February 12, 2016

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RUSSIA AND TURKEY EDGE CLOSER TO WAR IN SYRIA:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has implied that Turkey will take action after the capture of the town of Azez in Syria, a strategic corridor between Aleppo and Turkey for rebel groups, by Syrian regime troops backed by Russian airstrikes.

Speaking to reporters en route to Turkey from the Netherlands, Davutoğlu said that he had told German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the need to stop Russia in Syria in order to prevent further influxes of refugees to Turkey and Europe from the region, the Hürriyet daily reported on Friday. When asked whether Turkey will take action to reopen the corridor to Aleppo, Davutoğlu said, “Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer,” daily Hürriyet reported on Friday.

It’s difficult to know in these moments whether to draw a red line, hand out a reset button, or tweet a clever new hash tag.

HARRY REID: BILL CLINTON STILL ‘KNOWS HOW TO FEEL OUR PAIN.’

Well, there’s plenty of it in the country, based on Hillary and Bernie’s debate remarks last night.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: John Schindler: Mounting Evidence Putin Will Ignite WWIII. By letting Putin get away with whatever he likes in Syria, Obama has created a deeply dangerous situation.

Relations between Russia and Turkey have been dismal since late November, when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian bomber on the border with Syria, killing its pilot. That began a war of words between Moscow and Ankara that ought to concern everyone, since the former has several thousand nuclear weapons and the latter is a member of NATO.

Kremlin propaganda against Ankara has increased of late, setting the stage for further confrontation. As I explained here last week, Russian media outlets initially blamed the Sinai crash of Metrojet 9268 last autumn on the Islamic State, an atrocity which killed 224 innocents, nearly all of them Russians—a quite plausible claim. However, the Kremlin has abruptly shifted course and now blames the mass murder on Turkish ultranationalist terrorists, without any evidence provided to support that explosive assertion.

Where things may be going between Russia and Turkey, ancient enemies who have warred many times over the centuries, was evidenced this week, when the Kremlin announced large-scale surprise military exercises in the regions of the country that are close to Turkey. Troops were moved to full combat readiness, the last stage before a shooting war, with Sergei Shoygu, the Russian defense minister, announcing on TV: “We began our surprise check of the military preparedness in the Southwest strategic direction.”

That would be the direction of Turkey. These snap exercises involve the Southern Military District and the navy’s Black Sea Fleet, which are deeply involved in Russia’s not-so-secret secret war in eastern Ukraine. However, they also involve the navy’s Caspian Sea flotilla, which is nowhere near Ukraine.

Well, we’ve got John Kerry and Barack Obama standing between us and World War III, so . . . Duck and Cover!

A USED BOOKSTORE IN BERKELEY:

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.21.43 AM

ANDREW MALCOLM: Dem debate: Fierce grilling except for emails, FBI, Top Secret, Benghazi, debt and….

Of the 16,000 words uttered by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and moderators Gwen Ifil and Judy Woodruff, not one of them concerned Clinton’s deepening email scandal. Not one mention of the words email, e-mail, private server or FBI.

Not a single media question or opponent mention of the huge legal cloud hanging over the party’s presumptive nominee. Nor of the ongoing FBI investigation into unauthorized use of her unsecured private email server for government business, including loose handling of Top Secret documents endangering national security intelligence-gathering and covert operations.

Not any reference to the State Department Inspector General’s subpoena to the Clinton Foundation exploring possible connections between foreign government donations possibly trying to curry favor during Clinton’s four-year tenure as Obama’s secretary of State.

Oh, and not a single word either about Benghazi, the murder of four Americans there, the phony video excuse, the lack of rescue or reinforcement attempts and any Clinton responsibility for the well-documented poor consulate security. Nothing on tax or entitlement reforms. National debt.

A complete pass for Hillary Clinton. Whoosh! Home free. Other than that, it was a serious grilling about being female, admiring Obama, taxing the rich more, free stuff and other liberal issues.

It’s as if Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, and PBS were just trying to help the Democrats or something.

ELIJAH CUMMINGS TRIES TO FLY COVER FOR THE IRS, JIM JORDAN SHOOTS HIM DOWN:

“The problem now is that our committee is in a mindset where we are just trying to get the IRS,” Cummings said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio.), chairman of the Oversight subcommittee on administrative rules, fired back.

“We’re not trying to get the IRS. The IRS was trying to get conservative Americans who were exercising their First Amendment, free speech right,” he said. “Twenty-three hearings is a pretty small price to pay when you’re trying to protect fundamental liberties in the Constitution, for goodness sake.”

Jordan said the hearings are warranted because the IRS has engaged in a pattern of destroying records and documents.

If they did nothing wrong, why are so many hard drives “mysteriously” crashing and disappearing?

WHY OBAMA SAYS ‘THAT’S NOT WHO WE ARE’: “Calling people un-American, or challenging their love for America, thus runs afoul of liberal lore and Obama’s own rhetorical code. So he reaches for a subtle phrase with less baggage. ‘That’s not who we are’ implicitly accuses political opponents of being apart from the American ideal, of being ‘other.’”

