Monday, February 8, 2016
Until recently, Germany had largely been spared the wrath of Russia’s state propaganda machine. Germans, in their eagerness to be conscientious world citizens and reliable business partners, were seen in the Kremlin as allies to coddle and co-opt. That view changed abruptly in 2014, when Angela Merkel led the drive for European Union sanctions to punish Russia for its war against Ukraine. Now, as the German chancellor flounders domestically because of her open-door refugee policy, she has made herself vulnerable to attack. “I’ve never seen so much glee from the Russians as during Germany’s refugee crisis,” said a diplomat in Berlin.
I remember my puzzlement and horror as I read a Secret CIA analysis back in the day that made me realize I had been taken in by USSR trolling on Israel, the Jews and various European issues. You really have to stay awake when reading the news. H/t LGS.
What’s causing controversy is the portrayal of that unborn baby as one with an actual human personality. As NRO’s Jay Nordlinger noted earlier, the ad dares to portray the unborn child as human, and “not a meaningless blob of protoplasm.”
I didn't think the ad was particularly pro- anything except Doritoes. NARAL is weird, man.
“I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was, ‘Are you guys nuts?’” Cruz said Sunday, speaking at a town hall here. “Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous. And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.”
Well, come on, Ted, fair is fair. The draft is a terrible idea anyway, but equality requires everybody be treated in the same way. Ish.
Newly released satellite images of Iran’s top-secret Parchin military complex reveal that even as Iran was working to negotiate a nuclear deal, it was apparently working to hide its atomic work of the past and hedge its bets for the future.
On Jan. 30, Turkey said its airspace was again violated by a Russian warplane. A statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry said a Russian Su-34 warplane on Jan. 29 had violated Turkish airspace despite repeated warnings in Russian and English.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
“He botched the exchange with Christie, sounded like a broken record, and was sweating so much that he looked like he needed Charlie Crist's fan blowing on him,” added another New Hampshire Republican, who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously.
Geez, don't blame him for sweating a lot. A lot of people sweat under the lights. We'll see what the voters think of his performance.
What Rubio emphasized, and then emphasized three more times, is that Obama has been catastrophic for America, for Americans, and for the notion of American exceptionalism. “All this damage that he’s done to America is deliberate,” Rubio said. “This is a president who’s trying to redefine this country.” What Rubio did not quite say, but certainly implied, is that Obama’s status as a first-term senator has not prevented him from achieving what he set out to achieve.
Rubio's right, sadly.
Women were expected to help power Mrs. Clinton to the Democratic nomination, but as she struggles to overcome a tough challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders, her support among them has been surprisingly shaky. Young women, in particular, have been drawn to the septuagenarian socialist from Vermont, and the dynamic has disappointed feminists who dreamed of Mrs. Clinton’s election as a capstone to the movement.
Can Hillary really hope to *scold* young women into voting for her? Really?
Are today's parents, who put crash helmets on tykes before they put the tykes on tricycles, going to allow these children to play football? Not likely. This game will be different, or much less popular, or perhaps both, when in 2066 the national campfire is lit for Super Bowl C.
George Will has always hated football, preferring (yawn) baseball. I loved baseball as a kid, until I went out for a team. I wasn't any good. That was a long summer. Baseball requires skills, much as golf does, and not everyone can acquire them through practice. It sets up a weird hierarchy on the playground, which fortunately for me was falling apart even as I entered it. But yeah, football scrambles your brain, no doubt about it. Maybe they can change the rules enough, or maybe some people will figure they are willing to trade in some brain cells, much like the UFC folks.
It’s almost over for Hillary: This election is a mass insurrection against a rigged system - Salon.com
Sanders got bagged again in Iowa, this time by a state party chair, one Andrea McGuire. Like Schultz, McGuire’s specialty is high-dollar fund raising, and like Schultz she was deeply involved in Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Under the esoteric rules of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, and after a string of lucky coin tosses, Clinton eked out a 700.52 to 696.86 margin, not in votes cast but in a mysterious commodity known as “delegate equivalents.”
Those darn coins again. An anti-establishment thing is going on on the Democratic side too. Bernie's popularity is very strange.
Wheaton College said Saturday the evangelical school and professor Larycia Hawkins have "found a mutual place of resolution and reconciliation" and "have reached a confidential agreement under which they will part ways" after they disagreed over her remarks that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
She was bought off, in other words. But that's okay.
However, there are some on the left who want to deny kids those kinds of days, to turn America against its favorite sport. To them, football is just too male, too martial, and too darn American. They’ve argued that football breeds disrespect for women, that it’s too violent, and that its culture is too religious. Yet none of those criticisms have made an impact. People kept watching football, and — crucially — they kept letting their kids run outside, join the games in the field or at school, and level their friends on the crossing route.
I don't know about this. I got my noggin battered about playing football from fourth grade through tenth grade, at which point I was too small and slow to play anymore at my pretty good in sports high school. Who knows where I might have ended up had I not gotten my brains modestly scrambled? And I did break my ankle, just a hairline fracture. There were other injuries as well. There may be some truth in the left wing conspiracy against football, but that's not all there is.
So we are seeing the embrace of an openly socialist septuagenarian by a generation that, within a decade, will dominate our electorate and outnumber baby boomers as soon as 2020. That should put more conventional politicians, and business, on notice. Whether you are a Republican, a free-marketer or, even a Democratic-leaning crony capitalist, be afraid – be very afraid.
I was a socialist too until the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The thing that really got to me was their leaving booby trapped toys about to blow children's hands off. That might have been CIA propaganda, but I soon learned they were up to lots of other bad stuff. As soon as I started really looking, socialism did not look so good. Young people have very concrete minds.
When I woke up on Saturday morning I felt like the season was on the line. A loss at home to one of the conference's weaker teams would make it impossible to make a stretch run at the conference leaders, and would be a dispiriting triumph of evil over the forces of good and light.
Fortunately, the forces of evil don't get to win at Haas Pavilion this year.
Thank you, Jesus.
Friday, February 5, 2016
He explained that he had to satisfy himself with the lad as he had not had sex in four months, explaining “I couldn’t stand not having sex as I have excess sexual energy.” He added that it had been “a huge mistake” and that he had known it would “scar the boy”.
When asked whether it was illegal to have sex with ten year old boys in Iraq, the man said “Such a thing is forbidden in any country in the world.”
WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to substantially increase the deployment of heavy weapons, armored vehicles and other equipment to NATO countries in Central and Eastern Europe, a move that administration officials said was aimed at deterring Russia from further aggression in the region.
Can't remember if I already posted this.
NATO is planning its largest military build-up in eastern Europe since the Cold War - Business Insider
Worried since Russia's seizure of Crimea that Moscow could rapidly invade Poland or the Baltic states, the Western military alliance wants to bolster defenses on its eastern flank without provoking the Kremlin by stationing large forces permanently.
Whether this is a case of Obama manning up or his just not caring and people at the Pentagon taking charge (as I suspect) I don't know.
These people were often driven by moral rage and a need to be of pure service to the world. They tend to despise comfort and require a life that is difficult, ascetic and self-sacrificial. They yearn for the feeling that they are doing their utmost to relieve suffering. One abandoned a marriage to serve the poor.
For these extreme do-gooders, MacFarquhar writes, it is always wartime. There are always sufferers somewhere in the world as urgently in need of rescue as victims of a battle. The do-gooders feel themselves conscripted to duty.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will make a surprise trip to Cuba on Feb. 12 for a historic meeting with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, the first meeting between a pope and the Russian patriarch since the eastern and western branches of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago, the Vatican announced on Friday.
Barkai helped lead a research team who found 400,000-year-old tortoise shells and bones in a cave in Israel that showed hunter-gatherers butchered and cooked tortoises as part of a diet dominated by large animals and vegetation.
I don't think they'd be kosher though.
Amazon.com: You, Me And the Apocalypse, Season 1: Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer, Megan Mullally, Mathew Baynton, Pauline Quirke, Paterson Joseph, Joel Fry, Gaia Scodellaro, Fabian McCallum, Kyle Soller: Amazon Digital Services LLC
DES MOINES, Iowa– After Cruz clinched victory in Iowa, he reminded the establishment and the media that they aren’t going to decide this election in his victory speech Monday night. He also prided himself on his record as a “consistent conservative,” and how this will be key to winning in November; he believes the Reagan Coalition is coming back. And this consistent conservatism was infectious with his supporters at his victory party Monday night. Additionally, while Iowa caucus-goers were present, there were supporters from out-of-state who arrived at the watch party to show their support.
[nasal, whiny voice] But he's so *divisive*! Yeah, I know, which is probably why I support him. But Rubio would be OK too.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the state's prohibition on what the court called "the vast majority of semi-automatic rifles commonly kept by several million American citizens" amounted to a violation of their rights under the Constitution.
"In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment -- the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home," Chief Judge William Traxler wrote in the divided ruling.
Provisions that outlaw these firearms, Traxler wrote, "substantially burden this fundamental right."
[Shooting gun in the air in celebration!] And I doubt very much that SCOTUS will grant cert.
"Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere, once they get to know him," he said at the time. "He’s a very—he’s got a edge that’s not good. You can’t make deals with people like that, and it’s not a good thing for the country. Very nasty guy.”
Sadly, this seems to be true. Hence the joke about Cruz -- why does nobody like Ted Cruz? It just saves time. I, on the other hand, do sort of like him, but I don't know him. If I never get to really know him, I will have no reason not to like him.
Trump seem to be all over the place on Cruz.
American women may soon be registering for the military draft the same way all men are required to within 30 days of their eighteenth birthday. On Tuesday, top Army and Marine generals testified at a Senate Arms Services Committee hearing on the integration of women into combat, stating that women should be required to register for the military draft, the same way men do.
It won't be long before there's a feminist argument against women being drafted. Me, I'm against the draft for everybody.
Widely reported unemployment metrics in the U.S. do not accurately represent the reality of joblessness in America.
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not count a person who desires work as unemployed if he or she is not working and has stopped looking for work over the past four weeks. Similarly, the BLS does not count someone as unemployed if he or she is, for instance, an out-of-work engineer, construction worker or retail manager who performs a minimum of one hour of work a week and receives at least $20 in compensation.
I told you so.
Personal satisfaction far eclipses the 23% who are satisfied with the direction of the country. Just 14% of Americans are dissatisfied with their personal life, while 76% are dissatisfied with the direction of the nation.
These numbers sound about right. I'm pretty darn satisfied with my personal life (that means what you think) and very dissatisfied with the direction of the nation.
20 states solidly or leaning Republican, 14 solidly or leaning Democratic Wyoming most Republican state; Vermont, Hawaii most Democratic Alabama and Idaho are most conservative states
Idaho, in the news! Tied with Alabama for the most conservative. Way to go, Idaho!
DURHAM, N.H. — Escalating the brawl that's defined the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders viciously attacked each other’s progressive credentials at Thursday night’s debate, with Clinton accusing Sanders of smearing her record and treating her differently because she’s a woman.
This is like two vicars, each lobbying to become bishop, arguing over who is the better atheist. But in fact, Sanders is the better atheist, I should think, having been clear about his principles from the beginning. However, Hillary might be the more effective atheist, being more a borer from within. She's a borer and bore. Sanders is less boring than she, being more fun to listen to. Best of all, however, is not to listen to him or to Hillary.
NEW YORK – Since the beginning of the year, the world economy has faced a new bout of severe financial market volatility, marked by sharply falling prices for equities and other risky assets. A variety of factors are at work: concerns about a hard landing for the Chinese economy; worries that growth in the United States is faltering at a time when the Fed has begun raising interest rates; fears of escalating Saudi-Iranian conflict; and signs – most notably plummeting oil and commodity prices – of severe weakness in global demand.
Roubini is kind of a broken barometer, but that doesn't mean he's wrong this time.
"I felt like somebody who had risen again," says Noela Rukundo.
She was supposed to be dead. The hired killers had been paid. They had even explained how they would dispose of the body.
But now, waiting outside her house for the last of the mourners to leave, she was ready to face down the man who had put out a contract for her murder.
"When I get out of the car, he saw me straight away. He put his hands on his head and said, 'Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?'"
"Surprise! I'm still alive!" she replied.
That’s not the problem with Trump. The problem is his, shall we say, eclectic populism. Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.
Krauthammer really hates Trump.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
For eight years now, the president has reprimanded the American people for their attitudes about Islam. And Barack Obama’s big speech to the Islamic Society of Baltimore — granted, filled with many harmless platitudes — was no different, leaving little room for any honest dialogue about ideology or faith. Many of the president’s ideas about “tolerance,” in fact, are antithetical to the American experience, not something to celebrate.
A new survey released in the run-up to the Super Bowl this Sunday suggests yes — and no. More Americans than ever before say they would not let their sons play football. Yet football remains our favorite spectator sport (it’s not even close) and there is nothing to indicate that’s about to change.
So at the same time that more and more of us would not let our own sons play, we apparently have no qualms about watching while other people’s sons risk brain damage to entertain us on the fields of the NFL.
I probably won't watch the whole Superbowl because I don't have any teams in it and it probably won't be a good game. But it might be. I don't exactly love football, but I like it quite a bit. And I won't let our twelve year old play, though he would be great on the line. He's big and could be taught to enjoy hitting people. I loved playing football until the other kids got so big, then I stopped loving it so much. But, and here's the thing, my son does not need to get his brains scrambled. He has enough problems focussing on arithmetic. His game is hoops. No interest, at all, in wrestling.
I really like watching high school and college football where the brains are even more vulnerable. Is it moral? Well, of course it is. There are many more urgent calls upon our morals than whether to watch or not watch football. Along with eating meat, driving a truck and hoping the Republicans win, watching football is your and my birthright. Someday football will be gone, but that will be after I am.
“Trump has proven already that he’s completely malleable,” Carter says. “I don’t think he has any fixed opinions that he would really go to the White House and fight for.”
But I'm not sure Cruz is electable. Better Rubio than Shrillery or crazy Bernie.
Zika virus, which is spreading like wildfire throughout the Americasand is linked to a head-shrinking birth defect called microcephaly, is just the latest in a long list of mosquito-transmitted diseases that make the insects the world's deadliest animal. It is time to launch a global initiative to eradicate them.
I hate them.
Middle of nowhere happens to be ground zero in the search for gravitational waves, which were first posited by Albert Einstein a century ago and may soon become one of the hottest fields in science. Livingston is remote in terms of geography, but as humans scan the heavens for gravitational waves this forest is practically the center of the physics universe.
For Sanders to win the nomination, he probably has to win outside the liberal (often Northeastern) states – and this map shows why that will likely be difficult. Clinton is widely expected do to well in the South due to her solid support from African-Americans. But this map suggests that she might also have an advantage in some less racially diverse Midwestern and Appalachian states (e.g. Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana) where the electorate is more moderate.
In Sanders’s speech following the Iowa caucuses, he veered from his position that this country “in many ways was created” on “racist principles,” and instead said: “What the American people understand is this country was based and is based on fairness.” Nonwhite people in this country understand that as a matter of history and heritage this simply isn’t true, but it is a hallowed ideal for white America and one that centers the America ethos.
So suck it up you white fellas. Unfair is what you got coming to you.
So the court’s action two weeks ago in accepting the Obama administration’s appeal in a major immigration case was startling. The surprise was not that the court agreed to hear the case, United States v. Texas, an appeal from a ruling that the president lacked authority under the immigration laws to defer deporting undocumented immigrants whose children are American citizens or lawful permanent residents. It was rather the blockbuster constitutional question that the justices added to the case, a question the court had not been asked, and one that neither of the lower federal courts had even addressed when they ruled on purely statutory grounds against the administration.
Startling to Linda Greenhouse maybe.
ROME, February 4, 2016 – This afternoon at the Pontifical Gregorian University a conference will get underway that in many respects is surprising,
The surprise comes first of all from the theme: “Priestly celibacy, a journey of freedom.” A theme in stark contrast with the ever more frequent signals of an imminent relaxation of the discipline of celibacy for the Latin Catholic clergy, at the behest of Pope Francis:
First I've heard of this.
Hewitt elaborated in an interview with Jeb Bush today, saying, “He gave a very good speech… one that argued for religious tolerance, reminded people of various persecutions of religious minorities in our history, reminded them of our Muslim allies around the world.”
“I don’t give him compliments very often,” Hewitt said, “but he did a very good job today.”
“We’ve been told all along that Cruz’s operatives play dirty and were capable of this stuff, but Dr. Carson never believed it, he felt like they had a respectable operation,” Williams said. “Now we see firsthand that having integrity just doesn’t matter to them. It’s about honor and character, either you have it or you don’.”
I find this concerning but not surprizing.
Marco Rubio finished in third in Iowa — a “strong third” in which he outperformed his polls, but third nevertheless. And yet, his chances of winning the Republican nomination nearly doubled according to the bookmaker Betfair, from about 30 percent before the Iowa caucuses to 55 percent now.1 Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who finished ahead of Rubio although behind Ted Cruz, saw his chances halved from 50 percent to 25 percent.