Friday, December 15, 2017

Primaries and RINOs


For John, BLUFI believe the Democrats are still not getting it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The GOP’s self-destructive primaries have cost it a lot of power, particularly in the Senate. By Ezra Klein@ezraklein Dec 14, 2017, 10:50am EST.

Here is the lede plus one:

It’s an article of faith among many Democrats that Republicans have somehow escaped the electoral consequences for the increasing extremism of their party. Doug Jones’s narrow victory over Roy Moore on Tuesday night looked, to many liberals, like a rare exception. But as political scientist Matt Glassman points out, it’s far from alone.

Starting around the 2010 Tea Party surge, Republican voters have repeatedly chosen the most extreme candidates during primaries, and have paid a real electoral price, particularly in the Senate.

And then he goes on to list five examples going back to 2010.

I am living in a nation populated by a lot of pundits who just don't get it.

It provides clarity of thought once you acknowledge that the various Tea Parties were not extremists, but rather folks who wanted adherence to the principles of the Republican Party.  That is to say, no RINOs—no Republicans in Name Only.

There is this group of people out there, enough to get Mr Donald Trump the Electoral College votes he needed to be President.  They are concerned about RINOs in office, about people on Capitol Hill who are hard to distinguish from Democrats, except for the Democratic Party urge for a Sampson Solution to the current Presidency.  These voters, in other states, are not so keen on the Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush leaders of the Party.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Misunderstanding Democracy


For John, BLUFOur betters would deny us our vote, our chance to pick whichever snake we fancied.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Journalist has a problem with democracy, as it gives people power over their government

From the site Lifezette and Reporter Kathryn Blackhurst, 13 December 2017.

I guess Ms Elise Jordan, of Time Magazine, doesn't go with Newspaperman H L Mencen, who told us "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Here is the lede plus three:

MSNBC political analyst Elise Jordan complained Wednesday about how “unfortunate” it is that the Republican Party’s ability to craft its tax reform bill with a congressional majority resulted from “how you voted in an election.”

Yes, she really did say that. LifeZette replayed the video clip multiple times.

The House and the Senate reached a deal Wednesday in reconciling their separate bills — a move that brings President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to deliver tax reform closer to fruition. But Jordan, a Time magazine columnist, took issue with the fact that presidential and congressional elections have consequences.

"And I think it's unfortunate that we are designing — that we are designing public policy in a way that, you know, comes down to how you voted in an election," Jordan said.

Remember the famous American who told us "elections have consequences"?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trumps Bad Karma


For John, BLUFI think this is a short term effect, but Steven Bannon may be a problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from The Boston Globe and Columnist Michael Cohen and his "Truth and Consequences" column, 14 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

Donald Trump’s endorsement track record over the past couple of months is, how shall we say, not good.

First he endorsed Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican Senate primary … and Strange lost by ten points to Roy Moore.

Then he endorsed Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race … and Gillespie lost by 9 points, the largest margin of defeat in a state gubernatorial election in 32 years.

In the Alabama Senate race, Trump went all in on Roy Moore … and we know how that turned out.

I like Michael's writing and respect his analysis, but I think he may be in error here.

Regards  —  Cliff

Suing For the Right to Speak


For John, BLUFWhy is free speech so hard?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The College Fix and Associate Editor Greg Piper, 13 December 2017.

Well, not exactly.  They did say they could do it in the Free Speech Zone, open from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  Otherwise they need to obtain a permit 72 hours in advance.

Thank God for the Court System.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Main Justice


For John, BLUFThis is NOT about Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but about the Department of Justice, or "Main Justice".  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:

They want a probe into “obvious conflicts of interest” in the Department of Justice.

From The Huffington Post, By Ms Willa Frej, 12 December 2017.

Here are two key paragraphs:

″The Department of Justice and FBI cannot ignore the multiple problems that have been created by these obvious conflicts of interests,” Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Axios on Monday night after the Fox report.  “These new revelations require the appointment of a special counsel to investigate.”

. . .

Nevertheless, the president’s legal team said they trust Mueller and want to “get to the finish line” with him.  They said they plan to fully cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, confident that Trump will be cleared of wrongdoing.

So, is the Department of Justice living up to its English Motto.

THE UNITED STATES WINS ITS POINT WHENEVER JUSTICE IS DONE ITS CITIZENS IN THE COURTS

Not everyone things so.  There is a concern about a Conan the Barbarian desire on the part of the people in Main Justice to win, whatever it takes.  A view that if you weren't inherently a criminal you would never have come to our attention, so we have to deal with you for being the criminal you are.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

It Is Always Trump's Fault


For John, BLUFYes, we would not be hearing about this if Ms Clinton had won the Electoral College.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Daily Caller, by San Francis Attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon, 12 December 2017.

Like I say, this, like everything else, is Donald Trump's fault.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Keeping Promises


For John, BLUFKeeping your promises is not normal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Daily Mail (UK), by Journalist Piers Morgan, 11 December 2017.

BINGO.  The author hits right on target.  President Trump acts like he believes those who elected him will stick with him if he fights for what he promised them.

And, he is correct.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Jumping the Gun


For John, BLUFIt hasn't been a good week for Senator E Warren.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Twitchy and Greg P., 13 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

Does Sen. Elizabeth Warren know how elections works?  Apparently not.

The Massachusetts liberal went on the warpath last night and demanded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seat special-election winner Doug Jones “without any delay”

The thing is, the Alabama Secretary of State has to Certify the election and then there is the threat of a challenge, which has to await the Certification.  It is going to be the end of the year.

By way of comparison, Ambassador Scott Brown was elected 20 January and was sworn in on 4 February 2010.  Government is not fast.

By the way, was it wrong for Greg P to use the term "warpath"?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Second Amendment as Seen From San Francisco


For John, BLUFWhile the Election of Mr Doug Long has stirred the swamp, I do think The New York Times and The Washington Post are starting to regain some equilibrium.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




It is Hot Air and Writer Jazz Shaw, 12 December 2017.

This is off an item in the The Wash Post, the Fact Checker, Mr Glenn Kessler, 12 December 2017.

Yes, I am not a fan of Ms Pelosi.  But, her being in office does help the other side.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Misstep in the IC


For John, BLUFAt least some folks are beginning to understand there are consequences to the current rush to find a way to pry President Trump out of office, because he is "unfit".  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:

Former acting CIA director Michael Morell says the agency missed the meddling until it was too late.

From Politico, by Reporter Susan B Glasser, 11 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The politics of spying in America has never been more intense.  President Trump has taken to publicly bashing his intelligence agencies and continues, a full year later, to question their conclusion that Russia intervened in the 2016 U.S. election on his behalf.  For their part, an array of career spooks have come out of the shadows where they spent their careers to challenge the commander-in-chief in once unthinkably public terms.

