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Showing posts from February, 2020

The end of the 'forever war' in Afghanistan?

BBC:
The US and the Taliban have signed an "agreement for bringing peace" to Afghanistan after more than 18 years of conflict.

The US and Nato allies have agreed to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.

President Trump said it had been a "long and hard journey" in Afghanistan. "It's time after all these years to bring our people back home," he said.

Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are due to follow.

Under the agreement, the militants also agreed not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control.
... Whether they will abide by the agreement is the reason why there is a long time frame for the eventual movement of US troops.  President Trump has been pushing for an end to the Middle Eastern wars.

A change of control coming to Twitter?

Guardian:
A major Republican donor has purchased a stake in Twitter and is reportedly seeking to oust its chief executive, Jack Dorsey. Bloomberg News first reported that Elliott Management has taken a “sizable stake” and “and plans to push for changes at the social media company, including replacing Dorsey”. Paul Singer, the billionaire founder of Elliott Management, is a Republican mega-donor who opposed Donald Trump during the real-estate magnate’s run for the presidential nomination but has since come onside. After a White House visit in February 2017, Trump said Singer “was very much involved with the anti-Trump or, as they say, ‘Never Trump’, and Paul just left, and he’s given us his total support and it’s all about unification”. Trump famously communicates with the public largely through Twitter, at the expense of traditional media strategy. Twitter made headlines in October when it announced a ban on political advertising. Its use and potential manipulation by politicians of all str…

Democrats lying about funding for CDC on coronavirus

NY Post Editorial:
In a clear sign that they’re not truly worried about the COVID-19 threat, many Democrats are using it as another club to hit President Trump — facts be damned.

At Tuesday’s debate, Mike Bloomberg smugly asserted, “There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing.” Trump, he claimed, has “defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don’t have the organization we need.”

Joe Biden chimed in: “He cut the funding for the entire effort.”

It’s a lie that can only sow fear: The CDC budget is higher than when Trump took office. Same for the National Institutes of Health. And top career officials from both have been working with the White House for weeks to direct the US response.

Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, insisted the administration “is absolutely bumbling the response to coronavirus” — with no details, because she can’t point to any Team Trump mistakes, unless she wants to complain about the COVID-19 travel bans.

“The administration has no plan to deal …

Democrats have lost their composure

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Thomas Lifson:
The Democrats are at their lowest point since the outbreak of the Civil War. Derangement by definition means acting in self-destructive ways, and mass derangement, specifically Trump Derangement Syndrome, is the animating force behind a large share of the thoughts and actions of both leaders and followers of the world’s oldest political party. Put starkly, the crazies have grabbed control and reinforce one another, spinning farther and farther away from the mainstream of American political life. A few vignettes this week illustrate the crisis. The circular firing squad As of two weeks ago, there have been 389 violent attacks against Trump supporters. But a hallmark of true frenzy is when those violent impulses turn against ostensible allies who are just not pure enough. The Bernie Bros now are morphing into the Bernie Brownshirts, with a strong undercurrent of fratricidal violence that comes to the surface when Project Veritas films campaign workers threatening to burn dow…

Iran not handling coronavirus well

Reuters:
The fast-spreading coronavirus has killed at least 210 people across Iran, the BBC’s Persian service reported on Friday, citing hospital sources, far more than reported by the Health Ministry which put the number at 34.

Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur rejected the BBC report in a tweet. Even at 34, Iran has had the highest death rate from the outbreak outside China.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States had offered to help with the coronavirus response in Iran, raising doubts about Tehran’s willingness to share information.

Iran said the offer was ridiculous.
... The Iranian government is bitter about the pressure campaign to get them to drop their nuclear weapons program.  Several high ranking members of the government have come down with the virus.  The mullah's government does not appear to be on top of the problem so far.

So far the threat of coronavirus to the US appears exaggerated

NY Times:
Trump Accuses Media and Democrats of Exaggerating Coronavirus ThreatThe accusations came as other elements of the federal government moved to head off a broader wave of infections like those in China. Coronavirus will probably never create the number of casualties caused by socialism which are now at over 100 million.  So far the biggest casualty in this country appears to be the stock market.  Trump has taken action to contain the virus through travel restrictions.  He has mobilized elements of the government to deal with the problem.  Right now there are significantly more people at risk from the more traditional flu.

Border wall near El Paso is effective

American Military News:
Illegal immigration dropped 80 percent in El Paso due to border wall, border chief says Border officials say,  "the new system allows border agents to spot where illegal entries happen faster and make arrests or force the illegal immigrants to retreat back to Mexico." 

They are a deterrent.

