Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Refugees, Then and Now

For John, BLUFSurprisingly, not everyone wants to come to America, to become an American.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the web page Red State we have Mr Joe Cunningham commenting on statements by New York Times OpEd Columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Here is the quote Mr Cunningham zeros in on:

KRISTOF:  I think that we all think that Anne Frank and the European Jews were simply murdered because the Nazis regarded them as inferior, and in some sense that's true.  But it's also true that they died because mainstream America in some sense regarded them as inferior as well.
So, basically Mr Kristof is saying that when the getting was good, we failed to open our doors and arms.  As in 1939, when we turned away refugees aboard the MS St Louis, strangely a German liner, with 908 Jewish refugees.  They ended up back in Europe.

On the other hand, in 1939 there were no death camps such as Auschwitz, which at first housed Polish political prisoners, from May 1940.  Jews began arriving in early 1942.

There was no strong voice in the United States on this issue, except for some Jewish voices.  President Franklin D Roosevelt was not a strong supporter.  A proposal to bomb Auschwitz, first raised in 1942, went nowhere.

But, what lessons can we pull from this?  I think the war in Europe from 1939 until 1945 was different from what is happening in the Middle East.  What we are seeing in the Middle East is a civil war, not only between the Sunni and Shia, and all the smaller sects, but within Islam between those who would go back to the way it was in the 700s and those who would like to accommodate more modern ways of thinking.  To quote a friend of mine:

This is a war WITHIN Islam, among Muslims, over what they want their faith to be…what they want to keep or change about their culture.  This war is being played out in Pakistan (the murder of children, lawyers, those debate blasphemy laws, women) Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, etc…across the Muslim world and where Muslims have gone.

This is a religious war among the faithful.

This is NOT about economics or nation state dynamics.  Sure, politics are always involved, but as most of the scholars on the Middle East and ISIS state…this is about religious images, ideology, tradition, tribe, revenge.

And then, that is the rub. Our “influence” often is seen as our arrogant, mindless, interference.  What are we going to influence them to do about their religion and culture?  Sure we can offer one way to address these issues, we can even pose hard questions to them on these questions, especially the issue of tolerance.  But these are NOT issues that respond to jobs programs, pro democracy groups.

Bringing in refugees is not the German Gastarbeiter program of the 1960s and 1970s, nor the French welcoming immigrants from the Maghreb.  Those were immigrants coming to a place with some expectation of assimilation and accommodation.  The over 1 million refugees out of Syria and other locations in the Middle East may not see themselves as being assimilated.  That may mean a culture within a culture.  Are refugee camps in Europe and the United States the best way to deal with these displaced persons or should we be finding other solutions, closer to their homes, to which they may wish to return?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  As an additional piece of information, they were also not allowed to land in Cuba or Canada.
  On the other hand, there is the SS Navemar, which, in 1941, brought 1,120 Jews to New York City.

To Much Information on Hillary's Health?

For John, BLUFAnd, he is not the attending physician.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the pen of Lisa Hagen of The Hill.

This is like a self-inflicted wound on the part of the Democrats.  Why is this person not smart enough to say nothing, or if actually not a Democrat, why did someone not speak to him and ask him to say nothing?

Is President Obama, for some reason, secretly pulling for someone else to win, other than former SecState Hillary Clinton?

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, this is the flip of the theory that Mr Trump is in the race to ensure The Honorable Mrs Clinton wins.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Amazon and the Reduced Work Week

For John, BLUFWhile I have laughed at the French and their 35 hour work week in the past, I do think there is a place for this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Granted, for 75% of the pay of 40 hour workers.

So reports Karen Turner of The Washington Post.

The program will have a few technical teams made up entirely of part-time workers.  These 30-hour employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as traditional 40-hour workers, but they will receive only 75 percent of the pay full-time workers earn.  Currently, the company employs part-time workers that share the same benefits as full-time workers.  However, the pilot program would differ in that an entire team, including managers, would work reduced hours.

"We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth," states a posting by the company on for an informational seminar.  "This initiative was created with Amazon's diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a 'one size fits all' model."

I like it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Civilians Checking Up On Military Officers—US Civil War

For John, BLUFA Civilian Commander in Chief should not just turn the fighting over to "the generals" but should follow what is happening and who is doing well and who is not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Modern War Institute at West Point, we have a short paper by Major Dan Maurer, on the issue of civil-military relations.  Major Maurer a former Combat Engineer and now an Army JAG, looks at President Lincoln checking on General Ulysses S Grant, when the General was still fighting in the Mississippi River area, around Vicksburg.

Here is the part of the article on Mr Lincoln's "observer", Mr Charles Dana:

Lincoln, through his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, dispatched the former managing editor of the New York Tribune, Charles A. Dana, now employed as Assistant Secretary of War and the Administration’s go-to “troubleshooter.”  Stanton gave Dana an unusual mission:  He would travel to the Western Theater, ostensibly as a Special Commissioner to investigate and inspect the Army’s paymaster service, but would, actually, observe Grant’s command—of his Army and of himself—and report regularly back to Stanton and Lincoln.  His task was to “settle their minds as to Grant, about whom at that time there were many doubts, and against whom there was some complaint.”
It seems to have been a satisfactory report, in that General Grant was then elevated to the commander of all ground forces.

The flip side of this would be the politicalization of the officer corps, such that officers did not feel free to speak their minds and to provide their civilian masters with that all important "but sir".

