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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The "Payback" Election?

by JASmius

It it turns out like this, I'd call it the "F**k you" election or the "self-cannibalism" election, because the aftermath will be a disaster of such magnitude that I don't even want to attempt to contemplate it:

The most important takeaway, though, is this: The politics of resentment won Tuesday night. It hasn’t had a showing like this in the United States maybe since the 1890s.

Donald Trump and [Bernie] Sanders have a remarkably similar and remarkably simple message, and it’s this: You’re being screwed. They agree that international trade is screwing you, that health care companies are screwing you and that Wall Street is screwing you.

And yet they would be the biggest screwers of you yet, if you put either of them into power.

Look for yourself:

Sanders says he’s going to throw bankers in jail, raise everybody’s taxes — and provide universal health care.

Trump says he’ll deport every illegal [alien] [which is impossible], keep Muslims out of the country until “we can find out what the hell is going on,” [which would be highly advisable, but is also impossible] force Mexico to build a wall [laughably impossible], levy a 45% tariff on [Red] China [which would deepen the depression and probably start the next World War]  — and provide universal health care [just like Barry and Bernie]

Simple, straightforward and catchy — that’s the key. And none of it is your fault. Everything bad that’s happening, everything that makes you nervous and worried and uncertain about the future, is the result of a great wrong that is being done to you.

Even though the truth is that "you" did it to yourselves with your voting choice in the past two presidential elections.

Sanders says it’s being done by malefactors of great wealth. Trump says it’s being done by morons and idiots who run Washington and are getting their hats handed to them by canny malefactors in Beijing and Mexico City.

Will this message carry beyond New Hampshire? Of course it will, whatever happens to the candidacies of these two men....

Don’t look for uplift. Don’t seek vision. This is probably going to be the payback election.

An endless series of them, actually, since revenge is a dish that is never served just once, but over and over and over.  But payback of whom?  With what?  To accomplish what?  For what purpose?  These questions matter, and it's far better to calm down, turn on our brains, and obtain answers to them now than nine months from now.  Because emotional binges are temporary; their horrible, ill-considered consequences are not.  Hell, just look at the preceding eight years.

Call it the "mass temper tantrum psychosis" election.  Because that sort of election always turns out so well.

Pope Francis To Become Illegal Alien

by JASmius

I wonder: Is his Unholiness going to wade across the Rio Grande, or can the Popemobile make it across without either foundering or running over any illegals?  And will that not put a well and truly vile twist on the Catholic baptism ritual if he trips and completely falls in the muddy drink?:

Pope Francis is set to arrive in Mexico on Friday for a six-day visit that will conclude with the pontiff taking a stand on the U.S. border to show solidarity with the migrants trying to cross it — an act that could be seen as controversial in the height of a vigorous political season where immigration has become a hot-button issue, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The pope is planning to hold a cross border mass in Ciudad Juarez on February 17th where on the Mexican side, some two hundred thousand people are expected to attend as well as fifty thousand in Texas, just across the Rio Grande.

After which he'll escort all two hundred thousand on the Mexican side across the border.

No, I'm not kidding.  The only reason why it might not happen is that the White House hasn't made a big ta-doo about Obama being there to, er, give it his blessing.

Here's your punchline:

"This is one community despite the fence," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters on Tuesday. "I think it will be moving to see this single community even though it is located on two sides of the border." [emphasis added]

Wow.  Flouting U.S. national sovereignty, the rule of law, and the "separation of church and state," all in a mere two sentences.  To say nothing of needing Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to tack on the approval of this message.

Seriously, expect to see this papal stunt show up in Democrat ads in the very near future, targeted at Hispanic/Latino voters.  It's a veritable in-kind contribution.

House Freedom Caucus Feeding PR Ammunition To White House On Obama Budget

by JASmius

At first I thought this story was about Barack Obama's ego - "How DARE those rightwing extremist racist Islamophobic homophobic trannyphobic - okay, and sexist - enemies of the state knaves object to me forcing my budget on them by executive decree!  Off with their heads!"  Then I got a closer look, and what did I see but congressional Republicans disintegrating before his infernal majesty all over again, and saving him the trouble:

The White House is going on an offensive push for its hefty $4.1 trillion election-year budget by attacking congressional Republicans for getting entangled in their own budget battles, the Hill reports.


After the administration unveiled its budget [orders] Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan fired off a news release calling out strife within the House GOP conference — and warning that top GOP lawmakers who want deeper cuts would "blow up" last fall's $1.1 trillion spending deal.

"The question here isn't a fight between the administration and Republicans, it's a fight within the Republican Party," Donovan said Tuesday, the Hill reports. "We've done our part with this budget. It's going to be up to them to see whether they could live up to their promises to get back to regular order."

He's not wrong, you know.  Perhaps you can make the optimistic argument that this is just a lame duck White House trying to pretend to be relevant and having a little fun at House 'Pubbies' expense.  Heaven knows I'd like to believe that.

But I want you to picture a scenario in which the House Freedom Caucus, unable to see (much - they did compromise on Paul Ryan for Speaker, after all) beyond the ends of their noses on tactics and strategy and utterly incapable of grasping how politics and PR figure into either, makes it impossible for Speaker Ryan to get back to regular order in the budget/appropriations process through their rigid unwillingness to recognize that they don't have the numbers to avoid having to compromise to some degree, bulldozing Ryan in precisely the same direction that they did his predecessor John Boehner - towards Obama and the Democrats - in order to, yes, "get things done".  As we saw a couple of months ago, it's not a pretty sight.

That is precisely what Shaun Donovan's comments are intended to encourage.  Stir up the pot that Tea Partiers can't resist, fan the flames of the GOP civil war, watch Paul Ryan roast in them, and come next fall, the Omnibus beast lurches towards D.C. to be born yet again.  For which the HFC will vilify him even though it was their intransigence that made it inevitable.

TPers can do their Captain Picard "The line must be drawn HERE!  THIS far, NO FURTHER!" thing, their "We can't wait!" Obama imitation, all they want.  But that plainly and simply isn't how politics works.  Unless you have the numbers to force your will on your opponents, you have to compromise to get anything of what you want.

You know what I want?  I want every last quark and gluon of the federal government that resides outside the boundaries of the original intent of the United States Constitution abolished and dismantled, and the federal budget shrunk by three-quarters, down to the approximately 5% of GDP that the late Tim "Loki" Kerlin once estimated.  Hell, I'd like that yesterday, please.  And if I had that kind of power, I wouldn't have been sitting in my recliner, shooting off resumes into the Phantom Zone and watching my life savings slowly ebb away for the past two and a half years,  Paul Ryan doesn't have that kind of power either.  Which ought to tell you how cloutless the HFC is, no matter how much they don't want to admit it.

What I'm saying is, isn't three quarters or two thirds or even half a loaf on regular order better than demanding the whole loaf, handing the initiative and power to Barack Obama, and winding up with an Omnibused third or a quarter or none?  And if you believe that he's a lame duck, isn't it better to close ranks and keep him that way?

Feel free to leave your outraged, fantasy-driven premise-questioning in the comments.  Peace out.

