“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Obama the Passionless

“Now we have a problem in trying to make our power credible, and Vietnam looks like the place.” 

—President John Kennedy in a June 1961 



    “I don’t think that unless a greater effort is made by the government to win popular support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisors, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam, against the communists.” —President John Kennedy in a televised interview with Walter Cronkite on September 2, 1963.


    “I believe this resolution to be a historic mistake. I believe that within the next century, future generations will look with dismay and great disappointment upon a Congress which is now about to mistake such a historic mistake.”

    —Senator Wayne Morse (D-OR) on the Senate’s impending vote to adopt the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on August 7, 1964.

  3. “I think we have all underestimated the seriousness of this situation. Like giving cobalt treatment to a terminal cancer case. I think a long protracted war will disclose our weakness, not our strength.”

    —Deputy Secretary of State George W. Ball answering President Lyndon Johnson’s question at a White House meeting on July 21, 1965 about whether the United States could win a war in the “jungle rice-paddies” of Vietnam.


    It’s silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home for Christmas.”

    —Ronald Reagan, October 10, 1965, interview with the Fresno Bee during his California gubernatorial campaign.

  5. Fifty years and four brace of US Presidents deluding themselves and the US on military adventures.

    Are we congenitally incapable of minding our own business?

  6. Obama does not want to fight a war over there,


    he does want a Democrat to follow him in office.

    1. Hard to disagree with either of those statements.

      I was just reading a moment ago that the military has located and staked out all the places where ISIS is creating its propaganda, but Obama refuses to attack those sites that are often in populated areas in any manner for fear of killing some 'innocents'.

    2. U.S. has mapped ISIS hiding spots, but won’t launch strikes for fear of civilian deaths

      Civilian casualties, desire to study operations cited as reasons

      By Guy Taylor - The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2015

      In a secret project tied to the overall U.S. campaign against the Islamic State, intelligence officials have spent months mapping out known physical locations of media safe houses where the extremist group’s operatives are compiling, editing and curating raw video and print materials into finished digital propaganda products for dissemination across the Internet.

      Most of the locations are embedded in heavily residential areas in Syria, Iraq and Libya and are not being targeted by U.S. airstrikes because of Obama administration concerns about civilian casualties, according to sources who spoke to The Washington Times only on the condition of anonymity.

  7. The Donald and the Chump Factor

    DECEMBER 15, 2015 4:12 AM December 15, 2015 4:12 am 21 Comments

    I suppose there are still some people waiting for Trump’s bubble to burst — any day now! But it keeps not happening. And it’s becoming increasingly plausible that he will go all the way. Why?

    One answer — probably the most important — is what Greg Sargent has been emphasizing: the majority of Republican voters actually support Trump’s policy positions. After all, he’s just saying outright what mainstream candidates have implied through innuendo; how are voters supposed to know that this isn’t what you do?

    I would, however, add a casual observation: at this point Trump has been the front-runner for long enough that it’s very hard to imagine his supporters suddenly losing faith, because it would be too embarrassing.

    Bear in mind that embarrassment, and the desire to avoid it, are enormously important sources of motivation. Consider, as a weird, self-aggrandizing, but I think relevant observation, what has happened to supposedly smart guys who predicted soaring interest rates and runaway inflation 6 or 7 years ago. Almost none of them have conceded that they were wrong, and should have done more homework. Instead, many of them — especially the academics — have become ever more obsessed with claiming that they were somehow right, and/or trying to tear down the reputations of those of us who were in fact right. Nobody likes looking like a chump, and most people will go to great lengths to convince themselves that they weren’t.

    Now think about someone who has been supporting Trump since the summer. For the Trump bubble to burst, many people like that would have to slap their foreheads and say, “Wow, he’s not a serious person! What was I thinking?”

    And very few people ever do that sort of thing. Someone who has spent months supporting Trump despite establishment denunciations — which means something like a third of Republicans — will go to great lengths to avoid conceding that he has been foolish. At this point such people will insist that any negative reports about Trump are the product of hostile mainstream media; Trump’s very durability so far is likely to make him highly resilient looking forward.

    To make another analogy, it’s a “When Prophecy Fails” sort of situation.

    And this also suggests that even if Trump does finally decline, his support is likely to flow not to an establishment candidate but to another outsider figure. Everyone who knows Ted Cruz well hates him; in this environment that probably enhances his appeal.

    The general election will, of course, be quite different. But it’s getting really hard to see how the GOP establishment reasserts control.

    Krugman - NY Times

  8. Everyone who knows Ted Cruz well hates him

    I've read this enough times that I find myself beginning to believe it.

    His old room mate in college said Cruz was a real asshole.

    I wish I knew what his wife really thinks of him.