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr Trump for Blacks

For John, BLUFWe are not going to get better results applying the same methods.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At the New Yor Post Mr John Lott lays out why Ms Clinton really doesn't have have policies that will help Blacks, particularly poorer Blacks:
Hillary Clinton claims that some of Donald Trump’s appeal is “xenophobic, racist, misogynistic.”  On Thursday she asked, “If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?”

But who actually cares more about blacks, in particular poor blacks?

On everything from education to jobs to crime, Trump’s policies offer a lifeline to people who have been losing ground for decades.  Hillary’s policies will just exacerbate them.  And no amount of speeches will change that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ms Clinton Tries Fog

For John, BLUFAdmit it and move on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Miss Elise Jordan, of NBC, got an item in Time, a couple of days ago.

Here is the sub-headline:

'It's not only about what the Clintons did, but how they react'
So, the story starts out with a personal remembrance:
I recently sliced the tip of my toe on an ocean barnacle.  This happened at 6pm on a Friday of a long-awaited beach weekend, so I avoided the emergency room for stitches.

Overdosing on rosé was no cure.  My minor wound kept bleeding.  I finally went to the doctor when I got home where I got crutches, antibiotics for the infection, and an avoidable weeklong recovery for a tiny cut, for no reason other than my bullheadedness.

As I watch Hillary Clinton wish away the fallout of the Clinton Foundation’s unseemly ties with the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State, I can’t help but think that her self-inflicted wound just bleeds and bleeds and bleeds.  Every day that she fails to seriously address the rotten consequences of her poor judgment, Clinton further erodes the already lacking public trust in her.  By avoiding a sincere display of contrition, she risks her candidacy and the foundation her family built.

Does no one on the Clinton team remember the aphorism "It's not the crime, it's the coverup"?

Had young Lawyer Clinton left the the Watergate Committee, and Washington, before we learned that lesson?

Ms Clinton brings all the paranoia of Richard Nixon, but without the Foreign Policy acumen.

Hat tip to the Breitbart.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Elise Jordan is an NBC News/MSNBC political analyst. She has worked for the Department of State and the National Security Council."

Friday, August 26, 2016

How Much Diversity Is Good For The Nation?

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Professor Victor David Hanson says history suggests that "diversity" is not a path to national success.
For John, BLUFE pluribus unum doesn't mean numerous individual fiefdoms with a common border.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Townhall, and the pen of former Professor Victor David Hanson.

Here is the lede plus three:

Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history.

The Roman Empire worked as long as Iberians, Greeks, Jews, Gauls and myriad other African, Asian and European communities spoke Latin, cherished habeas corpus and saw being Roman as preferable to identifying with their own particular tribe.&in so; By the fifth century, diversity had won out but would soon prove a fatal liability.

Rome disintegrated when it became unable to assimilate new influxes of northern European tribes.  Newcomers had no intention of giving up their Gothic, Hunnish or Vandal identities.

The propaganda of history's multicultural empires -- the Ottoman, the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, the British and the Soviet -- was never the strength of their diversity.  To avoid chaos, their governments bragged about the religious, ideological or royal advantages of unity, not diversity.

Frankly, I like diversity, but I recognize there has to be a unity of political and cultural understanding.  We need a common understanding of all men being created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.  We need a common agreement on the value of capitalism and a place for small businesses.  We also need a place for faith, but without the belief that any religion should dictate to others, or substitute for government judicial judgements.  Finally, we need an understanding that DNA has no place in determining one's worth before the Government, before the law.

Hat tip to my friend Ricard Byrd.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Alt-Right is Evil

For John, BLUFThis is what I hear about myself on Facebook.  Will we be able to get together after the election or will it be like the aftermath of the Civil War?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

And you are a member of the Alt-Right.  Just ask Ms Hillary Clinton.

Here is Mr Ed Driscoll's comment at InstaPundit:

Krauthammer’s Law defines the left’s Manichean worldview thusly:  “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law:  Conservatives think liberals are stupid.  Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Charles Krauthammer wrote in 2002.  And viewing someone of a differing ideology as being evil is a very different stance than viewing him as simply uninformed or otherwise somehow misguided.
Mr Driscoll also linked to this article in National Review, "The Left Wins because It Fights Politics on the Field of Morality".

So, given the moral table on which the Democrats play, what did President Obama really mean when he said that Mr Trump was unfit to be President?  We discussed that here.  Given the speech by Ms Clinton, yesterday, she and President Obama do seem to see this as a moral issue, which means that Mr Trump must be stopped in any way possible.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You may still participate in the poll.
  I do think it is fair to ask why Ms Clinton didn't recognize all these evil traits of Mr Trump long ago and stop associating with him?  Why?

Another 18th Middlesex Debate

For John, BLUFThe place to be.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Another Debate

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Trump Realignment

For John, BLUFIt is possible we are experiencing a major transformations in the political parties, of which Mr Trump is a symptom, rather than a cause.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Mr Thomas B. Edsall, of The Old Gray Lady, back on 11 August of this year.

From the article:

Trump is competitive among the less affluent and those without college degrees, among whom he is behind by 3 and 4 points respectively.  But Clinton is crushing him among college graduates (57-34) and among those making $50,000 or more (55-37).

The current education and income patterns reflect a reversal of the way Bill Clinton first won the presidency in 1992. Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush by double-digit margins among voters making less than $50,000, but lost among voters making $100,000 or more, 54-38.  In 1992, Clinton won by similarly large margins among those with high school degrees or less, while losing college graduates 41-39.

