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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Trump Finds His Voice - Clinton’s attack on Trump backfires


This week Donald Trump pulled off yet another remarkable political feat: While several of his rivals have tried and failed to turn Bill Clinton’s decades-old sex scandals into a 2016 campaign issue, Trump is actually making it happen. 

After his complaint about Hillary calling him "ISIS's best recruiter" morphed into a debate about sexism just before Christmas, Trump changed the conversation again, tweeting on Monday "If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women's card on me, she's wrong!" Tuesday on the Today show, he added, "there certainly were a lot of abuse of women, you look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones, or any of them, and that certainly will be fair game."
Now with the former president set to begin campaigning for his wife in New Hampshire on Monday, other Republican candidates, including Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, are joining in the discussion of Clinton's past sexual improprieties. The question now is whether their attacks on Bill Clinton can damage his wife’s campaign, while years ago they only boosted the first lady's popularity.
As the New York Times notes, in some ways Trump is "an imperfect messenger on the issue of fidelity," considering that his marital issues were documented in the tabloids for many years, and he was once accused of marital rape (Ivana Trump subsequently walked back her claim). And aside from his own spotty marital history, Trump has a long history of attempting to curry favor with the Clintons and dismissing the allegations against the former president. Over the years, Trump invited the Clintons to his wedding, donated to their foundation, called Bill his favorite president, and declared Hillary would be a "great president or vice-president."
He also defended the president against the "moralists" and hypocrites pursuing the Lewinsky scandal many times, saying Clinton would have been "everybody's hero" if he'd cheated with a supermodel, and "if the Clinton affair proves anything it is that the American people don’t care about the private lives and personal of our political leaders so long as they are doing the job."
While pulling a 180 on the Clintons might destroy another candidate, Trump is spinning his reversal as more proof of his business acumen. "As a world-class businessman, you have to get along with everybody," Trump told reporters on Tuesday. "I was able to get along with Clinton, I was able to get along with virtually every politician you can imagine ... When I went to Washington and I needed something, I got it." And of course, his willingness to accuse the former president of abusing women even as CNN's Don Lemon shut down a conservative commentator for making that same point reinforces the idea that Trump is willing to speak his mind.
Still, some Clinton supporters insist that Trump's focus on old sexual-misconduct allegations will only hurt Trump. "Why would he even bring Bill up? What good would that do? That’s not what America is really worried about right now," Bob Withington, who came to hear Hillary Clinton speak in New Hampshire on Tuesday, told the Boston Herald. "I don’t think people in this country are going to pay attention to that one bit."
Writing in the Hill, former Democratic congressional aide Brent Budowsky argued that taking on one of the greatest living politicians isn't a very smart move on Trump's part. "My advice to Trump, which he will regret not taking, is don't mess with Bill Clinton, who will bury him with a wink of his eye and a smile on his face," he said.
But this week, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus said that while it may be hard for Clinton supporters to admit, "in the larger scheme of things, Bill Clinton’s conduct toward women is far worse than any of the offensive things that Trump has said." She continued:
Which leads to the next question: What is the relevance of Bill Clinton’s conduct for Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Ordinarily, I would argue that the sins of the husband should not be visited on the wife. What Bill Clinton did counts against him, not her, and I would include in that her decision to stick with him. What happens inside a marriage is the couple’s business, and no one else’s, even when both halves crave the presidency.
But Hillary Clinton has made two moves that lead me, gulp, to agree with Trump on the “fair game” front. She is (smartly) using her husband as a campaign surrogate, and simultaneously (correctly) calling Trump sexist.
Wall Street Journal opinion piece echoed her point, saying President Clinton "was a genuine sexual harasser in the classic definition of exploiting his power as a workplace superior, and the Clinton entourage worked hard to smear and discredit his many women accusers." It goes on to recount how Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal, who remains a friend of the couple, smeared Monica Lewinsky, and says this reflects on the "standards that would prevail in another Clinton Presidency."
So far the Clintons have remained mostly silent on the new round of accusations, but with Trump vowing to keep up his counterattacks, we'll soon see if the Clinton sex scandals are a serious campaign liability, or just a holiday distraction. "She's got a major problem, it happens to be right in her house," Trump said of Hillary's sexism allegations on Tuesday. "If she wants to do that we're going to go right after the president, the ex-president, and we'll see how it all comes out."


  1. Unfortunately for Clinton, this happens on a slow news week when that long time fraud Bill Cosby gets indicted.

    I watched the entire speech by Trump. He is amazing.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. He has this habit of saying something, then two or three more sentences, then repeating it again at the end of a verbal 'paragraph'.

    It irritated at first, then I got so I kinda liked it.

