Brit Hume reduces progressivism to its essence in 30 seconds

November 16, 2014

Hume here is talking about Obamacare and the admissions by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that deception played a key role in its passage — indeed, that deception was essential. But it isn’t just Obamacare; this attitude of patronizing condescension and even contempt (1) for the average American underlies all progressivism, and thus the governing assumptions of the Democratic Party.

Here’s Brit:

via The Right Scoop

Footnote:
(1) They’ll deny it hotly, of course, but that’s because the truth hurts.


New term: ‘Grubering’ and how it applies to Climate Alarmism

November 16, 2014

Very apt: What Dr. Gruber and his allies did to sell healthcare is just like what Al Gore, Michael Mann, Paul Krugman, and other climate alarmists do to sell the global warming/climate change/WE’RE ALL DOOMED!! scare. In their view, we’re too stupid to understand that (in their minds) the policies they advocate are for the best, so they have to lie to us to get us to agree.

Watts Up With That?

WUWT reader M. Paul writes: Sometimes a new word emerges that neatly encapsulates a set of complex ideas.  We have recently seen such a word enter the lexicon: Grubering.

For those of you who missed it, an MIT Professor named  Jonathan Gruber has been caught on video describing all the various ways that he helped the Obama Administration to deceive the public regarding the true nature of Obamacare.

grubering
People are now referring to what the Obamacare campaigners did as “Grubering”.  Grubering is when politicians or their segregates engage in a campaign of exaggeration and outright lies in order to “sell” the public on a particular policy initiative.  The justification for Grubering  is that the public is too “stupid” to understand the topic and, should they be exposed to the true facts, would likely come to the “wrong” conclusion.  Grubering is based on the idea that only the erudite academics…

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Why the Islamic State is Winning

November 15, 2014

Some needed hard words from XX Committee. if we don’t get our heads on straight, we’re going to let these refugees from the 7th century win.

The XX Committee

Today’s headlines bring word of some sort of ceasefire, or at least modus vivendi, between the Islamic State (*Da’ish) and Al-Qa’ida (AQ) in Syria, where the Salafi jihadists have been bitter enemies, fighting each other often more than the Assad regime which they both seek to overthrow. While it would be unwise to think this is more than a tactical allliance, any rapprochement between Da’ish and AQ is an important development that has worrisome implications for their mutual enemies.

This is particularly the case because the U.S.-led campaign to prevent Da’ish from taking over more of Syria and Iraq than the fanatical group already controls is going poorly, to be charitable. The belatedly named Operation INHERENT RESOLVE has been underway for over three months already and its accomplishments are few. Beyond some individually impressive airstrikes on Da’ish targets, there is less here than meets the eye, strategically speaking. In…

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Government Screws Up Everything: The Internet Version

November 14, 2014

A very good video on why we should not let the government regulate the Internet.

International Liberty

When I read that the Obama Administration wants to regulate the Internet by having the Federal Communications Commission impose “net neutrality” rules, my immediate response is to be opposed.

Does my opposition to more regulation and red tape make me a knee-jerk ideologue?

I suppose so, though I think it’s simply a common-sense instinct.

After all, it’s very difficult to come up with a list of successful interventions by government. So I think my automatic aversion to regulation is akin to my automatic aversion to touching a hot stove. Simply stated, I can’t imagine a positive outcome.

But let’s be “open minded” and consider whether there’s some compelling reason to give politicians and bureaucrats power over the Internet.

This video from Reason TV is a very good introduction to the issue.

And since we’re citing Reason, here’s some of what Nick Gillespie wrote on the issue of so-called net neutrality.

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Greens sneering at Democracy again in wake of Obama climate deal

November 13, 2014

That darned democracy keeps getting in the way of our Intellectual Betters (all bow) by giving the plebes a voice. As the article reminds us, Progressives, such as the NYT’s Tom Friedman, often wish we were more like China. Thank Heaven we’re not.

Watts Up With That?

If only we were more like China…

Eric Worrall writes:

The Guardian, a green British newspaper, has published yet another green sneer at democracy, with reference to the recent climate agreement between China and America, contrasting the efficient obedience of the Chinese government, with the “difficulties” Obama will encounter, when he faces the democratically elected representatives of the American people.
According to the Guardian,

“While Chinese apparatchiks will, presumably unquestioningly, jump to realize President Xi Jinping’s order to reduce carbon emissions in an ambitious deal with the United States, Barack Obama will come home to a newly elected Congress that will probably tell him to neuter his climate change agenda or be prepared for the kind of knock-down, drag-out fight that could potentially end with a government shutdown.”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/12/how-republican-led-congress-could-kill-climate-change-deal
This is not the first time greens have expressed open contempt for democracy. Who can forget former NASA GISS chairman James…

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Naval officer punished for speaking honestly about China?

November 13, 2014
"A short, sharp war?"

“A short, sharp war?”

(Photo credit: AP)

This seems more like a chain-of-command discipline or “speaking out of turn” issue (in other words, don’t publicly contradict your bosses), but it is worrisome to think that Captain James Fannell may have been punished for holding an unpopular view of the threat from China:

A senior Navy intelligence leader whose provocative comments this year about Chinese bellicosity stirred an international controversy has been shelved in the wake of an investigation into his conduct, Navy Times has learned.

Capt. James Fanell, the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet, has been removed from that position by PACFLT boss Adm. Harry Harris and reassigned within the command, Navy officials confirmed.

What did Captain Fannell say that landed him in hot water? Speaking at a naval conference earlier this year, he voiced his opinion that China was preparing for “a short, sharp war with Japan,” one that  would inevitably involve us:

“[We believe] the [People’s Liberation Army] has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short, sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected [as] a seizure of the Senkakus or even southern Ryukyu [islands],” Fanell was quoted as saying.

Fanell has also stated that China is at the center of virtually every maritime territorial dispute in the Asia-Pacific and that the Chinese were engaging in a blatant land-grab of islands that would enhance their exclusive economic rights to fishing and natural resources.

“I do not know how Chinese intentions could be more transparent,” he said, adding that when Beijing described its activities as the “protection of maritime rights,” this was really “a Chinese euphemism for the coerced seizure of coastal rights of China’s neighbors,” the Financial Times reported.

Fanell’s views have supporters inside naval intelligence, and he has become a high-profile spokesman for a more alarmist view of the rise of China than those espoused by Navy senior leadership, an intelligence source who spoke to Navy Times said. Fanell’s articles on China have been published by Hoover Digest, Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly and the U. S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings.

Trouble is, this time his remarks placed senior officers on the spot with China, at a time when the US Navy is trying to build better relations with its Chinese counterparts, part of the Obama administration’s Asia policy. Army Chief of Staff General Odierno, for example, was peppered with questions from journalists in China and had to disavow Fannell’s remarks. I’m sure he wasn’t happy. One hopes this is a case of an officer being reprimanded for a lack of command discipline, rather than for speaking uncomfortable but honest opinions his superiors don’t wish to hear.

That doesn’t mean he was wrong, however. Even if Captain Fannell overstates Chinese intentions, the thrust of their rearmament, including their naval buildup, is clear: they want to displace the United States as the preeminent power in the Western Pacific and bring the nations to its east and south, including its old foe Japan, into Beijing’s sphere of influence. Whether this involves a shooting war to seize the Senkakus and even the southern Ryukyus, or simply aggressive diplomacy meant to take advantage of a declining America, the point is that China is a powerful strategic competitor to the United States: the risk of conflict is real and we cannot afford to blind ourselves to it in pursuit of “building bridges.”

Especially when the other side may have an interest in blowing them up, someday.

via The Daily Caller


The #Obamacare Chronicles: In which I agree with Howard Dean

November 12, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Now that is something you’ll rarely see, but, in this case, the former Vermont governor is right. When played the latest infamous quote in which one of the principle architects of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, said that the stupidity of the American voter was essential to the law’s passage, Howie blew a gasket:

“The problem is not that he said it–the problem is that he thinks it,” Dean said. “The core problem under the damn law is it was put together by a bunch of elitists who don’t fundamentally understand the American people. That’s what the problem is.”

[MSNBC’s Mika] Brzezinski cringed after repeating Gruber’s quote.

“Jesus!” Dean exclaimed after hearing that one of Obama’s key health care advisers would call the lack of transparency “critical” in passing the massively unpopular law.

All I can say, Governor, is “YEEEAAAAGGHHH!!!”

Dean is right, of course, but what he misses is that an elitist contempt for the average voter is central to the progressive mindset. Whether it’s Woodrow Wilson arguing that society is far too complicated to be administered by anything but boards of technocrats, or Barack Obama condescending to unenlightened voters who “cling to their guns and religion,” progressivism is inherently elitist. A law like the Affordable Care Act was passed the way it was not only because the American people would reject it if they knew what was in it, but because the progressives and their Leftist allies know what’s best for the American people, regardless of what the people think.

In his anger, Howard Dean took a large step closer to a truth about his side. Someday, he may realize the problem isn’t just the people, but the philosophy motivating them.

Visit the Free Beacon for the entertaining video.

RELATED: At Hot Air, Allahpundit reports that Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) thinks hearings should be held soon on Gruber’s comments. Go for it.


Conservative party to kill free speech in Great Britain?

November 11, 2014
And he's driving, too.

So speak only approved thoughts.

First it was the police raiding your home for telling politically incorrect jokes on the Internet.

Now, under a law proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May to control “extremist speech,” people who say things others find offensive could be served with an “Extremism Disruption Order” and be forced to clear with the police first anything they want to publish online or say in a public forum — even a simple tweet or a Facebook post:

Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

Strikingly, EDOs will target even individuals who do not espouse or promote violence, which is already a crime in the U.K. As May says, “The problem that we have had is this distinction of saying we will only go after you if you are an extremist that directly supports violence. [This] has left the field open for extremists who know how not to step over the line.” How telling that a leading British politician should be snotty about “this distinction” between speech and violence, between words and actions, which isn’t actually some glitch in the legal system, as she seems to think, but rather is the foundation stone on which every free, democratic society ought to be built.

Once served with an EDO, you will be banned from publishing on the Internet, speaking in a public forum, or appearing on TV. To say something online, including just tweeting or posting on Facebook, you will need the permission of the police. There will be a “requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web, social media or print.” That is, you will effectively need a licence from the state to speak, to publish, even to tweet, just as writers and poets did in the 1600s before the licensing of the press was swept away and modern, enlightened Britain was born (or so we thought).

What sort of people might find themselves branded “extremists” and thus forbidden from speaking in public? Anyone, really. The definition of extremist being bandied about by May and her colleagues is so sweeping that pretty much all individuals with outré or edgy views could potentially find themselves served with an EDO and no longer allowed to make any public utterance without government approval.

So you won’t have to incite violence to be labelled an extremist —in May’s words, these extremism-disrupting orders will go “beyond terrorism.” May says far-right activists and Islamist hotheads who have not committed any crime or incited violence could be served with an order to shut the hell up. She has also talked about people who think “a woman’s intellect [is] deficient,” or who have “denounced people on the basis of their religious beliefs,” or who have “rejected democracy”—these folk, too, could potentially be branded extremists and silenced. In short, it could become a crime punishable by gagging to be a sexist or a religion-hater or someone who despises democracy.

In other words, say or write something someone in government (or who can pressure government) doesn’t like, and you’ll find yourself smacked with a “Speak Only When Allowed” order. This in the land from which we inherited our beliefs in free speech as a natural right of all humans, the dogma that no person could truly be free without the ability to speak their mind without fear of reprisal, regardless of the subject and regardless of how offensively put. Once you set government up as the arbitrator of what may and may not be said, you’ve then gone from being a free-born citizen to a servant of the State, speaking only when Master gives leave.

I can see why the Conservative (1) government might want to do this; they have a hell of a problem on their hands with radical imams recruiting for jihad against Britain and the West, as well as encouraging young Muslims to go join ISIS. But you don’t deal with the problem by threatening everyone for speaking their minds. All that does is force people to guard their thoughts and “go underground.” It’s the same flaw –the criminalization of thought and opinion– that lies behind so-called “hate crime” legislation here in the United States.

Rather, the way to deal with so-called extremist, hateful speech is to expose it in the marketplace of ideas and show how fallacious it is. Tolerating people saying things we don’t like is a small price to pay when compared to what we lose when we repress the right to speak freely at all.

Great Britain is the land that gave birth to free speech; it would be a shame if she were also the first Anglospheric nation to put a stake in its heart.

Footnote:
(1) The irony is knee-deep here.


ObamaCare Architect: To Fool Stupid American Voters “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage”

November 10, 2014

As if we needed any proof that the promises of Obamacare were false, here’s one of its architects admitting that the deceptions were deliberate. Be sure to watch the video, and tell your congresscritter: nothing less than full repeal will do.

Nice Deb

Rush Limbaugh is fond of saying that liberals wake up every morning and ask themselves, “how can we fool them, today?”

Nothing demonstrates that truism better than the dishonest methods Democrats used to passed ObamaCare.

The government  takeover of the United States health care system was based on lies according to the law’s architect, Jonathan Gruber, in a recently revealed video. Gruber, the MIT professor who helped design Obamacare, openly stated that the law was passed through stealth to fool the stupid American people.

Because dishonesty and lack of transparency is Grubby Gruber’s M/O, he has been caught lying about the law in the past.

In 2012, after he started a lucrative business helping states set up their health care exchanges, Gruber argued that according to the letter of the law, only state exchanges were eligible for subsidies. But by the summer of 2014, with legal challenges based on that reading of…

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(Video) The most persecuted religion in the world

November 10, 2014

No, it’s not Islam, despite the claims to the contrary of those who like to shout Islamophobia. As Raymond Ibrahim (1) argues in the video below, the most persecuted religion in the world is Christianity, which is being driven to extinction in the Middle East and North Africa wherever Islam dominates, lands in which Christianity has existed for over 2,000 years.

And I suspect Raymond is right: If the persecuted were any of any other religion, the religious “cleansing” that’s going on would be front-page news. But, well, it just doesn’t fit the Left’s narrative — Christianity is an “Establishment religion” in the West, and Islam is of the Third World, while sharing the Left’s animosity toward Western, liberal civilization. To criticize Islamic nations for the persecution of their Christian minorities would cause them too much cognitive dissonance.  Better to not say anything and just keep condemning Western imperialism on cue.

I’m not a religious person, but I do hold dear the American commitment to religious freedom: As long as you don’t persecute or oppress others for their faith (2), then you should be free to worship as you see fit (3). It’s a shame we don’t have a leadership willing to speak more loudly –or at all– in its defense.

Footnotes:
(1) Author of the Al-Qaeda Reader, which is essential reading for those seeking to understand jihadist ideology.
(2) Which makes Islam at best a difficult fit in the West, especially in America, given its imperative to dominate and impose sharia law on everyone else.
(3) Within broad bounds, of course. Even the most tolerant society shouldn’t tolerate human sacrifice, or the selling of sex slaves in the name of religion.


Obama Still Behind The Learning Curve On Midterm Shellacking (Video)

November 9, 2014

The sign of a true narcissist: everyone is wrong except him. He won’t learn from his mistakes because, in his mind, he hasn’t made any.

Nice Deb

There seemed to be the consensus among the political wags on the Sunday talk shows, today.  The president still hasn’t gotten the message from the mid term shellacking  nor does he seem to grasp that he’s going to have to compromise with Republicans. Furthermore, he refuses to acknowledge the fact that his left-wing agenda has been rejected by the American people.

Bob Woodward, was taken aback by the president’s interview with Bob Schieffer, Sunday, making a great point about the president’s attitude toward the Republican congress. Basically Obama is going to do them the great favor of running his dictats past them before he whips out his pen.

“He said he’s going to reach out to the other side to persuade and sell,” Woodward noted. “Now, if you’re going to reach out to get done something, one of the things you’re going to do is listen. But we didn’t hear

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2016

November 7, 2014

Some food for thought from my friend AGconservative about where to rank the various potential Republican presidential candidates.

agconservative

Earlier tonight I posted my 1st ranking of the 2016 contenders on Twitter (shown below). There was a lot of disagreement and demands that I explain some choices. While I plan to eventually write full and detailed explanations for each ranking, let me give a brief synopsis for some key choices now.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 4.15.46 PM

Why is Rubio first and the only Senator in the top 5?

Rubio is first for several reasons. First, I believe he is the greatest Republican orator since Ronald Reagan and the Obama era proved this is vital for a good candidate. His speeches are absolutely remarkable. Most importantly, he puts things in a way that people can understand. His focus is on restoring the American Dream, something everyone can comprehend. This message resonates with the conservative Democrats that have been lost to the party. The truth is that voters care about things that affect them. They…

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Bookshelf update: Dupes — How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century

November 7, 2014

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Paul Kengor’s “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

book cover kengor dupes

I’m only a few chapters into it, so far, but it has been an interesting discussion of how Communists in the 20th century targeted non-communist liberals and progressives to be suckered into supporting the USSR and the Communist movement against the United States. Kengor notes that the efforts of the duped were not nearly as often aimed at conservatives as they were at anti-communist liberal Democrats and progressives, Harry Truman being a  particular target.

The author seems fair in his treatment of the Democrats, reminding us that there were many who, while liberal or progressive, were staunchly anti-communist — including those who had once been duped, but saw the light. You’ll be surprised at the names that appear in the book, both  “recovered” dupes and those who played the fool till the day they died. The work is extensively footnoted with references to primary sources (both Soviet and American), and Kengor has an easy writing style. The book is available in both Kindle (1) and hardcover formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. But I still think it’s a good book.

Footnote:
(1) I’m happy to say I’ve found very few typos or formatting errors, so far. These are all too common in Kindle e-books.


So, now the President of the United States is hearing voices in his head?

November 7, 2014
"My mandate is supreme!"

“My mandate is supreme!”

Man, the Great Shellacking II must have been hard on our 44th Chief Executive (1). He’s now claiming he can hear those who didn’t vote, and that his imaginary friends gave him a bigger mandate than that of the incoming Republican Congress:

President Obama did something extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented, in his post-election news conference Wednesday: He claimed a mandate on behalf of voters who didn’t vote.

“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you,” the president said. “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”

What did that mean? What did those non-voters say?

It would probably be more useful to ask what the president heard. And apparently Obama heard expressions of support from non-voters across the land.

The president explained that many more voters turned out when he was elected, and then re-elected, than in Tuesday’s midterms that left Republicans firmly in control of House and Senate. “One of the things that I’m very proud of in 2008 and 2012, when I ran for office, was we got people involved who hadn’t been involved before,” Obama said. “Part of what I also think we’ve got to look at is that two-thirds of people who were eligible to vote just didn’t vote.”

Of course, more than one-third of the people who were eligible to vote in Obama’s two presidential elections didn’t vote then, either. But Obama’s message to Republicans was unmistakable: My mandate is bigger than your mandate.

Oh, dear. It looks like our “constitutional scholar” president needs a lesson in American politics. Don’t worry, sir, I’ll make it easy for you:

In 2008, you and your party did indeed have a mandate —  a mandate to restore prosperity after a financial panic and crash. That is why you were elected and that is why you had insuperable majorities in both chambers of Congress. You had a free hand.

But, you blew it.

You wasted nearly a trillion dollars, much of it borrowed, on a “stimulus” program that was a utter failure and a pork fiesta. You then devoted you and your party’s energies to passing a national healthcare law that the majority of the nation never wanted. And you rammed it through by constitutionally questionable methods that left Americans aghast at your arrogance. The one thing you didn’t do was was the one thing the electorate asked you to do: make us prosperous again.

So, in 2010, the people took your mandate away by giving the House to the Republicans, meaning a majority of those voting across the nation gave the Republicans a mandate to put the brakes on your plans.

Fast forward to 2012. You won reelection, much to the nation’s, the world’s, and my regret. You also won with fewer votes than 2008 and a smaller percentage of the vote. The Republicans also retained control of the House. That, sir, is not a mandate for anything than “learn to work and play well with the Opposition,” which you failed to do.

And now here we are in 2014. For various and sundry reasons we won’t go into (2), the voting public took away control of the Senate; increased the Republican majority in the House to levels not seen in 70 years; and took even more gubernatorial offices and state legislative chambers from your party. That is not a mandate to you for anything other than to grow up and act like a responsible adult charged with leading the greatest nation on Earth, and not like a petulant, self-absorbed 16 year old.

This, Mr. President, is how are system works. Midterm elections are times when the people can affirm the status quo, or issue orders for a correction. When the win is big enough, it can be considered a mandate. The 2014 midterm election really was a mandate — for the Republicans and for a correction.

And that mandate can only be conferred by those who actually care enough to get off their butts, put down their cell phones, and go out and vote. Not by a mysterious, vague, known only by you, secret message-sending 2/3rds who couldn’t be arsed to cast a ballot. And, no, you don’t have the power to divine what they really must’ve meant.

Stop listening to those imaginary voices, Mr. President, and start listening to the people who spoke and spoke loudly last Tuesday.

Do that, and you may salvage something from the last two years of your presidency.

Footnote:
(1) And, by his own estimation, the fourth-greatest president ever.
(2) Summary: It was because you and your crew are frighteningly incompetent.

UPDATE: Linked by Pirate’s Cove. Thanks!


Election Day +1: about last night

November 5, 2014

That was quite a night last night, wasn’t it?

Pardon me, I know it’s immature, but I’ve waited a long while to do this:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

smiley dance smiley cheering smiley thumbs up smiley loser smiley cool hey babe  smiley devil smiley big grin

 

Whew. There. I feel better now. smiley blush

Anyway, let’s review what happened in the Great Shellacking Part II (1), courtesy of those fine fellows at Real Clear Politics. Click the links for larger, updated versions:

First, the Senate. It was beautiful:

Senate 2014

Not only did the Republicans wrest control of the Senate from that vile wretch Harry Reid, but they added plenty of seats to give themselves a cushion for 2016, when many of their own seats will be up for grabs. Things officially stand at a net gain of 7, but with Alaska all but officially a Sullivan victory and Mary Landrieu an almost certain dead duck in the coming runoff, I fully expect a final number of plus-9. That, my friends, is not just a wave, but a tsunami. And with Senator Angus King of Maine (I) sure to seek the best deal he can get, expect an effect 55-45 Republican majority for the next two years.

I had predicted plus-8, but I am happy to be wrong. I was also wrong about my surprise pick, expecting Scott Brown to win in New Hampshire. While I’m sorry to see he didn’t, I was overjoyed at Thom Tillis beating the corrupt incumbent, Kay Hagan, in North Carolina. Congratulations to my blog buddy Sister Toldjah for pulling it off. She and a lot of Carolina conservatives worked their fannies off for this win, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them.

I was also happy to see State Senator Joni Ernst beat the laughable Bruce Braley in Iowa and Rep. Cory Gardner defeat the monomaniacal Senator Uterus Udall in Colorado.

The schadenfreude was sweet, my friends.

Then, the House. Biggest Republican majority since at least 1946 (some say 1928):

House 2014

Plus-13 for the majority party in an era when both parties are despised seems amazing to me, but the Republicans pulled it off. And they may pick up a few more, depending on how a few close California (!) races shake out. Well done, Nancy Pelosi! I hope they keep you in the Minority Leader’s job for years to come.

And finally, the gubernatorial races, which held some pleasant shockers:

Governors 2014

Amazingly, the Republicans held Kansas (handily) and Florida when both incumbents had been almost given up for dead, and picked up Arkansas, Massachusetts (!), Maryland (!!), and Illinois (!!!), losing only Pennsylvania. That gives the Republicans 31 governors, which may be the largest in decades.

Now, with all that good news, the question remains, what do the Republicans do?

Naturally, like any good self-important blogger, I have some advice for the respective caucuses.

First, do NOT impeach Barack Obama. Seriously. Unless he ax-murders a convent full of nuns and orphans on national TV or declares himself Emperor, just forget it. The nation did not elect you to overturn the 2012 election, and no national consensus exists for his removal, a political prerequisite for successful impeachment and removal. Democrats may be shell-shocked after what just happened, but, I guarantee you there will be no way to get the needed crossover votes for removal. I agree he richly deserves impeachment, but it would be wasted effort and a self-inflicted wound for our side. If you want to prove to the public that all their worst fears about irresponsible politicians are true, you would find no better way than jumping foaming at the mouth on an impeachment bandwagon.

And it would be just what Obama and his Alinskyite allies would want.

But that does not mean we cannot play hardball with Obama. Republicans should put him on the spot by passing good, sensible measures –such as approving the Keystone XL pipeline– that have real benefits for the average American, and then dare The One to veto them. We may not be able to override those vetoes, but, with his shield-bearer in the Senate, Harry Reid, now in the minority, he won’t be able to hide from tough decisions any longer. Go ahead, repeal Obamacare and replace it with a good free-market solution. Open up drilling off our coasts. Relax coal regulations and thus lower energy prices for the masses. Pass one good measure after another and force Obama to either take an unpopular stand or acquiesce, thus frustrating his core supporters.

Just keep in mind we won’t be able to override most vetoes. That doesn’t mean we don’t fight, but don’t expect much in the way of positive policy results until (we hope) we have control of both Congress and the presidency in 2017.

The same with Obama and executive actions. The presidency is powerful (perhaps too powerful) and Obama can do a lot with his infamous phone and pen. But now, with control of both chambers, Congress can make statist bureaucrats’ lives miserable with hearings and public exposure, as well as educational budget cuts (2). Congress’ investigatory and budget powers are among its most powerful weapons for reining in the Executive. Don’t be afraid to use them.

Just use them judiciously, with wisdom and prudence. Do that, and the people will be ready for real hope and change in the White House in 2016.

But also feel free to bask for a bit in the afterglow of that wonderful night last night.

Footnotes:
(1) For my comments on the Great Shellacking Part I, go here.
(2) Which will much more effective now that we have both chambers of Congress and don’t have to deal with Harry “We’re not votin’ on nuthin'” Reid.

RELATED: Yuval Levin on the right agenda for a Republican congress.


What would a +2°C warmer world look like?

November 4, 2014

So, the world has already seen conditions with high CO2 and temps 2-degrees centigrade today — and life flourished. Darn those inconvenient truths.

Watts Up With That?

Cretaceous_Trail_sign,_South_Table_Mountain[1]An argument regularly advanced by alarmists is – can we afford to take the chance? This argument is often associated with a claim that a rise in global temperature greater than 2°C would be catastrophic – a theory backed by authoritative sounding computer simulations which suggest dangerous ocean acidification, deadly heat, and extreme weather.

It is all very well to simulate these scary possibilities, but at the end of the day a computer simulation is just an educated guess – it is no substitute for observation.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to actually observe what a warmer world would actually be like? What if it were possible to create a parallel Earth, dial up the CO2 level, and actually see what really happens? Would anyone bother running a computer simulation, if we could observe the reality?

We can’t create a new planet, but there is a…

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Election Day: “Forth, and fear no darkness!”

November 4, 2014

Today is it, folks. The day of decision. After six years of being governed by the most left-wing administration in US History, as well as the most feckless since James Buchanan; after six years of suffering under incompetent boobs (save for their outstanding competence at corruption and cronyism) who treat the Constitution and the Rule of Law like a twenty-dollar hooker; after six appalling years that weakened the nation, abased us before our enemies, and betrayed our allies; after all that, we get our say.

I’ve been thinking of how to describe my mood this day, a mood of both determination and elation, of standing on the verge of liberation. And it came to me that mere words wouldn’t do, but that a film clip (1) would capture it perfectly:

We have them on the run, folks. They’re nervous, ready to break. But now is not the time to let up. If you haven’t voted yet, then turn off the computer and get off your duff and vote! For a Republican Senate, for Minority Leader Harry Reid, and the Founders’ America. Its time to send the Progressives howling, back into the wilderness. An informed and determined freeborn citizen is what they fear. Remind them of why. Go. Vote.

Forth, and fear no darkness!

PS:  I’m sure there are those who will see all sorts of “racist dog whistles” in this post. (“He said ‘darkness!’ I must tweet Chris Matthews about this!”) That’s your problem. I happen to be a big Lord of the Rings fan, and that scene is the greatest cavalry charge in movie history. Ever. And it reflects perfectly how I feel about today.

PPS: This is a reposting of my election day post from 2012, slightly altered for today. Plus, it’s a great excuse to use that clip again. 🙂

Footnote:
(1)The first minute or so can be seen (kinda sorta) as a metaphor of the last six years, starting on election night, 2008. But once the horns blow, that’s today, baby. Charge!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Is a Top American Diplomat a Russian Agent?

November 3, 2014

Helluva scandal, if true. And a dramatic story, regardless.

The XX Committee

Today the Ukrainian news website GORDON ran an interview with the Russian businessman and sometime politician Konstantin Borovoy. A harsh critic of Vladimir Putin — he recently said Russia’s president is “mentally unstable” while a year ago he pronounced the collapse of Putin’s corrupt dictatorship to be “inevitable” — Borovoy is something of a gadfly. A parliamentarian of independent views in the Yeltsin era, he served as an intermediary between Moscow and the rebels in the First Chechen War, and was assessed as “a respected and influential Duma deputy” by one savvy Western expert, in part due to his staunch opposition to the takeover of Russia by the “special services,” especially the Federal Security Service (FSB), during the Putin years.

Hence Borovoy’s statements are not to be rejected out of hand as the ravings of a madman. In the GORDON interview, he lambasts Ukraine’s government for having faith…

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100 Year Snow Records broken across the South Eastern US on October 31st and November 01st

November 3, 2014

Global warming — there is nothing it cannot do, including making it snow earlier than it has for 134 years.

Watts Up With That?

It was the earliest and heaviest snow in several places since records have been kept dating as far back as 1880.

Southeast_US_snow
100 Year Snow Records broken across the South Eastern US on October 31st and November 01st. It was the earliest and heaviest snow in several places since records have been kept dating as far back as 1880. Reduced sunspot count shows Solar hibernation is occurring along with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) showing a cooling Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) Atlantic Ocean temperature is predicted to fall by 2020, which screams of cooling events to take place globally.
Story Title:

h/t David DuByne

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Good news! Some of our vetted, moderate Syrian allies have defected to al-Qaeda!

November 2, 2014

satire oops embarrassed button

I swear, our foreign policy would be turning out better results if it were run by the Keystone Cops. Via Patrick Poole at PJM, while some have just surrendered to al Qaeda, others have switched sides. Oh, and handed over he weapons we gave them. What was it bin Laden said about people preferring the strong horse?

Guess who’s the weak horse?

Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

The US and its allies were relying on Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.

But on Saturday night Harakat Hazm surrendered military bases and weapons supplies to Jabhat al-Nusra, when the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria stormed villages they controlled in northern Idlib province.

The development came a day after Jabhat al-Nusra dealt a final blow to the SRF, storming and capturing Deir Sinbal, home town of the group’s leader Jamal Marouf.

Remember, these were among the guys we were counting on to fight ISIS. That’s some vetting job we did there.

Read the rest of Poole’s report for information on a growing rapprochement between ISIS and al Qaeda, which would reunite the two branches of our deadly enemy. Between this and the desultory, micromanaged air campaign ordered by a diffident president who’d much rather be golfing, the self-proclaimed Caliphate and their al-Nusra besties should be marching into Baghdad and Damascus by New Year’s.

We’re in the best of hands.

UPDATE: Michael Totten, who knows the Mideast better than you and I ever will, says Syria is gone.