June 30, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (6-30-2015) – Link-o-rama Edition
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

When Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, in an early round of negotiations in Brussels, complained that Greek pensions could not be cut any further, he was reminded bluntly by his colleague from Lithuania that pensioners there have survived on far less. Lithuania, according to the most recent figures issued by Eurostat, the European statistics agency, spends 472 euros, about $598, per capita on pensions, less than a third of the 1,625 euros spent by Greece. Bulgaria spends just 257 euros. This data refers to 2012 and Greek pensions have since been cut, but they still remain higher than those in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia and nearly all other states in eastern, central and southeastern Europe.

And here Mark Steyn describes the onerous life of a Greek civil servant:

Greek public sector employees are entitled not only to 14 monthly paychecks per annum during their "working" lives, but also 14 monthly retirement checks per annum till death. Who's going to be around to pay for that?

So you can't borrow against the future because, in the crudest sense, you don't have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

Quote of the Day II

In the 1950s, the most puritanical place in America was somewhere in Kansas. Today it is Los Angeles.

-- Richard Miniter

Quote of the Day III

Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got "Gone With the Wind" nostalgia. Now that it is profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it's the enemy of all that is decent and good.

-- Jonah Goldberg

Quote of the Day IV

The F-35's ability to compete against other fighter aircraft in a close-in dogfight, even against the decades old designs it looks to replace, has always been a contentious issue. Long ago, the F-35's maneuverability was planned to far exceed that of fourth generation fighters. Over time, those claims eroded to the point where the troubled stealth jet is described as being "about as maneuverable as an F-16."

Also: The F-35 can now take off from a ski jump. So it has that going for it.

Moe Lane on the Pros and Cons of a Big Fat Greek Meltdown

Hard to argue effectively with that, although as I've noted earlier Greece is still an ally, which leads me to rather sentimentally not want it to collapse into some sort of Anarchy Free-Fire Zone. But, hey, elections have consequences. Greece has been making some very bad calls all throughout this crisis; not least of which was its inexplicable decision to hire Marxists to solve its economic problems. That's like hiring a radical Greenie to run your fission pile; he doesn't want to do the job, and even if he did he still doesn't know how. Hopefully the Greeks will wise up, soon. because the end result of that fission pile analogy would quite likely be a pile of corpses, and that is something that Commies are quite good at producing, alas.

What, you don't think that you can have a Third World collapse in Europe?  Why? It's not like there's some sort of Cause And Effect disruption field covering the continent.

Hillary Clinton to Fundraise with 'Anti-Christ'

Part of a pattern.

In 1975 the Clintons attended in a voodoo ceremony in Haiti. Hillary has also been known to communicate with the dead.

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:18 PM | Comments (816)
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If Hillary Clinton's Speaking Fee of $237,000 Is Too Much For You, You Can Hire Her Useless Failure-Puddle of a Daughter for $65,000
— Ace

What the Clintons lack in dignity, they make up for in graft.

I know I'm way late on this but can I just say: Oh my shit.


Racism is a powerful animating force. And yes, this is racism. This is Female Superiority Racism mixed with Liberal Comfortable Class Tribalism Racism.

This is all about paying someone to stand as an avatar for one's own Superiority.

You can make a lot of money by giving the unaccomplished a racial or chromosomal excuse to feel that they're Important, too.

When the University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity speaker to headline its gala luncheon marking the opening of a women's hall of fame, one of the names that came to mind was Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But when the former secretary of state’s representatives quoted a fee of $275,000, officials at the public university balked. "Yikes!" one e-mailed another.

So the school booked the next best option: her daughter, Chelsea.

The university paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton’s brief appearance...

Now, let's see what a University gets for it's $65,000. Or what I call "full ride for a deserving underprivileged student."

The schedule she negotiated called for her to speak for 10 minutes, participate in a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session and spend a half-hour posing for pictures with VIPs offstage.

That long, huh? I hope she's monitoring her pulse rate. That kind of pace can kill someone.

As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Yes... and let's pretend that Foundation doesn't pay for their wardrobe, offices, transportation, travel, and five man staffs. (Yes, Chelsea has a five man staff.)

You know what most people call those things?

The cost of living. (Plus, jet plane rides and five-man staffs!)

So yes, they are in fact being paid by the Foundation.

If I started a "charity" and contracted to pay all your food and rent costs for the rest of your life, would you claim that you were being 'uncompensated"?

So the university turned back to others, eventually choosing Chelsea Clinton when the agency indicated she was willing. Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.

Chelsea's done so much more, just by being born to Hillary Clinton and... well it really doesn't matter.

Officials with the school appeared to believe Clinton was worth her fee, which university spokesman John Martellaro said was paid using private donations. They exulted to Clinton’s representatives that the luncheon sold out quickly, with 1,100 tickets selling for $35 each -- which would equal $38,500. University officials say the event was intended to boost attention for the new hall of fame, not raise money.

So you funneled money to the Clintons at a fundraiser, lost money (as usual), and then you say "It wasn't about the money anyway, it was a about the attention?"

What f***ing attention? Who the hell ever heard of this before now?

I'm reading an article about this "hall" you supposedly boosted the profile of and I can't name the hall or guess what this hall's function is.

This was about funneling other people's money to political figures the left likes -- as usual.

"Chelsea was the perfect fit," Amy Loughman, an alumni relations official who managed the event, wrote in an e-mail a few days later. "It created fantastic buzz in the community."

She created fantastic buzz on NBC News, too, before she was fired for having the charisma of a urinal cake.


In dozens of e-mails exchanged between University of Missouri officials and Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency, which arranges appearances by all three Clintons, there was no reference to her $65,000 fee going to charity. Nor was there any reference in the five-page contract.

Because it didn't.

What can this charmless, talentless, pointless woman do except collect graft-checks on behalf of her parents?

The university paid the fee -- which also covered Clinton’s travel expenses -- in two disbursements to the Walker Agency. But Martellaro said, "We have no knowledge of how funds were disbursed from that point."

Bazbaz said all of Clinton’s paid speeches through the Walker Agency are delivered on behalf of the foundation "to support implementing its life saving work" and that this was "always the intention" with the University of Missouri. He added that neither she nor her hosts receive charitable tax deductions.

Because it's not charity.

Oh now let's look at the contract, which has more riders in it than Van Halen did at the peak of their popularity.

The contract stipulated that Clinton would have final approval of everything, such as the selection of her introducer (celebrities, journalists and elected officials were prohibited from consideration), the onstage setup (there must be "room-temperature water" next to her podium along with "two comfortable armed-and-backed chairs" for the question-and-answer session) and the type of microphone provided for her use (both lavaliere and handheld).

In e-mails with university officials, Clinton’s aides closely edited the texts of press releases, marketing materials and introductory remarks. Clinton’s representatives instructed that a line about her being the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton be deleted from one news release and that her title of vice chair of the Clinton Foundation be added beneath her name on an electronic flier. Other materials mentioned her parents, however.

When reviewing the script that a student would read introducing her, a Clinton Foundation aide asked university officials to remove the list of Clinton’s degrees. A Clinton adviser, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the event, said "this was by no means an intention to script a high school student's introduction of Chelsea," but rather to avoid what otherwise would have been a recitation of all of Clinton's achievements.

There's so many of them, who could list them all?

She exists.

Oh, there you go. I just did list them all.

Not as hard as I thought.


Clinton’s representatives also closely managed her time on campus. They asked whether she would be free to depart from the event once she finished her remarks, rather than waiting until the luncheon concluded. Martellaro said she stayed until the end.

Clinton agreed to pose for photographs backstage with 100 VIPs prior to the speech. But her representatives requested that only 20 to 30 minutes be budgeted for the photo line, rather than 45 minutes the university initially sought.

You know what there's no news about?

Anything Chelsea Clinton said there that day.

For $65,000 for thirty minutes' work, you'd think that this graceless walking graft-bag could have said something interesting or insightful, no?

But no, no one expects anything from the Clintons; no accomplishments, no successes.

Just nothing but an extended hand, palm up, demanding their next pay-off.

Contest: Play this video -- Chelsea Clinton talking with Stella McCartney about how harrrrd it is to have rich parents -- and watch the counter.

Tell me the time at which you Tap Out.

How far can you make it?

Posted by: Ace at 02:53 PM | Comments (514)
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Suggestions Box for the Next Book Club Thread
— Ace

I don't think I picked a great one last time, but I want to do this again.

People will want to read a political book. There are two such books I want to read, and which are endlessly recommended to me, but which I need a nudge to read (which the point of a bookclub, the nudge): Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Annointed and F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom.