Michael Morell is one of the career types who’s broken with decades of practice to confront Trump.  A veteran of nearly three decades in the CIA, Morell rose from within the ranks to become the agency’s longtime deputy director, twice serving as its acting leader before retiring during President Barack Obama’s second term.  In the summer of 2016, he broke with tradition to endorse Hillary Clinton over Trump, and he has continued to sound the alarm ever since.

But in a revealingly self-critical and at times surprising interview for this week’s Global POLITICO, Morell acknowledges that he and other spy-world critics of the president failed to fully “think through” the negative backlash generated by their going political.  “There was a significant downside,” Morell said in the interview.

Someone I know, a former Navy Intelligence Officer, summarized this 7,000 work document as follows:
Morell acknowledges that he and other spy-world critics of the president failed to fully “think through” the negative backlash generated by their going political.  “There was a significant downside,” Morell said in the interview.

“As we were trying to protect the country from terrorists,” he said, “we became more blind to what was going on in the rest of the world, both from a collection perspective and from an analytic perspective.  And that was a cost….  When you make choices, you leave significant risk on the table.”

Just this fall he [former DNI Clapper] said, I learned the extent to which they [the Russians] were active on these platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which was not something I really was aware of.

So, it’s a useful critique of analysts.  But the other important players here are intelligence collectors, right?  So, the failure to see this coming, and the failure to take some time before you actually see what’s happening is also a collection failure.  It means you haven’t penetrated the right places with the right assets—CIA and NSA are the two big ones here—to tell you exactly what the Russians are doing.  So, it’s a couple of important failures there.

I would not be surprised if Bob Mueller concludes that the Trump campaign did not violate the law with regard to its interactions with the Russians.  I’m really open to that possibility.  Why?  Because, as you know, The New York Times, The Washington Post, every media outlet that is worth its salt has reporters digging into this, and they haven’t found anything.

There was no opposition leader to stand up and paint a different future for Venezuela, one that challenged Chavez’s future.  And, as a result of there being no political opposition, the Venezuelan media became the political opposition. And in becoming the political opposition, it lost all of its credibility with the Venezuelan people.  Sound familiar?

There are government offices that need to be particularly neutral at a political level.  The military, of course, and the Intelligence Community.  Then there is the Department of State and the Department of Justice.  I would say next is the Federal Reserve.  And, of course, the Supreme Court of the United States.

If your Department is not politically neutral should you still expect the White House to take you seriously, to give your views full belief, to trust you to be the ones to execute policy?

Regards  —  Cliff

CNN Having a Bad Month


For John, BLUFDid you see a big headline on CNN walking this back?  Didn't think so.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Daily Caller, by Reporter Amber Athey, 11 Dec 2017.

Here is the lede:

CNN has quietly walked back more of their “bombshell” reporting on the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, and this time it’s a story relating to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ security clearance forms.
So, the FBI did tell him to not include actions related to contacts with Russians related to Senate business.

I wonder if Attorney General Sessions is irritated with CNN over its bad reporting.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, December 11, 2017

Lessons to be Learned


For John, BLUFWhen you think the other party is pure evil you need to check your assumptions, because you are probably wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:

It was a partisan witch hunt masquerading as an inquiry into campaign irregularities. And it might presage the outcome of the Mueller investigation.

An OpEd from USA Today, by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, 11 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The “Cheesehead Stasi.”  That’s what Twitter humorist IowaHawk called a long-running and politicized investigation organized by Democratic politicians in Wisconsin, targeting supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.  The mechanism for this investigation was an allegedly nonpolitical, but in fact entirely partisan, “Government Accountability Board.”

In the course of its secretive “John Doe” investigation, the GAB hoovered up millions of personal emails from Republican donors and supporters, and even raided people’s homes, while forbidding them to talk about it:

The line "raided people’s homes, while forbidding them to talk about it" sounds very UnAmerican.  But it does sound like Eastern European Secret Police, like the Stasi.

This is like IRS Official Lois Lerner, but with the power to take records from your home.

This is a warning to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to keep it clean and above board.  Back to Wisconsin, I think, at this point the Cheeseheads need to vote to keep Stasi like Democrats out of office for the next fifty years.

By the way, the OpEd is a pretty quick read and well worth it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.


For John, BLUFThese are serious times.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.  But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you…

Matthew 10:16-17

I am concerned for our Republic at this juncture in history.  I believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be a key player in the outcome.  The key will be his approach to the problem he faces.  He must be as wise as a serpent and as simple as a dove.

Mr Mueller has a political as well as a legal task.  Whatever his findings he must not appear to have been partisan in his actions nor must he appear to have strayed from his remit.  Tens of millions of Americans will be watching to see how this goes.

At this point there is skepticism about his investigation and about the legitimacy of the accusations of a Trump Campaign collusion with the Russians.  While many Democrats are convinced as to the wrongs of President Trump and those around him, it is the rest of the nation that would have to be convinced.  If not convinced they would be out in droves in 2020, and vicious.

This is more a political moment than a legal one.  What we don't want is for half the electorate to come away thinking that if defeated at the polls they can and should reverse the decision by a Special Counsel.  And, we don't want the other half to think like Conan the Barbarian with regard to "what is best in life", that is "To crush your enemies.  See them driven before you.  And to hear the lamentations of their women."  If you think this kind of thing doesn't happen, look at Brazil, Argentina and South Korea, today.  Such rejections of the outcomes of elections will move us toward being a third rate banana republic.

We need to choose wisely and Special Counsel Robert Mueller could earn his place in the Pantheon of Great Americans if he helps us choose wisely at this point.

As for us, "Deciding not to choose is choosing, so choose wisely."

Onuh Justus Izuchukwu

Regards  —  Cliff

"Associate Democrats"


For John, BLUFYou may not like political parties, but that is what you get when people band together to follow an ideology.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The [:Lowell] Sun and Columnist Peter Lucas, 8 December 2017.

Here is the key paragraph:

While all her fellow Democrats in the Senate were running for cover -- or quietly plotting to succeed Rosenberg as Senate president -- L'Italien, 56, publicly insisted that Rosenberg step aside.
But, this is also an interesting paragraph:
The minority Republicans, who are like associate Democrats, hardly objected to Rosenberg staying on as Senate leader.
"…who are like associate Democrats."  That is a terrible indictment of the Republicans in the Massachusetts State Senate, all seven of them.  On the other hand, there are forty senators over all and there are not enough Republicans to sustain a Governor's Veto.  Even with the recent election of Republican Senator Dean Tran, from Fitchburg.  It would take about twice as many.

While it will be an uphill fight, here in the 1st Middlesex District we do have Candidate John McDonald opposing incumbent Eileen Donoghue.

But, back to the State Senate, Ms Harriette L. Chandler, PhD, is currently acting as the President.

