20 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-5-18

  1. Maybe Bill has turned over a new leaf. This is the second time he’s been right this year. 🙂



    “The tiniest brain fart about a supposed controversy can echo across the land thanks to social media, 24-hour news, and our self-segregating ideological echo chambers. Some rando, usually eager to show off his skills in the Woke Olympics, will stumble across a piece of cultural detritus that seems to him “problematic.” He tweets about it and a few like-minded people with larger followings pick it up, broadcasting their own righteous outrage. Niche journalists in advocacy media, forever on the lookout for the next sin against the cause, pick it up from there. The outrage may be over something vanishingly trivial but the quest for content online is neverending, and nothing’s easier content-wise than the Outrage Du Jour that flatters the audience’s political prejudices. (Except for “Walking Dead” grumble threads.) Meanwhile some of those niche reporters are being followed by mainstream media reporters, who will themselves write something up about the controversy if they sense a critical mass of buzz about it within their own social-media hive. The theory being that if everyone you follow on Twitter is chattering about something, errrr, it must mean that the public at large is interested too.

    The right has its own version of this food chain, needless to say, and blogs like this one are part of it. Just substitute Fox News and conservative talk radio for the mainstream media in the final step.

    Maher zeroes in on the idiocy over Jennifer Lawrence’s dress this past week but the amplification of nontroversies into controversies recurs daily. Three years ago, a few alt-righters grousing about seeing a black actor as a Stormtrooper in the trailer for “The Force Awakens” somehow developed into a media hot-take mill that lasted days. “People are talking!” Well, a few people. Very few. But when you operate in a medium that never goes off the air and no longer faces the hard choices imposed by limited column inches, with readers and viewers checking in morning, noon, and night for new material, every moronic fake controversy is a godsend. What’s essentially a parlor game — “I spy something problematic with Taylor Swift’s hair” — becomes, ahem, news.”


  2. Pat Buchanan wrote a very good article last week. The column is not long, but it’s worth reading as it is full of common sense, intelligent analysis, and it’s firmly linked to historical precedent. Here’s the first portion:

    “We got China wrong. Now what?” ran the headline over the column in The Washington Post.
    “Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?” asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence.

    America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People’s Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.
    We deluded ourselves. It did not happen.

    Xi Jinping just changed China’s constitution to allow him to be dictator for life. He continues to thieve intellectual property from U.S. companies and to occupy and fortify islets in the South China Sea, which Beijing now claims as entirely its own.

    Meanwhile, China sustains North Korea as Chinese warplanes and warships circumnavigate Taiwan threatening its independence.

    We today confront a Chinese Communist dictatorship and superpower that seeks to displace America as first power on earth, and to drive the U.S. military back across the Pacific.
    Who is responsible for this epochal blunder?

    The elites of both parties. Bush Republicans from the 1990s granted China most-favored-nation status and threw open America’s market.

    Result: China has run up $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States. Her $375 billion trade surplus with us in 2017 far exceeded the entire Chinese defense budget.

    We fed the tiger, and created a monster….


    Liked by 1 person

  3. suppose for a minute.
    Just suppose:
    The Clintons aren’t crooks.

    question: What did the Russians do to influence the election?: ;


  4. I can’t think like a politician. I have a logical mind and want to get to the nub of the problem.
    The Clintons are corrupt.
    We know that.
    Someone may, or may not, have found a way to exploit that.
    I can’t blame them.
    If the Clintons weren’t corrupt there would be no problem.
    Obama was too, but in a different way.
    Everyone will officially object to this statement. But I believe that Obama is still Muslim and did as much as he could to advance Islam in America.


  5. “Everyone will officially object to this statement. But I believe that Obama is still Muslim and did as much as he could to advance Islam in America.”

    I don’t know that he is muslim, but the second half of that sure seems correct.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Texas….. and elsewhere……


    “George P. Bush’s campaign flyers in Texas declare that he’s “standing beside our president” — the one who called his dad, Jeb, an embarrassment to his family and a pathetic person.

    At a political forum outside San Antonio, another Republican candidate brags about his “bigly” wins over Democrats. Another hopeful in Houston, just days after a mass shooting at a Florida high school killed 17 people, sent voters a photo of herself holding an assault rifle — below the words “Kathaleen Wall stands with Trump.”

    Texas holds the nation’s first 2018 primary elections Tuesday, and the campaign is providing a vivid exhibition of the Trump effect in GOP politics. Some races are playing out in a roadshow of one-upping emulation of the combative president, in which there’s no such thing as cozying up too close or too ardently, regardless of his rough edges or low approval ratings nationwide.

    “I’m Robert Stovall, and like President Trump, I realize the swamp is the problem,” begins a campaign ad for Stovall, a San Antonio Republican Party leader now running for Congress. He stands in a literal swamp wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and cocks a shotgun at the end.

    It’s like nothing seen before in Texas politics, even when a Texan was in the White House. Love of George W. Bush’s style of big government conservatism wasn’t a staple of campaigns here. A decade later, his nephew George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner, is thanking President Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. for endorsing him in his bid for re-election.

    Texas candidates aren’t alone in courting Trump diehards who make up the GOP base — and who can be counted on to show up in typically low-turnout primary elections. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is running for governor, has trumpeted Trump’s endorsement, while an outside group accuses his GOP rival of “abandoning” the president. In Indiana, three Republicans running for Senate are all portraying themselves as his most steadfast ally.

    The impression of a Trump White House at war with its enemies is stoking the atmosphere. “It’s about he’s our Republican president and if we don’t stand together and we don’t defend the party and conservative ideas, no one is,” said Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based Republican strategist. A Quinnipiac University survey in late February put Trump’s approval rating at 86 percent among Republicans but just 37 percent overall.

    As Republicans brace for a difficult election this November — the president’s party typically loses congressional seats in the midterm cycle — they could not have asked for a gentler warm-up than Texas, where the GOP holds such a commanding edge that most election-year drama dissolves once the primaries are done. Democrats haven’t won a statewide race since 1994 and are not seen as favored to flip any of six congressional seats opened up by GOP retirements on Capitol Hill.”


  7. Trump was mocked for his comments, by the NY Times and others at the time. Now a year later the NYT is forced to admit his comments were accurate. It’s still to be determined whether others will admit their error on the matter. Most will lack the class to apologize.


    “In February of last year, Tucker Carlson aired a segment about the refugee violence and rape crisis in Sweden, and the next day, President Trump referenced the segment in a comment about how important it is to secure America’s borders. His point was that a large influx of refugees has created problem in Sweden that we don’t want to see here.

    As we noted at the time, the media jumped on this comment, even going so far as to suggest that the president imagined that a terror incident had occurred in Sweden.

    The MSM is falsely portraying President Trump as having alleged on Saturday that a “terror” attack had occurred the night before in Sweden. Take, for example, this NBC story headlined “Donald Trump Explains Sweden Terror Comment That Baffled a Nation.” In addition to the misleading headline, the story includes a video clip of President Trump making his remarks. The chyron at the bottom of the screen reads “President Trump appears to refer to a non-existent terror incident in Sweden.”

    But if you listen to the president’s remarks, you’ll see that he never mentioned terror. He said: “The bottom line: we’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

    As President Trump subsequently clarified in a tweet, he was referring to a segment on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show in which filmmaker Ami Horowitz discussed the rape crisis in Sweden. But leave it to the MSM to cast President Trump’s statements in the most problematic light.

    The New York Times quickly published a story about how the president’s comment “baffled a nation.” Implying that there is no refugee violence or rape crisis Sweden, the NYT sang Sweden’s praises for their open-door policy.”

    “This 2017 NYT article concludes:

    In an essay in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the journalist Martin Gelin speculated that “Trump might have gotten his news from the countless right-wing media in the United States that have long been reporting that Sweden is heading for total collapse.”

    He added, “Among Trump supporters, there are common myths that Sweden is in a state of chaos after taking in refugees from the Middle East.”

    These “myths,” however, are now being covered by the NYT as . . . well, there’s no other way to put it, news.”


  8. Italy’s right wing party, which ran a platform of curbing immigration, has made huge gains there.


    “Yesterday, when we looked at the final polling going into the Italian elections, it appeared that the coalition of right-wing parties seeking to curb forced migration would take roughly a combined 32 to 35 percent of the vote. As it turns out, they did even better, coming in with an estimated 37%. This is still short of a single-party majority, but impossible to ignore. It adds up to what is likely 123 seats in the lower house of the legislature where they previously held 22. (CNN)

    Italy is facing a populist uprising after a surge in support for anti-European parties in Sunday’s parliamentary election, however no party received enough votes to rule alone meaning the country will likely enter a period of political deadlock.

    The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) made significant gains in Sunday’s vote though with 31% of the vote, it doesn’t have enough seats to form a government, according to state broadcaster RAI.

    The center-right coalition, which includes League — also known as the Northern League — along with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the neo-fascist Brothers of Italy, is likely to form the largest bloc in both houses of the country’s parliament, a combined share of votes totaling over 37%.

    The clear losers in the race were the currently ruling Democratic Party along with their liberal allies in the More Europe party. Between them, they managed to pull in only 23.5% of the vote, with the Democratic Party taking 19% of that. The election marks something of a contrast to the last elections in Germany, where the right-wing AfD generated a lot of buzz, but delivered fewer seats than some had projected.”


  9. And now you know why Democrats are so in love with the federal Motor Voter Law across the land.


    “I keep seeing these figures popping up in the news from time to time but we never seem to nail down what the real numbers are behind them. How many noncitizens, either in the country legally or illegally, are registered to vote? And no doubt far more to the point, how many of them have actually voted? Both would be bad, but the possibility of the latter is exponentially worse.

    That question has come to the Keystone State in full force this year. As reported in the Washington Times, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) has filed suit in federal court in Harrisburg seeking to have the State of Pennsylvania turn over the numbers. If you’re thinking that noncitizens can’t register to vote you’re correct in theory, but not in practice. State officials have allegedly already acknowledged that a “glitch” in the driver’s license renewal process allowed noncitizens to automatically register to vote.

    More than 100,000 noncitizens are registered to vote in Pennsylvania alone, according to testimony submitted Monday in a lawsuit demanding the state come clean about the extent of its problems.

    The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which has identified similar noncitizen voting problems in studies of Virginia and New Jersey, said Pennsylvania officials have admitted noncitizens have been registering and voting in the state “for decades.”

    But state officials have stonewalled PILF requests for access to the data that could expose the problem, the group says in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Harrisburg.

    “For months, Pennsylvania bureaucrats have concealed facts about noncitizens registering and voting — that ends today,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said.

    That 100K figure is being attributed to Philadelphia Commissioner Al Schmidt, who originally discovered the “glitch” but who is not commenting to the press about it. The state is refusing to comment on pending litigation also, but several counties have provided PILF with requested information and they’ve turned up some doozies.

    They provide details of several people in Pennsylvania, some identified by name, who are noncitizens and are definitely on record as not only having been registered for years but voted in multiple election cycles. The federal “Motor Voter” law is supposed to allow private groups to demand purges of the rolls and information on the cleaning of the records, but Pennsylvania has refused to cooperate thus far.”


  10. Finally someone grows a backbone. Even though he’s no fan of Trump, he’s not playing along with Mueller. Only one thing is certain with him, this guy is all over the place.


    “My gut reaction upon reading the headline was that Nunberg was going all-in on a pardon ploy. He understands Trump. He knows how much POTUS would appreciate a show of defiance towards Mueller given how limited his own options are. He also knows how much Trump’s base would appreciate it. He’ll be a star on Hannity’s show and on conservative talk radio overnight if he does this. A few days in jail might be worth it for the publicity.

    He might even get a presidential pardon out of it. It’d be risky for Trump to grant impunity to witnesses who refuse to cooperate with Mueller but he’s in a risk-taking kinda mood lately.

    It’s a fine theory! But when you remember who Nunberg is and read some of the things he had to say about Trump even in this piece, it breaks down.

    “Let him arrest me,” Nunberg said. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”

    Nunberg said he was planning to go on Bloomberg TV and tear up the subpoena…

    “The Russians and Trump did not collude,” Nunberg said. “Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump.”

    “I’m not spending 80 hours going over my emails with Roger Stone and Stephen K. Bannon and producing them,” Nunberg said. “Donald Trump won this election on his own. He campaigned his ass off. And there is nobody who hates him more than me.”

    “Update: As of 4:15 p.m. ET, he’s now dialed into CNN, is live on the air, and is saying stuff like this to Tapper:

    Is this some elaborate “play hard to get” scheme in which Nunberg tries to make himself irresistible to Mueller?”


  11. Hero or Zero?


    “At least two students who survived the chaos and bloodshed of the Florida school shooting last month are challenging the narrative surrounding a teacher hailed as a hero after the rampage.

    Math teacher Jim Gard was credited with protecting students in his classroom in the horrifying moments of Feb. 14 after a teen gunman unleashed a fusillade of bullets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    In recent days, however, students Josh Gallagher and Connor Dietrich have expressed contempt at Gard on Twitter. Josh said Gard “called himself a hero, and … the media portrayed him as a hero when in reality he is the opposite.”

    Josh said he was in Gard’s class when the fire alarm went off and the students filed out. When they heard gunshots, about 15 of them froze before racing back to the classroom. Gard, however, had locked the door and refused to let them in.

    “We were stuck in the hall for four total minutes, ducking and in fear for our lives” until a teacher Josh didn’t know let them in another classroom, Josh said. He said Gard “left 75% of his students out in the hallway to be slaughtered.”

    Gard gave a phone interview to CBS Miami while still holed up in his classroom with some of his students, less than two hours after the shooting spree. The group had been awaiting the all-clear from police officers conducting a classroom-by-classroom search.

    Josh noted that Gard was interviewed by media multiple times and has been acclaimed a hero.

    “He is nothing but a coward,” Josh said. “He has revictimized the students he left out of his class by calling himself a hero.”

    Another student, Connor Dietrich, expressed similar emotions on Twitter.

    “As one of the kids left in the hallway I want people to understand how terrifying and defenseless I personally felt,” Connor tweeted. “The person I had to rely on left us to die and that’s not okay.”

    No, it’s not OK, and it’s not heroic either.


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