The larger conclusion from the data is that the Trump campaign — both through the support Trump generates among working-class whites and the opposition he generates among better educated, more affluent voters — has accelerated the ongoing transformation of the Democratic Party.  Once a class-based coalition, the party has become an alliance between upscale well-educated whites and, importantly, ethnic and racial minorities, many of them low income.

I would suggest that because of unhappiness on the part of less well off voters (and thus perhaps less educated) we are seeing shifts in allegiances.  First the Tea Parties, and this year Mr Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders, and then 2020.  If there isn't change this year, will these voters and potential voters just give up and go away for 2020, or will they come back even stronger?

The other question is if racial minorities might decide that Mr Trump is correct when he asks "What do you have to lose"?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The British Left and Foreign Policy

For John, BLUFCan foreign policy change party alignment?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Ryan Evans' War on the Rocks we have a piece examining the Foreign Policy of the British Labour Party.   The author is Geraint Hughes, a Senior Lecturer with the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London, and an instructor at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, UK.

Here is the start:

Unsurprisingly, War on the Rocks commentators have devoted considerable attention to the Republican Party’s current leadership in the run-up to the presidential election.  As a Brit, I’d like to say here that the Republican Party is not the only venerable Western political force dealing with an unelectable leadership and damaging internal rifts, mainly arising from external affairs.

Following the United Kingdom’s referendum on E.U. membership – and the shock result in which 52 percent voted to leave the Union – much of the British and international media’s attention has focussed on the feuding within the governing Conservative Party over Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours, not to mention the sudden ending of David Cameron’s premiership. Yet Labour, the main opposition party in the British Parliament, is also in disarray.  Its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is fighting to keep his position despite losing the support of 80 percent of the party’s Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons, all of its peers in the House of Lords (the upper house), and the presumably soon-to-be unemployed Labour Members of the European Parliament in Brussels.  Britain’s future role in the world, and in particular the question of when it uses military force, are at the center of the civil war that is taking place in Labour now.

Mr Jeremy Corbyn is the man of the hour.  And, the vote over his future is, not mentioned here, fraught with efforts to manipulate who may and may not vote.

An interesting read and a bit of a history review of the last fifty-some years.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The "Alt-Right"?

For John, BLUFThe Media and the "Left" (but I repeat myself) have lost touch with reality and are just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Reporter Patrik Jonsson, of the Christian Science Monitor, gives us this report.

The "Alt-Right"?  So I am being shoehorned into one more despised group here in the US?

Here is the Wikipedia definition:

But critics say that Bannon's hiring resonates far beyond the Trump campaign in troubling ways.  It marks a worrisome marriage of the Republican Party with an Internet culture that, they say, peddles in white identity, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and Clinton conspiracies.
I am not anti-Semitic, especially when compared to my bien-pensant Progressive friends.  I am not a member of any "white identity" group.  Clinton Conspiracies?  Not likely.  I believe Mr Vince Foster committed suicide, but I do find it strange the records are now reported missing from the National Archieves.  But, I am moving on.  Use of a private EMail Server, while Nixonian, turned out to be an unlucky choice.  it isn't a Conspiracy, it is what it is.  And DOJ said no crime, which is what it is.  Misogyny?  I try to be respectful of all.  I sometimes suspect that women think they are special and that men don't harass men and women don't abuse men.

We are seeing the bien-pensant playing Christmas Tree and trying to hang everything they see as wrong with society on the Alt-Right, which has replaced the Tea Parties as the focus of their ire.

I think it is a case of "Drinking your own bathwater".

Hat tip to the Memorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr Trump's Goal in Life

For John, BLUFSometimes I think that Mr Trump is a blank slate for us to write our hopes and fears onto.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Law Professor Ann Althouse talks about Author Marc Fisher (Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power, with a co-author, Mr Michael Kranish) on Face the Nation this Sunday last.

Fisher was answering a question, on "Face the Nation" yesterday, from the host John Dickerson, about what are Trump's "core beliefs."  After that answer, Dickerson sums it up as:  "Just getting a win.  Just calling it a win."
Well, Professor Althouse becomes engaged, which I expect Mr Dickerson is looking for.
At that point, I was talking to the television, saying something like:  Yes, but what counts as a win when you are President of the United States?  There's no way to win for yourself alone.  You have to win for the country.  It doesn't make sense any other way.  That's the definition of a win — Make America Great Again.
And, because the readers of Ms Althouse's blog are an intelligent and interested and articulate bunch, the comments (61 as of this writing) are interesting, and far ranging.

And some of them address the issue of what does it mean to call Mr Trump a Fascist.  Does anyone using the term even know what they think they mean?  Can you click on Comments, below, and define Fascist?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thanking the Polish "Few"

For John, BLUFIt wasn't just Brits flying for the good guys in the Battle of Britain.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Perry de Havilland, who forwarded a Twitter photo, with a caption:
Still our allies in NATO.  We could have lost the Battle of Britain without them.  I voted out I didn’t vote for hate.

Hat tip to the Samizdata.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ms Clinton's EMail Origins

For John, BLUFIt is what it is, so it is time to let it go.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Why can't the Democrats just let go of this and move on?

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

The West in Decline?

For John, BLUFThe "West" is what it is because of people being Liberals (vice Democrats) and working to give everyone freedom to be who they could be.  But it depends on perpetuating that idea of the right to be wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Orange County Register (California, where I used to vote) has an opinion piece by Reporter Joel Kotkin, in which he examines two books:

  1. Submission, by French writer Michel Houellebecq
  2. The Family Mandible, by Lionel Shriver
I read the first book a few months ago.  Yes, I didn't do a review.  I had thought Camp of the Saints was enough.  But, it turns out I did a draft and never published.  I will try to correct that mistake.

