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Showing posts from April, 2016

Is Islam so fragile that those who reject it must be killed?

Guardian:
There is an eerie feeling out on the streets of Bangladesh. To some of the city’s academics, activists and gay community, Dhaka now feels more dangerous than a war zone, after a spate of machete attacks by Islamist groups, including the murder last week of the founder of Bangladesh’s first magazine for the gay community.

At least 16 people have died in such attacks in the past three years, among them six secular bloggers, two university professors, an Italian priest, two other foreigners working in the development sector, and a prominent gay activist.

On Saturday a Hindu man, Nikhil Joarder, was hacked to death in the district of Tangail, central Bangladesh, with police suggesting his killing might be connected to a 2012 complaint claiming that he had made comments against the prophet Muhammad.
... There is something about this religion that its followers feel compelled to murder anyone who disagrees with their weird beliefs.   Freedom of thought and worship is a stranger in th…

Man helping Cruz round up delegates, will not run for governor

Washington Post:
Ken Cuccinelli says he will not run for Virginia governor in 2017

The move by the former state attorney general helps clear the field for Ed Gillespie, the longtime GOP strategist and former White House counsel who is preparing to campaign for the office. Cuccinelli has done an outstanding job helping Ted Cruz put together an unmatched delegate selection process across the country.   He was also a goo Attorney General in Virginia.  He is a talented guy who has a future in Republican administrations.  Gillespie ran a surprisingly strong effort against the current governor.

Few interested in having to defend Trump

NY Times:
Share a Ticket With Trump? Many in G.O.P. Say No Thanks
The recoiling amounts to a rare, public rebuke. Politicians usually signal that they are not interested through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles. Trump says so many indefensible things and is so unscripted that it is not surprising  that there is a lack of interest in being on a ticket with him.  There is also the problem of being on a career killing ticket likely to lose in a landslide.

Cruz could get all 155 GOP delegates from Texas

AP/Miami Herald:
If Ted Cruz can prevail in Indiana and keep alive his slim hope of denying Donald Trump enough delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination outright, Texas' full slate of delegates will be poised to help him become the party's White House contender.

Cruz won 104 of his home state's 155 GOP delegates in the March 1 primary, but his supporters should so dominate the delegation of Texans attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July that all would likely back him if a multi-round floor fight breaks out.

"I don't know if all of them will be, but I can tell you that a very large majority will be" Cruz supporters, said Eric Opiela, the Republican Party of Texas' assistant general counsel, who hasn't endorsed any presidential candidate.
... There is more.

This is another case of Cruz's superior organization skills overwhelming Trump at a state convention.

Anti Trump crowd tries to block his entrance to convention

CNN:
Demonstrators storm California GOP convention to protest Trump
Ted Cruz was critical of the demonstrators who tried to block Trump from speaking.
...
"The First Amendment protects everyone's right to speak. But you don't have a right to threaten violence, you don't have a right to shout down others, and these protesters appear to be trying to use violence and threats. These are the strategies of MoveOn.org, of the left wing agitators, who try to silence a voice they don't like. If you disagree with a particular voice, the way to deal with it is with civil discourse, with respectful discourse. You know, when I have protesters that's how I deal with the protesters. Not inciting violence, not shouting people down, but engaging in civil discourse. And I think - to the extent these protesters are crossing the line to violence, and I haven't seen much of the coverage today but my understanding is things have gotten pretty ugly out there - uh that is not appro…

New York values?

NY Post:
Pipeline-killing Cuomo plainly doesn’t care about New York jobs New York politicians sell out the people to Big Green and anti-energy left.  Cuomo tries to appease Th carbon phobic left.

Democrats continue to push bad faith claimes against voter ID in Texas

NY Times:
Justices Leave Texas Voter ID Law Intact, With a Warning
The Supreme Court said it might intercede if a federal appeals court in New Orleans did not act promptly on a challenge to the law. A similar law in North Carolina was just upheld.  The overwhelming majority of vote fraud cases involve Democrats.  They see the Voter ID as an impediment to their schemes.  Their arguments are an insult to the intelligence and ability of Hispanics and other minorities.  I vote in a very diverse precinct in Texas and I have never seen anyone have a problem in voting whether old or young, black, white or Hispanic.

One of the ways Democrats used to pad their numbers was to have bogus registrations with people giving addresses for vacant lots or buildings.  Without a voter ID, they could send someone in to vote for the bogus registered "voter."  They have taken a bit of a different approach since the voter ID laws went into effect, actually paying people to go vote for their candidat…

Trump thinks he can win with a fraction of GOP?

NY Times:
Mocking Critics, Trump Says G.O.P. Unity Isn’t Necessary
After walking through a field to avoid protesters, Donald J. Trump spoke at a meeting of Republicans in California and showed little conviction on the need to unify the Republican Party. The chances of him winning are pretty remote and they become even more so as he continues to alienate Republican voters.  He seems content with support from mostly white men.  He has a small fraction of support from Hispanics--less than 15 percent.  Fewer than 30 percent of women voters support him.  He needs to make a call to his building engineers who understand math to explain to him how unlikely he is to win with such a narrow base of support.  It is like trying to build a skyscraper without an adequate supply of steel.

The negative fallout from Target's embrace of leftist toilet tyranny

Caleb Howe:
TARGET STOCK IN TOILET: Boycott Passes 1 Million As Corporate Losses Pass $2.5 BILLION! The stock price is down some and the boycott threat is growing and not abating.  There is a cost that comes when companies embrace left wing agendas.

Ted Cruz's double digit lead in Indiana

The Hill:
Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump by double digits in a new poll of Indiana, which hosts the next contest in the GOP presidential primary on Tuesday.

The Texas senator leads the real estate mogul 45 percent to 29 percent among registered voters, according to a poll by the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich trails in third place, with 13 percent, and 13 percent are undecided.  The results of the poll are at odds with other recent surveys that show Trump in the lead.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls finds Trump with a 5-point advantage over Cruz.

“This is good news for Cruz, but the volatility of the electorate means all campaigns should view these results cautiously,” pollster Andrew Downs said in a statement.

In the past week, Kasich has said he won't campaign in Indiana as part of an agreement with Cruz to stop Trump from winning enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the Republican National Convention in July.

On Wednesday, Cruz ann…

Media inflating Trump's delegate totals?

Susan Wright:
In this reality TV presidential race, all media should be looked at with some measure of skepticism. There is no single news outlet that can be viewed as absolutely trustworthy, it would seem.

That’s the claim of Senator Ted Cruz, who says the media are inflating Donald Trump’s actual delegate count.

“The AP’s numbers are bogus,” Cruz said. “Because what they’ve done is they’ve given all of the unbound delegates in Pennsylvania to Donald Trump. Those delegates are not his. That’s just reporters who want to run up his total. If you actually look at the bound delegates, Donald has about 50 fewer.”
Cruz’s claim is based on the delegate tracker used by outlets like the AP and the Washington Examiner, which he feels is untrustworthy.
... Ted Cruz seems to have a better grasp of the delegate situation and probably knows better which delegates he can count on.  He does keep surprising the media and Trump at the conventions doing the selections.

Cruz hits Trump's embrace of the toilet tyranny of the left

NY Times:
Ted Cruz, Attacking Donald Trump, Uses Transgender Bathroom Access as Cudgel Campaigning in Indiana, which is all but a last stand for Mr. Cruz, he has seized on a once-obscure issue with a proven power to inflame conservatives. The left's war against normalcy is in the crapper.   Trump seems alright with the acceptance of deviancy regardless of the consequences.  It may be the builder instincts of Trump that has led him to accept this rather than go to the expense of creating a third toilet space.

The down ballot Trump problem

NY Times:
Wary of Trump Effect, Republicans Hope for Split Tickets
Senators running in swing states need voters who reject Donald J. Trump to nonetheless pull the levers for the party’s other candidates. For this strategy to work, they will need to demonstrate an ability to block Trump or Clinton's  agenda items that are unacceptable to voters.  That means they will have to forcibly oppose both candidates agendas.  It also means fewer straight party voters.  Since I find neither Trump or Clinton acceptable this is what I will have to do unless Cruz becomes the GOP nominee.  I will do it to block the evils of liberalism as embodied by the modern Democrat party.

Another reason why the Obama economy is in the doldrums

Washington Examiner:
Ryan says Obama labor policy having 'chilling effect' on economy

...
The agency that Ryan was referring to is the Labor Department, which under Secretary Tom Perez has implemented a new rule intended to force businesses to pay more overtime by limiting the number of employees who can be exempted from the requirement. Perez also has announced that the agency will crack down on conflicts of interest in retirement financial advising by increasing brokers' legal liability. In January, the department also issued a new interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act that said that an employer can be liable for paying lost wages to another company's workers if the department determines that the company has "indirect" control over the workers.
... This is how the evils of liberalism infest the economy and makes it harder to make rational business decisions.  It actually hurts job creation in the name of "helping" the workers.

The desperation of the GOP establishment

Erick Erickson:
The Winds Appear to Have Shifted In Ted Cruz’s Favor

...
First, John Boehner had a complete and utter meltdown about Ted Cruz yesterday. He referred to Cruz as both an S.O.B. and Lucifer. Then Peter King, the noxious congressman from New York, came out and declared Cruz worse than the devil. He was followed up by former senator Judd Gregg who declared he would rather Trump than Cruz, even though he is a Kasich guy.

The fact that the Washington Establishment is now coming out so forcefully against Ted Cruz suggests they know Indiana is trending in Cruz’s direction. In fact, more polling out of Indiana suggests just that. Cruz had been behind and the latest polling has the race tied.
...
Sources close to the Cruz campaign tell me the trends have been in the right direction for them and all these data points tell me the Cruz campaign is not the only group seeing it. The collective freak out over Cruz yesterday — a man with supposedly no shot anymore who can safely be ignor…

Trump lacks the intellect or the character for the job of President

Leon Wolf:
...
It’s his personality traits – traits that are visible at a first, lazy glance – that make us recoil in horror at the idea of Donald Trump actually occupying the office of the Presidency. It’s his laziness when it comes to learning about the details of the job he wants to hold. It’s his pathological insecurity and vanity (which are two sides of the same coin) which would make him a dangerously erratic commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It’s his repeated egregious failures in character assessment which would make him a terrible person to put in charge of staffing the executive department. It’s his demonstrated willingness to abuse power for the sake of his own petty vengeances – which is horrifying to contemplate for someone who desires the office of the Presidency.

Before we get to the fact that Trump has no ideological core (and what core he does have is mostly liberal), we cannot get past the fact that if you spend five minutes listening to him, it becomes really,…

Europe still too dependent on Russia for gas and Obama administration too slow on exports

Fuel Fix:
Europe remains overly dependent on Russia for their energy supply and need to establish a steady natural gas supply from the United States and other countries, U.S. and European diplomatic officials said Thursday.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened last year to cut off a major pipeline running through Ukraine, officials from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia said their countries had been working to get the import terminals and other infrastructure built to shift away from Russia.