  9. 700,000 kids get the day off -

    (that's a big school district)

    ‘Credible Terror Threat’ to LAUSD Prompts School Closures: Officials, Police

    Posted 6:51 AM, December 15, 2015, by Tracy Bloom, Updated at 07:06am, December 15, 2015

    The Los Angeles Unified School District Administrative Office is seen in a file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

    All Los Angeles Unified School District schools were closed Tuesday after LAUSD received a “credible terror threat,” according to school district officials and police.

    More details about the threat were expected to be provided during a Tuesday morning news conference.

    Officer Kim of the Los Angeles Police Department told KTLA that the threat prompted the decision from LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines to close all schools until further notice.

    The district serves about 700,000 students.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.

    KTLA’s Alberto Mendez and Irving Last contributed to this story.

  10. .

    Drip, drip, drip.

    The UN Takeover of the Internet

    For the past two decades, the Internet has been governed by the people who use it. In a bottom-up process remarkably free of political interference, the system brings together businesses, engineers, research institutions, civil society groups, and governments to make decisions by consensus.

    It may be hard to believe, but this “multi-stakeholder model,” as it’s called, actually works, with real transparency and accountability. Rooted in the principles of seamless cross-border networks and freedom of expression, the Internet has been adopted faster than any other means of communication in history.

    Now, however, the Internet’s good-governance model faces a serious threat. Today and tomorrow, the United Nations General Assembly is holding a conclave that will consider new ways to govern the Internet, and authoritarian countries are pushing to give governments a bigger stake in decision-making...


    Up until recently, the United States has been a fervent supporter of the multi-stakeholder process. But last year, the Obama administration announced it would give up its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages Net addresses.

    The final, or Top Level Domain designation, at the end of an address, can be fraught with political and economic implications...


    The U.S. has acted as a guarantor of the multi-stakeholder process that runs ICANN. But now ICANN is up for grabs. It could end up being not just a manager of addresses but the main governing institution for the entire Internet...


    Technically, this week’s U.N. meeting is a review of the World Summit on the Information Society, launched 10 years ago. In a process that began in June, governments, NGOs, and other groups have been filing papers to guide the creation of a single U.N. “outcome document.”

    Consider the filing by the Group of 77 plus China -- a coalition, dating from 1964, of developing countries that now includes 134 nations. “The management of the Internet involves both technical and public-policy issues,” says the document, “and … the overall authority for Internet related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States.”


    While the U.S. and Europe are trying to uphold the status quo, they are vastly outnumbered. In past meetings of this sort, the U.S. has managed to keep the authoritarians at bay, but the administration’s ICANN decision -- another case of attempting to lead from behind -- won’t help. ICANN is a tempting prize for China and other countries...

    Drip, drip, drip.

    If you like the current internet, enjoy it while you can.


  11. US out of the UN, UN out of the US.

    1. We and like minded should create a new league of true democracies.

  12. .

    The Campus Protest Phenomenon

    Then there’s Harvard. Early on the morning of Nov. 19—at least an hour and a half before her first class and well before the arrival of most students attending that morning’s first scheduled class—second-year Harvard Law School student Derecka Purnell, a racial justice community organizer, entered Wasserstein Hall. In the building’s main hallway, which is adorned with glass-encased faculty portraits, she saw strips of black tape on the glass above the portraits of several black law professors. She took photographs and posted them on Facebook.

    In an email to the law school community, Dean Martha Minow wrote that the police were investigating the vandalism as a hate crime and acknowledged that the law school—over which she has presided for six years and where she has taught since 1981—suffers from racism. She also announced that she would discuss with the HLS community the incorporation into orientation and first-year classes of more conversations about diversity and inclusion; improvement of faculty diversity; and discarding the HLS shield, which borrows images from the family crest of Isaac Royall Jr., an 18th-century slave owner who donated to Harvard.

    The investigation of the vandalism continues, but much available evidence, gathered and analyzed by a group of anonymous HLS students at the website Royall Asses, indicates that the taping was a hoax perpetrated by student activists to galvanize support to scrap the law school shield...



    1. {...}

      Writing with exemplary sobriety in a New York Times op-ed, Randall Kennedy, one of the black professors over whose portrait black tape was placed, stated that he was neither “alarmed” nor “hurt.” He noted that with the investigation not yet complete he could not say with confidence whether the defacing was committed by a white racist or rather perhaps “it was meant to protest the perceived marginalization of black professors, or was a hoax meant to look like a racial insult in order to provoke a crisis, or was a rebuke to those who have recently been taping over the law school’s seal, which memorializes a family of slaveholders from colonial times.”

      While insisting that accusations of racism must be taken seriously, Kennedy cautioned against the “tendency to indulge in self-diminishment by displaying an excessive vulnerability to perceived and actual slights and insults.”

      In a reply arguing that Kennedy was wrong to entertain doubts, Jon Hanson, an HLS professor and director of The Systemic Justice Project, and Jacob Lipton, a recent HLS graduate and the project’s program director, illuminated the style of thinking that informs much of the rage on campus, and not only about race.