Both books look at Western society collapsing, in the French case by an agreement between the French Left and Islamic parties, to fight the rise of the "Right" in the form of Ms Marine Le Pen.  The other case is a future (2029-2047) where the establishment collapses and the every increasing Latinos take over (but Mexico builds a wall).

From the Opinion Piece:

But these books are far more nuanced than orthodox Muslims or progressives might assume.  For one thing, neither book blames the newcomers for the crisis of their respective societies.  The collapse, they suggest, is largely self-inflicted.

In the Mandibles’ America, the starting point lies in the loss of basic values such as thrift; chronic dependence on borrowing to a debased dollar and eventually the disastrous renunciation of our own international debts.  Shriver describes her book in economic terms, chronicling “civil breakdown by degrees” as people’s savings and ability to earn money dissipates.

In Mandibles, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, not Latinos, are to blame for the country’s descent into financial ruin.  President Alvarado is forced to play a poor hand, notes one character, because “the really big mistake was made long ago. You can’t unmake them.”

The decline insolvency also parallels a decline in national identity.  By 2047, Shriver notes, the Fourth of July is decidedly out of fashion.“In hipper cities like New York the holiday,” Shriver notes, “had become an embarrassment.”

In the second book we have an immigrant who experiences “the decline of what he genuinely believed was the greatest nation of earth” as “a source of sorrow.”

I do think that who is in Government doesn't count as much as what they think, what values they have.  It is our values, expressed in terms of what our society provides in material and spiritual benefits, that have made us attractive to immigrants.  I believe that applies to both France and ourselves.

The OpEd is an interesting read and I commend it to you.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Getting it Wrong

For John, BLUFSometimes experts are wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This item is from Guido Fawkes, at Order-Order.  The thing is, the jobless claims fell, rather than rising.

The Guardian had jobless claims predicted up at 8:00 AM and then admitted they were down at 9:34 AM.  A big surprise.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Helping the Flood Victims

For John, BLUFPrejudice is everywhere, including in the Corridors of Power.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yes, I think I would be irked also.  From afar the Bureaucrats tut-tut at the people doing the work.  This kind of thing gives Government a bad name.

It is bad enough the President didn't do an "out and back" to Louisiana, to see what was happening and to provide encouragement.  This is just insult to injury.  Does anyone in DOJ know what is really going on on the ground (or water)?  Maybe Attorney General Loretta Lynch should have jumped on one of DOJ's two Boeing 757s.  One peek is worth a thousand finesses.

And who, besides Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards, has time to read the memo, and maybe not even him.  At least not those engaged in rescue efforts.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr Trump Asks for the Black Vote

For John, BLUFAsking won't turn everyone around, but it Mr Trump were to get even 20% of the Black Vote it would be a signal that the time for change had come.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On Tuesday Mr Trump made an appeal to Black voters, based upon their own self interest.

Here is Mr David Horowitz, of Front Page, summing it up.

Time to hold the Democrats responsible for what they have done.  For twenty years I and many others on the right have waited for Republican leaders to do just this.  Until now we have despaired of seeing this happen in our lifetimes.  But here is Trump articulating the very message we have been waiting for — support for America’s inner city poor — a message that should have been front and center of every Republican campaign for the last fifty years.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ms Clinton and Classified Materials

For John, BLUFJust think about what it will be like when she is signing the Executive Orders.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over on Facebook, Ms Lynne Lupien posted this article with the lead in of "But we all know facts don't matter…":

The reporter is Sky Palma and the publication is Dead State.

This was based on a Tuesday letter from FBI Assistant Director James V. Herring to the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (GOP), and the ranking minority member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Dem). Here is the passage from the article, meant to minimize what was done:

As the director stated, the FBI did find evidence that Secretary Clinton and her colleagues were extremely careless in their handling of certain, very sensitive, highly classified information,” the letter said. “The term ‘extremely careless’ was intended to be a common sense way of describing the actions of Secretary Clinton and her colleagues.
I think that is exactly correct.  Secretary Clinton and her colleagues were extremely careless in their handling of certain, very sensitive, highly classified information. So, what is the point?  It surely is not that Ms Clinton sent classified information.  It is that she ignored the written rules from the President and did what she thought was right and proper, or necessary for her convenience.

Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, "Classified National Security Information", lays out the rules for classification of information, protection of the information and its declassification.

Based upon past understanding [and EO 13526, Sec 1.3 (a) (2)], the Secretary of State has original classification authority.  So, if the United States is in negotiations with Lower Slabbovia over certain landing rights for aircraft engaged in supporting military operations in Afghanistan or Iraq, the Secretary of Stzte could classify the fact of and contents of the negotiations as TOP SECRET, perhaps because the Government of Lower Slobbovia wanted it that way.  In a way she is her own boss.

But, there is that extreme carelessness thing hanging out there.

There is this little item:

Sec. 5.4. General Responsibilities.
Heads of agencies that originate or handle classified information shall:
(a) demonstrate personal commitment and commit senior management to the successful implementation of the program established under this order;
Well, there is that.


(c) ensure that agency records systems are designed and maintained to optimize the appropriate sharing and safeguarding of classified information, and to facilitate its declassification under the terms of this order when it no longer meets the standards for continued classification;
Of course facts matter.

So, once again, the fact is that Ms Clinton was not indicted.  The other fact is that she became a law unto herself as Secretary of State.

