“NO WORD ON WHEN BARACK OBAMA WILL BLAME DONALD TRUMP FOR THIS ONE:” Illinois man charged with intimidation after alleged threat to burn items at GOP headquarters.
President Barack Obama on Thursday called for Republicans next year to pass legislation to repair Obamacare. The GOP response? No.
Democrats have long held out hope that with a new president, the political winds would shift, creating an opening to pass badly needed legislative repairs.
But Republicans have been bashing Obamacare for more than six years and there is no sign that they’re going to break that habit — let alone vote for legislative repairs. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the law “can’t be fixed.”
Obamacare is the reason “we’ve seen record premium hikes,” Ryan said in a statement. “That’s why millions of people—including millennials—have lost their plans, or been forced to buy plans they don’t like. That’s why we’ve seen waste, fraud, and abuse. And at this point, one thing is clear: This law can’t be fixed.”
It’s like what I tell my young sons almost every day: “This is your mess; you clean it up.”
NOW OUT FROM JOSH BLACKMAN: Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power.
To be clear, these are approved rate hikes, not mere rate-hike requests from the dwindling number of ObamaCare insurers.
President Obama calls this a “transition” because insurers aggressively priced too low to get healthy people to sign up.
It’s a transition all right, to hell, for those watching rates skyrocket.
Meanwhile, young and healthy millennials have decided it is ridiculous to overpay for healthcare with $5,000 deductibles to support chronically ill smokers with cancer.
Who says Millennials are innumerate?
IT’S NICE THAT THESE PEOPLE RECOGNIZE REALITY, EVEN IF THEY WON’T ADMIT IT IN PUBLIC: WikiLeaks: Donna Brazile Shreds Obama Economy: Acting DNC chair says ‘people are more in despair about how things are.’
That’s right, you weren’t just looking at a woman wearing a white pantsuit, you were looking at a woman who was … standing up for women’s rights by channeling suffragettes, according to the senior fashion editor of the Hollywood Reporter, Booth Moore.
“The choice of a white suit for Wednesday’s debate harkened back to the not-so-distant past, when suffragettes wore white to promote their struggle to gain the right to vote,” she said.
Clinton also wore a white pantsuit when she accepted the Democratic nomination. At that time, it seemed like she was wearing it because she knew the media would try to make her look like a deity, the way they seem to do with President Obama.
And by the way, remember when Melania Trump wore white to the Republican National Convention? A fashion writer for Philly.com claimed it was racist.
Well, sure, when a Republican does it . . .
More than two out of every three U.S. citizens in a recent poll say they are very or somewhat concerned about the security of the nation’s electoral system.
The Economist/YouGov poll was conducted amid Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent claims that the November election is “rigged.”
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about the security of the electoral system while just 21 percent were either not very concerned or not concerned at all.
The survey found that two out of five respondents (42 percent) said they believed that Russia was attempting to influence the U.S. presidential election.
Last week, the White House officially accused Russia of meddling in U.S. elections.
Has anyone accused the Obama Administration of whipping up fears to discredit the election process?
The Defense Ministry said on October 20 that the war games were held at a shooting range near the city of Luga, some 100 kilometers east of the Estonian border.
The exercises featured the deployment of Iskander missiles and preparations for firing them, but didn’t involve actual launches, the military said.
Nuclear-capable Iskander missiles have a range of up to 500 kilometers.
Russia’s recent deployment of Iskander missiles to its Kaliningrad exclave puts Warsaw under a two-minute threat of nuclear annihilation. Russia is also believed to be developing a medium-range nuclear missile in violation of the 1987 INF treaty, appears have kept SS-25 mobile nuclear missile launchers in violation of the 2010 New START agreement, and last year Putin unilaterally withdrew from the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty.
HEY, MAYBE THIS WILL TURN OUT TO BE THE MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION EVER! WikiLeaks releases messages from Obama.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: We’re Losing the War and We’re Paying for It.
THE MEDIA WILL LEARN TO LOVE TRUMP IN DUE TIME:
He is the worst major-party candidate in history.
Think we’re talking about Donald Trump?
No, we’re talking about Mitt Romney circa 2012. That’s how the media painted one of the most honorable men ever to run for the White House, the creator of Romneycare, a northeastern Republican with a penchant for compromise and negotiation. Mitt Romney, the left claimed, was no John McCain — that halcyon of moderation and decency.
Now, of course, the media tells us that Donald Trump is a massive departure from the legacy of John McCain and Mitt Romney. He’s beyond the pale! He panders to racists! He’s a vicious sexist and sexual assaulter! He’s uninformed, unstable, ignorant, stupid! Why, compared to Mitt Romney, the man’s a monster!
Much of this may be true in a way it simply wasn’t about Romney. But by 2020, Donald Trump will be the new standard of civility and decency according to the Left.
See also strange new respect the left has granted Nixon, Reagan – and even Dubya.
In the original article, Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely editorialized about how U.Va. Dean Nicole Eramo assisted “Jackie,” the woman who claimed she was gang-raped as part of a fraternity initiation.
“When Jackie finished talking, Eramo comforted her, then calmly laid out her options. If Jackie wished, she could file a criminal complaint with police. Or, if Jackie preferred to keep the matter within the university, she had two choices. She could file a complaint with the school’s Sexual Misconduct Board, to be decided in a ‘formal resolution’ with a jury of students and faculty, and a dean as judge.
“Or Jackie could choose an ‘informal resolution,’ in which Jackie could simply face her attackers in Eramo’s presence and tell them how she felt; Eramo could then issue a directive to the men, such as suggesting counseling. Eramo presented each option to Jackie neutrally, giving each equal weight. She assured Jackie there was no pressure — whatever happened next was entirely her choice.”
In this version, Erdely makes it seem as though Eramo merely suggested Jackie could go to police, not that she should.
Eramo is suing Rolling Stone for the way the magazine portrayed her in the article. After nearly two years in the court system, the trial over the lawsuit began this week.
Lawyers for Eramo said in their opening statements that Rolling Stone had proof the U.Va. dean urged Jackie to go to the police, but that was edited out in the final article.
Remember, Obama — and many Congressional Republicans — were ready to make national policy based on this hoax.
JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: “Regardless of who is your chosen – or least favorite – presidential candidate, independent minds should be concerned about the latest revelations in the news media’s unseemly relationships with government and political actors. While there are many responsible journalists working today, inside documents and leaks have exposed serious lapses constituting the most far-reaching scandal our industry has known. It’s our very own Newsgate,” Sharyl Attkisson writes.
As a reminder, CEO Les Moonves said earlier this year of Trump’s campaign, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Its nightly news anchor Scott Pelley once likened global warming skeptics to holocaust deniers. John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation and the “political director” for CBS, wrote an article for Slate in 2013 charmingly titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor is the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes, and CBS pushed out Attkisson after her investigative coverage of Obama and Hillary’s Benghazi debacle.
GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times. “A key operative in a Democratic scheme to send agitators to cause unrest at Donald Trump’s rallies has visited the White House 342 times since 2009, White House records show. Robert Creamer, who acted as a middle man between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and ‘protesters’ who tried — and succeeded — to provoke violence at Trump rallies met with President Obama 47 times, according to White House records. Creamer’s last visit was in June 2016.”
TROLL LEVEL: SUPREME GALACTIC OVERLORD. Obama’s half-brother will be at Vegas debate cheering for Trump.
President Obama’s Kenya-born half-brother Malik will be in the audience in Las Vegas on Wednesday night when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in their third and final debate.
Malik — an American citizen who lives in Washington, DC, when he’s not in Kenya — says he will be a guest of Trump, the Republican nominee he supports for president.
“I’m excited to be at the debate. Trump can make America great again,” Malik told The Post.
“I look very much forward to meeting and being with Malik,” Trump said. “He gets it far better than his brother.”
Malik agrees with Trump that the mainstream media is biased, and he dismisses the women who claim Trump kissed or groped them without their permission.
“I don’t believe them,” Malik said. “Why didn’t they come forward before?”
Malik also blasted Clinton’s performance as secretary of state for exacerbating the chaos and violence in the Mideast. Malik said ousted Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy had been a good friend. “Check out the situation in Libya now,” he said.
Well, it’s not like Libya’s in the news much. Nor will it be, until after the election. . . .
