Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dick Morris: Trump's Endorsement Of Single-Payer Signals Independent Run

by JASmius

Nothing you haven't already seen and heard me say countless times before over the past three months.  I just get a kick out of so many far more prominent pundits echoing me:

Donald Trump's call for a single-payer healthcare system may hint that the Republican front-runner is considering an independent run for the White House because he might not be able to beat back challengers Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina in the primary contest, political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"I scratched my head and said: 'Why would this guy — who's running for the Republican nomination, who's trying to put down rumors that he's too liberal, that he's not a real conservative — why would he embrace the most radical of liberal positions on the crucial question of healthcare?' " Morris told The Hard Line host Ed Berliner. "I don't know.

"The only thing I can think of is that maybe he is preparing the ground for an independent candidacy," he continued. "Maybe he sees Carson coming up and Fiorina coming up — and he's doubting his ability to contain them — and that's why he's trying to move to the left to lay the basis for a November candidacy, even though he has promised not to.

"I don't know, but give me another reason why he would, in effect, come out for socialized medicine."

Indeed.  Morris isn't coming right out and accusing Trump of being in cahoots with La Clinton Nostra - I prefer that description to the one of Trump being a "plant," because that presupposes that he could ever be a mere pawn or minion, and as we all know about Donald Trump, he never makes any deal that doesn't have concrete advantages for himself and his own interests - but then he really doesn't have to.  Trump is keeping that arrangement in reserve until such time as he needs it.  Indeed, I think the only surprise he's experienced is the ease with which he has successfully hijacked the GOP nominating process through the crassest demagoguery, deception, and intimidation.  That he's the dominant frontrunner explains why he signed that party loyalty pledge a month back for appearances' sake.

I don't know if Dr. Carson or Miss Fiorina can reel Trump back in any more than the actually qualified candidates can, but if any of them do, we know what his "Plan B" will be.  I was merely one of the first to recognize it.

If Newsmax TV wants to start booking appearance gigs for me, they know where to contact me.

69% Of Americans Adamantly Against Government Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood

by JASmius

Sorry, my Tea Party friends, but not only is "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!" massively unpopular but - brace yourselves - Mitch McConnell is proving himself to be a man of the people.

The shutdown handwriting was already on the wall.  The only new development is that Mitchie The Kid is carrying out the public's wishes:

American voters oppose 69% – 23%, including 56% – 36% percent among Republicans, shutting down the federal government in the dispute over funding Planned Parenthood, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

By a smaller 52% – 41%, voters oppose cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds. There is a large gender gap as men support a fund cutoff 49% – 44%, while women oppose the cutoff 60% – 34%. Opposition to the cutoff is 82% – 12% among Democrats and 56% – 37% among independent voters. Republicans support the cutoff 71% – 25%. [emphasis added]

And, of course, Planned Parenthood cannot be defunded without defunding Medicaid itself, like that's ever going to happen.  So that, as they say, is that.

Tea Partiers need to stop obsessing so much about "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!" and realize that this is a long-term, multifront, ruinously uphill struggle that we're almost certain to lose, and that the coin of the realm is not coercion, but persuasion.  And given the Planned Parenthood Cannibalism film series and the fact that most Americans have never heard of it, much less seen a single installment, even that is going to be a (no pun intended) death march.

Pace yourselves, my friends.  And stop making enemies out of allies.  As I keep saying, we're all in this together, whether y'all like it or not.  Or, put another way, if you want to "FIGHT!," trying fighting smart for a change.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict In A Nutshell

by JASmius

The Israelis negotiate in good faith, make damaging concessions, are required by the "international community" to make ALL the concessions, while the Pals don't have to concede anything and are never held to account for their unending fomentation of war and terrorism.  And yet Mahmoud Abbas gets to go to the United Nations and play the martyr:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared before world leaders Wednesday that he is no longer bound by agreements signed with Israel, and called on the United Nations to provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

In other words, militarily intervene against Israel and enable the Palestinians to finally push the Jews into the Mediterranean before the Iranians can nuke them into a oblivion.

The eighty-year-old leader had threatened to drop a "bombshell" in the speech — prompting speculation he would sever ties with Israel over its settlement expansion and other hard-line policies.

Evidently national sovereignty and a refusal to commit national suicide are considered "hard-line policies" when it is the Jews who are promulgating them.

On Wednesday, he said that Israel's refusal to commit to agreements signed "render us an authority without real powers."

How DARE the Jews seek to control their own territory!

"As long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and to the release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them," Abbas said.

"We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power," he declared.

The Pals aren't bound to anything and never have been.  And Israel is occupying nothing except, again, its own territory, over which they must retain control in order to have the topographical depth to defend themselves, as has been common knowledge for almost seventy years.

But Abbas knows his audience, as the U.N. is a snakepit of jihadism and its sympathizers, as well as a cauldron of anti-Semitism.  He's not trying to fool anybody, but simply playing to the crowd that can give him what he wants: The Jewish State on a serving platter.

But the Israelis are under no obligation to make things easier for the PA leader.  Which is another reason why he's trying to "re-internationalize" the process.

And the Israelis are under no obligation to make THAT process easy, either.  And won't.

Benjamin Netanyahu is not going to fall on his sword, as it were.  If Israel's enemies want her dead - and they do - they're going to have to do the dangerous deed themselves.

Lotsa luck with that one, guys.  Why do you think the Iranians wanted nukes?

Russia Declares REAL War On ISIS

by JASmius

For Barack Obama's ISIS friends, let's just say that "business" is about to pick up:

Russia has conducted its first airstrike against ISIS in Syria, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

The airstrike targeted ISIS military equipment, communications centers, vehicles and ammunition, Major-General Igor Konashenkov said, as part of pinpoint strikes against ISIS ground targets.

The Russians will crush ISIS, and quickly, because (1) they have an eminently logical reason for doing so - their unqualified support for Bashar al-Assad - and consequently, (2) they have absolutely no reason to hold back against the jihadist entity attempting to depose him.

But that's only the beginning:

“We see some very sophisticated air defenses going into those airfields. We see some very sophisticated air-to-air aircraft going into these airfields. I have not seen ISIS flying any airplanes that require SA-15s or SA-22s (Russian missiles). I have not seen ISIS flying any airplanes that require sophisticated air-to-air capabilities. I’m looking at the capabilities and the capacities that are being created and I determine from that what might be their intent. These very sophisticated air defense capabilities are not about ISIS. They’re about something else.”

Would you believe that "something else" is.....the U.S. Air Force?  That's what an anonymous Fox News source is warning:

The official told Fox News that Russian diplomats sent an official demarche ordering U.S. planes out of Syria, adding that Russian fighter jets were now flying over Syrian territory. U.S. military sources told Fox News that U.S. planes would not comply with the Russian demand.

“There is nothing to indicate that we are changing operations over Syria,” a senior defense official said.

“We have had every indication in recent weeks that (the Russians) were going to do something given the build-up,” another defense official added.

I'm sorry to have to say this, but we really don't have much of a choice but to comply with Czar Vlad's orders.  These are the wages of Barack Obama punting the Syrian "red lines" crisis to Putin two years ago.  Now the piper has come to collect.  And if we're going to defy Moscow on Syria, we will soon find ourselves in a shooting war with the Russians that could escalate any number of different directions from there, all of them bad.  Anybody who believes that Barack Obama will run that risk, stand on your head.  He wanted to cede the Middle East to the Russians, remember?  And this way, he can drop the pretense of an opposition to the Islamic State that he never genuinely held.

Exit quote from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

Donald Trump's call to allow Russia to fight against the Islamic State is "just wrong," fellow GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie said Wednesday, and his comments put him in the "same boat" with Barack Obama and his "JV" comments about the militants.

"The American people really want the future of whether ISIS attacks the United States to be determined by Russia and Vladimir Putin?" the New Jersey governor said on Fox News' Fox and Friends program. "I don't think so."...

"For forty years, we've kept Russia out of the Middle East," he said. "Forty years we've kept them out of the Middle East and this president is now going to let them back in? They're teaming with Iran. Our good friends in Iran...this is the beginning of Russia trying to replace America as the major power in the Middle East."

No, Governor, this is the endgame.