So, she was "extremely careless in … handling of certain, very sensitive, highly classified information".  Not indictable, but surely worthy of consideration at the Voting Booth.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ms Clinton and Religious Freedom

For John, BLUFDo you actually trust Ms Clinton to do as she promises.  I bet Progressives are counting on her not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Kevin Jones raises the issue for The Boston Pilot.

Ms Clinton brought up the issue of "religious freedom in an exclusive editorial in the Utah newspaper The Deseret News."

Clinton’s words come during a long legal fight against the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic and other organizations provide employee health coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some drugs that can cause abortions.  There are also continuing controversies over the freedom of adoption agencies, relief agencies and religious schools to have policies in line with their beliefs.

Both [Brian] Burch and [Thomas] Farr noted Clinton’s use of the phrase “right to worship.”

“She publicly opposes the long understood definition of religious freedom by hiding behind the euphemism of ‘freedom of worship’,” Burch said.  “What this means is she supports the freedom of Catholics to pray inside of our churches, at least for now.  But once outside we must embrace the orthodoxy of secular anti-Catholic progressives.”

Farr, who directs the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown’s Berkley Center, said that Clinton’s focus on the “right to worship” relegates religion to the private sphere “with no capacity to influence public matters.”

I trust Ms Clinton to do what she thinks advances her Progressive agenda.

Regards  —  Cliff

Alternatives to Obamacase

For John, BLUFAs more and more Insurance Companies drop out of the PP&ACA, people are being to search for alternatives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Columnist Polly Toynbee of the Guardian (UK).

While some folks here in the US are calling for a single payer health care system, not unlike the British National Health Service, the NHS is beginning to fail.

Alarm bells should ring here:  how silently the NHS slides into the private sector.
A term used by Ms Toynbee is "bed blocking", which was described last month here.

In the mean time, Mr John Mitchell, on Facebook, links to this Editorial in The Wall Street Journal, and asks if this is not just another move to take advantage of the American People.  The other side is The LA Times, which does not believe this is the end of times.

My personal preference is to expand the Public Health Service with 60,000 uniformed Physicians, Physician Assistance and Nurse Practitioners.  These individuals would be sent to High Demand/Low Density (HD/LD) areas to provide needed medical care.  Their work would be both the provision of health care to those without access and the education of the population as to how they should conduct themselves to maximize their own health.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ms Clinton Looks Ahead

For John, BLUFIt is a cesspit around Ms Clinton.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Per Reporter Mark Matthews of the Denver Post, yesterday.

So Ms Clinton is already looking forward to the future, and given her commanding lead, why not?

The Transition begins, officially on 8 November 2016, after the election results are in, and ends on Inauguration Day, 20 January 2016.

Of course not everyone is happy with Former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as Ms Clinton's pick to head her transition team.

For instance here is Michelle Malkin in Rasmussen Reports"Hillary's Headhunter:  Sleazeball Ken Salazar".

Regards  —  Cliff

  The always unreliable LA Times has Ms Clinton at 44.2% and Mr Trump at a trailing 43.2%.  But, she will be triumphant in November, as all my Democratic Party and Unenrolled friends tell me.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bill is Unhappy With FBI Director

For John, BLUFWhy can't these folks just be quiet?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If New York Post Reporter Daniel Halper is to be believed, Former President Bill Clinton is pretty frosted with FBI Director Comey and his comments on Candidate Hillary Clinton's personal EMail server.
Bill Clinton is accusing the FBI director of serving up “the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard” — marking the first significant public comments from the husband of the Democratic nominee on the scandal that’s plagued his wife’s campaign for over a year.

“First of all, the FBI director said, when he testified before Congress, he had to amend his previous day’s statement that she had never received any emails marked classified,” Clinton told journalists at an Asian American Journalists Association meeting in Las Vegas on Friday, making a strong defense for Hillary Clinton.

He added, “They saw two little notes with a ‘C’ on it — this is the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard — that were about telephone calls that she needed to make. The State Department typically puts a little ‘C’ on it to discourage people from discussing it in public in the event the secretary of state, whoever it is, doesn’t make a telephone call. Does that sound threatening to the national security to you?”

I would think the Democratic Presidential Campaign would accept what they got, pocket it, and walk away.  Apparently not.

So, is this because they feel that Director Comey's comments are hurting Ms Clinton or is this because they just don't take criticism well, or is it because he is trying to distract attention from Ms Clinton's continuing dissimination and false reports.

Or, do they feel they need to discredit Director Comey before he turns on them in October?  That would be a bit paranoid, wouldn't it?

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Party Colors

For John, BLUFOr "colours" if you are on the East side of the pond.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I have always thought the assignment of the color Red to Republicans and Blue to Democrats was a sign of historic ignorance.  As the linked article shows, Blue is the color of Conservatives and Red of "Revolutionaries".  The chart gets the colors right—Blue for Tories (Conservatives) and Red for Radicals (Labour).

Maybe Trumpism has turned that upside down, as this NYT Article suggests— "Is Trump Wrecking Both Parties?".

Yes, Ned, I still like Maggie Thatcher.

Hat tip to Guido Fawkes.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, August 12, 2016

Althouse on Trump on Second Amendment

For John, BLUFTaking a joke in poor taste and making it a real problem for all of us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to the be president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way."

That was the Clinton campaign's reaction to comments by Mr Trump.

From Law Professor Ann Althouse:

This is what Trump said today:

"Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment.  By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.  Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know," Trump said.
Trump blurted that out, in his typical style.  An idea occurred to him, so he said it.
This is from the blog of Professor Althouse on Tuesday.

Her point was that playing this up only creates a bad atmosphere.  If we think Mr Trump's comments were inflammatory, we shouldn't create an "echo chamber" around it.

And, she notes a recent New Yorker cartoon where the four female Ghost Busters say, when confronting Mr Trump, “I know we strictly bust ghosts, but I feel this is a shot we need to take.”  Funny, but not very respectful. And, then there was Cartoonist Scott Adams back in March, of which we have a partial quote:

[W]e see the media priming the public to try to kill Trump, or at least create some photogenic mayhem at a public event. Again, no one is sitting in a room plotting Trump’s death, but – let’s be honest – at least half of the media believes Trump is the next Hitler, and a Hitler assassination would be morally justified.
And what is President Obama calling for when he says that Mr Trump is "unfit"?  If Mr Trump is truly "unfit" must not something be done to prevent him taking office on 20 Jan 2017?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I did talk about that in more detail, here.

Science In Action

For John, BLUFThe fuzzy line between science and religion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I love the play on words in the headline.

The source is The Daily Caller and the author is Michael Bastasch.

Here is the first part of the article:

Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University is being attacked by climate change proponents for publishing research suggesting there could be a 35-year period of low solar activity that could usher in an “ice age.”

Zharkova and her team of researchers released a study on sunspot modeling, finding that solar activity could fall to levels not seen since the so-called “Little Ice Age” of the 1600s. Zharkova’s conclusions may have huge implications for global temperature modeling, but her analysis is not accepted by some climate scientists.

“Some of them were welcoming and discussing. But some of them were quite — I would say — pushy,” she told The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) in an interview on her solar study.

In fact, Zharkova said some scientists even tried to have her research suppressed.

“They were trying to actually silence us,” she said. “Some of them contacted the Royal Astronomical Society, demanding, behind our back, that they withdraw our press release.”

Actually, I am not looking forward to a mini-Ice Age, but if it is coming someone should be examining the implications, not sitting around denying the possibility.  The various science budgets should be big enough to allow a study of the options.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dealing With Iran

For John, BLUFI think the Obama Administration was between a rock and a hard place.  I hope nothing untoward will come of it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yesterday Mr Michael Totten commented on the release of four US Citizens by Iran.  The story he tells, way beyond the quote below, shows that this is a complicated business.  And while he doesn't say it straight up, we, the Taxpayers, paid twice for the $400 million.

Here is the beginning of the article from World Affairs Journal.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that an American plane carrying 400 million dollars in cash landed in Iran at the precise time the Iranian government released four American hostages.

Critics claim the 400 million was a ransom payment. The White House and State Department deny it emphatically.

They’re right. The 400 million wasn’t a ransom payment, but it was a ransom payment.

The United States sort of owes Iran money. In 1979, the previous government of Iran’s Shah Reza Pahlavi paid 400 million dollars for weapons. The US never shipped the purchased weapons because Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah’s government and took 52 Americans hostage.

We could have given the money back, but the new Iranian government declared war on us and kidnapped our diplomats, so we didn’t. The Obama administration says we’re just paying Iran back, but the Iranians insist otherwise.

“Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,” Iranian General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Basij militia, said on Iran’s state-run television.

Only the willfully ignorant would claim the American government never lies about anything. Still, Washington is more honest and reliable than Tehran. And State Department spokesman John Kirby insists this is nonsense.

“The negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” he said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

The Administration can't say it is ransom, since the Federal Government paying ransom would be illegal.  The other problem is that paying ransom encourages bad actions on the part of others.  Not everyone, but some, and that some has included Iran in the past.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Democrats Have Few Secrets

For John, BLUFI am thinking the Democratic Party Apparatchiks have just not yet come into the late 20th Century, Cyberspace wise.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In which NYT Reporters Eric Lichtblau and Eric Schmitt (10 Aug 2016) attempt to convince us that The Russians Are Coming.

It is, after all, cyberspace.  It reminds me of the State Farm add where the inept husband is talking to Jake at State Farm in the middle of the night.  The wife assumes it is phone sex.  This paragraph explains the problem:

The F.B.I. says it has no direct evidence that Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was hacked by the Russians or anyone else.  But in June, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said that intruders had tried, and that any successful intruders were probably far too skilled to leave evidence of their intrusion behind.  Law enforcement officials said he had the Russians in mind.
The two things we know for certain are:
  1. The Democratic National Committee is sloppy with regard to internet security.
  2. Ms Clinton had classified information on an unsecured server.
I wonder if Mr Trump, Governor Johnson or Dr Stein have had their home computers and Emails hacked?

Regards  —  Cliff

Register So You Can Vote

For John, BLUFEncourage your friends.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I subscribe to Reporter Joshua Miller's daily newsletter, "Political Happy Hour", to get the latest tidbits about politics down in Boston, and around the Commonwealth.  It is quick and it is interesting.

Today's inputs include a link to the salaries for the City of Cambridge.  Top salary is the City Manager, at $330,000.

On page VII-58 of the Lowell FY2017 Budget, our City Manager is listed at $190,000.  That means four Cambridge City Employees make more than Kevin Murphy, and three are within $3,000.

So for all those who whine about the salaries of the 1%, back in August of last year, the top 1% in Boston earned $529,343 PA.

However, the important point was this:

PSA FOR MASS. RESIDENTS, via press release: “Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin reminds Massachusetts residents that the deadline to register to vote or to change party enrollment for the September 8 state primary is Friday, August 19. Persons who are U.S. citizens, residents of Massachusetts, and who will be at least 18 years old on or before the State Primary are eligible to register to vote. …”
Follow Joshua on Twitter.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I think we get a lot for our money up here in Lowell.  City Manager Murphy provides good value for money.

