Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Le mot juste, headline style

Politico is a typical lefty outlet, but give them credit for having the proper headline on their debate synopsis:

It's who they are, it's what they do
The primary (no pun intended) reason the donks are having trouble getting much traction in this cycle is because they are guilty of most of the sins they ascribe to the Bad Orange Man. Frankly, every person on that stage yesterday was a repellent person in one way or another. And the key word in the headline? Scold. Do you enjoy getting scolded? Do you want to listen to any of these people for the next four years?

Monday, February 24, 2020


My take on Bernie Sanders, as of today:

  • At this point, he is asking for support.
  • If he gets it and then wins the White House, he will stop asking.
  • Trump has endured a "resistance" for the duration of his presidency, even though he was (and remains) unlikely to do anything that will really transform the way our country is governed. Of any politician out there who needs a "resistance" arrayed against him, it's Bernie. Would that happen, would our well-appointed functionaries inside the Beltway resist him, or make his dreams come true? 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Welcome to Thunderdumb

So I watched most of the debate last night. Everyone who watched has an opinion of what they saw. So here's mine.

  • Bloomberg may have more money than King Canute, but as a debater he was even worse than I thought he'd be. Warren tore him to ribbons from the outset and he never really got his footing again. He took one good shot at Bernie Sanders about his three homes, but that wasn't enough. You can tell he hasn't been challenged much in his life.
  • Warren was tearing down everyone in sight. While her scorched earth approach was effective on Bloomberg, after a while it got wearing. She's a deeply unpleasant personality and she still doesn't have the proper responses when others challenge her on substance. As an insult comic, she's got potential, though.
  • Biden was better, but he's still a bit befuddled. He wasn't a good candidate in 1988 and 32 years on, he's worse. Bob Dole without the gravitas.
  • If the trendline continues, Bernie is gonna win. He's a loon, but he has strong support from his droogs and that is likely to make the difference. No one really laid a glove on him last night.
  • Buttigieg let his Eddie Haskell mask drop too many times last night. His repeated exchanges with Our Amy were sulfuric. He's the A student suckup we all hated growing up and I suspect he's already hit his high water mark for this cycle. His future as Harold Stassen beckons, although I did appreciate the Walter Mondale diss.
  • Our Amy let her Karen mask drop too many times last night. She let Buttigieg get under her nerves at least twice and resorted to whiny woe-is-me responses. I don't see a way forward.
In short, Bernie has to be the favorite. Bloomberg can continue to suck up all the oxygen from the other candidates and keep them off the air, but he's never going to win the hearts and minds of the Dem base. The more interesting question is whether he'll be willing to subsidize the campaigns of the people who kicked him in the balls last night. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Blago gets outta jail

I'm not sure why the Bad Orange Man commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the corrupt (is there any other kind?) former Illinois governor who essentially put Barack Obama's senate seat up for auction back in the day, but here you go:
After more than one false alarm raised and dashed the hopes of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, President Donald Trump finally answered his pleas and commuted Blagojevich’s 14-year prison term Tuesday, springing the Chicago Democrat from prison more than four years early and writing a stunning new chapter to one of the state’s most notorious corruption cases.
Personally, I wouldn't have done it, but my assumption is Trump is simply showing his ass to the various grandees who put Blago away, especially Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney who took the lead in the case. The linked article from the Chicago Tribune suggests as much:
Also issuing a statement were the attorneys who made up the team of prosecutors who handled the Blagojevich trials in U.S. District Court in Chicago. That group included former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and his former assistants Reid Schar, Chris Niewoehner and Carrie Hamilton, who is now a judge, who pointed out that both the appellate and Supreme Courts affirmed the conviction and sentence.

“The appellate court described the evidence against him as ‘overwhelming,’” the statement read in part. “Extortion by a public official is a very serious crime, routinely prosecuted throughout the United States whenever, as here, it can be detected and proven. That has to be the case in America: a justice system must hold public officials accountable for corruption. It would be unfair to their victims and the public to do otherwise.”
Emphasis mine. That's right. Now do Andrew McCabe and Hillary Clinton. Trump has hinted as much:
In August, of Blagojevich, Trump said, “And a lot of people thought it was unfair, like a lot of other things — and it was the same gang, the Comey gang and all these sleazebags that did it.”

The president was referring to former FBI Director James Comey, a frequent Trump target who he contends sought to politicize the nation’s top law enforcement agency in the 2016 election in which Trump faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After taking office, the president fired Comey amid the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election and whether the Trump campaign was involved.
Again, I wouldn't have made the same decision. But Trump does everything for a reason. And my guess is the reason will become more clear in time.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"I'll take 'Things That Aren't Going to Happen' for $500, Alex"

The usually sensible Ann Althouse is in love with Amy Klobuchar, apparently, leading Althouse to make this bizarre pronouncement:
Unless Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, and Biden get together and pick one of them to go forward, the answer is going to be Bloomberg.

Unless he's awful at that debate.

And won't Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Biden all try to make him look awful?

I would advise Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, and Biden to get together and pick one. But they need to do it soon. If I picture those 4 huddling and really trying to decide which of the 4 of them should take up the banner of moderate anti-Trumpism, I see the choice as Amy Klobuchar. She's the best age (59), she's female, and she's got a long record in the Senate. 
A long record of doing Small Things. But then Althouse immediately realizes why this will never happen:
But that's too sensible, isn't it? The Democrats are so keyed up to fight that they're not going to accept mere sensibleness.
Especially when "sensibleness" isn't particularly sensible. I do think a woman can be elected president in this country, but that woman will not be a Democrat.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Just a reminder

The MSM always has yer kabuki right here, pal:

The people who earn (so to speak) their living informing America are lying to you. But you know that.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

President Otto West

AG Barr had to remind the POTUS that, sometimes, it's easier to get things done without the accompaniment of tweets:
Barr said “the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” However, he argued that having public statements and tweets made about the department, pending cases and its prosecutors “make it impossible to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we are doing our work with integrity.”

In a statement following Barr’s interview, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Trump “wasn’t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions.”

“President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law,” Grisham said. 
Yeah, I'm sure Barr's job would be easier without the tweets, but you have to know going in that's how Trump operates. Barr is essentially saying this:

I was dealing with something delicate. I'm setting up a guy who's important to us, who'll tell me where the loot is and if you'll be arrested, and you come loping in like Rambo without a jock strap and you dangle him out a fifth-floor window! Now, was that smart? Was it shrewd? Was it good tactics? Or was it stupid?

You make the call. Thankfully, Barr doesn't dress like Jamie Lee Curtis.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Bernie or Bloomie

It's not over in New Hampshire yet, but it is. So what's next?

  • While I know John Croman and the rest of the local cheerleaders are very excited about Our Amy finishing third in New Hampshire, she has no path forward. She doesn't have enough money to compete on Super Tuesday and she has no ground game in Nevada or South Carolina. Her modest success has probably put a torpedo under the waterline of Pete Buttigieg, however. As long as they both stay in the race, and they both will because they can for the moment, they'll drag each other down to the bottom. 
  • Bernie won.  And he's likely to win a few more states coming up. Do you see either Buttigieg or Our Amy beating Bernie in any upcoming state? Maybe Our Amy wins her home state. That's not enough.
  • Nanny Bloomberg has more money than King Canute, and if he continues to spend hundreds of millions on his own campaign, he can drain all the oxygen out of the room. Even if Klobuchar and Buttigieg had the money to buy ads in the upcoming states, Bloomberg has bought most of the available air time already. 
  • So if you're a Democrat, would you rather have a crazy commie or a nasty scold from the Lollipop Guild? Because those are likely to be your choices.

I Dig a Pony Soldier

Joe Biden on the hustings:

Apparently his odd insult, calling a woman a "lying dog-faced pony soldier," was from an old John Wayne movie (I suppose there's no other kind any more, since the Duke has been gone for over 40 years). Of course, John Wayne fans are a key demographic in any Democratic Party primary, pilgrim. The only pony soldiers I remember are tied to NFL Films:

Biden is not gonna make it -- anyone who has followed his career knew that going in. He was a ridiculous buffoon the first time he ran for president, back in 1988, and ridiculous buffoons don't typically gain much wisdom. I am waiting to see what his next source of insult humor is -- perhaps he could try James Cagney next, who offered a tidy summation of Biden's campaign over 70 years ago now:

Monday, February 10, 2020

il miglior fabbro

Matt Taibbi, writing for Rolling Stone, tells the Dems what they need to understand, but don't want to hear:
Yesterday’s really gone.

In 1993, liberal America sang along at the Bill Clinton inaugural ball with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (and Michael Jackson, whoops). “Don’t Stop” was “Ding, dong, the witch is dead!” for the smart set. The New Democrats ushered in a new reign for youth and modernity against Reagan-Bush reaction.

That’s done. After a vote in Iowa that reeked of third-world treachery — from monolithic TV propaganda against the challenger to rumors of foreign intrusion to, finally, a “botched” vote count that felt as legitimate as a Supreme Soviet election — the Democrats have become the reactionaries they once replaced.

Coinciding with the flatulent end of the party’s impeachment gambit, and the related news that Donald Trump is enjoying climbing approval ratings, the Blue Party was exposed as an incompetent lobby for doomed elites, dumb crooks with nothing left to offer but their exit.
Much, much more at the link. Taibbi is no friend of conservatives, but when he's correct, he's correct.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Philosophy majors in the news

You don't have to be intelligent to be on television. Consider the example of Katy Tur, who has been a fairly constant presence on the MSNBC airwaves for years now. She said this (emphasis in the original):
Tur brought on Post political reporter Philip Bump to continue to promote the piece: “Alright, so impeachment is an example of this. The 48 senators – I mean, 12 million more voters, that’s a lot.” Bump replied in part that “you had the 69 million who actually supported senators who wanted to see him removed from office.”

It’s unclear how Bump divined that people voted those senators into office with the express desire that they overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Minutes later, Tur wondered what could be done to prevent Republicans from winning statewide elections for U.S. Senate seats across the country: “So what’s the resolution to that? Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? Is – how does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate or even in the House?”

Bump was forced to awkwardly correct her and explain the obvious: “Well, I mean, the only resolution – gerrymandering is not going to do anything because in the Senate we’re talking about states, right? You can’t gerrymander states.” He then delivered more tough news: “The only solution is for Democrats to appeal to voters in those states.”
A few observations:
  • Lefties hate gerrymandering, except when they can do it.
  • The Senate is designed to slow things down and to prevent big states from steamrolling small states. That's kinda the point.
  • A good way for Democrats to appeal to voters in "those states" would be to listen to their concerns and offer solutions. That's too much work, though.
  • Tur and her lefty pals assume they'll always be in the majority. If they were to think things through, they'd realize that may not be a permanent state of affairs. But again, thinking things through is a lot of work.
  • And on the matter of thinking things through, Tur's undergraduate degree is in philosophy. No, really.
Tur is an attractive woman, no doubt:

Image result for katy tur
Philosophical construct
I wouldn't argue that Tur's looks are the only reason she has a job with MSNBC, but it doesn't hurt her cause. The larger issue with Tur and others similarly situated is the unspoken assumption, the central conceit they share with lefties everywhere -- they are smarter than their opponents. Yeah, keep making that argument, kids.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Two very quick observations

Maybe by November we'll know who actually won the Iowa caucus.

Mitt Romney chose to believe Adam Schiff. All his blathering about faith becomes a non-sequitur after that.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Who did it better?

Sinead O'Connor?

Image result for sinead o'connor tearing up picture of pope"
Nothing compares
Or Nancy Pelosi?

Image result for nancy pelosi tearing up trump's speech"
That tears it

Tuesday, February 04, 2020


So no one knows who "won" the Iowa caucus, even this morning:
A technical meltdown in Iowa Monday night set off bedlam in the critical first contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, triggering competing claims of victory and stoking doubts about the legitimacy of the eventual outcome.

No results had been reported by midnight Eastern, and two campaigns told POLITICO that after a conference call with the Iowa Democratic Party, they didn’t expect any returns until Tuesday morning at the earliest.
Here's an on-the-spot report from Des Moines:

At this point, no one is going to believe the results, no matter what they are. All the Dems will claim victory and nothing at all will be decided. But remember, the Democrats are going to save the country from the Bad Orange Man.

My favorite quote so far? Probably this one:
Sanders' supporters were already crying foul. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who campaigned for Sanders in Iowa this weekend, tweeted, "Democracy dies in the darkness!”
If you're inclined, the entire Politico piece I've linked is a laff riot. One more fun observation contained therein:
If one thing was certain from Monday's debacle, Iowa had just signed its death warrant as the first-in-the-nation caucus state, the legendary Des Moines Register political reporter David Yepsen said.

“This fiasco means the end of the caucuses as a significant American political event. The rest of the country was already losing patience with Iowa anyway and this cooks Iowa's goose. Frankly, it should,” Yepsen said. “The real winner tonight was Donald Trump, who got to watch his opponents wallow in a mess. A lot of good Democratic candidates and people who fought their hearts out here for ... nothing.

“I expect Iowans will move themselves to kill it off by holding a primary, and let the state move to someplace behind New Hampshire along with other states.”
All those pork tenderloin sandwiches for nothing.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Get to it

Back in 2016, this feature's political stance was NeverTrump. Once the election was decided, it no longer made any sense to hold that stance. Never was negated. So it was, at least in my mind, time to judge Trump on his performance in office, rather than his uncorrected personality traits.

We now have a 3+ year sample size of Trump as president. He's had successes -- the economy is generally going well, but it's not perfect. He's done less war mongering than any of his predecessors going back to Grover Cleveland. He's worked with Mitch McConnell to largely remake the federal judiciary, including adding two new justices to the Supreme Court. And he's spent much of his time dealing with a political opposition that has come at him with relentless ferocity. He's been impeached, but to no effect. If anything, impeachment has made Trump marginally more popular, because the behavior of his tormentors has been on prominent display and hasn't been a good look for any of them.

Trump would like a second term in office. Although I approve in broad outline of Trump's performance in office, even now I could be persuaded to vote for someone else, mostly because I tire of the drama. Yet, none of the current candidates on offer are even close to acceptable substitutes. It's increasingly possible the Democrats will undergo a hostile takeover by Bernie Sanders and his Jacobin followers. The other Democrats are mediocrities -- Biden was found wanting 32 years ago, Warren is a fraud on various levels, Buttigieg is a marketing campaign disguised as a candidacy, and no one else has any traction, including our local Senator of Small Things. Meanwhile two plutocrats even more dire than the Bad Orange Man, Nanny Bloomberg and the environmental grifter Tom Steyer, flood the airwaves with focus group invective.

If you want to get rid of Trump, I understand -- I really do. But do you see a plausible alternative? If so, it's time to make your case. Get to it.