One book I'd like a nudge to read is Dracula, which I was enjoying before I put it down for no good reason. I was surprised it was well written -- for some reason I expected it to be gothic trash. Maybe it is, but I liked the scenery-painting of Transylvania.

Other suggestions?

The only type of book I'm going to call in the book club is one that people need a nudge to read -- classics, smart-stuff. I don't need a nudge to read the sort of entertainment fiction I already read. Like, I don't need a nudge to read the Jack Reacher book Killing Floor; I already did that, without a nudge. Nor the sci-fi candy Ready Player One.

So, that said, and feel free to recommend books, but there's no point saying "You should read the Vince Flynn book" because, while I take your recommendation seriously, it's also the case that I'd read the new Vince Flynn book if I liked the cover and the first few pages.

Ultimately I want to do Moby Dick, but I guess I need to build to that. Maybe at some point I'll try Huckleberry Finn, another classic I was supposed to have read but did not.

Choice: CBD suggested Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," which I always wanted to read. I have no idea what it's about, though I suppose there's a house involved, and some substandard foundation work.

It's 7000 words, so it's just a short story, a mere tenth of a novel, and it's free on Kindle (and B&N, I assume).

It's also available freely at project Guttenberg, here.

So Fall of the House of Usher it is!

This is very exciting!

Let's go for... um, I dunno. Let's go for the Sunday after next.

Posted by: Ace at 01:16 PM | Comments (530)
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It Is Time to Scrap the F-35 And Simply Begin Building Somewhat Updated F-15s Again
— Ace

Have you heard the bad news? We have spent one trillion dollars on the F-35, which is intended to be the main battle plane across three different services (Navy, Air Force, Marines), filling at least two different roles (air superiority, that is, dogfighting and radar-destroying, and ground-striking) and the thing is an absolute piece of shit which will kill our pilots.

This is not some niche plane. This is intended to be the main airframe in use by all of our military. This will end up being 70% of the planes we fly. (Note: I just made that up, but I really want to push that this is not just some niche flier we can afford to limp along with.)

A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

"The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage," the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled "for official use only."

The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 -- which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon.


The fateful test took place on Jan. 14, 2015, apparently within the Sea Test Range over the Pacific Ocean near Edwards Air Force Base in California. The single-seat F-35A with the designation "AF-02" -- one of the older JSFs in the Air Force --took off alongside a two-seat F-16D Block 40, one of the types of planes the F-35 is supposed to replace.


The F-35 was flying "clean," with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage.

But the JSF's advantage didn't actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. "Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement," the pilot reported.


In the end, the F-35 -- the only new fighter jet that America and most of its allies are developing -- is demonstrably inferior in a dogfight with the F-16, which the U.S. Air Force first acquired in the late 1970s.

I am not even close to expert. One caveat I'd note here: Dogfighting is not everything. Agility is not the most important thing. Speed is. For example, I remember in the nineties some lesser plane -- maybe the F-16, maybe some British fighter -- would routinely beat F-15s in dogfighting.

But the F-15 pilots laughed. They said, basically, this: "We lost because we were under the artificial conditions where we had to dogfight. In real life, we get to decide whether we have the superiority and thus whether to engage at all. And in the air, speed, not agility, is king: we can close on them if they flee, and we can flee them if they close on us. Add in our ability to hit them from very far away, and it all shakes out that the F-16's advantage in dogfighting is trivial, and not one that will make a difference on the battlefield very often."


But no one hears anything but one problem after another with this plane. (See video below for more.) Australia's going a little big wiggy that they've contracted to buy this lemon.

There is no doubt that the US fighter fleet could use a refreshing -- but this plane seems to be awful.

We need some brave voices to stand up to the serious Career-Momentum of this thing -- that is, everyone who shepherded this piece of shit along is going to suffer a career-ending embarrassment if we pull the plug on it, or put it back on to the chalkboards -- to take a stand and say that our boys, and our security, are more important than some Pentagon Procurement Asshole's career.

Put the F-35 back into the chalkboard stage, and begin designing some incremental, evolutionary changes to the F-15.

No, a slightly upgraded F-15 will not give us the sort of dominance we need.

But the F-35 sure won't, either, and at least we know, with the F-15, we're getting a reliable and effective platform.

We do need more stealth. Fine. Use the money saved from canceling the F-35 rollout (and buying cheaper upgraded F-15s) to buy some extra stealth planes.

But this F-35 seems to be a disaster, and Washington seems to be doing with this disaster what it does with all disasters of its own making: Pretending it's not happening so that no one actually has to (gasp!) get a demotion over the catastrophe.