Media Pulls For Status Quo

For John, BLUFThe Media is Democrats with Press Credentials.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the computer of Mr Roger Simon, at P J Media.  Here is the key paragraph.

No more perfect candidate of the status quo has ever come along than Hillary Clinton.  She personifies the status quo.  Nothing will change under Hillary—for the country or the media.  It's all downhill from here.
The place where Mr Simon may be wrong is foreign policy.  Ms Clinton has demonstrated bad judgment combined with recklessness in this area.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, August 8, 2016

Reform at the Democratic National Committee

For John, BLUFJust to add to your pessimism about the Big Parties.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a pessimistic view by Professor Robert Reich.
The shake-up at the Democratic National Committee after an embarrassing breach of its email system continued Tuesday with the departure of three senior officials.

But purging the DNC of top officials won’t remedy the DNC’s problems. Those problems aren’t attributable to individuals who didn’t do their jobs. To the contrary, those individuals probably fulfilled their responsibilities exactly as those jobs were intended to be done. The DNC’s problems are structural.

.  .  .

What’s needed is structural reform. The DNC has to turn itself – and the Democratic Party – into a grass-roots membership organization, with local and state chapters that play a meaningful role in selecting and supporting candidates.

I am guessing that means no more "superdelegates".  For a while in this Election Season, early in the Primaries, there were Democrats, like WCAP's Sam Polton, going around saying it was just like the Republicans, but it is not.  Superdelegates are the way the DNC maintains control of the process, so as to avoid getting the "wrong person" nominated.  The Republicans have no such safety break.

Regards  —  Cliff

Distracted Driving

For John, BLUFNot just coffee.  Consumption of anything.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From an 8 August article by Mr Steph Solis, in USA Today.

New Jersey already draws ire for not letting drivers pump their own gas.  But the state might ban them from having a cup of coffee behind the wheel too.
That thing about pumping gas may be restricted to highways like the Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.  I pumped gas myself somewhere in North Jersey last week.  But, it was at a gas station with no C-Store.

The problem is, unless there is a big uproar over this, it would just be a trap for unsuspecting motorists.  How do out of state drivers deal with this?  They drive around New Jersey, through Pennsylvania. Or they vacation closer to home.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Candidate Succession

For John, BLUFMore than you want to know, before you need to know it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This overall paper from the Congressional Research Service, Mr Thomas H Neale, author, talks to the question of what happens if we have incapacitation of the President or Vice President or both.  This is from 27 September 2004, but things don't change very fast in this area.

The part interesting at this point is what if it is a candidate, between the nominating conventions and the Inauguration. That portion of the report, Candidates, starts on page 11 of the PDF found at the link. But, here are the words:

Succession During Presidential Campaigns and Transitions. The related issue of succession during presidential campaigns and during the transition period between elections and the inauguration has been the subject of renewed interest since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  The salient elements of this issue come into play only during elections when an incumbent President is retiring, or has been defeated, and the prospect of a transition between administrations looms, but uncertainties about succession arrangements during such a period have been cause for concern among some observers. Procedures governing these eventualities depend on when a vacancy would occur.

Between Nomination and Election.  This first contingency would occur if there were a vacancy in a major party ticket before the presidential election.  This possibility has been traditionally covered by political party rules, with both the Democrats and Republicans providing for replacement by their national committees.  For example, in 1972, the Democratic Party filled a vacancy when vice presidential nominee Senator Thomas Eagleton resigned at the end of July, and the Democratic National Committee met on August 8 of that year to nominate R. Sargent Shriver as the new vice presidential candidate.

Between the Election and the Meeting of the Electors.  The second would occur in the event of a vacancy after the election, but before the electors meet to cast their votes in December.  This contingency has been the subject of speculation and debate.  Some commentators suggest that, the political parties, employing their rules providing for the filling of presidential and vice presidential vacancies, would designate a substitute nominee. The electors, who are predominantly party loyalists, would presumably vote for the substitute nominee.  Given the unprecedented nature of such a situation, however, confusion, controversy, and a breakdown of party discipline among the members of the electoral college might also arise, leading to further disarray in what would already have become a problematical situation.

Between the Electoral College Vote and the Electoral Vote Count by Congress.  A third contingency would occur if there were a vacancy in a presidential ticket during the period between the time when the electoral votes are cast (Monday after the second Wednesday in December) and when Congress counts and certifies the votes (January 6).  The succession process for this contingency turns on when candidates who have received a majority of the electoral votes become President-elect and Vice President-elect.  Some commentators doubt whether an official President- and Vice President-elect exist prior to the electoral votes being counted and announced by Congress on January 6, maintaining that this is a problematic contingency lacking clear constitutional or statutory direction.  Others assert that once a majority of electoral votes has been cast for one ticket, then the recipients of these votes become the President- and Vice President-elect, notwithstanding the fact that the votes are not counted and certified until the following January 6.  If so, then the succession procedures of the 20th Amendment, noted earlier in this report, would apply as soon as the electoral votes were cast; namely, if the President-elect dies, then the Vice President-elect becomes the President-elect.  This point of view receives strong support from the language of the House committee report accompanying the 20th Amendment.  Addressing the question of when there is a President elect, the report states:

It will be noted that the committee uses the term “President elect” in its generally accepted sense, as meaning the person who has received the majority of electoral votes, or the person who has been chosen by the House of Representatives in the event that the election is thrown into the House.  It is immaterial whether or not the votes have been counted, for the person becomes the President elect as soon as the votes are cast.
Between the Electoral Vote Count and Inauguration.  As noted previously, the 20th Amendment covers succession in the case of the President-elect, providing thatincaseofhisdeath,theVicePresident-electbecomesPresident-elect.  Further, a Vice President-elect succeeding under these circumstances and subsequently inaugurated President would nominate a Vice President under provisions of the 25th Amendment.  A major concern that has risen about this period since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, centers the order of succession under the Succession Act of 1947.  What might happen in the event of a mass terrorist attack during or shortly after the presidential inaugural?  While there would be a President, Vice President, Speaker, and President Pro Tempore during this period, who would step forward in the event an attack removed these officials? This question takes on additional importance since the Cabinet, an important element in the order of succession, is generally in a state of transition at this time. The previous administration’s officers have generally resigned, while the incoming administration’s designees are usually in the midst of the confirmation process.  It is not impossible to envision a situation in which not a single cabinet officer will have been confirmed by the Senate under these circumstances, thus raising the prospect of a de facto decapitation of the executive branch.  This concern has led to several proposals in the 108th Congress.
UPDATE:  And here is Intrepid Reporter Rob Eno (and former LRCC Member), today, on the issue from a GOP point of view.

Regards  —  Cliff

Equal Time for Equal Suffering

For John, BLUFThe final test may be in November.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the Blog The Resurgent, by Mr Erick Ericsson, today.

It is about the hypocrisy of the Democrats when you look at the Khan Family vs Mrs Pat Smith.

And, it is about the First Amendment.

Oh, and as for the Mainstream Media, it is 50 to 1 in reporting.

Hat tip to the Rob Eno, on Facebook.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThe Rhetoric is getting too hot, too fast.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

President Obama on Tuesday said Mr. Trump was “unfit to serve as president”.

So, what, in President Obama's mind, does that mean?

Pick an Option, or Suggest One free polls

The "coup" idea is not new.  On 20 July, in The LA Times, Mr James Kirchick had "If Trump Wins, a Military Coup 'Isn't Impossible'".

And for scholarly papers, here is Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds (University of Tennessee) and "Of Coups and the Constitution".

Military coups d'etat are a relatively common means of government turnover in many countries, but not in the United States.  This paper looks at a number of factors in the United States' Constitution and political culture that make military coups less likely, as well as at some changes in both that may reduce the degree of protection.  It also offers some suggestions on how to ensure that Americas coup-resistance remains strong.
Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Looking Past Mr Trump to 2020

For John, BLUFThis is a what if essay, looking at the case where Ms Clinton wins in 2016.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog Site of Mr Brad Templeton, who is apparently a Canadian, we have a look into the future.
Social media are jam packed with analysis of the rise of Donald Trump these days.  Most of us in what we would view as the intellectual and educated community are asking not just why Trump is a success, but as Trevor Noah asked, “Why is this even a contest?”  Clinton may not be, as the Democrats claim, the most qualified person ever to run, but she’s certainly decently qualified, and Trump is almost the only candidate with no public service experience ever to run.  Even his supporters readily agree he’s a bit of a buffoon, that he says tons of crazy things, and probably doesn’t believe most of the things he says.  (The fact that he doesn’t actually mean many of the crazy things has become the primary justification of those who support him.)

But it is a contest, and while it looks like Clinton will probably win it is also disturbing to me to note that in polls broken down by race and sex, Trump is actually ahead of Clinton by a decent margin among my two groups — whites and males.  (Polls have been varying a lot in the weeks of the conventions.)  Whites and males have their biases and privileges, of course, but they are very large and diverse groups, and again, to the coastal intellectual view, this shouldn’t even be a contest.  (It’s also my view as a foreigner of libertarian leanings and no association with either party.)

I would challenge Mr Templeton's assertion that Ms Clint is "certainly decently qualified".  She is not.  But, that isn't the point of this short essay.  Here is the point:
But what if he were smarter? What if a more calculating candidate, now that this new body of voters has been discovered, knew better what to say and what not to say?  What if there were a candidate who applied advanced political techniques, testing and polling new positions, rather than just throwing pasta at the wall to see what sticks and depending on an imagined invulnerability to get away with it?

If Clinton continues her lead and wins, then this candidate is coming in 2024 or even 2020. If the trend described above that works against the incumbent party continues, that candidate will have a head start against Clinton or her Democratic successor and a strong chance at victory.

There were the Tea Parties and no one listened.  Now there is Mr Trump and Senator Sanders and likely no one is listening.  So, what does 2020 or 2024 have to offer if the disenchanted are not "brought back into the fold", if they still feel disenchanted?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, August 1, 2016

As Goes Wall Street

For John, BLUFI wonder what Senator Warren thinks of this?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The full headline is "Wall Street for Hillary?:  Clinton has $48.5M in hedge fund backing, compared to Trump".

What is it with The Donald, that Wall Street is pulling against him?  Do they see him, secretly, as the Second Coming of Senator E Warren?

Hedge fund owners and employees have so far this election cycle contributed nearly $48.5 million for Hillary Clinton, compared to about $19,000 for Donald Trump, an indication that Wall Street is clearly backing the Democratic presidential nominee.

The total amount of such campaign contributions in 2016 is $122.7 million, twice as much as in the 2012 election cycle, according to a recent federal report analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

With the Democratic and Republican parties’ conventions over Thursday and the general election officially just a few days old, it’s no surprise that pro-Clinton groups have received more hedge fund money.

If you don't like it, blame Fox News. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff