Category: New Posts

Strong economy blamed as ARMY misses recruiting goal…


Army misses 2018 recruiting goal, which hasn’t happened since 2005


WASHINGTON – The Army fell short of its recruiting goal for 2018, missing its mark for the first time since 2005 as it looks to grow its force strength in the face of growing threats from competing world powers such as Russia and China.


The Army has launched a large-scale review of its recruiting practices, senior service officials said Friday. The service will pour millions of dollars into revamping recruiting facilities and bolster its recruiting force after falling about 6,500 recruits short of its goal for fiscal year 2018, which will end Sept. 30. The Army had hoped to enlist 76,500 recruits in 2018, a goal that was lowered from 80,000 in April after more soldiers than expected elected to remain in the service.


Despite the shortfall, Maj. Gen. Joe Calloway, the Army’s military personnel management director, said the 70,000 recruits who did enlist this year is the most the service has attracted since 2010. He said the Army chose to focus on taking in high-quality recruits instead of ensuring it met its goal with borderline applicants.


Missing the recruiting goal “is not devastating,” Calloway said. “It still has an impact, because that is 6,500 soldiers that are not filling a critical specialty or a foxhole somewhere.”


He blamed the shortfall largely on a strengthening U.S. economy in which fewer potential recruits are looking for jobs. Nonetheless, the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy all reached their recruiting goals for 2018, though they were less ambitious than the Army’s.


Only about 30 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds can meet the mandatory requirements for consideration for military service – a combination of physical, mental and background attributes. More so, only about 13 percent of that population is interested in military service, according to the Pentagon.


The shortfall comes as the Army looks to increase its active force from about 476,000 soldiers to about 500,000 by 2024, a number Pentagon officials have said is necessary if a major war with a near-peer adversary were to break out.


The Army had aimed to increase its force strength to 483,500 by the beginning of October. It aims to build to 487,500 in 2019, Calloway said. The service has set a 73,000 recruit goal for next year.


In the meantime, Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, the chief of Training and Doctrine Command, has been leading a complete review of how the service recruits potential soldiers, Calloway said. Townsend is slated to brief the Army Secretary Mark Esper on his findings next week, and the Army will look to implement changes quickly.


“The intent of that is to change our approach and methodology of what we’re doing to recruit,” Calloway said. “We’ve obviously got to change what we’re doing to reach a pretty limited audience.”


Calloway said some changes to recruiting efforts have already been implemented, including a new focus on reaching potential recruits through social media, interactive gaming, and in locations where recruiting has typically been weak such as major metropolitan areas.


Last year, the Army added about 500 recruiters to its ranks and intends to add another 500, said Marshall Williams, the Army’s principle deputy assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs.


The service has also poured more than $50 million into upgrading its recruiting facilities and recruiters’ internet service across the nation, recognizing that instead of reaching potential recruits or their parents by phone that they prefer to connect online, Calloway said.


“Secretary [Esper’s] guidance is we have to try new things, and if they don’t work, fine, move on to something else,” the general said. “But it’s not sitting around doing what we’ve always done. We have to do something different.”


dickstein.corey@stripes.com

Twitter: @CDicksteinDC

Army recruits practice patrol tactics while marching during U.S. Army basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., Dec. 6, 2006.
SHAWN WEISMILLER/U.S. AIR FORCE



Source link

earlyvoting_istock.jpg

First votes already cast in volatile midterm elections…


The first people to vote in this year’s midterm elections have already returned their ballots to state elections officials in North Carolina, seven weeks before much of the rest of the country gets to weigh in.

Those voters — 181 of whom have voted so far, according to the state Board of Elections — are part of an increasing number of Americans who cast their ballots before Election Day.

This year, more than 40 percent of all voters are likely to take advantage of mail-in, absentee or early voting options.

“There’s been this revolution in the use of mailed-out ballots in the last 20 years, and people like us are just hoping it accelerates,” said Phil Keisling, a former Oregon secretary of State who now directs the Center for Public Service at the Mark Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.

Absentee ballots have already gone out in four states — North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. On Friday, four more states will drop absentee ballots in the mail. Fifteen more states follow on Saturday, and another four by the end of the month. The remaining 23 states will issue their absentee ballots in October.

Voters in Minnesota will be the first ones able to cast their votes early in person, when early vote centers open around the state on Friday. Four more states open early voting locations Saturday, and another three kick off in-person voting next week.

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia offer some form of early in-person voting, usually at county offices or satellite locations. Sixteen of those states begin early voting on or after October 20.

The proliferation of early voting has changed the shape of modern political campaigns, which once aimed to reveal late October surprises targeting their opponents. Now, those campaigns must offer their closing arguments weeks before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November — and they must remain at their peak for far longer than in the past.

“You now have to have the closing intensity level last for three weeks instead of one four-day weekend,” said David Carney, a Republican strategist who has worked extensively in Texas, where early voting is on the rise.

More than 57 million Americans voted before Election Day in the 2016 presidential election, or almost 42 percent of the 136.7 million people who showed up to vote, according to the federal Election Assistance Commission. That’s about double the number of voters who cast their ballots early in 2004.

The increase is being led by the three states — Colorado, Washington and Oregon — that now conduct their elections entirely by mail. Voters who receive their ballots in the mail weeks before Election Day can either mail those ballots back to election officials, or return them to county or local drop boxes.

Some counties in states like California, Utah and North Dakota conduct their elections entirely by mail as well.

Other states like Arizona, Hawaii and Montana have made it easy to sign up for ongoing absentee ballots. And states like Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas have robust early voting programs, in which voters can show up any time it is convenient for them within a special pre-election window to cast their ballots.

In Arizona, three-quarters of voters cast a ballot early in 2016. More than two-thirds of all voters cast a ballot before Election Day in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee and Utah.

Strategists who run campaigns in states where early voting is gaining steam say there are benefits and drawbacks to the new system.

On one hand, campaigns that spend millions of dollars identifying voters can use updated results to chase ballots, tracking down those most likely to support them to make sure their ballots are turned in. Once those beleaguered voters turn in their ballots, the incessant phone calls and door knocks will stop.

“You have far more ability to control the electorate, where if everyone votes on Election Day it’s more of a crapshoot,” said Mike Noble, a Republican strategist in Arizona. “As you’re updating your lists, you’re narrowing your universe” of potential voters.

On the other hand, the prolonged period of early voting means campaigns have to spread limited resources out over longer periods of time. Once voters cast their ballots, they cannot make changes; that means the potency of a late, campaign-ending attack fades as Election Day nears and the voting pool shrinks.

“You can’t sit on your hands and overwhelm an opponent with a late blitz,” said Dan Newman, a Democratic strategist in California. “We have Election Month in California now, and by Election Day a majority of voters have actually already voted.”

How voters actually prefer to cast their ballots varies widely by state, adding another layer of complexity to a campaign’s calculations.

In states like Nevada and North Carolina, African American and Hispanic voters tend to cast ballots in person, while older white voters prefer to vote by mail. In California, voters in the Los Angeles area are more likely to vote on Election Day, while those in San Francisco tend to mail their ballots in early.

“Once signs go up, ‘Vote Here,’ and ballots start landing on kitchen counters, folks are making up their minds,” said Mike Slanker, the Nevada-based chief strategist for Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: ‘We’re gonna get Brett’ Trump: ‘Good news’ that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers ‘Wacky Jacky’ opponent in Nevada MORE (R). “You have to time your campaign to be ahead by early voting.”

Early voting is most often used by older voters, who are the most likely to vote anyway. But proponents of all-mail elections like those in Washington, Oregon and Colorado say those systems are most likely to improve turnout among those least likely to show up on Election Day.

Keisling, the former secretary of state, also said those tasked with administering elections tend to appreciate early voting. Gathering ballots at one central location helps election officials apply the same standard to every ballot, rather than relying on hundreds or thousands of election judges in precincts across a state.

“What you’re able to do is to enforce uniform standards at a central location for processing ballots,” Keisling said. “From a county election administration procedure [perspective], when people use this more and more, they get excited about it.”



Source link

The Alinsky-ization of Brett Kavanaugh


Here’s how Democrats and the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) Alinsky-ized Brett Kavanaugh, in the lead up to, during, and after his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

1: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

Outnumbered 51-49, Senate Democrats know that the arithmetic isn’t on their side.  If the Democrats and Republicans each hold court along party lines, Kavanaugh is our next justice, thanks to the nuclear option employed by Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell last year to get Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed. 

But a two-senator lead means the tie-breaking voter, Vice President Mike Pence, had better be on call when the roll call vote to confirm Kavanaugh is held.  Democrats undoubtedly consider Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, of Maine and Alaska, respectively, to be free agents, particularly over Roe v. Wade.  Kavanaugh was relentlessly questioned by Democrats over abortion; the goal was to create doubt that Collins and Murkowski would vote to confirm him.  If uncertainty exists, it’s unlikely that Democrats from states President Trump won in 2016 will cross the aisle.  If Democrats somehow secure 51 nays, we’ll have the modern-day version of Borked: Kavanaughed.  

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”

Alinsky wrote in Rules that “the issue is never the issue.”  The reason the Democrats were obsessed with the documents withheld by the president has nothing to do with the documents; it has to do with the fact that the Democrats on the Committee on the Judiciary were unwilling to have substantive legal discussions.  Why?  Simple: because Kavanaugh would have made the Democrats – several of whom are trained attorneys – look like first-day law school students.  Having authored 307 opinions, from 2,700 cases, during his 12 years as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, along with dozens of speeches to law schools and legal groups, Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence bona fides are not only rock solid, but also very public.  There is zero we don’t know about Kavanaugh’s interpretive approach and acumen.

3. “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”

I suspect that this rule guided The New York Times’ and Associated Press’s show-me-the-woman-and-I’ll-show-you-the-crime expedition two months ago for the work emails of Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, who was hired earlier this year as town manager of Chevy Chase, Md.  The Times requested any emails that contained the words “gun,” “abortion,” “federalist” or “gay.”  Perhaps the Times believed that Mrs. Kavanaugh was fond of attending The Federalist Society lectures about concealed carrying lesbians who believe that abortion is creepy.  The Times’ request was a big dud; 85 pages of emails later, and, I’m sure, much to the newspaper’s chagrin, nothing incriminating, and nothing about guns, abortion, gays, or federalists was discovered.  The AP requested all of her work emails but hasn’t yet reported on its findings.

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

Though there weren’t explicit questions about Kavanaugh’s Catholic faith, he noted his work with Catholic Charities.  This rule was the basis for California senator Cuckoo Kamala Harris’s lie that Kavanaugh called birth control abortion-inducing drugs (have you noticed how often I’ve already written about abortion?).  And here’s the ACLU’s predictable fear-mongering that Kavanaugh would usher in a theocratic oligarchy.  In fairness, I’m not angry at the ACLU, because voting is a lot like any decision or purchase: it’s done based on fear or greed.

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Kavanaugh has been in Washington for decades; he’s what many of us would call an “establishment” figure.  This has provided an opportunity for the DMIC to attack his establishment “elitism,” which President Trump swore to reject by draining the swamp.  The median household income of Kavanugh’s ZIP code is $12,000 a month, his house cost $1.2 million to purchase, and Kavanaugh racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit debt to buy Washington Nationals season tickets.  As coach of one of his daughters’ basketball teams, his moniker is “Coach K.”  If the nickname Coach K doesn’t smack of elitism, I don’t know what does.  The DMIC showed no qualms in portraying Kavanaugh as an out-of-touch Beltway insider.  Oh, yeah, and people will die if he’s confirmed.

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

Democrats know that most of their voters are out for blood, and a “good tactic” was to inextricably link Kavanaugh to President Trump, an “unindicted co-conspirator,” according to Harris and Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, due to the plea deal of Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

In the old days, Democrats weren’t quite as politically loony as they currently are and were definitely more likable.  Unlikability is a good tactic for the Democrats; the temperament of a justice is important, and the more unlikeable Democrats were in their questioning, the better the chances Kavanaugh would lose his cool.  But alas, he kept his cool, especially during Harris’s entrapping questions about possible conversations he had with Trump’s lawyer’s firm regarding the Mueller investigation.  The Democrats tried to force Kavanaugh into the role of de facto spokesman for the president, but he was ready for them. 

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”

I didn’t watch every second of the hearings, but I watched more than 75 percent, and Democrats said Trump’s name dozens of times.  New Jersey senator Cory Booker handled Trump fatigue by putting on a theatrical production worthy of Broadway: Booker, whose claim to fame was interrogating Mike Pompeo about sodomy during his secretary of state confirmation hearings, dared his Republican colleagues to expel him from the Senate.  As was expected, President George W. Bush’s name popped up.  Kavanaugh worked for Bush, and the implication is that Kavanaugh has always been associated with illegitimate presidents.

8. “Keep the pressure on.”

This is one of the easier rules to follow, because specifics aren’t necessary.  Attorneys who litigate before the Supreme Court know to expect random barrages of questions, and the Democrats kept up the pressure by interrupting Kavanaugh dozens of times, not including the interruptions from protesters.  The interruptions failed in knocking Kavanaugh off his game – same for the objections to the hearings, coordinated by Democrats.  

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

If I had to pick one rule sold the hardest by Democrats, it’s this one.  The “threats” posed by Kavanaugh sound a lot like the threats posed by Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan in 1982.  Said Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy: 

Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution[.]

Of course, had Bork been confirmed, none of those things would have occurred.  But that wasn’t important; it was the “what if?” threat of those things.  In Kavanaugh’s case, workers will have zero rights, felons will own machine guns, and women will be forced into back-alley abortions and die.

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Democrats will have lost the battle, but they will consider the larger war still winnable – especially considering that he’s expected to be confirmed a month before the midterm elections.  It was quite apparent which Democrats were thinking about running for president in 2020 (Harris and Booker) and which weren’t (Partrick Leahy of Vermont).  Those positioning themselves for a White House run will incorporate their self-aggrandizing “resistance” to Kavanaugh into their campaigns.

11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.”

In the case of Kavanaugh, this is a slight overlap of Rule 1.  Trump has gotten 60 federal judges confirmed, is reforming the Supreme Court to how the Founders envisioned it, and has 100 pending federal judicial appointments.  These realities are red-meat selling points to Democrat voters: “Look at the havoc Trump has wrought!  We must prevent him from further destruction!”  Just how deep it will break into the counterside remains to be seen, but desperation is all Democrats have left (although projected demographics, if not engaged, don’t bode well for America First).

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

To have a chance of winning long-term political battles, there must be self-immolation and sacrificial lambs within the Democratic Party ranks.  Adaptation is key.  This is already underway, as evidenced by the rise of “democratic socialist” primary winners nationwide.  In America, Leninism has always been implemented in creeping doses, until one day, it’s mainstream.  The constructive alternative will continue to be the message that overt, out-in-the-open socialism is necessary to prevent future Brett Kavanaughs.

13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

In Clintonian fashion, the Democrats will persist.  Remember: Kavanaugh can’t prove he’s not racist, or that he won’t vote to send abortion battles back to the states, where they belonged in the first place.  The Democrats will continue to color Kavanaugh identically to how we describe Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor: as an untrustworthy judge who legislates from the bench.

My prediction: Kavanaugh will receive 54 votes to confirm, with Collins and Murkowski unlikely to defect.

Rich Logis is host of The Rich Logis Show at TheRichLogisShow.com and author of the upcoming book 10 Warning Signs Your Child Is Becoming a Democrat.  He can be found on Twitter at @RichLogis.

Republicans and conservatives are fond of referencing Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky, but how many have read his body of work?  I’ve always referred to Alinsky’s secular agitator bible, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, as the sequel to The Communist Manifesto.  Published in 1972, shortly before Alinsky’s death, Rules was a significant part of President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s political upbringings – although he more influenced Obama, who followed in Alinsky’s community organizing footsteps in Chicago in the ’80s. 

Alinsky’s thirteen rules are effective.  The first step to challenging them is actually recognizing them.

Here’s how Democrats and the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) Alinsky-ized Brett Kavanaugh, in the lead up to, during, and after his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

1: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

Outnumbered 51-49, Senate Democrats know that the arithmetic isn’t on their side.  If the Democrats and Republicans each hold court along party lines, Kavanaugh is our next justice, thanks to the nuclear option employed by Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell last year to get Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed. 

But a two-senator lead means the tie-breaking voter, Vice President Mike Pence, had better be on call when the roll call vote to confirm Kavanaugh is held.  Democrats undoubtedly consider Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, of Maine and Alaska, respectively, to be free agents, particularly over Roe v. Wade.  Kavanaugh was relentlessly questioned by Democrats over abortion; the goal was to create doubt that Collins and Murkowski would vote to confirm him.  If uncertainty exists, it’s unlikely that Democrats from states President Trump won in 2016 will cross the aisle.  If Democrats somehow secure 51 nays, we’ll have the modern-day version of Borked: Kavanaughed.  

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”

Alinsky wrote in Rules that “the issue is never the issue.”  The reason the Democrats were obsessed with the documents withheld by the president has nothing to do with the documents; it has to do with the fact that the Democrats on the Committee on the Judiciary were unwilling to have substantive legal discussions.  Why?  Simple: because Kavanaugh would have made the Democrats – several of whom are trained attorneys – look like first-day law school students.  Having authored 307 opinions, from 2,700 cases, during his 12 years as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, along with dozens of speeches to law schools and legal groups, Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence bona fides are not only rock solid, but also very public.  There is zero we don’t know about Kavanaugh’s interpretive approach and acumen.

3. “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”

I suspect that this rule guided The New York Times’ and Associated Press’s show-me-the-woman-and-I’ll-show-you-the-crime expedition two months ago for the work emails of Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, who was hired earlier this year as town manager of Chevy Chase, Md.  The Times requested any emails that contained the words “gun,” “abortion,” “federalist” or “gay.”  Perhaps the Times believed that Mrs. Kavanaugh was fond of attending The Federalist Society lectures about concealed carrying lesbians who believe that abortion is creepy.  The Times’ request was a big dud; 85 pages of emails later, and, I’m sure, much to the newspaper’s chagrin, nothing incriminating, and nothing about guns, abortion, gays, or federalists was discovered.  The AP requested all of her work emails but hasn’t yet reported on its findings.

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

Though there weren’t explicit questions about Kavanaugh’s Catholic faith, he noted his work with Catholic Charities.  This rule was the basis for California senator Cuckoo Kamala Harris’s lie that Kavanaugh called birth control abortion-inducing drugs (have you noticed how often I’ve already written about abortion?).  And here’s the ACLU’s predictable fear-mongering that Kavanaugh would usher in a theocratic oligarchy.  In fairness, I’m not angry at the ACLU, because voting is a lot like any decision or purchase: it’s done based on fear or greed.

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Kavanaugh has been in Washington for decades; he’s what many of us would call an “establishment” figure.  This has provided an opportunity for the DMIC to attack his establishment “elitism,” which President Trump swore to reject by draining the swamp.  The median household income of Kavanugh’s ZIP code is $12,000 a month, his house cost $1.2 million to purchase, and Kavanaugh racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit debt to buy Washington Nationals season tickets.  As coach of one of his daughters’ basketball teams, his moniker is “Coach K.”  If the nickname Coach K doesn’t smack of elitism, I don’t know what does.  The DMIC showed no qualms in portraying Kavanaugh as an out-of-touch Beltway insider.  Oh, yeah, and people will die if he’s confirmed.

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

Democrats know that most of their voters are out for blood, and a “good tactic” was to inextricably link Kavanaugh to President Trump, an “unindicted co-conspirator,” according to Harris and Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, due to the plea deal of Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

In the old days, Democrats weren’t quite as politically loony as they currently are and were definitely more likable.  Unlikability is a good tactic for the Democrats; the temperament of a justice is important, and the more unlikeable Democrats were in their questioning, the better the chances Kavanaugh would lose his cool.  But alas, he kept his cool, especially during Harris’s entrapping questions about possible conversations he had with Trump’s lawyer’s firm regarding the Mueller investigation.  The Democrats tried to force Kavanaugh into the role of de facto spokesman for the president, but he was ready for them. 

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”

I didn’t watch every second of the hearings, but I watched more than 75 percent, and Democrats said Trump’s name dozens of times.  New Jersey senator Cory Booker handled Trump fatigue by putting on a theatrical production worthy of Broadway: Booker, whose claim to fame was interrogating Mike Pompeo about sodomy during his secretary of state confirmation hearings, dared his Republican colleagues to expel him from the Senate.  As was expected, President George W. Bush’s name popped up.  Kavanaugh worked for Bush, and the implication is that Kavanaugh has always been associated with illegitimate presidents.

8. “Keep the pressure on.”

This is one of the easier rules to follow, because specifics aren’t necessary.  Attorneys who litigate before the Supreme Court know to expect random barrages of questions, and the Democrats kept up the pressure by interrupting Kavanaugh dozens of times, not including the interruptions from protesters.  The interruptions failed in knocking Kavanaugh off his game – same for the objections to the hearings, coordinated by Democrats.  

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

If I had to pick one rule sold the hardest by Democrats, it’s this one.  The “threats” posed by Kavanaugh sound a lot like the threats posed by Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan in 1982.  Said Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy: 

Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution[.]

Of course, had Bork been confirmed, none of those things would have occurred.  But that wasn’t important; it was the “what if?” threat of those things.  In Kavanaugh’s case, workers will have zero rights, felons will own machine guns, and women will be forced into back-alley abortions and die.

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Democrats will have lost the battle, but they will consider the larger war still winnable – especially considering that he’s expected to be confirmed a month before the midterm elections.  It was quite apparent which Democrats were thinking about running for president in 2020 (Harris and Booker) and which weren’t (Partrick Leahy of Vermont).  Those positioning themselves for a White House run will incorporate their self-aggrandizing “resistance” to Kavanaugh into their campaigns.

11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.”

In the case of Kavanaugh, this is a slight overlap of Rule 1.  Trump has gotten 60 federal judges confirmed, is reforming the Supreme Court to how the Founders envisioned it, and has 100 pending federal judicial appointments.  These realities are red-meat selling points to Democrat voters: “Look at the havoc Trump has wrought!  We must prevent him from further destruction!”  Just how deep it will break into the counterside remains to be seen, but desperation is all Democrats have left (although projected demographics, if not engaged, don’t bode well for America First).

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

To have a chance of winning long-term political battles, there must be self-immolation and sacrificial lambs within the Democratic Party ranks.  Adaptation is key.  This is already underway, as evidenced by the rise of “democratic socialist” primary winners nationwide.  In America, Leninism has always been implemented in creeping doses, until one day, it’s mainstream.  The constructive alternative will continue to be the message that overt, out-in-the-open socialism is necessary to prevent future Brett Kavanaughs.

13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

In Clintonian fashion, the Democrats will persist.  Remember: Kavanaugh can’t prove he’s not racist, or that he won’t vote to send abortion battles back to the states, where they belonged in the first place.  The Democrats will continue to color Kavanaugh identically to how we describe Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor: as an untrustworthy judge who legislates from the bench.

My prediction: Kavanaugh will receive 54 votes to confirm, with Collins and Murkowski unlikely to defect.

Rich Logis is host of The Rich Logis Show at TheRichLogisShow.com and author of the upcoming book 10 Warning Signs Your Child Is Becoming a Democrat.  He can be found on Twitter at @RichLogis.



Source link

209209.png

J'accuse as the New Legal Standard


Two and a half centuries of legal precedent in the United States is based on the assumption of “innocent until proven guilty.”  The law provides for due process, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, trial by a jury of one’s peers, and other measures preventing conviction based solely on an accusation.

“J’accuse” was the title of an editorial published in France in 1898 exposing a military cover-up of a French army captain falsely accused of espionage, later exonerated, but with the army suppressing the new evidence, concealing the army’s erroneous conviction.  Eerie parallels can be drawn from this story to current events involving President Trump and the Deep State.

J’accuse, meaning “I accuse,” has become the new legal standard in America, at least for Supreme Court nominees.  Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is in jeopardy based on the accusation of one woman, claiming sexual misconduct over thirty years ago when both were in high school.

She doesn’t remember when the alleged assault occurred, or where it took place, who else was present, or any other information that would support her accusation.  She doesn’t want to publicly state her case to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation.  Instead, she hides behind her desire for privacy and anonymity, despite this entire stunt being planned, including the accuser hiring an attorney and taking a polygraph test at least a month before she “reluctantly” went public with her accusations.

In other words, Kavanaugh is guilty simply because Christine Blasey Ford cries, “J’accuse,” then runs and hides behind the skirts of her attorney and her #MeToo compatriots.  There is only that one word serving as judge, jury, and executioner, throwing due process out the window.

One hundred women know Judge Kavanaugh and stand behind his honor, decency, and integrity.  There is no pattern of boorish behavior, as is typically seen with sexual predators – Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Keith Ellison, to name just a few examples.  There may, however, be a pattern to Dr. Ford’s accusations, as there are rumors of a similar letter she wrote regarding Neil Gorsuch ahead of his confirmation.

Who needs evidence or proof of allegations when the accusation alone is enough?  That’s the opinion of Ford’s attorney, Democrat activist Debra Katz, who said “it is not her client’s job to corroborate her claims.”  Who needs evidence or corroboration?  J’accuse is enough.

Even Senator Dianne Feinstein acknowledges, “I can’t say everything is truthful.”  Well, isn’t that grand?  The grand inquisitor can’t even confirm that her grand inquisition has merit.

Hillary Clinton weighed in as well, saying, “Christine Blasey Ford deserves the benefit of the doubt in her accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers.”  J’accuse is adequate, in other words.

What about the benefit of the doubt for Judge Kavanaugh?  Despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence being on his side, it’s suddenly his responsibility to prove his innocence, to disprove what a single Democrat activist claims in her j’accuse letter to Senator Feinstein.

Mrs. Clinton forgets that her husband had a string of accusers, not just a single one, meaning a pattern of behavior.  Did those women receive the benefit of the doubt?  Hardly.  Mrs. Clinton and her “bimbo eruption team” viciously attacked the accusers and investigators, demeaning and physically threatening them.

Not only did they not have their own j’accuse moments, but they also did not even have due process.  Mrs. Clinton must have a short memory.

My local newspaper, the liberal Denver Post, also stands by j’accuse legal doctrine, saying: “Kavanaugh must now clear his name if he is to be confirmed.”  By the paper’s standards, he is guilty until he proves himself innocent – quite the opposite of the standards of American jurisprudence.

Let’s play this out in a few different ways and see what the responses might be.

J’accuse Barack Obama of being a Muslim born in Kenya, not a natural-born citizen, ineligible to be president.

J’accuse the government of orchestrating 9/11, deliberately setting explosives in the towers, including Building 7, which was not hit by a plane.

J’accuse the government of orchestrating the Sandy Hook school shooting in order to advance its gun control agenda.

J’accuse the Clintons and their hired muscle of murdering dozens of people who were either in their way or threatening to expose Clinton crimes.

These are all considered conspiracy theories.  Promoting them will get you banned from social media platforms, ostracized, and called names like “birther” or “truther,” despite there being enough evidence out there to at least give one pause before declaring them total nonsense.  Just ask Alex Jones.

Why can’t j’accuse apply to accusations problematic for or damaging to the left rather than only to nominees to the Supreme Court from Republican presidents?  Clarence Thomas a generation ago went through the same thing Brett Kavanaugh is going through now: an unsubstantiated accusation without corroborating evidence, in sync with Democrat senators and the entire media, designed to subvert judicial precedent and the constitutional prerogative of the president to make nominations to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh has had half a dozen FBI background checks and sits on the second highest court in the land, with nary a peep about him being a closet rapist until days before his confirmation vote.  Why now?

Today we have two legal doctrines.  Republicans are guilty until they prove themselves innocent.  Brett Kavanaugh is a rapist and predator based on a single flimsy accusation, and the burden is on him to prove a negative.

Democrats, on the other hand, are innocent even when proven guilty.  James Comey detailed how Hillary Clinton mishandled secure emails and classified information, charges that normally lead to a long prison term, and concluded his findings by declaring her innocent.

J’accuse is a true witch hunt.  Remember the presumed witches of Salem, who were put to death over a simple accusation.  Or the millions of Soviets and East Germans finding themselves in a gulag or a grave over the accusations from a neighbor.

Adding insult to injury is the response of Republicans.  Few are coming to Kavanaugh’s defense; instead, they are wringing their hands, talking about fairness, acting like cowards in the face of hypocrisy and injustice.  These same Republicans are a single j’accuse away from having their careers and families ruined over the standard of justice they acquiesce to.

GOP senators are being played as patsies.  Democrats change the rules and goalposts every hour regarding who will testify and when and under what circumstances.  They will stall and try to run out the clock until they can invoke the Biden rule, pushing off any Supreme Court nomination as long as possible, hoping for an intervening miracle like the Democrats winning the Senate in November.

Or they will stall until a few other scorned women can be paid or convinced to fabricate memories of Brett Kavanaugh’s wild and crazy high school antics – with the media cheerleading each new revelation until a few squishy senators abandon honor and principle, throwing the judge overboard.

Appeasement of the j’accuse movement will only feed the beast, encouraging further such behavior.  Republicans are too cowardly or clueless to recognize this.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Two and a half centuries of legal precedent in the United States is based on the assumption of “innocent until proven guilty.”  The law provides for due process, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, trial by a jury of one’s peers, and other measures preventing conviction based solely on an accusation.

“J’accuse” was the title of an editorial published in France in 1898 exposing a military cover-up of a French army captain falsely accused of espionage, later exonerated, but with the army suppressing the new evidence, concealing the army’s erroneous conviction.  Eerie parallels can be drawn from this story to current events involving President Trump and the Deep State.

J’accuse, meaning “I accuse,” has become the new legal standard in America, at least for Supreme Court nominees.  Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is in jeopardy based on the accusation of one woman, claiming sexual misconduct over thirty years ago when both were in high school.

She doesn’t remember when the alleged assault occurred, or where it took place, who else was present, or any other information that would support her accusation.  She doesn’t want to publicly state her case to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation.  Instead, she hides behind her desire for privacy and anonymity, despite this entire stunt being planned, including the accuser hiring an attorney and taking a polygraph test at least a month before she “reluctantly” went public with her accusations.

In other words, Kavanaugh is guilty simply because Christine Blasey Ford cries, “J’accuse,” then runs and hides behind the skirts of her attorney and her #MeToo compatriots.  There is only that one word serving as judge, jury, and executioner, throwing due process out the window.

One hundred women know Judge Kavanaugh and stand behind his honor, decency, and integrity.  There is no pattern of boorish behavior, as is typically seen with sexual predators – Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Keith Ellison, to name just a few examples.  There may, however, be a pattern to Dr. Ford’s accusations, as there are rumors of a similar letter she wrote regarding Neil Gorsuch ahead of his confirmation.

Who needs evidence or proof of allegations when the accusation alone is enough?  That’s the opinion of Ford’s attorney, Democrat activist Debra Katz, who said “it is not her client’s job to corroborate her claims.”  Who needs evidence or corroboration?  J’accuse is enough.

Even Senator Dianne Feinstein acknowledges, “I can’t say everything is truthful.”  Well, isn’t that grand?  The grand inquisitor can’t even confirm that her grand inquisition has merit.

Hillary Clinton weighed in as well, saying, “Christine Blasey Ford deserves the benefit of the doubt in her accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers.”  J’accuse is adequate, in other words.

What about the benefit of the doubt for Judge Kavanaugh?  Despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence being on his side, it’s suddenly his responsibility to prove his innocence, to disprove what a single Democrat activist claims in her j’accuse letter to Senator Feinstein.

Mrs. Clinton forgets that her husband had a string of accusers, not just a single one, meaning a pattern of behavior.  Did those women receive the benefit of the doubt?  Hardly.  Mrs. Clinton and her “bimbo eruption team” viciously attacked the accusers and investigators, demeaning and physically threatening them.

Not only did they not have their own j’accuse moments, but they also did not even have due process.  Mrs. Clinton must have a short memory.

My local newspaper, the liberal Denver Post, also stands by j’accuse legal doctrine, saying: “Kavanaugh must now clear his name if he is to be confirmed.”  By the paper’s standards, he is guilty until he proves himself innocent – quite the opposite of the standards of American jurisprudence.

Let’s play this out in a few different ways and see what the responses might be.

J’accuse Barack Obama of being a Muslim born in Kenya, not a natural-born citizen, ineligible to be president.

J’accuse the government of orchestrating 9/11, deliberately setting explosives in the towers, including Building 7, which was not hit by a plane.

J’accuse the government of orchestrating the Sandy Hook school shooting in order to advance its gun control agenda.

J’accuse the Clintons and their hired muscle of murdering dozens of people who were either in their way or threatening to expose Clinton crimes.

These are all considered conspiracy theories.  Promoting them will get you banned from social media platforms, ostracized, and called names like “birther” or “truther,” despite there being enough evidence out there to at least give one pause before declaring them total nonsense.  Just ask Alex Jones.

Why can’t j’accuse apply to accusations problematic for or damaging to the left rather than only to nominees to the Supreme Court from Republican presidents?  Clarence Thomas a generation ago went through the same thing Brett Kavanaugh is going through now: an unsubstantiated accusation without corroborating evidence, in sync with Democrat senators and the entire media, designed to subvert judicial precedent and the constitutional prerogative of the president to make nominations to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh has had half a dozen FBI background checks and sits on the second highest court in the land, with nary a peep about him being a closet rapist until days before his confirmation vote.  Why now?

Today we have two legal doctrines.  Republicans are guilty until they prove themselves innocent.  Brett Kavanaugh is a rapist and predator based on a single flimsy accusation, and the burden is on him to prove a negative.

Democrats, on the other hand, are innocent even when proven guilty.  James Comey detailed how Hillary Clinton mishandled secure emails and classified information, charges that normally lead to a long prison term, and concluded his findings by declaring her innocent.

J’accuse is a true witch hunt.  Remember the presumed witches of Salem, who were put to death over a simple accusation.  Or the millions of Soviets and East Germans finding themselves in a gulag or a grave over the accusations from a neighbor.

Adding insult to injury is the response of Republicans.  Few are coming to Kavanaugh’s defense; instead, they are wringing their hands, talking about fairness, acting like cowards in the face of hypocrisy and injustice.  These same Republicans are a single j’accuse away from having their careers and families ruined over the standard of justice they acquiesce to.

GOP senators are being played as patsies.  Democrats change the rules and goalposts every hour regarding who will testify and when and under what circumstances.  They will stall and try to run out the clock until they can invoke the Biden rule, pushing off any Supreme Court nomination as long as possible, hoping for an intervening miracle like the Democrats winning the Senate in November.

Or they will stall until a few other scorned women can be paid or convinced to fabricate memories of Brett Kavanaugh’s wild and crazy high school antics – with the media cheerleading each new revelation until a few squishy senators abandon honor and principle, throwing the judge overboard.

Appeasement of the j’accuse movement will only feed the beast, encouraging further such behavior.  Republicans are too cowardly or clueless to recognize this.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.



Source link

209214.png

Dear Juanita Broaddrick


Using the hashtag “#DearProfessorFord,” the “sentence first, trial later” accusers of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been pouring out tweets expressing sympathy for the ordeal of Professor Christine Blasey Ford, the liberal Democrat activist.

They want an FBI investigation of an individual who won’t talk to the FBI of 36-year-old allegations of a drunken party she doesn’t remember the exact date or location of; how she got there; how she got home; who was there; or why, after she allegedly feared for her life, she didn’t even tell her parents.

No sympathy is expressed for Kavanaugh’s wife and two daughters or where he is going to go to get his reputation back.  How about a “Dear Mrs. Kavanaugh” letter expressing regret to her and her daughters for the slime her husband is being dragged through over charges that are less specific than most sightings of Bigfoot?

Bill Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick never got a letter expressing sympathy for her ordeal, nor did any of the other “bimbo eruptions” wife Hillary took care of with scathing attacks and organized threats and harassment.  She has an idea: if Ford does not want to testify, Broaddrick is quite willing to show up and tell the Senate Judiciary Committee just what credible charges of assault look like:

Juanita Broaddrick, whose Twitter profile reads, in part, “rape survivor of Bill Clinton,” has been watching the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh unfold and is surprised by the accuser’s refusal to tell her story.  Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, has yet to accept the invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.  The committee has even offered her concessions and are [sic] willing to speak to her in her home state of California, but still she has not accepted.


Well, Broaddrick said Wednesday that if Ford is not willing to testify about her allegation, she sure is.

She said in a tweet:

Just a thought… If Christine Ford declines to be interviewed Monday… I’m available to answer questions about my Rape by Bill Clinton.

She is disgusted by the double standard that says women who bring forth assault charges should be immediately deemed credible, a standard that seems to apply only to liberal Democrat women, and noted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had absolutely no interest in what she had to say about Bill Clinton assaulting her.  As Broaddrick said on The Ingraham Angle recently:

Oh, it makes me go back to 1999, when Dianne Feinstein, along with every other Democrat, refused to read my deposition to the independent counsel[.] … They would have nothing to do with it.  That shows you the difference in the double standard that existed back then and still does today.

Broaddrick does not accept the psychobabble being expressed in defense of Ford – her alleged trauma and repressed memory.  Ford is not an infant, despite attempts by Democrats to portray her as wounded, scared, and vulnerable.  She is a professional woman, an accomplished professor in liberal academia, who should be quite able to remember and specifically articulate her allegations against Kavanaugh:

One psychologist told the Post that it “may be challenging to recall peripheral details of an assault years later… but that should not detract from a victim’s veracity ‘if she can clearly and consistently articulate central details of what happened, such as the who, what and where.'”


Broaddrick does not agree.  She told the Daily Caller she doesn’t believe the leftist psychology professor, and for the same reason that some do.  Broaddrick “cited Ford’s timing and lack of firm details in her retelling of the account.” …


Of particular note to Broaddrick – who, unlike Ford, told friends about Clinton’s attack right afterward – was Ford’s inability to remember where the party was or who was there.


When I went through her accounting of what had happened, I cannot imagine not knowing where you were and who was there and when it happened,” she told The DC.  “I remember everything that had happened to me.  Friends found me immediately after the rape and witnessed the condition I was in.  I remember all the specifics, the exact time it happened, 8:30 in the morning.”


Ford said she can’t remember how she got to the party or who drove her home.

Women do lie about sexual assault, and false accusations of rape and sexual assault are not uncommon in a media obsessed with the mythical “war on women” by conservatives like Judge Kavanaugh.  One need only remember the infamous and false Rolling Stone story about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, the story a key part of the portrayal of an alleged “rape culture” rampant on college campuses.

And then there’s the Duke lacrosse team’s ordeal after being accused of assaulting a stripper at a party, a story pushed by an ambitious prosecutor, Mike Nifong, and a media all too eager to condemn the culture enjoyed by these obvious beneficiaries of “white privilege.”  Three Duke players were falsely accused of assaulting a black girl, and Nifong admitted pursuing the false charges for personal political gain.

We remember what happened to Herman Cain, successful black American businessman and conservative, the Democrats’ worst nightmare.  Out came the accusations against the man who threatened liberal orthodoxy and the liberal power structure, unproven and unprovable allegations of misconduct.  As soon as he abandoned his presidential run, his accusers vanished back into the woodwork from whence they came, their mission accomplished.

Justice may be blind, but it is not brain-dead.  If Ford does not show up to testify and prove her case, a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination should be held.  And maybe we should just accept Juanita Broaddrick’s offer.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

Using the hashtag “#DearProfessorFord,” the “sentence first, trial later” accusers of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been pouring out tweets expressing sympathy for the ordeal of Professor Christine Blasey Ford, the liberal Democrat activist.

They want an FBI investigation of an individual who won’t talk to the FBI of 36-year-old allegations of a drunken party she doesn’t remember the exact date or location of; how she got there; how she got home; who was there; or why, after she allegedly feared for her life, she didn’t even tell her parents.

No sympathy is expressed for Kavanaugh’s wife and two daughters or where he is going to go to get his reputation back.  How about a “Dear Mrs. Kavanaugh” letter expressing regret to her and her daughters for the slime her husband is being dragged through over charges that are less specific than most sightings of Bigfoot?

Bill Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick never got a letter expressing sympathy for her ordeal, nor did any of the other “bimbo eruptions” wife Hillary took care of with scathing attacks and organized threats and harassment.  She has an idea: if Ford does not want to testify, Broaddrick is quite willing to show up and tell the Senate Judiciary Committee just what credible charges of assault look like:

Juanita Broaddrick, whose Twitter profile reads, in part, “rape survivor of Bill Clinton,” has been watching the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh unfold and is surprised by the accuser’s refusal to tell her story.  Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, has yet to accept the invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.  The committee has even offered her concessions and are [sic] willing to speak to her in her home state of California, but still she has not accepted.


Well, Broaddrick said Wednesday that if Ford is not willing to testify about her allegation, she sure is.

She said in a tweet:

Just a thought… If Christine Ford declines to be interviewed Monday… I’m available to answer questions about my Rape by Bill Clinton.

She is disgusted by the double standard that says women who bring forth assault charges should be immediately deemed credible, a standard that seems to apply only to liberal Democrat women, and noted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had absolutely no interest in what she had to say about Bill Clinton assaulting her.  As Broaddrick said on The Ingraham Angle recently:

Oh, it makes me go back to 1999, when Dianne Feinstein, along with every other Democrat, refused to read my deposition to the independent counsel[.] … They would have nothing to do with it.  That shows you the difference in the double standard that existed back then and still does today.

Broaddrick does not accept the psychobabble being expressed in defense of Ford – her alleged trauma and repressed memory.  Ford is not an infant, despite attempts by Democrats to portray her as wounded, scared, and vulnerable.  She is a professional woman, an accomplished professor in liberal academia, who should be quite able to remember and specifically articulate her allegations against Kavanaugh:

One psychologist told the Post that it “may be challenging to recall peripheral details of an assault years later… but that should not detract from a victim’s veracity ‘if she can clearly and consistently articulate central details of what happened, such as the who, what and where.'”


Broaddrick does not agree.  She told the Daily Caller she doesn’t believe the leftist psychology professor, and for the same reason that some do.  Broaddrick “cited Ford’s timing and lack of firm details in her retelling of the account.” …


Of particular note to Broaddrick – who, unlike Ford, told friends about Clinton’s attack right afterward – was Ford’s inability to remember where the party was or who was there.


When I went through her accounting of what had happened, I cannot imagine not knowing where you were and who was there and when it happened,” she told The DC.  “I remember everything that had happened to me.  Friends found me immediately after the rape and witnessed the condition I was in.  I remember all the specifics, the exact time it happened, 8:30 in the morning.”


Ford said she can’t remember how she got to the party or who drove her home.

Women do lie about sexual assault, and false accusations of rape and sexual assault are not uncommon in a media obsessed with the mythical “war on women” by conservatives like Judge Kavanaugh.  One need only remember the infamous and false Rolling Stone story about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, the story a key part of the portrayal of an alleged “rape culture” rampant on college campuses.

And then there’s the Duke lacrosse team’s ordeal after being accused of assaulting a stripper at a party, a story pushed by an ambitious prosecutor, Mike Nifong, and a media all too eager to condemn the culture enjoyed by these obvious beneficiaries of “white privilege.”  Three Duke players were falsely accused of assaulting a black girl, and Nifong admitted pursuing the false charges for personal political gain.

We remember what happened to Herman Cain, successful black American businessman and conservative, the Democrats’ worst nightmare.  Out came the accusations against the man who threatened liberal orthodoxy and the liberal power structure, unproven and unprovable allegations of misconduct.  As soon as he abandoned his presidential run, his accusers vanished back into the woodwork from whence they came, their mission accomplished.

Justice may be blind, but it is not brain-dead.  If Ford does not show up to testify and prove her case, a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination should be held.  And maybe we should just accept Juanita Broaddrick’s offer.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.



Source link

209195.jpg

Whom Will Democrats Nominate in 2020?


Difficult as it may be to believe, the 2020 election is right around the corner.  Candidates began announcing they were running for the 2016 election in the first few months of 2015, so expect candidates for the upcoming presidential election to announce they are running in early 2019.

The Republican primaries are likely to be uneventful.  Donald Trump remains popular among Republicans, so any NeverTrump who runs against him in the primaries won’t pose much of a threat.  The Democratic primaries are another matter.  After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the last election, the Democratic Party has been leaderless, and a definitive frontrunner is yet to emerge.  As of right now, the four most likely candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2020 are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris.

Biden is the most popular of all the potential candidates and would pose the most serious threat to Trump.  Biden could win back the white working class for the Democrats, and the fact that he was vice president under Barack Obama would help him greatly in both the primaries and the general election, since Obama is still very popular among Democrats.  Biden was mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2016 election but announced in October 2015 that he would not run.  Perhaps he didn’t want to divide the establishment wing of the Democratic Party so Clinton would more easily gain the nomination.  With her having lost in 2016 and presumably out of the picture for 2020, maybe Biden will see himself as the logical successor to the establishment Democratic banner and run.

However, he may not receive the nomination.  Biden is a white male in a party that increasingly despises white males and wants to see more diversity in its leadership.  Biden is notorious for his tendency to put his foot in his mouth.  When running for president in 2007, he said of his future running mate, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.  I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”  When campaigning for Obama in 2012, he told a mostly black audience that if Mitt Romney was elected, he would “put y’all back in chains.”  He also said, “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”  When running for president in 1987, he plagiarized a speech from British Labor politician Neil Kinnock, which among other plagiarism revelations led him to drop out of the race.  Biden also has an unfortunate habit of putting his hands on little girls, which has been caught on camera numerous times.  Should he run, Republicans would never stop broadcasting these clips to the public and reminding voters of Biden’s peculiar habits.  And Democrats might not want to nominate Biden in the age of #MeToo.

Sanders is widely popular, especially with young voters.  However, polls show that most Americans are not willing to vote for a socialist.  And he is not universally admired by Democrats.  Many Clinton-supporters blame Sanders for splitting the Democrats in the 2016 primaries.  Sanders-supporters believed (correctly as it turned out) that the primaries were rigged against him, and many were dismayed by his endorsement of Clinton, believing that it was a betrayal of his “political revolution.”  Some Sanders-supporters refused to vote for Clinton, instead voting for Trump, voting for a third-party candidate, or not voting at all.  If Sanders hadn’t run, Clinton-supporters say, Democrats would have been more united in 2016 and would have defeated Trump.  Many Democrats also criticize Sanders for focusing too much on class and not enough on race, sex, or other fashionable progressive causes.  And he is a white male, the worst thing one could possibly be in the eyes of the left. 

Warren is also popular, especially among progressive women.  However, she is unappealing and has no charisma, much like Clinton.  Her appeal and popularity are limited to Democrats, and the Democratic nominee will need independents to defeat Trump in 2020.  She may not motivate nonwhite voters, especially black voters, to come to the polls, as was the case with Clinton in 2016.  Warren is a woman, and Democrats are eager to have a female president, but she is also white, so she may not be diverse enough.  Her race may be an issue in another regard.  Warren, who is originally from Oklahoma, long claimed to have American Indian ancestry.  This was later found to be in vigorous dispute, at the very least.  A party that prides itself on diversity and opposing racism nominating a white person who falsely claimed to be nonwhite is, to use the Democrats’ own terminology, problematic. 

In my opinion, the person most likely to be the Democratic nominee in 2020 is Kamala Harris, a senator from California.  She is a progressive woman “of color” and is therefore perfect to represent the new generation of Democrats.  In contrast to Biden, Sanders, and Warren, all of whom will be in their 70s on November 3, 2020, Harris is young.  Her father is an immigrant from Jamaica, and her mother is an immigrant from India, so the media could portray her as the female Obama.  In fact, there are many similarities between Harris and Obama.  Both are half-black, both spent much of their childhood outside the country (Obama in Indonesia and Harris in Canada), and both are senators from heavily blue states.  Should Harris run, she, like Obama, will face challenges from white establishment Democrats.

Of course, Harris has flaws.  Unlike Obama, she is not very charismatic or well spoken and isn’t as well known as the other possible candidates.  Harris’s conduct during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings was frankly embarrassing, but that might be a plus for Democrats.  She blatantly misrepresented Kavanaugh’s views on birth control and dismissively referred to his pocket Constitution as “that book you carry.”

The Democratic nominee in 2020 will almost certainly be a woman.  We had our first black president, then we almost had our first female president.  Democrats felt that it was time for a woman in the White House, and they are determined to have one.  There is a very good chance that the Democratic nominee will also be nonwhite.  The party seems to be turning against white people.  For the first time, white males are a minority of Democratic nominees for the House.  There is a clear pattern of nonwhites defeating white candidates, both male and female, in Democratic primaries this year.  Stacey Abrams, a black woman, defeated Stacey Evans, a white woman, in the Democratic primary for governor of Georgia.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Hispanic woman, defeated Joe Crowley, a white man, in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District.  Andrew Gillum, a black man, defeated Gwen Graham, a white woman, in the Democratic primary for governor of Florida.  Ayanna Pressley, a black woman, defeated Michael Capuano, a white man, in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District.  It seems that this is the direction the Democratic party is going in, and it will continue to go in this direction during the presidential primaries. 

Thomas O’Malley can be contacted at thomasomalley861@yahoo.com.

Difficult as it may be to believe, the 2020 election is right around the corner.  Candidates began announcing they were running for the 2016 election in the first few months of 2015, so expect candidates for the upcoming presidential election to announce they are running in early 2019.

The Republican primaries are likely to be uneventful.  Donald Trump remains popular among Republicans, so any NeverTrump who runs against him in the primaries won’t pose much of a threat.  The Democratic primaries are another matter.  After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the last election, the Democratic Party has been leaderless, and a definitive frontrunner is yet to emerge.  As of right now, the four most likely candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2020 are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris.

Biden is the most popular of all the potential candidates and would pose the most serious threat to Trump.  Biden could win back the white working class for the Democrats, and the fact that he was vice president under Barack Obama would help him greatly in both the primaries and the general election, since Obama is still very popular among Democrats.  Biden was mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2016 election but announced in October 2015 that he would not run.  Perhaps he didn’t want to divide the establishment wing of the Democratic Party so Clinton would more easily gain the nomination.  With her having lost in 2016 and presumably out of the picture for 2020, maybe Biden will see himself as the logical successor to the establishment Democratic banner and run.

However, he may not receive the nomination.  Biden is a white male in a party that increasingly despises white males and wants to see more diversity in its leadership.  Biden is notorious for his tendency to put his foot in his mouth.  When running for president in 2007, he said of his future running mate, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.  I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”  When campaigning for Obama in 2012, he told a mostly black audience that if Mitt Romney was elected, he would “put y’all back in chains.”  He also said, “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”  When running for president in 1987, he plagiarized a speech from British Labor politician Neil Kinnock, which among other plagiarism revelations led him to drop out of the race.  Biden also has an unfortunate habit of putting his hands on little girls, which has been caught on camera numerous times.  Should he run, Republicans would never stop broadcasting these clips to the public and reminding voters of Biden’s peculiar habits.  And Democrats might not want to nominate Biden in the age of #MeToo.

Sanders is widely popular, especially with young voters.  However, polls show that most Americans are not willing to vote for a socialist.  And he is not universally admired by Democrats.  Many Clinton-supporters blame Sanders for splitting the Democrats in the 2016 primaries.  Sanders-supporters believed (correctly as it turned out) that the primaries were rigged against him, and many were dismayed by his endorsement of Clinton, believing that it was a betrayal of his “political revolution.”  Some Sanders-supporters refused to vote for Clinton, instead voting for Trump, voting for a third-party candidate, or not voting at all.  If Sanders hadn’t run, Clinton-supporters say, Democrats would have been more united in 2016 and would have defeated Trump.  Many Democrats also criticize Sanders for focusing too much on class and not enough on race, sex, or other fashionable progressive causes.  And he is a white male, the worst thing one could possibly be in the eyes of the left. 

Warren is also popular, especially among progressive women.  However, she is unappealing and has no charisma, much like Clinton.  Her appeal and popularity are limited to Democrats, and the Democratic nominee will need independents to defeat Trump in 2020.  She may not motivate nonwhite voters, especially black voters, to come to the polls, as was the case with Clinton in 2016.  Warren is a woman, and Democrats are eager to have a female president, but she is also white, so she may not be diverse enough.  Her race may be an issue in another regard.  Warren, who is originally from Oklahoma, long claimed to have American Indian ancestry.  This was later found to be in vigorous dispute, at the very least.  A party that prides itself on diversity and opposing racism nominating a white person who falsely claimed to be nonwhite is, to use the Democrats’ own terminology, problematic. 

In my opinion, the person most likely to be the Democratic nominee in 2020 is Kamala Harris, a senator from California.  She is a progressive woman “of color” and is therefore perfect to represent the new generation of Democrats.  In contrast to Biden, Sanders, and Warren, all of whom will be in their 70s on November 3, 2020, Harris is young.  Her father is an immigrant from Jamaica, and her mother is an immigrant from India, so the media could portray her as the female Obama.  In fact, there are many similarities between Harris and Obama.  Both are half-black, both spent much of their childhood outside the country (Obama in Indonesia and Harris in Canada), and both are senators from heavily blue states.  Should Harris run, she, like Obama, will face challenges from white establishment Democrats.

Of course, Harris has flaws.  Unlike Obama, she is not very charismatic or well spoken and isn’t as well known as the other possible candidates.  Harris’s conduct during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings was frankly embarrassing, but that might be a plus for Democrats.  She blatantly misrepresented Kavanaugh’s views on birth control and dismissively referred to his pocket Constitution as “that book you carry.”

The Democratic nominee in 2020 will almost certainly be a woman.  We had our first black president, then we almost had our first female president.  Democrats felt that it was time for a woman in the White House, and they are determined to have one.  There is a very good chance that the Democratic nominee will also be nonwhite.  The party seems to be turning against white people.  For the first time, white males are a minority of Democratic nominees for the House.  There is a clear pattern of nonwhites defeating white candidates, both male and female, in Democratic primaries this year.  Stacey Abrams, a black woman, defeated Stacey Evans, a white woman, in the Democratic primary for governor of Georgia.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Hispanic woman, defeated Joe Crowley, a white man, in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District.  Andrew Gillum, a black man, defeated Gwen Graham, a white woman, in the Democratic primary for governor of Florida.  Ayanna Pressley, a black woman, defeated Michael Capuano, a white man, in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District.  It seems that this is the direction the Democratic party is going in, and it will continue to go in this direction during the presidential primaries. 

Thomas O’Malley can be contacted at thomasomalley861@yahoo.com.



Source link

209213.png

The Fiscal Lunacy of Electing Democrats to Congress


On Sep. 7, Barack Obama waded into the midterm elections fray with a speech at the University of Illinois, proclaiming that the good economy we’re currently enjoying actually started under him.  According to Obama, Trump inherited it all.  Be that as it may, what did Obama inherit?

Some will make Obama’s economic inheritance out to have been the worst situation ever.  But actually, the crisis that we faced in Sep.-Oct. of 2008 had already been dealt with by the Bush administration.  Recall that the financial markets were seizing up; we were looking into the abyss, the collapse of capitalism.  Treasury secretary “Hank” Paulson even reportedly knelt before Speaker Pelosi, begging her to usher the $700B TARP through Congress.

Bush, Paulson, and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke stepped into the breach and stopped the hemorrhaging.  By the time of Obama’s inauguration, the markets had reopened, money was flowing again, and disaster had been averted.  So the worst of the crisis had been dealt with before Obama became president.  But don’t tell that to Barry, as he likes to think not only that he is responsible for all the good stuff that came after him, but also that nothing that preceded him was important.

What Obama’s recovery was really about was propping up prices in the stock market and real estate, and in funneling money to his base – e.g., union members.  What Obama’s recovery was not about is government reform.  Because Congress didn’t deal with the underlying causes of the crisis, we’re still vulnerable.

Obama’s recovery, the most anemic since the 1940s, came at one helluva price.  What’s more, America has not yet paid that price and settled accounts.  The Federal Reserve created trillions of dollars through multiple rounds of quantitative easing – i.e., Q.E.  The “unwinding” of the Q.E. asset purchases continues.

More sobering than the Fed’s Q.E. are the unprecedented deficits that Congress ran during the Obama administration.  Even so, in his speech, Obama claims to have cut the deficit “by more than half.”  But in FY2008, the last full fiscal year before Obama became president, the deficit was $458B, which at the time was the largest deficit in history.  Only one of the deficits during Obama’s tenure got below the 2008 figure, and that by only $20B.

So when Obama claims to have cut the deficit by half, he’s talking about cutting it from his own high point, and the high and low deficits under Obama were $1,412B in 2009 and $438B in 2015.  From the high to the low, the deficit was cut by almost 69 percent; that’s nearly $1T.  So the cut in the budget deficit was not just more than one half, but more than two thirds.

However, this improvement did not happen under Speaker Pelosi.  The improvement happened only after the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans took back the House and replaced her.  Pelosi and the Democrats were never able to get the deficit below a trillion dollars.  (One can verify these numbers by looking at Table 1.1 on page 25 of the OMB’s historical tables.)

Over the last two years, Republicans have disappointed on the deficit.  But giving control of the budget back to Democrats at this time would be quite stupid.  That’s because the bill for the Democrats’ deficits under Obama will start coming due on October 1, which is the start of fiscal 2019 and will mark the ten-year anniversary of Pelosi’s first trillion-dollar deficit.

Any ten-year securities sold in 2009 will mature in 2019.  And here’s the thing: most of the public debt is Treasury notes, not bonds, and T-notes have a max term of ten years.  Democrats actually expect voters to put them back in charge of the budget at the exact moment that we start paying back the bulk of the trillion-dollar deficits that they, the Democrats, ran up under Obama.

The federal government will soon be rolling over an unprecedented amount of debt, which will cause the interest rates on those U.S. securities to rise.  Now is long past time for Congress to cut spending, but all you hear from Democrat candidates for Congress is more spending: “free” college, single-payer government health care, and other “free” stuff.

When Nancy Pelosi was campaigning to take control of Congress back in 2006, she touted PAYGO, pay-as-you-go financing meant to keep the deficit from rising.  But her first budget, FY2008, had the largest deficit up to that point; her second deficit was nearly a trillion higher; and trillion-dollar deficits followed.  In the midst of running her $1.4T deficit in 2009, Pelosi shamelessly flogged her fraudulent PAYGO at a House news conference.  Talk about chutzpah.

On June 6 this year at The Hill, we read: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other top Democrats are vowing to abide by fiscally hawkish pay-as-you-go rules if they seize the majority next year, rejecting calls from liberals who feel they’d be an impediment to big legislative gains.”

Also on June 6 at The Nation, we read: “Bold progressivism and ‘pay-go’ fiscal conservatism are mutually exclusive.”

On June 7 at the Washington Post, we read: “If they’re successful in winning back Congress this year and winning the White House next year, it [PAYGO] could seriously hamper their ability to pass progressive legislation.”

On September 4 at The Intercept, we read: “Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has made the public a big promise, vowing to handcuff her party’s progressive ambitions, including in the event that a Democratic president succeeds Donald Trump, by resurrecting the ‘pay-go’ rule that mandates all new spending is offset with budget cuts or tax increases.”

Fret not, my progressive friends: Pelosi’s promise to abide by PAYGO was a lie in 2006, and it’s a lie today.  Voters should remember that in the middle of the Great Recession and a trillion-dollar deficit, Democrats passed a huge new entitlement: Obamacare.  If Democrats really cared about fiscal responsibility, then rather than the easily ignored PAYGO, they’d be urging a balanced budget amendment.

On Sep. 10, former speaker Pelosi told CNN that she feels comfortable with the support she has in the Democrat caucus and that after the midterms, she will again be speaker. Decency would dictate that the person who ushered through the nation’s first trillion-dollar deficit might demur from commenting on smaller deficits run by others, but not Nancy.

If it becomes ever larger in comparison to the economy, the debt will someday become unmanageable and America will have a “debt crisis.”  Leading up to that dreadful day, there’ll be interest rate hikes, which are already underway.  These rate hikes are coming at the very time when we’ll be rolling over more government securities than ever.  Politicians of both parties are responsible for this scary situation, but Democrats are worse.  Democrats belong to the only party that has run trillion-dollar deficits while controlling both the Congress and the presidency.

Rather than a “blue wave,” Democrats need to be spanked in November.  When Democrats told us in 2006 that they would not make the deficit worse and would abide by the constraints of PAYGO, we gave them power, and they made the deficit far worse than it’d ever been.  Now, twelve years later, Democrats again tell us they’ll abide by PAYGO and expect us to put them back in power.  And this, at the very moment the bill for their extravagant borrowing and spending under Obama is starting to come due.  Holders of U.S. securities aren’t like Obama’s General Motors bondholders – they must be paid.

If there’s even a remote possibility that Democrats might retake Congress and again control the budget and spending, real Americans should run to the polls on Election Day and vote Republican.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.

On Sep. 7, Barack Obama waded into the midterm elections fray with a speech at the University of Illinois, proclaiming that the good economy we’re currently enjoying actually started under him.  According to Obama, Trump inherited it all.  Be that as it may, what did Obama inherit?

Some will make Obama’s economic inheritance out to have been the worst situation ever.  But actually, the crisis that we faced in Sep.-Oct. of 2008 had already been dealt with by the Bush administration.  Recall that the financial markets were seizing up; we were looking into the abyss, the collapse of capitalism.  Treasury secretary “Hank” Paulson even reportedly knelt before Speaker Pelosi, begging her to usher the $700B TARP through Congress.

Bush, Paulson, and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke stepped into the breach and stopped the hemorrhaging.  By the time of Obama’s inauguration, the markets had reopened, money was flowing again, and disaster had been averted.  So the worst of the crisis had been dealt with before Obama became president.  But don’t tell that to Barry, as he likes to think not only that he is responsible for all the good stuff that came after him, but also that nothing that preceded him was important.

What Obama’s recovery was really about was propping up prices in the stock market and real estate, and in funneling money to his base – e.g., union members.  What Obama’s recovery was not about is government reform.  Because Congress didn’t deal with the underlying causes of the crisis, we’re still vulnerable.

Obama’s recovery, the most anemic since the 1940s, came at one helluva price.  What’s more, America has not yet paid that price and settled accounts.  The Federal Reserve created trillions of dollars through multiple rounds of quantitative easing – i.e., Q.E.  The “unwinding” of the Q.E. asset purchases continues.

More sobering than the Fed’s Q.E. are the unprecedented deficits that Congress ran during the Obama administration.  Even so, in his speech, Obama claims to have cut the deficit “by more than half.”  But in FY2008, the last full fiscal year before Obama became president, the deficit was $458B, which at the time was the largest deficit in history.  Only one of the deficits during Obama’s tenure got below the 2008 figure, and that by only $20B.

So when Obama claims to have cut the deficit by half, he’s talking about cutting it from his own high point, and the high and low deficits under Obama were $1,412B in 2009 and $438B in 2015.  From the high to the low, the deficit was cut by almost 69 percent; that’s nearly $1T.  So the cut in the budget deficit was not just more than one half, but more than two thirds.

However, this improvement did not happen under Speaker Pelosi.  The improvement happened only after the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans took back the House and replaced her.  Pelosi and the Democrats were never able to get the deficit below a trillion dollars.  (One can verify these numbers by looking at Table 1.1 on page 25 of the OMB’s historical tables.)

Over the last two years, Republicans have disappointed on the deficit.  But giving control of the budget back to Democrats at this time would be quite stupid.  That’s because the bill for the Democrats’ deficits under Obama will start coming due on October 1, which is the start of fiscal 2019 and will mark the ten-year anniversary of Pelosi’s first trillion-dollar deficit.

Any ten-year securities sold in 2009 will mature in 2019.  And here’s the thing: most of the public debt is Treasury notes, not bonds, and T-notes have a max term of ten years.  Democrats actually expect voters to put them back in charge of the budget at the exact moment that we start paying back the bulk of the trillion-dollar deficits that they, the Democrats, ran up under Obama.

The federal government will soon be rolling over an unprecedented amount of debt, which will cause the interest rates on those U.S. securities to rise.  Now is long past time for Congress to cut spending, but all you hear from Democrat candidates for Congress is more spending: “free” college, single-payer government health care, and other “free” stuff.

When Nancy Pelosi was campaigning to take control of Congress back in 2006, she touted PAYGO, pay-as-you-go financing meant to keep the deficit from rising.  But her first budget, FY2008, had the largest deficit up to that point; her second deficit was nearly a trillion higher; and trillion-dollar deficits followed.  In the midst of running her $1.4T deficit in 2009, Pelosi shamelessly flogged her fraudulent PAYGO at a House news conference.  Talk about chutzpah.

On June 6 this year at The Hill, we read: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other top Democrats are vowing to abide by fiscally hawkish pay-as-you-go rules if they seize the majority next year, rejecting calls from liberals who feel they’d be an impediment to big legislative gains.”

Also on June 6 at The Nation, we read: “Bold progressivism and ‘pay-go’ fiscal conservatism are mutually exclusive.”

On June 7 at the Washington Post, we read: “If they’re successful in winning back Congress this year and winning the White House next year, it [PAYGO] could seriously hamper their ability to pass progressive legislation.”

On September 4 at The Intercept, we read: “Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has made the public a big promise, vowing to handcuff her party’s progressive ambitions, including in the event that a Democratic president succeeds Donald Trump, by resurrecting the ‘pay-go’ rule that mandates all new spending is offset with budget cuts or tax increases.”

Fret not, my progressive friends: Pelosi’s promise to abide by PAYGO was a lie in 2006, and it’s a lie today.  Voters should remember that in the middle of the Great Recession and a trillion-dollar deficit, Democrats passed a huge new entitlement: Obamacare.  If Democrats really cared about fiscal responsibility, then rather than the easily ignored PAYGO, they’d be urging a balanced budget amendment.

On Sep. 10, former speaker Pelosi told CNN that she feels comfortable with the support she has in the Democrat caucus and that after the midterms, she will again be speaker. Decency would dictate that the person who ushered through the nation’s first trillion-dollar deficit might demur from commenting on smaller deficits run by others, but not Nancy.

If it becomes ever larger in comparison to the economy, the debt will someday become unmanageable and America will have a “debt crisis.”  Leading up to that dreadful day, there’ll be interest rate hikes, which are already underway.  These rate hikes are coming at the very time when we’ll be rolling over more government securities than ever.  Politicians of both parties are responsible for this scary situation, but Democrats are worse.  Democrats belong to the only party that has run trillion-dollar deficits while controlling both the Congress and the presidency.

Rather than a “blue wave,” Democrats need to be spanked in November.  When Democrats told us in 2006 that they would not make the deficit worse and would abide by the constraints of PAYGO, we gave them power, and they made the deficit far worse than it’d ever been.  Now, twelve years later, Democrats again tell us they’ll abide by PAYGO and expect us to put them back in power.  And this, at the very moment the bill for their extravagant borrowing and spending under Obama is starting to come due.  Holders of U.S. securities aren’t like Obama’s General Motors bondholders – they must be paid.

If there’s even a remote possibility that Democrats might retake Congress and again control the budget and spending, real Americans should run to the polls on Election Day and vote Republican.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.



Source link

209184.jpg

Wars, Patriots, and Traitors: Recalling Korea and Vietnam


I was released from the Army reserve in January 1961, having served in Korea during the war. The timing was lucky for me, but not for the next generation of draft-age men because it was the year that a simmering stew in Vietnam was boiling over into warfare. This time. it was against the Communists under Ho Chi Minh, based in Hanoi. The conflict in Vietnam is a sordid tale of political plots and maneuvers, backstabbing, fall-guys, and the murder by insiders of South Vietnamese anti-communist leader, Ngo Dinh Diem. To identify the perpetrators of this bloody war that took the lives of more than 58,000 of our young men would require two fingers – one pointing to Moscow, the other to Washington. Whether President Lyndon B. Johnson (“LBJ”) was a culpable agent in this military holocaust, something historians were too eager to prove, the fact remains that the Vietnam War was America’s most unpopular war. It ignited protests and demonstrations not witnessed since the Civil War. Men burned draft cards and fled to Canada to escape the draft.

Open defiance by draft-dodgers in the performance of duty to country was something that I and my generation could not justify. In our world, such flagrant disrespect for the law was inexcusable – not because we could be sent to jail if we refused to heed the draft call, and not whether it was fact or fiction that we were pawns in games of chess played by power-hungry rulers. The draft call was obeyed because serving one’s country was the right thing to do – as was serving one’s family and serving God.

This authentic American morality [1] was echoed in a comment on war movies, made some years ago by Clyde N. Wilson. A good war film, he said, “shows Americans coming together to sacrifice their lives for their country. For their country: because it is…the right thing to do.” [Emphasis added.]

LeRoy Eaton, a fellow Korean War veteran, put it this way: “No sane person wants to go to war. But the war happened and…so it was our job to go to Korea. That was pretty much how we felt…We knew what was expected of us and hoped that we were able to give what was asked. Most of us went to Korea for ‘Honor and Country’…I grew up to believe that a person who fails or refuses his country is called a traitor… Most others at that time thought like I did. They went to Korea to do as their country asked without complaining.”

The honorable action displayed by the vast majority of military service members rests on the bedrock of this genuine morality, fast against the erratic currents of passion and politics. Though it was not clear to me at the time, the split in loyalties in America initiated by the Left, in tandem with violent demonstrations by ignorant social rebels seizing every opportunity to turn the country on its head for outrageous claims to “a better world,” “a better life,” would be the beginning of America’s social revolution. Sober reflection on the rebels’ claims revealed that they came straight out of communist dogma and instructions for revolutionary maneuver and takeover. The rebels had friends in the news media [2].

The most damning commentary of this period is that while GIs were dying in Vietnam, tens of thousands of their peers were “rocking” in Woodstock, high on drugs and deep in debauchery – a shameful episode in American history that has been celebrated by the mainstream press.

Night after night, in fact, Americans got front-row seats to gruesome battle scenes on television. TV news outdid anything shown in horror movies. These you-are-there, graphic, in-your-face “reports” departed radically from the matter-of-fact TV coverage of the Korean war or the sober radio and film broadcasts of World War II. The horrid scenes, dripping with morbid commentary, were sickening not because they showed that war is hell (ask any war veteran) – a cinch to point out in a short clip or two – but because the constant delivery of bloody war scenes into every home, with politically-barbed words, was obviously calculated to saturate one’s head with the idea that war – any war – is unjustified. Anti-war editorializing in the news served to indoctrinate the public, a violation of a reporter’s duty to keep one’s opinions out of the news. Although this may seem strange to a great many reporters today, a journalist worth the title still presents the available facts, free as possible of personal or political bias. The valid reporter leaves commentary and opinion to the viewer/reader and to editorial columns and commentary sections of the news media. I can hear howls of laughter. Those who don’t know that opinion and news are not synonymous have an enormous lesson to learn.

In one sound bite: Love of fellow human beings, love of family and country, love of freedom of mind and person are what motivate men and women to stand against traitors of civilized order and freedom.


[1] Judeo-Christian morality, to be specific, is the morality that the United States was founded upon – its heart heart and marrow of culture and supporting laws – a fact despised by the Left.

[2] The Soviet Union provided $1 billion to the US anti-war movement. This was an enormous sum in the 1960s.

Image credit: Manh Hai, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

I was released from the Army reserve in January 1961, having served in Korea during the war. The timing was lucky for me, but not for the next generation of draft-age men because it was the year that a simmering stew in Vietnam was boiling over into warfare. This time. it was against the Communists under Ho Chi Minh, based in Hanoi. The conflict in Vietnam is a sordid tale of political plots and maneuvers, backstabbing, fall-guys, and the murder by insiders of South Vietnamese anti-communist leader, Ngo Dinh Diem. To identify the perpetrators of this bloody war that took the lives of more than 58,000 of our young men would require two fingers – one pointing to Moscow, the other to Washington. Whether President Lyndon B. Johnson (“LBJ”) was a culpable agent in this military holocaust, something historians were too eager to prove, the fact remains that the Vietnam War was America’s most unpopular war. It ignited protests and demonstrations not witnessed since the Civil War. Men burned draft cards and fled to Canada to escape the draft.

Open defiance by draft-dodgers in the performance of duty to country was something that I and my generation could not justify. In our world, such flagrant disrespect for the law was inexcusable – not because we could be sent to jail if we refused to heed the draft call, and not whether it was fact or fiction that we were pawns in games of chess played by power-hungry rulers. The draft call was obeyed because serving one’s country was the right thing to do – as was serving one’s family and serving God.

This authentic American morality [1] was echoed in a comment on war movies, made some years ago by Clyde N. Wilson. A good war film, he said, “shows Americans coming together to sacrifice their lives for their country. For their country: because it is…the right thing to do.” [Emphasis added.]

LeRoy Eaton, a fellow Korean War veteran, put it this way: “No sane person wants to go to war. But the war happened and…so it was our job to go to Korea. That was pretty much how we felt…We knew what was expected of us and hoped that we were able to give what was asked. Most of us went to Korea for ‘Honor and Country’…I grew up to believe that a person who fails or refuses his country is called a traitor… Most others at that time thought like I did. They went to Korea to do as their country asked without complaining.”

The honorable action displayed by the vast majority of military service members rests on the bedrock of this genuine morality, fast against the erratic currents of passion and politics. Though it was not clear to me at the time, the split in loyalties in America initiated by the Left, in tandem with violent demonstrations by ignorant social rebels seizing every opportunity to turn the country on its head for outrageous claims to “a better world,” “a better life,” would be the beginning of America’s social revolution. Sober reflection on the rebels’ claims revealed that they came straight out of communist dogma and instructions for revolutionary maneuver and takeover. The rebels had friends in the news media [2].

The most damning commentary of this period is that while GIs were dying in Vietnam, tens of thousands of their peers were “rocking” in Woodstock, high on drugs and deep in debauchery – a shameful episode in American history that has been celebrated by the mainstream press.

Night after night, in fact, Americans got front-row seats to gruesome battle scenes on television. TV news outdid anything shown in horror movies. These you-are-there, graphic, in-your-face “reports” departed radically from the matter-of-fact TV coverage of the Korean war or the sober radio and film broadcasts of World War II. The horrid scenes, dripping with morbid commentary, were sickening not because they showed that war is hell (ask any war veteran) – a cinch to point out in a short clip or two – but because the constant delivery of bloody war scenes into every home, with politically-barbed words, was obviously calculated to saturate one’s head with the idea that war – any war – is unjustified. Anti-war editorializing in the news served to indoctrinate the public, a violation of a reporter’s duty to keep one’s opinions out of the news. Although this may seem strange to a great many reporters today, a journalist worth the title still presents the available facts, free as possible of personal or political bias. The valid reporter leaves commentary and opinion to the viewer/reader and to editorial columns and commentary sections of the news media. I can hear howls of laughter. Those who don’t know that opinion and news are not synonymous have an enormous lesson to learn.

In one sound bite: Love of fellow human beings, love of family and country, love of freedom of mind and person are what motivate men and women to stand against traitors of civilized order and freedom.


[1] Judeo-Christian morality, to be specific, is the morality that the United States was founded upon – its heart heart and marrow of culture and supporting laws – a fact despised by the Left.

[2] The Soviet Union provided $1 billion to the US anti-war movement. This was an enormous sum in the 1960s.

Image credit: Manh Hai, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.



Source link

Sunspot_Solar_Observatory_reopens_0_55881646_ver1.0_1280_720.jpg

UPDATE: Child porn probe triggered mysterious closure of solar facility…




A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.

The source of child pornography was traced to an IP address used at the observatory and a source within the building observed a computer with “not good” images on it, the warrant states.

An investigation by the FBI revealed that a janitor is the main suspect in the search, however he has not been charged with a crime even though his name is on the warrant.

The warrant states the suspect would use the observatory Wifi and a personal laptop to download the child pornography. 

A limited number of people have access to the observatory from dusk until dawn, which helped narrow their search.

The observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico had been closed since Sept. 6 because of an undisclosed security concern, but reopened on Monday.



Source link

hr_china_final4-h_2018.jpg

Chinese Star Missing; Hollywood Spooked…


With Fan Bingbing accused of tax fraud, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ failing to land a Chinese release and film stocks plummeting, president Xi Jinping’s crackdown on “money worship” is reshaping the country’s cultural landscape: “The government is going to make examples out of a lot of high-profile people.”

On Sept. 16, filmmaker Jia Zhangke unveiled his epic drama Ash Is Purest White in Beijing, days ahead of its wide release in China. Noticeably missing from the movie was a scene featuring director and sometime actor Feng Xiaogang. Just four months earlier, Feng and frequent collaborator Fan Bingbing had been front and center when the film made its world premiere in Cannes, with Feng gracing the poster and Fan, who is not in the drama, walking the red carpet as something of an ambassador given her status as China’s biggest female star.

Now, Fan and Feng are missing in action, believed to be the targets of a Chinese government crackdown on celebrity tax evaders. That has sent shock waves throughout China and all the way to Hollywood, where such projects as Universal’s ensemble female spy pic 355 — featuring Jessica Chastain as star and producer — hang in limbo.

And Fan and Feng’s legal predicaments aren’t the only red flags spooking Hollywood. A wave of aggressive action by Beijing regulators the past year suggests that Chinese President Xi Jinping is tightening his grip on the country’s cultural sector. Warner Bros., among those affected, has all but conceded that Crazy Rich Asians will not receive a China release, making it doubtful the potential sequel, based on author Kevin Kwan’s follow-up novel, China Rich Girlfriend, will shoot in the nation. The crackdown has left U.S. studios and agencies more uncertain than ever of their footing in the massive China market.

“The government is going to make examples out of a lot of high-profile people who’ve made a lot of money and spent a lot of time in the West, because that’s not what a good Chinese citizen does,” says a U.S. producer who works frequently in China.

Fan, whose CAA agents have not heard from her since she disappeared from public view in June, is one of those people. The 37-year-old actress’ troubles began with her involvement in a widely publicized tax evasion scandal in May when her so-called “yin-yang” contract for Cell Phone 2, the upcoming sequel to a hit Feng film from 2003, was posted on social media (the leaked contract indicated that Fan tried to claim $1.6 million for four days of work on the film when her actual pay totaled an additional $7.8 million).

Two sources familiar with the situation say Fan hasn’t been imprisoned but that’s the expectation, with authorities using her vertiginous fall from grace to send a strong signal to stars and studios to put greater emphasis on toeing the party line rather than pursuing personal enrichment. On May 24, the government also announced an investigation into widespread tax fraud in the film business, which sent share prices of many publicly traded Chinese film studios tumbling (most have yet to fully recover). Huayi Brothers Media, with its numerous Hollywood tentacles that include a $250 million majority investment in the Russo brothers’ Agbo, has been hit the hardest — its stock is off 38 percent since the announcement. Similarly, Beijing Enlight Media is down 36 percent, while Alibaba Pictures Group has declined 19 percent.

The situation with Fan puts CAA in an awkward position. The agency has funneled millions into its China Motion Picture Group, which is run by Wei Hao and Daniel Manwaring (Fan and Feng’s agent), and has built its roster to include Jackie Chan, Donnie Ye and Zhang Yimou. When CAA promoted Hao, the Sept. 12 news release made no mention of Fan as a client. CAA declined comment for this story.

As a result of Fan’s tax woes, the Simon Kinberg-helmed 355‘s financing will likely have to be restructured. In Cannes, Huayi spent $20 million for Chinese distribution rights even though there was little interest from other distributors at the time (CAA negotiated the U.S. and China distribution component of the deal). “Fan would play a spy from China cooperating with Western spies. That would probably never get a release in China,” says a source who considered the property at the time. Production isn’t expected to begin until 2019, and Universal, which paid $20 million for domestic rights, will have the right to walk away if it doesn’t approve of Fan’s replacement.

Meanwhile, Crazy Rich Asians may have captured the cultural zeitgeist in the U.S., but its timing couldn’t have been worse in China, with Communist Party officials berating the country’s stars for encouraging “money worship” among the youth. China Rich Girlfriend, which is primarily set among Shanghai’s one-percenters, will almost certainly run into trouble if it tries to shoot in China.

“There are sensitivities, to be certain. The key to navigating China is paying careful attention to those sensitivities,” says Millennium Films president Jeffrey Greenstein, who has secured a China release for an average of two films a year — including London Has Fallen and all three Expendables movies — for the past five years. “Potential land mines are anything sensitive to the Chinese culture, anything politically oriented. Even things pertaining to Chinese allies like Russia and North Korea.”

Those sensitivities were on display when China nixed Disney’s Christopher Robin from getting a release in the country. A source pinned the blame on the country’s crusade against images of the Winnie the Pooh character — a central character in the film — who has become a symbol of the resistance with foes of the ruling Communist Party. The only other Disney film this year to receive a no from China was A Wrinkle in Time. Even HBO, which doesn’t have a service inside China (its content is licensed locally by Tencent), felt the displeasure of the Chinese this summer in the wake of John Oliver mocking Xi on his Last Week Tonight, poking fun at the president’s resemblance to Winnie the Pooh. Oliver was promptly scrubbed from the internet in China, and the HBO website was taken offline there and remains so to this day.

Elsewhere, China’s investment spree in Hollywood appears to be dead. Dalian Wanda Group kickstarted the former frenzy with its $2.6 billion acquisition of AMC Entertainment in 2012. Billions of dollars worth of yuan soon flowed East, with Chinese firms large and small pouring capital into slate-financing deals and high-priced Hollywood acquisitions. But Sept. 14, Wanda, already shrunken and battered by regulatory action during the preceding year, signaled a full retreat, selling off a third of its stake in AMC — widely considered one of the most valuable U.S. movie assets China had acquired — for $421 million.

Making matters worse for Hollywood is President Trump’s tough stance on trade with China. Absent a trade war, China likely would have revised the quota upwards and allowed more Hollywood films into the marketplace this year, simply because the country is feeling newly confident in the domestic industry’s ability to compete for market share. During the first eight months of this year, China’s box-office revenue for imported foreign films — the vast majority of which are Hollywood blockbusters — fell 18.1 percent, year over year. If the downward trend continues for the final third of the year, 2018 will mark the first time in more than a decade that Hollywood hasn’t notched a full year of robust growth in the world’s most populous nation. This is particularly notable given that the studios are having a strong year at the North American box office. Instead, the old quota has remained in place, and it’s entirely possible that Beijing will crack down on the highly visible import of Hollywood films if the trade war continues to escalate.

But Cristal Pictures president Scott Einbinder, whose L.A.-based production and finance company is backed by China’s East Light Film Co., says there is still plenty of opportunity in the Middle Kingdom. He pointed to the success of summer shark hit The Meg, which was co-financed by China’s Gravity Pictures and earned $153 million of its $507 million worldwide haul in that country, as an example of striking the right balance.

“There’s still a lot of potential upside in doing business in China. But everybody doing business there has to be cautious and has to have an eye on what’s going on geopolitically around the world in order to understand how to make movies in China,” says Einbinder, whose debut film, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, was a hit here and in China. “Anyone who doesn’t is being naïve.” 

Ultimately, being on top in China might not be desirable. Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin was China’s richest man, and Fan was China’s highest-paid actress. Both have been cut down to size by Beijing in the past year, sending a stark reminder of who’s really No. 1 in the world’s most populous nation: the Communist Party of China.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.



Source link