Ladies and Gentlemen, your late night moment of, “Yeah, they’re all crazy on that side.” Gulf…sea…hey, bodies of water are hard to tell apart!
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) September 17, 2014
The UK Guardian has published an editorial on how to deal with the Islamic State from Bradley/Chelsea Manning.
Manning is currently serving 35 years in Leavenworth for leaking classified intelligence during the Iraq war.
The strategy itself sounds like the one Obama first offered, between the lines, last Wednesday. That may be why it got past Manning’s jail cell and out to the Guardian.
Manning counsels “containment,” allowing ISIS to maintain the territory it currently holds. That will, in Manning’s reckoning, let them fail as a state, divide and disintegrate. It may take years, even decades. Manning doesn’t specify a timeline. It only took the Soviet Union more than 70 years to fail as a state. Caliphates have come and gone in the Middle East over the years, but some of them have lasted centuries.
The Islamic State has armor (ours), aircraft that it may or may not not be able to fly (Syrian) and it pulls in about $2 million a day from oil. Its presence also exacerbates the Kurdish issue: The longer Iraq’s central government remains weak and its territory divided, the longer the Kurds have to maintain their own security — and fosters their own feelings toward independence from Iraq, Turkey, etc.
Manning never lays out what to do if ISIS decides to outgrow its boundaries, or if Syria’s secular dictator falls, or ISIS’ presence crushes the Baghdad government, or Iran intervenes on the ground, or any number of other scenarios that are far from science fiction including ISIS launching strikes outside its territory. ISIS has threatened to do that. Manning does not address that.
Obama never came out for containment, in fact he said that his strategy would eventually “degrade and destroy” ISIS. But he did hold up Yemen and Somalia as examples of what he believes are successful counterterrorism fights.
Terrorists have had free or nearly free run in both for decades now. They are occasionally degraded in drone strikes, but never destroyed.
As for Manning, he (he was a guy at the time) took it upon himself to break his oath and the law in leaking sensitive information that the military had entrusted to him. Manning did this largely out of spite against the military’s gay policies (cluebat: ISIS’ gay policies aren’t friendlier).
Why does the Guardian believe that the opinion of such a person is worth printing? Why does such a person have the ability to communicate with media?
Over the course of the last week plus, the Obama administration’s story on the Islamic State has evolved — the put it kindly. Are we at war? Is it just counterterrorism? What would success look like? What would failure look like? Who’s in the coalition and what will they be doing?
If you’re seeking a straight answer, the Obama administration is probably the last place you’d go for one.
On Sunday, NBC’s Today show offered three tips if you find yourself subjected to a home invasion. A long-time New York City police officer serves as the subject-matter expert.
His three tips are:
- Keep your car keys handy where you sleep, and if there’s a home invasion, hit the horn button to create a lot of noise.
- Keep a can of hornet and wasp spray handy, and if the invaders enter your room, spray them with it to render them temporarily blind.
- Sleep with all your bedroom doors open so everyone in the house can hear everything that’s going on.
Notice what NBC’s expert leaves out: Firearms. Your Second Amendment rights never occur to NBC.
Here’s the video.
The first point might create lots of noise, but might also alert your invaders that you’re awake. A simple push of the button that you pushed will silence the car. The invaders might panic initially, but they’ll know that they can control the noise by controlling you. Americans are now so used to car alarms going off at all hours that we hardly ever respond to them, so pushing your car alarm button isn’t likely to bring the neighbors out and it won’t alert the police.
Let’s analyze the last two points on the next page.
On Sunday, Drudge Report’s headline and caption was “We’re Back” under the photo that is the subject of our latest contest. At the very least, the caption should have read “We’eeerr Ba-aaaccckkkkk” with a link to ominous music.
Then, “HILLARY CLINTON IN IOWA STIRS 2016 SPECULATION” was the AP piece‘s headline that Drudge used for his link. (Only read the AP piece if you care about the boring details of retiring Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry fundraiser.)
So to save you time, here is the best line. When Hillary Clinton was asked about why she was at the Iowa steak fry, she joked that she was, “here for the steak.”
Oh, that Hillary really knows how to generate media attention! Her speech was a big, playful tease about her 2016 presidential ambitions that is one official announcement short of a done deal.
In addition to writing a more colorful caption than, “We’re back,” your mission is to answer the following questions:
What was Hillary saying to Bill the moment this photo was taken?
What was Bill smiling about?
Why did Bill’s shirt match the table cloths at the steak fry?
Was Bill also just there “for the steak?” (He is supposedly a vegetarian since his heart attacks.) If so, that sounds fishy.
Should Hillary’s “joke” about being in Iowa “for the steak,” stand as her first official lie of the 2016 presidential campaign?
Bonus question: What will be her second official campaign lie?
With chaos reigning throughout the world, and now, according to the Pope, WWIII has already begun, (albeit “piece mail” he says) I know how important the answer to these questions are in the big scheme of life. So get cracking!
There is so much at stake.
President Barack Obama’s approval numbers appear to be in freefall across the board as his most vigorous supporters in the past are now abandoning him
President Obama, plagued by growing disapproval ratings, is now losing support from his liberal base as the country appears to have given up on his administration and Washington, according new polling data.
Once their hero, now only three-quarters of African Americans and Democrats support the president.
One reason, according to Zogby Analytics: Jimmy Carter-style malaise is settling in.
“There is clearly a growing amount of angst and malaise and it appears to be nonpartisan,” said pollster John Zogby, who provides the weekly Secrets report card on the president.
In a new poll, he said that if the 2012 election were held today, Obama would tie Republican Mitt Romney at 40 percent. Zogby noted that both men have lost support among allies.
For Obama it’s obviously worse because he has the Oval Office and needs public support to push through a new anti-terrorism policy, a developing plan to grant amnesty to illegals and continued efforts to bolster the sour economy and employment.
Zogby reported that Obama “is losing, at this point in time, significant chunks of his base. He won 61 percent of the vote of 18-29 year olds in 2012 but now has only 47 percent of their support. He is down nine points among Democrats (from 82 percent to 73 percent), 12 points among moderates (54 percent to 42 percent), 11 points among Hispanics (71 percent to 60 percent), and 13 points among African Americans (91 percent to 78 percent),” said Zogby on his company’s blog.
This news doesn’t necessarily work in the GOP’s favor. Republican candidates are not going to pick up 25% of the black vote, or 50% of the youth vote. The GOP may see marginal improvements in gaining votes from Obama’s base across the board, but it’s probably not going to be a difference maker.
Turnout among most of those groups is historically low in off-year elections anyway. What is worrying Republicans, though, is the same turnout machine that brought the president victory in 2012 will increase the historical share of the vote among youth, minorities, and fervid Obama supporters.The same social networking infrastructure is in place from 2012 and even a small increase in votes among the Democrats’ base supporters might save one or two vulnerable Democratic senators.
But if Zogby is right and many in the president’s base have given up on him, all the social network goosing in the world won’t matter in the end.
A California state senator convicted on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Friday in one of three ethics scandals involving Democratic lawmakers in the most populous U.S. state.
Senator Roderick Wright of Los Angeles was convicted in January of lying about whether he lived in the district he sought to represent, the first in a string of criminal proceedings against three state senators this year that effectively cost Democrats their two-thirds majority in the California Senate.
“This is not what I call a victimless crime,” said Judge Kathleen Kennedy, who denied Wright’s request for a new trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.
She said Wright was no longer eligible to hold elective office in California.
It has been a rough year for California Democrats but you’d hardly know it if you kept to mainstream news sources. If three Republicans in a GOP controlled state had been indicted for voter fraud and/or public corruption the press would have nonstop, breathless “CULTURE OF CORRUPTION” coverage.
That’s good news about no being able to hold future elective office. At the moment, Wright is still employed, but leadership has asked him to step down.
Meanwhile, Richard Alarcon, the L.A. city councilman convicted of voter fraud and perjury (along with his wife-ah…family), has found a judge to buy him a little time.
Lastly, Leland Yee, who did pretty much everything but start his own al Qaeda cell, merely remains on suspension while the FBI investigates him.
Chances are, Elizabeth Warren has already answered your question.
The freshman Massachusetts Democratic senator has been everywhere the past few months, appearing on an impressive list of Sunday shows and cable news programs, chatting up late night talk show hosts and crisscrossing the country on a book tour to promote her latest biography, “A Fighting Chance.”
But if you thought the media blitz may have loosened up the popular liberal — famous on Capitol Hill for her strictly-on-message persona and her aversion to making small talk with the D.C. press corps — think again.
Drinking-game keywords for this piece are “discipline” and variations of “focus.” If you do a shot each time one comes up, you’ll be hammered before you’re through reading it.
There is no real reason for this post beyond giving some free PR to Fauxcahontas and subtly embarrassing Hillary Clinton by stepping away from the “inevitable” conversation. This is more of a love letter than a political opinion piece. Even when the writer brings up what could be considered a “negative,” the point is followed up by more praise.
Despite all of the “inevitable” chatter elsewhere, the Warren contingent among the Democrats grows stronger every day. She’s already far more well-known and liked than a certain senator from Illinois was this far out from the 2008 election, the last time Hillary Clinton was “inevitable.”
If the MSM shifts too much more of its affection away from Hillary, she’ll fall apart in a hurry. She’s just not very good under pressure.
Hard choices for the Democrats indeed.
It’s not the latest reality television show but real life for the Palin clan, at least according to reports from bloggers.
A vaguely worded police report is less specific about what actually happened at a weekend social gathering in Alaska.
The facts seem to go something like this: Members of the Palin family, including Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, attended a party Saturday night in Anchorage, where a large brawl broke out. It was also Todd Palin’s 50th birthday.
Anchorage police confirmed they “responded to a report of a verbal and physical altercation” near a home in Anchorage where a party was taking place.
I grew up in a small town, where Saturday night fights are more common than winter colds. Yet this story is everywhere today. This isn’t news, it’s a stalker-like obsession. My theory for why it continues is this: liberal women secretly wish they could be as attractive and feminine as Sarah Palin, while liberal men wish they could be as tough as she is.
It is rather enjoyable to watch the way she still haunts them.
The Obama administration spent Thursday (the 13th anniversary of 9-11, by the way) arguing that the United States is not at war with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL.
The White House spokesman said it wasn’t a war. Secretary of State John Kerry and his spokeswomen at the department also said that it’s not a war. Kerry, for his part, called it…what was that again?
Right — it’s a “heightened level of counter terrorism operation.”
Well, today, the White House and the Pentagon have finally come around. This thing we’re doing against ISIS is, in fact, a war. Take a look.
An old book that most people don’t pay much attention to these days says “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Chris Matthews is skeptical. Tom Friedman wonders where the Chinese are.
And that’s just a start. Others in the mix include Chuck Todd, Ed Schultz, Tom Brokaw, and Jim McDermott.
For a mind-bender on a par with that Bill Maher clip we posted yesterday, some of the Democrats’ criticisms sound like some of ours — that the strategy that the president laid out is too wimpy, and is very unlikely to work.
Take a look.
Don’t call it a war, says Marie Harf at the State Department.
Don’t look for any definition of “victory,” says Josh Earnest at the White House.
It’s…whatever John Kerry means here.
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZitoTrib) September 11, 2014
Whatever it is, we’re losing potential coalition partners.
— Ali Weinberg (@AliABCNews) September 11, 2014
When did our foreign policy get lined up like a running Fawlty Towers gag?
Update: According to a “Senior Administration Official,” Saudia Arabia shares an “extensive border with Syria.”
ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region. They view it as an existential threat to them. Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria. The Jordanians are experiencing a destabilizing impact of over a million refugees from the Syrian conflict, and are profoundly concerned that ISIL, who has stated that their ambitions are not confined to Iraq and Syria, but rather to expand to the broader region.
The Syrians had taken the stance that any US airstrike on IS on Syrian land would be an act of war against Syria.
[Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal] Mekdad openly expressed support for airstrikes on Syria — an option detailed by President Barack Obama in an overnight speech — by saying his administration has “no reservations whatsoever.”
But he said cited the need for logistical coordination with the U.S. before any airstrikes so “there should be no mistakes,” and said “it is a must” for Obama to call Assad.
He even suggested that Syria could join the US in a coalition against IS that includes Russia, China and Iran.
Mekkad doesn’t want the US working with the Free Syrian Army, though.
When it came down to international law, Mekdad was most concerned about Obama’s plan to arm rebel groups in Syria.
“Betting on other forces in Syria is a very big mistake,” he warned.
NBC phrases the question in the title a little differently:
ISIS Speech Offers Obama One Chance to Turn Bad Polls Around
I’m not so sure that they’re right. The Islamic State threat is not primarily a poll-driven problem. It’s a real-world security threat. Words and speeches will not solve it. Leadership and action are needed.
The situation that President Obama finds himself in is an uneviable one, but one that he could have avoided.
He called ISIS “jayvee,” and ignored their threat until it metastasized.
He ran for the presidency promising to end — but not win — the war in Iraq. He ended that war, so he thought, by withdrawing American troops prematurely. President Bush had warned him and others, explicitly, what would happen if U.S. troops were removed from Iraq too soon. In 2007, Bush warned the following would happen if American troops were removed from Iraq too soon.
- Leaving too soon would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region, and for the United States.
- It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda.
- We would risk mass killings on a horrific scale.
- It would allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq, to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.
- Leaving too soon would make it more likely that American troops would have to return to Iraq, to face an even more dangerous enemy.
And here we are. ISIS has carved out a territory the size of the United Kingdom. It is a threat worse than the one our troops faced the first time around in Iraq. ISIS has perpetrated mass killings. Its existence does put Iraq’s immediate future in the hands of a group that’s arguably worse than Iraq.
According to NBC, Obama’s new plan for dealing with ISIS will involve U.S. air power, the Iraqi military, and “moderate” Syrian rebels, but no more American boots on the ground than the 1000+ who are already there.
Of those three, U.S. air power is obviously far and away the most effective. U.S. air power alone can achieve a great deal, but probably cannot eliminate ISIS.
The Iraqi military melted in the face of ISIS months ago, which allowed them to gather up territory and scoop up the American weapons we had provided the Iraqi military. The “moderate” Syrian rebels may have sold the American hostages to ISIS that the terrorists beheaded recently. The extent to which they were ever moderate is debatable, but they are infiltrated with Islamists now.
This moment is a moment for an American president to lead — lead the American people in battling a threat, and lead the world in building a coalition to eliminate the threat. So far, Obama has shown no ability to do either. Tellingly, he has already told Congress that he doesn’t need them. That is a recognition that Congress does not trust him, and he has no ability to change that. It also puts the success or failure of the effort to remove ISIS entirely on his shoulders, even though most in Congress have been ahead of him in recognizing the ISIS threat.
University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall is a hero. He ought to be given a medal and there ought to be a parade through downtown Austin in his honor.
Hall was appointed regent by Gov. Rick Perry, and he soon found serious corruption in the admissions process at the UT Law School. He also found a slush fund and some large off-the-books sweetheart loans to faculty, which is a whole other story.
In the corrupt admissions case, politicians in both parties were using their clout to get their unqualified family members and others admitted to the school. Hall has fought against the university’s administration, against politicians and against the state media — who have repeatedly called for him to resign or for Perry to fire him or for the legislature to impeach him — to get the facts.
A week ago, the Dallas Observer published this thorough take on Hall’s exploits. Hall comes off as the hero that he truly is, and nearly everyone else in Texas who was involved comes off as corrupt or wagon-circling around the network of the powerful and connected. The university’s administration comes off as whiny and dishonest, along with shady and corrupt.
To his credit, Gov. Perry never once wavered in supporting Hall, even in the face of the university’s drive to impeach Hall via the legislature.
To their shame, just about every major newspaper in the state called for Hall to step down at some point. His crime, according to them, was that he asked for too much paperwork and information. This was the media lobbing that accusation — that Hall wanted too much information. Apparently the media can find a reason to oppose the freedom of information.
Their ears were being tickled by politicians who had things to hide, that Hall was bound to uncover. Meanwhile, Watchdog.org’s Jon Cassidy owned the story. That surely annoyed the drive-by media even more. He ran circles around the media, as they circled around and nuzzled up to the powerful.
Cassidy is back with another doozy. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, the nation’s most infamous drunk-driving DA, has convened a grand jury to criminalize Hall’s actions as regent. Actions, it’s worth pointing out again, that have uncovered real corruption at UT — and which were not illegal.
Lehmberg has found that Section 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code has a magic property. It turns the rest of state law— property code, education code, water code, etc.—into a vast extension of the criminal code. So long as Lehmberg can claim that the Republican was trying to “harm” someone, then just about anything can be turned into a crime. That’s how Perry’s exercise of his veto power became a crime (you can supply the air quotes). And that’s how a regent of the University of Texas System is facing actual jail time for supposed failure to “enhance the public image” of the university, or “nurture” it, or “achieve the maximum operating efficiency.”
If those don’t sound like crimes, it’s because they’re not. They’re bits of boilerplate from the state Education Code on the duties of a regent. But the magic paragraph makes a knowing violation of any “law relating to the public servant’s office” a crime if it’s done “with intent to harm or defraud another.”
The same law makes it a crime to knowingly misuse government property with intent to harm, which is the farfetched theory being employed against Perry’s veto of funding for Lehmberg’s office.
Read the rest. The potential indictment turns on some emails.
Hall found some emails between [UT President Bill] Powers’s office and the dean of the law school discussing whether or not to admit the son of the state House Appropriations Committee chairman, despite his poor scores on the Law School Admissions Test. (They admitted him; he’s flunked the bar three times since.) Hall showed the email to an official investigator from the state attorney general’s office, and to his defense attorney, who cited it in a letter to the legislative committee, naming no names. The name came out when a reporter bluffed the chairman into outing his son.
Those emails are the proverbial smoking gun in the corrupt admissions investigation. But –
The persecutors and prosecutors contend that the emails are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and by nearly identical state law as well, and that Hall committed some sort of crime in showing it to his attorney or the investigator. One theory is that this “leak” is the real “abuse of office,” rather than the whole non-enhancement of the public image theory. But that would involve proving that Hall “intentionally or knowingly” leaked FERPA-protected information, when the emails are almost certainly not FERPA-protected “education records” in the first place. The Supreme Court has ruled that “FERPA implies that education records are institutional records kept by a single central custodian, such as a registrar,” or that they’re “kept in a filing cabinet in a records room at the school or on a permanent secure database.” That wouldn’t include every last email or assignment that might include the student’s name. But that’s the sort of thing a motivated prosecutor never tells a grand jury.
Travis County grand juries don’t seem to be bothered with the implications of granting full felony indictments for, in Perry’s case, saying what he intended to do and then doing it using the constitutional power of his office, and in Hall’s case, seeking information from the university that he had every right to seek as regent. That the information Hall uncovered did point directly to actual corruption doesn’t seem to bother Lehmberg. She has not convened any grand juries to look into that. She is investigating Hall for investigating UT.
Perry’s speech and actions, both legal and protected, do not become a crime because he combined them. Hall’s actions, seeking information in accord with his duties as regent and consulting with investigators and his own lawyer, are not crimes either. Not separately, and not together. They just aren’t. And Lehmberg surely knows that, just as she surely knew that driving around with an open bottle of vodka in her car was, in fact, a crime.
The s0-called Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County DA is going to have to be removed from the county. Drunk-driving Rosemary Lehmberg is on a war path against the rule of law and common sense. In attacking Hall, Lehmberg is defending corruption at one of Texas’ most prestigious public universities. Indicting Hall is another way of attacking Perry and escalating the Democrats’ lawfare against Republicans.
The Texas legislature is going to have to take action, but it does not return to session until 2015. By that time, Lehmberg’s office may well have indicted every single Republican of note in the state.
Let’s take one last look at the media here, too.
This is almost a carbon copy I’ve seen of this story on several other media sites today but, for reasons we may never know, it took three CNN correspondents to file and post it.
I am sure that this loving, stable couple will thrive with media attention as things are crumbling around them.
Meanwhile, Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo Sports is worried about the other least sympathetic male in this story.
I’m partially stealing the title from the folks a Grabien for this post.
Ahead of announcing that he finally does have a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (maybe?), President Obama dined with a group that included Sandy “Docs in Socks” Berger and other foreign policy experts. Let’s hope Democrat strategist Donna Brazile wasn’t there, or if she was, someone explained what a caliphate is. Hey, we’re only 13 years into the war on terrorism…
As for the other guests, even MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell couldn’t help notice that she talks to Obama’s big foreign policy guest on her show nearly every day.
MITCHELL: “Reaching out: Widely criticized for ignoring outside advice in the past, President Obama had a wide-ranging dinner last night with foreign experts from both sides of the aisle. He and Joe Biden brought in Sandy Berger, Zbigniew Brzesinsky, Tom Donilon, Michelle Flournoy, Richard Haas, Steve Hadley, Jane Harman, Strobe Talbot — looks like a review of our guest list here at Andrea Mitchell Reports.
Unfortunately, Mitchell is correct. Obama did turn to frequent guests on cable’s most ridiculous news network for advice.
We’re in the very best of hands…
Look out, Clickhole, you have some competition. First Lady Michelle Obama has joined the original annoying viral content site, Upworthy. I’m not even kidding.
It’s not quite the gig that Chelsea Clinton had at NBC, but it’s something. A start.
The first lady is “guest curating” content at the site that perfected those cliffhanger headlines that even Facebook hates so much.
The first lady has already “curated” her first piece, with a very Upworthy title: “I Really Hope the Parents Of These People Get To See What They Said Here. They’d Probably Cry.”
If I saw what people say, I might cry too, and I’m a guy who has lived through the Jerry Jones Cowboys era without shedding a tear. Or I might run away. Or I might seek psychiatric help. It’s not common to see what people say. Visible words floating around while people are talking to me? That would freak me right out.
In her inaugural piece, Mrs. Obama allows that she is thankful for her three-week orientation at college.
Question: Three weeks? How long does it take to figure out where your classes are and which classes are the most skippable? That’s a week, tops. If you’re a little slow to catch things. Or if you’re distracted by seeing words floating around everybody’s heads.
The first lady’s first conclusion doesn’t really break any new ground.
Because our young people need to know that no matter where you come from or how much money your family has, you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on to build a better life for yourself.
And the sky is blue. Sherlock would be impressed!
Anyway, the First Lady of Irritating Crap Writing That Has Ruined Blogging Forever still has a mountain of cliches and cliffhangers to climb if she wants to stay ahead of Clickhole. They have a stunning video piece up today. You won’t believe what happens next.
Seriously. You won’t.
This past week Jewish media was abuzz with stories of how hard journalist Steven Sotloff’s family and friends worked to hide his Jewish identity after he was captured by ISIS. It seemed strange to me that Jew haters would have such terrible Jewdar. After all, the guy’s name was “Sotloff”, but apparently that’s not a “tell” in the Muslim world:
One thing journalists quickly learn is that the Jewish “tells” in the West don’t mean much in the Middle East. Jewish names obvious in the West are not at all so in the region, and stereotypical “Jewish looks” among westerners are indistinguishable from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern features that are common throughout the Middle East.
“My name might have been Miriam Leah Goldbergstein, and I wouldn’t have worried,” said Lisa Goldman, who reported for various outlets in Lebanon and then in Cairo during the Arab Spring in 2011.
“A rose by any other name” would still be an infidel, so it would seem:
It’s not known whether ISIS was aware that Sotloff was Jewish. Colleagues believe his kidnapping by ISIS-affiliated terrorists in 2012 in Syria was one of opportunity and not a deliberate targeting. James Foley, another journalist kidnapped by ISIS and beheaded last month by the terror group, was Catholic.
Which is, perhaps, the overarching point of the latest rash of radical Islamist beheadings of Western journalists. We are all roses to be de-headed, whether we call ourselves Jews, Christians, or simply Westerners of a secular stripe. Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari didn’t blink in her distinction of “The West” from the Muslim east when she commented on radical Islamist recruits:
These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women.
The Arkansas race for a seat in the U.S. Senate is nearly a dead heat and almost certain to be the most expensive in the state’s history as Democrats and Republicans pour money into a battle that could help determine the balance of power in the body.
Apart from the spending, a tipping point in the campaign could be whether distaste for President Barack Obama outweighs reverence for the Pryor family, a state political power for decades, analysts say.
The contest pits two-term Democrat Mark Pryor, an ally of the state’s favorite political son, Bill Clinton, against Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican who returned to Arkansas only two years ago to win a seat in the House of Representatives.
Frankly, many Republicans were hoping this race wouldn’t still be this close but here we are. That’s a subtle “carpetbagger” dig at Cotton, even if not in the strictest definition. Remember, things like that only matter if the candidate is a Republican.
Near the end of the article, Reuters dug up a political science professor to do some partisan cheerleading for Pryor, who called him a “centrist”. When a Poli Sci prof uses that term, he or she generally means, “To the left of Fidel Castro.”
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, President Obama admitted that he doesn’t really want to meet the press. In fact, he’d like for them to go away when he goes away for vacation.
On the show, Chuck Todd asks Obama if he’d like a do-over on making his statement about the beheading of James Foley and then heading directly to the golf course.
“You know, it is always a challenge when you are supposed to be on vacation,” Obama replied, “because you’re followed everywhere and what I’d love is a vacation from the press.”
He continued: “Because the possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news…there’s always gonna be some tough news somewhere.”
This wasn’t “tough news somewhere,” an earthquake in a far-flung country most Americans can’t find on a map or an obscure trade agreement falling apart.
An American had just been beheaded by terrorists, and the video uploaded to the Internet, to portray American impotence and to mock and blame Obama.
He gave a little statement and then gallivanted off to the golf course, and only weeks later is even coming up with a half-baked strategy to stop IS — after a second American was beheaded.
But the media are the problem.
Apparently they don’t fawn over Obama enough. Sometimes they even give him a hard time. There is always so much “tough news somewhere” that the man who campaigned to be president twice has to answer for.
The poor guy.
What he really wants is for all opposition and all negative reporting to go away, along with all the world that doesn’t fulfill his wishful thinking and narcissism.
If you want real insider information in the medical world, speak to a nurse. Jill Stanek, R.N., provided keen insight into the risks surrounding outpatient surgical procedures gone wrong. Citing the importance of knowing whether or not your doctor has admitting privileges to the local hospital, Stanek writes:
The issue of abortionists having admitting privileges at nearby hospitals has become huge in recent years, and even recent days, as several states have moved to enact such laws. Abortion proponents always oppose these as an “undue burden,” “medically unnecessary,” and even an “assault” on women – a backdoor attempt by pro-lifers to shut down clinics.
Stanek, a pro-life advocate, admits that she has used this as a political tactic to shut down abortion clinics. Politics aside, as a medical professional she rightly argues:
But so what. This should be separated from the fact that such laws do indeed protect women’s health and safety. Who wants to go to a doctor who can’t get hospital admitting privileges? And why should abortion clinics be allowed to operate as substandard medical facilities simply to protect abortion? Abortion most certainly isn’t a benign procedure. Since abortion was legalized in 1973, at least 411 mothers (CDC Table 25 - as of 2009, the latest figures available) have died due to abortions at legal clinics. That’s just deaths.
Only hours ago a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of Louisiana’s admitting privileges law, due to take effect today.
And on Friday a federal judge blocked Texas from enforcing a law forcing abortion clinics to adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical treatment centers, which is related since some of these regulations ensure halls and doorways are wide enough to fit gurneys and wheelchairs.
…Such irrational legal decisions kill not just children but their mothers.
Last month we learned that feminists were unwilling to come to the defense of women forced into sex slavery in ISIS territory. Last week we learned that feminists were willing to turn a blind eye to rape if it meant empowering bureaucracy and justifying their own twisted ideology. Now we’re learning that feminists are willing to watch their fellow women die in order to protect the politics of abortion.
The Yazidis. Campus rape victims. The young girls of Rotherham. Women seeking abortions. All of these groups should logically fall under the care of feminists the world over. Unfortunately for these victims, they are nothing more than the poster children of goddess feminism, the enslavement of women to an ideology that corrupts and ultimately destroys the individual in favor of the communal pursuit of …what? Freedom? Please. This is not the freedom our foremothers fought for. This is only death.
Cramer is hemming and hawing here, which is unusual for him. The point about the smaller companies will sadly become less vague in the very near future.
Eulogies for Joan Rivers continue to pour in. I’ll confess I was never really a fan of most of her comedy and I could not have cared less about her fashion chatter, but her self-mockery was just incredible. She was brutal, but seldom more brutal to anyone else than she was to herself. That made people like her even if they didn’t want to.
And she did have a knack for saying what people were thinking but never would say themselves.
She goes into one of those self-mocking riffs in this clip from 1982.
It’s usually funnier to see someone mocking themselves than trashing someone else. We’re laughing with them, not just at them, and it doesn’t feel harsh because they said it themselves. Rivers knew that and she was ninja-skilled at both.
She stood up for Israel recently. She stood up for Reagan back in the day. She ripped every celebrity, the famous and the infamous, of the past 50-odd years. So Joan Rivers had something for everyone. But no one would ever mistake her for any of the classic beauties over the years, not in decades that included everyone from Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn to Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton.
For some reason, Rivers’ “friend” Barbara Walters used her obit of Rivers to bring that up.
But there are a few things that are important to know about Joan Rivers; and she would not be shy about me saying so.
She wasn’t a great beauty and she didn’t have great success with men. She had a disappointing marriage to a man who almost ruined her career and then, sadly, committed suicide.
What a weird thing to say. Everybody knows this. Rivers was 81 when she passed away, and she never kept her own life a secret, especially if she could get a laugh out of it. Joan Rivers tried to get a laugh out of everything, and she usually succeeded.
Rivers’ love of plastic surgery and her passing have now become a joke that she would appreciate: Joan Rivers died at the age of 81, but her face was just 25. Her breasts were a youthful 15.
Whatever Walters’ aside is, it’s not exactly hard-hitting journalism to observe that Joan Rivers was not a supermodel. Rivers succeeded by knowing she wasn’t a classic beauty and played that up for far more than it was worth. She lived by her wits, and her wits had the power of a hydrogen bomb.
This week the Drudge Report had this link from the UK Telegraph with the headline and subhead:
How Isil doctored the image of Obama, making him appear haggard in videos
The terrorist group carefully manipulate their videos to make the US president look as tired and weary as possible, demonstrating its technical prowess
Welcome to war in the modern age where our enemies use media manipulation to taunt President Obama. (Remember when Putin and the Russians made light of Obama’s wimpy image using the kitty cats? Click here if you missed that unusual caption contest.)
Below, the Telegraph describes the techniques ISIL (or ISIS) used in the screen-grab image that is the subject of our contest.
In the same way, Mr. Obama’s blue jacket is made to appear a funereal black. His strands of grey hair are picked up and exaggerated. The editor has also caused an interlacing effect of black lines to run across the president’s white shirt. For good measure, he has carefully stretched the screen length ways in order to make Mr. Obama appear thin and gaunt.
Now, here is your “special ops” mission for these dangerous times. You must translate the message written in whatever language these barbarians used, into a language that PJ Media readers can better understand.
In addition to the “official translation,” you can also write a non-official translation from the Democratic National Committee, the Republican National Committee or from any committee or organization you wish, even the NRA or the Navy Seals.
Finally, is it just me, or does the ISIS video manipulation make Obama resemble, even more than before, “this guy” from the History Channel’s Bible mini-series? (Official name of “this guy” withheld for many political, religious and IRS reasons.)
Good luck, and you don’t have to be nice with your translations because the “folks” who did this video manipulation really are the personification of “this guy” in the photo above.
Calif. Governor Jerry Brown to debate long-shot challenger Kashkari
California Governor Jerry Brown, a popular Democrat, will debate his long-shot Republican opponent Thursday night, kicking off the state’s election season early with anticipated scuffles over education, high-speed rail and the state’s economy.
Brown, who served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983, returned to the state’s highest office four years ago, and now seeks his fourth term at the helm of the most populous U.S. state with high approval ratings and a rapidly recovering economy.
Get it kids? Kashkari’s a long-shot! They should say that a few more times to make it clear.
Forget the biased “rapidly recovering economy” nonsense-there are some unfunded pension liabilities looming on the horizon that could swallow this economy whole. To his credit, Brown has kinda/sorta tried to address them but the California legislature is comprised mostly of Titanic captains and nobody wants to see that iceberg.
What struck me here was the tone of the article, as if a candidate in a race who enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls shouldn’t deign to acknowledge his or her challenger.
If Kashkari does well in the debate and doesn’t implode before November, this could merely be a tune-up for a run in four years, when that iceberg is getting closer.
Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that the Huffington Post has hired former NFL receiver Donte Stallworth to cover national security issues.
That’s questionable enough on its own.
As recently as November 2013, Stallworth Truther-tweeted this:
Oops, I sent that tweet a little too early like the young lady from @BBCNews on the collapse of building 7 on 9/11…
— Donte’ Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) November 25, 2013
Stallworth now says that he is not a Truther, and HuffPo is backing him up, claiming that his Truther views are from five years ago. Even though they’re clearly far more recent than that. What did HuffPo know about this, and when did they know it?
Let’s take Mr. Stallworth at his word. He is not a Truther, now. He was one within the past year. He was one for years, in fact. Let’s enter this quote into evidence.
“NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by ‘dying’ Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn’t fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq,” Stallworth tweeted in 2009. Stallworth also tweeted, “Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr @ ppl who actually believe a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11… hole woulda been ASTRONOMICALLY bigger, God bless lost lives.”
Did any of Stallworth’s Trutherism come up in the Huffington Post’s job interview with him? What in Stallworth’s career suggests that he is any way informed and responsible enough to cover foreign policy? Is it his NFL career? Is it the DUI manslaughter charge he pleaded guilty to in 2009, when he killed a 59-year-old man? Or his gullibility on the worst terrorist attack ever committed on American soil? How will a (former) Truther cover, say, the Islamic State now?
Just how does the talent search work at HuffPo? It’s hard to imagine that the actual journalists who work there are happy to have such a hire for the company.
During Wednesday’s State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki took a little dig at the Fox News Channel before going on to toss a word salad in defense of President Obama.
Obama had just used an appearance in Estonia to give three different takes on what to do about the IS threat, one of which was to “shrink” the Islamic State so that it becomes a “manageable problem.” His own vice president didn’t buy that, and contradicted it almost immediately.
Psaki’s dig itself was petty and inappropriate for a government spokeswoman to deliver in a discussion of a serious national security threat.
Wednesday night, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly hosted a discussion with reporter James Rosen. Rosen had quizzed Psaki about the president’s “manageable problem,” eliciting the jumble of nonsense that Psaki came up with.
During that discussion, O’Reilly stated the perfectly obvious — that Psaki is “out of her depth” and lacks the “gravitas for the job.”
O’Reilly is by no means the first to make that observation. Psaki moved to the State Department straight from the hyperpartisan Obama campaign. She has proven unable to drop her partisanship even in US diplomacy, as evidenced by her cheap shots at Fox.
Today, State’s deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf declared WAR! But not on the Islamic State.
On a fellow American.
— Marie Harf (@marieharf) September 4, 2014
Reaction to Harf has been justifiably unkind.
— Ben Aksar (@BenAksar) September 4, 2014
— Beatlegal09 (@Beatlegal09) September 4, 2014
— S D Winkler (@sdwinkler) September 4, 2014
— Sandy (@RightGlockMom) September 4, 2014
The State Department’s spokeschildren need a time-out.
White, conservative male Rich Lowry provides further evidence for my argument that the East proves the West needs feminism. In his latest syndicated column, Lowry details the horror that has occurred in Rotherham, England, a small northern England town in which “more than 1,400 young girls have been raped and brutally exploited” for over 15 years.
England is the West, you may argue. And you’d be right. A Western nation that turned a blind eye to these vicious crimes against women because the perpetrators of said heinous offenses were Pakistani Muslims.
… the local government tolerated sexual violence on a vast scale. Why? In part, because the criminals who committed these sickening acts were Muslims from the local Pakistani community, and noticing their depravity was considered insensitive at best, racist at worst.
The British home secretary says “institutionalized political correctness” contributed to the abandonment of hundreds of girls to their tormentors. Imagine something out of the nightmarish world of Stieg Larsson, brought to life and abetted by the muddle-headed cowardice of people who fear the disapproval of the diversity police.
In Rotherham, multiculturalism triumphed over not just feminism, but over the law, over basic human decency and over civilization itself.
According to an “independent investigation released last week”:
”It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”
Law enforcement, government-funded social workers, and elected officials were all well aware of the crimes being committed and, by and large, did nothing fearing Orwellian punishment for attempting to defend these women against a perceived protected minority.
The search is over. Final details are still being worked out but I’ve learned that actress Rosie Perez and political commentator Nicolle Wallace are expected to take the vacant seats on The View when the ABC daytime talk show returns for a new season September 15. They would join Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg. Perez and Wallace would succeed co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who exited last month.
It’s as if the producers got together and said, “Is there any way we can possibly make this show more shrill and irritating? Hey-ROSIE PEREZ!”
The real point I’m posting this at all though is the clever trickery of the Nicolle Wallace hire. The View has been forced in recent months to try out some real conservative women (Dana Loesch and Mary Katherine Ham, to name a couple) as guest hosts in what seemed like a sincere effort by producers to reach out to the political half of America usually ignored by television. They get some political cover by going to an old media playbook and hiring a useful idiot Republican who became popular as a pundit largely by bashing other Republicans. The press reports are all dutifully saying that Wallace is a “conservative” so the show’s higher-ups can say, “See, DIVERSITY!” She’s a conservative in the New York Times/Washington Post mold which, again, means being a Republican who will speak ill of other Republicans.
The upside to all of this is that as long as Wallace remains on TV she won’t be yet another losing consultant who is recycled by the party.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama said that America’s goal should be to “shrink” the Islamic State until it is a “manageable problem.”
His own vice president, Joe Biden, later contradicted him, saying that we will “follow ISIS to the gates of Hell, because Hell is where they will reside.”
This afternoon, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did a “what he really meant to say” routine.
Fox’s James Rosen noted the president’s own contradictory comments, which went from wanting to destroy ISIS, to wanting to roll it back, to wanting to leave it as a “manageable problem.” All of those iterations came in the president’s statement in Estonia today.
Psaki took a little dig at Fox before answering that “It’s important to look at the context of the remarks that the president made.”
The administration’s juvenile digs at a single network have no place in a serious foreign policy discussion about a threat to the whole nation, by the way. They’re petty.
“Certainly our objective here is to degrade and destroy ISIL,” Psaki said.
Rosen countered that “How can reducing something so that it is a manageable problem be consistent with ‘destroying it?’”
Psaki replied “Well I would have to look at the full context, James, but I think it’s understandable that the White House press corps and others are asking questions asked in many different ways. There are many questions to be answered and discussed on this particular issue.”
Then she touted the “effort to build an international coalition” against IS, which the president only mentioned as a possibility, not an actual effort.
From the looks of things today, Barack Obama cannot even manage to keep a consistent message coming from his own mouth over the course of one day. How can he turn IS into a “manageable problem?”
The Times of Israel carried the startling report of one radical Islamist mother-in-law who was willing to send not one, not two, but all of her daughters to slaughter for the Palestinian cause:
The bereaved mother-in-law of Hamas terror chief Muhammad Deif said she would be “honored” were he to marry her two other daughters, even if they were “martyred” as a consequence.Deif’s wife Widad and his son and daughter were killed last week in an Israeli airstrike aimed at Deif, the Hamas military commander said by Israel to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis in a career of terrorism dating back to the early 1990s.Apparently believing that Deif survived the Israeli strike, Widad’s mother Zeian Asfura, 61, told London’s Sunday Times in an interview published Sunday: “Should Deif request the hand of any of my other daughters, I will happily consent and even if she, too, is martyred I will consent to the third.
“It is an honor to have Deif a husband to any of my daughters and be a father to their children,” Asfura added.…Asfura said that when she consented to the marriage in 2011, she realized the possible consequence. “When I agreed the marriage, I in effect consented to a fate of martyrdom for my daughter,” she said.
Mainstream feminists news sources didn’t bother carrying this story, but give them time. Nearly a month after the rest of the world learned that Yazidi women were jumping off cliffs to avoid becoming Islamic State sex slaves, Jezebel finally granted a few words to the issue. Referring to the women as “brides” instead of “sex slaves”, the author demurely referred to to the situation as “just awful.” The Yazidi choice to commit suicide didn’t even make the story.
Friedan feminists lapped up the liberties their mothers and grandmothers had fought hard to earn and shrugged. As a result, their daughters live comfortably, insulated in their so-called feminism that remains ignorant of the real persecution of women the world over. The more politically inclined among them fell for the Marxist narrative of postcolonial struggle, rendering them powerless against a perceived racial minority’s religious ideology that subjects a woman to a life of objectification and abuse. Hence contemporary American feminism isn’t equipped to confront radical Islam’s threat against women.
The struggle of the Yazidi women and the perverted ideology of Zeian Asfura demand that feminism not be defined by upper class white women supplementing their career of bored housewife with fundraising galas for the latest cause celeb. It is time feminism got back to its roots of Bible believing, slave-freeing, vote-wielding powerful women who worked as forces of nature fighting against female persecution. Ignorance is evil, and the kind of ignorance embraced by modern feminism is the kind that empowers evil to thrive to the point that no ocean border can wash it away. The West needs feminism, true feminism, Biblical feminism, lest the story of the Yazidi become a global narrative and evil mother-in-law jokes take on a sick, sad new meaning in our neck of the woods.
Even Democrat cheerleader Dana Milbank finds Barack Obama’s happy talk on terrorism unnerving.
[T]he day Britain raised its terrorism threat level to “severe” — Obama delivered a very different message when he spoke to donors at a fundraiser in New York’s Westchester County. “Yes, the Middle East is challenging, but the truth is it’s been challenging for quite a while,” he said. “I promise you things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago, 25 years ago or 30 years ago. This is not something that is comparable to the challenges we faced during the Cold War.”
Speaking to another group of contributors that same day in Newport, R.I.,the president said that the post-9/11 security apparatus “makes us in the here and now pretty safe” and that the threat from ISIS “doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland.”
I hope Obama’s chillax message turns out to be correct, but the happy talk is not reassuring. It’s probably true that the threat of domestic radicalization is greater in Europe than in the United States (hence the British plan to confiscate some passports) but Obama’s sanguinity is jarring compared to the mood of NATO allies Obama is meeting in Europe this week.
Hope is not a plan.
Obama has been giving Americans a pep talk, essentially counseling them not to let international turmoil get in the way of the domestic economic recovery. “The world has always been messy,” he said Friday. “In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through.”
The terrorists use social media to organize, to recruit and to broadcast their gore porn videos.
Even Milbank isn’t buying Obama’s social media nonsense.
So we wouldn’t have fussed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine if not for Facebook? Or worried about terrorists taking over much of Syria and Iraq if not for Twitter? This explanation, following Obama’s indiscrete admission Thursday that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for military action against ISIS, adds to the impression that Obama is disengaged.
In short, Americans would worry less if Obama worried more.
Indeed. Instead, Obama offers happy talk while — as he surely knows — the border is unsecured and ISIS is threatening to strike here. They’re capable of striking here. The only question is when they will attempt to strike here.
Obama’s happy talk is all kinds of unsettling, especially when lined up against his clear distaste for Israel’s self-defense against Hamas. He is either so stubborn about sticking to his “I ended the war in Iraq” line that he is ignoring the present reality, or he has checked out of the job, or he still believes somehow that his election still has chance of bringing about peace all by itself, or, and this is truly unsettling, Obama truly does not believe that the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and similarly aligned groups are a threat because they don’t wear the al Qaeda brand.
Or he’s truly and deeply clueless and incapable of leading anything more than a partisan fundraiser or airstrikes. Or he’s on the other side, or at least far more tolerant of Islamism than any American president ought to be.
That’s a lot of possibilities, none of them good. But hey, be happy America. If you like your head, you can keep it.
America is due for some good news, what with the sputtering economy, the border crisis, an abdicating president, Russia going neo-Soviet, the rise of ISIS and the return of retread Jerry Brown to office, but this story will be no solace and, certainly no port in a storm.
Chelsea Clinton, arguably the most brilliant journalists on the planet, is leaving her post at NBC News.
I know, I know. It’s hard to take. The Tatler is here for you.
Journalism’s leading light broke the terrible news in the modern era’s most prestigious news publication, People magazine.
Chelsea Clinton says she’s stepping out of her correspondent job as she looks forward to taking on mom duties
After not quite three years as a special correspondent for NBC News – and with just a little while until she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are expected to become parents – the former first daughter is now leaving that position, she tells PEOPLE in a statement, “to continue focusing on my work at the Clinton Foundation and as Marc and I look forward to welcoming our first child.”
No one will ever forget Chelsea Clinton’s massive contribution to journalism.
Her hard-hitting interview with the Geico gecko for Rock Center will never ever be surpassed. It even left a deceased Dan Rather envious.
Dan Rather isn’t dead yet? Well, whatever. Maybe he’ll fake that too.
Chelsea proved that she has the chops to go toe-to-toe with Putin in that interview. She was a bargain at $600,000 per year to file one or two puff pieces annually. A steal.
She’ll be missed. Terribly.
*Editor’s Note: This article was written prior to Cameron’s press conference Friday morning.
UKIP – the insurgent right-of-center party that has been shaking up the British political scene for the past couple of years, and which won elections for the European Parliament earlier this year, pulled off another coup today when it announced the first defection to its ranks from Prime Minister David Cameron’s governing Conservative Party.
Douglas Carswell, MP for the seat of Clacton in south-east England, said he was leaving the Tories because Cameron was not serious about plans to reform the European Union ahead of an in/out referendum, due to be held in 2017 if the party wins an overall majority in next year’s General Election – it’s currently in a coalition with the center-left Liberal Democrats.
Carswell will now contest a special election for his seat – and if, as expected, he wins he will become UKIP’s first MP in Westminster. His defection is a triumph for UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage, and a major blow to Cameron, who had hoped to patch up splits in his party over Europe in the run-up to the 2015 election.
Announcing his defection, Carswell told a press conference: “The problem is that many of those at the top of the Conservative Party are simply not our side. They aren’t serious about the change that Britain so desperately needs.”
UKIP has pledged to take Britain out of the EU, a policy that increasing numbers of voters support. Cameron has pledged to negotiate with the EU to secure major reforms ahead of the 2017 referendum, but Carswell said he believed the party leadership was not being sincere. He said he had been told by senior advisers to the Prime Minister that voters would be offered “just enough to persuade enough of them to stay in”.
What is particularly damaging for Cameron is that Carswell is not some fringe figure or publicity-seeking opportunist whose defection the Conservatives can easily dismiss. He’s highly principled, and a serious thinker who’s been a leading voice for reform, both in his party and the UK political system in general.
The timing of Carswell’s announcement was particularly unfortunate for Prime Minister Cameron, coinciding as it did with the release of official figures showing net migration to Britain has risen to 250,000 in the past year, despite Cameron’s pledge to reduce the level to “tens of thousands.” The inability of Britain to control immigration from EU countries has been a hugely successful campaigning issue for UKIP.
Friday’s papers are filled with speculation about which other Tories might follow Carswell to UKIP, with claims that as many as eight MPs are in talks with Farage’s party. But while Farage might be celebrating, the real winner from Carswell’s defection may be the left-wing Labour party, which despite its current modest showing in the polls could win next year’s election if UKIP and the Tories split the center-right vote in enough ‘swing’ seats. The pro-Europe Labour party has refused to offer voters a referendum on the European Union, and for all his smiles today Farage must fear that the chances of Britain escaping the EU’s clutches any time soon just got a little slimmer.