Regards  —  Cliff

John Doe Exposed


For John, BLUFThis was a cynical attempt by Democrats in Wisconsin to use the force of secret investigations to beat back Republicans in State Government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The author of this purloined Blog Post is Emeritus Law Professor All Althouse, on 8 December 2017.  If she sounds angry it may be because she is.

Here is how the blog post lays out, with a link to the original article:

The Wisconsin State Journal covers the Wisconsin Department of Justice report on the leaking of records from the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.
In an 88-page report, Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel lays bare the actions of staff at the former Government Accountability Board as they dug into what is described as a previously unknown, secret “John Doe III” investigation into several GOP officials and staffers who were [absolved of the suspicion that they] campaign[ed] out of taxpayer-funded offices….

[T]he report criticizes the “breathtaking” sweep of the three John Doe investigations, which included 218 warrants and subpoenas.  DOJ found the John Doe investigators obtained and categorized several private emails unrelated to campaigns, including 150 personal emails between Sen. Leah Vukmir and her daughter that included health information, and placed them in a folder labeled “Opposition Research” — a term that refers to political dirt collected on opponents….

Schimel concluded the GAB staff didn’t act in “a detached and professional manner” and that it was reasonable to infer “they were on a mission to bring down the Walker campaign and the Governor himself.”  He pointed to a November 2013 email in which [former GAB lawyer Shane] Falk encouraged Schmitz, who was having doubts about the GAB’s legal theory, to “stay strong.”

“Remember, in brief, this was a bastardization of politics and our state is being run by corporations and billionaires,” Falk wrote.  “This isn’t democracy to say the least, but due to how they do this dark money, the populace never gets to know.  The cynic in me says the sheeple would still follow the propaganda even if they knew, but at least it would all be out there so that the influences on our politicians is clearly known.”

I wonder how the cynic in Shane Falk feels about us sheeple getting all of this out here where it can be clearly known.
For those interested in the document, "REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING VIOLATIONS OF THE JOHN DOE SECRECY ORDERS," it can be found here.

Herre is a key paragraph:

As this report describes in detail, the systemic and pervasive mishandling of John Doe evidence likely resulted in circumstances allowing the Guardian leak in the first place, and now prevents prosecutors from proving criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt.  Moreover, DOJ is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB [Government Accountability Board] by partisans in furtherance of political goals, which permitted the vast collection of highly personal information from dozens of Wisconsin Republicans without even taking modest steps to secure this information.
In case you are missing it, Democrats embedded deep in the Wisconsin State Government used their John Doe powers to conduct a broad and secret investigation of Republicans, who they saw, not as an opposition political party, but as enemies of the People.

When one party or another feels it can and should engage all the levers of Government to beat back the political successes of its opposition we have slipped into being a third rate Banana Republic.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Evangelicals Move Republicans on US Israeli Embassy Location


For John, BLUFThis issue shows how there have been realignments in the political firmament.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Five Thirty Eight Blog and reporter Rebecca Shimoni Stoil, 8 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

A host of Israeli leaders and pro-Israel voters had long been advocating for the decision that President Trump announced on Wednesday, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and began the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.  The fact that the controversial decision was carried out by a Republican president is indicative of the dramatic change in the GOP’s position on Israel since Israel was founded.

The Republican party has moved from not supporting Israel enough, in the eyes of many Jewish Americans, to backing policies that now go further than the positions espoused by many Jewish voters — but are in keeping with the views of evangelical voters.  As bipartisan support for Israel erodes, the controversial move risks further accelerating a growing party split.

Of course some of the resistance to the move is based upon the fact that some believe whatever President Trump does is the wrong thing.  If the President declared ice cream good there are those who would mourn for the lactose intolerant.

Hat tip to the FiveThirtyEight Blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

Others Moving Also


For John, BLUFI back the President on moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but I think I already said that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN DECEMBER 7, 2017.

Here is the lede:

According to reports in the Israeli press, several other countries will follow President Trump's lead and move their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.  Who is doing this and why speaks volumes about the moral condition of the world.
Here is the thing.  Peace was not making progress since 1993.  Too long and Israel still not recognized by the Palestinians.  Maybe President Trump's action will break the logjam.  The actions of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama didn't move the needle.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Moving to Jerusalem


For John, BLUFI am with Mr Lake.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:

Straight talk from the U.S. shouldn't be the end of peace talks, but the beginning.

From Bloomberg, by Reporter Eli Lake, 6 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

A year ago, when Donald Trump's transition team first said they intended to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, I was skeptical.  Like most of the foreign policy establishment, not to mention America's Arab and European allies, I thought such a move was too risky.

You will see that argument a lot today. Israel needs U.S. help in strengthening its blossoming relationships with Arab states that were once its foes.  Why risk straining those ties with a largely symbolic move?

I have since changed my mind.  There are a few reasons. To start, that column came out right before the outgoing administration broke precedent and abstained from a U.N. Security Council resolution that said all of East Jerusalem was effectively occupied territory.  This would mean any Israeli construction within the disputed territory was a violation of international law.  Barack Obama's parting gift to the Palestinians made U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital more urgent.

But what really changed my mind was this summer's metal detector uprising.  Here's what happened: Israeli Arabs began a rampage near the mosque that sits atop the Temple Mount, an area that contains the remains of the outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple at its base and al-Aqsa Mosque on top.  The gunmen then fled into the esplanade around the mosque and began firing back at Israeli police officers from within the holy compound.

What happened next was both tragic and cynical.  While Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas condemned the terrorists, his political party, Fatah, also called for "days of rage." Was this in response to the gunmen at al-Aqsa?  No, it was because Israeli authorities sought to place metal detectors at al-Aqsa compound following a horrific shooting.  This was after Israeli police found weapons stored in the mosque compound.

An alternative view.  And given our apparent lock step approach from the establishment foreign policy crowd, we need alternative views.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, December 8, 2017

Maybe Catching A Break


For John, BLUFThis who "Trump" investigation is far from finished.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Zero Hedge, by MrTyler Durden, 8 December 2017.

I got here from the InstaPundit, a blog post by Mr Stephen Green, 8 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras abruptly recused himself Thursday night with no explanation. Contreras is an Obama appointee who also sat on the FISA court while the Trump team was under surveillance by the Obama administration.  Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Bill Clinton appointee, was randomly assigned to take over the case after Contreras’ recusal.

Of note, Contreras was appointed to the FISA court on May 19, 2016 – before the warrant to surveil one-time Trump advisor Carter Page was issued “in the summer” of 2016.  It is unknown whether or not Contreras was involved in the decision, or whether he was involved in surveillance on Michael Flynn.