      Hanson and Lipton (both of whom are white) suggest that Kennedy’s “insensitivity” to student grievances stems from his focus on “explicit racism,” of the sort exhibited by “Bull Connor, George Wallace, and the KKK.” This, Hanson and Lipton concede, “is foreign—an alien from another time.”

      But “systemic racism” is another matter.

      “This type of racism can be hard to see and is often easy to dismiss,” they wrote. “It is malleable and insidious. It’s in the architecture of expectations, the ranking of authorities, the sway of circumstance, the nudge of defaults, and the grammar of culture.” Although often imperceptible to the unaided eye, they continued, systemic racism suffuses “the epistemic, existential, and relational systems that constitute us.” So great is its power that it is “defended even by those who are sometimes its victims.”

      These are the very same sorts of extravagant claims that are characteristic of what was once called radical feminism — claims that have long been incorporated into conventional campus thinking. Both systemic racism and systemic sexism are said to be invisible, pervasive, and toxic. Neither is subject to standard criteria of evidence and argument. Indeed, to seek facts and reasoned analysis, according to the theoreticians of systemic oppression, is to show complicity in all-embracing structures of injustice. Freedom of speech and due process protections for the accused only reinforce the privilege of the oppressors. The oppressed, as defined by the theoreticians of systemic oppression, must not only be listened to but also affirmed and obeyed.

      Sorry, I have to call bullshit on Mr. Hanson and Mr. Lippitt. Although often imperceptible to the unaided eye? This after the $100's millions being spent by these universities on grants, programs, new facilities, and other expenditures to increase diversity among the faculty and student body and to assure 'just and inclusive campuses'.

      We went through this in the heydey of feminism when $ millions were spend to launch whole programs in 'Women's Studies'. I would suggest that there are just not that many jobs out there for Women's Studies majors. Maybe, over at The Nation but...


  13. .

    UN watchdog closes probe into Iran nukes, drawing Israeli ire

    After report finds Tehran stopped most work by 2003, IAEA paves way for implementation of nuclear deal in early 2016; Jerusalem accuses body of acting out of political motivations

    Was there ever any question the Iran nuke deal would go through?


  14. .

    Former national security officials urge government to embrace rise of encryption

    A number of former senior national security officials are urging that the government embrace the move to strong encryption by tech companies — even if it means law enforcement will be unable to monitor some phone calls and text messages in terrorism and criminal investigations.

    In so doing, they are taking a position at odds with their colleagues inside government, including FBI Director James B. Comey. U.S. officials argue that without access to such data, they may miss critical evidence of a terrorist plot or a murder or kidnapping.

    But these former officials – previously at the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — are saying that there are larger, strategic national and economic security imperatives that outweigh law enforcement’s operational needs...


  15. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 15, 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 six strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike wounded two ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed an ISIL excavator and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Mar’a, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, wounded an ISIL fighter, and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Fighter and bomber aircraft conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL vehicle bomb factory.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed three ISIL light machine guns, an ISIL heavy machine gun, four ISIL fighting positions, and an ISIL staging area.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, halted an ISIL vehicle’s movement, and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and an ISIL light machine gun.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

  16. UPDATE: Holy Smokes: reporting 48% higher traffic than on Dec. *15th* last year!

    (that be some "death spiral," there, boy.)

  17. More good news on the Hillary front -

    Top-secret classification confirmed on two Hillary Clinton server emails
    posted at 2:41 pm on December 15, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

    An yet another Hillary Clinton deflection point gets dismantled. When an intel-community review of the contents of Hillary’s secret server — or the content she allowed to be reviewed — determined that at least two messages stored on the unauthorized system contained Top Secret/Compartmented information, Team Hillary spun that as an example of overclassification. They argued that the information in both messages were in the public domain, as a way to shift the focus from her unsecured private system to the intel community itself.

    That ruse has been quashed, as Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne report in a Fox News exclusive:

    An intelligence community review has re-affirmed that two classified emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal server despite a challenge to that designation by the State Department, according to two sources familiar with the review.

    The sources described the dispute over whether the two emails were classified at the highest level as a “settled matter.”

    The agencies that owned and originated that intelligence – the CIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency or NGA – reviewed the emails to determine how they should be properly stored, as the State Department took issue with their highly classified nature. The subject matter of the messages is widely reported to be the movement of North Korean missiles and a drone strike. A top secret designation requires the highest level of security, and can include the use of an approved safe.

    The sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, told Fox News that while the emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Clinton’s server, one of them remains “top secret” to this day — and must be handled at the highest security level. The second email is still considered classified but at the lower “secret” level because more information is publicly available about the event.

    This would actually be the third confirmation of the classification on this material. In September, the New York Times reported that the second review, conducted by the originating agencies, had reached the same conclusion as the first. The third time was clearly not the charm for Hillary Clinton and her aides, one or more of whom had to convert this information from secured systems in order to transmit it over Hillary’s rogue server.