Putin "is an articulate, smart, thug, and the fact is, he's not going to be an easy adversary to deal with. We're certainly ill-equipped by having a president, anybody else who thinks that we should allow Russia to take on ISIS and we should take a back seat has its fundamental misunderstanding," Christie added.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Obama Feeding U.S. Recruits To ISIS

by JASmius

It's not difficult to read between the lines of this story and draw that inevitable conclusion.  The only eye-opener is that the numbers have so far been so paltry:

The government has largely failed to stop more than 250 Americans who have traveled overseas since 2011 to join or try to join terrorist groups, including the Islamic State group, a new congressional study concluded on Tuesday. It did not provide details on the several dozen who have sneaked back into the United States without being arrested or monitored.

Because nobody has those details.

"The findings are concerning; we are losing in this struggle to keep Americans from the battlefield," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Tuesday after his committee released the 65-page report.

Because "we" are not even trying to do so.

The report said the Obama administration lacked a strategy to prevent such travel abroad, identify all who try to return to commit terror attacks, or cope with new recruitment practices and technology that allow [Muslim]s to communicate securely.

One does not tend to have strategies for goals one has no desire or intention of attaining.

In short, if The One wanted to "prevent such travel abroad, identify all who try to return to commit terror attacks, or cope with new recruitment practices and technology that allow Muslims to communicate securely," they would not only have a strategy but would be carrying it out.

"Of the hundreds of Americans who have sought to travel to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq, authorities have only interdicted a fraction of them," the report said. "Several dozen have also managed to make it back into America." It noted that several people were identified and arrested this year trying to return to the United States.

Part of this is Regime encouragement; part of it is the ongoing, accelerating de-Christianization of America under O's rule.  As Jesus Christ is more and more driven "underground," and materialism and sexual debauchery don't prove to be the utopian boon in practice that so many Americans have been emptily promised, that leaves a cultural vacuum that an ideology like Islam is primed and poised to fill.

Which, logically, is one of the goals of Barack Hussein Obama.

I'd expect that recruitment to take a huge upward spike going forward.  O does have his "legacy" to build, after all.

House Majority Leader Trey Gowdy?

by JASmius

I get the superficial "fantasy politics" aspect of this idea, but have Tea Partiers really thought through all the implications?

Of course, they haven't:

House conservatives are pushing for South Carolina-4 Representative Trey Gowdy as the #2 leader in the chamber following last week's surprise resignation of Speaker John Boehner.

This goes on the theory that since House Tea Partiers are conceding (!!!!) that they can't stop Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker, so Trey Gowdy as Majority Leader would be their consolation prize.  Or, put another way, House Tea Partiers are refusing to stand and FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT! to take it all.

"He is the kind of smart fighter our country needs and the American people deserve," Utah-4 Representative Mia Love said in a statement to the New York Times on Tuesday. "With impressive communication skills, genuine compassion and the tenacity of a prosecutor, he will unite the party and the people around a truly American agenda."

That would get filibustered to death by Senate Democrats without Barack Obama having to so much as change his tee time.  Not much a Majority Leader Gowdy could do about that.

Love is among a rising number of conservatives behind a "Draft Gowdy" effort for a top leadership post, the Times reports.

I wonder what they've got against Trey Gowdy to sentence him to such a fate.  After all, when you ascend to the leadership level, you by definition cease to be of one "wing" or faction.  You represent the entire caucus and have to take everybody's wishes, desires, and demands into account.  You....well, become a herder of cats.  And I can guarantee that House conservatives' disillusionment with Majority Leader Trey Gowdy would start about thirty seconds after he had the job.  The same people who are drafting him and singing his praises now would be accusing him of having "gone native" not too long thereafter.

Maybe that's why Gowdy doesn't want the majority leader's job.  Or the Speakership.  Ditto several other prominent House Tea Partiers.  It's like they realize that leadership and ideological purity are mutually exclusive.  And that the former would require them to have to grow up.

Sorry if you find that insulting, my Tea Party friends, but you know it's true.  I think your time would be better spent contemplating why House Tea Partiers aren't FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHTING! to get one of their own in the Speaker's chair, no matter what the circumstances and odds.  After all, wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity to put on your Green Lantern rings and let your sheer indomitable will carry you all to victory?

What Hillary Clinton Would Do To ObamaCare

by JASmius

Here's a hint: She wouldn't repeal it:

As [Emailgate] hounds her, she’s trying to lose the scent by announcing a plan to expand and improve ObamaCare. Trouble is, her health claims are whoppers too.

While praising ObamaCare, she told a Baton Rouge campaign audience, “fewer people without insurance leads to fewer visits to the emergency room.” That’s untrue. Emergency room use is rising, according to the American Association of Emergency Physicians, because people enrolled in ObamaCare or added to Medicaid rolls still can’t find a doctor.

The "freer" you make a commodity, the more expensive it gets, and to "hold down the price," the only other alternative is to cut back on its accessibility.  It's Economics 101.

We have, of couse, discussed on many a previous occasion how O-Care has premium rates and deductibles skyrocketing in tandem:

Or, their deductible is so gigantic they can’t afford to actually go to the doctor.

For an “affordable” Obamacare bronze plan, the average deductible is $5,200 for a single person and $10,500 for a family. A healthy thirty-something guy has to shell out $5,200 of his own money after paying premiums before he’s covered.

Even higher-priced silver plans have staggering deductibles: $2,900 for individuals and $6,000 for family plans.

People who get coverage through an employer are getting clobbered with higher deductibles too. The health law makes employer provided health insurance more expensive.

These two items are supposed to be inversely proportional, not directly so.  That dynamic has reversed because insurance carriers, being forced to provide "comprehensive plans" that most people do not need, have to recoup their costs anywhere they can, and delaying the threshold where they must start providing benefits is a prime means of recoupment.

Mrs. Clinton would take ObamaCare's perverse incentives and exacerbate them to horrifying proportions.  More "free stuff," more goodies that drive up premiums and deductibles even more and reduce access to doctors even further.  Recall that back during the 2008 Democrat primaries, her primary criticism of what eventually became ObamaCare was that it wasn't coercive enough.  It relied too much on carrots and sticks when to ensure the facade of "universal coverage," it needed to be an open health care police state.

And Her Nib has every intention of "fixing" that "mistake":

Hillary Clinton needs a dose of truth serum before she rolls out her promised plan to expand Obamacare. About 9.1 million Americans are enrolled.

That leaves an estimated 10.5 million uninsured people who are eligible but won’t sign up. They’d rather make a car payment or just see it as a lousy deal.

The Obama administration is using street fairs, television ads and penalties to coax people into enrolling. But the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 90 percent of the uninsured will weasel out of any penalties thanks to dozens of exemptions the administration recognizes.

The Obama administration is allowing people to say "no" to insurance.

Don't expect that from a Hillary Clinton administration. In 1994, when she proposed her Health Security Act, she said anyone who showed up at a doctor’s office without insurance would be automatically enrolled. People who failed to pay the premium could have their wages garnished....

Count on Hillary, if she gets elected, to be the Health Care Commissar. If her past is any indication, she'll track down and punish anyone who goes without insurance.

If you think health care is in a death spiral and single-payer is right around the corner now....Suffice it to say we will not have averted ClintonCare, but merely delayed it for twenty-three years.  Only this time she'll just make whatever changes she wants via Executive decree.

It's enough to make you sick, isn't it?

Kerry's Middle East Delusions

by JASmius

Did you ever wonder what color the sky is on Kerryworld?  I, for one, cannot even begin to venture a guess:

Critics are "dead wrong" that Barack Obama's "nonstrike" at Syria after drawing a "red line" at the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons irreparably damaged U.S. credibility, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Tuesday.

In a wide-ranging interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Kerry said he could "understand the misunderstanding."

"I accept that friends of ours that the president's nonstrike impacted perceptions about us," he said. "I believe they are dead wrong, and I think the critics are dead wrong… The president made his decision to strike. He announced his decision to strike publicly. And the purpose of the strike was to get the chemical weapons out of Syria."

Which the "strike" would not have accomplished in any case.  Only a ground invasion of Syria would have made that happen.

But when you make a decision to strike, and publicly announce that decision, and then cravenly back out of it, how can that not detrimentally impact your credibility?

Simple, says Lurch: It's all the Republicans' fault:

But Kerry said as members of Congress demanded the administration "ask permission" for any strike in Syria, "lo and behold, unbeknownst to everybody on the Thursday before the weekend we were going to strike, David Cameron went to the [British] Parliament and lost the vote."

"How in the wake of Britain's Parliament deciding 'no' in a democratic fashion with congressmen screaming 'you've got to come to us' can the president decide to stiff democracy in America and say 'no'?" Kerry asked.