The replacement, Judge Emmet G Sullivan, is the judge who presided at the trial of Senator Ted Stevens, who was railroaded.  He is the judge who eventually appointed a Special Counsel to go after the corruption in the Department of Justice.  If there is the need for a fair trial, Judge Sullivan is LTG Mike Flynn's best shot.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Counting the People


For John, BLUFThe Ballot Box is still the arbiter of what people think.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Pajama Media, by Mr Phil Baker, 6 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

In a paper published earlier this year, Stanford computer scientist Timnit Gebru wrote about how neighborhoods can be evaluated by the makes and models of the cars parked in their driveways.  The paper appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and it's an interesting read.

By analyzing the images already available as part of Google Street Views, the research team was able to identify which neighborhoods were Republican and which were Democrat as well as many other characteristics.

It determined that in those areas where the number of sedans is higher than pickup trucks, there’s an 88 percent chance of the district voting Democratic.  Where there are more pickup trucks, there’s an 82 percent chance it’s a Republican-voting district.

In fact, the conclusion is that this is almost as good as the American Community Survey (ACS).  And quicker to analyze.  And cheaper to execute.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fixed


For John, BLUFThe system sometimes does work.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



The highway sign on VFW Highway, eastbound just beyond the intersection with School and Mammoth has been fixed and was fixed yesterday, when I went by.

I blogged about this on 27 November and then sent the link to the local MassDOT Highway Engineer, who wrote back and said he had passed it on to the proper person.

Government works.  It is just that sometimes they need our help to see the problems.

Regards  —  Cliff

Democrats Already Miss Sen Franken


For John, BLUFAnd he hasn't even left yet.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



The Tweet:
Eliza Collins‏
@elizacollins1
Follow @elizacollins1

Many of the female senators who called on him to resign visibly emotional as they hugged him
9:15 AM - 7 Dec 2017

So many things one could say.

Ms Collins is a reporter for USA Today.

Regards  —  Cliff

To Be Or Not To Be


For John, BLUFDo we actually know what Senator Al Franken is going to do?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Hot Air and Cap'n Ed Morrissey, 7 December 2017.

Now there is a headline.

I listened to the first part of Senator Franken's speech from the Well of the Senate and thought for sure he was going to tough it out.  Now I am just not sure.  It isn't that Senator Franken needs a few more months to make retirement.  He has been a Senator since July of 2009.  Maybe he is just angry at being pushed out by his Democratic Party senate Colleagues.  He might actually think that the things he did were not nearly on a level with Representative John Conyers.  And, it appears that he doesn't think he is as evil as President Trump or Judge Roy Moore of Alabama.

Then there is this from Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, "TEN senators on Wednesday called on fellow Democrat Al Franken to resign, in a jaw-dropping avalanche…"

The 10 are: Gillibrand of New York, Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Patty Murray of Washington, Kamala Harris of California, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
Where are our two Democratic Party Senators?  Especially our senior Senator, E Warren?

At any rate, here is how Ms Althouse does the TRUMP V FRANKEN Comparative Analysis:

  1. In place of a presumption of consent — "they let you do it" — Franken claims a right.  He contends that because of his status as "an entertainer" he gets to do it whether she wants it or not.
  2. Franken actually does it, even when confronted with active non-consent.  Trump was only talking — outside of the earshot of any woman — about what he supposedly does.  Who knows what he actually does?  But even in the bragging context, the woman consents.  Trump's joke is her susceptibility to star power.
  3. Franken seems to get off on the forcible intrusion on the woman.  Trump seems to delight in the fact that women want him.  Those are entirely different sexual orientations!  Franken is the one on the rapist spectrum.
  4. Trump said you needed to be a star to have special access.  Franken claimed access based on status as an "entertainer."  That's more self-effacing and maybe he thought it was sort of cute and funny.  But self-deprecation attached to forcing himself on the other person puts him in a very dark place, and makes me want to say those often-mocked feminist words: That's not funny.
I am not sure Senator Franken actually "gets it".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Or President James Madison, when he was a Delegate to the Continental Congress.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Nancy on Republicans


For John, BLUFToo bad.  I remember when at least Southern (and Northern) California was bi-partisan.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Ricochet, by Mr Jon Gabriel, Ed., 5 December 2017.

Here is the House Minority Leader's Tweet:

I wonder if she feels the same way about Republican Tourists?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The future State of Jefferson.

Christine Keeler (RIP)


For John, BLUFVery few of us know about Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies or John Profumo.  But, it is another sign of how sex influences the course of history.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub headline:

Showgirl’s affairs with Russian diplomat and British MP John Profumo caused one of UK’s biggest scandals of 20th century

Caroline Davies Tuesday 5 December 2017 15.09 EST.

Here is the lede plus one:

Christine Keeler, the former model at the centre of the Profumo affair that shook British politics in the 1960s, has died aged 75, her family and a close friend have said.

Keeler, then a teenage model and showgirl, became famous for her role in the 1963 scandal that rocked the establishment when she had an affair with the Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the cold war. Profumo was eventually forced to resign after lying to parliament about the affair.

Here are some comments by Mark Steyn on MP John Profumo, who was forced out of Parliament over the affair, and lying about it:
There was no comeback, and no attempt at one. He accepted that his career was ruined and never sought public sympathy.  As extraordinary as his downfall was, the aftermath was unique.  On June 5th 1963 he resigned from the government, from Parliament and from the Queen’s Privy Council.  Not long afterwards, he contacted Toynbee Hall, a charitable mission in the East End of London, and asked whether they needed any help.   He started washing dishes and helping with the children’s playgroup, and he stayed for 40 years.  He disappeared amid the grimy tenements of east London and did good works till he died.  And, with the exception of one newspaper article to mark Toynbee Hall’s centenary, he never said another word in public again.

* * * * * * * *

In 1963, “Profumo” was shorthand for establishment hypocrisy.  Across 40 years, he reclaimed the narrative, as a story of shame and redemption, of acting honorably, making the best of a sticky wicket and all the other allegedly obsolescent virtues of his class the sex and hookers had supposedly rendered risible.  Had Stephen Ward not thrown a teenage girl’s bathing suit into the topiary, John Profumo would have been noted as the last surviving member of the House of Commons to vote in the confidence motion of May 8th 1940, after the fall of Norway.  He was one of only 30 Conservative MPs to join the opposition in declining to support the continued leadership of Neville Chamberlain and thus to usher Churchill into Downing Street.  That vote changed the course of the war.  But instead his place in history is as the man who saw a call-girl naked in a swimming pool.

I hadn't realized his roll in the fall of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the rise of Winston Churchill in the management of World War II.

I do wonder who in our current spate of scandals will take the Profumo Road?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Unforced Errors


For John, BLUFBeing Anti-Trump, and obvious about it, is not compatible with being impartial in investigations by the Special Counsel.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



By Reporter Katie Pavlich, 5 December 2017.