For a contrary take, see Defense Tech, quoting pilots who claim flying the F-35 is "like magic."

I don't know.

There's a certain rah-rah that happens when you're in a group project and you want it all to turn out all right...

New Video Added: Dave in Texas recommends the below video-- from the co-designer of the F-16.

He calls the F-35 "dumb," and the whole F-35 plan a "stunt" and "public relations campaign."


Posted by: Ace at 11:55 AM | Comments (499)
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Reporter Misreported Nobel Scientist Tim Hunt's Words, Then #SocialAttentionWhores Just Ran With It Until They Forced His Resignation
— Ace

Unbelievable. According to a third-party EU official, and Sir Tim Hunt himself, she took words out the context, and concealed the fact that Hunt's remarks were jokes at his own expense.

The Guardian has now heavily re-edited this Social Attention Whore's story to make it less defamatory -- but the Guardian doesn't alert you to that, contrary to its own claimed rules.

Hunt has now resigned from his important work in cancer research. And this Social Attention Whore got her scalp.

New revelations about the speech and the context of the joke have surfaced. An account of a European Commission Official who took detailed minutes of the event adds key information absent from the original report:

According to the new account, Sir Tim started with: "It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists” which makes clear he mocking sexism, rather than indulging in it. St. Louis reported this as Hunt simply admitting: "he has a reputation as a male chauvinist."

Immediately after the now infamous joke, according to the new evidence, he proceeded to make several very pro gender equality remarks, including: "Now seriously... Science needs women and you should do science despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me," which was similarly disregarded in St. Louis's twitter report.

Hunt has already protested that he added, "now seriously" to indicate the joke was over.

The Daily Mail is now vetting this #SocialAttentionWarrior, Connie St. Louis, and finding lots of troubling facts.

Then, early this week, the simmering dispute took a further, seismic twist.

It came courtesy of The Times newspaper, which revealed the contents of a leaked report into Sir Tim's fall from grace compiled by an EU official who had accompanied him to the Seoul conference.

This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim 'really said'.

Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis.


However, Sir Tim's critics remained unmoved and disputed the EU report's contents. Importantly, given how the scandal had originally emerged, they were led by Connie St Louis.


Perhaps, therefore, we should ask two other related questions: who exactly is Connie St Louis? And why, exactly, should we trust her word over that of a Nobel laureate?

A good place to start is the website of London’s City University, where St Louis has, for more than a decade, been employed to run a postgraduate course in science journalism.

Here, on a page outlining her CV, she is described as follows:

'Connie St Louis . . . is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer and scientist.

'She presents and produces a range of programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service . . . She writes for numerous outlets, including The Independent, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC On Air magazine and BBC Online.'

All very prestigious. Comforting, no doubt, for potential students considering whether to devote a year of their lives (and money) to completing an MA course under her
stewardship. Except, that is for one small detail: almost all of these supposed 'facts' appear to be untrue.

I've quoted too much so I'll leave you to click on the Daily Mail to see what's untrue.

Think about the sort of person who becomes a Social Attention Whore.

Think about the psychology at play.

Then wonder: Why do we ever give these unaccomplished, envious, grasping monsters any credence at all?

thanks to @comradearthur

Posted by: Ace at 10:11 AM | Comments (429)
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Kurtz: The Media Is an Intolerant Mob of Jungle-Tribe Witchdoctors and Zealots
— Ace

I ginned up his words but that's the idea.

Will be back in a few -- but needed to get something up.

Morrissey quotes Hugh Hewitt's interview with Buzzfeed Ben, an interview that makes me more sorry for Buzzfeed Ben than usual.

What astonishes me is that Buzzfeed Ben is like this guy Dietz in the Illinois 18th race -- it is quite obvious that he has never even thought about the questions Hugh Hewitt poses before. Simple, obvious questions everyone even pretending to be a thinker must ask himself, like "Why is it I feel comfortable declaring there are no two sides on gay marriage, and yet I cannot bring myself to criticize Shariah law?"

Again, this is obvious.

And Buzzfeed Ben is not an uncommonly dumb person for the media. Among media types, I'd wager he's actually highly intelligent (for the cohort, I repeat).

But this exposes how painfully, embarrassingly shallow and utterly disconnected from any kind of intellectual rigor these people are.