    I think only The Donald could have attacked Hill and Bill in this way, been effective with it, and gotten away with it.

    The openness is admirable.

    Go, Trump !

    (I'm still with Ben, formally)

    I think Trump can beat Hillary.

    He needs to win in New Hampshire first....

  4. Yeah, "let's go back and get the oil," "wages are too high," "Mexico will pay for the fence," "kill their families," Trump.

    He da man.

    1. Stop moslem immiqration
      Bomb the shit out of them
      I can get along with Pooty
      Hillary's a witch/criminal and is running to stay out of jail
      Make America Great Again
      Liberate language

      He da man.


  5. Before Mosul, Iraqi army may face fight at the gates of Baghdad
    Reuters By Ahmed Rasheed and Stephen Kalin
    5 minutes ago


    A tank of the Iraqi army is seen on the outskirts of the city of Falluja

    View photo
    A tank of the Iraqi army is seen on the outskirts of the city of Falluja, Iraq May 19, 2015. REUTERS …

    By Ahmed Rasheed and Stephen Kalin

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces may face a big battle near Baghdad before they can try to retake the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul: Falluja, a long-time bastion of Sunni Muslim jihadists at the capital's western gates.

    Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government and the U.S.-led coalition backing it have been cagey so far in plans for Falluja, which lies between Baghdad and Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province that the Iraqi military recaptured this week from the militants.

    Falluja was the first Iraqi city to fall to Islamic State in January 2014, six months before the group that emerged from al Qaeda swept through large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.Abadi said on Monday the army would head next to Mosul, the biggest urban center under Islamic State control. He said its capture would mark the end of the "caliphate" proclaimed from the northern city's main mosque in June 2014.

    But with many western and northern areas still held by Islamic State, the authorities have not made clear what path they intend to take to Mosul, 400 km (250 miles) north of Baghdad."The government will need to control Falluja before Mosul," Jabbar al-Yawar, secretary-general of the peshmerga - the forces of the Kurdish regional government fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq - told al-Hadath TV.

    Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for the Hashid Shaabi - a coalition of mostly Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias set up to fight Islamic State - said Falluja would likely come before Mosul. "But the final decision is with the commander-in-chief," he added, referring to Abadi, to whom the Hashid formally report.

    Daily military statements mention air strikes and attacks by the Iraqi army and the international coalition in and around Falluja, a city with a pre-war population of around 300,000 located 70 km (45 miles) west of the capital.

    But there has been no indication of if and when a battle will be launched to take the city, which Baghdad-based analyst Hisham al-Hashimi said contains around 1,000 Islamic State fighters."There's a military leadership; there's planning and a military vision," Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the joint operations command told Reuters on Thursday. "If a battle starts to liberate the center of Falluja, Falluja itself or any other area, we will announce it officially."

    About 3,000 families remaining in Falluja could be used as human shields, said Hashimi, who has worked with the Iraqi government.

    Around 70,000 families have taken refuge around Baghdad, according to Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights.......

  6. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 31, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Mar’a, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, and wounded four ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Manbij, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Fighter, attack, and bomber aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Kisik, one strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.

    -- Near Mosul, nine strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, two ISIL staging locations, three ISIL headquarters, and destroyed 21 ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL staging area, 10 ISIL fighting positions, seven ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL sniper position, an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade position, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position and a light machine gun position.

  7. Joint US-Iraqi force kills 27 ISIS militants, arrests 8 in Hawija

    (IraqiNews.com) Kirkuk – On Wednesday, a security source in Kirkuk Province announced, that a joint force from the Anti-Terrorism forces and the American tactical forces had carried out an air landing operation in central Hawija west of Kirkuk (250 km north of Baghdad), while pointed out that 27 elements of ISIS were killed and eight other elements including prominent leaders were arrested.

    The source said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “A joint force from the Anti-Terrorism forces and the American tactical forces had carried out an air landing on a house behind the Technical Institute in Hawija District (55 west km Kirkuk), killing 27 elements of ISIS and arresting eight others including foreign leaders.”

    The source added, “The operation was carried out based on accurate information,” pointing out that, “The joint force managed to withdraw without any losses.”


  8. 700 ISIS elements exist on the outskirts of Ramadi, says Anbar Council

    (IraqiNews.com) Anbar – On Thursday the Head of Anbar Provincial Council Sabah al-Karhut revealed the existence of 700 elements of ISIS on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad), while emphasized that the security forces are working to address the strongholds of the elements of the organization.

    Karhut said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The security information revealed the existence of 700 elements of ISIS on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi, including al-Sofiya, Khalidiya Island and other areas,” adding that, “The strongholds of ISIS have been addressed by the security forces.”