New Hampshire Eliminates Rubio, Launches Cruz

by JASmius

Chris Christie could be single-handedly responsible for the political downfall of Marco Rubio. The Times revealed that he basically has no staff outside Iowa and New Hampshire. He is banking on big poll numbers in New Hampshire to jump-start his campaign. But while a candidate can expect a boost from a good showing in New Hampshire, he still needs a state-by-state organization in place in order to take advantage of it. If Chris Christie expects to do well in New Hampshire and then suddenly build up in other states, it simply isn't going to happen. There's no historical precedent for it.

And yet every point that Christie goes up in New Hampshire is one point that could have gone to fellow moderate Marco Rubio. Christie is at 10% now in New Hampshire, partially because of his endorsement by the Manchester Union-Leader. His strong debate performance may increase that. But even if Christie comes in second or third in New Hampshire, he does not have the infrastructure to win.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio desperately needs to win New Hampshire, but the only way to do that is get all the moderate votes, including the votes going to Christie. That's why Christie may be the undoing of Rubio.

- The American Thinker, eight weeks ago

If you check your  calendars, that was long before the Big Man delivered the coup de grace last Saturday night.

And thus, what could have been a photo-finish with Donald Trump that might have driven a stake through the heart of his attempted hostile takeover of the GOP became this:

Trump 35%, KASICH 16%, Cruz 12%, BUSH 11%, Rubio 10%.

And Double-C?  He finished sixth at 7%, with no infrastructure beyond New Hampshire.

He's done.

But then, he pretty much always was.  Rubio wasn't....until last night.  And thus has the most viable, general-electable candidate in the Republican field - and, yes, not a "moderate" but a conservative, with an admitted flaw here and there - been pointlessly, vengefully, spitefully, and politically suicidally driven from the GOP race, for all intents and purposes.  And for what?  John Kasich isn't going anywhere.  Neither is Jeb!.  But now, given this temporary infusion of viability, both these RINO carbunkles will limp on - Bush especially, with over half his "shock & awe" warchest still intact - keeping the field too big and the anti-Trump vote divided.

If the "establishment" lane really fears Trump, why did they send Christie to blow up the candidate with the best chance of stopping him?  And doesn't the fact that they did so all the more clearly illustrate that Donald Trump has himself become the "establishment" candidate?

My God, never has the Uhura Protocol - "Be careful what you wish for - you may get it" - been more relevant and applicable than right now.

Case in point:

Boy howdy, that's just a delightful tweak of the Republican "brand," isn't it?  And if you think that low-information voters won't slurp that spin right down and carry it with them all the way into the voting booth on November 8th, then you're as ignorant as they are.

But if you're looking for a little green shoot among the wreckage, poking its way determinedly through the ash and debris, Ted Cruz nabbed the "bronze medal" and did much better than expected in what was clearly a "road game" for him in the very much anti-Iowa Granite State.  The venues over the next month are much friendlier to him, meaning that for all intents and purposes, we're down to a two man race.  And Cruz has the superior ground game and organization, which will hold in good stead on Super Tuesday (the "SEC primary").

If, however, you're looking for a reality check, the "GOP establishment" crazily hates Cruz more than it does Trump - though after the Texas senator has spent the past three years doing everything in his power to personally alienate and make enemies of them, it's admittedly not all that difficult to see why, even though it's still crazy - and will now do everything it can to blow him up as it did Rubio in New Hampshire.  And the next contest, South Carolina, with its fifty delegates, is a winner-take-all State.

Or, in other words, slow motion Republicide.  And just think: I get to be along to chronicle the ride.  If only I was getting paid to endure it.

On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders vaporized Hillary Clinton 60%-38%, and got short-changed again on delegates, although not as badly as he did in Iowa a week ago.  But he's still ahead....for now, anyway.

UPDATE: It is on.  Oh, yes.  Like Donkey Kong.

Now to wait for the notoriously thin-skinned Trump to Tweet-whine like.....a pussy.

UPDATE II: Is Cruz now the GOP front-runner?

UPDATE III: Some interesting exit poll numbers on the Democrat side:

The [Rodham] campaign was trying to stop the hemorrhage of female voters — especially young women — from its camp in the closing days. Campaigning with [Mrs.] Clinton on Saturday, former [Commissar] of State ["Aunt"] Madeleine Albright thundered, “There’s a special place in hell for [bitches] who don’t help each other!” — a phrase she’s used before, but one that was specifically targeted at younger female voters who were wooed by Sanders. Feminist leader Gloria Steinem also stirred controversy when she suggested last week that younger women were supporting Sanders just so they could meet boys.

Wow.  Nothing fratricidally sexist about that comment, was there?

It turns out the [Rodham] campaign’s fears were right. According to exit polls, women made up 55% of the New Hampshire electorate — and they favored Sanders by eleven points....

Democrats fretted early on in [Mrs.] Clinton’s candidacy about her high negatives in polls. Respondents said they didn’t see her as someone who cared about them or someone who could be trusted. Months later, the campaign’s worries are proving correct.

A 34% plurality of voters said whether a candidate is honest and trustworthy mattered most to them — and among those voters, Sanders thumped [Mrs.] Clinton 91% to 5%. [emphasis added]

Nobody trusts her, and she's lost her own gender.  What does Hillary Clinton have left where it really counts - voter opinion?

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

SCOTUS Blocks Obama's "Clean Power Plan"

by JASmius

Or is trying to.  And I'm sure that, in the spirit of President Andrew Jackson responding to the SCOTUS of his day, The One is already retorting, "Chief Justice Roberts has rendered his ruling - now let him enforce it":

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a new federal regulation that would cut emissions from power plants, putting a hold on Barack Obama’s most ambitious effort to combat climate change.

i.e. Shut down the U.S. energy sector.

The justices heeded calls from utilities, coal miners and more than two dozen States to halt the Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency rule while court challenges go forward. Foes say the agency is overstepping its authority and intruding on States’ rights.

Gee, ya think?

Supreme Court intervention casts doubt on the legal prospects for the program, suggesting doubts among a majority of the nine justices.

Yeah - five of them.

The delay lasts at least until a federal appeals court in Washington rules on the plan, probably later this year after it hears arguments in June. In the meantime, the EPA won’t able to enforce a September 6th deadline for States to either submit their emission reduction plans or request a two-year extension.

Wanna bet?  As I wrote two and a half weeks ago after the D.C. Circuit followed White House orders:

Of course, it may also be the the D.C. Circuit didn't bother with a stay, reasoning quite logically that the White House will just ignore it and keep implementing CPP anyway. Either way, the mythology-driven economic carpet-bombing will roll forward.

There's no reason to believe, given the Obama Regime's track record, that anything short of a unanimous smackdown from Olympus will even remotely get their attention, much less alter their tyrannical behavior.

Watch what the States do vis-a-vie that September 6th deadline.  I would be stunned if any of them stop working on their emission reduction plans, even after this SCOTUS stay.  They know what the handwriting on the wall says, even if Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito do not.

Ben Carson Needs Another Change Of Clothes

by JASmius

I'm really very sorry, Carsonites, but this primary/caucus day "running home" business has now officially become a pattern that no amount of scapegoating Ted Cruz can paper over:

Ben Carson will be notably absent from his New Hampshire primary party on Tuesday.

The retired neurosurgeon will instead fly to South Carolina in the afternoon, his campaign said. Following Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, South Carolina Republicans will vote next, on February 20th.

The decision to leave New Hampshire early comes after Carson’s campaign last week said he would be going home to Florida instead of campaigning in New Hampshire or South Carolina following the Iowa caucuses.

The suspicion and undercurrent of the Carson campaign from day one has been whether the Doc really had the "fire in the belly" for a full-bore presidential bid.  Did he truly want to be president, or did friends and hangers-on and fans talk him into it for their own purposes?  Was running his idea or did others impose it upon him?  I think we're getting our conclusive answer.

And that's too bad, because Gentle Ben is a good man, and this lack of commitment is not doing his personal reputation any favors.  Consider how this comes across to voters in each State where he pulls this walk-out stunt:

It’s true that Carson isn’t exactly burning up the polls in the Granite State, but even with his various rhetorical stumbles along the trail, one has to wonder how much the voters of New Hampshire who might have been giving him a second look took note of his enthusiasm level. Instead of dashing to Nashua, Carson first headed to Florida. (Granted, those fresh shirts he picked up looked fabulous.) And now, after less than a week, he announces in advance that he won’t even be joining his own supporters this evening. If you’re somebody who is leaving work to head for the polls and you see that headline, are you going to bother voting for him or just head home and get out of the snow?

Or vote for somebody else.  It's kind of like an extended middle finger to the electorate, frankly.

One might even call it Cam Newtonesque....

....and I know that Ben Carson is a better man than Cam Newton.  Especially considering that Newton is thirty-eight years younger and hasn't fully grown up emotionally yet.  What's Dr. C's excuse?

The Carson campaign is clearly going nowhere.  If this is how little heart he's got left in it, better to end it now and put the ill-considered endeavor out of its misery.  And the longer he doesn't, the more obvious it will become that he's just the figurehead for the real "powers that be".

Federal Authorities: Corona Constitution Class

Instructor Douglas V. Gibbs will wrap up Article I, Section 8 with the Corona Constitution Class tonight.  Join us at 6:00 pm, CarStar/AllStar Collision, 522 Railroad Street, in Corona, California.

Confusion of Non-Politicians at GOP Debate

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The GOP Debate on ABC that preceded the New Hampshire Primary revealed a few fascinating things - not during the debate, but before it even got started.

Donald Trump has generally been leading in the polls.  Folks have been astounded by the good showing by the non-politicians; Trump, Carson and Fiorina.  I believe the popularity of Trump reveals that the conservative voters out there are sick of business-as-usual by the Republicans, which usually includes licking the boots of the Democrats every time the leftists make a threat, or use their allies in the media to challenge a member of the GOP.  However, number-crunchers and political junkies like myself have largely not run after the non-politicians.  Their lack of experience not only is unappealing, but their histories are appalling - at least with Trump and Fiorina.

All three talk a good game.  However, Trump has too many connections to the Democrat Party, and too much history with people like the Clintons.  He may be saying the right thing, and following the "art of the deal" to a tee, but in the end I am not sure he believes what he says.

Carly Fiorina is great in a debate, has some great comebacks, and would be the perfect weapon against Hillary Clinton.   However, she is a globalist, and does not have a preferable stance on the social issues.

Ben Carson is intelligent, thoughtful, caring, and genuine.  But, he is seen as being too soft.

The most glaring issue with all three of them, however, is the political inexperience, which reared its ugly head for two of them at the debate.

As the names of the candidates were being called, Carson and Trump got hung up on the edge of the stage, not sure if it was their turn, and not sure if their name had been called.  All of the candidates admitted it was impossible to hear their names, but the more experienced candidates stepped out on stage anyway as the introductions were being given, because their experience told them what to do.

Trump says he wasn't confused, he simply stayed with Carson to help him.

I think they were both confused, and this confusion that came from inexperience may be something that could follow these men into the White House should either one of them win the election.

Do we really want that kind of inexperience following around our Commander in Chief when the phone call at 3:00 AM comes in?

Even more interesting is that once they got Carson and Trump on stage, they forgot about Kasich.

Isn't Kasich forgettable?  Apparently, he is.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

North Korea Restarts Plutonium Reactor

by JASmius

Looks like the NoKos are preparing to construct more "Earth-observing satellites":

North Korea has restarted a plutonium reactor that could fuel a nuclear bomb and is seeking missile technology that could threaten the United States, Washington's top spy said Tuesday.

In an annual threat assessment, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and senior military and intelligence officials singled out the authoritarian pariah state as a major and unpredictable menace....

Hmmm; would Obamerikstan not be fairly described as an authoritarian patsy state?

"North Korea's nuclear weapons program and evolving missile programs are a continuing threat," he said....

That we have neither the will nor the ability to stop.  But I guess we know the identity of our eventual killers.  Or would if there wasn't such a long line for the honor.

"Pyongyang continues to produce fissile material and develop a submarine launched ballistic missile," Clapper told the lawmakers.

Funny, I thought the Regime had poohed-poohed that last year.  Now they're admitting it?  Or is Clapper "going off the reservation," as it were?

"It is also committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that's capable of posing a direct threat to the United States, although the system has not been flight tested."

Aside from the one they tested last weekend.

Perhaps most worrying....,however, is North Korea's resumption of plutonium production - a sign it remains bent on producing more powerful bomb[s] despite international economic sanctions.

Says something about the effectiveness of "international economic sanctions," doesn't it?  And now they've got the means to get them removed permanently - with a flash and a bang.

"We further assess that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough so that it could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months," Clapper said....

When fully operational, the reactor is capable of producing around six kilos (thirteen pounds) of plutonium a year - enough for one nuclear bomb, experts say. [emphasis added]

Folks, if they've already tested four of them, we can safely assume that the NoKos have many more where they came from.

If this is looking a lot like our future dealings with the Islamic Empire of Iran, courtesy of Barack Hussein Obama in the same way that the North Korean nuclear arsenal is the legacy of William Jefferson Clinton, go to the head of the class - while it still exists.

Obama Tells Congress How Much He's Going To Spend In FY 2017 & On What

by JASmius

If anybody thinks this budget is "dead on arrival," they're attributing way too much importance and significance to the destination as opposed to the sender:

Barack Obama unveiled his last budget on Tuesday, a record $4.1 trillion plan that is dead-on-arrival in Congress but could shape the 2016 White House race.

And, you know, will be imposed by executive decree.  Congress is just there to impotently boo and jeer it.

Legislatively, the future looks bleak for Obama's 2017 fiscal plan, which covers spending on everything from cybersecurity to the environment.

Non-binding resolutions of opposition, perhaps.  That'll be about it.

It includes big-ticket [spending] in America's creaking infrastructure -- to the tune of $320 billion over the next decade -- and ramps up research into [anti-]energy technologies and cancer....

"The budget that we are releasing today reflects my priorities and the priorities that I believe will help [degrade and destroy] security and prosperity in America for many years to come," he said.

It is chock-full of measures designed to wean the United States off fossil fuels, including a $10-a-barrel levy on crude.

And take us back to the early nineteenth century even without an enemy EMP attack.

You can go down the laundry list at the link if you want.  It goes without saying that nothing mentioned outside the (ostensible) military spending items even pretends to be constitutional.  When House Speaker Paul Ryan described it as "[not] even a budget so much as it is a [communist] manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans," he was being bending-over-backwardly generous.  And, to be fair, I'm sure it is DOA on Capitol Hill.

That doesn't mean it isn't going to be forced on the country by the Obama White House anyway.

Which it will.

Because Barack Obama's pen never runs out of ink.

It's a pity our economy can't say the same thing about dollars.