OPERATION PETTICOAT: A COMEDY FOR THE REST OF US, A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR THE FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED US NAVY: Twitter Lashes Out at Obama’s ‘Woke’ Pink Fighter Jet.
It’s an old F9F-8 Cougar(!) from the 1950s – but still, I’d feel better if Tony Curtis and Cary Grant were at the controls, as once again, there is no way for satire to imitate real life for its pure absurdity, particularly when the Obama administration is involved.
Seriously though, I wonder how wigs for chemotherapy patients and other remedies could have been purchased with the amount of money and bureaucratic man-hours that went into dreaming up this PR scheme?
Bruce appeared on Face The Nation, which airs on CBS, whose news division president is David Rhodes, brother to self-immolating Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, and where the current host advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP.’
But hey, media bias is a total myth.
(Via Maggie’s Farm.)
WHOA: LOOKS LIKE JAMES O’KEEFE CLAIMED ‘LEGIT SCALP’ IN WAKE OF EXPLOSIVE EXPOSÉ. “As Twitchy told you, James O’Keefe and Project Veritas recently released a video in which Democratic operatives admit to inciting violence at Trump rallies, with, according to them, the Hillary Clinton campaign’s knowledge. One of the major players is Robert Creamer, co-founder of Democracy Partners.”
Creamer is the husband of Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky. According to the Washington Free Beacon, “Creamer, a political consultant who worked with the Democratic National Committee to consult Barack Obama on his two presidential campaigns, pleaded guilty in 2005 to defrauding nine financial institutions out of at least $2.3 million while running his own failing non-profit organization.”
Naturally, don’t look for the DNC-MSM to connect the dots or play up the story.
GREAT MOMENTS IN TROLLING: Obama to Trump: ‘Stop whining’ that the election is ‘rigged’ against you.
Pretty rich coming from a former rookie senator whom the media pulled out all the stops, and permanently damaged their credibility, to help hit 52.9 percent of the vote in ’08.
The clothes have no emperor, to coin a phrase. And leftist elites did permanent damage to their reputations by ignoring that fact, which everyone else could see but them. Or as Peggy Noonan wrote last week, “I don’t know about you but when people look down on me I want them to be distinguished or outstanding in some way—towering minds, people of exquisite sensibility or learning. Not these grubbly poseurs, these people who’ve never had a thought but only a sensation: Christians are backward, I saw it in a movie! It’s the big fact of American life now, isn’t it? That we are patronized by our inferiors.”
WHY IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LETTING PEOPLE DIE? Zika Funds Not Going Anywhere Fast Until Next Year, HHS Says. “Hundreds of millions of dollars approved by Congress last month to fight Zika won’t go anywhere until the beginning of next year — almost a full year after it was first requested, federal officials said Tuesday.”
In the email, Clinton conveys her support for Republicans’ ill-advised effort to repeal—or delay—Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax.” (Such efforts are ill-advised because Republicans should be pushing for full repeal, not catering to various interest groups in pushing for partial repeal.) But the striking thing is Clinton’s motivation: She wants the Democrats “to be careful” to let the Republicans’ legislation pass, because that legislation, she conveys, “begins the unraveling of the ACA” [Obamacare].
That doesn’t sound like someone who’s trying to make Obamacare better, which Clinton has campaigned as being committed to doing. Rather, while posing as an Obamacare supporter, she has been eager to see President Obama’s signature legislation “unravel,” so that it can to give way to a true government monopoly.
“The worse, the better,” as another leftist is supposed to have said.
GREAT MOMENTS IN CHUTZPAH: President Barack Obama has some advice for Donald Trump: Man up.
You first, Chief.
WHAT WE DO NOW INSTEAD OF WINNING WARS: Twitter Lashes Out at Obama’s ‘Woke’ Pink Fighter Jet. “Someone told them we can’t literally fight cancer with jets, right?”
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Will Obama foolishly escalate his secret wars?
And note this lede, which appears in the centrist-establishment The Week: “Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama is now facing some tough decisions about two countries he is bombing in the Middle East.”
THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: What media bias? Journalists overwhelmingly donated to Hillary Clinton.
Late Sunday evening, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza tweeted: “Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don’t root for a side. Period.”
It was a hilariously ill-timed tweet, because Monday morning the Center for Public Integrity released its 2016 campaign analysis showing journalists giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Of the 430 people CPI identified as “journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism,” 96 percent gave money to Clinton, according to federal campaign finance filings. Those 430 journalists gave $382,000 to Clinton and just $14,000 to GOP nominee Donald Trump. CPI identified just 50 journalists who gave to Trump (meaning 380 gave to Clinton.)
CPI noted that the law only obligates candidates to disclose the names of donors giving more than $200 in a single election cycle, meaning many more members of the media could have donated to either campaign, but in smaller amounts.
Cillizza followed up his earlier tweet by commenting on the CPI report: “Well this is super depressing. NO idea why any journalist would donate $ to politicians.”
CPI noted that even as many newsrooms have policies against donating to politicians (the New York Times is more vague, strongly suggesting that such donations would compromise the paper’s integrity), their reporters donated.
This isn’t an age of Trump thing among journalists, either. In 2012, every major media outlet donated heavily to President Obama compared to Mitt Romney (yes, even Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News). The story was the same in 2008.
It’s a political monoculture, and that’s one reason for the rise of Trump.
CONGRESSMEN BURGESS, PRICE, ROE: Our diagnosis as doctors — ObamaCare is about to collapse.
Back in 2010 just before ObamaCare became law, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services forecast there would be 24.8 million individuals in the exchanges by 2016. The actual figure at the end of 2016 according to Avalere Health will be 10.1 million.
In short, the exchanges are failing. The plans available are too expensive and come with too few choices. Younger, healthier individuals have little interest in paying exorbitant premiums for insurance plans that come with $5,000 deductibles. The result has been an unbalanced insurance pool where insurers must charge ever-increasing premiums to continue offering coverage.
Predictably, as the risk pools worsen, premiums skyrocket and insurers withdraw.
That means it’s working.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Case for Trump.
Trump’s defeat would translate into continued political subversion of once disinterested federal agencies, from the FBI and Justice Department to the IRS and the EPA. It would ensure a liberal Supreme Court for the next 20 years — or more. Republicans would be lucky to hold the Senate. Obama’s unconstitutional executive overreach would be the model for Hillary’s second wave of pen-and-phone executive orders. If, in Obama fashion, the debt doubled again in eight years, we would be in hock $40 trillion after paying for Hillary’s even more grandiose entitlements of free college tuition, student-loan debt relief, and open borders. She has already talked of upping income and estate taxes on those far less wealthy than the Clintons and of putting coal miners out of work (“We are going to put a whole lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”) while promising more Solyndra-like ventures in failed crony capitalism.
The normalization of a politicized federal bureaucracy would be the most lasting — and damaging — legacy of nearly two decades of Obama-Clinton administration.
More: “I think he’s going to lose Arizona,” said Matthew Benson, a Republican state operative and former senior aide to Gov. Jan Brewer. “Barring something unforeseen, Trump is going to lose Arizona, and you’re still not seeing the type of activity you’d expect to see if he expects to save it.”
If there’s anything to these stories, Trump could be in worse trouble than McCain was after he “suspended” his campaign to return to Washington to get publicly rolled by Pelosi, Reid, and Obama.
1) No experience required . . . In the matchup of neophyte Sen. Barack Obama against the polymorphously experienced Sen. John McCain in 2008, Obama’s thin résumé was shrugged off by the voters, thanks in part to a complicit media that preferred to cast Obama as refreshing rather than underqualified. In 2016, though, a businessman with no political or military experience whatsoever has a shot at being elected president. Trump would be the first person never to have been either a military leader or a political officeholder ever to attain the presidency — and he turned this startling lack of engagement with the political system into an asset in a year when voters felt alienated from Washington. The idea that a true outsider could capture the White House no longer looks at all far-fetched. Some other business leader or celebrity could be a viable candidate in 2020.
2). . . but character still matters. One huge advantage held by professional politicians is that they’ve already been vetted, faced opposition research. Trump, despite having been a public figure for more than 30 years, never faced the same scrutiny, as we learned in the dizzying final weeks of the campaign. Why? Because it was never in anyone’s direct interest to take him on. If he had run for any significant lower office, the resources of a political party would have been focused on destroying him by digging up dirt from his past. Any public figure with skeletons in his closet should assume they will be not only found but fetishized.
But only if he’s a Republican.
NOBEL PEACE PRICE UPDATE: Iraq Braces for New Wave of Refugees as 1.5M Threatened by Battle for Mosul.
Flashback: President Obama Has Ended the War in Iraq.
HE SAID THAT ABOUT BUYING HEALTH INSURANCE, TOO. HOW DID THAT WORK OUT? Filing Taxes Should Be As Easy As Ordering Pizza, Obama Says.
If the parties were reversed in the NC firebombing, we'd be gearing up for a big national conversation about dangerous rhetoric.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 16, 2016
After eight years of Obama, mostly I’m tired of the official harangues.
After months of speculation regarding the hacking of recent political figures and organizations, the U.S. intelligence community announced last week that it is “confident” that Russia is responsible. Wikileaks, a primary publisher of the documents resulting from those hacks, is making it evidently clear that it is targeting U.S. politics. U.S. intelligence officials also acknowledge that Russia may have a hand in hacks of various state electoral systems.
The massive amounts of information contained in the hacks is nothing short of damning, especially for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but the releases could also be one of the largest information warfare campaigns in history. While there are questions over whether diplomatic differences between the Kremlin and Washington could go from harsh words to actual combat, kinetic attacks may not be necessary to constitute a dangerous conflict.
“There are certain modes of conflict going on now,” Peter Singer, a strategist and senior fellow specializing in modern security threats at New America, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The current conflict between the U.S. and Russia may not fit a traditional definition of war, but it is a conflict nonetheless, he added.
Moscow isn’t trying merely to discredit an American presidential candidate, but to discredit our entire election process. The goal is almost certainly to weaken America abroad by weakening America at home, and in that Putin has had plenty of help from Barack Obama and other American politicians.
CONRAD BLACK ON OUR LAME ELECTION: This Is How Democracy Is Supposed To Work.
What has happened is both less alarming and less surprising than this conventional wisdom implies. The United States has rarely been the Tocquevillian idyll of Norman Rockwell families in Grandma Moses communities that is the collective self-image that Walt Disney and others have generally portrayed and that even millions of Americans who know better assume is how scores of millions of their fellow citizens live. The United States survived a civil war that killed almost 10 per cent of its adult free males, the world wars, Great Depression, the upheavals of McCarthyism and the Red Scare in the Fifties, the race riots and Vietnam war strains of the Sixties, the Watergate debacle in the Seventies. . . .
This is a uniquely tawdry presidential race because one candidate is culturally offensive to half the people, but is the only alternative to a person who has serious problems with probity and is a continuation of a sleazy and broken-down system that a majority wants changed drastically. The price of change is Donald and the cost of avoiding Donald is Hillary. So it is not surprising that the campaign has plumbed the depths it has, and that the match is so negative. Nor is it, in the long term, alarming.
A colleague who’s been following InstaPundit since the beginning asked why I don’t seem super-energized about the election. I replied that Trump, and even Hillary, would be better than Obama, so . . .
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Obama Administration Intensifies Secret War In Somalia. “The Somalia campaign is a blueprint for warfare that President Obama has embraced and will pass along to his successor. It is a model the United States now employs across the Middle East and North Africa — from Syria to Libya — despite the president’s stated aversion to American ‘boots on the ground’ in the world’s war zones. This year alone, the United States has carried out airstrikes in seven countries and conducted Special Operations missions in many more. American officials said the White House had quietly broadened the president’s authority for the use of force in Somalia by allowing airstrikes to protect American and African troops as they combat fighters from the Shabab, a Somali-based militant group that has proclaimed allegiance to Al Qaeda.”
YOU WENT FULL REICHSTAG, MAN. NEVER GO FULL REICHSTAG: The New Republic on the firebombing of the GOP’s North Carolina HQ:
It’s a rather ironic post, considering that TNR tweeted this during the government “slimdown” in the fall of 2013:
As Jim Geraghty tweeted at the time, “The New Republic: Your first choice for violent, authoritarian, eliminationist rhetoric!” And now conspiracy theories as well. Come back Marty Peretz, all is forgiven!
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
I’ll vote for Mr. Trump—grimly. But there is no alternative, no shadow of a responsible alternative.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a message from the voters. He is the empty gin bottle they have chosen to toss through the window. The message begins with the fact that voters hear what the leaders and pundits don’t: the profound contempt for America and Americans that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama share and their frightening lack of emotional connection to this nation and its people.
—David Gelernter on Trump and the Emasculated Voter — There’s only one way to protect the nation from Hillary Clinton, and that is to vote for Donald Trump. Read the whole thing.
(Via Maggie’s Farm.)
“REMEMBER WHEN LEFTISTS SAID MITT ROMNEY WAS A RACIST BECAUSE HE USED THE WORD ‘OBAMACARE’ IN A SPEECH? GOOD TIMES,” Avik Roy tweets, linking to a July 2012 Daily Beast article titled “Michael Tomasky* on Mitt Romney the Race Baiter at the NAACP.”
That was also the year that words such as “golf” and “Chicago” were declared racist by a division of Comcast.
To slightly modify a sentence from Glenn last month, both Romney and Tea Party people “were polite, and were betrayed and demonized. Trump supporters are angry, and are betrayed and demonized. What comes next?”
* And if you think Tomasky hates Romney, don’t even get him started on his voters, particularly those from the south.
THE MOST IMPORTANT WIKILEAKS REVELATION ISN’T ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON: “This was October 6. The election was November 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama cabinet, a month before votes were counted.”
The password is: Corporatism.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday played a clip from an upcoming feature about the fake gang rape story published in Rolling Stone magazine in 2014.
The clip features snippets of two interviews, one from GMA host Amy Robach speaking with University of Virginia dean Nicole Eramo, who was portrayed as dismissive toward sexual assault accusers at the school, and part of Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s deposition.
Eramo is seen reading some “mild” hate mail she received in the wake of the article, which claimed she did nothing to help a woman who said she was gang-raped at a fraternity at U.Va. when she was a freshman.
“Dean of rape … God will have his day with you and hold you accountable,” and “you’re a despicable human being,” Eramo read, timidly.
“I thought I – I was sure I was going to be fired. I was sure that – and I just didn’t know if I could do it, honestly,” she said, fighting back tears. “I mean, I went to work every day and I tried to do it but I wasn’t sure if I could do it.”
Eramo is now suing Rolling Stone and Erdely for the way she was portrayed in the article.
Next we see Erdely giving testimony in response to Eramo’s lawsuit. She claimed “Jackie,” the woman who gave her the fake account of a gang rape, “proved to be credible in so many different ways.” Erdely also said Jackie gave her “pieces of evidence to back up what she was saying.” We do not see whether Erdely explained what those pieces were.
Jackie could have given Erdely text messages between herself and “Drew,” the man she claimed took her to a fraternity party after a date and orchestrated the gang rape as part of an initiation. She could have shown Erdely a photo of the man she claimed was Drew. But those text messages and the photo were fake. Jackie used an online service to send the texts to her friends, and the photo she showed them of Drew was actually of an old high school classmate who was not a student at U.Va. and had nothing to do with any of this.
Remember, Obama, and even many Congressional Republicans, were ready to make national policy based on this hoax.
THE WAGES OF “SMART DIPLOMACY:” Walter Russell Mead: What Erdogan’s Pivot to Putin Means.
Obama handling of Syria continues to become more incoherent and more damaging to American interests. Putin has not only, thanks to White House dithering and irresolution, managed to reinsert Russia into Middle East politics in a spoiler role and his gains have not just included a deepening and commercially beneficial relationship with Iran and the weakening of the European Union and Merkel’s leadership in it over the refugee issue; he has also, thanks to the incoherence of American policy, managed to drive a thick wedge into NATO by further alienating Turkey from the West and, especially Washington.
As for what a naive and vainglorious President Obama once (back in those days when he collected Nobel Peace Prizes and was hailed as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln by a clueless and infatuated press corps) identified as a central goal of his foreign policy—the reconciliation of America with the Muslim world—his callous abandonment of the Syrian Sunnis to their increasingly genocidal foes has done as much, if not more, to tarnish America’s reputation among Sunni Arabs than anything any of his predecessors managed to do going back to Harry Truman.
The issues in Syria are difficult and the alternatives are few, but President Obama’s Syria policy is one of the shabbiest and sorriest displays of serial ineptitude that has unfolded in world politics in all these many years. That his emissaries and representatives attempt to cover the nakedness of their policy with grandiose rhetorical denunciation of the crimes that Obama’s incompetence has enabled merely underscores the horrifying moral and political emptiness of the President’s approach to world politics.
Obama could hardly have accomplished more harm if he were trying to ruin America’s position in the world.
TO BE HONEST, IT WAS QUITE OBVIOUS WHAT THEY WERE DOING AT THE TIME, AND TO MY SURPRISE ROBERTS FELL FOR IT: Rolling Justice Roberts: A Clinton ally reveals how the left played the Chief on ObamaCare.
The WikiLeaks email disclosures make fascinating reading about the political calculations of leading progressives, and Chief Justice John Roberts may want to pay particular attention. This week’s leaks show Hillary Clinton ally Neera Tanden laying out a strategy to intimidate the Supreme Court to uphold ObamaCare.
Ms. Tanden runs the Center for American Progress, the think tank that is essentially an arm of the Clinton campaign. CAP’s former chief, John Podesta, is now the Clinton campaign chairman, and on June 2, 2015 Ms. Tanden sent an email to Jake Sullivan, a key Clinton aide, copying Mr. Podesta and Jennifer Palmieri, another campaign operative.
The subject line was “King v. Burwell,” the second big legal case contesting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, three years after the first case in which the Chief sided with the four liberals to uphold the law.
Ms. Tanden wrote that, “As Jennifer will remember, it was pretty critical that the President threw the gauntlet down last time on the Court, warning them in the first case that it would politicize the role of the Court for them to rule against the ACA. As a close reader of the case, I honestly believe that was vital to scaring Roberts off.”
We wrote at the time about the campaign to mau-mau the Chief, and now we know it was orchestrated. The campaign included a Senate speech by Vermont’s Pat Leahy, a broadside from President Obama about “an unelected group of people” overturning “a duly constituted and passed law,” and articles by such media progressives as Jeffrey Rosen of the New Republic and Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker. Mr. Rosen hit the talking points out of the park when he wrote that, “If the Roberts court strikes down health care reform by a 5-4 vote, then the chief justice’s stated goal of presiding over a less divisive court will be viewed as an irredeemable failure.”
What’s funny is that the Court’s prestige has fallen dramatically since then, largely in consequence. It may be that the best way to promote the Court’s prestige is to not pay too much attention to what people are saying about it. Sad as it is to conclude this, it may be that Harriet Miers would have done a better job.
THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: Kimberley Strassel: The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins.
If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.
But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.
It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.
Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”
A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.”
Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot.
A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.”
The Obama administration—the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.
Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.
The leaks show that the foundation was indeed the nexus of influence and money. The head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ira Magaziner, suggested in a 2011 email that Bill Clinton call Sheikh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia to thank him for offering the use of a plane. In response, a top Clinton Foundation official wrote: “Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do.”
The entire progressive apparatus—the Clinton campaign and boosters at the Center for American Progress—appears to view voters as stupid and tiresome, segregated into groups that must either be cajoled into support or demeaned into silence.
REMEMBER THIS WHEN THEY START WITH ALL THE HAVE-YOU-NO-DECENCY STUFF: Dem PAC poll-tested attacks on Obama over father’s Muslim heritage.
A Democratic super PAC poll tested several personal attacks against then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in 2008, including his cocaine use as a teenager and his father’s Muslim heritage, according to emails released by WikiLeaks.
The Jan. 9, 2008, email exchange is between Paul Begala, a longtime ally of Hillary Clinton, and her current campaign chairman, John Podesta. In it, Podesta provides a list of attack lines the strategists discussed putting into a survey.
You know, news like this might hurt Hillary, if the press ever reported it.
VERY VERY VERY FAST GLOBAL WARMING: Horrors. The PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum). (Aside to chemists and combat engineers: PETM, not PETN. Got to keep the acronyms straight.) During the PETM “The planet was essentially ice free, and sea levels drastically higher than now.” Golly. Was George W. Bush alive then, too? Would that Barack Obama had arrived and the rise of sea levels ceased and…According to the article, the consensus “cause d’warming” theory is volcanoes. Yeah, the unregulated lava and pumice polluters pumped hazardous awful junk into the atmosphere and over thousands of years they were almost as bad as capitalists. Over time increased CO2 levels (from the unregulated volcanoes) led to global warming. However. But…According to the article, magnetized clay particles (microtektites) indicate another environment destroying criminal did the dirty deed — a comet! Did the comet bring its own carbon? Was the comet a Republican? Until Hillary is elected, Team Hillary propagandists John Podesta and Robby Mook will swear it was. The theoretical comet strike’s theoretical result: fast carbon dioxide release, faster global warming. A lot faster than the lava and pumice polluter theory…But…but consensus!
I GUESS THEY LISTENED TO BARACK OBAMA OR SOMETHING: England Axes Art History A-Levels In Cull Of “Soft Subjects.”
Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO on Friday, a day after the U.N. cultural agency adopted a draft resolution that Israel says denies the deep, historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.
UNESCO’s draft resolution, sponsored by several Arab countries, uses only the Islamic name for a hilltop compound sacred to both Jews and Muslims, which includes the Western Wall, a remnant of the biblical temple and the holiest site where Jews can pray. The validated resolution is expected early next week, but the wording is unlikely to change.
DEMS SET NEW TRAP FOR TRUMP AS MICHELLE OBAMA TEARS INTO HIM OVER TAPE, GROPING ACCUSATIONS.
ED MORRISSEY: Minnesota Could Be the First Obamacare Domino to Fall.
As the Star Tribune notes, all seven of the remaining insurers in the state had threatened to follow Preferred One out the door without the massive rate hikes. Even with Rothman surrendering to the realities of centrally controlled economies, Blue Cross Blue Shield will still exit Mnsure at the end of 2016. The massive price hikes, Rothman said in September, were “a stopgap for 2017.” Foreshadowing Dayton’s announcement on Wednesday, Rothman added, “It’s an emergency situation – we worked hard and avoided a collapse.”
Avoided? As Dayton made clear yesterday, all Minnesota has done is postpone a collapse – and probably for only another year. The biggest problem for insurers in these markets is the unstable utilization rates, which prevent them from accurately calculating risk to set a tenable premium price.
The reason for that instability is that higher prices are disincentivizing healthier consumers from buying expensive comprehensive insurance policies as they opt instead to pay out of pocket for their minimal utilization and pay the tax penalty for non-coverage instead. Thanks to skyrocketing premiums and deductible thresholds, the likelihood of many consumers to have benefits applied to anything but a basic wellness check is remote at best, which makes the risk worthwhile.
Leave it to Big Government to coerce a market into existence, where individuals are required to buy a product they can’t afford to use, and which producers can’t afford to sell — and then blame the free market for the inevitable collapse.
CLINTON ALLY ON OBAMACARE WEBSITE: ‘IN REAL LIFE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN FIRED.’
It’s nice to finally see a lefty acknowledge that working in the public sector isn’t real life. Or as legendary scientist Dr. Raymond Stantz would say:
Islamic State (IS) executed 58 people suspected of taking part in the plot after it was uncovered last week. Residents, who spoke to Reuters from some of the few locations in the city that have phone service, said the plotters were killed by drowning and their bodies were buried in a mass grave in a wasteland on the outskirts of the city.
Among them was a local aide of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who led the plotters, according to matching accounts given by five residents, by Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on IS affairs that advises the government in Baghdad and by colonel Ahmed al-Taie, from Mosul’s Nineveh province Operation Command’s military intelligence.
Reuters is not publishing the name of the plot leader to avoid increasing the safety risk for his family, nor the identities of those inside the city who spoke about the plot.
The aim of the plotters was to undermine Islamic State’s defense of Mosul in the upcoming fight, expected to be the biggest battle in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Flashback: President Obama Has Ended the War in Iraq.
BUT WE SENT PLANELOADS OF CASH TO IRAN: Florida governor: We’re still waiting for Zika money.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is accusing federal health officials of holding up money to fight Zika as the state combats its latest outbreak of the virus.
“It has been two weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama. However, Florida has not yet received a dime,” Scott said in a statement Thursday.
“We don’t need bureaucratic timelines — we need funding now,” Scott said.
Scott said his state needs the money even faster than expected after the Florida health department confirmed another outbreak of the Zika virus in Miami-Dade County on Thursday.
ALL LIVES MATTER: Four men arrested in attack on Alabama teen who said ‘Blue lives matter’
Once more time:
My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing.
— jon gabriel (@exjon) November 24, 2014
NEW YORK POST: Why Israel fears Obama’s last days.
Israel faces a unique window of danger from Nov. 9 to Jan. 20: What might President Obama do in his final days in office to slam the Jewish state?
Start with Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent flat refusal to promise a US veto on any upcoming anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council.
On Saturday, Haaretz reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Kerry he’s counting on Washington to stick to its policy of nixing anti-Israel resolutions. Kerry’s reply: The administration has yet to make a decision on the matter.
For Kerry to leave any doubt that America would shield Israel at the United Nations is bad enough. But concerns about what Team Obama might do go far beyond that.
Read the whole thing.
It’s also possible, likely even, that January 20 won’t mark the end of Obama’s mischief-making.
TOM BEVAN: Fear, Loathing and Turnout in Wisconsin.
Fear and loathing of the choice facing voters on Nov. 8 is one of the defining features of this election, and not just among swing voters. Nowhere is that more true than in Wisconsin, which stands alone as the only battleground state this year where Democrats and Republicans resoundingly rejected both current nominees in their party primaries earlier this year.
Wisconsin may be the birthplace of the Grand Old Party, but it hasn’t gone for a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan’s 49-state landslide win in 1984. George W. Bush nearly flipped the state red in 2000, losing to Al Gore by just 5,708 votes out of more than 2.5 million ballots cast. Bush almost did it again in 2004, losing to John Kerry by only 11,384 votes.
After those consecutive nail-biters, the state fell hard for Barack Obama in 2008, with Wisconsinites giving him a 14-point win, nearly double the margin by which he won election nationally. Ditto 2012, when the state gave Obama a seven-point victory while winning nationally by just less than four.
But things changed in Wisconsin in 2010, when a young, ambitious conservative Milwaukee County Executive named Scott Walker won the gubernatorial race.
If anyone knows how to work the GOP’s Wisconsin turnout machine, it’s Walker, who tweeted his nameless endorsement of Trump back in July.
I HOPE WE’RE NOT TOO MESSIANIC, OR A TRIFLE TOO SATANIC: Stumping for Hillary, Obama Claims He Is Not A Demon.
Barack Obama morphed into Christine O’Donnell so slowly, I hardly even noticed.
MY FAVORITE PART OF THE OBAMA ERA IS ALL THE REGIONAL HEALING: The New War Between The States.
This reflects an increasingly stark conflict between two very different American economies. One, the “Ephemeral Zone” concentrated on the coasts, runs largely on digits and images, the movement of software, media and financial transactions. It produces increasingly little in the way of food, fiber, energy and fewer and fewer manufactured goods. The Ephemeral sectors dominate ultra-blue states such as New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut.
The other America constitutes, as economic historian Michael Lind notes in a forthcoming paper for the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, the “New Heartland.” Extending from the Appalachians to the Rockies, this heartland economy relies on tangible goods production. It now encompasses both the traditional Midwest manufacturing regions, and the new industrial areas of Texas, the Southeast and the Intermountain West.
Contrary to the notions of the Ephemerals, the New Heartland is not populated by Neanderthals. This region employs much of the nation’s engineering talent, but does so in conjunction with the creation of real goods rather than clicks. Its industries have achieved generally more rapid productivity gains than their rivals in the services sector. To some extent, energy and food producers may have outdone themselves and, since they operate in a globally competitive market, their prices and profits are suffering.
It’s not even the economic divide that’s the worst, it’s the smug basket-of-deplorables, standard-redneck contempt.
DEMOCRAT MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: Obamacare ‘no longer affordable’ for many.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s criticism comes as his state is facing massive rate hikes and shrinking competition in its Obamacare insurance marketplace next year. Dayton’s comments also come almost a week after Donald Trump and Republicans seized on former president Bill Clinton’s remarks lamenting Obamacare’s affordability problems.
Dayton told reporters the law has “many good features to it” but needs help from Congress to make coverage more affordable, according to a transcript provided by his office. However, he said the law, which covers 20 million people, has “some serious blemishes and serious deficiencies.”
Premiums for individual plans in Minnesota will increase on average by 50 percent to 67 percent next year. Several insurers have pulled out of the state’s Obamacare marketplace since opening three years ago, when Minnesota boasted some of the lowest premiums in the country.
That means it’s working.
THINK OF TWITTER AS A DEMOCRATIC PARTY PROPAGANDA SHOP AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: James O’Keefe Blocked From His Twitter Account for Videos About Electoral Corruption.
The entire apparat is jettisoning even the pretense of standards to drag Hillary across the finish line. But as President Obama said, don’t think we aren’t keeping score, bro.
WHY ARE DEMOCRATS’ RALLIES SO VIOLENT AND INTOLERANT? Clinton campaign losing patience with Bill ‘rape’ protesters: Bill Clinton “rape” protesters were pushed and shoved during two Florida rallies on Tuesday.
Related: Bill Clinton ‘Rape’ Hecklers Interrupt Obama, Hillary After Infowars Offer. This Alinsky stuff is a two-edged sword.
REMEMBER, THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE, THE PRESS, AND EVEN A LOT OF REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS WERE READY TO MAKE NATIONAL POLICY BASED ON THIS HOAX: ABC to air ’20/20′ feature on Rolling Stone rape hoax.
This Friday, ABC News will tackle the Rolling Stone gang-rape hoax, a story that captivated a nation through its initial publication and eventual debunking.
The original article, published in November 2014, claimed that a young woman identified as “Jackie” had been gang-raped as part of a fraternity initiation when she was a freshman at the University of Virginia. Jackie and Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely claimed U.Va. dismissed the young woman’s claims and tried to stop her from going to the police.
But in the weeks after the article posted, thanks to skepticism from some pundits and reporters, and the intrepid reporting of the Washington Post’s T. Rees Shapiro, the story fell apart. No party occurred at the fraternity the night of the alleged gang rape. Even worse, the man whom Jackie claimed brought her to the party after the two had a date didn’t even exist.
Rolling Stone eventually retracted the article, and the Columbia Journalism Review issued a report on the magazine’s numerous missteps.
After the article was retracted, the U.Va. dean who was shown as being dismissive of Jackie’s claims, Nicole Eramo, sued the magazine. The trial for her lawsuit is set to begin next week.
I hope the trial has an ending like in Paul Newman’s The Verdict, where the jury comes back and asks if it can award more in damages than the plaintiff asked for . . . .
THIS IS, IN FACT, ONE OF THE LITTLE-NOTICED SUCCESSES OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, THOUGH I’VE WRITTEN ABOUT IT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS: How Obama brought capitalism to outer space.
Obama’s true legacy may be something altogether different: the standing up of a commercial space industry that has ended the government’s monopoly on space.
When the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA looked to the commercial sector to fly its astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station, fertilizing the industry with billions of dollars in contracts. And in the past few years, the industry has begun to blossom, reinvigorating interest in space with dramatic landings of rockets on ships with other, unprecedented feats. . . .
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeffrey P. Bezos’s Blue Origin promise suborbital tourist flights within a couple of years. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.) SpaceX and Boeing are working toward flying astronauts to the space station. Bigelow Aerospace is building inflatable habitats that could ultimately succeed the station. In fact, one of the habitats is currently attached to the station.
“It will become one of the great ironies in the history of exploration into space that someone many politicians called a socialist was a champion for the possibilities of capitalism in space,” said James Muncy, a space policy analyst at PoliSpace, a consulting firm.
You can accomplish a lot by not interfering.
MICHELLE MALKIN: Obama Lied. My Third Health Plan Just Died.
Like an estimated 22 million other Americans, I am a self-employed small-business owner who buys health insurance for my family directly on the individual market (as opposed to group insurance through a company or third party). Our most recent plan features a $6,000 deductible with a $1,000 monthly premium. It’s nosebleed expensive, but provides us access to specialists not curtailed by bureaucratic gatekeepers. This has been important for us because several members of my family have required specialized care for chronic illnesses.
Once again, however, I’ll soon be talking about our plan in the past tense. Choices for families like mine have evaporated in the era of Obamacare. In Colorado, UnitedHealthCare and Humana will cease selling individual plans next year. Rocky Mountain Health Plans is pulling out of the individual market in all but one county. Nearly 100,000 of my fellow Coloradans will be forced to find new insurance alternatives as open enrollment approaches on Nov. 1, according to the Denver Business Journal. As Anthem abandons PPOs, the cost of remaining individual market plans will soar an average of 20 percent.
That means it’s working.
AS ALWAYS, SOONER OR LATER, REAL LIFE IMITATES THE EARLIER, FUNNIER SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE:
Emily Litella: What’s all this fuss I’ve been hearing about the 1976 presidential erection? Now, I know they erected a monument for Mr. Lincoln and President Washington, but that’s because they’re DEAD! Hopefully, the 1976 President won’t be DEAD! So he won’t NEED an erection! If Americans are going to spend money to erect anything, why don’t we tear down those nasty slums and erect luxury high rises for poor people and senior citizens! Not for presidents who can afford to pay for their OWN erections!
Chevy Chase: Miss Litella —
Emily Litella: I can’t believe the way things are turning out in this country — what?
Chevy Chase: I’m sorry. That’s election. The editorial was about the presidential election, not the presidential erection. Election.
Emily Litella: Oh, that’s very different.
—Weekend Update, from the April 17th, 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by President Ford’s press secretary, Ron Nessen. As one of the writers later admitted, the entire staff knew that “The President’s watching. Let’s make him cringe and squirm,” by crafting one of the series’ raunchiest episodes, particularly those segments that Nessen didn’t appear in.
Flash-forward to today: CNN Sitting On ‘Obama ERECTION’ Video … Since 2008? Debra Heine asks at PJM:
A newly emerged video from the 2008 presidential campaign appears to show that the current president of the United States might be even lewder than Donald Trump.
And Trump only talked about being lewd. Looks like Obama actually did it.
Further, liberal media bias is at the center of this controversy, too.
NBC sat on the video of Trump and Billy Bush until such a time that it could aid a Democratic opponent of Trump — NBC refused to release the video when it could have helped Republican Ted Cruz.
Well, this new video — of Senator Obama, running for president in 2008, apparently flaunting his ERECTION in front of a plane full of FEMALE reporters — was shot by a CNN camera.
CNN has kept this video private all these years — a video that might have changed U.S. history to favor Republicans.
Click over for video of the err, whole package.
CNN-created the Orwellian Wright-Free Zone memory hole in service to Obama that year as well. Besides the L.A. Times’ still-buried tape of Obama with the PLO-championing Rashid Khalidi, I wonder what else will eventually surface now that it can no longer do our semi-retired president any harm at the ballot box?
CASS SUNSTEIN: Five Books To Change Liberals’ Minds. “If you think that Barack Obama has been a terrific president (as I do) and that Hillary Clinton would be an excellent successor (as I also do), then you might want to consider the following books, to help you to understand why so many of your fellow citizens disagree with you.”
I like that he leads with James Scott’s Seeing Like A State, a book that I recommended President Obama read back in 2008, but that I’m pretty sure he never opened.
DIPLOMACY IN LATE-STAGE HOPE AND CHANGE: “It’s hard to know what he means… other than perhaps: You Americans are so weak compared to us Russians.”
From the comments: “You Americans are weak. Thats his message, and its on CNN which is what everyone abroad considers the official US news media. This is a calculated insult that works very well on third parties. Consider what China did to humiliate Obama. Thats had repercussions already. It is used to undermine US guarantees. Those guys know precisely what they are doing.”
The US military is to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) counter missile battery to the Republic of Korea (RoK) as quick as possible, the White House said on 10 October in response to an official protest.
“The United States is working with the RoK to deploy this system as soon as feasible in order to more safely defend our RoK ally and US military personnel deployed to the region from the North Korea nuclear and ballistic missile threat,” read the statement. A written petition decrying the deployment, created in July, garnered enough signatures (more than 100,000) to warrant a response.
The petition called the looming THAAD deployment “a controversial move that will likely … escalate tension in the region, by provoking North Korea, China, and Russia into a spiralling arms race in the region that is already heavily militarised”.
THAAD is a purely defensive weapon which can only shoot down hostile missiles after they’ve been fired. Its presence in South Korea might be politically uncomfortable for Pyongyang and Beijing, but THAAD makes a North Korean first strike less inviting and ought to reduce military tensions in the region.
Kudos to the Obama Administration for making the right call.
ERDOGAN ABHORS A VACUUM: Turkey says its troops to stay in Iraq until Islamic State cleared from Mosul.
The United States on Tuesday urged the two governments to resolve the spat, which could affect the planned U.S.-backed assault on Mosul, the headquarters of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in northern Iraq since 2014.
“Turkey does not move on orders from others … Turkey’s presence in the Bashiqa camp will remain until Mosul is rid of Daesh,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told the state-run Anadolu Agency, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
“Whoever the Mosul population is, Arabs or Turkmen, they have lived together for centuries and will continue to do so. If you change the ethnic structure here, the people there will not allow it … This is our perspective as Turkey. Turkey’s force in the region cannot be questioned,” he said.
Following Obama’s “red line” fiasco, the U.S. doesn’t have enough standing left in the region to settle much of anything.
ISN’T EVERYONE USED TO THAT FIRST PART BY NOW? Barack Obama’s Wrong: The New Cold War’s Only Just Begun.
“Vladimir Putin,” [Mikhail] Zygar writes, “did not like the new American president from the start. For him, Barack Obama was both soft and intractable… Paradoxically, Obama, the most idealistic and peace-loving U.S. president in living memory, became a symbol of war in Russia, a target for Russian state propaganda and racist jokes, and a hate figure for millions of patriotic Russians. He was caricatured as an ill-fated enemy doomed to be defeated by Vladimir Putin.”
Surveying some much-buried news over the last seven days, one begins to appreciate the weight of this grim appraisal.
Read the whole thing.
OBAMA TO PROTESTERS: Get Your Own Rally.
President Obama on Tuesday told demonstrators to stage their own event elsewhere, rather than interrupt him.
“Is somebody hollering again?” he asked listeners in Greensboro, N.C., while campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Here’s the deal – try to get your own rally. If you can’t get your own rally, don’t come up and mess up somebody else’s rally. We’ve got work to do.”
Obama was disrupted by protesters at least three times during Tuesday’s rally for Clinton, his former secretary of State.
The first wave of interrupters were wearing shirts bearing the slogan “Bill Clinton is a rapist” to criticize the former president, who is Hillary Clinton’s husband.
“Get your own rally.” If a Republican said that, it would be treated like “I’ve got mine, Jack!”
IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN SEE YOU HOLDING YOUR BREATH:
—The London Daily Mail, yesterday.
—CNN, January 15, 2004.
Hangover: “After a brief tribute to ‘our seven Challenger heroes,’ President Reagan reaffirmed his commitment to the space program and proposed to make the development of a hypersonic aerospace plane a national priority…Reagan did not say whether the new plane, with its low-orbit capability, would be assuming some of the shuttle’s duties.”
—“Reagan Proposes Aerospace Plane Futuristic Plan May Mean 2-hour Trip From US To Tokyo,” Orlando Sentinel, February 5, 1986.
THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: “As Jews atone on Yom Kippur, we need to confront our white privilege,” Obama-supporting Rabbi Jonah Pesner writes in the Washington Post.
ESPN TURNED INTO MSNBC SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: ESPN Gives President Obama an Hour of Air Time Tuesday Night.
THE OBAMACARE STOOL WOBBLES: This is an opportunity for Republicans, if they can hold the House.
Late last week, Vladimir Putin went all-in and executed the brazen geopolitical move of transporting nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea north of Poland that’s surrounded by NATO countries.
As I told you on Friday, the Kremlin’s deployment of Iskander missiles, what NATO calls SS-26s, into Kaliningrad is a direct challenge to the Atlantic Alliance, since it puts all of Poland and the Baltic republics into range for a sudden nuclear strike. An Iskander’s flight time from Kaliningrad to Warsaw is just two minutes, so NATO would functionally have no warning.
In military terms, this is a game-changer for the Baltic region. Politically, it’s deeply destabilizing too. It’s nothing less than a regional version of the Cuban Missile Crisis, with Moscow placing nuclear missiles close to the Western camp for strategic advantage. Why Putin would do this when Obama has just three months left in the White House is the key question—and answering it reveals disturbing truths. . . .
The Kremlin’s no longer hiding its actions, even when they are profoundly destabilizing to European security. Knowing that President Obama will do nothing, Moscow is now openly boasting of its Iskander gambit. Stating the move is “no secret” and just part of military drills, Kremlin media isn’t shying away from the story. . . .
ndeed, four days into Putin’s Cuban Missile Crisis on the Baltic Sea, our president remains invisible. There has been no public statement on the Iskander deployment from either the White House or the Pentagon. The U.S. military has made some quiet moves in response to the Russian move, including flights by our spy planes over the Baltic to monitor Kremlin moves. However, the lack of any public support or demonstrations of NATO solidarity by Washington right now is deeply troubling to our allies in Eastern Europe, most of whom had minimal confidence in Obama’s courage even before his latest no-show.
Vladimir Putin is no madman, rather an opportunist. He will get away with what NATO and especially the United States—who in military terms are vastly more powerful than Russia—allow him to. Barack Obama seems to think that letting the Kremlin do whatever it wishes will bring peace and stability. Ukraine and Syria tragically demonstrate that Obama’s laissez-faire attitude towards Putin beings anything but peace, yet it seems highly unlikely that our president will grow a backbone with just three months left in office.
He has more flexibility now.
GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: More Evidence Reveals Obama Influenced Clinton’s FBI Investigation.
In an interview with Fox News this past April, President Obama asserted that he did not put pressure on the FBI’s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. “I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI—not just in this case but in any case,” he said. There is now mounting evidence suggesting Obama’s claim was false.
“Newly disclosed emails show top Obama Administration officials were in close contact with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign in early 2015 about the potential fallout from revelations that the former secretary of state used a private email server,” reported Bryon Tau for The Wall Street Journal on October 7. The emails were obtained by the Republican National Committee through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit requesting those records.
A few months before White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri went to work for her campaign, emails show her in damage control for Clinton as early as 2015, when news first broke that Clinton’s private server existed. In one chain of emails between Palmieri and State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, Palmieri asked Psaki to ensure that Secretary of State John Kerry wasn’t asked about Clinton’s private email server during an upcoming CBS interview. “Good to go on killing CBS idea,” Psaki responded back to Palmieri, according to the Journal, adding, “going to hold on any other TV options just given the swirl of crap out there.”
In March 2015, The New York Times reported that Obama said he didn’t know Clinton was using a private email address. That turned out to be false, as the second FBI report on their investigation into Clinton’s private server revealed that the president used a pseudonym in email communications with her. “How is this not classified?” Clinton aide Huma Abedin asked the FBI during their interview.
Laws are for the little people.
BRUCE WALKER: Only One Way for the FBI to Regain Its Lost Reputation.
Physical evidence is destroyed before anyone can see it, though subpoenaed by Congress and possibly containing classified information. Computer systems with classified documents scrubbed clean by private vendors before federal officers know what has been scrubbed. Suspects sit in on the questioning of other suspects, and suspects are given immunity, it appears, for no good reasons at all.
If this presidential election is fixed by an utterly politicized FBI, then the reputation of that agency will never recover. No serious American, in that case, should ever believe anything the FBI tells us about anything at all. If we cannot trust the FBI when powerful politicians are being investigated, then when can we trust it? If the FBI can be influenced by politicians, then it can be influenced by drug lords or crime bosses or crooked billionaires.
There is only one thing, at this point, that can rehabilitate the reputation of a once honorable organization now up to its neck in the muck of influenced investigations and tampered justice. A number of current FBI agents must publicly condemn Director Comey and deplore the deeply disturbing, very unusual actions taken by the FBI in these investigations. This may cost the agents involved their careers, but agents who care about the agency more than their careers will take that risk. These agents ought to explain exactly how this investigation was utterly wrong and how it deviated from normal practices. . . .
If FBI agents need a model, they might look to the National Border Control Council, which, frustrated by politically correct border enforcement, took the Obama administration to task. These border control agents cared more about America than their careers and used their private association as a vehicle.
There is an FBI Agents Association that represents 12,000 current and retired agents and advocates criminal justice issues to Congress. Members of this private association have 55 different field office representatives in as many cities of the nation. Nothing prevents these field office representatives from signing a letter on behalf of the members in their region condemning the whole structure of this putrid conspiracy against honorable and serious investigation.
Nothing except fear.
WHY, IT’S AS IF IT WAS ALL JUST LIES IN THE FIRST PLACE: For Young Voters, ‘Hope and Change’ Is Dead.
“Every election year, these politicians are sent up here to pacify us. You’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled,” to coin a phrase. And yet the Atlantic insists they must vote for Obama’s would-be successor.
Now, courtesy of the latest leak by Wikileaks, which earlier today released another 2,000 emails by Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, we may have stumbled on evidence of collusion between the State Department and the Clinton Campaign itself. In an email from close Hillary’s confidant Heather Samuelson, also known as “the Clinton insider who screened Hillary’s emails”, we learn the intimate details leaked by Samuelson regarding a FOIA request submitted previously by Judicial Watch regarding Bill Clinton speeches, which shows that virtually entire process was being “translated” over to Hillary’s campaign.
By way of reminder, here is a quick Politico primer on who Heather Samuelson is, from September 2015:
Hillary Clinton chose a former campaign staffer who followed her to the State Department to make the initial determination about which of her emails should be preserved as federal records, according to closed-door testimony by Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, a GOP source told POLITICO.
Heather Samuelson, a lawyer and 2008 Clinton campaign staffer, worked under Mills and Clinton’s attorney David Kendall to sift through her ex-boss’ messages. She helped separate those that were purely personal, which were not turned over to the State Department, from those that were work-related.
The Daily Caller adds the following:
A longtime Clinton campaign staffer who worked for as White House liaison at Clinton’s State Department and, later, as her lawyer.
As a lawyer, Samuelson led up the 2014 review of Clinton’s emails to determine which ones were work-related and which were personal.
Most importantly, as we reported previously, Samuelson received DOJ immunity in exchange for turning over the laptop she used during the review of Clinton’s emails in 2014.
The Obama Administration is only average corrupt — more corrupt than the Bush Administration it followed, less corrupt than the Clinton Administration that may follow it.
“Putin’s playing for real now,” explained a senior defense official in Warsaw, who indicated that his country’s military and intelligence moves in response to Putin’s Iskander gambit are “appropriate to the new situation.” The problem in Warsaw isn’t just Putin, whose bad behavior Poles now see as part of NATO’s “new normal” on the Alliance’s eastern flank—but President Obama, who is a no-show in this hour of crisis.
Indeed, four days into Putin’s Cuban Missile Crisis on the Baltic Sea, our president remains invisible. There has been no public statement on the Iskander deployment from either the White House or the Pentagon. The U.S. military has made some quiet moves in response to the Russian move, including flights by our spy planes over the Baltic to monitor Kremlin moves. However, the lack of any public support or demonstrations of NATO solidarity by Washington right now is deeply troubling to our allies in Eastern Europe, most of whom had minimal confidence in Obama’s courage even before his latest no-show.
Our semi-retired President still could not be reached for comment.
THAT WE HAVE ONE IS THE SCANDAL: Obama Administration Draws Criticism Over Iran Investment Policy.
“The new guidance overturns the long-running understanding that the U.S. dollar cannot be used to facilitate international trade with any Iranian entities, let alone sanctioned entities. And by allowing foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to transact business with Iranian entities, the president is ignoring the clear text of a law passed by Congress,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said on Sunday.
Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who chairs a Senate banking committee with oversight over Iran sanctions law, said the new guidelines amounted to the White House granting Tehran new concessions.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) said Treasury’s changes “green-light business with terrorists. The updated FAQs remove barriers for foreigners to engage with firms the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls. From this and other appeasements, it appears the Obama administration has given up on any democratic or pro-Western future for Iran.”
We’re all state sponsors of terror now.
JOHN SCHINDLER: WELCOME TO THE BALTIC VERSION OF THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS, as Putin seeks one last, grand strategic humiliation for Obama before he leaves office.
SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: The London Guardian’s ‘100 months to save the planet’ was always just a fantasy:
You may not have noticed, but 2016 was the hottest year for over 100,000 years. At least this was the claim reported last week by The Guardian, under the headline “Planet at its hottest for 115,000 years thanks to climate change, experts say”.
The “experts” in question are a bunch of US scientists led by James Hansen, the former Nasa employee who did so much to set the great global warming scare on its way in 1988. And of course such a claim could only be made by ignoring all the evidence that the earth was actually hotter than today during the Mediaeval Warm Period, less than 1,000 years ago, and even more so during the thousands of years of the Holocene Optimum, following its emergence from the last ice age 10,000 years ago.
* * * * * *
If this only shows how dottily desperate some of our wilder climate alarmists have become, we may come back to earth a little by focusing on another version of the great climate scare which also got The Guardian very excited eight years ago, when it launched a campaign under the heading “The final countdown”. This proclaimed that we then had only “100 months” left to save the world from “irreversible climate change”: soaring temperatures, melting ice caps, dangerously rising sea levels, more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and all the other familiar harbingers of catastrophe.
Now those “100 months” are up, it has prompted the diligent Paul Homewood to publish on his website, Not A Lot of People Know That, a set of graphs meticulously compiled from official data. The show what has actually happened to the earth’s climate in these past eight years. Despite the 2016 El Nino spike, now rapidly declining, satellite measurements still show that the trend in global temperatures has not risen for 18 years.
The Guardian may have sabotaged its own “final” countdown by publishing an even shorter final countdown just a few months later: “President ‘has four years to save Earth,’” read the headline on its January 2009 interview with James Hansen. As with all of the other not-so-final countdowns, that deadline expired rather uneventfully as well.
(Classical reference in headline.)
AW, COME ON, WHAT BIG BABIES, IT’S NOT LIKE HE’S BOMBED THEM: The Associated Press reports that the Nobel Prize Committee is starting to wonder about their choice for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama. Seven Years Ago This Week: Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. I mean, last I checked, he’s STILL not Bush, and that’s the only possible reason for them to give him the prize.
IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR, THEY SAID, YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR, THEY SAID: To Keep Obamacare Viable, Insurers Are Restricting Access To Doctors.
SEMI-RETIRED DOG-EATING PRESIDENT, who hangs with rappers whose album covers feature murdered judges in front of the White House condemns ‘unbelievable’ Trump remarks, calls him ‘insecure.’
QUESTION ASKED: “So why is that tape — which to me just sounds like Trump being Trump — the straw that broke the camel’s back?”
Or the one that seems to be, anyway. So many people seem honestly surprised that he said those things. Is the surprise a pose? If so, why this, why now? It’s a very offensive tape, but to me it’s not more offensive than so many of the other things he’s said, the things that at first made me think his candidacy was a joke, and later made me think I was in a nightmare from which I couldn’t wake up. This is the candidate who said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters” — and I’d begun to believe he was right, that he was popular because he said outrageous and offensive things and refused ever to back down.
Why is this different? Why would it change anyone’s mind about Trump? If, like me, you see this as “just more of the same,” why do you think other people are reacting to it as if it’s different? Is it because his comments were about sex? Is that the ultimate American taboo?
Why was Mitt Romney’s perfectly defensible 47 percent comment the straw that broke his campaign? Because the media coordinated its distribution as part of a massive simultaneous carpet bombing. Recall the moment in Citizen Kane when Orson Welles’ Hearst-inspired character asks one of his editors, “Mr. Carter, here’s a three-column headline in the Chronicle. Why hasn’t the Inquirer a three-column headline?”, and is told, “The news wasn’t big enough.” As Kane replies, “if the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough.”
Scott Adams wrote yesterday that “I assume that publication of this recording was okayed by the Clinton campaign. And if not, the public will assume so anyway. That opens the door for Trump to attack in a proportionate way. No more mister-nice-guy. Gloves are off. Nothing is out of bounds. It is fair to assume that Bill and Hillary are about to experience the worst weeks of their lives.”
But as a newspaper cartoonist, he of all people should know that Bill and Hillary’s DNC-MSM enablers buy their ink by the boxcar load, unlike Trump’s. And they’re perfectly prepared to cut their conscience to fit this year’s fashions* if it serves the party’s interest.
ROGER KIMBALL: Captain Renault Visits The Election. “Trump’s comments were rude, crude, and misogynistic. But, to adapt a line from The American Thinker’s Jack Hellner, against Trump’s dirty talk we must set Hillary actual corruption. Just this past week, Hellner notes, the Department of Justice dropped ‘the case against a gunrunner from Hillary’s Libya fiasco whose testimony would certainly have harmed Obama and Hillary.'”
HEY, EVEN LEFTISTS CAN BE DEPLORABLES THESE DAYS! Lawmakers denounce de Blasio for calling constituents heartless:
A group of Queens elected officials on Thursday denounced Mayor de Blasio for calling their constituents heartless in a video posted by City Hall for opposing a homeless shelter.
The 86-second clip produced by the mayor’s office shows city officials ushering homeless children from the Bellerose shelter on a field trip to the Manhattan Children’s Museum on Sept. 24 as protesters rallied outside.
It also quotes Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks as saying the protesting residents “want to throw [the children] into the streets.”
Huh — whoda thunk that New York Democrats would cling bitterly to their old ways almost as much as Pennsylvania Democrats?
JACK HELLNER: Trump’s Dirty Talk vs. Hillary’s Corruption. It’s no surprise that the political class is less offended by the corruption:
In the past week:
– Justice drops the case against a gunrunner from Hillary’s Libya fiasco whose testimony would certainly have harmed Obama and Hillary.
– Evidence surfaced that the White House participated in the cover-up of Hillary’s violation of national security laws with her private server even though they said they absolutely knew nothing about the server and would not interfere with an investigation.
– We have learned more this week about how the investigation of Hillary by the Justice Department and FBI was a pure sham as they gave immunity to so many, took so much stuff off limits, and even carried out the destruction of evidence. The email investigation was pretend, just like the IRS investigation and any supposed investigation of the Clinton Foundation. It is clear that the White House, Justice Department, State Department, and IRS are working specifically to protect Obama and Hillary instead of working for the American people.
– Aleppo and Syria are deteriorating rapidly despite Obama and Kerry being extremely tough and telling Russia and Assad to stop it.
– Obama partially blamed the Civil War in Syria on a drought he says was caused by humans. That is one of the most ignorant statements ever. The war is because Assad is a tyrant, and the Mideast is essentially a desert that has had continued droughts for millennia.
– An NBC News man topped Obama’s stupidity by saying the worthless Paris climate agreement would stop hurricanes.
– Obamacare is collapsing rapidly. The multiple lies to pass the law are more obvious every day. The law is greatly harming the middle class and small employers and reducing the potential for full-time jobs.
– An NSA contractor who committed the same crime as Hillary by keeping classified documents at home on several nonsecure devices is under arrest. Why isn’t Hillary?
The media, of course, don’t focus on any of these things. Instead they trot out a tape of Trump talking dirty about women eleven years ago.
Well, a ban on dirty-talking doesn’t threaten the whole feedlot. A ban on corruption and incompetence would put them all out of business. . . .
BUT TRUMP SAID SOMETHING CRUDE ONCE: Barack Obama’s stillborn legacy: At home and abroad, the President’s agenda is in tatters. “Only amid the most bizarre, most tawdry, most addictive election campaign in memory could the real story of 2016 be so effectively obliterated, namely, that with just four months left in the Obama presidency, its two central pillars are collapsing before our eyes: domestically, its radical reform of American health care, aka Obamacare; and abroad, its radical reorientation of American foreign policy — disengagement marked by diplomacy and multilateralism.”
In a reality-TV culture, we focus on the reality-TV antics of reality-TV stars, rather than on . . . reality.
Flashback: Bill Whittle: “You’re not crazy. The Obama Administration will just keep gaslighting you until you think you are:”