These creates are not thinkers, and hell, they're barely even writers. What they are are Social Climbers, social animals with a fondness for telling those lower in the social pecking order What's Hot and What Not, but with not a dollop of actual interest in the ideas that are supposedly informing their Viral Persuasions.

These people are shallow, they are incompetent, they are in the arena of idea without actually having any taste for thinking, and they must, and will be, swept aside.

Here's What I'm Doing: Just a brief personal note. This is no big deal. But it doesn't cost me anything to write some frivolous words. more...

Posted by: Ace at 07:05 AM | Comments (554)
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Open Thread
— rdbrewer

Gunnar Widforss, "California Redwood Grove" (1925)

Posted by: rdbrewer at 05:39 AM | Comments (352)
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Morning Thread
— Dave in Texas

I love doing this cause it lets me show off my laziness.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:23 AM | Comments (267)
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June 29, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (6-29-2015) – Surprise Early Edition
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

"How can something like this happen without prior warning?" asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

Le Sigh. How Did We Come to The Point Where Even the Serious 'Elite' Are Such Unserious Fools?


Report: US, Partners Won't Be Allowed to Inspect Iran's Nuclear Weapons Facilities Under Agreement

WTF. So in what sense is this actually a nuclear inspection agreement then?

The P5+1 countries led by the United States under Barack Obama have caved in to Iranian demands and will not insist on inspections of nuclear installations as part of a deal on Iran's nuclear weapons program, Channel 1 reported Sunday.

Alternative theory from the article: Iran already has nukes in the form of a couple crude Hiroshima type bombs so it's game-over.

Meanwhile the State Department kicked out unfriendly US reporters at a Vienna briefing on the imminent nuclear agreement.

George Will: A Greek Default Would Be a Valuable Lesson in Basic Economics

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off other people's money. The world, which owes much to ancient Athens's legacy, including the idea of democracy, is indebted to today's Athens for the reminder that reality does not respect a democracy's delusions.

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:55 PM | Comments (1119)
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#TheRevolutionWillBeLiveStreamed: Flynn/LaHood "Candidate Forum," on YouTube, at 7 PM Eastern
— Ace

Andrew Breitbart's Wartime Consiglierte goes up against Establishment/US Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Partnership scion and Boehner Water Carrier Darin LaHood.

Watch (not just listen) below.

If the channel gets stuck, it might also be available here.

Also, it's the top story at Breitbart.

Update: I'm told that Mike will be appearing on Mark "The Great One" Levin's show at 8:30, or thereabouts. You can listen live here.


Posted by: Ace at 01:57 PM | Comments (470)
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The New York Times, Which Refused to Run Any Mohammad Images Claiming They Simply Would Not Run Pictures That Offended Any Religious Group, Runs Picture of Pope Made Up of Condoms
— Ace

You might say, how do they know this offends the religious?

Easy. Their own article says the picture is drawing complaints from Catholics in Milwaukee.

Their headline:

Portrait of Pope Benedict XVI Made of Condoms Draws Complaints in Milwaukee

Here was their transparently-false claim in January:

Here's the truth you won't hear in the New York Times:

The New York Times' stock-in-trade is silly, transparent dissembling unworthy of adults or even educated children.

Note: Mike Flynn will have his last "candidate forum" with LaHood (who won't agree to a debate) tonight at 7 eastern, livestreamed at sj-r.com. I will be covering it, or, well, listening to it and commenting it.

He'll then be on the Mark Levin show afterwards -- but as the debate is 90 minute (I think), it's going to be tough to squeeze him in. Ah well, we'll see how long he and Mark Levin get to talk.

Posted by: Ace at 01:27 PM | Comments (132)
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Hillary Clinton, Get This, Edited the Emails She Turned Over to State to Delete Embarrassing References to Oil, Terrorism
— Ace

Another story the media won't discuss.

I saw someone note that altering official federal records -- which Hillary's emails are -- is a felony.

Hillary Clinton withheld Benghazi-related emails from the State Department that detailed her knowledge of the scramble for oil contracts in Libya and the shortcomings of the NATO-led military intervention for which she advocated.

Clinton removed specific portions of other emails she sent to State, suggesting the messages were screened closely enough to determine which paragraphs were unfit to be seen by the public.

For example, one email Clinton kept from the State Department indicates Libyan leaders were "well aware" of which "major oil companies and international banks" supported them during the rebellion, information they would "factor into decisions" about about who would be given access to the country's rich oil reserves.