The lede:

New documents obtained by government watchdog Judicial Watch show a top DOJ prosecutor, who is now working as a deputy on Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation, cheered the decision by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to defy orders and refusal to enforce President Trump’s first travel ban in January. Yates was the acting attorney general at the time and was promptly fired for her defiance.

Emails show Andrew Weissmann, who served as chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section under President Obama, loved Yates’ refusal to implement the ban.

“I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects,” Weissmann wrote.

The New York Times has described Weissmann as “Mueller’s Pitbull.”

And it isn't like Ms Sally Yates was on the proper side of the question, at least per the US Supreme Court.

And, as for Mr Andrew Weissmann, Here is Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds' comment:

Nothing says “independent and professional” like fanboi squee at sticking it to the hated Trump.  These people are embarrassing.
It seems to me that Mr Mueller needs to tighten up his organization and explain to his players that there are ethics rules and explain to them that leaking information is unethical.  And he needs to start thinking about the Brady disclosure rules.  He has to not only be good, but also look good.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

US Grant on Leadership


For John, BLUFUS Grant, an underrated President and General.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Sub-headline:

Grant's memoirs show that self-awareness and honest reflection are crucial to leadership

From Reporter and Author Thomas E Ricks, 1 DECEMBER 2017, 10:15 AM, By Best Defense guest columnist Michael Hennelly, Ph.D.

Here is the lede plus two:

I recently went to Amazon's book section and found, to my surprise, that it offers 23 different biographies of Ulysses Grant.  One of those biographies stood out.  It offered strikingly unique insights into leadership because it was written by Grant himself.  The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant provides leadership lessons that can be obtained nowhere else.

Civil War histories and Grant biographies give the impression that one of Grant's most valuable qualities was his relative imperturbability.  The fact that he did not get agitated during the course of the war was a characteristic noticed by many of his subordinates.  Sherman would always remember Grant's steadiness after that first horrible day at Shiloh.

Reading Grant's memoirs, however, made me realize that focusing on this aspect of Grant is unsatisfactory in the context of leader development.  Recommending Grant's trait of imperturbability to other leaders is the biographical equivalent of a "Keep Calm" poster.  One of the key insights of his Memoirs is that Grant taught himself to be steady amid the chaos, uncertainty and bloodshed of warfare by his habit of engaging in reflection.  He was willing to spend time reflecting on his experiences and he became very good at it.  As his example clearly demonstrates, the process of reflection is both achievable and valuable for people interested in developing themselves as leaders.

Regards  —  Cliff

Turmoil at Justice


For John, BLUFI wonder if the Special Council would be better off wrapping this imbroglio up quickly.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal, 4 December 2017.

Here is what The Instapundit Excerpted from the article:

Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, as his many ill-advised tweets on the weekend about Michael Flynn, the FBI and Robert Mueller’s Russia probe demonstrate. But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation deserve a pass about their motives and methods, as new information raises troubling questions.

The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he’d sent anti- Trump texts to a mistress. As troubling, Mr. Mueller and the Justice Department kept this information from House investigators, despite Intelligence Committee subpoenas that would have exposed those texts. They also refused to answer questions about Mr. Strzok’s dismissal and refused to make him available for an interview.

The news about Mr. Strzok leaked only when the Justice Department concluded it couldn’t hold out any longer, and the stories were full of spin that praised Mr. Mueller for acting “swiftly” to remove the agent. Only after these stories ran did Justice agree on Saturday to make Mr. Strzok available to the House.

This is all the more notable because Mr. Strzok was a chief lieutenant to former FBI Director James Comey and played a lead role investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller then gave him a top role in his special-counsel probe. And before all this Mr. Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and sat in on the interview she gave to the FBI shortly before Mr. Comey publicly exonerated her in violation of Justice Department practice.

Oh, and the woman with whom he supposedly exchanged anti-Trump texts, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, worked for both Mr. Mueller and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who was accused of a conflict of interest in the Clinton probe when it came out that Clinton allies had donated to the political campaign of Mr. McCabe’s wife. The texts haven’t been publicly released, but it’s fair to assume their anti-Trump bias must be clear for Mr. Mueller to reassign such a senior agent.

There is no justification for withholding all of this from Congress, which is also investigating Russian influence and has constitutional oversight authority. Justice and the FBI have continued to defy legal subpoenas for documents pertaining to both surveillance warrants and the infamous Steele dossier that was financed by the Clinton campaign and relied on anonymous Russian sources.

I am withholding judgement, but I am scanning the horizon.  Currently I am reading Licensed to Lie about the Enron trials, and with a discussion of the Senator Ted Stevens trial.  In that case the Ninth Circuit, sometimes criticized here, held DOJ's feet to the fire after (DOJ) Prosecutorial Wrongdoing was uncovered.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Scatter Gun, Misaimed


For John, BLUFK T McFarland was Deputy National Security Advisor early in the Trump Administration and now is the Ambassador Designate to Singapore.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is The Washington Examiner and Reporter Becket Adams, 5 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

The New York Times got ahead of itself again with yet another supposedly hot scoop involving former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, the Russians and the 2016 presidential election.

The story, now titled “McFarland’s Testimony About Russia Contacts Is Questioned,” reported originally that an email sent by the former Trump transition official indicated she lied to Congress this summer when she was questioned about disgraced Gen. Michael Flynn's communications with the Russians.

The article has been heavily amended since publication so that it is now mostly innuendo.  The initial references to the emails have been removed, and the story now leans mostly on Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who only questions whether McFarland was forthright in her testimony.

Could we use the expression "getting out over her skis"?

I think the urge on the part of the bien-pensant to be the first when the Trump Administration implodes is strong.  Problem is, it is not apparent to some of us that this will happen.  What could happen and would be worse would be if the media damaged the reputations of individuals by running speculative stories based on unethical and inaccurate leaks from the investigation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Dilly Dilly


For John, BLUFAdvertising genius.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Foundation for Economic Education, by Mr Jeffrey A. Tucker, 4 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

Sometimes a commercial appears that both shatters a paradigm and creates a popular meme that truly sticks.  The genius is undeniable but extremely hard to manufacture from a formula.  It just works.  Think of “I’d like to teach the world to sing,” “Where’s the beef?”, “Mikey likes it!”, and “Do you have any Grey Poupon?”  All these were huge cultural moments that managed to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve:  brand recognition, pride in consumption, affirmation of cultural identity.

We had another one come to us in 2017.  It’s Bud Light’s Dilly Dilly commercial that first ran during an NFL game.

I ordered a Bud Light at a random bar in Chicago this weekend.  The bartender said “Dilly Dilly” to me and I said it back and we smiled and moved on.  When I was speaking the previous day, I kept a Bud Light on the podium and, at some point, held it up and said “Dilly Dilly” and half the audience lost it (while the other half was just lost).

