She writes:
By the fall of 2017, it was clear that special counsel Robert Mueller, as a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was too conflicted to take a detached look at a Russia-collusion story that had become more about FBI malfeasance than about Donald Trump. The evidence of that bias now stares at us through 448 pages of his report.

President Trump has every right to feel liberated. What the report shows is that he endured a special-counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times farcically, obsessed with taking him out. What stands out is just how diligently and creatively the special counsel’s legal minds worked to implicate someone in Trump World on something Russia- or obstruction-of-justice-related. And how—even with all its overweening power and aggressive tactics—it still struck out.
It is astounding that in the 448 pages of the Mueller Report, there is no meaningful discussion of the manner in which the DNC and the Clinton Campaign worked with intermediaries to glean Russian disinformation about Donald Trump. There is no discussion of the payments that were made to have that disinformation published in a dossier, no description of how the FBI used that dossier to subvert the FISA court and justify spying on the Trump campaign, and no mention of how people like James Comey leaked various information to undermine a newly elected president and precipitate the special counsel probe. Oh, well ... it all happened to a hated GOP president, so that makes it okay, right?

Strassel dissects the internal partisan politics (all benefiting the Democrats) that pervaded the Mueller probe, the struggle to find some Federal statute, any statute, that would allow the special counsel to indict Trump or his associates on the flimsy "evidence" they had collected. Mueller couldn't find a path for destroying Trump—something I'm sure he and his team see as a failure.

Strassel writes:
As for obstruction—Volume II—Attorney General Bill Barr noted Thursday that he disagreed with “some of the special counsel’s legal theories.” Maybe he had in mind Mr. Mueller’s proposition that he was entitled to pursue obstruction questions, even though that was not part of his initial mandate from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Or maybe it was Mr. Mueller’s long description of what a prosecution of the sitting president might look like—even though he acknowledged its legal impossibility. Or it could be Mr. Mueller’s theory that while “fairness” dictates that someone accused of crimes get a “speedy and public trial” to “clear his name,” Mr. Trump deserves no such courtesy with regard to the 200 pages of accusations Mr. Mueller lodges against him.

That was Mr. Mueller’s James Comey moment. Remember the July 2016 press conference in which the FBI director berated Hillary Clinton even as he didn’t bring charges? It was a firing offense. Here’s Mr. Mueller engaging in the same practice—only on a more inappropriate scale. At least this time the attorney general tried to clean up the mess by declaring he would not bring obstruction charges. Mr. Barr noted Thursday that we do not engage in grand-jury proceedings and probes with the purpose of generating innuendo.
Mueller's partisan investigative team saw fit to report verbal quotes from subpoenaed witnesses who said Trump asked them to "do crazy shit" or hearsay evidence that claimed that Trump said his "presidency was fucked" as the Mueller probe continued. Even if we assume these characterizations are true, how exactly, does the inclusion of this information in a report advance an understanding of Russian collusion that (it turned out) didn't happen? How do these quotes demonstrate "obstruction" or even the intent to obstruct. Yet, they were seeded throughout Volume II of the report for their news and shock value, not for their evidentiary value. They demonstrate bias on the part of the authors—nothing more, nothing less.

And how exactly does a discussion of alternative political options—including the firing of Robert Mueller—something, BTW that did NOT happen—rise to the level of "obstruction." But never mind, I'm certain that no other president in the history of our country suggested "crazy shit" that never happened or stated in frustration that his "presidency was fucked." In reality, no other president has been other this level of microscopic investigate and emerged unscathed.

Finally, Strassel discusses what is NOT in the report:
Note as well what isn’t in the report. It makes only passing, bland references to the genesis of so many of the accusations Mr. Mueller probed: the infamous dossier produced by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. How do you exonerate Mr. Page without delving into the scandalous Moscow deeds of which he was falsely accused? How do you narrate an entire section on the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting without noting that Ms. Veselnitskaya was working alongside Fusion? How do you detail every aspect of the Papadopoulos accusations while avoiding any detail of the curious and suspect ways that those accusations came back to the FBI via Australia’s Alexander Downer?

The report instead mostly reads as a lengthy defense of the FBI—of its shaky claims about how its investigation began, of its far-fetched theories, of its procedures, even of its leadership. One of the more telling sections concerns Mr. Comey’s firing. Mr. Mueller’s team finds it generally beyond the realm of possibility that the FBI director was canned for incompetence or insubordination. It treats everything the FBI or Mr. Comey did as legitimate, even as it treats everything the president did as suspect.

Mr. Mueller is an institutionalist, and many on his team were the same Justice Department attorneys who first fanned the partisan collusion claims. He was the wrong man to provide an honest assessment of the 2016 collusion dirty trick. And we’ve got a report to prove it.
Mueller and his team accomplished little in his effort to unseat a president, but he achieved the only goal he could, given that he couldn't find any evidence of collusion, and couldn't indict anyone for anything that was even peripherally associated "obstruction."