Oh, I don't know, Johnny, it seems to me that your boss is more than willing to "act unilaterally" when the cause and situation suits him.  In the case of Syria, he was bluffing, and then Bashar al-Assad called that bluff, and O wasn't willing to follow through and make good on his threats.  Thus forfeiting his credibility.  Which is, of course, in keeping with the Obama Doctrine ("an America reduced to the level of the rest of the world").  Superpowers need credibility, after all; gigantic Luxembourgs do not.

But can we take from the following that U.S. military personnel might be put under Russian command:

In the interview, Kerry also stressed in talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, both the United States and Russia agree on "some fundamental principles" for Syria – and insisted the war-wracked country can be "saved."

"There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIS needs to be taken on, and that there needs to be a managed transition," he said.

"You cannot bring peace to Syria as long as [Bashar] Assad is there. If you can resolve this transition of Assad, it is absolutely possible" to work with Russia to defeat ISIS, Kerry said.

Which cannot be resolved, because Putin, just as with Ali Khamenie, is a stout ally and sponsor of Boy Assad, something he and they have already made abundantly clear.

What I cannot help wondering about is how Lavrov looks at Kerry's delusional ramblings.  That's a forfeiture of a whole lot more than just U.S. credibility; if I were the Russians and Iranians, I'd be wondering if there were a single sane human being in the entire United States government.

I would also move quickly to fully exploit and take advantage of this gaping window of opportunity while I could.  Which is precisely what Czar Vlad is doing.

Last Kerry quote:

But in his interview, Kerry said he also spoke with Putin at the end of the leaders' meeting about joint efforts to fight ISIS.

"He said to me very directly … '. I will think about that'," Kerry said. "[T]his is not easy for Putin. … Putin is there now. And if he wants to fight ISIS alone that's a challenge, folks. And if he does fight [ISIS] alone how does it work out for Russia to have sided with Assad, sided with Iran, sided with Hezbollah when they are trying to reach out to the rest of the Sunni world in the region. That's not a good equation for Russia."

Actually, it's a great equation for Russia: their allies (the ayatollahs and Boy Assad) will be supported and entrenched more than ever, thus advancing Russia's sphere of influence in the Middle East that Barack Obama deliberately ceded to Putin; and the Islamic State will be crushed, as Putin, unlike Obama, will not hesitate to do.

Beholding John Kerry's flights of delusional fancy reminds me of a George Carlin punchline: "Remember, hire the handicapped; but don't let them take your rectal temperature".

Monday, September 28, 2015

Obama Closes U.S. Nuclear Program

by JASmius

The symbolism here is well-nigh impossible to miss:

The Obama administration plans to close the last remaining American-owned uranium enrichment facility in the United States, even as it moves forward on a controversial nuclear deal with Iran that permits the Islamic [Empire] to conduct ongoing and significant uranium enrichment.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has informed Centrus Energy it will end the American Centrifuge project in Piketon, Ohio, on September 30th. Notices have been issued to some 235 workers that their jobs are in jeopardy.

"We have concluded that continued support from the federal government for additional data from Piketon operations has limited remaining value," a joint DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration statement said, reports the Chillicothe Gazette.

"This is beyond belief," Representative Brad Wenstrup, R-OH2, responded in a statement. "While this administration is greenlighting uranium enrichment in Iran and legitimizing six thousand Iranian centrifuges, they're shutting down domestic production here in America."

Wenstrup called the closure decision "a dangerous threat to our national security."

Indeed it is.  And that's entirely consistent with the Obama Doctrine of "reducing America to the level of the rest of the world."  In his estimation, it's the turn of our enemies to have nuclear superiority, and if they use that superiority to conquer or destroy the United States, well, it's not like we don't have that "coming," right?

But this is simply the terminus of a process that has been long underway:

As recently as twenty years ago, the United States produced nearly 50% of the global supply of enriched uranium. Today, however, U.S. production accounts for only about 10% of the global supply, with Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Holland producing the bulk of the world's enriched uranium.

One Centrus Energy fact sheet warns: "The United States is at risk of losing its only future capability to enrich uranium to meet key national security needs."

Which is, of course, the whole point.  Something that even has some Democrats alarmed:

Senator Rob Portman, R-OH, said he was "stunned" by the administration's announcement. He met with workers at the plant this weekend to discuss their options.

Senator Sherrod Brown, D-OH, said the plant is "important to keeping our nation safe and secure for generations to come." He expressed hope the administration could be persuaded to reverse course on a decision that he termed "shortsighted."

Oh, but Senator Brown, you have to remember: This decision is only "shortsighted" if you assume that Barack Obama does not wish to purge the United States of any remaining nuclear weapons capability and eliminate nuclear power as an energy source in this country as well.  "No nukes for us" and "wind and solar uber alles" or bust, in other words.

And never, ever forget, sixty-two million double Obama voters: This is what you voted for.  The only regret is that the rest of us will also have to pay for your suicidal folly.

Americans Agree With Ben Carson On "No Muslim POTUS"

by JASmius

And the sentiment is pretty close to overwhelming.

By ethnicity (with the exception of blacks):

57%-27% overall, 62%-23% among whites, 50%-28% among Hispanics.  Only blacks support the idea of a Muslim president (26%-46%) - probably something to do with Obama being accused of being a Muslim for all these years - and that's only a plurality.

The partisan breakdown is similar:

A plurality of Democrats agree with Dr. Carson (41%-38%), and among Indies (54%-27%) and Republicans (83%-11%) it's no contest.

Which indicates that the American people are more informed and realistic about Muslims than the American media is, as this Carson interview with CNN's Jake Tapper appears to indicate.

Dr. Carson's comments were "controversial" to them, but not to the rest of us.

They even goosed his fundraising last week:

Ben Carson raised more than $500,000 after his controversial comments that he wouldn’t support a Muslim for president, campaign communications director Doug Watts said Monday.

Those comments, made more than a week ago on NBC’s Meet the Press, gave the campaign a “partial bump” in fundraising that resulted in Carson raising “about $6-700,000 at the time,” which contributed to an overall $10 million haul for the campaign in September.

Most Americans still do not want what's left of the Constitution supplanted by Sharia.  Not that most Americans understand the first thing about its original intent, you understand, but they do grasp enough to realize that nothing good could come from putting a Muslim - intolerant and aggressive by definition - in that kind of power over us.

To borrow and tweak a quote from President Abraham Lincoln, "It is better to speak up against Muslims and be thought an Islamophobe than to remain silent and be quietly dhimmized without resistance".  Kudos to Dr. Carson for saying what needed to be said.

McConnell Keeping Promise To Keep Government Open

by JASmius

I believe the applicable expression is, "Once bitten, twice shy":

The Senate advanced a stopgap spending bill Monday that would avert a U.S. government shutdown this week while dropping demands by conservative Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood.

Which wouldn't really defund anything, since almost all of Planned Parenthood's government boodle flows through Medicaid, outside of the discretionary appropriations process.

The measure, which moved forward on a 77-19 vote, would finance the government through December 11th. Current federal funding expires at the end of the day Wednesday.

At which time we'll all get to dance the shutdown hokey-pokey all over again, with the exact same result.

The plan is “the only viable forward in the short term,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor. “It doesn’t represent my first, second or 23rd choice.”

And I believe him.

McConnell stripped a Planned Parenthood defunding provision from an earlier measure that Democrats had blocked. House Speaker John Boehner, who announced Friday he’ll resign at the end of October, said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday that he’ll rely on Democrat votes to get the spending bill through his chamber.

Assuming he can get enough of them.  Which is no guarantee.

But I don't know why House Tea Partiers are complaining, as it's not as if they're not going to get their symbolic stand anyway:

The plan backed by Boehner and McConnell would allow votes on a separate measure to block money for Planned Parenthood. Republicans would use a process that would keep Senate Democrats from blocking the bill, allowing it to be sent to President Barack Obama. Still, that effort wouldn’t succeed because Obama would veto such a bill and Senate Democrats could keep Congress from overriding his veto.

But proponents contend it would get such a measure to the president’s desk, forcing him to defend Planned Parenthood, the women’s reproductive health service.

Which he will do without hesitation and with gusto, because Planned Parenthood still enjoys massive public support.  This is why McConnell isn't "giving away House conservatives' leverage" in a shutdown showdown, because House conservatives don't have any leverage and never did, something they never seem to want to understand.  The separate Planned Parenthood bill frames the issue in our favor, and that's the advantage of having control of both Houses of Congress.  But without a Republican at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, actual reversals of policy direction simply are not going to happen, and games of legislative "chicken" are not going to accomplish anything.  I know TPers want to create the appearance of "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!," but if those are also losing fights - which they are - then what is the practical point?