Where does Dilly Dilly come from?  I suspect the child's song Lavender's Blue:
Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.
Here is Burl Ives singing the song (on YouTube).

Hat tip to the Foundation for Economic Education.

Regards  —  Cliff

Things Are Looking Up


For John, BLUFThe world has improved a lot in the last couple of hundred years.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




An oldie but goodie from Vox, by Mr Max Roser, from 23 December of last year.

Go to the Link and view the charts.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cleaning House


For John, BLUFIs FBI Agent Peter Strzok going to require his own tag?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, 4 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

CNN reports.
A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey's description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the sources said....

I was going to eschew this topic, at least for a while.  But, since Blogger Ann Althouse brought it up, I am jumping in.

It looks like Agent Peter Strzok was up to his eyebrows in this Trump imbroglio, including the Russian Dossier, the collusion investigation and Ms Clinton's EMails.  For Special Counsel Mueller the good news is that he fired Agent Strzok.  At this point it looks like good on him.  When you may be about to strike at the President you better have a very clean operation.  You wouldn't want someone turning over a rock a year after an impeachment effort, and finding that you had done a less that proper job.

From the Comments to Professor Althouse's Post, Young Hegelian says:

I'm sorry, can someone please tell me what saint Trump lights a votive candle to so that he gets enemies like these?  I mean, the man is absolutely blessed by God in the choice of his enemies.
I would say that I miss the days when Inspector Lewis Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) was with the FBI.  It captured that pristine law enforcement organization those of us who grew up in the '40s and '50s believed to exist.  Were we naive?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ban On


For John, BLUFThe US Supreme Court seems to agree the President can ban immigration from certain areas.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From CNN's Supreme Court Report, Ms Ariane de Vogue, 4 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed the newest version President Donald Trump's travel ban to take effect pending appeal.

This is the first time justices have allowed any edition of the ban to go forward in its entirety.  It signals that some of the justices might be distinguishing the latest version from previous iterations and could be more likely, in the future, to rule in favor of the ban.

Issued in September, the third edition of the travel ban placed varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries:  Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen. Lower courts in two separate challenges had partially blocked the ban.

The order is a significant temporary win for the Trump administration, which has fought all year to impose a travel ban against citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.  Monday's order means it can be enforced while challenges to the policy make their way through the legal system.

The Trump administration has maintained that the President has the authority to install travel bans in order to protect national security.

"The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the President broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest," Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in court papers.  Francisco argued that the ban was necessary "in order to protect national security."

This seems a slap in the face to those lower courts out West.

Regards  —  Cliff

Christmas Getting Squeezed Out


For John, BLUFThe Heckler's Veto, but with maiming and death.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




I make that roughly $20,000, but if you want the real number based on the exchange rate this evening, $23,699.60.

From Pajama Media and Mr Tyler O'Neil, 3 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

This week, the French city of Lyon announced it would cancel its world-famous Christmas market after seven years, as costs to protect the market against potential terror threats escalated to € 20,000 — a price the city could not afford.

Security around Christmas markets in Europe has increased following Tunisian Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist Anis Amri's truck attack in Berlin, Germany last year.  Amri targeted the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market, murdering 12.

"Unfortunately, this end of the year 2017 Place de la Croix-Rousse will not welcome its Christmas market and farm animals," reported the French newspaper Le Progrès.

Think if Lyon needed to build a new High School.

The good news here in Lowell is that we have our displays up and running down by City Hall.

But, the year after next?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I was told, as of this morning, Sam Poulten, of WCAP, still had not delivered the Menorah, but it is on its way.  The Buddhist shrine is in place.

Act Like an Adult


For John, BLUFI was going to title this post "Be an Adult", but that might be too hard for some people.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The New York Post, 3 December 2017, Ms Karol Markowicz.

Here is the lede plus three:

If you’ve interacted with me on social media lately, you probably noticed something:  I haven’t called you a clown since August.

You’re welcome.

About four months ago, I did the unthinkable:  I stopped name-calling on Twitter.  While I was never a very combative person, on Twitter or in real life, I have always enjoyed the clapback.  I’m a mild-mannered mother of three — but if crossed I, as my husband calls it, “go Brooklyn.”  When someone does something stupid, I am quick to point it out, and not in the gentlest of terms.

A shortlist of people I had called a “clown,” my favorite of all the insults, on Twitter, includes Michael Bloomberg, Tupac Shakur, Barack Obama, Ron Reagan Jr., Al Sharpton and, more times than anyone else, Donald Trump.  Many random Twitter users have been on the receiving end of my calling them a “dummy” or an “idiot.”

We all could benefit from this woman's example.

Hat tip to Rob Eno.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What and Why Did Michael Flynn Go For a Plea Bargain?


For John, BLUFI don't think things are clear yet.  I am hoping that Special Council Mueller is a man of integrity, seeking the truth.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from The Hill, 2 December 1017, by Mr Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, and author of Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy.

A reasonably short read, but an interesting alternative opinion on the Michael Flynn plea bargain.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Free Fire Zone


For John, BLUFSome people just can't let go.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Vanity Fair and "The Hive", by James Wolcott, 1 December 2017.

Here is the lede:

Reputations aren’t what they used to be.  The bigger they are, the faster they fall.  Reputations that lurched upright for decades, showered with a confetti of newspaper clippings, festooned with honorary degrees, and fortified with genuine accomplishments, can be brought down today with an inglorious crash in a frenzy of social-media fury, like Frankenstein’s monster given the old village stomp.  Two thousand seventeen has hosted a monster mash of big-name demolishings, an extended Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre of problematic men.  Disturbing, unsavory rumors had long ghost-dogged the producer Harvey Weinstein, the producer-director Brett Ratner, and the writer-director James Toback, dark princes whose names became associated by many in the film industry with a bad moon rising.  (Disclosure:  I’ve known and been on friendly terms with Toback since the 1970s, when we met through the movie critic Pauline Kael.)  Louis CK’s masturbatory spasms were the simmering subject of gossip and speculation seemingly for ages, likewise the salacious rumors and bad vibes riding on the skulking shoulders of Kevin Spacey.  The accusations against Spacey of sex with minors and aggressive groping of co-workers which led to the demise of House of Cards and the radical excision of his performance from Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World confirmed suspicions that had brewed in the whisper zones of show business for a considerable spell.  Hence, it was mulishly mistaken of journalistic Hall of Famer Gay Talese to fume at the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions celebration, “I hate that actor that ruined this guy’s career,” as if the incident with Anthony Rapp were an isolated lapse that leapt out of the blue.  (As for Talese’s lecturing adult survivors of sexual abuse to “suck it up once in a while!,” oy.  It sounded like something Larry David might blurt out on Curb Your Enthusiasm, landing himself in a heap of grief.)  However, I understand Talese’s reportorial itch to profile Spacey and ask what it’s like to lose “a lifetime of success and hard work” in a whoosh.  Only, the person I’d want to know that of is Mark Halperin, a journalistic juggernaut formerly of ABC, MSNBC, NBC, HBO, Showtime, and the best-seller list, now professionally stuck in oblivion.
We are talking a long article, with long paragraphs.