“We are small. We are very much industrialized, with not a lot of energy resources,” Jan Kuderjavy, director of economic diplomacy in the Slovak Republic, said during a forum at the Atlantic Council Thursday. “Energy diversity is very dear to us and were trying to find a solution.”

With a glut of natural gas in the United States, producers in shale fields across Texas and Pennsylvania are eager to begin selling in Europe where Russia, the world’s largest gas exporter, has l…

Trump's self contradictory statement on the use of nuclear weapons

Washington Times:
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday again refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, saying he will not be a “happy trigger” but that he wants to have an element of unpredictability.

“I don’t want to rule out anything,” Mr. Trumpsaid on NBC’s “Today” program. “I will be the last to use nuclear weapons. It’s a horror to use nuclear weapons. The power of weaponry today is the single greatest problem that our world has, and it’s not global warming like our president said. It’s the power of weapons, in particular nuclear.”

“I will be the last to use it. I will not be a happy trigger like some people might be. I will be the last,” he said. “But I will never, ever rule it out.”

Mr. Trump said one of the tenets of his foreign policy speech Wednesday is that “we need unpredictability.”
... It takes a sloppy and weak mind to be this incoherent.  He says he wants unpredictability and then says he will no…

Science disproves the fracking phobia of the left

Daily Caller:
Another Study Shows Fracking Isn’t Poisoning America’s Water It is funny how the left ignores science when it goes against them.  Wells have been fracked for decades and it just has not been a problem of water contamination.   What the anti-frackers really want is to take the US back to the stone age and raise the cost of energy to the poor.

India using lasers to stop border crossings from Pakistan

NBC News:
After experimenting with barbed wire, surveillance cameras and even cowbells and camels, India has now reportedly introduced "laser walls" at its border with archenemy Pakistan.

One of the world's most dangerous nuclear flashpoints, the India-Pakistan border is also among the most militarized.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad deploy more than half of their 1 million and 600,000-strong armies, respectively, on the border.

India is setting up the laser walls to "plug the porous riverine and treacherous terrain and keep an effective vigil against intruders and terrorists" in Punjab state, the state-run Press Trust of India reported.
... The lasers appear to be more of an early warning system than a weapon.  They may be effective in rugged terrain.  They might also be effective for perimeter defense of combat troops.

Some family members of Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino arrested

Washington Post:
FBI arrests brother and other relatives of San Bernardino attacker

Authorities in California arrested three people on Thursday with ties to one of the San Bernardino attackers, charging them with lying under oath and participating in a fraudulent marriage. The man who bought the weapons used in the attack has been held.  He allegedly is also the one who admitted to a fraudulent marriage to the sister of the terrorist's brother.

Truth remains a stranger to guy who calls people a liar

Washington Post:
Fact Checker: Trump’s repeats eight falsehoods in 16 hours He is a guy who is at best careless in the things he says that just are not so.

A promise Trump is unlikely to keep

NY Times:
Donald Trump, Laying Out Foreign Policy, Promises Coherence “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy, based on American interests and the shared interests of our allies,” Mr. Trump pledged. For a guy who has run one of the most incoherent campaigns in modern history, this promise looks like a stretch.  He has a tendency to just throw something out there and then when people raise obvious objections he backtracks, such as his push for nuclear proliferation in East Asia.  His is for leaving ISIL alone or letting the Russians fight them before he decides that maybe we should wipe them out.  The incoherence could fill many pages.

Trump rejects acting 'Presidential'

Norway to block 'preachers of hate'

Local:
Norway’s Ministry of Justice announced on Wednesday that it would take a hard look at rules regulating the entry and residency of so-called ‘hate preachers’.

Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug told Aftenposten that ministry officials would review the regulations for residence permits issued to imams, religious leaders and preachers.

The move comes after Aftenposten reported on Monday that the Salafist organization Islam Net invited several highly controversial preachers to its annual conference last month.

“It is unacceptable that religious organizations in Norway invite people to Norway who undermine Norwegian values,” Listhaug said.

The minister said that while she believes in the right to express one’s opinions, she wants to thwart the emergence of radical religious groups in Norway that advocate what she called antisocial viewpoints.
... Radical Islamists should be banned from entry into any country.  They spread their disease among followers who then go on to commit ha…

Trump is not a popular choice

Bob Knowles:
...
Trump hasn’t won 50 percent of the vote. That’s simply a fact. His running average over the course of the first 34 states (plus D.C.) to vote in primaries or caucuses is 34.8 percent. This means that a full 65.2 percent of Republican voters said no to Trump. That’s two thirds. Don’t trust me though. Google the numbers, crunch them as I did, and see for yourself.

Of the approximately 22.93 million Americans who have cast their votes in primaries and caucuses thus far in 2016, 14.98 million have voted for someone other than Donald Trump, while just 7.9 million have voted for Trump.

Of the 14.9 million who didn’t vote Trump, 6.39 million voted for Ted Cruz 97%. That’s 27.9 percent.

Trump constantly complains about the “rigged” system, yet when state delegate allocation rules give him the advantage, he doesn’t seem to mind. Take Wisconsin, Texas, and New York for example.

In Texas, Wisconsin, and New York, Ted Cruz 97% garnered a total of 1,896,650 votes. In those same …

When Trump loses...

Leon Wolf:
If Trump Loses in November, Don’t Blame #NeverTrump for Keeping Their Word

My colleague Dan McLaughlin has a fine article from earlier today about how the very people who have propped up Trump for months are already preparing for the backlash for when he suffers an inevitable landslide loss in November. Rather than blaming themselves for foisting a crappy candidate upon a clearly unwilling party, they have instead chosen, bizarrely, to blame people who have clearly declared from day one that they would not vote for Trump, not even against Hillary Clinton.

The only reason I can figure that they are pursuing this insane tack is that they are puzzled to find people who behave in a manner that is different from that of their man-god Donald Trump. See, Trump says all sorts of crazy things all the time and then takes them back later when he realizes they are untenable; whether his signature promise to deport 11 million illegal immigrants or his promise to pay off the national debt…

The American push for the European Union

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover It was not just the Truman administration who pushed the idea.  Eisenhower  saw NATO and the EU as a means to stop another world war and provide a cohesive defense against Soviet aggression.  He was one of the initial leaders of NATO and during his presidency strongly backed the European Union.

However, I do not think he envisioned the loss of sovereignty that would evolve from the union where "human rights wackos" would take over a European court and thwart the fight against terrorism by blocking deportations.  I think that is one of the grievances of those in Britain who are fed up with the EU.  The stubbornness with which the European bureaucracy clings to that nonsense has driven many to want to leave.

Obama's clumsy support for this collectivist nonsense has not been well received.

The Cruz Fiorina ticket

Fox News:
Ted Cruz, looking for a shake-up in the 2016 race as Donald Trump moves steadily closer to the Republican nomination, on Wednesday announced former GOP primary rival Carly Fiorina as his choice for running mate should he win the party nod.

Speaking during an afternoon rally in Indianapolis a day after he was swept by front-runner Trump in five primary contests, Cruz announced his decision to cheers and chants of “Carly! Carly!”

“After a great deal of time and thought, after a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the united states that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said.

The theoretical pairing represents a diverse ticket – offering the possibility of electing the first Hispanic president and first female vice president.
... It is a good ticket that would give the Democrats a problem if they can get to the convention floor and block Trump from getting 123…

God is not a socialist

Washington Post:
Venezuela declares a 2-day workweek because of dire energy shortages

The country with the world's biggest oil reserves can't keep the lights on because it relies on a giant dam to generate electricity for its capital and other cities. But a severe drought has forced deep cutbacks in power output. But it is more than a lack of rainfall that has caused Venezuela's demise.  The country is run by people who lack any understanding of economics and the laws of supply and demand.  They have produced an inflation rate so high they can not afford to print more of their worthless money.  If Bernie Sanders believes in socialism he should go to Venezuela see where they went so wrong.

Trump backers already spining his defeat?

Ramesh Ponnuru:
...
First (and with apologies for examining a tweet quite this minutely), this description of the battle lines among Republicans is inaccurate in a way that carries a pro-Trump bias. If there’s a third party anti-Trump Republican candidate, his supporters will include a lot of people who can’t reasonably be included in any definition of the “establishment.” Trump has in many states lagged among Republicans who consider themselves “very conservative.” An anti-Trump candidate will draw from these voters. A lot of them will be people who voted for Romney and McCain only grudgingly. They won’t, that is, be the people who told other Republicans to vote for the nominee in the name of party unity. They’ll be the people who were on the receiving end of that message, but who this time can’t stomach following it. The Gingriches, Giulianis, Christies, and Doles of the world will, by contrast, be once again telling everyone to fall in line behind the Republican nominee.
...
Third,…

Trump voters backing a loser?

Guy Benson:
Polls: Trump Down 11 to Hillary Nationally, Trails Millennials by 36, Losing in Arizona I like Guy Benson, but we are not related as far as I know.  But I agree with his analysis of these polls.
...
One of the reasons Trump is so toxic in a general election setting is that his standing among ascendant voting demographics is horrific. His numbers with women, non-white voters and young people are so terrible that it's highly unlikely that those much-discussed "missing white voters" could come close to saving him.... Trump will not only get trounced with Millennials -- who now outnumber all other age groups as a voting bloc -- he threatens to cripple the Republican brand with these voters, beyond the beating it has already sustained. The only sliver of hope in all of this is that Hillary Clinton is quite unpopular herself, and she's really, really bad at being a candidate....
... Trump may be the least intelligent choice any Republican can make.   I suggest t…

State Department cover up could have allowed Clinton to destroy evidence

Judicial Watch:
The Obama State Department last week admitted it withheld a key Benghazi email of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Judicial Watch since at least September 2014. If the State Department disclosed the email when first supposedly found, Clinton’s email server and her hidden emails would have been disclosed nearly two years ago, before Clinton authorized the alleged deletion of tens of thousands of emails.

The developments come in a July 2014 Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records related to the drafting and use of the Benghazi talking points (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). The lawsuit, which forced the disclosure of the Clinton email records, seeks records specifically from Clinton and her top State Department staff:

Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consul…

French boycott Israeli technology that could have stopped terror attacks?

Breitbart:
In a troubling turn of events as Europe faces an unprecedented terrorist threat, an alleged French boycott of Israeli technology may have prevented the use of proprietary, terrorist-tracking software that could possibly have thwarted recent attacks in Paris and Belgium.

That disclosure was made by an Israeli security source speaking on Monday to Fox News.

According to the source, shortly after the January 7, 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, French authorities rejected an Israeli offer of software that could have “connected” the dots to uncover Islamic terrorist cells embedded in Europe.

The offer was made directly to the Directorate-General for Internal Security, the head of France’s main intelligence agency, the source said.

“French authorities liked it, but the official came back and said there was a higher-level instruction not to buy Israeli technology,” FoxNews.com quoted the well-placed Israeli counter-terror specialist as saying. “The discussion just stopped.”
...…

Reason found for the stagnant Obama economy

Washington Free Beacon:
Study: Cost of U.S. Regulations Larger Than Germany’s Economy

Regs have cost economy $4 trillion, $13,000 per person This is a stunning number.  It also shows the potential for growth if the Ted Cruz economic plan is adopted.

Was Syria, ISIL's biggest customer for its oil?

Newsweek:
The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has negotiated multimillion-dollar oil deals with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), new documents retrieved from a U.S. raid against the radical Islamists’ oil chief have revealed.

A U.S. special forces raid on ISIS’s oil minister—known by his nom de guerre Abu Sayyaf—in May 2015 saw the extraction of thousands of documents implicating his oil operation with that of the Assad regime, with revenue from the sale of oil to Damascus helping the group to reach a peak of $40 million a month in oil revenue, according to documents seen by The Wall Street Journal.

Sayyaf led the group’s oil ministry, known as the Diwan of Natural Resources, and used deals with the Syrian regime to boost the division’s income, contributing 72 percent of $289.5 million the group earned in natural-resource revenues in the six months preceding February 2015.
... There is much more.

They were also apparently smuggling oil into Turkey.   The Russians complained a…

The Trump appeal?

Michael Kinsley:
What do voters see in Trump? His authentic phoniness. I have heard others try to explain Trump's appeal.  Rush Limbaugh has tried repeatedly on his show to explain it.  It still makes no sense to me.  I tend to see him as more than a phony.  Having tried fraud cases early in my career, Trump certainly has elements of a con man in his approach to politics.  He lies with ease while calling others liars.

He deliberately misleads his followers about the process and they seem to eat it up.  While they are still marks in his scam, I have become less patient with them as the con becomes more apparent.  I blame them for the loss they are trying to inflict on the Republican party by running someone so ill-suited to the job of President.

While I too am angry with the Congressional leadership for their kowtowing to the disastrous Obama agenda, there were sane alternatives to Trump.  Even if Trump were to somehow win, because he is running against a terrible Democrat in Hilla…

Who wants to run with someone who looks like a sure loser?

NY Times:
The Risks of Becoming a Trump Running Mate
Vice-presidential nominees usually rise in stature. But fear that a Trump ticket could lose badly may deter potential partners. If I had to pick someone at this point it would probably be Newt Gingrich.  He has been more open to Trump than most people with Washington experience and someone like Chris Cristi would only add another northeastern Republican in a state they would still be unable to carry.  

Sarah Palin seems to have lost her luster even with conservatives.  It is doubtful that Trump to get anyone who has participated in the race to join him after his barrage of insults against opponents.

Gingrich would also fit because he is not someone who would be worried about his future in politics which is mostly behind him at this point.

Power down

Thunderstorms last night knocked out power.  Posted from cell phone. More later.
Update:  A storm blew through the area in the middle of the night knocking out power from Austin to Washington, Texas which if over a hundred mile swath.  On the road about a mile from my house, a tree that was about 18 inches in diameter blew over the power lines and pinned them to the ground.

Trump wins in states he has little chance of carrying if he gets nomination

The chances that Trump can carry any of these blue states is so remote that it borders on the impossible.  So liberal Democrat states are going to have a big voice in picking the GOP nominee they will vote against in the fall.

How Snowden helped the Islamic terrorists

Image
Daily Mail:
Encryption techniques used by terror groups such as ISIS were advanced by SEVEN YEARS because of Edward Snowden, US intelligence chief claims 
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said the development posed a problem for officials attempting to collect data on terrorist groups including ISIS. He should be tried on these charges.  The number of successful mass murder attacks has increased since his disclosures of NSA  operations.

US adopts Israeli tactic of warning occupants of buildings before destroying it

CNN:
The U.S. has adopted a unique Israeli battlefield tactic in its fight against ISIS: exploding a missile above a building to warn civilians inside that it's about to be bombed.

Israeli forces have widely used the so-called knock-on-the-roof operations in Gaza attacks in recent years to try to get civilians out before they are hit.

The first public revelation of the U.S. using a "knock operation" came Tuesday at a press briefing by Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten, deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the anti-ISIS Operation Inherent Resolve.

Gersten described a strike against an ISIS financial storage center on April 5 in southern Mosul, Iraq. The U.S. had been closely watching the house of an ISIS finance operative, or "finance emir" in the words of Gersten.

"He was the major distributor of funds to Daesh fighters," Gersten said, using another name for ISIS. "We watched him come and go from his house, we watched his suppl…

Rubio could be the key in blocking Trump's path to 1237

NY Post:
Donald Trump could face a stiffer challenge securing 1,237 delegates to win the GOP presidential nomination and avoid a brokered convention because forces close to Marco Rubio are involved in the Ted Cruz–John Kasich alliance to block his path, sources said Monday.

“Little Marco ain’t so little anymore,” one Rubio insider told The Post, referring to Trump’s derisive nickname for the Florida senator.

When he was still in the race, Rubio collected 171 delegates — whom he can now withhold from Trump at the GOP convention.

A GOP strategist who backed Rubio was involved in talks that led to the alliance between Cruz and Kasich to derail Trump, the source said.
... Anti-Trump groups are also opening their wallets to attack him in some of the remaining states.  Saving the GOP and the country from a Trump- Hillary Clinton race is a worthy objective.

Congress seeks more control over the amateurs at National Security Council

Washington Times:
A key congressional Republican hopes to use a major defense bill to give the Pentagon more leverage in policy fights with President Obama’s White House aides, following complaints from past defense chiefs that the West Wing has tried to micromanage national security and military policy and ice the Defense Department and other agencies out of major decisions.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry plans to offer an amendment to the defense authorization bill to cap the size of the National Security Council, now headed by close Obama aide Susan E. Rice. The bill also could subject the council’s head to congressional confirmation in the future, The Washington Times has learned.

News of the amendment comes in the wake of sharp criticism from Mr. Obama’s former defense secretaries — Robert M. Gates, Leon E. Panetta and Chuck Hagel — that their access to and influence over the president were often stymied by an inner circle of less-experienced White House o…

Courts continue to uphold voter ID law

Image
NY Times:
North Carolina Voter ID Law Is Upheld by Federal Judge
The state demonstrated a legitimate interest in requiring voters to provide certain credentials before casting their ballots, the judge ruled, despite criticism that the law disenfranchises black and Hispanic voters.  Democrats continue to demonstrate a low regard for the intelligence and ability of blacks and Hispanics.  I think their argument is made in bad faith, to cover up some forms of vote fraud used by Democrats in the past.   Most of their arguments against the allegations of vote fraud are circular.

Middle East economies feeling the sting of low oil prices

AP/Fuel Fix:
Oil exporting countries in the Middle East lost a staggering $390 billion in revenue due to lower oil prices last year, and should brace for even deeper losses of around $500 billion this year, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

The fund had projected in October that oil exporting countries in the region would see revenue losses of $360 billion in 2015, but oil prices took a tumble by year’s end and the drop in revenue amounted to $30 billion more.

In a revised economic outlook report released Monday, the IMF said these countries will see revenues from oil exports drop even more in 2016, to between $490 billion to $540 billion compared to 2014, when oil prices were higher. Oil prices plunged to around $30 a barrel in January compared to $115 in mid-2014.

IMF Director for Middle East and Central Asia Masood Ahmed said these losses translate into budget deficits and slower economic growth, particularly for countries like Saudi Arabia that are still heavily depende…

Trump is an existential threat to the GOP

David Drucker:
The Republican Party could be maimed for years following the 2016 presidential election, party insiders tell the Washington Examiner.

They worry not just that front-runner Donald Trump will lose the general election to Hillary Clinton, but that the disruption he's proudly caused will mean lost elections and diminished influence for years to come.

The outlook is so bad that a contested convention to stop the New York businessman is not their biggest worry, they say, even as he gets close to the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination. Sure, they don't relish the four-day food fight being prepared for the GOP gathering in July, especially as millions would view it on television and online.

The deeper concern is that Trump will remake the party in his own image, breaking it to pieces and ending its existence as America's recognizable and electable conservative party.

"A Trump victory could transform the GOP into a populist, nativist, statist part…

Norks' sub launched missile a serious threat

Washington Examiner:
North Korea's test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile over the weekend was at least a partial success, a Pentagon official with access to U.S. intelligence tells the Washington Examiner.

"This is something that started as a joke, but has turned into something very serious," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the initial U.S. assessment publicly.

North Korea has been working feverishly to try to develop the capability to launch missiles from submarines, and claimed success last year, releasing photos and videos that the U.S. quickly concluded had been faked.

This time though, the Pentagon believes the launch from the North Korean submarine "Gorae" was a success. The actual flight of the KN-11 missile, however, was a failure, in that it traveled a short distance, around 20 miles.
... The Norks want to threaten the US West Coast and eventually the whole country.  It appears the…

Israeli tunnel detection system could be used by US to stop drug smugglers

Breitbart:
The U.S. is cosponsoring an Israeli-invented tunnel detection system that could prevent drug smugglers and illegal migrants from cross-border passage with Mexico, ISRAEL21c reported.

The technology, which is being heralded as the underground Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, was behind the IDF’s recent discovery of a 1.5 mile-long Hamas terror tunnel from Gaza and into Israeli territory.

The U.S. has earmarked $120 million over the next three years to help develop the system, the Financial Times reported.

Meanwhile, other anti-infiltration innovations include a counter-tunnel barrier along the Israel-Gaza border that “will also feature a state-of-the-art fence, complete with sensors, observation balloons, see-shoot systems, and intelligence gathering measures, as well as an underground wall.”

The U.S. has for years closely studied Israel’s border technology and security for its own border with Mexico. In the past, the Department of Homeland Security tested Israeli ground s…

Good news for Republicans?

streiff:
Donald Trump Says That He Will Not Campaign For the Eventual Nominee

...
Tell me, who, in their right freakin mind would want Donald Trump out on the campaign trail saying the stuff he says, cavorting with racists and conspiracy nuts, and then their campaign being held responsible for explaining the mess? And those alleged millions of new voters that he attracted? Well, maybe some of them have gotten a little bit smarter in the process an realize what kind of a fraud and charlatan Trump actually is and will decide to vote for the GOP nominee. But if they remain loyal to Trump, I hope they stay home because the republic has enough idiots voting as it is.
... Who would believe him if he did campaign for the nominee other than himself after basing his primary approach to insulting his opponents rather than speaking to the issues?   The less I see of him the better.

Limited blogging today

I will be undergoing testing for a kidney transplant today in the Texas Medical Center's St. Luke's-Baylor transplant center.  I may post more later this morning between tests.

The Turkey weakness strategy

David Goldman:Turkey blackmails Europe with its own instability

This is the sort of thing that happens in Mel Brooks movies, but not–at least until now–in geopolitics: Turkey’s claim upon the support of Western Europe comes from its own propensity to collapse. If it does so, the Europeans fear, the refugee stream that inundated Europe during 2015 will acquire another zero. That is why West Germany is willing to humiliate itself in order to prop up the regime of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Europe is paying Erdogan to stop the flow of refugees, which Erdogan has threatened to accelerate if his demands are not met. Erdogan’s negotiating stance recalls Brooks’ 1974 comedy “Blazing Saddles,” where a black sheriff turns back a lynch mob by putting a gun to his own head and threatening to pull the trigger.
... I have used a similar argument against Donald Trump's trade policy.  It is an apt argument for Turkey too.  It is ironic that an Islamist strongman and despot has reduced …

What happened to the greatness of America

Jay Caruso:
How in the World Did We End Up With Trump, Sanders and Clinton?

...
Where did we go wrong that led us from Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton to Clinton, Trump and Sanders?
... Perhaps it is a product of the failed education system that has been co-opted by the liberal Democrats.

Cruz, Kasich join forces to stop Trump

CNN:
Ted Cruz and John Kasich are joining forces in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination.

Within minutes of each other, the pair issued statements late Sunday saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico. The strategy -- something the two campaigns have been working on for weeks -- is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer.

The extraordinary moves reflect the national strength Trump has shown and the inability of Republicans who oppose the New York billionaire to come together to stop him. Dividing up some of the remaining primary states by putting forward one strong alternative to Trump in each could be enough to take away delegates and curb Trump's run to the nomination.
... I hope this works.  Stopping Trump is the only way to save the GOP and the conservative movement. …

Does Target have 350,000 transgender customers?

ABC News:
Over 350,000 sign petition against Target’s bathroom policy I very much doubt they do, but they probably have that many liberals who think it is important to allow some guys to pick their toilet facilities.  But also think the numbers for the petition will grow.  

Saudis at war with al Qaeda?

Washington Post:
War in Yemen takes a major turn with offensive against al-Qaeda

Saudi-backed forces appeared to mount a large-scale offensive to drive militants aligned with the militant group from their strongholds in the country’s south. Up until now the Saudi war with al Qaeda has been mainly a defensive internal operation.  By attacking al Qaeda in Yemen the Saudis are finally engaged in an offensive operation outside of their on sand.  It appears to be a needed move, because if al Qaeda did establish a base in Yemen it would become one for attacks on the Saudi homeland.

Who knew?--Being rich is better than being poor

NY Times:
In Age of Privilege, Not Everyone Is in the Same Boat
Companies are becoming more adept at targeting wealthy customers, creating a money-based caste system. In the brokerage business sales professionals targeted "high net worth" individuals  for the obvious reason that they had more money to invest.  If you are in sales you can make more money by selling high ticket items than you can by selling cookies.  If you are selling resort vacations do you target those who can afford them or work the Walmart parking lot?

It is not a caste system.  It is called defining the market and catering to it.

A young man makes an impression on President Bush

Dana Perino:
An Unforgettable Lesson in Character This is the remarkable story of a young man born prematurely, and in poverty, who rose to work for the President.  It is worth reading in full.

Sorry about the problem with the link.  Here is an excerpt:
Lucas Boyce was born six weeks premature and weighed just over four pounds. His mother was a young teen who struggled with substance abuse and would sell her body to support her habit. That’s how Lucas was conceived. It was a miracle he lived to be born. And his life has been a miracle, too. At ten days old, Lucas was sent to the foster-care home of Dorothy Boyce. Dorothy, a white woman from the Midwest, took care of over forty foster-care children over fifteen years. Lucas says his mother is someone who doesn’t see color—she’s not color blind; she actually just can’t see anyone’s skin color. She just sees the person.

Dorothy adopted six of the children and had four of her own. At one point she was the single mother of eleven foster-car…

The Department of Education war against due process and men

NY Post Editorial:
A lawsuit out of Colorado could bring a screaming halt to a booming injustice industry — college star chambers for sexual-assault cases.

Grant Neal is suing Colorado State University-Pueblo for kicking him out over sex that the woman agrees was fully consensual. More important, he’s also suing the federal Education Department for virtually ordering the school to deprive him of his due-process rights.

CSUP found Grant guilty of sexually assaulting a trainer (also a student) and suspended for him for several years.

Yet the trainer repeatedly said that their relationship was consensual. She told an administrator in the training program, “I’m fine and I wasn’t raped.”

She also says she told the school’s investigator, “He’s a good guy. He’s not a rapist, he’s not a criminal, it’s not even worth any of this hoopla.”

She never claimed an assault. But a peer in the Athletic Training Program saw a hickey on her neck and reported a rape. The school then duly ignored the testi…

The Palestinian 'occupation' myth

Washington Post:
Heavy-handed or heroes? Israel border police are on the front line.

For Palestinians, they are a symbol of the occupation. But Israelis say they are brave defenders against violence. This is a disingenuous argument by the Palestinians.  The border guards are there to stop the Palestinians from successfully implementing their genocidal desire for mass murder of Israelis.  Most of the Palestinians don't even bother to hide this agenda, and their whining about the "occupation" is just part of their propaganda effort.

The Israelis have a much stronger historical claim to the disputed territories.  It is not the "occupation" they are really concerned about but the actual existence of a Jewish state.  They are just a part of the Muslim religious bigotry toward all who reject Islam.  They deliberately try to co-op religious sites from Israel to Turkey, to India and beyond.

It is a mistake to pretend they have legitimate grievances arising from their a…

Big government market manipulation pushed by the left

NY Times:
Carbon Pricing Becomes a Cause for the World Bank and I.M.F.
To ensure that the Paris agreement on climate change works, two global lenders have begun pressing national governments to ensure that polluters pay for the carbon dioxide they emit. This is really a regressive tax on the poor to be collected from manufacturers.  The left wants to use the excuse of weather to increase the cash flow to the government so they can use it to buy votes from their favored constituents.   This fits nicely with  their control freak agenda.  With communism and socialism exposed as failed economic models, they are trying to use "climate change" as an excuse for imposing top-down policies rather than a free market.

Cruz's long time friend sticks with him

Image
NY Times:
Cruz’s Biggest Backer? His College Roommate, Perhaps
For decades, David Panton has been a source of unconditional camaraderie for Senator Ted Cruz, the guy who extends a hand when the whole world seems to offer a stiff-arm. This is counter to the meme that many in the media have been pushing about Ted Cruz.  Some may find his strong positions abrasive, but those are people not used to being challenged with such intellectual rigor.

Liberals, in particular, live in a bubble of comfort where they are rarely challenged.  You could see it in the Senate early on where they took deep offense to being challenged on their 2nd Amendment position.  Cruz exposed the intellectual dishonesty of the so-called "gun-show exemption" and the assault rifle ban.  He has done it on other issues such as Obamacare and government spending.

A friend understands the argument and understands that Cruz is not being personal, but arguing the facts.  Even his liberal law professors understood t…

What Big Green tries to hide

Daily Caller:
Alarmists Don’t Want You To Know These 5 Uplifting Environmental Facts For Earth Day
Among the list is this:
...
The amount of U.S. CO2 emissions per dollar of economic output has declined 28 percent since 1990, according to data from the EIA.

This trend was especially evident in states that quickly switched from coal to natural gas fired electricity, since gas emits far less CO2. Studies show that fracking for natural gas is responsible for almost 20 percent of the decline in CO2 emissions, while solar power is responsible for a mere 1 percent of the decline. For every ton of CO2 cut by solar power, fracking cut 13 tons.
... So the fracking phobic left is just dead wrong about the effects of the process on the environment.

Cruz continues to outperform Trump in delegate selection battle

Caleb Howe:
Trump Humiliated, Cruz Triumphant: Your Complete Saturday Delegate Battle Results

...
If you’ve kept count, then you know this means that Cruz loyalists filled a whopping 65 of the 94 spots available on Saturday. And that’s not knowing who, for example, Kentucky delegates may lean toward for their own second ballot choice. So he may have picked up even more than that.

In all, a humiliating defeat for team Trump, and yet more proof of the Cruz campaigns superior ability to operate the machinery of the party, follow and understand rules and procedures, and generally be an organized and functional enterprise. In the business world that’s called being a success. Something the man behind Trump University might understandably not recognize. The delegates were being selected from five different states including Minnesota  which was previously won by Rubio.  Howe gives you the breakdown in each of the five states at the link above.

Trump finds new group to alienate as he seeks to be 'Presidential'

Image
I guess Trump knows how to play to his base by shrinking the pool pf potential voters to his candidacy.  I am not talking about the Indians in the call center, but the ones who are already here.  And, did it ever occur to him that some day he might need India's help in fighting the war on Islamic terrorism?  Trump has the intellectual depth of a wading pool.

Obama ignorant of the negative impact of the EU on Brit security

Sunday Telegraph:
Barack Obama has been accused of showing “woeful ignorance” of the damage the European Union does to British national security, in a growing backlash over his intervention in the referendum campaign.

Penny Mordaunt, the Armed Forces minister, hit back at the American President for his failure to appreciate how European judges and laws on migration undermine transatlantic efforts to tackle terrorism.
...

Mrs Mordaunt, who has previously worked for the Republican former president, George W Bush, said she agreed with Mr Obama that Britain and the US were special allies who played a vital role spreading democracy and security together through the world.

“Where we part company, however, is in our views of the value of EU membership to this mission,” she said. “In Obama’s view, ‘The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it.’

“Unfortunately this opinion betrays a woeful ignorance of the practical reality of the EU’s impact on our security, and the int…

Trump not being honest about who he is

Breitbart:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 97% accused GOP frontrunner Donald Trump of “telling us he’s lying to us” after Trump aides told RNC leaders that their candidate will moderate his message.

“Donald is a New York liberal who is pretending to be a conservative to try to fool Republican primary voters,” Cruz told radio host Mark Levin and his listeners on Thursday. Levin prompted the statement when he referred to senior Trump aide Paul Manafort’s comments in a private meeting and asking Cruz, “Who the hell is Donald Trump?”

Trump’s senior aide, Paul Manafort, gave Republican National Committee members a new vision of a more moderate Trump to come: “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.” The Associated Press reported on the meeting after obtaining a recording of the closed-door exchange.

On Levin’s show, Cruz…

In race for President, Cruz shows flexibility on ideas

Washington Post:
On policies, Cruz shifts his stance to suit a fractured GOP

To please all the party’s factions — each with a different definition of “conservative” — the senator from Texas has veered to the right on immigration, the federal budget and the military, piling on new ideas, which sometimes don’t fit with the old. Cruz is not as ideologically rigid as some of his Senate colleagues claim, but many of them are still reluctant to support him.  In making these policy shifts, Cruz differs greatly from Trump who shift's policies with neck snapping regularity based on the reaction of the media and voters to some of the more "out there" positions he has taken.

Reason for skepticism about Trump inside GOP

Washington Post:
GOP elites still skeptical about Trump despite charm offensive

The billionaire’s aides want to thaw hostilities with skittish Republican leaders, but interviews with dozens of officials showed that he still faces concerns about his loyalty to the party as well as his discipline and electability as a candidate. I am for from being part of the GOP elite, but I share their skepticism.  He will never be confused with a statesman.  Most of the time he substitutes insult for logic in making his case.  This is an appeal to the low information low functioning voters who do not realize he is conning them.  A contest between him and an unlikable Hillary Clinton will probably be a low turnout affair.