It's simply not a hill worth dying on for the GOP.  And the GOP doesn't have any such hills in any case.  Something I find overwhelmingly depressing given the pro-abortion candidate so many Tea Partiers are shoving down Republican throats as our presidential nominee.

Hard Starboard Radio: Trump & The Three Magic Beans Strategy

Iraq joins Russo-Iranian alliance; Angela Merkel reaps the Muslim whirlwind; Hillary Clinton rolls out wheezy old La Clinton Nostra scandal playbook against Emailgate; Get ready for Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy; John Boehner vents almost five years of frustration at the Tea Party; Citzens United was NOT about policy; Hillary Clinton to drag The Big Me out of mothballs; Donald Trump and the Three Magic Beans Strategy; Don't look now, but Jeb Bush's donors are about to head for the exits; and despite the Center For Medical Progress's herculian efforts, public support for Planned Parenthood and its federal funding gravy train remains overwhelming.

Oh, it is good to be back, even with a destroyed voice at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific.

60% Of Americans Support Keeping Planned Parenthood Public Gravy Train Flowing

by JASmius

Just a reminder that while we remain so obsessed with what SHOULD be, the reality of what IS is something else entirely:

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reveals that six in ten Americans are opposed to completely eliminating Planned Parenthood's federal funding.

Despite the string of videos released by the [pro-life] group, The Center for Medical Progress, which [exposes the truth of] Planned Parenthood selling tissue and organs of aborted [babies] for profit, opinions and attitudes toward the organization are surprisingly unchanged.

While 44% of Americans say they're strongly opposed to completely eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood, only 17% are "somewhat" opposed. These numbers compare to 22% who strongly favor eliminating its funding and 13% who "somewhat" support it.

According to the poll, out of the 35% who are in favor of eliminating Planned Parenthood's funding, 9% back shutting down the federal government to achieve that goal, while 11% are against that tactic and another 15% say they're not sure.

So by almost two to one, Americans support continued full funding for Planned Parenthood cannibalism, the intensity of support narrowly exceeds the proportionate intensity of opposition, and even of that opposition, only a quarter of them want to waste time trying to shut the government down again - which would only really shut down about a sixth of it in any case, and virtually none of Planned Parenthood's federal funding, almost all of which flows through Medicaid.

The whole thing is nothing more than a publicity stunt, in other words, doomed to fail and set back the pro-life cause Tea Partiers purport to want to advance.  And that cause cannot succeed until the hearts and minds of the public have been changed.  Which has not happened, even now.  At least not yet.

But I suppose self-burying publicity stunts are all the Tea Party is good for anymore.  And they're not going to get their government shutdown wish in any case, which can not unfairly be described as Boehner and McConnell doing what's best for TPers against their will, even though the latter will never appreciate it.

Reality checks are rarely fun to endure, but endure this one Planned Parenthood opponents must, because this war is going to be much longer, harder, and more difficult than any of them want to believe.  But believe it they'd better, or they'll be defeated before they ever get started.

Probably are already, but might as well play for the long game, as they say.  It's not as if there's any other choice.

Jeb Bush's Donors Are About To Bail

by JASmius

The fall of "preemptively presumptive" party nominees always seem to unfold in very similar ways.  How much more amusing it is that that of La Clinton Nostra and House Bush are doing so in parallel and tandem to each other:

Jeb Bush is entering a critical phase of his Republican presidential campaign, with top donors warning that the former Florida governor needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters…

Bush “needs to get his favorables up,” said a senior GOP bundler who is backing him and requested anonymity to speak candidly.

“People are looking at the stage and saying: ‘Jeb and Marco? I’m going with the new,’ ” said a top party fundraiser not aligned with a campaign. “You’re seeing people really gravitate to [Rubio] and saying, ‘Okay, we’ll buck the Bush machine.’

“What I hear everywhere when you say Jeb’s name is, ‘If you want to lose the general election, nominate Jeb,’ ” the fundraiser added. [emphasis added]

Just as with Hillary Clinton, Jeb thought the process would be sublimely simple: His surname would carry him to the Republican nomination (stop snickering) by raising him uncountable gobs of mountains of money that would keep any potential challengers on the sidelines.  Then he and Mrs. Clinton could do their dance next fall and he would "do his job" and the Ugly Dutchess would move back into the White House and he could kick back with a fine-vintage wine and toast his fellow RINOs on another defeat well done.

But the fundraising "shock & awe" didn't prevent the eruption of a comically overpopulated field of challengers, and then Donald Trump and his hostile takeover of the Republican Party aimed at "establishmentarians" and Tea Partiers alike (though the latter are too hypnotized to realize it).  All of a sudden his family name and gobs of mountains of money didn't matter anymore.  Suddenly being "entertaining" and "high-energy" became the coin of the political realm, commodities in which Jeb Bush is absolutely dirt-poor.

Allahpundit is skeptical that the GOP establishment will pull the plug on the next in line to the Bush throne, but I'm not about the latest Bush crown prince, especially since they've got a much younger, more articulate, better-looking, more charismatic, and genuinely Hispanic alternative already in the race named Marco Rubio.  I still think Rubio is running for veep, but everybody keeps saying that Rubio would be the biggest threat to the Democrat nominee next year - a "rightwing Republican Obama," as it were.  If even the House Bush donor network is starting to have this dawn on them, I don't know where else Jeb has to go or what else he can do.

Sure, for us this is another "See, we told you so," something that was effortlessly predictable, but the conventional unwisdom is very difficult to get people to see in advance, and even after the fact.  Having long-since fallen out of the top candidate tier and lacking any of the skills he would need to regain all that lost ground, it's looking more and more like the jig is up for Bush III.

Just for historical reference, 1980 was the last time that a Bush sought the GOP presidential nomination and failed to win it.  But this makes 2016 a fitting (and merciful) bookend to that run to bring it to a once and for all close.

Something that I could celebrate....if only for the fact that I would take even Jeb over Donald Trump.

But that ship has long since sailed.

I wonder how long it'll take for Jeb to come to terms with it.

Trump & The Magic Beans Strategy

by JASmius

Well, my candidate, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, is out.  And with his departure dies any chance of the 2016 presidential campaign being a serious effort to reconservativize and reconstitutionalize the country, because the other candidates are either RINOs or unqualified for the job or complete naif pretenders with zippo experience who don't belong in a presidential race any more than, to quote Odin referring to Jane Foster's presence in Asgard in Thor II, a goat belongs at a banquet table.

Donald Trump fits all three of those descriptions.  Which neatly explains, in this time of mass psychosis, gallopingly proud ignorance, and sheer madness, why he is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, still, after several months of providing repeated tempermental, character, and policy reasons why he should be immediately cast into the outer darkness.

The Donald was at it again last night on Sixty Minutes, regaling his audience with his YUGELY  original tax plan to - are you ready for this? - "soak the rich" again:

Donald Trump: I know. I know. I will say this, there will be a large segment of our country that will have a zero rate, a zero rate. And that’s something I haven’t told anybody.

Scott Pelley: You’re talking about–

Donald Trump: We’re talking about people in the low-income brackets that are supposed to be paying taxes, many of them don’t anyway.

Scott Pelley: You’re talking about making part of the population exempt from income tax?

Donald Trump: That is correct.

Big mistake.  The proportion of the public that pays no taxes at all is already (slightly) over half.  The takers, in other words, already outnumber the payers.  That's neither fair nor culturally or economically healthy for the country.  Everybody should have to pay something, regardless of income level.  That's what makes the flat tax such a good idea and the embodiment of equality before the law.

All until such time as the Sixteenth Amendment and its direct taxation could be repealed and taxation restored to a population-enumeration basis - which will happen right after the sun blows up.  Which is why I'm bigger on the flat tax.  But not Trump, who wants to do what every other leftwingnut pol wants to do: complicate and "progressivize" the tax code even more than it already disastrously has been:

Scott Pelley: You’re talking about cutting corporate income taxes?

Donald Trump: That is correct.

Scott Pelley: Who are you going to raise taxes on?

Donald Trump: If you look at actually raise, some very wealthy are going to be raised. Some people that are getting unfair deductions are going to be raised. But overall it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy and we’re going to take in the same or more money. And I think we’re going to have something that’s going to be spectacular.