    He added, “The ISIS organization has collapsed after the cleansing of the government complex and the important areas in the center of Ramadi,” pointing out that, “The security forces are working on the cleansing of the government buildings in Ramadi, as well as dismantling the improvised explosive devices and booby-trapped houses.”


  9. That looks like one hell of a fire in that hotel in Dubai.

    20 or more stories.

    I don't see how there can be that much fuel in a structure like that.

    On Fox News now.

    1. The Address Hotel in Dubai.

      $5,000/night (joking but bet it ain't cheap)

    2. $59.95/Motel 6, Spokane.

      Ain't The Address Hotel, Dubai, but at least you can get out.

      Which means a lot when your ass is on fire.

    3. World's tallest skyscraper is just down the street.

      Which doesn't mean anything either if one is a charred corpse.

    4. If you can't get Fox News there in rural Mississippi, Ruf, you can read about it at Drudge Report.


      Burning debris rains down on street......Drudge

    6. Notice, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson that when the fire is out, the steel skeleton of the edifice will still be standing.

      Unlike Building 7 at the World Trade Center in NYC.

    7. Dat's cause da Jews got a secret fire flame that eats steel we all know dat.

      Dat's why we all know da Jews didn't do this un.

    8. Strange response, there, "Draft Dodger"

  10. :(

    Carson campaign imploding:

    DMR Report: Two of Ben Carson’s top aides, including his campaign manager, have resigned

    Hot Air

  11. Jeb! has quit buying advertising.

    Going to concentrate on 'the ground game'.

    Jeb! is finished.

    Santorum is finished.

    Rand is finished.

    1. O'Mallard had one voter at his last event.

      After speaking with O'Mallard for a long while, the voter remained uncommitted.

      O'Mallard is finished.

  12. I am unable to recall a single mention of farting in all the works of Hemingway.

    Belching, yes.

    Quirk is well known as a man who will do damn near anything for money.

    Let oddly enough, he seems to have stayed away from professional farting -

    The History of Farting for Money
    How the internet brought about the demise of an illustrious profession.
    By Linda Rodriguez
    December 30, 2015

    Farts are and have always been funny—an odiferous, invisible thread in the rich tapestry of global comic tradition. They are funny in virtually every culture, every language, every era. The oldest joke in the world, according to the University of Wolverhampton, is a fart joke: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap” would have cracked up the Sumerians of 1900 BC. Master Athenian playwright Aristophanes peppered his comic plays with fart jokes, as did Shakespeare. Geoffrey Chaucer used well-placed farts to puncture pretension in his Canterbury Tales, and at least two stories in theThousand and One Nights hinge on farts. An ode to a fart in Parliament from 1607 was popular for decades after the fart itself had dissipated; François Rabelais’s stories of Gargantua and Pantagruel reek of farts; Mark Twain’s fart joke, a mock-Elizabethan diary entry titled “1601” or “Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors”, was long considered unprintable, featuring as it did Queen Elizabeth sputtering, “Verily in mine eight and sixty yeres have I not heard the fellow to this fart.”

    The 1942 Bing Crosby and Bob Hope vehicle, Road to Morocco, got big laughs out of a whoopee cushion gag. In a 2007 interview with The New York Times, Sarah Silverman called fart jokes “the sign language of comedy” and her 2009 book is called Eat, Pray, Fart. The World Fart Championships are—or at least were, in 2013—a thing in Finland. Farts are funny and they’re everywhere.

    However, most of that kind of fart humor hinges on the unexpectedness of the fart, and the subsequent shock, shame, and giddy embarrassment it engenders. So what about Roland and the rare others like him, the performance fartists?


  13. Merry freakin' New Year, everybody. :)

    And, be careful out there. :)

  14. Wishing everyone, at a minimum, a 'nuke free' New Year, and at the maximum health, happiness, prosperity and blessed peace.

    1. And lots of humor too.

      What's life without a lot of good laughs?

  15. Swedish New Year's Resolution ? -

    By Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola December 30, 2015

    MALMO, Sweden — When the small, crumpled body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on the Aegean coast Sept. 2, Europe’s humanitarian superpower sprang into action.

    Sweden’s prime minister headlined gala fundraisers, Swedish celebrities starred in telethons, and a country that prides itself on doing the right thing seemed to rally as one to embrace refugees fleeing for their lives.

    But after taking in more asylum seekers per capita than any other nation in Europe, Sweden’s welcome mat now lies in tatters. Overwhelmed by the human tide of 2015, the center-left government is deploying extraordinary new border controls and slashing benefits in an unmistakable signal to refugees contemplating the long trek to Sweden in the new year: Stay out.