At least until next year, when there’s a good chance the left will believe that dissent is patriotic once again. (Despite that whole “last refuge of a scoundrel” thing they concurrently believe.)

Related: 14 Times Barack Obama’s Rhetoric Made Politics Less Civil.

OUCH: John Lewis on Sanders’ Civil Rights Activism: ‘I Never Saw Him.’

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., hit Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ past activism during the civil rights movement while throwing his support behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Lewis was participating in a press conference on Thursday announcing that the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee was endorsing Clinton. In response to a question from Roll Call about Sanders’ previous work on civil rights, Lewis, a civil rights leader who chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington, said he did not work with Sanders.

“I never saw him. I never met him,” Lewis said. “I was involved in the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed the Voter Education Project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.”

Lewis’ remarks contrast with Sanders’ frequent highlighting of his record on civil rights. Sanders’ campaign website bio shows him as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the University of Chicago to see Martin Luther King — and incidentally, Lewis — speak in 1963.

Wait, Bill and Hillary were at Selma? Weren’t they kind of young? And wasn’t Hillary a Goldwater Girl then? My dad was at Selma and he never mentioned Bill and Hillary being there. And he would.

Related: John Lewis said he knew the Clintons in the civil rights era, but he didn’t always make that claim.

APPARENTLY WE SHOULD GET ON A BOAT* AND LEAVE AMERICA ASAP, John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post, after watching last night’s Hillary-Bernie debate:

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were essentially auditioning last night for the role of Snake Plissken. Do you remember Snake Plissken? He was the eyepatch-wearing hero of “Escape from New York,” the 1981 science-fiction picture in which Manhattan has become a prison and Snake Plissken is the only guy who can find the way out.

Only the America from which they want to liberate us is Barack Obama’s America. Oh, they don’t say as much. Hillary blames the Koch brothers. Bernie blames millionaires and billionaires and the campaign-finance system. They both blame the Republicans.

But let’s face it: It’s Obama’s world. They and we are all just living in it.

And what a world. “There is,” Sanders said, “massive despair all over this country.” Wages low. Millions in prison.

Bernie and Hillary are both admitting what a wretched failure Obama has been as president. Why would America want to give his party another four years?

* Or perhaps a starship, based on Hillary’s retro-futuristic final frontier-ready togs last night.

ANOTHER OBAMA MIDEAST DEBACLE: Petraeus doubts Syria can be put back together again.

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus expressed doubt in a recent interview with The Hill that Syria can be pieced back together after a nearly five-year civil war.

“Can Syria actually be put back together again? It is by no means clear that it can be put together again; in fact, I tend to think not, but we shall see,” he said in an interview last week.

He made the comments as Secretary of State John Kerry tries to save a struggling peace process between the Shiite-backed Syrian government and Sunni opposition rebels. The conflict helped fuel the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Kerry is pushing for a cease-fire in Syria in order to get the process back on track when talks resume on Feb. 25.

But Russia has in recent weeks stepped up air attacks on the rebel groups, shoring up Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and making it less likely to participate in a process that calls for him to step down.

Retired Amb. Ryan Crocker, whom President Obama picked as ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011, predicted in December that the negotiations will be futile as long as Assad believes he will prevail.

“I have the highest regard for Secretary Kerry, but this effort at a political negotiation is going to go nowhere because the Russians, the Iranians and Bashar al-Assad think they’re on a roll — why should they negotiate?” Crocker said.

The administration said that without a political solution, it will have to consider a plan B involving military options, though officials have not said what they will be.

The plan is to provide the illusion of activity until January of 2017, then leave the problem for Obama’s successor. At this point, that’s pretty much their strategy for everything.

ROGER SIMON’S DEMOCRATIC DEBATE RECAP: UNCLE BERNIE, THE MINI-SCHNAUZER.

Read the whole thing.

THE CRASH OF 2016? “This is the markets’ somber message: There is only a thin margin for error between continued recovery and dreaded recession.”

That’s because it’s been a rather thin “recovery.”

NOT LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Is Off to a Slow Start: He has pledged to mobilize millions of new Americans to transform politics, but so far, Democratic turnout is down.

The first tests are in, and the signs of a revolution at the ballot box are scant. Rather than a surge of the previously disaffected, Democratic turnout was down in the first two states to hold contests in the nomination race—by 28 percent in Iowa and 13 percent in New Hampshire.

In Iowa, 172,000 Democrats took part in the party caucuses. The number in 2008 was 240,000.

In the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, 251,000 Democrats voted. The number in 2008 was 288,000.

In other words, the grassroots enthusiasm, vast small-dollar donations, and massive crowds at Sanders’ rallies so far hasn’t translated into historically greater voter turnout for his party.

Meanwhile, Republican voter turnout is up from 2008 levels—by 15,000 in Iowa, and 33,000 in New Hampshire.

The numbers pose a challenge to Sanders’ argument that he’d succeed where President Barack Obama failed in mobilizing Americans to transform the political process. It also may bolster one of the main lines of attack by Hillary Clinton—that Sanders is making promises he can’t keep.

To be fair, Bernie’s making promises he can’t keep, but Hillary’s making promises she won’t keep.

OR PERHAPS IT WAS THOSE TIME TRAVELERS: No, That’s Not A Laptop On An Ancient Greek Grave Marker.

STRANGELY NOT CAUSED BY APPLES: Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein’s Prediction.

DIVE, DIVE, DIVE: Questions grow over banks as profit warnings pile up.

WISDOM IN STRANGE PLACES: Using the Physics of Your Perfect Pancake to Help Save Sight.

BUT NOT FOR GOOD: The Power Of Debt.

BERNIE HAS A DREAM BUT WHAT IS IT? What is Bernie Sanders hiding about his radical history?

WE ONCE MET A WAITRESS WHO DYED HER HAIR TO LOOK LIKE TAPESTRY: Colorist Dyes Hair to Look Like Warhol, van Gogh Masterpieces.

HOW MUCH DO YOUNG PEOPLE CARE FOR GRANDMA’S OPINION? Steinem, Albright Try Bullying Female Voters into Supporting Hillary.

LEARN TO TAKE A HIT: Cam Newton and the Agony of Defeat.

WHO CARES IF A FEW WINDOWS GET BROKEN: Mark-Viverito’s message: Only saps obey the law.

THE URGENCY OF GETTING HEALTH CARE TO THE POOREST AMONG US LEADS TO THIS: Government health insurance: the ultimate sickness.  And we had to pass it to see what was in it.  We see.  Now can we remove this craptastic mess from our public life and economy already.  (And the man in question is a friend of mine too, and we can’t do anything to help him.)

HIGHER EDUCATION IMPLOSION UPDATE: The fight for ‘tolerance’ at Rutgers hits a new low.

IF HE HAD A MIND, HE MIGHT BE DANGEROUS: David Brooks is still in love with the crease in Obama’s pants.

WHY  THE WEST: How many Troops are you willing to send to Syria?

February 11, 2016

YEP. Bernie Sanders’ Female Supporters Are Finally Getting A Taste Of Their Own ‘War On Women’ Medicine. “Whether they realize it or not, female Sanders supporters are pushing back on the very type of deliberately divisive and harmful rhetoric that has been used for decades by their fellow Democrats – male and female, young and old – against their political opponents in attempts to shame them and shut down the debate.”

FROM MARK RIPPETOE, a video on shoulder rehab.

ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC, THE STAGE PLAY: ‘Killing Republicans’ musical to premiere, as Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Clinton campaign.

BECAUSE SOMEBODY WAS WILLING TO BUY? “The CEO of Myspace tells us why he just sold the company to Time Inc

THE NYT FILES A DUMB SUIT AGAINST A CRITIC: It’s the subject of my latest Bloomberg View column.

UPDATE from the comments: “A very important story being passed over by Instapundit readers. Image copyright trolling is the one remaining club against free speech.”

Also, for some tales from the crazy world of seeking photo reprint permissions, don’t miss the Pinterest board linked in the footnote.

AMAZING HOW WELL THIS WORKS: Google searches predicted New Hampshire primary results.

TED CRUZ AD: Conservatives Anonymous.

MAYBE PEOPLE’S DIETS CONTAIN MORE L-SERINE NOW: Risk of dementia is declining, but scientists don’t know why.

Dementia is on the decline, with the risk of developing it dropping 20 percent per decade since the late 1970s, according to a striking new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It’s a finding that may be hard to believe, with a tsunami of new dementia cases looming in the near future. By 2025, Alzheimer’s disease alone will rob 7.1 million people older than age 65 of their memories, their ability to function, their very personalities — a 40 percent increase from today. The Alzheimer’s Association has predicted that, by 2050, the disease will cost $1.1 trillion.

But both facts appear to be true. The aging of the baby boomers means that dementia cases will surge to an all-time high — the sheer number of older people who are living longer means that even a drop in the incidence of the disease won’t solve that problem, which will exact a huge health and financial toll. But despite the popular perception that getting old invariably means people go gray and begin to lose their memory, the new data strongly suggest that, over the past few decades, the risk of developing dementia has receded for people with at least a high school education, raising hope that it may be possible to prevent one of the scariest risks of aging.

But it’s probably something else, like fewer people smoking. But given my family history, I’ve started taking L-Serine on the off-chance that it might help and isn’t likely to do any harm.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Here’s What to Do If Both Your Pilots Die on a 737.

AT AMAZON, coupon deals on Candy & Chocolate.

Plus, deals in Patio, Lawn & Garden. Despite the chill now, it’ll be summer before you know it.

Also, deals in Lingerie and Sleepwear.

‘IT’S LIKE THE DAY BEFORE WORLD WAR ONE’: EUROPEAN CHIEF’S STARK WARNING OVER SCALE OF REFUGEE CRISIS.

Don’t worry – I’m sure President Ash Carter is monitoring the situation carefully.

THE VIEW OF THE WORLD FROM 9th AVENUE: One fun element of Democrat presidential primaries? Reading how much leftwing elites truly despise the base of Democrat voters. As John Nolte writes today at Big Government, “Prominent Hillary Clinton Supporter Smears Working Class Dems as Racist:”

Obviously frustrated by Hillary Clinton’s collapsing presidential campaign (her second in a row!), The Nation’s Joan Walsh, a frequent MSNBC contributor and high-profile Hillary supporter, took to her verified Twitter account Thursday to attack working class Democrats as racists.

“I wonder if Clinton’s troubles with white working class,” Walsh mused, “which she carried in ’08, have anything to do with the president she served[.]”

The insinuation isn’t at all subtle. Walsh is suggesting that white working class Democrats have moved away from Hillary because she served in the cabinet of a black president.

This is a bizarre strategy from Team Hillary, especially after the catastrophic results from New Hampshire Tuesday night, where Hillary lost the woman vote to 195 year-old socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

It may be bizarre, but this is what Democrat elites do; in April of 2008, in the midst of Pennsylvania primary season, Obama-supporting screenwriter-director Nora Ephron (who passed away in 2012) took to the pages of the Huffington Post to write a nasty screed titled “White Men:”

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

If Hillary pulls it out in Pennsylvania, and she could, and if she follows it up in Indiana, she can make a credible case that she deserves to be the candidate; these last primaries will show which of the two Democratic candidates is better at overcoming the bias of a vast chunk of the population that has never in its history had to vote for anyone but a candidate who could have been their father or their brother or their son, and who has never had to think of the president of the United States as anyone other than someone they might have been had circumstances been just slightly different.

Hillary’s case is not an attractive one, because what she’ll essentially be saying (and has been saying, although very carefully) is that she can attract more racist white male voters than Obama can. Nonetheless, and as I said, she has a case.

Classy stuff — which also reveals much about what Ephron thought about the people who paid to see her movies. In her column today (at Salon, where Joan Walsh served as editor for many years, ironically enough), Camille Paglia spots another leftist dowager (her word) lashing out at the base:

Despite emergency efforts by Gloria Steinem, the crafty dowager empress of feminism, to push a faltering Hillary over the finish line, Sanders overwhelmingly won women’s votes in every category except senior citizens. Last week, when she told TV host Bill Maher that young women supporting the Sanders campaign are just in it to meet boys, Steinem managed not only to insult the intelligence and idealism of the young but to vaporize every lesbian Sanders fan into a spectral non-person.

Steinem’s polished humanitarian mask had slipped, revealing the mummified fascist within. I’m sure that my delight was shared by other dissident feminists everywhere. Never before has the general public, here or abroad, more clearly seen the arrogance and amoral manipulativeness of the power elite who hijacked and stunted second-wave feminism.

Oh I don’t know – that sort of arrogance is on rather prominent display every four years. It’s as if Democrat elites believe that their base care for little more than clinging to their racism, sexism, guns and religion. (Obama’s infamous crack in 2008 was in the context of trying to win the same Pennsylvania Democratic primary that inspired Ephron’s racist “White Men” screed above.)

So why all the anger from leftist elites directed at their base? Perhaps it’s because, as Ace of Spades noted in 2011, “Our elites are fixated on how disappointed they are with the tawdry public precisely because that allows them to avoid examining their own colossal failures.”

COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE TO PARTNER WITH BLOOMBERG GROUP TO PROMOTE GUN CONTROL, invents moronic neologism “gunsplaining.”

Related: Nanny-tastic! Jim Geraghty shares the perfect campaign sticker for Michael Bloomberg.

THE GROWING STENCH OF CLINTON CORRUPTION: The Washington Post is reporting that the “Clinton Foundation Received Subpoena From State Department Investigators.”

Investigators with the State Department issued a subpoena to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation last fall seeking documents about the charity’s projects that may have required approval from the federal government during Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state, according to people familiar with the subpoena and written correspondence about it.

The subpoena also asked for records related to Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide who for six months in 2012 was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the foundation, Clinton’s personal office, and a private consulting firm with ties to the Clintons.

The full scope and status of the inquiry, conducted by the State Department’s inspector general, were not clear from the material correspondence reviewed by The Washington Post. . . .

The potential consequences of the IG investigation are unclear. Unlike federal prosecutors, inspectors general have the authority to subpoena documents without seeking approval from a grand jury or a judge.

But their power is limited. They are able to obtain documents, but they cannot compel testimony. At times, IG inquiries result in criminal charges, but sometimes they lead to administrative review, civil penalties or reports that have no legal consequences.

POWERBALL: A Federal judge today ordered the State Department to release all Clinton emails by Feb. 29. 

Until now, the State Department has been posting Clinton emails about once a month on its website. The plaintiff in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit before [judge Rudolph] Contreras’ court, reported Jason Leopold of Vice News, has complained that the slow pace of production, with an additional deadline extension requested by the State Department, would delaying some of the most potentially explosive Clinton documents until after important early Democrat presidential primaries.

Politico notes that even the new court-ordered release schedule will deliver two batches of emails after the Nevada caucuses on February 20, and one batch after the Democrat’s South Carolina primary on February 27.

The State Department wanted to deliver one batch on February 13 and another at the end of the month; the court-imposed schedule will ensure more emails are released before each of the two upcoming primary contests. Unfortunately, some of the hottest Clinton emails will still be dropped just a day before the Super Tuesday primary.

Contreras remains very annoyed with the State Department. Politico quotes his order as follows: “The court expects that defendant will endeavor to avoid any additional delay. Therefore, it is FURTHER ORDERED that defendant shall promptly bring any unanticipated problems to the court’s attention.”

Judge Contreras (himself an Obama appointee) is apparently under the odd impression that the Obama Administration is beholden to the rule of the law.

ORWELL’S 1984: A WARNING FOR THE REST OF US, A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR THE LEFT: New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth.

Related: Twitter share price nosedives on news it is losing users.

GOOD: Federal legislation to prohibit state/local anti-encryption laws.

BYE-BYE, NATO? Putin Threatening WWIII over Turkey.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why We Get Running Injuries (and How to Prevent Them).

INDEED: Russia’s Big Worry Is Not What the Pentagon Thinks but What Shale Frackers Will Do to Oil Prices. The frackers are saving Western Civilization, despite the best efforts of its political and intellectual “leaders” to flush it down the toilet.

WELL, IT COULD BE: Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat: Easy to use. Hard to control.

Well, we’re pretty much halfway between when Vernor Vinge wrote Rainbows End and when it was set. Key bit:

Every year, the civilized world grew and the reach of lawlessness and poverty shrank. Many people thought that the world was becoming a safer place . . . Nowadays Grand Terror technology was so cheap that cults and criminal gangs could acquire it. . . . In all innocence, the marvelous creativity of humankind continued to generate unintended consequences. There were a dozen research trends that could ultimately put world-killer weapons in the hands of anyone having a bad hair day.

Also, the civilized world doesn’t seem to be growing, and lawlessness doesn’t seem to be shrinking. Poverty continues to decline, but the politicians may manage to turn that one around too. . . .

REALLY, IS THERE NOTHING IT CAN’T DO? Climate Change Causes Cats.

21ST CENTURY MEDICINE: The Surgeon Will Skype You Now.

WHEN AN EXPANSIVE VIEW OF FREE SPEECH WAS NEEDED TO PROTECT COMMUNISTS, THE ACLU WAS ON IT. NOW THAT IT’S NEEDED TO PROTECT CONSERVATIVES, NOT SO MUCH. ACLU Identifies ‘Critical Civil Liberties Challenges Facing Our Country.’ Does Not Include First Amendment.

NOW THAT’S MY KIND OF FEMINISM: “Former ISIS sex slaves now army of ‘Sun Ladies’ ready to defeat terror group

Some 2,000 Yazidi women who were captured in the brutal August 2014 attack on their mountain stronghold have escaped and have taken up arms against their former tormentors. Driven by the fresh memories of unspeakable atrocities and the survival of their people, hundreds have signed up to fight the black-clad terrorist army.

“Now we are defending ourselves from the evil; we are defending all the minorities in the region,” Capt. Khatoon Khider told FoxNews.com from the unit’s makeshift base in Duhok, Iraq. “We will do whatever is asked of us.”

Godspeed, ladies.

[Link fixed!]

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1008.

NFL SHOWCASING BLACK PANTHERS TRIBUTE PROVES THE LEAGUE STILL DOESN’T GET IT:

The NFL allowing a halftime tribute, no matter how oblique, to a group whose leaders brazenly raped women surely ranks at least on par to its mishandling of the Ray Rice domestic-violence assault in its offensiveness. No number of pink flags thrown by referees, or ads touting a “Vikings family” that morphed into an NFL family when one son moved to Cincinnati and had “Bengals babies” and another ate “Roethlis-burgers,” absolves this.

“Rape was an insurrectionary act,” Eldridge Cleaver wrote in Soul on Ice of transitioning from sexual assaults on black women to whites. “It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women—and this point, I believe, was the most satisfying to me because I was very resentful over the historical fact of how the white man has used the black woman.”

Whereas Black Panthers Supreme Servant Newton broke his pistol grips by beating four fractures into the skull of African American tailor Preston Callins in 1973 and killed black prostitute Kathleen Smith by shooting her in the face—both for the crime of calling Huey “baby”— in 1974, Black Panthers Minister of Information Cleaver allegedly murdered a fellow African American activist in exile in Algeria.

File the league-endorsed Super Bowl 50 halftime tribute to the Black Panthers away for some perspective this fall, when the pink shoes come out and the anti-domestic violence PSAs begin running once again during Sunday’s NFL games.

Oh, and to get a sense of how fundamentally the culture has been changed by a generation of the far left making, as Roger Kimball would say, the long march through its institutions, who were performers at Super Bowl I? “The halftime show featured trumpeter Al Hirt, the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University, 300 pigeons, 10,000 balloons and a flying demonstration by the hydrogen-peroxide-propelled Bell Rocket Air Men.”

Related: #BoycottBeyonce Movement Gains Momentum.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Islamism Spreads In Africa:

The fundamentalist forms of Islam spreading in Africa, as well as the slow-simmering religious war between Christians and Muslims on the continent, are big stories. Sub-Saharan African Muslims are traditionally Sufi, a form of Islam that emphasizes individual spirituality and incorporates traditional African culture. However, as the WSJ reports, Wahhabism, funded and promoted by the Saudis, has increasingly come to Africa. And when you mix jihadist ideology with other factors in Africa—”weak states, poorly policed frontiers, rapid population growth and large pools of underemployed young men to the mix,” as we once wrote—the situation will likely worse before it gets better.

Over 20 years ago you could see Saudi money turning once-mellow Muslims into radicals throughout northern Nigeria. Now we have Boko Haram. Want to stop this? Cut it off at the source.

WHY ARE THEY AFRAID OF A STRONG BLACK WOMAN? Racist Democrats Target Mia Love For Defeat.

HOW IT MUST BURN THE GOPe: They couldn’t figure this out by themselves, so the voters are giving them a little remedial lesson. Stephen Moore explains, “America Trumped: Trump is the Anti-Obama in Every Way.”

It is striking that Trump is the anti-Obama in every way. Obama blames America first for every problem on the earth, from global warming to terrorism. Trump emanates love for America and pledges to “make America great again.”

Obama hates business. Trump runs businesses.

Obama is a pessimist. Trump is an optimist.

Obama is an elitist. Trump is a populist.

Obama ‎is a college professor and a community organizer. Trump is a job creator and a profit maker.

Obama is incompetent. Trump is a professional — he exudes competence. . . .

In February 1980 the Republican establishment said that a staunch conservative Hollywood actor could never be president ‎and he won two landslide elections. Trump isn’t Reagan — but he’s one of the most talented retail politicians in modern times. For nine months everyone has been underestimating this man, saying that he was surely going to go away. He’s not going away. He’s rising and proving his critics on the left and right dead wrong. That’s Reaganesque.

Cruz has many of these qualities, too, but may have narrower appeal than Trump. Both are populists, running on a long-overdue theme of patriotism. With either candidate, the GOPe is getting a long-overdue spanking.

WHAT IS SEEN CANNOT BE UNSEEN: Your next president could look as old as this by 2025.

 

CHANGE: “Bernie Sanders Intrigues a South Carolina Town That Loves Hillary Clinton

SHOCKER: Anti-Gunners’ Predictions of Chaos, Mass Death Wrong Again. “For the first time since 1871, Texans are permitted to openly carry their firearms. Beginning January 1, Texas joined the majority of the country by allowing open carry, reports The Star-Telegram. Some predicted that the law would lead to a surge of 911 calls, but according to Cpl. Tracey Knight, spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Police Department, not much has occurred.”

Best quote, from Texas Sheriff Dee Anderson: “I said before this became law that I thought it was going to be much ado about nothing, but I didn’t know it was going to be this much nothing.”

IS IT SNOWING IN HADES THIS MORNING? How else to explain the fact the number two man at the Department of Veterans Affairs just asked Congress to get serious about cutting the bureaucrat protections that prevent firing incompetent managers in the federal civil service. The Merit Systems Protection Board – which recently reversed three VA firings of bad hospital directors – is one of the biggest of many such roadblocks.

Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson wants to strip VA members of the Senior Executive Service and the department’s doctors of the right to appeal adverse personnel actions to the MSPB, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Luke Rosiak. If Congress goes along, which seems likely, Gibson could become the guy behind the most significant and positive civil service reform since, well, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 that created the MSPB. Once it happens at VA, which federal department will be next?

DOWN WITH WHITE PRIVILEGE: Stop Calling The Babylonians Scientists!

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I DUNNO, THERE ARE SOME CONSULTANTS WHO ARE LICKING THEIR CHOPS: Who Wants Michael Bloomberg To Run For President? Practically Nobody.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire thinks that Bloomberg serves as a valuable anesthetic for disaffected Dems.

DISPATCHES FROM THE LAND OF THE SCREAMING CAMPUS GARBAGE BABIES: Student at UC-Santa Barbara faces stabbing threat after writing conservative op-ed.

 

HILLARY CLINTON WAS A NATIONAL SECURITY DISASTER AS SECRETARY OF STATE: That seems to be the emerging consensus among military intelligence experts willing to go on the record about the damage done to national security by Clinton’s use of an unsecured home-brew email server to do official business. Calling for Clinton to “step down” from the presidential race is Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret.), who was President Obama’s head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Richard Pollock:

“Flynn and other high-ranking former intelligence officials told TheDCNF they are alarmed that some of the nation’s most highly classified documents contained in a secretive program called the Special Access Program (SAP) were transferred to Clinton’s unclassified home server.

“The documents ‘had to be moved off electronically or removed out of the secure site physically, then it had to be put onto an unclassified email system,’ Flynn said. ‘Someone who does this is completely irresponsible, but totally unaccountable and shows a streak of arrogance to the American public that is unworthy of anyone thinking they can run for President of the United States.’

“’This is unbelievable,’ Flynn said. ‘I don’t think anybody should be talking about her being potentially the next President of the United States.’”

PAGLIA: “Sexism has nothing to do with it

Despite emergency efforts by Gloria Steinem, the crafty dowager empress of feminism, to push a faltering Hillary over the finish line, Sanders overwhelmingly won women’s votes in every category except senior citizens. Last week, when she told TV host Bill Maher that young women supporting the Sanders campaign are just in it to meet boys, Steinem managed not only to insult the intelligence and idealism of the young but to vaporize every lesbian Sanders fan into a spectral non-person.

Steinem’s polished humanitarian mask had slipped, revealing the mummified fascist within. I’m sure that my delight was shared by other dissident feminists everywhere. Never before has the general public, here or abroad, more clearly seen the arrogance and amoral manipulativeness of the power elite who hijacked and stunted second-wave feminism.

Read the whole thing.

EVERYTHING OLD IS OLD AGAIN: Clinton has a major honesty problem after New Hampshire.

(Via Steve Green, who tweets, “Headlines from 1992.”)

ACADEMICS LOVE HIGH TAXES FOR OTHERS: NY Times: The Academic Support For Bernie Sanders’ Proposed 73% Top Tax Rate.

Meanwhile, I have an “open borders” proposal for the GOP Congress: Crowd-pleasing legislation requiring state schools to offer in-state tuition to any student who declares residency in their state. Because borders are just arbitrary lines. People first!

WATERGATE’S CARL BERNSTEIN ON HILLARY: “The vast right-wing conspiracy didn’t put the server in her damn closet. She’s going to have to get by this thing, and she’s going to have to acknowledge a terrible misjudgment it seems to be here.”

Related: Spillage: Up to 30 accounts on Hillary server interacted with top-secret data.

More: “When Hillary accidentally hits Reply All, she doesn’t muck around.”

BEN SHAPIRO on How Attitude Trumped Conservative Thought:

On Monday, grassroots Republican favorite Donald Trump repeated the phrase when an audience member called Ted Cruz a “p—-.” He came to this conclusion after determining that Cruz wasn’t sufficiently gung-ho about waterboarding possible terrorists. Asked to define conservatism at the last Republican debate, Trump stated, “I think it’s a person who doesn’t want to take overly risks. I think that’s a good thing.”

On Tuesday, establishment Republican favorite columnist David Brooks of The New York Times wrote a column called “I Miss Barack Obama.” In it, he pilloried Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and lamented that Obama “radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss.” In October, Brooks defined conservatism thusly: “conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible.”

Neither of these definitions are correct, of course. But the fact that Trump and Brooks largely agree on the definition of conservatism while fighting each other tooth and nail demonstrates why conservatism is losing.

Read the whole thing, though missing from the article is the damage done by George W. Bush; as good a man as he personally is, the notion of “compassionate conservatism” (read: “big government conservatism”) and statements such as  “We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move” (ditto) did much to damage the brand of conservatism. They led inexorably — or perhaps sprang from — what Shapiro describes as the idea that “At some point, Republicans forgot that their job was to determine the best face for a conservative philosophy, and instead substituted the face for the philosophy. The conservatism simply fell away.”

ONE ANCIENT COMMUNIST DESERVES ANOTHER: ‘Berned’: NBC Says Harry Belafonte Will Endorse Sanders.

Belafonte is 88, Sanders is 74; Hillary is 68. Democrat politics is just one big youth movement these days.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, IVY LEAGUE RACISM EDITION: Harvard med students demand diversity, but no more Asians please.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Ex-school lunch lady admits raping 15-year-old.

ROGER SIMON: Past Time for the GOP to Go Hard for the Black Vote.

“I’m talking to you, Donald Trump,” Roger adds.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. GOP establishment incompetent in fighting for ITS OWN SURVIVAL.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Due Process For Me But Not For Thee.

There’s another sexual assault accusation in Liberal Land, this time against someone who trains college administrators on how to handle sexual assault accusations.

Jason Casares, the deputy Title IX director at Indiana University and current president-elect of the Association for Student Conduct Administration, was accused of sexual assault by fellow ASCA board member Jill Creighton. Creighton was elected president of the group for the 2016-2017 term.

Creighton wrote in a lengthy letter last Wednesday that Casares “took advantage of me after I had had too much to drink” during a conference in Texas. She filed a criminal complaint with local police back in December.

“I also could not stand the hypocrisy of Jason parading his expertise on Title IX, knowing how he had behaved with me,” Creighton wrote. . . .

Casares is still being investigated by the police over Creighton’s accusations, but an independent investigation performed for the ASCA cleared him of wrongdoing. And this is where some of the real hypocrisy comes into play.

The ASCA hired an independent investigator from a Texas law firm to conduct an investigation into Creighton’s claims. The investigator who was selected had “experience in investigating allegations of misconduct of non-profit board members as well as experience investigating the nature of the allegations in the received complaint,” according to a letter the ASCA sent to its members on Thursday.

The investigator “determined that Ms. Creighton’s claims could not be substantiated,” so the complaint was resolved in Executive Session.

This investigation was fairer than what accused students get at colleges and universities across the country. Most schools have someone like Casares — a university employee — conduct the investigation. These employees are under pressure from the federal government to find students responsible for sexual assault, no matter what the evidence suggests.

The standards are always different for the nobility than for the serfs.

PIVOT TO ASIA UPDATE: “North Korea Orders South Out of Kaesong Border Factory, Seizes Assets

North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland — part of Kim Jong Un’s ruling Workers’ Party — said in a televised statement that Pyongyang “will deport all South Korean workers as of 5 p.m. [3:30 a.m. ET]. We will freeze all South Korean assets including factory facilities, goods and all others and those being deported may only take their personal belongings.”

The fiery statement also called the South’s shutdown of the plant a “dangerous declaration of war” and contained crude insults against South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, calling her a “confrontational wicked woman” who lives upon “the groin of her American boss,” according to The Associated Press.

Say what you will about Kim Jong-un, but at least he makes an entertaining press release.

NEW HAMPSHIRE WINNERS AND LOSERS: “Nationalism and socialism: two great tastes that go great together! Honestly, I can’t see what the issue is in having a populist insurgency driven by anger over perceived national humiliation and economic insecurity. Indeed, if only you could combine these two movements into one uber-political party that could just blitz right through the primaries and the general, then we’d see some real change.”

Heh, ineed. ™

IS OUR CHILDREN LEARNING? Democrat Russ Feingold “shares our commitment to high-quality pubic education from pre-kindgergarten through college and our serious concern about America’s student loan debt crisis,” read Feingold’s endorsement by the American Federation of Teachers’ Wisconsin chapter, as it was originally quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Roll Call leans towards blaming the errors on the original AFT press release; the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has since corrected both typos without a note that the post had been updated. But then, both organizations long ago abdicated their original functions to go full-on socialist justice warrior in an effort to prop up the leftwing establishment in Wisconsin.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Berkeley Plans For “New Normal.” You know it’s serious because they’re cutting back on staff hiring as well as faculty! “Controlling staffing levels and adopting staff hiring ‘discipline’ that mirrors that for faculty positions.”

Plus: “Due to declining state funding and other factors, Berkeley expects an operating budget deficit of 6 percent this year, or about $150 million. Officials say that while that is manageable in the short term, trend lines call for proactive sustainability measures.”

One way to enhance your sustainability — quit spending money on your Campus Sustainability Program.

AN IDEA SO CRAZY, IT JUST MIGHT WORK: How to Win the White House and Save the World: Don’t Talk of Reagan. Talk Like Reagan.

AND THEN THERE WERE SIX.

 

THIS WRITER ENTIRELY POWERED BY: Death Wish coffee.  It will tell you how bad the addiction is, that I need three cups to function.

AND WE’LL CALL IT A NIGHT, WITH MY SHOCKED FACE: Syria’s bleeding even more thanks to John Kerry’s peace ploy.

THE SEVENTIES CALLED: Great Power Pivot: U.S. Shifts Focus to War With China and Russia.

YOU MESSED UP, YOU TRUSTED THEM: Yellen: Persistent economic weakness could slow rate hikes.  Summer of recovery #8 coming up!  The future  present   mirage is so bright I got to wear shades.

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN BLOOMBUG’S NEIGHBORHOOD: Bloomberg May See Opening in New Hampshire Primary Results.  I can see his campaign platform “No more Big Gulps!” or perhaps “I can see gun confiscation from here.”  And the worst part?  He’s better than the two already in the race.

IF YOU THINK A FIRST RATE MILITARY IS EXPENSIVE, WAIT TILL YOU SEE WHAT A SECOND RATE ONE WILL COST US: Sooner of later the butcher’s bill comes due. The Tools of Power.

OUTSOURCING QUALITY TIME: Finally! The Babysitting Robot We’ve All Been Waiting For.

SHUT UP AND SING: Beyoncé’s Black Panther Posturing at the Super Bowl.

OF COURSE THE PARTIES COULD PAY ATTENTION TO THE VOTERS!  WAIT, THAT’S CRAZY TALK: The New Hampshire primaries were a bipartisan revolt.