Sanders Platform Calls For Elimination Of Pentagon & CIA

by JASmius

Or, "the delegate apple don't fall far from the candidate tree":

Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders, who enjoys a double-digit lead over former [Commissar] of State Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary battle, has sought to reinvent himself as a "Democratic Socialist," but his past — including his serving as elector — or delegate — on behalf of the radical Socialist Workers Party in 1980, may prove troublesome.

"May".  Not "will," but "may".

This is where one of our major political parties is now, folks.  Fully "fundamentally transformed".

On Monday, the Atlantic reported that Sanders began his political career "on the revolutionary left," adding: "In 1980, he served as an elector for the Socialist Workers' Party."

In October, the Washington Post reported that Sanders had "served as an elector for the 1980 Socialist Worker Party nominee, Andrew Pulley."

The Socialist Workers Party, or SWP, traces its roots to the Communist League of America, a pro-Marxist group that supported Leon Trotsky in his 1927 split with Joseph Stalin....

Among the positions Sanders' candidate, Pulley, advocated on behalf of the SWP in 1980:

Pulley called for "solidarity" with the revolutionary governments of Iran and Cuba, according to the New York Times. His remarks appeared to suggest America should join forces with revolutionary regimes that he imagined to be beneficent actors on the global stage.

Barack Obama has already checked off those two boxes, by the way.

At the time Iran was holding U.S. hostages in the U.S. embassy in Tehran. In an April 1980 Associated Press report, Pulley called the possibility of U.S. military action in reaction to the Iranian hostage crisis "an ominous danger to world peace." He urged then-President Carter to hand America's deposed ally, Shah Reva Pahlavi, over to the revolutionary mullahs.

Kind of like Barack Obama has handed the revolutionary mullahs nuclear weapons.

The SWP sought to eliminate all U.S. defense and CIA spending. The $150 billion saved would be spent on public-works projects. Of course, this would amount to unilateral U.S. disarmament in the midst of the Cold War, and Western Europe's subjugation to Soviet hegemony.

O chose to homosexualize and Islamicize the U.S. military instead of abolishing it.  But otherwise, these boxes have been checked off as well.   Which leaves military abolition to President Sanders, I guess.

The Times reported that Pulley favored nationalizing virtually all private industry "especially oil, automobiles, and the railroads." In other words, Sanders' preferred candidate sought to end private enterprise as we know it — a system that New York Times columnist David Brooks has credited with "the greatest reduction in poverty in human history," citing the recent, rapid advance of economic conditions in India, [Red] China [???], and other developing nations.

Pulley voiced strong support for the Nicaraguan revolution of Daniel Ortega. Pulley told the Associated Press in August 1979 that America should send food and medicine, rather than Marines, to Nicaragua. Pulley added that Anastasio Somoza's overthrow had "inspired the exploited masses the world over."

According to a September 1980 Times report, the SWP platform also proposed cutting the work week to thirty hours. But it would force companies to pay workers as if they were still working forty.

A creative minimum wage increase, that would be in today's Obamaconomy.

Cutting workers' hours without cutting their pay, it maintained, would reduce unemployment because companies would be forced to hire additional workers.

Without being able to control labor costs.  Sure - bankruptcy is always a job-creating economic stimulus, is it not?

The likelihood the policy would touch off massive inflation, while also incentivizing companies to automate production and eliminate workers altogether, went unmentioned however.

Reads like today's headlines, doesn't it?

Now let me ask you all a very basic, straightforward question: Is there any reason, any at all, to believe that the above isn't also Bernie Sanders' 2016 platform, down to the last jot and tittle?  Because while the man has definitely aged, he has not changed at all:

But they make plain that Sanders was in fact a self-styled 1960s-era revolutionary.

"When he came to Vermont in the late 1960s to help plan the upending of the old social order," wrote the Times' Sarah Lyall in July, "the future presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought with him the belief that the United States was starkly divided into two groups: the establishment and the revolutionaries. He was a revolutionary."

Sanders self-conception as someone who would overturn the established order was apparently quite sincere.

In an article for the Vermont Freeman, an "alternative" newspaper, Sanders described the United States as "a dying society" whose economy was based on "useless" goods that were "designed to break down or [are] used for the slaughter of people."....

"Ready to start a political revolution?" his campaign web site provocatively asks.

And here is the punchline you've all been waiting for:

The irony of Sanders' status as a potential Democrat standard-bearer claiming the mantle of democratic socialism is that many [Democrat]s reject him as too mainstream.

"Bernie Sanders isn't socialist enough for many [Democrat]s," Bloomberg's David Freedlander has observed. [emphases added]

This of the same man that plans to impose a $2.5 trillion PER YEAR single-payer health care gulag in ObamaCare's place.

And remember, folks: Current polls show Bernie Sanders would defeat Donald Trump this a wide margin.

Still think this country is "still conservative," my Tea Party friends?  Even if General Secretary Sanders wouldn't have all that much "fundamental transforming" left to do.

Trump Calls Ted Cruz A "Pussy"

by JASmius

Or "the death of anti-PC":

On Monday night, just hours before polls open in New Hampshire, Donald Trump almost certainly became the first presidential frontrunner in history to utter the word "pussy" on stage.

During a rally at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump broached the topic of waterboarding. As he laid out the other candidates' "weak" stance on the issue, he began riffing on Ted Cruz's stance, which came up during the Republican debate on Saturday.

One supporter in the crowd shouted something, which Trump reiterated to the crowd. "She said he's a pussy. That's terrible," Trump said. The crowd laughed before cheering "Trump! Trump! Trump!" in unison.

Let the record show that I disagree with Ted Cruz on the issue of waterboarding.  It is not wrong, nor is it "torture," because it doesn't harm the subject.  And, brother, does it ever work, as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed found out, to the everlasting gratitude of the countless American civilians who were not slaughtered in follow-up al Qaeda plots.  I don't care if the Texas senator's father was tortured by the pre-Castro Batista government in Cuba; that was torture - waterboarding is not.

But Cruz's misguided opposition to waterboarding isn't a matter of cowardice on his part.  It's a matter of principle, as everything is with him.  He's not "afraid" to waterboard jihadists; he simply does not want to do it because he believes it's wrong.  I can disagree with Senator Cruz on that point and still respect his motivations for holding it.

It's called "nuance".  A recognition that disagreement without being disagreeable is still possible.  Just as it's possible to disregard "political correctness" without being an asshole about it.

But not for Trumplicans, who appear to be equal parts boorish and stupid:

Mic found the woman who originally shouted the comment about Cruz. She declined to tell us her name or be photographed....

Wow, now who's the "pussy"?

....but agreed to answer a few questions. The fifty-two-year-old woman from Salem, New Hampshire, said the Trump event was her first political rally of the cycle, but described herself a “huge Trump supporter.”

“I watched the debate, and [Ted Cruz] just comes across as a pussy,” she told Mic on the floor of the Verizon center. “He doesn’t have the balls to stand up to Putin. He doesn’t have the balls to stand up to other leaders of others countries.”

When did Cruz ever say that?  How the hell does she know?  What has "standing up to Putin" and "other leaders of others countries" have to do with not wanting to waterboard captured jihadists?  Was she not listening when Cruz vowed to "carpet-bomb" ISIS?  And was she not paying attention to her hero's bromance with the Russian strongman?  Good Lord, the stupid here is so thick you could walk on it.