Scott Pelley: But Republicans don’t raise taxes.

Which ought to tell Mr. Pelley all he needs to know about whether Donald Trump really is a Republican or not, much less Trump's romper-room grasp of economics.

Let's go back almost a hundred years to the election of the GOP ticket of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge in 1920.  The country was mired in economic depression and social and political upheaval following the repressive, regressively socialist policies of President Woodrow Wilson (one of the founding fathers of "Progressivism").  Harding's and Coolidge's solution?  Cut everybody's taxes at every level, massively, and cut federal spending in direct proportion.  "YUGELY" shrink government, revenues, expenditures, across the board.  Period.  The result of that dramatic policy direction reversal?  The roaring twenties, one of the most prosperous decades in American history.

Trump's plan does no such thing, and will consequently create none of the economic growth incentives he claims it will.  How can it when the job-creators at the top are being raped and pillaged once again and incentivized to keep their wealth shuttered and sheltered and far, far away from any productive activities?

And you'll notice that Trump says nothing about spending cuts and entitlements privatization and reducing the size of government.  To the contrary, he's an orthodox Democrat when it comes to such topics, with a particular taste for their BS double-talk.

After insisting that he would "repeal and replace" ObamaCare, Trump went on to reveal that that with which he would replace ObamaCare is essentially.....ObamaCare - although he would doubtless rename it "TrumpCare":

Scott Pelley: What’s your plan for ObamaCare?

Donald Trump: ObamaCare’s going to be repealed and replaced. ObamaCare is a disaster if you look at what’s going on with premiums where they’re up 40% 50% 55%.

Scott Pelley: How do you fix it?

Donald Trump: There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25% that can’t afford private. But–”

Scott Pelley: Universal health care.

Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.

Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?

Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–

Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?

Donald Trump: –the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything. [emphases added]

Sounds an awful lot like all the toxic tentacles of ObamaCare, doesn't it?  Government "marketplaces," "universal coverage" - which is still as big a myth under O-Care as it ever was - expanded Medicaid, even "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor".  Trump wouldn't repeal a damned thing.  He'd expand it.  But in a "first-class" way, of course.

Ted Cruz or Bobby Jindal or Rand Paul would never propose outrageous nonsense like this.  Jeb Bush would know better than to do so because Tea Partiers suspect him of harboring just such hidden motivations as it is.  But if Donald Trump touts such toxic proposals, TPers roar their approval, or at least obliviously look past them, because they no longer care about conservatism and constitutionalism and rightwing ideas.  All they care about is that they've got a candidate who is entertaining and who pisses in the faces of the people they don't like, even as he introduces an agenda that those people would never dream of supporting.

This is the madness of Trumpmania.  In fact, you know what this really manifests?  Donald Trump is the latest "right socialist" who can "make socialism work," unlike all those "incompetents" and "dummies" in the "political class".

Mark my words, Tea Party Trumpsters, there will be a stiff and steep price to be paid for this fatal indulgence in this rankly unserious con-artistry, because you may wake up on November 9th, 2016 to realize that all you will have accomplished is to have traded one incompetent celebrity Marxist demagogue for another.  Only this one will have an "R" after his name.

Hillary To Drag Mr. Bill Out Of Mothballs

by JASmius

I guess I am somewhat surprised that it took Mrs. Clinton this long to finally decide that maybe her Nurse Ratchet-esque countenance should not, after all, be the public face of her own campaign:

After largely staying in the background this summer as Hillary Rodham Clinton kicked off her second campaign for president, former President Bill Clinton is ready to take on a more active and public role in his wife’s second bid for the White House.

Bill Clinton’s move to deepen the political involvement in his wife’s 2016 effort comes as she continues to confront the insurgent campaign of Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders and the chance that Vice President Joe Biden could make a late entry into the race. Friends and former aides say the former president is eager to become a more vocal advocate for her candidacy.

“He’s going to be very active,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidant. “He always intended to come out and support his wife. He’s now at the point that he’s ready to get out there.”

Again, I can only really shrug and say, "What the hell?"  As with rollodexing her way through the Clinton scandal damage control playbook, she may as well give Bill some cuts at the proverbial plate, as it were.  He's the guy that won two national elections despite that avalanche of '90s-era sleaze.  He's the guy with the greatest political skillset ever.  He's the guy that people like and remember fondly, even though his greatest presidential accomplishment was getting and staying out of New Gingrich's and Bob Dole's and Trent Lott's way.  He is everything his wife is not.  It's an intuitively smart move.

Not that there aren't still problems.  Hillary is still the candidate.  Hiding behind her hubby again doesn't do her "historic strong woman president!" narrative any favors.  And she can't keep hiding there forever.  In short, rolling out Sick Willie is a short-term gimmick at best, and one that was supposed to be kept in reserve for the general campaign.  That she's playing this card now speaks volumes about how much trouble Mrs. Clinton's campaign realizes it's in at this still-early stage of the Democrat nominating contest.  And frankly, I don't think that "Blue Plate Special" gimmick is going to work nearly as well in reverse as it did way back in 1992, seeing as how WJC was, after all, an experience multi-term State governor whom the voting public at large didn't know yet.  That's the kind of "bottle magic" you can only capture once.

Plus, I cannot see it having any mitigating effect upon Emailgate, which is all Hillary's scandal.

Lastly, it must be remembered that while Bill Clinton was the grand master at getting himself elected, he has historically been abysmal at successfully putting other Democrats over the top.  I don't think his winning percentage in that regard is even in double-digits.

But as I say, as bad as things are getting for Coronational Processional II, it's not like Her Nib has much more to lose at this point.  As with Chief Brody, shoving anything he could at the great white shark as the Orca was foundering slowly beneath the waves, why not give Mr. Bill a try?  At least he'll leave her a DNA trail to follow up to Chappaqua after it's all over (again).

Citizens United Was NOT About Policy

by JASmius

It was about the United States Constitution.  About reinstating the First Amendment's protections against the abridgement of free speech, at the core of which is found political speech.  The Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act Of 2002 was a flagrant example of "Congress making a law abridging the freedom of speech" by truncating political speech from the fundraising without which that speech cannot make itself heard by the voting public at large.  It was blatantly unconstitutional - by which is meant violating the clear text and intent of the First Amendment - and the SCOTUS majority did what is supposed to be its constitutional role: they applied the law and acted accordingly, as opposed to making up law and doing whatever the hell they please. (King v. Burwell and Obergefell v. Hodges come to mind).

In short, the First Amendment puts the "issue" of "campaign finance reform" beyond the realm of policymaking.  Congress may not make any law abridging freedom of speech, and that includes banning political fundraising and advertising.  Period.

But Americans don't understand the limited constitutional role of the United States Supreme Court or the founding document itself.  They see everything residing (or languishing) in the realm of politics and policy, and if you can gather up a big enough and sufficiently angry mob, you can accomplish just about anything.  And libs are nothing if not highly skilled at creating huge, angry mobs.

Which leads us to the following depressing poll results:

Americans may be sharply divided on other issues, but they are united in their view of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that unleashed a torrent of political spending: They hate it.

In a new Bloomberg Politics national poll, 78% of those responding said the Citizens United ruling should be overturned, compared with 17% who called it a good decision.

i.e. Outcome-based jurisprudence.

“Wow. Wow. I'm stunned,” said David Strauss, a constitutional law professor who teaches at the University of Chicago. “What it suggests is that Citizens United has become a symbol for what people perceive to be a much larger problem, which is the undue influence of wealth in politics.”...

Of conservative wealth in politics.  In practical terms, Citizens United leveled the playing field, which had previously been a deck heavily stacked against the Right, while the other side wallowed naked in their oceans of filthy lucre from completely unfettered Big Labor machines and illegal foreign sugardaddies and the like.  CU allowed everybody into that pool, and playing fair isn't something the Left does.

Beats me why Professor Strauss is "stunned".  Give leftwingnuts five years to shriekingly demonize Santa Claus, and they could have the American people pounding the tables for the SCOTUS to ban Christmas.

Unhappiness with the 2010 decision cuts across demographic and partisan and ideological lines. Although the ruling was fashioned by the court’s conservative majority, Republicans oppose Citizens United 80% to 18%, according to the poll. Democrats oppose 83% to 13%, and independents, 71% to 22%. Among self-described liberals, conservatives, and moderates, 80% say the decision should be overturned.

Totally bass-ackwards, borne of an utter ignorance of the First Amendment, which should be the most well-known and well-understood paragraph in all seven Articles and all twenty-seven Amendments.  For all of you constitutionalists out there, this is the magnitude of the up-hill death-march struggle that lies in front of us.