Remember, this is as she's taking $100 million from Canadian oil-and-uranium mining magnate Frank Guistra.

The email, which Clinton subsequently scrubbed from her server, indicated Clinton was aware that involvement in the controversial conflict could have a significant financial benefit to firms that were friendly to the Libyan rebels.

She thanked Sidney Blumenthal, her former aide and author of dozens of informal intelligence memos, for the tip, which she called "useful," and informed him she was preparing to hold a meeting with Libyan leaders in Paris in an exchange that suggests the flow of information went both ways.

State Department officials admitted Clinton had withheld all of nine emails and parts of six others after Blumenthal provided 60 emails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi that the agency had failed to submit earlier this year.

There's more. I can't quote it all.

Twitchy complied some earlier reaction.

The White House is putting out the word that they're "disgusted" by the email scandal, but this is par for the course for this White House, which tacitly approves of actions but puts out claims about how "angry" they are.

There's a way a president can show his anger about remorseless law-breaking: Appointing a Special Prosecutor with the power to investigate and bring criminal charges, if warranted.

But they won't do that, will they? No, they'll keep their Democratic apparatchiks busy covering it all up, then putting out the word they're "disgusted" at having to clean up Hiilary's filthy, stinking leavings.

Apparently Hillary Clinton's Yoga Routines consist of Downward Dog Graft and Crescent Moon Crony Militarism.

Posted by: Ace at 12:07 PM | Comments (383)
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Politically Corrupt, Devoutly Anti-American Supreme Court Reaches Randomly Into Its Grab-Bag of "What's Hot" and "What's Not" Rulings, Puts Texas Abortion Restrictions on Hold
Update: "Gay Reparations?"

— Ace

This isn't a full ruling on the merits, but rather a restraining order to keep the situation in place while the Supreme Court has a nine-man political debate about it and Elects a New Law.

The part of the Texas law being estopped is always the one I thought was most problematic and likely to result in court action -- the one that basically shutters abortion clinics, I think the ones where they have no doctor on staff with privileges at a nearby hospital.

Although sold as a "health" measure, I think it's pretty obviously put in there to keep the number of abortion clinics low, which may be a problem.

But the Supreme Court is basically spinning the Wheel of Made-Up Law lately, randomly guessing the consonants and letters that will spell out its opinions, so who knows.

And yes, Obama solicitor general David Verelli has already admitted that tax exemptions for religious institutions opposed to gay marriage are officially under jeopardy under the Supreme Court's latest lawmaking without the consent of the governed, so you have that to look forward to.

BTW, a guy I trust says that he was speaking to an informed source on the Gay Marriage side of things, and he says that "gay reparations" are going to be a live issue in 2016, and something that all candidates will have to take a position on.

Posted by: Ace at 10:53 AM | Comments (523)
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Lawless, Politically-Rotten Supreme Court Randomly Rules that Obama's EPA Rule is "Unconstitutional"
— Ace

Oh, I'm happy about the ruling.

But I'm not going to pretend the Supreme Court is ruling on the law or Constitution any longer.

This particular EPA rule bothered a majority of the Supreme Court, as it would bother any person voting in a political election. So they had their own nine-man political election, and said "Nah."

I'm with Andy C. McCarthy -- and with Drew M Tips. I'm done with the ruse. The Supreme Court is just a political organ -- but one we don't get to vote on.

We should. We need retention votes. If these motherf***ers want to be political, we get to vote on them, and run campaigns against them.

So here's how the third House of Congress voted, the House of Congress that gets to make All the Laws in this country.

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.


In the majority ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia concluded that the EPA "unreasonably" interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided not to consider industry compliance costs and whether regulating the pollutants is "appropriate and necessary.”

While the agency is afforded a certain level of power to interpret the law, the court wrote, "EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants."

Oh but by the way this is the same Third House of Congress that just sagely informed us that an executive agency could reasonably read "established by the state" as "established by the federal government," and also, that the right to gay-marry was established 150 years ago by the 14th Amendment, but no one realized that until last Thursday.

Posted by: Ace at 09:41 AM | Comments (300)
Post contains 369 words, total size 3 kb.

Three Essays on Post-America America
— Ace

Charlie Martin: The Know-Betters Will Bring You Morlocks to Heel.

In the 1850s there was an active political movement that became known as the "Know-Nothings," because they considered themselves semi-secret, and members, when questioned about the group, were supposed to say "I know nothing." Of course, a secret political party doesn’t have much effect, and quickly the Know-Nothings were pretty overt about telling everyone around them that they knew nothing, over and over again.

It seems to me there’s a semi-secret political party at work in the U.S. now: the People Who Know Better.


[T]he Know-Betters would never come to the conclusion that conditions in places like Colorado simply aren’t suited for wide-scale mass transit.

Instead, the Know-Betters have decided that we should use government to impose greater population density, with utopian city plans that push people into small, "walkable" communities with mass transit hubs.

And if people prefer to live on half-acre lots with lawns and space between houses, well, they Know Better.


I keep finding myself coming back to a passage from Thomas Jefferson that I put up on Tatler a long while ago. Here’s Jefferson:

Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.

– Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Henry Lee, 1824)

Rod Dreher writes of the need to now live as expatriots in our own country. Internal exiles, as the Soviets termed them.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision-- and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.

The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision "a threat to democracy," and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution.


The warning to conservatives from the four dissenters could hardly be clearer or stronger. So where does that leave us?

For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.

For another, LGBT activists and their fellow travelers really will be coming after social conservatives....

It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue, the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said "a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict."

Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.

I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts.

Tim Carney's piece is tangentially related, but it expresses a very important point.

Buzzfeed Ben was asked to reconcile his shitty listicle site's stated claim of being "neutral" with its all-in rainbow-color theming for the gay marriage ruling. He said that he was being perfectly neutral and objective -- it's just that there aren't two sides to the gay marriage question. There's only one.

This is a frightening thought, and LOLCats Ben isn't the only one pushing it. In order to claim the high road of being liberal and tolerant of ideas, while at the same time actually being as illiberal and intolerant as any zealot or hooded klansman, it is necessary to deem contrary positions unpositions, which therefore can only be held by unpeople.

By claiming an idea simply does not exist in civil society, one must, perforce, also claim that those holding that idea do not, or must not, themselves exist in civil society.

Something must be sacrificed in order to maintain these two contradictory claims -- and the thing most easily sacrificed is any acknowledgement of you as a human being and American citizen.

But Buzzfeed Ben is a nice, open-minded guy. Just ask him. He'll tell you so.

Posted by: Ace at 08:50 AM | Comments (437)
Post contains 948 words, total size 7 kb.

So, Donald Trump
— DrewM

Republicans are starting to get kind of freaked out about this whole Trump thing.

“Donald Trump is like watching a roadside accident,” said former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. “Everybody pulls over to see the mess. And Trump thinks that’s entertainment. But running for president is serious. And the risk for the party is he tarnishes everybody.”

Those risks were amplified this week after a trio of polls showed him likely to earn a coveted invitation to the party’s debates, which ironically were restructured with the very goal of avoiding the circus-like atmosphere of 2012. Giving Trump a major platform just as the country is tuning in is not exactly the Big Tent the party’s bigwigs had in mind..

“I’m not excited about somebody as divisive as Trump or somebody as obnoxious as Trump being on the debate stage,” one RNC member confessed.

First, a bit of throat clearing: Trump is an ass. He's a liberal. He's not going to be President or even the nominee.

With that out of the way, contra that RNC member, I'm giddy at the prospect of the GOP having to deal with Trump.

He's very valuable in one key way, holding a mirror up to what is wrong with the GOP. The "serious" candidates are awful. They are milquetoast.

John Kasich and Marco Rubio...hey, SCOTUS ruled on gay marriage, move on.

Jeb Bush...nuke the filibuster to get rid of ObamaCare? Gee, I don't know let me think about that.

Scott Walker says he'd nuke the filibuster to repeal ObamaCare but his personality isn't exactly...electrifying.

Trump is a clown but he's says things people are feeling. I know conservatives hate the whole "I have feels!" thing but guess what...people do. You need to acknowledge them, reflect them and connect with them.

Republican candidates are far more at home in the boardroom or the congressional hearing room than the living room and it shows in the candidates they keep picking.

Remember how Romney got crushed on the very important "cares about people like me" metric? I bet Trump, for all his money, scores off the charts on that.

Rubio probably comes closest but as you saw in his reaction to the SSM decision, he's really most passionate about amnesty, how much he loves America and a hawkish foreign policy. He never really talks about smaller government or out of control government. He just wants to be the rationale manager of it.

Unless and until the GOP can find a candidate who hits the sweet spot of being seen as a plausible President and caring about people's lives, it's going to be in big trouble.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:18 AM | Comments (504)
Post contains 446 words, total size 3 kb.

We're Living In The United States Of Calvinball. It's Time The Right Got In The Game.
— DrewM

"Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
—Excerpt from the Calvinball theme song"

The imaginary game from the great Calvin and Hobbes comic strip series seems eerily like what liberals have made of what is supposed to be our constitutional republic.

The right is behind in this game because we don't want to admit we're playing it but we are. I'll admit I'm late to the game. While I still don't think it's time to go full Obama it is time to embrace a hybrid game that allows us to live within the Constitution while fighting back. Well, we could if there was a party willing to play for us.

Let's pretend for a moment the GOP wakes up one morning and realizes it stands for something beyond "win seats, hire loyalists, and pay consultants" (hey it's Calvinball, anything is possible), what would want them to do?

Assuming there is a GOP Congress and President come 2017 there are a few things they can do that would shake up the fundamental nature of our current political system while still staying with the Constitutional system we cherish.

1- Eliminate the filibuster.
It is neither ordained by God nor required by the Constitution. Mostly what it serves to do is lock Democratic wins into place and make it impossible for conservatives to pass anything.

The GOP has never held a filibuster proof majority in the Senate so it's not a positive tool for passing things and locking them in. Yes, the Democrats will some day have a majority and pass spectacularly horrible things but they do that anyway. All the filibuster really does is make it easier for liberal Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to create and save programs.

Removing the filibuster would create a balance of terror that is lacking now. Democrats know they can pass programs and there's nothing the GOP can do in response. Make them fear what the next GOP majority will pass when they are helpless.

Once the filibuster is gone, what should the GOP do?

2- Create two or four new Supreme Court seats.
Yes, pack the court to the gills. Again, there's nothing magical about having nine justices at a time. If the Court is going to serve as a Super-Legislature it should be larger.

Liberals want to play games and make SCOTUS the center of the government, fine. That's there move now it's our turn to play come Calvinball and change the rules.

Harry Reid nuked the filibuster to pack the DC Court of appeals so the precedent,
not that government by Calvinball requires one, has been set. Game on.

None of the new justices should be older than 50 or so and all should be
unabashed conservatives. They don't even have to be lawyers. Justice Charles C.W. Cooke has a nice ring to it, no?

3- Eliminate withholding.
Again, there's nothing sacred about the way we collect our taxes. If people want big, crushing government, fine. Make them feel it and let them see how much it costs them.

I think hiking taxes is bad policy and economics but it can be good politics, so if as a sop to independents and even Democrats I'd support a 15 or 20% surcharge on the net worth of the top 1% to sweeten the pot. The "donor class" has been spending lots of money pushing big government types. Fine, pony up even more.

4- Repeal ObamaCare and a whole host of other laws.
Hey it's Calvinball, you can do whatever you want! Have at it.

Will the GOP, especially a Mitch McConnell led Senate, do any of these things? No.

Even if the GOP wins the presidency, the Senate majority will probably be smaller. Faced with the usual mid-term losses of the party in power, McConnell will retreat even further into a shell to protect his useless members. For them, it's about winning to stay in office,, not to do anything with those wins.

Even if the GOP was willing to "pack the Court" there's no reason to believe a GOP President wouldn't just appoint a bunch of Souter, Kennedy and Roberts types.

Could all of this backfire at some point in the future even if it payed dividends in the short and/or medium term? Sure but we know for a fact that if we keep playing by the rules of the game as they exist we'll lose more now AND in the future.

I understand these ideas are not temperamentally conservative. One should not rush to throw old systems away on a whim. The problem is the old systems we love have been thrown away. We simply need to accept that.

Everything I've advocated, while disruptive are within the bounds of the Constitution. They don't require us to ignore laws or invent new rights. We just need to be willing to take advantage of the moves we are allowed to make now.

But the GOP will do none of this. They will either promise you unattainable Constitutional amendments or suggest you meekly assent to liberal usurpations.

And my guess is, that will be good enough for most conservatives.

Enjoy the decline. But hey...Go GOP, right?

Posted by: DrewM at 05:33 AM | Comments (445)
Post contains 923 words, total size 5 kb.

Open Thread
— rdbrewer

George Inness, "Kearsarge Village" (1875)

Posted by: rdbrewer at 05:10 AM | Comments (217)
Post contains 9 words, total size 1 kb.

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