But, the thing is, the sarcastic Mr Wolcott is a sexual harasser.  I point to "…McCain’s ding-a-ling running mate, Sarah Palin."  Gratuitous.  Adds nothing.  Shows him to be a jerk.  I give it a TL/DR.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Apple Kowtows to China?


For John, BLUFI am worried that the free and open internet is going away, as more governments and do gooders demand regulation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Bloomberg, with assistance by Mr David Ramli, 3 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook made his first appearance at China’s World Internet Conference, using the surprise keynote to call for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity.

Cook made the comments on Sunday at the opening ceremony for the conference -- an event designed to globally promote the country’s vision of a more censored and controlled internet.  It’s the second Chinese appearance in two months for the executive, who met with President Xi Jinping in October.

“The theme of this conference -- developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits -- is a vision we at Apple share,” Cook said.  “We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."

Maybe it is just me, but I don't like the Chinese vision of the Internet.  They are after social control.  I am for freedom.  I wonder if I should rethink my commitment to Apple.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fishing Expeditions


For John, BLUFKeeping the powers of the police within reasonable limits is important to our democracy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is from the UK, but it is still a good point, and our sense of law and the "Rights of Englishmen" comes to us from that fabled isle.


This post to Samizdata is from Ms Natalie Solent (Essex), 1 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has threatened to resign if Damian Green (the First Secretary of State, effectively Deputy Prime Minister) is sacked unfairly.  Why, you may ask, is Davis – a Brexiteer – willing to put Theresa May’s already shaky government at risk for the sake of a Remainer like Green?

The Guardian link above explains it better than I can:

The Brexit secretary believes his cabinet colleague is the victim of a police vendetta and made it clear to Theresa May that he would be willing to leave the government if he felt Green had been unfairly treated.

The threat emerged only hours after a former Metropolitan police detective came forward with fresh claims implying that Green himself had been viewing pornography found on his workplace computer when police raided his Commons office in November 2008.

Green was a shadow Home Office minister at the time and was under investigation because he had received a series of sensitive Home Office leaks.  He denies viewing pornography on his parliamentary computer.

At the time, the Conservatives were fighting some of the Labour government’s law and order measures on libertarian grounds and Davis was a strong backer of Green’s work.

Here is the thing.  We have, in our own way, become a very prudish society.  And, subpoenas have become fishing licenses.  It would be better if we limited a subpoena and the results collected from raids under a subpoena to the topic of the subpoena.

And, yes, retired policemen (and others) should not be telling tales out of school.

Regards  —  Cliff

False Claims For Nationalized Health Care


For John, BLUFI am afraid we are not far from getting a dose of bad medicine.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Erik, at the blog ¡No Pasasán!, 1 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

As Bernie Sanders, in a CNN debate between him and Senator Maria Cantwell on the one hand and Senators Ted Cruz and Tim Scott on the other, again defended nationalized health care — his main argument, or one of his main arguments, being nothing more than its very existence in European countries and around the world — across the pond Britons were treated to the splendid news that NHS patients face longer waits and rationing of treatment.
I think it speaks for itself.

Regards  —  Cliff

Charlottesville Revisited


For John, BLUFRemember the Demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier in the year.  Another strange turn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




By Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, at her blog, 1 December 2017.

Ms Althouse links to a USA Today article:

“This represents a failure of one of government’s core functions — the protection of fundamental rights,” reads the 220-page report from Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney who reviewed the protest for the town's city council.  “Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury and death.”
This isn't good.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Matt Lauer Did It


For John, BLUFThere is almost no limit to whom the supporters of Ms Clinton will assign blame.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Opinionator Jill Filipovic, in The Old Gray Lady, 1 December 2017.

Ms Filipovic focuses on Mssers Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Mark Halperi, as well as her former Old Gray Lady colleague, Reporter Glenn Thrush.

Here is an Excerpt:

A pervasive theme of all of these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable.  These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.

A month ago, Rebecca Traister wrote in New York magazine that with the flood of sexual harassment charges, “we see that the men who have had the power to abuse women’s bodies and psyches throughout their careers are in many cases also the ones in charge of our political and cultural stories.”  With the Lauer accusations, this observation has come into sharper focus on one particular picture: the media sexism that contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss.

The 2016 presidential race was so close that any of a half-dozen factors surely influenced the outcome:  James Comey, racial politics, Clinton family baggage, the contentious Democratic primary, third-party spoilers, Russian interference, fake news.  But when one of the best-qualified candidates for the presidency in American history and the first woman to get close to the Oval Office loses to an opponent who had not dedicated a nanosecond of his life to public service and ran a blatantly misogynist campaign, it’s hard to conclude that gender didn’t play a role.

I'm not buying it.

As for not a "nanosecond of" Mr Trump's life to public service, he is the one who made the rebuild of the NYC Ice Skating Pond happen.  Writers should avoid hyperbole whenever possible.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, December 1, 2017

Kate Steinle Decision


For John, BLUFI can't distinguish, in this case, between incompetent and unlucky, but aside from being here illegally and picking up a gun he shouldn't have, he committed no crime.  As the author says, the guilt is on the City Fathers of San Francisco.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




By Mr Roger L Simon, 30 November 2017, at Pajama Media.

As we know, the shooter, a klutz by the name of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was acquitted by a jury of six men and six women of murder and manslaughter  I am with the jury.  He didn't want to harm her, or anyone else, at the time.  He was just clueless about handling a gun.  He was, rightly, convicted of felony possession of a gun.

Here is a discussion of the outcome from SFGATE, the on-line version of The San Francisco Chronicle.

I am with the jury, but I think the analysis by Mr Simon is spot on:

  1. Attorney General Sessions, with the firm backing of the president, will redouble his efforts to do away with sanctuary cities both financially and legally.  It may take some time, but the days of these sanctuaries are over.
  2. ICE will be set free to do its work.  (It already has been, but even more so now with fewer complaints.)
  3. The border wall will be built, at least a good part of it, and Trump will find it far easier to get his way with border security.  The Dreamers will remain, but the public will back Trump on further security measures that will be enacted.  Those measures will be stronger than hitherto predicted.
  4. Fewer people will "leave their hearts in San Francisco."  Many Californians have already left the state, but some who have been on the fence about decamping will get off that fence and finally leave.
  5. Although I'm probably overly optimistic here, fewer people will use the noxious euphemism "undocumented immigrants."  (Well, maybe a dozen or so. Or perhaps Zerate should have a document of his own that says "I'm a bloodthirsty killer.  Set me free!")
All rightfully so.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Who Can Vote?