“I would have assumed that by now there would have been a more partisan context to it,” said Trevor Potter, a Citizens United critic and former Federal Election Commission chairman who serves as president of the Campaign Legal Center in Washington. “This one is not seen in partisan context, just with overwhelming disapproval. The reason, I think, is that most people don’t think that corporations and unions have First Amendment rights.”

Which they do, because, yes, legally speaking, corporations and organizations ARE "persons," and always have been.

Democrat candidates are aiming to harness the hostility toward Citizens United in the 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley all say they will insist that their Supreme Court nominees oppose Citizens United.

Unconstitutional litmus tests for self-proclaimed gatekeepers of constitutionality.  Naturally.  But let a conservative president impose such a litmus test for throwing out the unconstitutional (i.e. not in terms of policy preference, but of the Constitution not giving the federal government any jurisdiction over that issue) Roe v. Wade (or now Obergefell v. Hodges) decision and let the outraged caterwauling begin.

Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig is running a quixotic campaign based solely on his vow to reduce the influence of money in politics.

Of conservative money in politics.  Liberal money in politics is just fine because "that is the way of things".  Ditto eliminating any competition with and challenges to the Left.  Indeed, the very notion of "getting money out of politics" is a rank absurdity that is a practical impossibility.  It's like saying that gasoline needs to be gotten out of the motor sports business.  Ban campaign fundraising and you ban politics itself.  It is to essentially finish the socialization of politics, where only those already in power will have the resources to compete in political campaigns.  Outside challengers would be impoverished and screwed and highly disincentivized from ever mounting insurgent campaigns in the first place.

You want to talk outcomes?  Citizens United tore down the walls protecting the political elites from genuine threats to their power.  Now, supposedly, 80% of the public wants to rebuild those walls.

Makes you wonder if they realize just what it is they're demanding, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

John Boehner Vents Almost Five Years Of Frustration @ The Tea Party

by JASmius

I have said for years now that John Boehner, at least up until the present Congress, has had one of if not the most thankless jobs in the country, having to do outnumbered battle with Barack Obama and Harry (G)Reid in front of him while trying to keep Tea Party long knives out of his ribs from behind him as the latter ragingly demand that he do the impossible.  For all the hoopla about Tea Party discontent with Boehner's leadership and "coups" that never ceased to be pathetic jokes, stepping down of his own accord and on his own terms was always the way the representative of Ohio's Eight Congressional District was going to bow out, and the wonder to me is that he managed to hold out from doing so as long as he did.

Well, he got his exit interview yesterday on Deface The Nation, and mein Gott, it must have felt good to get these comments off of his chest, especially because they constituted both taking the Tea Party to school and giving them a much-needed reality check that they will, of course, completely ignore:

Days after abruptly announcing that he would resign from the House at the end of October, Speaker John Boehner reflected on some of the "unrealistic" promises made by his colleagues.

"Absolutely they're unrealistic," he said in response to a question from Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson.

"The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done," Boehner said.

He specifically referenced promises by his GOP colleagues in 2013 that they would be able to get rid of ObamaCare through the process of funding the government - a tactic which ultimately led to the sixteen-day government shutdown that fall.

"This plan never had a chance. But over the course of the August recess in 2013 and the course of September, a lot of my Republican colleagues who knew it was a fool's errand, they were getting a lot of pressure at home to do this. And so we got groups here in town, members, the House and Senate here in town who whipped people into a frenzy believing they could accomplish things that they know, they know are never going to happen," he said.

Indeed.  Boehner demurred on the chance to blast Ted Cruz for leading that doomed crusade, and that was his prerogative, but the Texas senator certainly symbolized it.  Somehow ObamaCare would be "defunded"; somehow Cruz would shove a defunding bill through the Democrat-controlled Senate; somehow he would force Barack Obama to sign it.  How all these magic bean miracles would actually be carried out, Cruz and the Kamikaze Caucus never bothered to explain.  But if you so much as questioned them, you were a "RINO" and a "squish" and a "sellout" and a "traitor" and part of the "surrender caucus".  Like winning political battles is a matter of having, figuratively speaking, the longest penis and a scrotum the size of a honeydew melon - i.e. one of sheer will alone.  If you "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!" hard enough, you can win!

If only it were that simple.  But it's not, and it never was.  And even if O-Care could have been "defunded," only about a sixth of its revenue would have been affected, as the other five-sixths is statutory spending since - remember? - ObamaCare is an entitlement program.  There were even some congressional Tea Partiers themselves who were alienated and off-put by Ted Cruz's over-the-top obnoxiousness in service to such windmill-tilting futility.

But the House majority caucus wanted a shutdown showdown, so that's what Speaker Boehner gave them, knowing full well how it was going to end.  And rather than learning their lesson from that debacle, House TPers just blamed Boehner for "chickening out" and "quitting too soon," as though Dirty Harry and the White House didn't have the upper hand from Day One.

I seem to remember an expression about not throwing rocks at guys holding machine guns.

The items Boehner ticked off as evidence of his being "plenty conservative enough" don't sound all that exciting, but they have to be understood in the context of being the best House 'Pubbies could do given the power constraints and numerical disadvantage under which they were working:

He pushed back against some of the critiques he has faced from his colleagues that he wasn't conservative enough. Boehner ticked off what he sees as accomplishments: A major deficit-reduction deal, averting a tax increase on the American people and making the biggest major entitlement reforms in twenty years.

The "major deficit-reduction deal" was sequestration back in 2011, a rare instance of Boehner actually getting the better of Barack Obama by calling his bluff on it.  It got tossed under the proverbial bus a year and a half later in the Murray-Ryan budget "deal," and it, of course, devastated military spending, but like the old saying goes, "The miracle isn't how well the bear dances, but that the bear dances at all".

"All done over the last four and a half years with a Democrat president and all voted against by my most conservative members because it wasn't good enough," Boehner said.

Here comes the shot right between Tea Partier eyes.

"Really? You know this is the part that I really don't understand...Our founders didn't want some parliamentary system where if you won the majority you got to do whatever you wanted to do. They wanted this long, slow process. So change comes slowly, and obviously too slowly for some." [emphasis added]

Exactamundo.  Here, amusingly, is the "RINO/squish/sellout/traitor/quisling" outgoing House Speaker delivering a lesson to people who are supposed to venerate the Constitution on how the document was originally designed to function.  Change is, indeed, supposed to be difficult; and the bigger, more dramatic and radical the change, the harder it's supposed to be.  Checks and balances and supermajorities and inter-branch cooperation and public support from the States and We the People - it's all supposed to be part of the equation.  We didn't vote ourselves into this "progressive" snakepit overnight; it took well over a century for the federal government to cancerously grow this far outside constitutional boundaries.  And the long, horrific road back will be immensely longer than that, if it's retrenchable at all, because the Left will be contesting every single last inch every step of the way.

My biggest criticism of the Tea Party is, ironically enough, their own version of an entitlement mentality, their delusional belief that "right makes might," that the justice and morality of the cause entitles them to win.  And it simply is not so.

But when savvy, veteran leaders like John Boehner try to educate them on the realities of modern politics, their reward is hissing torches, pitchforks, and vilification.

Never mind herding cats, John Boehner's job the past nearly five years has been herding rabid wildcats and cougars and even bengal tigers.  And now it will be somebody else's turn.

And you know what?  I don't think TPers would want it any other way.  Otherwise, they might just find and have to admit that maybe, just maybe.....John Boehner was right all along.

Get Ready For Speaker McCarthy

by JASmius

Okay, my Tea Party friends, now I'm completely confused. I thought the whole problem with John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives was that he's a RINO/squish "progressive" cockroach traitor "establishment" guy, the embodiment of everything Tea Partiers hate and exist to stamp out. Now your House caucus is so desperate to get rid of the orange Ohioan after all the ludicrous, pathetic failed "coup" attempts over the past four and a half years that they're willing to replace him with the least conservative member of the House GOP leadership over that time period?

I take you back to a little over a year ago and the race to succeed the primaried Eric Cantor:

If Representative Kevin McCarthy is elected House majority leader next week, Republicans will have picked a #2 with a less conservative voting record than his predecessor.

The American Conservative Union gave McCarthy, the majority whip who has represented California in the House since 2007, a 72 score for his House votes last year. That was down from 86 the previous year.