Robert Mueller provided enough innuendo, sloppy hearsay quotes, and hollow accusations to enable the Democrats to continue "chasing." The only "crazy shit" that is actually happening is the Democrats' obsessive and interminable attempts to manufacture crimes when none occurred. I'm hopeful that the American public recognizes their deranged behavior, worries that such "crazy shit" behavior indicates they are incapable of leading, and punishes them adequately in 2020.


I disagree with Noam Chomsky on just about everything, but he seems to have clarity on the Dems propensity for "chasing." Joe DePaolo reports:
Noam Chomsky, the noted progressive scholar, believes Democrats have focused far too much on Russia. And he thinks it might earn them four more years of President Donald Trump.

Speaking at a forum in Boston with Amy Goodman, Chomsky stated his view that he always believed there was going to be little to no proof of collusion in the Mueller Report.

“[T]he Democrats are helping him,” Chomsky said. “They are. Take the focus on Russia-gate. What’s that all about? I mean, it was pretty obvious at the beginning that you’re not going to find anything very serious about Russian interference in elections.”

He added, “As far as Trump collusion with the Russians, that was never going to amount to anything more than minor corruption, maybe building a Trump hotel in Red Square or something like that, but nothing of any significance.”

Chomsky went on to say that he believes focusing too heavily on Russia may cost Democrats dearly next November.

“The Democrats invested everything in this issue,” Chomsky said. “Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election. … That’s a matter of being so unwilling to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on the side that will somehow give political success.”
It might be because the Dems have no good ideas on how to address "fundamental issues." Then again, neither does Chomsky.


Glenn Greenwald is a left-of-center journalist who often takes position that support the progressive agenda. But he a pro, he has ethics, and he's not afraid of criticizing the trained hamsters who have hijacked his professions. Greenwald writes:
"If you listen to the media discourse, outside of a few circles, they've just put collusion and conspiracy and all of those conspiracy theories they've spent the last three years endorsing, just flushed it down the toilet like they don't even exist and just seamlessly shifted to obstruction. And then they're conflating them to claim essentially that they were right all along. And that is really the alarming thing," Greenwald said of the lack of contrition from the media.

"I think that in a lot of ways Donald Trump broke the brains of a lot of people, particularly people in the media who believe that telling lies, inventing conspiracy theories, being journalistically reckless, it's all justified to stop this unparalleled menace," he said. "And that's a good thing for an activist to think and a really bad thing for a journalist to think."
"Broke the brains" --->>> "crazy shit" -- maybe that's why the media is obsessed with proving that it's Trump, not them, who is crazy.

Thursday, April 18, 2019


By definition, a gambling addict is a loser—both figuratively and literally. That doesn't mean you can't feel sorry for such addicts and hope they can overcome their addiction, but they are losers.

The modus operandi of a gambling addict is always the same. Make a bad bet. Lose the bet. To recoup the money lost, make an even worse bet. When you lose that one, double down and when you lose yet again, double down again. Within the gambling community, this approach is derisively called "chasing."

More on chasing later in this post.

* * * * *

To the surprise of absolutely no one, and I do mean no one, the collusion/obstruction fantasies of the Democrats went into overdrive with the release of the Mueller report. The 3-ring circus designed to keep focus away from a real scandal that actually did happen, will continue at least through the 2020 elections, and should Donald Trump gain a second term as president, it will continue for the next four years as well. In the fevered minds of people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, nothing short of impeachment (the trained hamster in the media used the term 309 times on the day the report was issued) and Trump-in-chains will suffice. Never mind that a special counsel and his partisan group of investigators found NOTHING after two years of looking ... the circus goes on.

Rick Moran comments on this idiocy:
Somewhere buried deep in the Mueller report is incontrovertible evidence that the president of the United States is a Russian spy. I know it. I just know it. It has to be there.

And I just know that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. How can he not be? He's guilty of so much that the obstruction is, I'm sure, just the tip of the iceberg.

How do I know? Ask any Democrat ...

To their credit, Democrats are refusing to give up. Maybe if we haul Mueller before a congressional committee, he'll change his mind and accuse Trump of all sorts of things ...

Just what is it they expect Mueller to say that he didn't say in his report? Democrats can always dream, I suppose.

When AG Barr appeared before the press and gave a shortened version of the Mueller report, there was widespread speculation that hidden inside the massive document were little tidbits that, if taken out of context and sufficiently massaged by the media, would "prove" Trump guilty, guilty, guilty.

They may yet find such "evidence." While there is certainly exculpatory evidence in the report, there will also be hints that Trump's actions were borderline and that perhaps Democrats could craft a case out of snippets of unrelated material.

But this still isn't likely. If Mueller wanted to indict Trump, I doubt anything would have stood in his way. Instead, while "exoneration" might be too loaded a term, he didn't really come close to indicting or recommending the indictment of a sitting president.
Like gambling addicts, the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media are "chasing." They made a bad bet on "collusion." They lost that bet and any real credibility they might have. But like a gambling addict, they doubled down and made another bet on "obstruction." Again they lost, arguing that the figurative deck was stacked, the dice were loaded—anything but the truth—there was no collusion and no illegal obstruction*. But chasing is their game, so they're doubling down yet again, this time with congressional investigations tinged with McCarthyesque innuendo and partisan state investigations that will publish results, I'll bet, just before the 2020 elections..

Like the gambling addict, they chase—and they have no shame as they chase. Like the gambling addict they are losers, both figuratively and literally. And like the gambling addict, they don't care who they hurt, what damage they do, or the consequences of their actions.

They. Are. Chasing.

I suppose you can feel sorry for them and hope that they will be cured. But that doesn't make them any less the losers they are.


* In the main, the only people who truly enjoy a circus are children. Adults attend and watch, but are not generally enthralled. One of the few adults in the room as the circus proceeds is Attorney General William Barr. This is what he had to say about "collusion" at a press conference preceding the release of Mueller's report:
“In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.”
Indeed it does.

UPDATE-1 (4/19/2019):

Mollie Hemingway has been one of the most astute commentators reporting on Mueller Probe and the Democrats' pathetic "chase" to somehow justify a position that their own special counsel has proven wrong. This twitter exchange between Hemingway and Maggie Haberman of the NYT along with Brian Stetler of CNN (two of the most partisan and egregiously dishonest of hundreds of trained hamsters in the media) is instructive:

UPDATE-2 (4/19/2019):

Roger Simon comments:
The longer the Democrats obsess over the Mueller report and the possibility of obstruction, the bigger hole they dig for themselves.

The reason is simple. The average American -- what Groucho Marx used to call the Barber in Peru (Indiana) -- not the army of Beltway lawyers, will scratch his/her head about why someone should be charged with obstructing justice for a crime he did not commit and did not even occur (i. e. collusion with Russia).

Yes, they understand there are legal niceties, but the bottom line remains. And those same middle American "Peruvians" realize -- how could they not -- that Donald Trump was under unprecedented assault from the media and Democrats from well before he first sat down behind the desk in the Oval Office. They further are completely familiar with Trump's personality, his thin skin, his outspokenness, and are able to see him as a man responding emotionally -- sometimes to his own detriment -- to those almost entirely unjustified accusations. Most people will sympathize or at minimum be able to understand this as a defensible human reaction rather than obstruction of justice in a legal sense.
All of that is true. But the Dems are "addicts," and addicts (whether you're addicted to gambling or Trump hatred) don't think clearly -- they "chase" and then "chase" some more. It's pathetic, really.

UPDATE-3 (4/19/2019):

It would be hard to argue that among the most enthusiastic "chasers" is Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Schiff is an inveterate liar who the trained hamsters in the media provide with a continuing and large platform. Not only is he provably dishonest, he is a TDS addict. Scott Jennings comments:
Congressman Adam Schiff really hurt Democrats by raising the bar on collusion. For two years, Schiff and other Democrats in Congress repeatedly claimed there was evidence of collusion. Time and again, Schiff said he had “direct” evidence of Russian collusion and, since Barr’s initial summary letter, has yet to back down. In fact, Schiff has doubled down on his claims, going even further out on a limb that Mueller sawed off today. Politically, Schiff blew up a balloon for the Democrats that Mueller popped. Loudly.

Keeping quiet or at least making more measured statements would have kept the egg of the collective face of the Democratic Party. Schiff failed as a Democrat and as a leader on the House Intelligence Committee. He should step down as Chairman immediately, as he clearly was more interested in politically damaging Trump than getting to the truth. Democrats would be better served as a party if he resigned from Congress and went away altogether.
Schiff is a hate addict who is chasing. And addicts never stop chasing until there is an intervention and aggressive treatment. The Dems have no intention of intervening, viewing Schiff's lies and bluster as a positive. Given that they not only tolerate but applaud people like Schiff, the Dems have forfeited their right to lead.

Tens of millions of Americans do not want to be governed by addicts who thrive on hatred, the politics of personal destruction, and cliched political statements about how much they care about the common man (while whispering among themselves about "deplorables"). Maybe that's why the Dems dream about impeachment. At a subconscious level, they know their hatred is obvious and because of it, they'll struggle in the upcoming election. But as addicts, they just can't help themselves.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Circus and the Beast

The circus, precipitated by the Russian collusion hoax, will go from one ring to three rings with tomorrow's release of the Mueller report. The Democrats, suffering from a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, will parse every syllable of the report, looking for something—anything—they can twist into accusations of collusion or obstruction, or ... well, just about anything that would allow them to claim they have been vindicated in conducting a two year witch hunt that roiled the nation, exacerbated already stressed political divisions, and unjustifiably ruined the reputations (and lives) of more than a few people.

No doubt the Dems will find enough tidbits to keep their trained hamsters in the media yelping for months. And even if they don't, they'll claim that portions of the report redacted by tradition and law represent a "conspiracy" to hide the "truth." No matter that there is no evidence to support their claims and that Mueller himself and his team of Democrat partisans could find no such evidence, the Dems will be sure that the circus continues.

But as they prance about within the three rings of the circus, the Dems can hear an ominous growl from behind the curtains. It's the growl of the ugly beast that embodies deep state activities that worked to undermine Donald Trump's presidential campaign and then his presidency. This ugly beast is the avatar of the worst political scandal in United States history.

To date, the beast's growl has been drowned out by the orchestra of trained hamsters in the media who have done everything they can to be sure the audience never hears its ominous sound. But it's there, it's getting louder, and if we follow the sound, it almost certainly will lead to high level FBI and intelligence agency executives, senior Obama administration officials, and possibly, the past president himself.

That's why the Dems will never leave the three rings of the circus. That's why they must continue their insane quest for collusion or obstruction "evidence" that doesn't exist. That's why they're willing to ruin lives, makes false accusations, and make politics toxic. It's all about the beast's growl from behind the curtains. Hillary Clinton was supposed to win, and the beast was to be buried forever. But that didn't happen.

The Dems are terrified that the beast's growl will finally be heard, and the ugly and vicious animal that makes the sound will show its face to the public. If that happens, reputations and lives will be ruined, but this time, it will be fully justified.

Monday, April 15, 2019

"Nothing Lasts"

I have been a viewer of Game of Thrones since the first episode aired on HBO seven years ago. Late comers upon observing the popularity of this HBO classic and not wanting to be left out at the water cooler, have binged the show over the past year. I watched it week by week over seven years, not because of the fantasy content, the convoluted story lines, the magic and dragons, or the occasional sex and frequent violence. I watched because the characters were generally well-developed, complex, and multi-dimensional and because the writing was outstanding. Sprinkled through the dialogue were regular neo-aphorisms that were well-worth the price of admission.

In the first episode of Game of Thrones' final year last night, Lord Varys tells the Queens Hand, Tyrion Lanaster, why Jon Snow and the Dragon Queen keep their council of elders at arms length:
Varys: “Respect is how the young keep us at a distance, so we don’t remind them of an unpleasant truth.”

Tyrion: “What is that?”

Varys: “Nothing lasts.”
At a superficial level, the comment is self-referential. Game of Thrones ends in a few weeks. At a more plot-driven level, the comment may very well be foreshadowing—power and control exercised by the protagonists and antagonists in the story probably won't last.

But returning to the real world, it would serve us all—progressives and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, Americans and those from other parts of the world, rich and poor, young and old—to understand Varys' wisdom: "Nothing Lasts."

And act accordingly.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

"Some People"

Noted anti-Semite, Rep.Ilhan Omar (D-MN), along with her defenders in the democratic party (e.g., Rep. Ocasio-Cortez) want to use her gender, her Muslim religion/ideology, and her skin color as a force field to protect her from criticism. She makes outrageous, often bigoted and anti-American statements and then accuses those who question her own words as misogynists, Islamaphobes and racists (all in one). It's an old leftist ploy that allows her to become a "victim."

Nina Bookout comments Omar's latest discussion of 9/11:
Ilhan Omar would have you believe that she’s been oppressed and vilified ever since she stepped foot into the United States when she was twelve years old. She would have us believe that she’s been continually marginalized and criticized solely because she is a Muslim. Today she decided free speech has limits. Why? Because quoting her is ‘dangerous incitement.’
Omar, in a speech supporting the Islamist front-group, CAIR, said the following (a direct quote):
“Here’s the truth: Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. And frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Ms. Omar told the crowd. “CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
"Some people did something ..." Really? Omar, like her supporters among some democrats and their trained hamsters in the media, is adjective-averse. It wasn't "some people," it was a group of Islamic terrorists. It wasn't "something," it was an act of war and the murder of almost 3,000 Americans by those very same Islamic terrorists. The NY Post emphasized that rather nicely on their front page as progressives gasped and called it "ugly." What is truly ugly is Omar's using victimization status to protect herself from criticism.

To this day, it is a tribute to the American people that Muslims in this country were NOT treated poorly (or violently) after 9/11, were NOT harassed in any meaningful way, were NOT deported or arrested without cause, were NOT deemed second class citizens, were NOT targeted by our political leaders. Yet Omar and her fellow travelers suggest that it is Muslims who are victims and she is outraged by it.

Since we're talking outrage ... I'm outraged and offended that members of the Democratic party don't outright condemn her comments, strip her of any committee assignments and have plans in place to primary her in the next election. I'm outraged and offended that her anti-Semitism is somehow justified by far too many progressives who argue that her "oppression" allows her great leeway in her speech. I'm outraged and offended that a young Muslim girl was given refuge in the United States and upon growing up, is now first in line to trash our policies and the people who try their best to lead. I'm outraged and offended by her implicit support for groups that actively advocate the destruction of the United States. I'm outraged by her pathetic claims at victimhood.

Ilhan Omar is not a Muslim heroin in the mold of Ian Hersi Ali. She is a blight on her fellow Muslims and her fellow Democrats. She should be rejected by both groups, but oddly, she operates unencumbered by them.

UPDATE (4/14/2019):

Ilhan Omar's supporters within the Democratic party and their trained hamsters in the media (e.g., WaPo) are arguing that Omar's "some people did something" comment was "taken out of context." I suppose you could make that argument, although it is a stretch. But here are a few points worth considering.

First, the same people who are so, so, so concerned about CONTEXT, never—and I mean, never—give the same benefit of the doubt to Donald Trump. They recently pushed the flat-out lie that Trump called illegal immigrants "animals" when it is irrefutable that the context of his comment was directed at the barbaric, murderous criminal gang, MS-13. Gosh, WaPo seemed generally unconcerned about that breach of context.

Second, Omar was speaking at a CAIR conference. CAIR is an Islamist front group, staunch defenders of terror groups like Hamas and Hezballah, and virulently anti-Israel in word and deed [updated, 4/18/2019]. I would submit that if a member of the GOP gave a speech before a group that was even peripherally connected to a white supremacist organization, WaPo would be apoplectic, suggesting that not only that GOP member, but the entire party and its president supported white supremacy. Come to think of it, the Dems and their trained hamsters jettisoned CONTEXT to support the canard that Trump himself praised white supremacists as "fine people"—an outright lie.

Abe Greenwald describes Omar in the following way:
[Her recent CAIR speech is] emblematic of the sinister duplicity of Omar’s activism: She issues calls for compassion out of one side of her mouth and appeals for contempt out of the other. Omar is, among other things, a run-of-the-mill flimflam artist. And the left eats it up.
Indeed it does. So, puleeze, spare me the argument that a poor victim, Ihan Omar, was "quoted out of context." Seems like that's S.O.P. for the Dems and their trained hamsters. It's just that they don't like it when it's done to them.

UPDATE-2 (4/14/2019):

Another interesting take on all of this is offered by female, conservative blogger Neo:
Let me add that I think it is no accident that these faces [Omar, Talib, and Ocasio Cortz) are for the most part young, minority, female, and attractive. No, I am not saying those characteristics are necessary in order to be anti-Semitic and/or leftist, because that’s not the least bit true. What I am saying, or trying to say, is that those characteristics make the message more palatable, the person more electable, and facilitate the speaker’s wrapping herself in the cloak of sainted victimhood protectiveness.
And "victimhood protectedness" is the first refuge of all three of these leftists. They're never willing to engage in debate, but rather rage against their critics for being "anti-woman" or "anti-Muslim" or "racist." As Abe Greenwald (Update 1) noted, it's a con, flimflam, and for those who are true believers it works as well as snake oil ever did.

UPDATE-3 (4/15/2019):

I ran across this tweet today:
@Neontaster is right. The left has circled the wagons, used verbal ju jitsu to try to flip a despicable comment on 9/11 into an attack on a poor, defenseless, Muslim woman [the VICTIM] who is now "threatened with death" because people were offended by her despicable comment. It's worth noting that the full force of the federal government will be brought to bear to protect this poor, defenseless, Muslim woman from the few crazies who have threatened her. It's also worth noting that she remains as despicable today as she was a few weeks ago.

But even worse than Omar herself are her legions of fans in the Democratic party and the media who leap to defend the indefensible. Omar has every right to say what she wants. We have every right to criticize her comments—harshly and without reservation.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Barr None

Over the past two years, I have posted dozens of pieces on what I believe to be the most significant governmental scandal in my lifetime. Like other serious scandals in the past decade, it was born in the Obama administration, began as an attempt to defeat Donald Trump in his run for the presidency, and then morphed into an effort by senior people within the FBI, the intelligence community and the DoJ to conduct a "soft coup"—an attempt to delegitimize a duly elected president and remove him from office. All of this was precipitated by a phony dossier generated by the Clinton campaign and the DNC in collusion with a British ex-spy and ... wait for it ... the Russians!

The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media were certain that none of this would surface (after all, Hillary Clinton was sure to win) and to some extent, that may be why Trump Derangement Syndrome is now so fierce. I believed that the Dems would prevail and that this epic scandal would be buried. I may have been wrong in that belief.

Enter Attorney General William Barr. To understand the danger he represents to the Democrats, consider the degree to which he has been vilified in the past two weeks. The Dems have put their smear machine into overdrive, frightened that Barr may actually conduct an in-depth investigation of the "spying" that was conducted on Trump's campaign and then, the "soft coup" (my tern, not Barr's) that occurred once Trump was elected. Unlike the collusion hoax, precipitated by the very same FBI, Intelligence and DoJ people who are now to be investigated, which was built on evidence-free innuendo, there is copious evidence, much in the perpetrators' own words, emails, and records that indicated something very bad did happen. The Dems are using thew tyerm "conspiracy" repeatedly over recent days, suggesting that this scandal is fantasy. There was a conspiracy, but it was perpetrated by Democrat partisans in government agencies that are supposed to be non-partisan. Barr seems willing to look hard at those things.

Kim Strassel, a journalist who has been tirelessly reporting on this story, writes:
The most inadvertently honest reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s congressional testimony this week came from former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Mr. Barr had bluntly called out the Federal Bureau of Investigation for “spying” on the Trump campaign in 2016. Mr. Clapper said that was both “stunning and scary.” Indeed.

No doubt a lot of former Obama administration and Hillary Clinton campaign officials, opposition guns for hire, and media members are stunned and scared that the Justice Department finally has a leader willing to address the FBI’s behavior in 2016. They worked very hard to make sure such an accounting never happened. Only in that context can we understand the frantic new Democratic-media campaign to tar the attorney general.
Mr. Barr told the Senate Wednesday that one question he wants answered is why nobody at the FBI briefed the Trump campaign about concerns that low-level aides might have had inappropriate contacts with Russians. That’s “normally” what happens, Mr. Barr said, and the Trump campaign had two obvious people to brief—Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, both former federal prosecutors.

It wasn’t only the Trump campaign that the FBI kept in the dark. The bureau routinely briefs Congress on sensitive counterintelligence operations. Yet former Director James Comey admits he deliberately hid his work from both the House and the Senate. And the FBI kept information from yet another overseer, the judicial branch, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee had paid for the dossier it presented as a basis for a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, a U.S. citizen.

Why the secrecy? Mr. Comey testified that the Trump probe was simply too sensitive for members of congressional intelligence committees to know about—an unbelievable statement given the heavy publicity he gave the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s improper handling of classified information. Here’s a more plausible explanation: Mr. Comey and his crew have also testified that they were all convinced Mrs. Clinton would win the election. That would have meant that no politician other than the incoming Democratic president would have known the FBI had spied on the Trump team. Nor would the public. A Clinton presidency would have ensured no accountability.

Mr. Trump’s victory destroyed that scenario, and it became clear that the new Republican president would soon know that the former Democratic administration had surveilled his campaign on the basis of information from his rival. At that point two things happened. Neither was accidental, and both were aimed, again, at forestalling accountability.
After watching the Democrats' dishonest and vicious attempt to unseat Trump yield nothing, I must admit that it's satisfying (yet at the same time, sad) to see the tables turned. The sanctimonious "investigators" may now become the investigated. Their own past president, Barack Obama, and his administration, may be drawn into this web of deceit.

With the help of their trained hamsters in the media, the Dems are desperate to sully Barr's reputation and to characterize this as purely political. In a way, they're right about the political aspect of this. These past two years have seen purely political attempt to destroy Trump. The fundamental difference is that the Dem's attempt was based on innuendo and nothing else. Barr's investigation already has a body of facts and evidence that should cause the hairs on the back of Democrat necks to stand up straight.

The tables may be turning.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"White Nationalist"

Virtually all hard-core leftists and a significant number of Democrats have literally worn out the impact of the word "racist." This ugly epithet is appropriate when a person or an organization advocates the canard that an entire ethnic group is somehow inferior to another group and that as a consequence they do not deserve the rights of the latter. That's wrong and should be condemned. But when the term is used as freely as the left uses it, it loses all meaning. When everyone is a "racist," then no one is a "racist."

In the fantasy world of leftist thinking, you're a "racist" if you criticize the policies or ideas espoused by a person of color (if and only if that person is on the left). You're a "racist" if you suggest that secure borders are a good idea. You're a "racist" if you suggest that policies that create government dependency for specific racial groups do more harm than good. You're a "racist" if you believe that all immigrants should make a genuine attempt to assimilate into our country's prevailing culture. You're a "racist" if you argue that not every member of the police is biased against people of color. You're a "racist" if you suggest that there are structural problems within some ethnic communities that have nothing to do with the actions of those outside the community. You're a "racist" if you note that all lives matter. And that's the short list.

I suspect that Dems and their smear machine have polled the term "racist" and found that because they have devalued the word, it no longer has the impact it once did. So they've rolled out a new pejorative—"white nationalist." Over the past few weeks, the term has been used by the talking heads at CNN, MSNBC, and the alphabet networks, by members of Congress (e.g., Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar) and by dozens of other progressive commentators. It is intended to conjure images of the KKK, neo-Nazis and the like and has been used as part of the left's politics of personal destruction to sully the reputation of just about anyone who works in the Trump administration. It is dishonest, it is vicious, and it is wrong. But that never seems to stop the social justice crowd.

In recent testimony before congress, Candice Owens, a black, conservative woman, provided the nation with a Joseph Welch moment. She truly spoke truth to power and created an epic takedown of the Democrats new "white nationalist" claims. In addition, she provides the public with the political context for those claims and suggests that the Democrats are using race as a political tactic. She is correct. It's worth watching her testimony:

Shameless in their politics of personal destruction, some progressives have accused Owens, the granddaughter of a share cropper, of having "white nationalist" sympathies. To paraphrase Joseph Welch, "have they no shame?"

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

When That Didn't Work ...

Victor Davis Hansen (VDH) has a unique way of boiling down history to digestible bites. In this case, the history he writes about has occurred over the past 2+ years, since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. It recounts the many, many, many vicious and often deranged attempts by the "four constituencies"—Democrats, #NeverTrumpers in the GOP, the media, and members of the deep state — to sabotage his presidency, accuse him of being the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, and harass him with the intent of removing him from office. Each of these attempts has failed, but not for lack of trying. This never-ending series of attacks on a sitting president is unprecedented in U.S. History.

VDH prefaces each paragraph describing the failed attempts of the four constituencies with "When that didn't work ..." going on to the next failed attempt and then the next. I recommend reading the whole thing.

VDH then asks the core questions about all of the failed attempts to remove Trump from office:
Are such efforts in the future to be institutionalized?

Will the Left nod and keep still, if Republicans attempt to remove an elected Democratic President before his tenure is up? Are appeals to impeachment, the 25th Amendment, the Emoluments Clause, the Logan Act, and a Special Counsel the now normal cargo of political opposition to any future elected president?

Is it now permissible in 2020 for Trump’s FBI director to insert an informant into the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee? If Joe Biden is the 2020 nominee, will the Trump Justice Department seek FISA warrants to monitor the communications of Biden’s campaign team—in worries that Biden son’s business practices in the Ukraine had earlier compromised Biden who had intervened on his behalf by threatening to cut off aid to Ukraine? Will they investigate Biden’s propensity to hug and kiss under-aged girls? Will Trump’s CIA director contact foreign nationals to aid in spying on Biden’s aides? Will National Security Advisor John Bolton request that the names of surveilled Biden campaign officials become unmasked as a way of having them leaked to the media? Will Trump hire a British ex-spy to gather together rumors and gossip about Biden’s previous overseas trips and foreign contacts, especially in the Ukraine, and then see them seeded among the Trump CIA, FBI, Justice Department, and State Department? Is that the sort of country we have now?

America over the last half century had been nursed on the dogma that the Left was the guarantor of civil liberties. That was the old message of the battles supposedly waged on our behalf by the ACLU, the free-speech areas on campuses, and the Earl Warren Court.

Not now. The left believes that almost any means necessary, extra-legal and anti-constitutional or not, are justified to achieve their noble ends. Progressive luminaries at CNN and the New York Times have lectured us that reporters need not be disinterested any more in the age of Trump—or that it might be a crime to shout “lock her up” at a Trump rally. Will those standards apply to coverage of future Democratic presidents?

No reporter seems to care that Hillary Clinton hired a foreign national to work with other foreign nationals to sabotage, first, her opponent’s campaign, then his transition and his presidency, along with the wink and nod help from key Obama officials at the Department of Justice, State Department, National Security Council, FBI and CIA.

The final irony? If the CIA, FBI, and DOJ have gone the banana republic way of Lois Lerner’s IRS and shredded the Constitution, they still failed to remove Donald Trump.

Trump still stands. In Nietzschean fashion what did not kill him apparently only made him stronger.
That Trump has a non-trivial list of meaningful accomplishments, while under continuous attack by the four constituencies, is remarkable. That, in the end, may be the thing that history remembers most.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

In Memoriam

A dog is many things—all of them good—but above all, a dog is a presence inside the four walls of a home. That presence left our home yesterday, and it will be sorely missed by my entire family.

September 22, 2004 -- April 8, 2019

Monday, April 08, 2019


I have never been one who asks for autographs or worships anyone in the arts. Sure, I can appreciate talent and marvel at artistic skill, but I, and many others like me, recognize that musical, artistic, or acting talent in no way imbues an "artist" with any special insight into politics, morality (that's actually funny where Hollywood mores are concerned, think: Harvey Weinstein among many, many examples), or the state of our nation. In many cases, the glitterati are far more narrow-minded and ignorant than the people they regularly criticize.

For those unfamiliar with his work, Bret Easton Ellis is a novelist and screen writer who is often considered among the glitterati in the arts. In a recent article, he writes about Kanye West and his bromance with Donald Trump but also comments on the utter hypocrisy of the Hollywood glitterati:
Ever since the election, Hollywood had revealed itself in countless ways as one of the most hypocritical capitalist enclaves in the world, with a preening surface attitude advocating progressivism, equality, inclusivity and diversity — except not when it came down to inclusivity and diversity of political thought and opinion and language. They proudly promoted peace just as they were fine with Trump getting shot by Snoop Dogg in a video or decapitated by Kathy Griffin or beaten up by Robert De Niro or, more simply, as an apparently drunken Johnny Depp suggested, assassinated.

Fellow comrades had started to adhere to their new rule book: about humor, about freedom of expression, about what’s funny or offensive. Artists — or, in the local parlance, creatives — should no longer push any envelope, go to the dark side, explore taboos, make inappropriate jokes or offer contrarian opinions. This new policy required you to live in a world where one never got offended, where everyone was always nice and kind, where things were always spotless and sexless, preferably even genderless — and this is when I really started worrying, with enterprises professing control over not only what you say but your thoughts and impulses, even your dreams ...

Since November 2016, I had heard that a horrendous economic collapse was about to materialize, the planet was going to melt, countless people would die, the fraught situation in North Korea would send the United States into a nuclear Armageddon, and Trump would be impeached, brought down by a pee tape — leaving no jobs for anybody and Russian tanks in the streets.

We also idly noted that the filmmaker David Lynch couldn’t say in an interview that he thought maybe Donald Trump would go down as one of the great presidents in history, not without groupthink forcing him into apologizing for this immediately on Facebook. And where was a resistance that was so attractive and cunning that it managed to sway you, that maybe made you see things in a broader, less blinkered light?

But the one we had in 2018 seemed bent on advocating mostly vandalism and violence. Trump’s star on Hollywood Boulevard was destroyed with a pickax, an actor resembling a septuagenarian Lorax said “F–k Trump” at the Tony Awards, a television hostess called the first daughter “a feckless c–t” on her TV program, another actor suggested the president’s 11-year-old son should be put in a cage with pedophiles. And all of this from Hollywood: the land of inclusion and diversity. Maybe it was just another episode in the reality show that is still unfolding. Or maybe when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.
As I wrote in a recent post: "...Trump Derangement Syndrome is a powerful force that dulls the intellect, clouds judgement, and heightens the emotions to the extent that people act crazy."

I suspect that Bret Easton Ellis would agree with that assessment.

Sunday, April 07, 2019


The Amazon headquarters debacle in New York City has dropped out of the news, but it remains yet another recent example of how the supposed triumphs of socialism never seem to actually benefit the little people who are on the ground in the city/state/country were these supposed triumphs occur. Here's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (the Democrats most popular socialist who is lovingly referred to as AOC by the trained hamsters in the media) on the Amazon "triumph" as reported in Time Magazine:
The dispute between the two Democrats lays bare a divide over the plan to offer $2.8 billion in tax breaks for Amazon to establish a major presence in New York City. On one side, old hands like Cuomo; on the other, the newly insurgent, left-leaning wing represented by Ocasio-Cortez.

“Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation and the power of the richest man in the world,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. The new development would have been in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, near Ocasio-Cortez’s district.

The outspoken freshman Congresswoman was a critic of the deal Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had brokered with Amazon ...

However, Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter questioned the validity of the jobs figure and pointed to a report that Amazon will pay zero federal income tax in 2018, despite $11 billion in profits.

“$0 for schools. $0 for firefighters. $0 for infrastructure. $0 for research and healthcare,” she tweeted Thursday. “Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?”
Okay then. The level of blatant economic and fiscal ignorance expressed in Ocasio-Cortez' statements is breathtaking. Sarah Hoyt unpacks it all in a snarky takedown:
[AOC] thought that Amazon would TAKE MONEY FROM THE PUBLIC. You, know, the money that will now not be made, because there are no jobs to generate wealth for the city. She – like other socialists – thinks wealth exists in some weird state, perhaps suspended against each person’s head, and that by giving a company tax breaks, the city of New York would be harvesting money from each person’s head and giving nothing in return.
Other things revealed by this interlude that are typical latter-day chai-latte socialist: Corporate exploitation.

What corporate exploitation, you ask? Well, apparently, giving people jobs is corporate exploitation. In what way? Well, you see, the company makes money from the work of the people it hires. Therefore it’s not giving them the exact value they produce. Therefore it’s exploiting them.

Rich people are evil. Somehow defeating the richest man in the world is a good thing, regardless of what the battle is, or what the richest man in the world is actually doing. Because… well, because to be the richest man in the world he’s obviously taking more of the share of the fixed economic pie than the rest of us. It’s obvious. If there is only so much wealth in the world, how did he get to be the richest man except by being a villainous thief?

It was this odious socialist belief that enabled Obama to say: “At some point, you’ve made enough money.” Because, of course, if you make more than you need, you’re stealing from others. (By making, I’m sure he meant taking. It’s built into their back brain by Marxism.)

Not paying company taxes is evil. Because all the wealth should be evenly distributed, by your fair and just neighborhood bureaucrat, of course. That goes without saying.

[AOC] and other socialists do not understand that the wealth you “make or create” is your own and that their hand doesn’t belong in your pocket at any time. No. Wealth should be properly distributed by our betters, so no one takes more than their fair share. Except, of course, our betters, who need to be compensated for all their work on our behalf.

They are so incensed at Amazon keeping their greedy little hands out of its pockets they fail to understand that the people who got jobs would have been making money and contributing to New York’s already bloated and overspending budget.

Of course, in the real world, the socialists' dreams and ideas meet reality, which is that thing that doesn’t care what your beliefs are.

More recently, the NY Post reports that as the left celebrated Al Sharpton's "National Action Network" conference, one of the panelists lambasted AOC, the star attendee at the conference:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was ripped as “financially illiterate” Friday for her role in killing the Amazon deal at the same Midtown conference where she was a featured speaker a couple of hours earlier.

“The people campaigning against the Amazon campus are financially illiterate,” Tracy Maitland, president and chief investment officer of Advent Capital Management, said during a panel discussion at the National Action Network conference in Midtown.

Afterwards Maitland told The Post, “This was a disgrace. I partially blame AOC for the loss of Amazon. She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. That’s scary. We have to make sure she’s better educated or vote her out of office.”
The Amazon departure was a really bad thing for NYC, but some other locale will benefit at NYC's expense.

But what happens if the socialists take over the governance of the United States in 2020, and AOC's demagoguery becomes the common narrative applied to all large (and then small) businesses across the country—heavy taxation and continuous demonization. You know, social and economic "justice" and all that. That should work out well, shouldn't it? Sorta just like it worked out so well in NYC.