For John, BLUFYes, voting should not be suppressed.  However, those who aren't good citizens shouldn't be joining the rest of us in voting.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

These state laws are another form of voter suppression – like gerrymandering, voter ID requirements, and bars on anyone with felony convictions from voting.

From Nation of Change, by Professor Robert Reich, 21 November 2017.

I was reading with an open mind until I got to the "like gerrymandering, voter ID requirements…".

Here is the lede plus one:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being denied the right to vote because they are poor.

In nine states, Republican legislators have enacted laws that disenfranchise anyone with outstanding legal fees or court fines.  For example, in Alabama more than 100,000 people who owe money – roughly 3 percent of the state’s voting-age population – have been struck from voting rolls.

Dealing first with Gerrymandering, it is an issue and it exists everywhere, including here in Lowell and Chelmsford.  This isn't a Republican issue.  This is a power issue.  That is, those who are in power, working to stay in power.  Professor Reich should understand this, having twice lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

As for Voter ID, there is the fact that if the folks checking you in to vote don't know you, an ID is the quick way to confirm you are who you are.  If you go to a hospital or a physician's office, you are expected to present an ID.  Why is voting different?  Besides, why isn't Professor Reich urging all those Democrats on Beacon Hill to repeal our Commonwealth's Voter ID Law?

As for felons, they lose their rights.  Should they get them back once they are out of prison and they are past all post-release encumbrances?  Maybe.  Should they then have the right to obtain a Commission in the US Army Reserve or the National Guard?  I wouldn't object to them getting their vote back after they have fully paid back their debt to society.  But, not before.

I would say that if there are small amounts owed to courts or government, then the person should be allowed to vote.  However, there should be a limit to this.  If large amounts are owed then the person should lose their right to vote.  I would draw the line somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000.

The "poll tax" line is just another Democratic Party dog whistle.

Regards  —  Cliff

Risk Assessment and Driving


For John, BLUFRegulating for the idiots may make all of us less safe.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline is:

We need more intelligence and less attempted engineering of preferred outcomes.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by Mr Jeffrey A. Tucker, 26 November 2017.

Here is an excerpt, with the lead-in being a woman who saw a green light and got in trouble for acting on it:

Green gives her the legal right to drive forward.  It doesn’t guarantee that doing so will be safe.

Traffic engineers need to rig the signaling system to let people know that most basic condition of driving:  for your sake and others, be safe.  Increasingly, in Europe, they are addressing the problem in an unusual way:  fewer lights, stops, rules, and signals are better than more.  Some cities are eliminating signs and signals at major intersections completely, based on the realization that individual, on-the-ground rationality works better than top-down rules.

When we lived in the Naples, Italy, area there was a tough intersection, and with no traffic lights or traffic control signs.  It was a free-for-all and known to the Americans stationed in Naples as "Chicken Corner".  The priority road was the Via Antonio Beccadelli, coming up the hill from the South and, past the intersection, going down the hill to the north.  Coming up the hill from the east (and Naples) was the Via Provinciale San Gennaro.  Leaving the intersection and going up hill was the Via San Gennaro Agnano (becoming, eventually, the Via Domitiana, all the way to Rome).  This road was named after Saint Januarius, who was martyred up where he highway bends around the mountain, near the Italian Air Force Academy.  By the way, Antonio Beccadelli was a Fifteenth Century Poet associated with Alfonso V of Aragon, who ruled Naples at the time.

But, back to the story.  After we left, the Italian authorities put in traffic control devices and reports are that traffic was a tangle from that point on.  In the old days, coming up one of the hills the driver would lift his or her foot off the gas, slowing just a tad, look at the traffic and then accelerate forward.  No sweat.

Another example, lost in the 1950s, was that when neighborhood signs made the speed limit 25 MPH and the average speed was 37 MPH, increasing the speed on the signs to 30 MPH resulted in a drop in average speed to 33 MPH.  When the drivers found the speed limit to be reasonable, they tended to follow it.

Drivers are, as a group, a population with a certain risk assessment capability.  We should be aware of that and take advantage of that to create safer streets.

UPDATE:  Provided information on Antonio Beccadelli, after whom one of the roads in Naples was named.

Sometimes less is more.

Regards  —  Cliff

Opioids to Kill the Physical Pain


For John, BLUFGiving folks with chronic pain medical attention could reduce opioid overdoses by a significant amount.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from United Press International (UPI) and their HealthDay News, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

More than 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve people who suffer from chronic pain, a new analysis reveals.

Many of them also struggled with depression or anxiety, the investigators found.

The findings stem from a study that examined the medical backgrounds of more than 13,000 men and women who died from an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007.

Another study says that a factor in not getting off drugs, and thus being at risk for overdose is isolation.  A story in NPR in 2015 said that a study showed that 95% of returning Vietnam Veterans, who had been using "in theater" did not pick up the habit again once returned stateside.  I am not sure we really understand all there is to know about drug addiction and drug overdoses.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

For DC Metro the 25th of December Doesn't Exist


For John, BLUFThese kinds of things are why folks talk about a "war on Christmas".  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Pajama Media, by Stephen Kruiser, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede:

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) rejected a Christmas advertisement from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese on the grounds that it ran afoul of guidelines for religious advertising.
Go to the Link and view the advert.  Doesn't seem that "offensive" to me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Those Pesky EMails


For John, BLUFI think SecState Clinton was careless in caring for classified information and folks around her covered for her.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This Pajamas Media item is by Ms Debra Heine, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

A former government watchdog says Hillary Clinton's campaign threatened retribution against him and his loved ones when he raised concerns about classified info on Clinton's private email server while it was being investigated in 2016.

“There was personal blowback.  Personal blowback to me, to my family, to my office,” former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III told Fox News' Catherine Herridge on Monday.

He said the Clinton campaign even put out word that it planned to fire him if Clinton won the 2016 election.  Democrats in Congress also mounted what he thought looked like a coordinated campaign to intimidate him.

McCullough, an Obama appointee, became inspector general after "more than two decades at the FBI, Treasury and intelligence community," Fox News reported.  He explained how the probe was quickly politicized and his office marginalized by Democrats in Congress.

Oh goody.

My view is that if you are not paranoid about classified, you shouldn't be handling classified.  An example—when I was the Squadron Intelligence Officer for the 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Bulldogs—"You Bet Your Sweet A__ I Am") I went into work one Sunday and when I left the base I turned around and drove back on base, unlocked the squadron front door, unlocked the Intel Office and rechecked the safe, relocked the Intel Office door, relocked the squadron front door, then went through my steps in my mind and then reentered my car and drove off the base and went home.  Like I said, paranoid.  And we didn't have any SAP stuff, as mentioned in the article.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff