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Required Viewing

October 15th, 2014 - 12:20 pm

So apparently the easiest way to get covered under the Medicaid expansion is to be an ex-con.

Say what you will, but at least the Democrats know their constituents.

Sign “O” the Times

October 15th, 2014 - 11:01 am

POWERMAX

Online Apple retailer PowerMax is using political corruption as a marketing tool.

Geeeeeeeenius. And indicative.

(This isn’t an ad or an endorsement — just something which showed up in my inbox I thought you’d enjoy.)

kobane

Good lord:

Refugees in Suruc, Turkey, have told how relatives and neighbours were beheaded by Isil militants, while another spoke of how he had seen “hundreds” of decapitated corpses in the besieged town.

The UN Syria envoy has warned that the hundreds still trapped in Kobane will be “massacred” by militants if the town falls, while only a small corridor remains open for people to flee.

More than 200,000 have already escaped across the border to Turkey but up to 700 remain inside the town.

Our allies in Ankara are pretty much siding with ISIL along their southern border as a hedge against Turkey’s Kurdish “problem.”

Revolting actions by ISIL are neatly matched by Turkey’s revolting inaction.

Required Reading

October 15th, 2014 - 9:22 am

C.J. Chivers for the New York Times:

It was August 2008 near Taji, Iraq. They had just exploded a stack of old Iraqi artillery shells buried beside a murky lake. The blast, part of an effort to destroy munitions that could be used in makeshift bombs, uncovered more shells.

Two technicians assigned to dispose of munitions stepped into the hole. Lake water seeped in. One of them, Specialist Andrew T. Goldman, noticed a pungent odor, something, he said, he had never smelled before.

He lifted a shell. Oily paste oozed from a crack. “That doesn’t look like pond water,” said his team leader, Staff Sgt. Eric J. Duling.

The specialist swabbed the shell with chemical detection paper. It turned red — indicating sulfur mustard, the chemical warfare agent designed to burn a victim’s airway, skin and eyes.

All three men recall an awkward pause. Then Sergeant Duling gave an order: “Get the hell out.”

Five years after President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq, these soldiers had entered an expansive but largely secret chapter of America’s long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

Read the whole thing.

I’m seriously considering printing out a hardcopy and keeping it with me at all times.

FBI —> Your Smartphone <— Snowden

October 15th, 2014 - 8:19 am

Your Trifecta gang takes on Apple, Google, Facebook, the FBI, and Edward Snowden all in just 6.5 minutes.

Because we’re just that damn good.

New Blogs

October 15th, 2014 - 7:27 am

What’s not to like about Guns and Curves? First article I read there was last month’s “I Was Afraid Of Guns: At 39, I Grew Up” by looooongtime blog-reader-turned-blogger Rachel Mullen. I know it’s from September, but it’s new to me and a timeless topic:

Convinced that I would accidentally shoot myself, I never touched a gun until I was 39 years old. (I feel like I just stepped out of the closet by admitting that publicly!)

In 2011 I found myself in a situation where I needed to protect myself. At first I just wanted to learn how disarm somebody with a gun in the event that I ever was in a situation that warranted it. But, after handling a gun for the first time, I realized that it wasn’t something to be afraid of, but rather something to be respected.

The gun wasn’t going to discharge just because I held it or even looked at it. It would fire when I told it to fire, when I squeezed the trigger.

Of course it is such a simple thing to understand, but with so much focus in the media and education that guns are dangerous and scary, many people lack confidence in using a firearm or become fearful by merely seeing one.

I bought into that scenario.

It’s a great tale, well told. Read the whole thing.

A Most Unserious War

October 15th, 2014 - 6:01 am

pb-120210-syria-bombing-nj-01.photoblog900

Paul Pillar sums up our strategic quandary:

Despite administration statements about having to think in long-haul terms, patience in Washington will wear thin amid meager results. Pressures for escalation will increasingly be felt. In response to comments from opposition groups about how the airstrikes are insufficiently coordinated with, and have not aided, their operations on the ground, expect to hear more talk in Washington about a need for putting U.S. personnel on that ground.

That sort of talk ought to be met with a reminder of the fundamental reasons—the inconvenient facts of the Syrian situation that constitute a still-unsquared circle—that will continue to make for poor results.

One reason is the multidimensional nature of the Syrian conflict, in which in the absence of a credible Syrian political alternative the United States has in effect taken the side of a Syrian regime that it supposedly still wants to oust, and in which the opposition groups in which the United States has placed its faith have significantly different priorities from Washington. Opposition groups have been particularly critical of the United States targeting of the Al-Nusra Front, which is an understandable target for the United States given that group’s status as an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, but which many of the other groups have seen as an effective ally in the fight against the Assad regime.

Call me old fashioned, but I still believe that the very first thing a country should do when going to war is to pick a side.

If there’s no side to pick, and no strategic objective larger than pissing off the locals, then why do we bother?

Raise the Titanic Dictator!

October 15th, 2014 - 5:10 am

Worry not, comrades — Kim Jong-un is alive and 4/5ths well:

Kim, who was last seen publicly at a Sept. 3 concert, appeared in images released by state media Tuesday smiling broadly and supporting himself with a walking stick while touring the newly built Wisong Scientists Residential District and another new institute in Pyongyang, part of his regular “field guidance” tours. The North didn’t say when the visit happened, nor did it address the leader’s health.

Kim’s appearance allowed the country’s massive propaganda apparatus to continue doing what it does best — glorify the third generation of Kim family rule. And it will tamp down, at least for the moment, rampant rumors of a coup and serious health problems.

Before Tuesday, Kim missed several high-profile events that he normally attends and was described in an official documentary last month as experiencing “discomfort.”

We’ll never know the truth, so why not some speculation? What’s your theory on His Gimpyness’s 40-day disappearing act?

Required Viewing

October 14th, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Hawk vs drone.

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

October 14th, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Today’s Fail comes courtesy of Robert Laszewski:

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the administration sent an email to the insurance companies participating in Obamacare telling them to keep their mouths shut about the testing of the new health law’s enrollment system saying, that unlike last year, they would require “all testers (the insurance companies) to acknowledge the confidentiality of this process” before they would be allowed to participate. The administration reminded insurers that their confidentiality agreement with the Obama administration means that insurance executives “will not use, disclose, post to a public forum, or in any way share Test Data with any person or entity, included but not limited to media…” This includes any “results of this testing exercise and any information describing or otherwise relating to the performance or functionality” of the Obamacare enrollment and eligibility system.

It’s all smoke and mirrors until after the election, but when the smoke clears those chickens will have to roost somewhere.

A Most Unserious War

October 14th, 2014 - 12:43 pm

FLIGHT

We have yet more news on Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom’s Smart Warfare™ plan to degrade and defeat the Caliphate:

Within the U.S. Air Force, there’s mounting frustration that the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is moving far more slowly than expected. Instead of a fast-moving operation with hundreds of sorties flown in a single day—the kind favored by many in the air service—American warplanes are hitting small numbers of targets after a painstaking and cumbersome process.

The single biggest problem, current and former Air Force officers say, is the so-called kill-chain of properly identifying and making sure the right target is being attacked. At the moment, that process is very complicated and painfully slow.

“The kill-chain is very convoluted,” one combat-experienced Air Force A-10 Warthog pilot told The Daily Beast. “Nobody really has the control in the tactical environment.”

President Phones-it-In won’t even phone it in to his our own Air Force.

Purple Mountains Majesty

October 14th, 2014 - 11:31 am

AD

And in more local Colorado political news:

Relatives of Jessica Ridgeway contacted 9NEWS shocked and outraged at a political ad that uses the 10-year-old’s death to attack the GOP challenger in a state legislative race.

“I am just totally disgusted by this,” said Christine Ridgeway, the grandmother of Jessica, whose murder at the hands of a local teenager gripped the Westminster area in 2012. “When I first saw this I was speechless for like four hours. I was just so angry and so upset that I just couldn’t speak.”

The political ad in question comes from a Democratic-leaning 527 group called “Priorities for Colorado.”

Of course it does.

So Which Side Won the Air War?

October 14th, 2014 - 10:22 am

BADGHDAD

ISIL is decimated and on the run — just like al Qaeda.

The Invisible President

October 14th, 2014 - 9:18 am

After a decade of near-constant overexposure, it’s strange that our “invisible president” doesn’t feel more like relief:

WHERE’S POTUS? With just three weeks to go until the midterm elections and control of the Senate hanging in the balance, candidates are scrambling toward the finish line, but one key figure has been largely absent: the Campaigner-in-Chief, ABC’s MARY BRUCE reports. The president has appeared at zero public campaign events this cycle, opting instead to tap into his fundraising prowess to boost democratic candidates behind closed-doors. Obama’s absence on the trail underscores how the president has become a political liability for many candidates. With his approval rating down in the dumps, a personal visit from Obama would likely hurt rather than help his party’s cause in the hotly contested states. It’s not unheard of for the president to be scar[c]e in the run-up to the midterms.

The President has become invisible because the results of his policies have become inescapably visible.

Required Reading

October 14th, 2014 - 8:25 am

It’s a long one from Noah Rothman headlined “The media ignoring the whiff of desperation emanating from Democrats,” and I promise it’s worth your time. Moving forward — oh, how I’ve come to loathe that phrase — this bit might be the most instructive:

In South Dakota, Democrats have begun to sink money into a three-way race in which former Republican-turned-“independent” Sen. Larry Pressler has surged over the Democratic senatorial nominee, Rick Weiland. Following the news that Democrats were going to contest the race in South Dakota, Pressler began campaigning for Democratic support. He has claimed he would be a “friend” to Obama in the Senate and is an avowed supporter of the Affordable Care Act. Reports indicate that Pressler has been courted by Beltway Democrats and can be counted on to caucus with the majority party if he were to win in November.

“The Kansas Senate race is also instructive here,” Hemingway wrote. “Republican senator Pat Roberts is fending off a challenge from “Independent” Greg Orman. Orman previously ran against Roberts as a Democrat in 2008, and in his current race he’s hired Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee staffers to help run his campaign. He’s pro-choice and says he’d support the Senate’s 2013 immigration bill.”

“But Orman’s not running as a Democrat, because, again, the Democratic brand is toxic,” Hemingway added.

The GOP brand turned bad in 2005-06, and has been toxic since the 2007-08 meltdown. This was a direct result of “compassionate conservative” Republicans turning the party against its own ideals. The Democrats then destroyed their own brand, which is actually still an ongoing process, by living up to their ideals.

If the GOP wants to detoxify, they first need to understand those last two sentences.

Centers for Disease and Stuff

October 14th, 2014 - 7:22 am

I hope that clears up any confusion you might have had over our ebola response.

Leftward March

October 14th, 2014 - 6:02 am

WARREN

Without so much as a “Mea culpa!” here’s Elizabeth Warren on President Goldman-Sachs:

In an interview in Salon, Warren, who has said she doesn’t plan to seek the 2016 presidential nomination, said fellow Democrats including President Obama have not done enough to help consumers.

On President Obama: Warren praised Obama for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency aimed at enforcing consumer protection laws.

But she told Salon that “there has not been nearly enough change” in the wake of the U.S. financial crisis.

“He picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street. …They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over.”

Warren hits hard, but don’t you get the idea that the Democratic anti-Obama positioning for 2016 has barely begun?

I’ll Have That Cake and Eat it Too

October 14th, 2014 - 5:19 am

CHARGED

Details from Engadget:

Fast-charging batteries are all nice and good, but the lifespan matters, too — why should you have to replace power packs (or entire devices) every couple of years ? You may not have to give up performance or longevity if researchers at Nanyang Technology University have their way. They’ve developed new lithium ion batteries that can reach a 70 percent charge in two minutes, but should also last for over 20 years — several times longer than the cells in your current laptop or smartphone. The trick is using titanium dioxide nanotubes for the anode (the negative pole) instead of graphite; they both speed up the battery’s chemical reactions while offering 10,000 charging cycles instead of the usual 500.

If these batteries scale up, they could make long-term hybrid or EV ownership much more economical.

Thought for the Day

October 13th, 2014 - 3:55 pm

And the Second Runner Up Is…

October 13th, 2014 - 2:14 pm

SMARTPHONE SALES

It’s no surprise that just a couple weeks after they launched, Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus dominate sales at all four major US carriers. But what did surprise me is that the year-old iPhone 5S is the third bestselling smartphone, knocking Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (no relation) off the charts, even though it’s only been available since April.

I’m sure the hundred dollar price cut has something to do with that, but happy Galaxy buyers have been able to find the S5 for as little as $49 down.

So maybe cheap materials and deep discounts aren’t so good for longterm success.

Sign “O” the Times

October 13th, 2014 - 1:36 pm

FIVE YEAR OLD

Details:

An Alabama mother is furious that her 5-year-old daughter was forced to sign a school contract stating she wouldn’t kill herself or anyone else at school.

School officials told Rebecca, who did not want to give her last name, they had to send 5-year-old Elizabeth home after an incident in class.

“They told me she drew something that resembled a gun. According to them she pointed a crayon at another student and said ‘pew pew’,” Rebecca explained.

Pardon my language, but what the fuck would make someone do that to a five-year-old kid?

The War on Small Business (Con’t)

October 13th, 2014 - 12:43 pm

PROTECTION

Nice franchise you have there — it would be a shame if anything was to happen to it. That’s the message from the NLRB:

President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board recently announced that due to complaints against a McDonald’s franchise, it will expand its definition of employer to make one company an employer of another company’s employees.

The impact of the NLRB’s alarming decision to find “joint employment” expands far beyond just the franchising world. Those two words — “joint employer” — would effectively alter the relationship between businesses at every level of the supply chain.

For now, the NLRB seems most focused on attacking franchises – since July 2014, more than three dozen unfair labor practice charges have been filed against franchises including McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, Burger King, Panera Bread, and Jack in the Box.

I’ll remind you again of a story from 2002, helpfully archived by the Freepers:

Asked about Arcata’s pending cap on pattern restaurant expansion, [Documentary moviemaker Michael] Moore – widely recognized as a corporate antagonist – again confounded expectations. “Where will you eat?” he asked. “Can’t you have at least one Jamba Juice?”

Moore said that the news media try to make people think that they are a small minority when they want to dissent from mainstream America. But, according to Moore, dissenters aren’t the minority.

On request, Moore immediately endorsed Green Party candidate for State Assembly Doug Riley-Thron. “He first handed me a $20 bill, then he gave me another one, and another one,” Riley-Thron said later. “Then he said ‘Here, take it all,’ and he handed me a bunch of ones.” The total take: $80.

“I thought, ‘Dang, that was worth doing,’” Riley-Thron said.

After a book-signing session in the lobby, Moore departed Arcata.

‘Small businesspeople are rednecks that suppress the town’

Disappointingly, the Van Duzer presentation barely touched on several current issues involving Arcata and corporations, and Moore was said to have ruled out interviews.

But he had to sleep sometime, and a late-night vigil outside Eureka’s Carter House hotel yielded a further encounter.

Moore pulled up in the passenger seat of a Chevy van full of his entourage of family and friends. Looks of tired annoyance were on everyone’s faces, but a request for an interview was granted.

Moore dismissed criticism over his purchase of a million-dollar home. “I’m a millionaire, I’m a multi-millionaire,” he proclaimed. “I’m filthy rich. You know why I’m a multi-millionaire? ‘Cause multi-millions like what I do. That’s pretty good, isn’t it? There’s millions that believe in what I do. Pretty cool, huh?”

Asked about Arcata limiting the number of pattern restaurants to nine, Moore said he didn’t think it was a good idea. But what if corporate dominance transforms Arcata into “Anywhere, USA?” “You are in Anywhere, USA,” Moore said.

Moore seemed to embrace capitalistic Darwinism. “If the small businesses suck they’ll be driven out of business,” he said. “If they got a good restaurant, people will go there and eat. You know in my town the small businesses that everyone wanted to protect? They were the people that supported all the right-wing groups. They were the Republicans in the town, they were in the Kiwanas, the Chamber of Commerce – people that kept the town all white. The small hardware salesman, the small clothing store salespersons, Jesse the Barber who signed his name three different times on three different petitions to recall me from the school board. F**k all these small businesses – f**k ‘em all! Bring in the chains. The small businesspeople are the rednecks that run the town and suppress the people. F**k ‘em all. That’s how I feel.”

Barack Obama is just Michael Moore in a nicer suit.

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

October 13th, 2014 - 11:00 am

Turns out, people don’t like paying Cadillac prices for what turn out to be catastrophic plans:

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research may help explain why President Barack Obama faces such strong headwinds in trying to persuade the public that his health care law is working to hold costs down.

The poll found the biggest financial concerns were among people with so-called high-deductible plans that require patients to pay a significant share of their medical bills each year before insurance kicks in.

Such plans already represented a growing share of employer-sponsored coverage. And now, they’re also the mainstay of the new health insurance exchanges created by Obama’s law.

Edward Frank of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, said he bought a plan with a $6,000 deductible last year through HealthCare.gov. That’s in the high range, since deductibles for popular silver plans on the insurance exchanges average about $3,100— still a lot.

“Unless you get desperately ill and in the hospital for weeks, it’s going to cost you more to have this plan and pay the premiums than to pay the bill just outright,” said Frank, who ended up paying $4,000 of his own money this spring for treatment of shoulder pain.

That Means It’s Working™

As You Wish

October 13th, 2014 - 10:04 am

IMPRESSIVE

The Princess Bride star Cary Elwes has a new book out, going behind the scenes of the making of the movie. One story is Mandy Patinkin’s strange injury:

After Westley is rendered “mostly dead” at the hands of the evil prince, Inigo and Fezzik carry him to Miracle Max, an elderly healer played by Billy Crystal, who based the schticky character on his grandmother and former Yankees manager Casey Stengel.

Reiner gave Crystal free rein to improvise, and many of the scene’s memorable lines were ad libbed, including the crack about true love being the greatest thing next to a good MLT — mutton, lettuce and tomato.

The cast and crew had trouble keeping their composure. Reiner had to leave the room after ruining several takes, and Elwes — who was supposed to lie motionless on a table, pretending to be mostly dead — had to be replaced by a dummy, because he couldn’t keep from cracking up.

Patinkin kept his laughter bottled up and actually bruised a rib holding it in.

I believe it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched that movie, and Billy Crystal cracks me up each and every time — and Carol Kane is just as brilliant as Valerie.

We have a tradition here at Casa Verde of watching The Princess Bride once a year. Our dear friends Kat and Jay come over, in part because they’re godparents to our older son, Pres, and in part because they’re just as much diehard Bride fans as we are.

This last time around, just a couple of months ago, Pres got it in his eight-year-old head that he hates the movie. “Can’t we watch Pacific Rim? I hate Princess Bride.” And so of course his little four-year-old brother started to echo him — “I hate that movie, too.”

So Kat and Jay came over and we grownups got ourselves settled in on various sofas and chairs, after spreading out a blanket and popcorn and snacks for the kids on the floor. I turned the stereo up to 11 and tuned the Apple TV into the movie — and within minutes both of those boys were as quiet and as still and as absolutely enraptured as two little boys can be. And so were we grownups — as much by the little boys as by the movie.

If you want to know the secret of the enduring appeal of The Princess Bride, there you go.

ADDENDUM: At least once a week the boys ask me to do my impression of Peter Cook’s Impressive Clergyman. It is, as you might expect, most impressive.

Charging by the Laugh

October 13th, 2014 - 9:48 am

zappamakemelaugh

In my preteen years I tried never to miss an episode of the game show Make Me Laugh. Simple premise: Three comedians had 60 seconds each to make a contestant laugh, who was awarded a dollar a second for not laughing. I think there might have been a $100 bonus for going the whole three minutes. Comedians got national exposure, contestants got prizes, the producers didn’t have to spend a whole lot of money.

But now there’s this:

The Teatreneu Club thought it might be an amusing experiment — a sort of world first — to give willing customers an iPad equipped with facial recognition technology that captures every laugh. The iPads are attached to the seat in front and keep score of the laugh total.

The charge per laugh is 0.30 euros. The Teatreneu Web site says that there is a maximum charge of 8 euros for its latest performance, though the BBC reports that the maximum was, in the past, 24 euros.

The idea was a reaction to increased government taxes on theatrical performances, which severely hit revenue. Pay-per-laugh was a big success, with other venues copying the idea.

EU taxes are for once a laughing matter.

Punching Above Their Weight

October 13th, 2014 - 8:38 am

PRIZES

You might have seen Business Insider’s chart of Nobel winners since 1910 (H/T Glenn), but I found it interesting for what BI left out. If you break Israeli winners out, that tiny country’s total is 12, just behind the Netherlands’ 17 and with a population of almost 17 million. Israel has about eight million people.

And despite being a fraction of one percent of the Earth’s population, Jews of all national origins have won about 20% of all Nobel prizes — and that ain’t chopped liver.

Depressed Dems Are Depressed

October 13th, 2014 - 7:31 am

SAD

The old Hopenchange magic is gone:

A Gallup poll last week found that voters are less engaged in this year’s midterms than they were in 2010 and 2006. Only 33 percent of respondents said they were giving at least “some” thought to the upcoming midterms, compared to 46 percent in 2010 and 42 percent in 2006. Even more troubling for Democrats, Republicans held a 12-point advantage when those paying “some” attention were broken down by party.

Historically, the core Democratic constituencies of young people, minorities and single women are more likely to skip voting in midterm elections. The current projections suggest that months of effort by the Democratic Party to engage those groups on issues such as the minimum wage and women’s pay may have been in vain.



If the numbers hold, it could mean a rout for Democrats similar to the 2010 “shellacking” — President Obama’s description — that swept away their House majority.

“We cannot have 2010 turnout. If we have 2010 turnout among our key constituencies, we’re going to have 2010 all over again. It’s math,” said Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher, who served as a pollster for President Obama’s election campaigns.

Math is hard.

Purple Mountains Majesty

October 13th, 2014 - 6:16 am

AUTUMN

Democrats look like they’re giving up on Colorado’s sixth congressional district:

According to a committee aide, the DCCC has pulled $1.4 million in airtime in Colorado’s 6th District, where Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is facing off against former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

The committee will partner with Romanoff in ads next week, said the aide, but the DCCC’s portion of the buy was not immediately available.

“This is still a very winnable race, and Romanoff is well-funded and in a competitive position to bring it across the finish line,” said the aide, who stressed the committee still views the race as top target.

But the really big news out of my home state might be in the tough Senate race between Democrat Mark Udall and GOP challenger Cory Gardner:

This is potentially huge. Senate Majority PAC — the SuperPAC aiming to help Democrats keep their Senate majority — is cancelling $289,000 worth of broadcast-television advertising next week

Udall has run such a nasty campaign that even the Denver Post took notice in its surprise endorsement of Gardner:

Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

Newspaper endorsements don’t mean what they used to, but that’s gotta hurt.

A Most Unserious War

October 13th, 2014 - 5:16 am

kobaniv3

Patrick Cockburn’s report could also go under the “Required Reading” banner, so here’s the lede to get you started:

America’s plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group’s fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad.

The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.

It took weeks, not years, to destroy Saddam’s Hussein’s Army in 2003. It took days, not years, to thoroughly defeat it in 1991. And while the Iraqi Army of old couldn’t stand up to the United States and its coalition partners, it was well trained enough and well armed enough to fight the Iranians to a standstill for the best part of a decade. In other words, the Iraqi Army was a professional fighting force.

ISIL consists of 20,000 to 30,000 thugs with stolen equipment whose training consists mostly of a thuggish willingness to do whatever. President Obama said it will take years to defeat them — and judging by Cockburn’s report, even that isn’t long enough for this most unserious President waging a most unserious war.

Trifecta Extra

October 11th, 2014 - 7:45 am

EXTRA

Sim City, underwear helpers, and Bill Whittle’s AR-15 — what more could you want?