McCarthy's scores were far lower than those of Virginia-7 Representative Eric Cantor, who announced Wednesday that he was stepping down as majority leader on July 31st after his GOP primary loss to newcomer David Brat on Tuesday.

The ACU scored Cantor at 84 on his voting record last year. That was down from 95 the year before. [emphasis added]

Let me reiterate that: Last year, Tea Partiers got rid of a MORE conservative House Majority Leader and replaced him with a LESS conservative House Majority Leader. All over Cantor being willing to pass a "comprehensive immigration reform" bill last summer for which McCarthy had, if anything, even more enthusiasm. I'd suggest that perhaps the Tea Party has been reduced to a single-issue rump sect - it'd sure as shinola help explain Trumpmania - but I already blew that speculation out of the water.

And now, a year later, Tea Partiers want to get rid of a MORE conservative House Speaker and replace him with a LESS conservative House Speaker.

Does this make any sense by the Tea Party's own lights? I don't get it.

- Me, two weeks ago

And once again, Tea Partiers look to be getting their perverse, self-defeating wish:

California-23 Representative Kevin McCarthy is almost certain to be the next speaker of the U.S. House, two Republican representatives said on Sunday.

House Republicans could vote internally as early as this week on who will replace current Speaker John Boehner, who unexpectedly announced he would resign on Friday in the midst of difficult budget negotiations. McCarthy, who currently holds the #2 position in the Republican leadership, will likely move up, Representatives Mick Mulvaney and Tom Cole said on Fox News Sunday.

“I don’t think there’s much doubt Kevin will be the next Speaker of the House, and he should be,” Cole, of Oklahoma, said on the show.

Cole, a close Boehner ally, said he hopes internal House Republican elections for a new speaker and other leadership posts will be held quickly.

Thus locking in a less conservative, more "establishmentarian" House GOP leadership than currently exists.

Other Republicans are urging a delay so that the party can debate its priorities and so potential McCarthy challengers can consolidate support.

Thus guaranteeing House GOP leadership chaos that will effectively cede control of the lower house of Congress to Nancy Pelosi, after which will eventually emerge....a less conservative, more "establishmentarian" House GOP leadership than currently exists.

“The important question is, will things change? Will they change for the better or we simply replace Mr. Boehner with somebody else who do the same thing?” said Mulvaney, a South Carolina conservative who had criticized Boehner’s leadership.

I'd say that's a transparently rhetorical question, wouldn't all of you?

But, by all means, congratulations to the House Tea Party caucus in finally slaying (so they will convince themselves, if they haven't already) the Boehner beast and moving the House GOP hierarchy to the Left in the process.  It's monumentally abysmal strategy if the idea is to advance conservative/constitutionalist interests forward instead of staggeringly backwards, but as a means of pointless emotional catharsis and keeping Tea Party anger and rage stoked to a high-rolling boil, recent developments on this front over the past week have been and will be a grand slam home run.

And y'all wonder why I sometimes can't help feeling like the last sane man on Earth.

UPDATE: Hey, everybody, how about bringing Newt out of retirement?

Hillary Rolls Out Wheezy Old Clinton Scandal Playbook Against Emailgate

by JASmius

There's a line from Iron Man III that I think is particularly appropo to this story:

You experience things and then they're over and you still can't explain them....[so] I do what I know.

Hillary Clinton is caught in her own self-inflicted trap known as Emailgate.  She utterly lacks her husband's political skillset to extract herself from it or finesse it or turn it to her advantage.  But her towering hubris will not allow her to realize any of this and bow to the inevitable - that she will never be POTUS - so....she does what she knows:

Hillary Rodham Clinton is mounting a forceful defense of her use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state.

Futile is more like it.

In an interview Sunday on NBC's Meet The Press, [Mrs.] Clinton compared the attacks to partisan confrontations on her husband's administration more than two decades ago.

Of course, she does.

[Mrs.] Clinton said she "can't control" what she called the "drip, drip, drip" of investigations into her email, adding that she "can't predict to what the Republicans will come up with."

i.e. the "Republican attack machine" and its "politics of personal destruction".

She likened the inquiries to scandals that plagued her husband's presidential campaigns and administration. [Mrs.] Clinton says: "In the nineties, I was subjected to this same barrage, and it seemed to be endless."

Not just her.  But since her husband was the face of that administration, with all the political gifts she lacks, he was effortlessly able to, well, extract himself from it and finesse it and turn it to his advantage.  Something of which she has no hope, to which she is permanently blinded.

“There’s only so much I can control,” she said, characterizing her responses as entailing “more transparency and more information than anybody I’m aware of that’s ever served in the government.” [emphasis added]

 There's the standard Clinton qualifier to give her an out out of the same relentlessly absurd lie.

[Mrs.] Clinton and her husband both compare the current inquiries into to scandals as far back as the Whitewater land deal that plagued his 1992 campaign and his administration.

Sure.  Might as well.  When your campaign is spiraling down the drain, the temptation to look back nostalgically and delusionally to the glory days in the hopes of "recapturing the old magic" can be overwhelming.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to come to grips with the bleak reality that those glory days are over and are never coming back.

If Hillary Clinton had any strength of character, she would admit defeat now before this hot mess of scandal and corruption that is her sinking presidential ambitions gets any worse.  But then, if she had any strength of character, she never would have arrogantly blundered into Emailgate by complying with the Federal Records Act and never "homebrewing" her own personal email server in the first place.

As we opened with Tony Stark, we close with King Solomon:

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Bet you never saw those two characters ever mentioned in the same sense before, didja?

NFL Week 3 Predictions

by JASmius


SEASON vs. SPREAD: 16-16

[Handicapper's note: My pick for Thursday night's Week 3 kickoff game took the N.Y. Giants and the points over the Washington [Obamas].  Which is already establishing a pattern of my getting off to good starts followed by Sunday crash & burns, especially last Sunday.  But then that also tends to happen early in the season before patterns have emerged.  I'd shrug and say something like "It's a living," but I don't get paid for this, either.]

Not a whole lot to say about the Seahawks' 27-17 loss in Green Bay a week ago.  I doubt anybody was expecting us to beat Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau, where his winning percentage the past three-plus seasons is over 90%.  I sure as heck wasn't.  So I didn't even look up from the last blog posts I'd be able to upload until this one, even after Russell Wilson engineered a couple of third quarter touchdown drives to take a brief 17-13 lead that I knew wouldn't last.  And, of course, did not.

I will say that the same problems that cost Seattle the opener at St. Louis were still on display: Terrible offensive line play (hence Marshawn Lynch's pedestrian 41 yards rushing), stupid defensive penalties (defensive end Michael Bennett just can't stop jumping offside), and more or less complete confusion in the secondary (I'm not calling them the Legion of Boom until You Know Who returns - more on that below).  The latter two were on display on a single first half play.

The Pack had possession just on the edge of field goal range.  It was third down.  Stuff them once more and Green Bay might be forced to punt.  Instead, Bennett jumps offside (again), giving Rodgers a free play.  So he did what any decent quarterback does in that situation - he took a shot at the end zone.

Meanwhile, downfield, ex-Raiders wideout James Jones was running a post pattern free and unfettered through the ordinarily suffocating Seattle pass defense.  Ran right past all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who only belatedly seemed to realize that nobody else was going to pick Jones up.  He sprinted to catch up, almost did, but Rogers' pass got through.  Touchdown.  Precisely the kind of play that doesn't happen to the LOB because their communication and experience with each other is so good they're almost telepathic.  But while Sherm and all-pro free safety Earl Thomas were out there and opposite corner Cary Williams is doing a decent job as Byron Maxwell's replacement, strong safety Deshaun Shead, no Kam Chancellor, whose holdout was still ongoing.  Kam would have communicated everything Sherm needed to know in a split-second glance.  Shead?  Evidently not.  And Sherm wound up looking really really bad on that play.

There is one other defensive problem, and it's amazing I'm writing this, but it's an absence of toughness and intimidation.  Simply put, nobody in the NFL lights up opposing offensive skill players like Kam Chancellor.  Ask Vernon Davis and Demarius Thomas, for starters, if you don't believe me.  His first freight-train collision with the latter in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII temporarily dislocated Thomas's shoulder.  And then there was his vaulting over the entire line in the playoffs against Carolina last year to almost block consecutive field goal attempts.  And his pick-six in that same game.

It's like I said last week and the week before, and not unlike what Mickie Goldmill told Rocky Balboa about the difference between the fighters against whom he had been defending his title and Clubber Lang: "No, they weren't setups; they were good fighters but they weren't killers like this guy".  Dion Bailey and Deshaun Shead are good strong safeties, but they're not killers like Kam Chancellor.  He's the leader of that defense - or he was, before this holdout, anyway - not somebody that can simply be replaced in "next man up" fashion.

But now.....he's baaaaaaaaaaack.

Kam Chancellor reported to the V-MAC on Wednesday and he's been activated for today's home opener at the Clink against the already overmatched and woeful Chicago Bears, who will be without even the wildly inconsistent quarterback Jay Cutler.  How much of a difference will his return make?  Probably not as much as the delirious, orgasmic joy and relief in this town is leading twelves to expect.  Reportedly Kam is in the physical condition of an ancient Greek god, but that doesn't mean he's in "football shape".  He hasn't hit and been hit, precisely the kind of thing that training camp and preseason are for.  But since Seattle is only facing the Sows Bears (i.e. the Midgets of the Midway), this is a good week to ease himself back into the fray.

Although we all know that's not how the Lion of the Legion rolls.

Straight up picks indicated by asterisk (*); picks against the spread in parentheses (x).  And no, don't bet the farm on these picks; they're just for my amusement and your aggravation.  Or vice versa.  We'll see how it turns out, now, won't we?

Dallas* (+1)

Buffalo* (+3)

Seattle* (-14.5)

Cincinnati* (+2.5)

Denver* (-3)

Indianapolis* (-3)

New England* (-13.5)

New Orleans
Carolina* (-8)

Cleveland* (-3.5)

N.Y. Jets* (-2)

Pittsburgh* (PK)
St. Louis

San Diego (+2.5)

Houston* (-6.5)


Kansas City
Green Bay* (-6.5)

Angela Merkel Reaps The Muslim Whirlwind

by JASmius

[G]uess what happens now...?  (1) The Muslim hordes, complete with all the jihadists secreted within them, will be insanely pissed at being baited & switched, which will make the non-jihadists prime jihadist recruits, and all of them are already in Europe; and (2) all those southern and eastern european EU members who were freaking out of the Germans using their territories as this invasion's expressway will now have hundreds of thousands or millions of Muzzies occupying their territories because the latter can't get into Germany, AND they'll have to close their own borders, causing a reverse cascading effect across the EU, which will generate even more jihadist recruits, all of whom are ALSO already in Europe.

And remember something else, ladies and gentlemen: The Muzzies aren't going to stop, closed borders or no closed borders, fences or no fences:

There was one thing on which everyone could agree. Whatever Germany does or doesn’t do with its border, "refugees" will still keep fleeing to Europe. “Everybody is coming,” said Iyad, a Syrian student. “They are coming, coming, coming. My brother will leave Syria in two days.” Iyad’s friend Amal nodded in agreement. “The only people who will stay are those who don’t have any money,” said Amal. [emphasis added]

And why wouldn't they?  This is the golden opportunity Islam has been waiting for: a Western leader almost begging them to overrun most of "the land of the Cross," their weapon, the "Crusaders'" suicidal, culturally obtuse, vainglorious "generosity".

Remember what ISIS boasted seven months ago?:

The ISIS terror group is planning to take over Libya and use it as a gateway to wage war across almost all of southern Europe, the London Telegraph reported.

A document written by an Islamic State (ISIS) operative in Libya says that the group plans to flood Libya with fighters from Iraq and Syria, and have them sail across the Mediterranean Sea pretending to be refugees on human trafficking vessels.

They would then target European cities and try to stage attacks on maritime shipping, according to the Quilliam Foundation, a British anti-radicalization group which said it had seen the document. [emphases added]

What Angela Merkel has done is to essentially remove Libya as the middle-man in this equation.

How many jihadists could ISIS conceal within a million or more "refugees"?  The Germans and their hapless, swindled "satellites" are going to find out - the hard way.

- Me, two weeks ago

It is all so depressingly predictable:

On the busy shopping street in Giessen, a German university town twinned with Winchester, migrant Atif Zahoor tucks into a chicken dish with his brother and cousin at the curry restaurant Chillie To Go.

They have left good jobs back in Karachi, Pakistan, and now want to be Europeans.

In late July the three slipped into Germany with their wives and children, using illegal documents. They live together in a five-bedroom house, rented for them by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, a forty-minute drive away from Giessen, which is home to the biggest migrants’ camp in the country.

‘We paid a trafficking agent for false visas to fly here to Germany,’ says thirty-four-year-old Atif. ‘We claimed asylum and came to Giessen camp with other migrants. Three weeks ago, because we had families, they gave us a proper home.’

Atif is well-dressed and speaks perfect English. He used to be a transport manager at Karachi airport and is from a well-to-do family. Between mouthfuls of curry, he adds: ‘But there is violence between political gangs in Karachi. Lots of people are leaving for Europe. The trafficker decided that Germany was the place for us because it is welcoming refugees.’

Who will, of course, bring all of that "political gang violence" with them, as well as overwhelming the culture of their suicidally generous hosts:

Yet the raw truth is that Atif is not fleeing war or persecution. He is one of thousands of economic migrants getting into Germany as the EU’s [self-inflicted] immigration crisis grows bigger each day.

This week, David Cameron said Europe must send failed asylum claimants back to their own countries, while European Council president Donald Tusk has warned that millions more migrants are on their way and ‘the policy of open doors and windows’ must be scrapped.

Understand something here, folks: These men are actually surprised by the inevitable outcome of their "policy of open doors and windows".   They are actually stunned that a policy of throwing open their borders and shouting, "FREE STUFF!  COME AND GET IT!" has hugely incentivized millions of Muslims to stampede into Europe for the freebies and goodies - and, of course, import their hostile, primitive, and violent culture right along with them:

They are tough words, but it’s action that is needed. As Jens Spahn, a deputy finance minister in Chancellor Merkel’s government, said this week: ‘Not everyone can stay in Germany, or in Europe. If people are coming for poverty reasons... we have to send them back.’

Bullshit.  That's not what you people were saying even three weeks ago.  Chancellor Merkel was bragging about taking in millions of Muslims and how it would "change our country" and how that was somehow a good thing.  If the German government and its other EU accomplices are really so mind-bendingly stupid as to not have been capable of anticipating what the outcome of their open borders idiocy was going to be, it's a wee bit late for those lead scales to have started falling from their myopic policy eyes.

Mrs Merkel’s offer last month to accept all refugees from war-ravaged Syria opened the floodgates. More than a million migrants are expected this year alone, the bulk of them far from genuine asylum seekers. There is now deepening disquiet in this Christian country, dotted with churches, that it is being overwhelmed by people of a different religion and culture.

Duh.  What in the halls of Erebus did they think was going to happen?

And so the cultural conquest begins:

Yesterday, the Mail reported how social workers and women’s groups in Giessen wrote a letter to the local state parliament claiming that rape and child abuse were rife in the refugee camp. The allegations were corroborated by Atif over his curry. ‘The camp is dangerous,’ he agreed. ‘Men of different nationalities fight and women are attacked.’

The letter says the camp, far from being a peaceful haven for those fleeing war, is a dangerous melting-pot, where there have been ‘numerous rapes and sexual assaults, and forced prostitution’.

There are even reports of children being raped and subjected to sexual assault, it adds.

‘Many women have felt the need to sleep in their clothes... they won’t go to the toilet at night because rapes and assaults have taken place on their way to, or from, there. Even in daylight, a walk through the camp is fraught with fear.’

Controversially, the letter suggests that in the migrants’ culture, women are viewed differently: ‘It is a fact that women and children are unprotected. This situation is opportune for those men who already regard women as their inferiors and treat unaccompanied women as “fair game”.’...

Locals in Giessen are appalled by the rape allegations. But many are also increasingly worried about the effect of the migrants — some 6,000 Syrians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Kurds, Eritreans and others are housed in the camp, which was expanded last year — on their everyday lives.

Some complain that the migrants have taken over the town, which is famous for its botanical gardens and dotted with pretty boutiques and flower shops. You cannot miss the new arrivals, wandering the streets in large groups.

At the Lidl supermarket a few hundred yards from the camp, a well-dressed German woman packing her shopping into a Mercedes saloon rolls her eyes at me as a group of Middle Eastern youths walk by. ‘What do we do?’ she asks. ‘It has happened now and it will never be the same again.’

Indeed it will not.  Look closely, my friends, because this is what the terminal stage of cultural suicide looks like.

Welcome to Eurabia, folks.

And Americastan is next.