    1. The State Department can continue to challenge the classification, but they can’t change it. Per statute and a longstanding series of presidential orders, only the originating agency of the information can reclassify or declassify it. In a dispute, the agency requesting the change can take the classification dispute to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office. They can still push that option, but it will not change the fact that the information was classified at the highest levels at the time of this transmission, and that both are still highly classified to this day.

      Most importantly, Hillary and her team didn’t even bother to challenge the classification before transmitting this critical information through an unsecured and unauthorized communications channel. As I noted in September, this opens Hillary and her team to prosecution, assuming the DoJ decides to enforce the law:

      Why does this matter? One of the federal statutes under which Hillary and her aides could be charged, 18 USC 1924, specifies that violating presidential executive orders on handling classified material is a crime, emphases mine:

      (a) Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract,becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

      (b) For purposes of this section, the provision of documents and materials to the Congress shall not constitute an offense under subsection (a).

      (c) In this section, the term “classified information of the United States” means information originated, owned, or possessed by the United States Government concerning the national defense or foreign relations of the United States that has been determined pursuant to law or Executive order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of national security.

      None of this matters unless the DoJ is willing to enforce these laws, as well as others (18 USC 793 in particular, as well as 18 USC 1001), but there is little doubt that the law has been broken — at least 999 times, actually. These are just the two most egregious examples yet known. The more interesting question may be this: If FBI Director James Comey develops an open-and-shut case only to see Loretta Lynch bury it, will he stay put — or go public?

  18. In other news, the Freddie Gray case has, as expected, a hung jury.

    Baltimore braces for trouble as jurors deliberate man's death...

    JURY DEADLOCKED.....Drudge

    1. 7 Blacks, 5 Whites.

      Would be interesting to know if any of these jurors voted out of their racial background.

    2. It might interest a bigoted, Idaho hick - What would a vote "out of their racial background" be, when both victim and defendant are of the same race?

      Fucking Racist Moron

    3. Nothing racist about it, you fucking racist moron big gutted swamp asshole.

      I didn't realize this defendant was the black guy.

      I'd lay a little money that the whites, or most of them, voted to let him off though.

      Since you don't pay you legally due internet gambling debts, I wouldn't bet with you though, you illiterate ignorant Mississippi swamp arsehole.

      Please don't belch so much.

  19. Democrats have moved up to 62 - 38 to win the Presidency.

    Hillary is now 39%.


    1. The new ABC / Wash. Post Poll (the one I'd bet on if I was forced to make a wager) came out, today, and it puts Hillary Clinton up 6 points over Donald Trump among Registered Voters.

    2. No one in their right mind would force you to make a wager, because by now everyone knows you wouldn't pay off if you lost, you old illiterate fraud.

    3. I bet you finally got kicked out of Doyle's, that what I'd bet.

  20. RCP Republican Presidential Nomination:

    Trump +16.9

  21. Trump vs. Clinton:

    Clinton +5.8

  22. Rubio vs. Clinton:

    Rubio +1.5

  23. The formation of the alliance appears to be a de facto cancellation of implementing an Egyptian-sponsored Arab summit resolution from March to create an Arab rapid deployment force. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were seen as providing the majority of that contingent’s manpower and funding.


    Saudi Arabia’s generous support to Egypt has been somewhat curtailed under new monarch King Salman, whose foreign policy goals are partly at odds with Cairo’s.

    Both nations have sharply different perceptions of who poses the biggest threat to their security and also don’t agree on Syria. Riyadh sees Assad’s removal as essential to ending the civil war, while Cairo sees that as a recipe for chaos and bloodshed in which militancy would dominate.

  24. Politico: Ryan-Pelosi Give Obama Refugees In Omnibus
    "This year’s appropriations bills [will]… amount to a blank check for the President to carry out his refugee resettlement plans… It is further expected that the omnibus will continue federal funding for “sanctuary cities” and allow for the continued operation of the President’s 2012 executive amnesty program, which provides work authorizations and certain government benefits to some 700,000 illegal aliens under the age of 30. And, shockingly, the omnibus may also include a huge expansion of the H-2B foreign worker visa program, used to fill blue collar jobs such as truck driving, landscaping, construction work, and hotel service. This action would further replace and reduce wages of American workers during a time of record immigration and historically low workforce participation rates."
    Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sessions have explained that the President’s admission of Muslim refugees will be in addition to the nation’s autopilot distribution of hundreds of thousands of visas to predominantly Muslim nations. As the two Senators wrote in a letter to administration officials:
    Congress is days away from consideration of an omnibus year-end funding bill that would set the U.S. on an autopilot path to approve green cards, asylee, and refugee status to...

  25. Some Texas lawmakers are suggesting that Syrian refugees take lie-detector tests to weed out potential extremists


    U.S. District Judge David Godbey last week refused to immediately block resettlements in Texas. He said talk of extremists possibly infiltrating Syrian refugees were based on "largely speculative hearsay" submitted by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

  26. .

    I didn't realize this defendant was the black guy, I just naturally assumed...


    Shakes head sadly.


    1. But, he'd still "bet a little money" that it's the whites that are voting for acquittal, because . . . . . . . . . . . .


    2. But not with you, you cheap water snake.

      You are putting words in my mouth Quirk-O.

      If you two morons don't think jurors sometimes (often) vote their color in such trials you are children in a legal forest.

      Look at the OJ trial for instance.

      Found innocent of murder in the criminal trial, found guilty in the civil trial.

      The difference ?

      Makeup of the jury.

      Happens all the time.

      I can understand how a swamp hick like Rufus from the back country might not see this, but a debonaire, court savvy, city slicker advertising executive from Detroit has no excuse, particularly since he's been in court so much himself, knows the system, uses his knowledge, and often skates free.

      In Q's case he is always trying to get as many women as possible on the jury as they are putty in his experienced loving hands.

    3. I've seen Q bring women jurors to tears of concern and pity and forgiveness and longing....

  27. Watching this debate:

    I never realized Kasich was such an idiot.

    Christie wants a war with Russia, another horse's ass.

    1. Actually, Rand, Cruz and Trump make more sense then the rest of them.

      Bush, Fiorino and empty suit Rubio. What a mess.

  28. Replies
    1. Glad to hear that.

      He said he was going to nail foreign policy tonight.

      I hope he has.

      I got no audio, wish I could watch it too.

      It's humorous, watching a political debate without audio, I can tell you that.

    2. (it actually may make better watching in an odd sort of way)

  29. Asshole Jersey Fats talking about shooting down Russian aircraft

    1. Not a vote getter.

      War with Russia is not a vote getter.

  30. I read that Trump has led an alcohol free life.

    Wonder if it's really true.

    In answer to a question,Sarah Palin said of the bunch she'd rather have a beer with Trump than any of the others. The article mentioned him not drinking.


  31. Drudge Poll so far....


    TRUMP 49.07% (33,561 votes)

    CRUZ 24.01% (16,424 votes)

    PAUL 11.3% (7,727 votes)

    RUBIO 7.37% (5,040 votes)

    CHRISTIE 2.31% (1,579 votes)

    FIORINA 2.17% (1,483 votes)

    BUSH 1.61% (1,103 votes)

    CARSON 1.33% (913 votes)

    KASICH 0.83% (566 votes)

    Total Votes: 68,396

  32. Cruz clocked Rubio on immigration.

  33. December 16, 2015
    Here's the Rundown on Last Night's Republican Debate
    By C. Edmund Wright

    Man, I'm slap worn out. I realize that after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, national security and foreign policy were the appropriate themes of this debate, but almost three hours of it made for root canal and repetitive TV. Normally in the so-called "foreign policy" debates, there is still a good bit of discussion about what always ultimately decides these elections – the economy – but not last night.

    It was all foreign policy all the time, and that played to the advantage of Donald Trump for a couple of reasons. One is that nothing in the race changed as a result, which is good when you are leading. It was almost an event without a storyline.

    If there was a main storyline, other than its endless nature, it was perhaps that Trump reinforced his pledge not to run outside the Republican Party. This was very disappointing to CNN.

    Another storyline is that Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash were childishly obsessed with starting a Ted Cruz-Marco Rubio war. They got some of that, and a brief but heated battle between Jeb Bush and Trump as a bonus, but proved once again that Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee are simply not competent in organizing and sanctioning these things. Charlie Brown has a better chance of actually kicking Lucy’s football than the RNC does of picking acceptable moderators.

    As for the Cruz-Rubio fisticuffs, it was a draw – but the tone of the questioning was still irritating. Time after time after time, Blitzer and Bash asked questions couched as schoolyard taunts and often ended these questions with "is he wrong?" Thank goodness numerous candidates took those opportunities to reinforce the idea that all nine adults on stage were infinitely more qualified than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. On that, none of them was wrong.

    In fact, for the most part, it was a very serious discussion about very serious issues by very serious people. And speaking of serious, that was just about the only thing Jeb Bush could say – serious, serious, serious. Jeb remains in serious trouble. Charles Krauthammer used the phrase "muffed and missed" on The O'Reilly Factor in describing Bush's evening. Jeb is done, and has been for a long time.

    1. Meanwhile, the budding Cruz-Trump battle from this past weekend over ethanol and big oil, not to mention the "bit of a maniac in the Senate" comment, was put on hold for the most part. This was a tremendous boon to Trump, because either doubling down or backing down on these issues would have been problematic for him. Other than one very short and polite exchange, he was not forced to do either – and thus emerged as a leader who did not get hurt. He dodged three bullets.

      Who knows if Cruz can get those bullets flying again? I'm sure the American Petroleum Institute, who ironically sponsored debate coverage on both CNN and Fox, would at least like the ethanol versus oil debate restarted.

      And as a final theme, there was a concerted effort by all non-senators to disparage all of the senators on the stage, reigniting a meme Scott Walker was pushing hard months ago. I don't think it's working now, either, given that single-digit candidates named Kasich, Fiorina, and Christie are the chief propagators of this sentiment.

      Some other quick observations:

      Rand Paul did a very good job defending his foreign policy. It will still not resonate with most of the Republican electorate.

      Carly Fiorina was excellent on her answer about Vladimir Putin and Russia. She was also effective in her defense of the private sector. I wish we would hear more of that.

      Chris Christie called Obama "a feckless weakling" – marking the irony of his hug on the tarmac that might have doomed us all to four more years of that feckless weakling.

      While Bash and Blitzer were awful all night, Hugh Hewitt had the absolute worst moment of the night when he kept goading Ben Carson about killing "thousands and thousands of children" as collateral damage. The crowd loudly booed Hewitt, as they should have. To assume that thousands and thousands of children are going to die is just absurd.

      Trump's worst moment, not that it will matter, is when he went all "stimulus" and full Obama on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, insisting we should have spent that money on roads and schools and hospitals and so on. Fiorina called him on it, as once again Trump eschewed the limited government option. If he would work that theme into his campaign at least a little, he would be absolutely untouchable.

      Did I mention that the debate was long?

      Bad night for political correctness, which was effectively panned all night long by just about every candidate. This is a good thing.

      When will John Kasich understand that no one is interested in a "can't we all just get along" Republican candidate? Been there, done that – and didn't like it.

      Perhaps Ben Carson should have a strong latte before these events. He is a great man with a great story, but he just looks, well, sleepy at times. Perhaps San Bernardino and Paris have put his campaign to sleep anyway.

      Speaking of coffee, did I mention that it was long?

    2. Time for Jeb! to drop out and return what's left of his honey money to the donors.

    3. Perhaps Ben Carson should have a strong latte before these events. He is a great man with a great story, but he just looks, well, sleepy at times. Perhaps San Bernardino and Paris have put his campaign to sleep anyway.


      But he' right, Ben Carson is a great man with a great story.

  34. Republicans Take a Stand against the PC Jihad at the Terror Debate

    “Political correctness is killing people.”

    December 16, 2015

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

    The Republican debate may have been taking place in Vegas, but over it hung the shadows of the killings in San Bernardino. And many of the Republican candidates stepped up vowing a tougher fight against the Islamic State and other foreign enemies of the United States, including Russia and North Korea.

    There were divisions over many of the details, but there was also a consensus that the war had to be won, the military had to be rebuilt and that the truth about terrorism had to be told.

    “The war that we are fighting now against radical Islamist jihadists is one that we must win. Our very existence is dependent upon that,” Ben Carson said, after calling for a moment of silence for the victims of the San Bernardino Islamic terrorist attack.

    Throughout the debate, Carson made political correctness into his target. America was a patient, he warned, who “would not be cured by political correctness.” He urged us to “get rid of all this PC stuff” and argued that we must do the right thing without worried about being labeled “Islamophobic”.

    Specifically referencing the Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum from the Holy Land Foundation trial by name, Carson suggested that one of its tactics entailed using our own political correctness against us.

    Ted Cruz agreed that political correctness is crippling our resistance to Islamic terror, stating, “It is not a lack of competence stopping us, it is political correctness.” Referencing the San Bernardino Jihadists who pledged allegiance to ISIS, the Tsarnaev brothers and Nidal Malik Hassan, Cruz warned that, “Political correctness is killing people”.

    “Our enemy is not violent extremism,” Cruz said. “It is radical Islamic terrorism. We have a president who is unwilling to utter its name.”

    Trump, Cruz and some of the other candidates took a firm and politically incorrect stand against Syrian Muslim migrants. “They're not coming to this country,” Trump stated flatly. “We will not be admitting Jihadists as refugees,” Cruz said.

    Some candidates on the stage disagreed. Jeb Bush warned that such a proposal will push the Muslim world away. “It will push the Muslim world, the Arab world away from us,” he pleaded. Kasich also spoke of “Our Arab friends.” Christie claimed that he had fought Islamic terror “with the Muslim-American community".

    1. Jeb argued that the United States could not beat ISIS without Muslim aid. “We can't disassociate ourselves from peace loving Muslims. If we expect to do this on our own, we will fail,” he claimed.

      Ted Cruz however pointed out that the head of the FBI had admitted that the Syrian refugees could not be vetted. Christie and other candidates also referenced the FBI statement as a basis for halting the Syrian migrant resettlement program. Rand Paul even noted that every terror attack had occurred as a result of legal immigration. Though there were indeed illegalities in some of the major terror cases.

      Cruz positioned immigration as a vital part of the War on Terror. “The front line with ISIS isn't just in Iraq and Syria; it's in Kennedy Airport and the Rio Grande”. He also pointed out that even Bill Clinton had “deported 12 million illegal aliens.”

      “This is an issue we have to be 100 percent right on,” Rubio conceded, warning of the consequence, “If we allow 9,999 Syrian refugees into the United States, and all of them are good people, but we allow one person in who's an ISIS killer -- we just get one person wrong, we've got a serious problem.”

      All the Republican candidates on stage vowed to be tough on ISIS, but they differed over topics such as the NSA, the treatment of terrorists who are American citizens and regime change.

      “If you're an American citizen and you decide to join up with ISIS, we're not going to read you your Miranda rights. You're going to be treated as an enemy combatant, a member of an army attacking this country,” Rubio boldly warned.

      “We have to put America’s security first,” Christie urged.

      Defying boos over his suggestion that Syria’s access to the internet should be shut down or eavesdropped on, Trump challenged them, “These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you're -- you're objecting to us infiltrating their conversations?”

      Rand Paul stated that Trump’s proposals would “defy every norm that is America”. Trump however retorted, “So, they can kill us, but we can't kill them?”

      Speaking of broadening the scope of the attacks on ISIS, he said, “They may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families' lives”.

      Cruz called out Obama’s “photo op” campaign against ISIS of “launching between 15-30 air attacks a day”. He pointed out that, “In the first Persian Gulf War, we launched roughly 1,100 air attacks a day”.

    2. Discussing the need for a decisive conclusion, Carson opined that with his medical background he believed that, “It's actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job” in preference to a prolonged conflict.

      He laid out a detailed plan for defeating ISIS by destroying their Caliphate, taking their oil and cutting off their command centers. “There will be boots on the ground and they'll be over here, and they'll be their boots if we don't get them out of there now,” he said.

      Ted Cruz suggested that Obama’s weakness fueled the perception that ISIS is winning. Jihadists had to face a scenario in which they would know that joining ISIS means “you are signing your death warrant.”

      Carly Fiorina called for bringing back the “warrior class” of purged generals who were “retired early because they told President Obama things that he didn't want to hear”.

      There were heated exchanges over regime change in Libya and arming Sunni Islamist militias, some of which are allied with Al Qaeda.

      Cruz spoke of searching “searching for these mythical moderate rebels. It's like a purple unicorn. They never exist. These moderate rebels end up being jihadists.” Kasich however insisted that, “there are moderates in Syria.”

      “We are backing people we have no idea who they are,” Trump said.

      Cruz scathingly ridiculed the Arab Spring and its Libyan aftermath in which, “We were told then that there were these moderate rebels that would take over. Well, the result is, Libya is now a terrorist war zone run by jihadists.”

      He became the second candidate to reference the Muslim Brotherhood when he discussed the coup against Mubarak and the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood, a “terrorist organization.”

      Instead of being democracy promoters, “we ought to hunt down our enemies,” Cruz argued.

      However Rubio contended that Assad is one of our enemies, mentioning his role in bringing the IEDs to Iraq that killed American soldiers and his part in aiding Islamic terror groups such as Hezbollah.

      “We need to start thinking about the needs of the American people before we go and solve everybody else's problems,” Carson cautioned.

      Trump argued that the biggest threat we face was not, as Obama said, Global Warming, but “nuclear proliferation.”

      “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are responsible for the growth of ISIS because they precipitously withdrew from Iraq in 2011 against the advice of every single general,” Carly Fiorina said.

      “Hillary Clinton has gotten every foreign policy challenge wrong,” she fiercely argued. “When she lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, she invited more terrorist attacks.”

      There was widespread agreement that Obama and Hillary’s foreign policy was the root cause of the crisis.

      “We've been betrayed by the leadership that Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have provided to this country over the last number of years,” Christie asserted, calling Obama a “feckless weakling”.

      The Republican candidates were also united in a call for the return of American exceptionalism.

      “Barack Obama does not believe America's leadership in the world is a force for good,” Jeb Bush complained.

      “There have always been people in American politics that wanted America to be more like the rest of the world. And In 2008, one of them was elected president,” Marco Rubio said.

      While the debate did not settle many of the basic questions of theory and practice in the War on Terror, several candidates agreed that everyone on the stage would be a better president than Barack Obama.

      “We’ve opened up a very big discussion that needed to be opened up.,” Trump said early on in the debate. And that may be the best description of this debate that continues, not only in Las Vegas or in San Bernardino, but around the tables of American households all across the country.

    3. Trump argued that the biggest threat we face was not, as Obama said, Global Warming, but “nuclear proliferation.”

      “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are responsible for the growth of ISIS because they precipitously withdrew from Iraq in 2011 against the advice of every single general,” Carly Fiorina said.

      “Hillary Clinton has gotten every foreign policy challenge wrong,” she fiercely argued. “When she lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, she invited more terrorist attacks.”

      There was widespread agreement that Obama and Hillary’s foreign policy was the root cause of the crisis.

      Right, right, right.

  35. I can't believe how idiotic the Swedes have been -

    Jihad Watch
    Exposing the role that Islamic jihad theology and ideology play in the modern global conflicts

    Post-migrant Sweden: “For the first time, I feel scared to live here now”

    December 15, 2015 11:52 pm By Nicolai Sennels

    This is a very interesting read, because the whole of Europe is heading the same way as Sweden. Sweden is, so to speak, the future of Europe. And in this future, those who can afford it pay security companies – the rest get licenses for firearms and form vigilante groups.


    • Jihadism and migrant crisis undermining rule of law in Denmark: Police have no resources to investigate theft, burglars to operate freely
    • Migrant crisis causes “fear”: Pepper spray “sold out” in Germany…

    Via Gatestone:

    Sweden descends into anarchy

    Mr. and Mrs. Swede have every reason to be worried, with the influx of 190,000 unskilled and unemployed migrants expected this year — equivalent to 2% of Sweden’s current population. The number is as if 6.4 million penniless migrants who did not speak English arrived in U.S. in one year, or 1.3 million in Britain. …

    And the Swedes are preparing: demand for firearms licenses is increasing; more and more Swedes are joining shooting clubs and starting vigilante groups. …According to police statistics, there are 1,901,325 licensed guns, owned by 567,733 people, in Sweden. Add to this an unknown number of illegal weapons. To get a gun permit in Sweden, you need to be at least 18 years old; law-abiding; well-behaved, and have a hunting license or be a member of an approved shooting club. In 2014, 11,000 people got a hunting license: 10% more than the year before. One out of five was a woman.

    “There is also a high demand for alarm systems right now,” says a salesman at one of the security companies in an interview with Gatestone.

    “It is largely due to the turbulence we are seeing around the country at the moment.” People have lost confidence in the State, he added. “The police will not come anymore. Truck drivers say that when they see a thief emptying the fuel tank of their trucks, they run out with a baseball bat. It is no use calling the police, but if you hit the thief, you can at least prevent him from stealing more diesel. Many homeowners say the same thing: they sleep with a baseball bat under the bed. But this is risky: the police can then say you have been prepared to use force, and that might backfire on you.”

    1. The salesman, who asked to remain anonymous, also spoke of Sweden’s many Facebook groups, in which people in different villages openly discuss how they intend to protect themselves: “Sometimes you get totally freaked out when you see what they are writing. But you have to understand that Swedes are really scared when an asylum house opens in their village. They can see what has happened in other places.”

      At another security company, a salesman said that every time the Immigration Service buys or rents a new housing facility, his firm is swamped with calls. “The next day,” he said, “half the village calls and wants to buy alarm systems.”

      Ronny Fredriksson, spokesman of the security company Securitas, said that the demand for home alarm systems first exploded about six years ago, when many local police stations were shut down and police moved to the main towns. This, he said, could result in response times of several hours. “More and more people now employ the services of our security guards. Shopping malls and stores in the city come together and hire guards. We are kind of like the ‘local beat’ cops.”

      Even though Securitas makes big money from the increased need for home security alarms and security guards, Fredriksson says they also are worried about the effect on society:

      “The problem is that we too need the police. When our guards catch a burglar or a violent person, we call the police but the response times are often very long. Sometimes, the detainees get violent and quite rowdy. On occasion, the police have told us to release the person we have apprehended, if we have his identity, because they do not have a patrol nearby.” …

      More and more Swedish commentators are now drawing the same conclusion: that Sweden is teetering on the brink of collapse. Editorial columnist Ivar Arpi of the daily Svenska Dagbladet,wrote an astonishing article on October 26, about a woman named Alexandra von Schwerin and her husband. The couple lives on the Skarhults Estate farm in Skåne in southern Sweden; they have been robbed three times. Most recently, they were robbed of a quad bike, a van and a car. When the police arrived, von Schwerin asked them what she should do. The police told her that they could not help her. “All our resources are on loan to the asylum reception center in Trelleborg and Malmö,” they said. “We are overloaded right now. So I suggest you get in touch with the vigilante group in Eslöv.”

      What the police had called a “vigilante group” turned out to be a group of private business owners. In 2013, after being robbed more or less every night, they had decided to come together and start patrolling the area themselves. Currently, they pay a security firm to watch their facilities.

      “On principal, I am totally against it,” von Schwerin said. “What are the people who cannot afford private security to do? They will be unprotected. I’m sure I will join, but very, very reluctantly. For the first time, I feel scared to live here now.“

      Mr. and Mrs. Swede have screwed their own pooch.


    2. .

      There's a moron here but it's not the Swedes, that is, unless you blame the Swedes for accepting the EU Charter. Any nation in the EU can allow in refugees. After that, you have free flow of labor throughout the countries of the EU.

      The EU is a crazy quilt mix of regulations that allow a certain degree of nationalism without creating a strong federalism to control major issues. Individual countries can set immigration policy that eventually bleeds through and effects everyone else in the confederation and you have no strong federal authority to correct abuses.



  36. .

    Perhaps, a concept too subtle to be bothered with given jihadwatch's race-biting agenda.