    “We’re willing to do more than anyone else,” said Swedish Migration Minister Morgan Johansson. “But even we have our limits.”

    Those limits can be readily seen in a tent camp where dozens of migrants are bedding down in the frigid Nordic winter and at the train station where many new arrivals are turned back within minutes of setting foot on Swedish soil.

    “You have your ID?” a police officer asked passengers one recent evening after their train had traversed the 7.5-mile Oresund Bridge and crossed from Denmark into Swedish territory.

    Five young Afghan men did not. They were given a choice: immediately claim asylum or catch the next train back to Denmark. Until recently, there would have been no ID check — and under rules set to take effect next week, the men might have been prevented from reaching Sweden at all.

    [As hostility flares, Hungary’s Muslim community mobilizes to aid refugees]

    The impact of such controls could be felt far beyond Sweden: The country’s dramatic shift threatens to wreak havoc all the way down Europe’s migrant trail in 2016 by setting off a domino effect in which countries seal their borders for fear that their neighbors will do the same.....


  16. New Year 57, just like the last 56, to be worse than the preceding -

    January 1, 2016
    Year 57 and Raul tells Cubans to get ready for hard times
    By Silvio Canto, Jr.

    For those who may not know, it was 57 years ago today that Batista fled Cuba and Fidel Castro filled the vacuum created. It did not happen as depicted in Godfather II, but he did leave in a military plane with Mrs. Batista, a few friends, and lots of personal belongings. In other words, people were not running for their boats or revolutionaries willing to blow up themselves for the cause. In fact, most Cubans heard the news on radio or TV, as my parents did.

    On January 1st, the Cuban government will celebrate another anniversary. Usually, Fidel Castro gave a multi-hour speech that you had to watch on TV unless you had a radio that could pick up a Miami AM music station.

    This year, Raul Castro, who is filling in for sick brother, is telling Cubans to get ready for very hard times ahead. My friend Dr. Carlos Eire brought this speech to my attention today and commented this:

    Well…. as unpleasant as it is to say “we told you so,” it’s appropriate to do so after reading today’s article in the Washington Post.

    As long as the Castro dynasty and its feudal hierarchy control Cuba, the island’s 11.5 million serfs and slaves will know nothing but abject misery.

    And as long as the U.S. continues to support that regime, the misery will only worsen. Read the last paragraph of the article below to get a glimpse of one of the many reasons for this.

    King Raul is taking his theater of the absurd taken to new levels of absurdity. Call it post-absurdity or neo-absurdity or hyper-absurdity. Unfortunately, the actors in this insane asylum theater have no choice but to play their part or to flee.

    And the rest of the world thinks that this theater is absolutely normal, and quite wonderful for the exotic noble savages who are forced to act in it.

    1. This is from the Washington Post:

      Castro appeared to be preparing Cubans for harder times ahead, saying that “we must cut any unnecessary spending and make use of the resources that we have with more rationality and with the goal of developing the country.”

      He dedicated a lengthy section of his speech to Venezuela, where the opposition to Cuba-backed socialist President Nicolas Maduro recently took control of parliament amid widespread shortages and spiraling violence.
      Cheap oil “has affected our relationship of mutual aid with various countries, particularly the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the target of an economic war aimed at undermining popular support for its revolution,” Castro said.

      He urged Cubans to avoid what he labeled “defeatism” in the face of a drop in Venezuelan aid, saying “the history of our revolution is full of glorious pages despite difficulties, risks and threats.”

      More than 3 million tourists visited in 2015, an increase of nearly 20 percent in the wake of President Barack Obama’s declaration of detente with Cuba. The surge in visitors pumped cash into the state-controlled tourist economy and the growing sector of private bed-and-breakfasts and restaurants, but it also drove up household inflation. In the absence of a wholesale market for private businesses in Cuba’s state-controlled economy, entrepreneurs have been forced to compete with cash-strapped consumers, driving up prices by driving off with cartloads of basic foodstuffs like eggs and flour.

      Raul Castro did not blame the embargo or Guantanamo. I guess that will come in the next speech.

      Year 57 of Castro starts today and Cuba has gone backward every single year. Of course, I'm not speaking about the Castro family or their Castro Inc. Not at all! Castro Inc. is doing better than ever, especially now that President Obama's decision is putting more tourists (cash) in the Castro Inc. hotels.

      Year 57 will bring more misery and shortages to people in Cuba.


      Gotta love the Revolutionary Calendars !

      Cambodia of course started out at Year 1, and by Year 3 fully 1/3 of the population was dead.

      The Vietnamese finally went in and restored something mimicking 'order'.

      In Cambodia at the time, if you happened to live in a city you were a counter-revolutionary, and oh ! did they know what to do with you !