When asked whether she trusts Trump, she answered, “He’s got the balls the size of watermelons, whereas the other ones got the balls of little grapes.” She then specified the size of other candidates’ testicles. “The other one, Rubio, [has balls] like a raisin.”

That would be the same Marco Rubio that vowed at last Saturday's debate  to haul captured terrorists to Guantánamo Bay and “find out everything they know.”  By this woman's criteria, Rubes' testes are as least as big as "Trump Tower".  But this isn't about foreign policy or counter-terrorism tactics or any kind of issue substance; it's about authoritarian personality cults, which are about as unAmerican as it's possible to get.

It's a pity this woman didn't have the ovaries to make her name and picture public.  I'd have sent her a pic of my enormous nutsack if I didn't hold a principled opposition to "sexting".

And you thought that American politics was debased by the Clinton detour.  Man, we had no idea.

Here's the, um, money shot, folks: There's a difference between having a dick and being one.  Time was when we expected our presidents, and those who sought the office, to be, you know, adults, and not promulgators of junior high school locker room repartee.  Someone we could be proud of when representing our country to the world.

Not anymore, it would seem.

Exit question: Did anybody ever mention George Washington's scrotum?  I must have missed that in history class.

The Implosion of La Clinton Nostra Has Begun

by JASmius

Hey, I used that term when Gentle Ben '16 hit the "campaign staff upheaval" iceberg.  At least I'm being etymologically consistent.

Tell me this doesn't sound eerily familiar:

Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Clintons — stung by her narrow victory in Iowa — had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told Politico.

Because nothing is ever Herself's fault, of course.  So it's her aides and campaign staff's fault for not being capable of doing the impossible and actually getting her over with Democrat voters.

The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 – when [Mrs.] Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials – before her surprise win [in New Hampshire] bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands – like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin – to run the campaign while the previous staff were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions.

And she....still lost.  Something that she should keep in mind, but of course will not.

Why?  I've said it thousands of times by now, both here and on the air, and I'll say it again: Hillary Clinton is the worst candidate in American political history.  She is unlikable, unrelateable, arrogant, abrasive, imperious, royally hypocritical, and an abysmal, though promiscuous, liar.  She's the "anti-Bill".  Sick Willie could get elected Pope; Herself couldn't get elected dog-catcher.

Eight years ago she could rationalize that her defeat was a case of bad timing, that she ran in the same cycle as an idiot savant who had his skin color working for him as well, that it just wasn't meant to be, but that next time, in 2016, lightning couldn't possibly strike twice, and she would have her coronation.  But now she's losing to a septuagenarian avowedly socialist white guy whose candidacy looked like a joke until he steadily overtook her in the polls as far back as last summer.  It appears that the only way for Hillary Clinton to win the Democrat nomination is for her to not be just lightly opposed, but to be unopposed altogether.  Which is proving to be as difficult as holding open a wormhole.

The reason for that is simple: Hillary Clinton is the worst candidate in American political history.  The problem is in her (cracked) mirror.  Just like the witch in Snow White.

But we can always count on the "conventional wisdom" to adhere to the wishcastingly wrong answer every time.  Currently, that teaches that Weekend Bernie was only able to compete with the Empress in Iowa and New Hampshire because he was able to spend all his time in just those two small States.  When the campaign moves on to more and bigger States simultaneously, La Clinton Nostra's greater resources and organization will prevail.

And once again, the conventional wisdom is not giving Hillary's awfulness nearly enough credit:

After New Hampshire, though, the States get significantly more diverse; basically every one of the next couple dozen States to vote is less white than Iowa and New Hampshire.

We’ve called this [Mrs.] Clinton’s “nonwhite firewall.” Basically: More-diverse electorates start voting, and [Mrs.] Clinton has a better chance of putting together a series of wins and ending Bernie Sanders once and for all.

But while [Mrs.] Clinton might indeed be a shoo-in in South Carolina....

Or might not.

....that isn’t so clearly the case in Nevada.

Technically, Nevada is actually the more diverse State of the two. Non-Hispanic whites comprise just 51.5% in Nevada, compared to 64% in South Carolina. Nevada has many Hispanics, while South Carolina has a large black population.

But to assume that both play to [Mrs.] Clinton’s strengths in similar ways is to miss the point.

Which is that she doesn't HAVE any strengths.  Not as a candidate, nor as a person.  And did we mention that she's as white as Sanders?  And that, as I've also said many times, the Democrats will never win another presidential election in which they don't nominate a minority candidate?

Her resources aren't enough.  Her organization isn't enough.  Her vagina isn't enough.  Here aides aren't to blame.  Hillary Clinton will never be the Democrat presidential nominee, much less POTUS, EVER, for one single, solitary, fat, saggy, jowly, manifestly and ubiquitously unpleasant reason: Hillary Clinton.

It's as simple as that.

Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg notwithstanding, of course.

Merit Systems Protection Board Reinstates Another Criminal VA Executive

by JASmius

What is it about all these (allegedly) female VA execs that they all look like either trannies or strap-on lesbos?  I guess that's yet another manifestation of "fundamental transformation".  It's a pity they left out the Dramamine.

I suppose Linda Weiss, once and future director of the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in upstate New York, isn't quite as bad as the recently reinstated corruptresses Kimberly Graves and Diana Rubens, who fired two subordinates in order to steal their jobs at no reduction in pay, along with half a million dollars in relocation fees, which is now apparently legal if you're a Democrat.  All "Miss" Weiss did was hire, keep, and protect on her staff petty thieves, indolent and incompetent goldbricks and violent drug addicts that endangered every patient in her VA facility:

In the last year, two male nurses at Stratton were accused in separate incidents of stealing and using powerful drugs intended for patients. One of them was charged with federal crimes, and the second nurse, who was found incoherent with a used syringe nearby, was let go from his job but not charged criminally even though it was the second incident involving his illicit drug use. Another nurse remained on duty despite complaints from co-workers that he was sleeping on duty, including in the bed of a patient who had died the night before. Also, a former nurse alleges that patients in a geriatric unit with “treatable” conditions were instead being given morphine, hastening their deaths. A hospital spokesperson denied the allegation. [emphases added]

I think we have the entire VAgate scandal microcosmed in that one paragraph.

Stunningly, our old friend Sloane Gibson actually and apparently gave a damn about this rampant criminality and - no foolin' - terminated Director Weiss for tolerating it.

For that heinous crime of committing the unpardonable sin of attempting to dismiss a criminally incompetent unionized government employee, "Miss" Weiss turned to our old friends at the MSPB, who reliably came to "her" rescue:

The Merit Systems Protection Board on Friday overturned the [commissariat]’s decision in January to fire Linda Weiss, former director of the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in upstate New York. VA Deputy [Commissar] Sloan Gibson, who has defended his recent personnel decisions related to senior executives, said Friday that he would not return Weiss to her job in Albany, or any other position where she would be responsible for patient safety. Weiss was put on administrative leave in November before being fired last month. She appealed her removal to MSPB in January.

Gibson said he removed Weiss from her job because she did not do enough to ensure the safety of vets seeking care at the Albany medical center, despite complaints from patients.

Sorry, Sloane, old chap, but what makes you think you're going to be given any such choice in the matter?  Indeed, full reinstatement to her directorship at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center is the least "Miss" Weiss can expect.  It would not surprise me in the slightest if Mr. Gibson got the boot and "Miss" Weiss installed in his place as Veterans Affairs Commissar Bob McDonald's deputy for his colossal effrontery and presumptuousness in purporting to have the authority to impose accountability on any of his subordinates for their criminal actions.

And if/when that takes place, something tells me the Merit Systems Protection Board won't be returning his calls.

UPDATE: See what I mean?:

For J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the stakes could not be higher this year, however.

“God help us all,” Cox told reporters on Monday of the possibility of a Republican winning the White House to succeed President Obama. “This country will be in a serious, serious situation.”...

“There is not a Republican candidate that’s running that hasn’t said they would annihilate federal employee unions and virtually every union in the country,” Cox said.

Calm down, J.  Breathe into a paper bag for the next few days.  Geez, how little faith you have in your despotic False Messiah.  He'll decree himself another term and everything will be okay for you and your parasite class.  Sheesh.

This is the hysterical mafia mentality at work here, folks.  And it's everywhere, including on Capitol Hill:

Representative Mark Takano, D-CA41, promised to join the American Federation of Government Employees in opening “a can of whoop ass” on Capitol Hill to ward off any perceived "injustice" against the federal workforce. Representative Elijah Cummings, D-MA7, joined Takano at the labor group’s annual legislative conference, giving a passionate plea for federal employees to keep their spirits high.

“I have come here to encourage you not to give up,” Cummings said in a largely off-the-cuff address. “You are some of the most important people in the world.”

Sorry, give me a minute, my eyes have rolled completely to the back of my head....

AFGE National President J. David Cox renounced Barack Obama’s proposed 1.6% pay raise for 2017, calling instead for a 5.3% increase.

Isn't that blasphemy, J.?

“I’m a happy, jolly man,” Cox said as to why he is hoping for the largest civilian pay raise in more than three decades. “We may not get 5.3 [%], I’ll be perfectly honest,” he said, “but we’ll be fighting like hell for more than 1.6 [%].”

You want to talk about the New Aristocracy?  There it is.  Nobody in the vast wasteland known as the private sector even gets raises anymore.  Hell, most of us don't even have jobs anymore.  I'd be happy to have my phone calls from prospective employers returned.  A job interview would be reason to shout for rapturous joy.  An actual job would break me down in sobs.  To be in it long enough to get any sort of raise crosses into the metaphysical.

If I could, I would punch J. David Cox and Congressmen Takano and Cummings right in the mouth.  I'm eventually going to be homeless, anyway, after all.  That would at least assure me of continued food and shelter, assuming I could develop an appreciation for orange jumpsuits and never dropped my soap.

Sounds like an audition for a gig at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, doesn't it?

Monday, February 08, 2016

The X-Files: Home Again (S10/E4)

by JASmius

Rating: **1/2 (out of four)

Written & directed by Glen Morgan

Especially in light of some of the other pannings of this episode that I've seen already - which I find just as inexplicable as how popular last week's fratricidal farce was outside these hallowed environs - I will admit right here at the top of this review that it will be difficult for me to evaluate this episode objectively, because one of the story tracks hit me very close to home.  It's most of why I could recommend this ep....if not for its other story track.

One of Philadelphia's "skid rows".  Early this morning (according to the notice attached to the front of a building).  Joseph Cutler, a HUD employee (played by Alessandro Juliani, who was "Felix Gaeta" on Battlestar Galactica) is trying to rouse the homeless people out of their makeshift tents and off the sidewalks.  They ignore him.  So he has fire hoses open up on them, which drives them away.

This is taking place at the behest of a "heartless" real estate developer, Daryl Landry (Daryl Shuttleworth) who, yes, wants to put up a shiny new apartment building where this particular "Skid Row" is, but isn't just getting rid of the homeless squatting there, but wishes to give them shelter in a nearby abandoned hospital that he has renovated for that purpose.  Which to me made him, if not a or the hero of the story, certainly took him off of the villain list.

That description was a much better fit for his sparring partner and opponent in this endeavor, Nancy Huff (Peggy Jo Jacobs), the epitome of the big city bleeding heart lib do-gooder (she's head of the nearest school board) with the standard big city bleeding heart lib do-gooder's payload of NIMBYism,  Using the contrived excuse of "standing up for the right of the homeless to be homeless," or something like that, she's trying to thwart Landry's initiative because the abandoned hospital in question happens to be in her school board district and she doesn't want all those bums and drug addicts and crazy people squatting in her neighborhood.  A not unreasonable motivation, but which reeks with such hypocrisy that when she is eventually messily dismembered, the viewer cannot help but get a little smirk on his/her face.

That brings us to the messy dismemberment of Mr. Cutler, who is the first victim simply because of physical proximity.  He's in his office when the lights go out - well, every light except the one outside his glassed office door, which backlights his killer.  Suddenly the door explodes inward, and two seconds later Mr. Cutler's head and all of his limbs have been torn off.  Then the killer disappears.  Not leaves, but literally and instantly vanishes....back out to the street, where he climbs into a garbage truck that drives away.

Which explains why Mulder and Scully show up later that day.  Because, as the assigned local police detective puts it, they have experience with "spooky" cases.  To which you can visibly see Mulder struggling mightily not to snicker.

Now THAT's good comedy on this series.  Ditto his crack about Mr. Culter's head "not being put in the proper recycling bin".

Oddly, no footprints are found at the crime scene, which is remarkable given the ocean of blood covering the floor.  But Mulder does find - by stepping on it - a discarded band aid, which, upon forensic analysis, is determined to have no organic material on it, and no inorganic material on it either.  It's apparently....immaculate.  Or came from a ghost....

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

The other thing Mulder notices - and, naturally, only Mulder would make this connection - was graffiti of a tall, creepy looking homeless man on a building across the street.   He asks for access to that building to take a closer look, but when he gets there, the graffiti has....disappeared.

There's not much else to this story track.  The killer, who we eventually learn is called "Trashman" by the homeless people, messily dismembers two art thieves who were in the process of stealing another creepy homeless guy mural, Nancy Huff, and Daryl Landry, always disembarking from and reembarking onto a garbage truck.  There's no real way to "catch" Trashman, and Mulder and Scully never do.  But they do find another homeless person who, as it happens, is an artist who uses his talent to try to "raise public consciousness" on the homeless issue.  Upon questioning him, he exposits a stream-of-consciousness gibberish (the enunciation of which I could barely make out, which I'm assuming was "in character" but was no less annoying) about "discarding people" and "treating the homeless like trash" and all of us "being surrounded by disembodied spirits," one of which he believes picked up on his anger, possessed one of his homeless person sculptures - on which he used - tada! - a band aid to hold on the nose - and is going around messily dismembering anybody he believes is "hostile to the homeless".  Which Mr. Landry really wasn't, but never mind.

I'd have thought that Mulder and Scully would have taken this guy into custody anyway, if only to prevent him from painting more creepy murals and making more murderous sculptures, but then Trashman would probably have come after them, and Scully had enough on her mind as it was.

At the initial crime scene, she receives a call from one of her brothers, informing her that their mother, Margaret Scully (Sheila Larken), has had a massive heart attack and is in a coma.  Gillian Anderson didn't depict the aggrieved shock quite as well as Patrick Stewart did in Star Trek VII: Generations when Captain Picard learns that his brother and nephew have been immolated, but the stunned sadness was conveyed adequately enough, at least to me.

My own reaction when I learned that my mother had died wasn't so much emotional as dysfunctional.  I was speechless.  My mouth opened and closed several times without a sound coming out of it.  It was overwhelming.  Epochal.  Mom is....dead?  That's impossible.  How can that be?  It felt unreal.  The woman gave birth to me.  She was always there for me.  She still was there for me.  She can't just be....not there.  Can she?

But indeed she was not.  Oh, I'll see her again at the Rapture, but only God The Father knows when that will be, and in the meantime, my mother was and is....not here.

The thing is, I never got a chance to say goodbye.  I was at my computer, working from home (way back when I had a job - boy, wouldn't Mom be proud?), when I got the call from my aunt: cerebral hemorrhage.  She was dead before she hit the pavement in her front yard (where she had been working in her flower beds).  Which was a blessing for her in a way, as she always said that when it was her time to go, she wanted to go out like a pinched candlewick.  And so she did.

I'm not going to try to answer the question of whether there's a good, or better, way to die from the loved ones' perspective.  Is the quick break easier to adjust to in the long run?  Or is it better to be able to say goodbye, even if she can't hear what you're saying and wouldn't be "all there" if she could?

Dana Scully gets that chance.  Which doesn't make it any easier when her mother eventually expires, but does seem to give her some measure of closure.

Or would have if it hadn't segued to her ongoing anguish about her and Mulder's son.

Mulder, not being able to do much else on the Trashman case, joins Scully at her mother's bedside to lend her moral support, much like he was at Scully's bedside after her alien (?) abduction when she was in a coma ("Did you ever come across an X-File where somebody was wished back to life?"  “I invented it when you were in the hospital.”  “You’re a dark wizard, Mulder.").  Scully's cell phone rings; it's her younger brother, Charlie, who has been estranged from his and Scully's mother for years, and for whom she called out before slipping into her coma.  Scully puts her phone on speaker, and Charlie speaks to their mom.  Moments later, her eyelids flutter open, she looks at Mulder, smiles, and says, "William looks just like you".  Then she dies.

If Scully hadn't been too understandably distraught, she would have been really creeped out at that.

She immediately leaves (not wanting to see her mother's corpse harvested for the organs she was donating), insisting she wants to bury herself in her work.  But that only lasts until the interrogation of Trashman's creator, when she almost compulsively parallels the "discarding" of homeless people to the "discarding" of her and Mulder's son when she gave him up for adoption fourteen years ago.

And thus we learned that the whole Trashman story track was for no other purpose than to generate that metaphor inextricably linked to the miniseries mytharc reboot.  So Culter, Landry, and Huff never mattered and were expendable.  Just like the homeless people on that Philadelphia "Skid Row," other than being (1) still alive and (2) much better housed in that abandoned hospital than they were on the street.  And Trashman?  He's still got all five hundred and thirty-five Members of Congress to dismember his way through, so he'll be kept plenty busy.

In an X -Files season this short, there's simply no getting away from the mytharc, no matter how hard the writers try.  Which pretty much builds in a handicap to each and every episode.

If Glen Morgan had had balls the size of cantaloupes, he would have had Trashman dismember the now-teenaged William Mulder II. just as Mulder and Scully burst upon the scene.  Instead we get Scully seeing things (Seeing "William" on her caller ID screen when Mulder calls).

On the other hand, that probably means that, with only two episodes left, their little bouncing baby bundle of joy is already on his way.

Next: New Mulder and Scully meet Classic Mulder and Scully.


By Allan McNew

There is a drive among those in the public eye to create a catch phrase or visual image to function as a brand or statement. Hugh Hefner sported an evening robe and a pipe; ZZ Top utilizes extra long beards, a hot car, and a hand gesture appropriated from Elvis Presley; Miley Cyrus twerks; Michael Jackson had one glove. The political realm includes “Government isn't the solution, government is the problem”; “Read my lips, no more taxes” ; “I feel your pain”; “Bring it on”; “Hope and change”. Sometimes it works, other times it collapses under absurdity.

Hillary Clinton has repetitively pounded the podium long, loud and hard to proclaim that having been born female and married to Bill Clinton requires the electorate to vote her to the Presidency. It seems that any time now she's going to kick the podium out of the way, shuck the pants part of her pantsuit, peel off the granny panties, thrust her hips towards the audience, point with both index fingers to her nether region - visual proof of being female - and shrilly yell “THIS IS GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!”

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Michael Bloomberg Moves Closer To Independent Presidential Run

by JASmius

Yes, alas, this really appears to be becoming a thing:

Speaking to the Financial Times, the founder of the eponymous financial information group criticised the quality of the debate in the ​presidential ​race. He said ​that ​he was “looking at all the options” when asked whether he was considering putting his name forward.

“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview, before adding that the U.S. public deserved “a lot better”…

Mr. Bloomberg told the FT that he would need to start putting his name on ballots across the U.S. at the beginning of March. “I’m listening to what candidates are saying and what the primary voters appear to be doing,” he said.

Let's take these one at a time.

The quality of the debate this cycle has been just fine, outside of pretty much everything that has come out of Donald Trump's piehole.  The (actually) Republican field has done a bang-up job of articulating Tea Party and center-right conservatism, Bernie Sanders has argued for the liberal left commie bastard Apocalypse with passion and wheezing, and Hillary Clinton has screeched for herself at every opportunity.  It's Trump that has "fundamentally transformed" American politics into a carival barker reality TV sideshow.  So Bloomie's problem has to be with Trumpese, yes?

Not as such.  Banality is defined as "lacking originality, freshness, or novelty".  That certainly doesn't describe Trump, and would presumably describe the rest of the field in both parties.  But that isn't really the fault of the other candidates; it's a product of politics itself.  There are always many issues discussed in election campaigns, both foreign and domestic, but they do all reside in a certain, limited number of general categories.  There will always be debate and argument about federal spending, taxation, cultural issues, terrorism, foreign policy, education, health care, etc.  The only ways to change that are to either get the federal government out of housing and urban development and education and health care, etc., etc., etc. and back within the boundaries of the United States Constitution, or despotically expand it to even more areas where it doesn't belong.  Which course do you think Bloomie is more likely to pursue?  Too bad we can't enjoy a Big Gulp while we contemplate it, huh?

The punchline is that the New York liberal Bloomberg would bring anything original, fresh, or novel to the race that the other New York liberal hasn't, other than an adult sense of decorum and better table manners.

But the pollsters, at least, are still taking a Bloomberg indy run seriously.  And according to focus group guru Frank Luntz, we'd better hope and pray that Marco Rubio is our nominee:

In a race against [Mrs.] Clinton and Republican [Senator] Ted Cruz, Bloomberg receives 28% of the vote, compared to [Mrs.] Clinton’s 37% and Cruz’s 35%.

And in a scenario in which Republican [Senator] Marco Rubio wins his party’s nomination, Bloomberg receives 28% of the vote, compared to Rubio’s 38% and [Mrs.] Clinton’s 35%…

The poll also finds that when either Trump or Cruz is the GOP nominee, Bloomberg draws more support from Republicans than from Democrats, winning 26% and 23% percent of GOP voters, respectively.

When Rubio is the GOP nominee, only 18% of Republicans defect to support the former mayor. [emphasis added]

This is the point where I would ordinarily caveat that way more Republicans and Democrats would close ranks than that and Bloomberg almost certainly wouldn't get out of single-digits, and given that he's a New York liberal, that would hurt Hillary or Weekend Bernie.  But this crazy-ass cycle, who knows?  Ross Perot syphoned off nineteen percent of the popular vote in 1992, after all; maybe Bloomberg doesn't knock on the door of thirty percent, but a portion in the teens would probably be plausible.  And the magnitude of Bloomers' popular vote haul wouldn't matter to which major party candidate would be impacted more.

It's an established fact that Marco Rubio is more general-electable than Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, as Cruz is more general-electable in turn than Trump as well.  Whether the general election would be sufficiently close in the instances of either a Rubio or Cruz nomination to where Bloomberg's presence would skew the election to Sanders or Mrs. Clinton is anybody's guess at this point.  But it's looking more and more likely that we're going to find out.

My conclusion?  Trump was originally the designated stalking horse for Mrs. Clinton, his mission to join the GOP race and stay in it long enough to contrive a reason to walk out and go third party in order to split the Republican vote and put her back in the White House; but Trump has done far better in the GOP primaries than anybody ever dreamed he would, and now he's actually going for the nomination, so the Empress needs another New York liberal stalking horse.  And Michael Bloomberg is it.

The details don't matter to Herself, though; only the destination.  Whatever it takes.

In the words of Loki at the end of The Avengers, "If it's all the same to you, I'll have that Big Gulp now".

Iranian Nuclear Weapons Buildup Continued Straight Through & Since Iran Nuclear "Deal"

by JASmius

Almost as if the year after year of the endlessly masturbatory negotiations culminating in the capitulation, sellout, and betrayal of Barack Obama's own country, every American ally (but especially Israel), and the entire Western world was nothing but a sideshow to the mullahs, designed for no other purpose than to get the sanctions lifted, the $150 billion cash infusion, and the resumption of tribute collecting from the European Union.  While, in the mean time, the main event - Iranian nuclear superiority - hummed ever onward, unfettered and unrestrained.

But that couldn't be - could it?:

Satellite imagery provided by our partners at AllSource Analysis gives a clear picture of the dual nature of Iran’s approach to its nuclear program throughout its negotiations with the West. The pictures of the Parchin Military Complex, taken in July 2010 and January 2016, respectively, show how Tehran removed potentially incriminating traces of activity at the site while talks were ongoing. It also constructed an underground facility within the complex, where research and weapons development could be concealed. …

Based on the images, it is clear that Iran began making an effort to scrub the site clean in 2012, as talks with the West began to show more potential. It removed layers of soil and foliage that could have contained evidence of its previous activities well before inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in September 2015, and covered large areas with concrete. Tehran also insisted that Iranian personnel, rather than IAEA experts, collect the test samples required for the inspection. However, the IAEA insists that this process was subject to rigid oversight, and the organization found no incriminating evidence against Iran during its visit to Parchin, though this was likely in part due to the recent renovations and the lack of equipment left in the high explosives test building.

Of course, the IAEA insists that the process was subject to "rigid oversight" - to admit the truth that it wasn't, that they're just props for Iranian propaganda, would make them look like the useful idiots they are.  So they perpetuate the fiction that they were actually inspecting areas like since sanitized, and which the mullahs will not permit them to even pretend to inspect now, because those are the facilities in which Iranian nuclear warhead manufacturing is taking place - that it's called the Parchin MILITARY Complex is kind of a, well, "dead" giveaway.

“The images show Iran was going through the motions to hide what it’s done before, and it is still…developing facilities that the IAEA may or may not have access to,” Tack said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. …

While the destruction of that controversial building has been reported before, Tack said the publication of images of the near-simultaneous construction of the tunnel entrance to another part of the complex is new.

“The imagery showed they were working on a tunnel entrance within the Parchin complex…and it looks like it’s complete,” Tack said. A 2014 image Stratfor did not release showed construction equipment outside tunnel entrance.

“They were still going forward with that construction during the talks,” he said.

Think about that, my friends.  Nothing that was said and done in Geneva - not a single meeting, not a single concession, not a single syllable of anything that was uttered by John Kerry or Barack Obama for all of those years, the very crown jewel of the Obama Doctrine and "legacy," was the slightest bit relevant to or had the remotest affect on the Iranian nuclear weapons program, which has only accelerated following the conclusion of the "deal" that was supposed to delay it.

And this White House knew it, and yet signed off on the "deal" anyway, and jealously guards its "achievement" with extreme prejudice.

Man, I can't wait for the first Iranian nuclear test (which may or may not be carried out in Tel Aviv or Manhattan) that The One will insist is "just an earthquake," and "all Bush's fault".

Exit thought: Say, you don't suppose that the most recent North Korean nuclear test might have been of an Iranian nuclear warhead, do you?  They ARE collaborating on their mutual ballistic missile development, after all.  This wouldn't be much of a stretch.

"Free Palestine" Hacks, Loots Obama DOJ, DHS

by JASmius the White House's implicitly engraved invitation, of course.

Or, just another day at the Oval Office:

A hacker, who wishes to remain anonymous, plans to dump the apparent names, job titles, email addresses and phone numbers of over twenty thousand supposed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees, as well as over nine thousand alleged [Commissariat] of Homeland [Ins]ecurity (DHS) employees, Motherboard has learned.

The hacker also claims to have downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of data from a [Commissariat of Injustice, Revenge & Coverup] (DOJ) computer, although that data has not been published.


On Sunday, Motherboard obtained the supposedly soon-to-be-leaked data and called a large selection of random numbers in both the DHS and FBI databases. Many of the calls went through to their respective voicemail boxes, and the names for their supposed owners matched with those in the database. At one point, Motherboard reached the operations center of the FBI, according to the person on the other end.

One alleged FBI intelligence analyst did pick up the phone, and identified herself as the same name as listed in the database. A DHS employee did the same, but did not feel comfortable confirming his job title, he said.

And I'm sure "Free Palestine" appreciates Motherboard doing and confirming much of their due diligence on their intel haul, too.

I'd describe "Free Palestine's" motivations, but hell, you know and I know why they're doing this, and why the Obama Regime left the cyberwelcome mat out and the cyberporchlight  on, and how many FBI and DHS agents and personnel lives are already in jeopardy as a result.

But have no fear, my friends, because Chip Diller.... large and in charge in Lynchland:

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the [Commissariat of Injustice, Revenge & Coverup], said it did not think the hackers had managed to release “sensitive, personally-identifiable information”, and that if it discovered criminal activity it would press charges.

“The [commissariat] is looking into the unauthorised access of a system operated by one of its components containing employee contact information,” he told the Telegraph.

“This unauthorised access is still under investigation; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive personally identifiable information.

....that they're willing to admit until after they've buried it and it's all blown over (i.e. when it's "old news").

“The [commissariat] takes this very seriously....


....and is continuing to deploy protection and defensive measures to safeguard information.

For show, as it's as much as eight months too late.

Any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature will be referred to law enforcement for investigation.”

Who may no longer even be alive to carry it out.  If, of course, there was any political or ideological motivation on the part of the Obama Regime to do so.  Which there's not.

Check off one more box on the list of cataclysms that are no longer seen as outrages, but as part of the "New Normal".  Remember when we hyperventilated over the disastrous Chi-Comm hack of thirty-two million OPM personnel and security dosiers?  Good times, good times.