Coronavirus not as lethal as socialism

CNS News:
Candace Owens: ‘The Left Is Becoming a Doomsday Cult’

...
“@AOC literally does not believe in history,” Owens replied, noting that socialist principles like those Ocasio-Cortez promotes have resulted in millions of deaths worldwide, while no one has died in the U.S. from the corona virus:

“2,800 people worldwide have been killed from the coronavirus. 0 people in America have been killed from the coronavirus. In other news, socialism has killed 100 million people in the last 100 years.

“@AOC literally does not believe in history.” Putting the panic over the Coronavirus in a historical perspective.  Bernie Sanders and his supporters are probably a greater threat at this point.

Bernie's budget does not add up

NY Post Editorial:
Bernie Sanders’ magic math: Double the government, pay with unicorn dust

...
It adds up to easily doubling what the federal government spends now.

And all his new taxes only bring in about half what he means to spend.

Assuming they work as intended: Of course he pretends they wouldn’t slow the economy in the least. (Hey, it worked in … well, nowhere, but Bernie doesn’t care.)
... Bernie looks like a disaster for Democrats and if he won he would be a disaster for the country.

House Democrats refused to reform FISA despite obvious abuses

Federalist:
Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, a ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, criticized Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York Thursday for canceling this week’s hearing on reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and charged Democrats with refusing to “acknowledge the problems” with the Watergate-era law.

The Judiciary Committee was slated to consider a FISA reauthorization bill crafted by Nadler’s staff along with Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s plans for a full-chamber vote by the March 15 deadline, when certain provisions of the act are set to expire. A recent report from the Justice Department inspector general unearthed “at least 17” glaring omissions from FISA warrant applications in the FBI’s deep-state “Crossfire Hurricane” operation, complicating the 1978 law’s reauthorization efforts as Republicans call for broader constraints of government surveillance.

On Wednesday, Nadler postponed the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on t…

Cuba's despots praise Bernie Sanders

Daily Wire:
Communist Cuba praised socialist Bernie Sanders, the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination for president, for his recent praise of the communist nation.

“Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, prominently displayed a report about Sanders and his praise of ‘some of the social programs implemented by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro,'” The Miami Herald reported. “Adding its own analysis of the Democratic race, the newspaper said Sanders seemed ‘unstoppable’ in his move towards the nomination.”

“Granma and several state media outlets reported the comments made by Sanders in an interview with Anderson Cooper for ’60 minutes’ on Sunday, in which the senator said it was ‘unfair’ to say that ‘everything is bad’ in Cuba, and praised the literacy campaign implemented by Fidel Castro shortly after he rose to power in 1959,” the Herald added. “The report also mentions that Sanders had recognized the role of Cuba in sending ‘doctors all ove…

Fact Check--Democrats mislead about Coronavirus

AP:
Democratic presidential contenders are describing the federal infectious-disease bureaucracy as rudderless and ill-prepared for the coronavirus threat because of budget cuts and ham-handed leadership by President Donald Trump. That’s a distorted picture. For starters, Trump hasn’t succeeded in cutting the budget.

He’s proposed cuts but Congress ignored him and increased financing instead. The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aren’t suffering from budget cuts that never took effect.

A look at some of the Democrats’ remarks:

MIKE BLOOMBERG: “There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing. And he’s defunded — he’s defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don’t have the organization we need. This is a very serious thing.” — debate Tuesday night.

JOE BIDEN, comparing the Obama-Biden administration with now: “We increased the budget of the CDC. We increased the NIH budget. ... He’s wiped all that out. ... He cut…

Trump campaign targets voters of Indian decent

Politico:
Donald Trump’s campaign has launched a five-figure digital ad buy targeting an unlikely voting demographic for Republicans: Indian Americans.

It’s likely the first time a Republican presidential candidate has spent a large amount of money on ads tailored for Indian American voters, according to five people involved in recent Republican presidential campaigns.

The move comes just days after the president flew to India for a political-style rally with over 100,000 cheering fans, earning him wall-to-wall Indian media coverage. But back home, Trump hasn’t polled well with Indian Americans. Still, the group represents a growing voting bloc that registers and votes at high rates, making it a desirable target. And Trump’s team thinks its message on tax cuts and illegal immigration, as well as Trump’s friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will play well with some Indian Americans.

The ad campaign began Wednesday on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, streaming services and …

The Democrats' pledge to take away your rights

Jonathon Turley:
The Democratic presidential debate down in South Carolina this week has proven once again the famous line that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The line is the perfect warning to the unwary about politicians citing statistics. The quote itself is widely misrepresented as the work of Mark Twain or British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, so it seems nothing can be trusted when it comes to statistics, not even quotes on statistics.

Some false statistics, however, are so facially absurd that they are indeed harmless except to the most gullible. That was the case when former Vice President Joe Biden attacked Senator Bernie Sanders over a vote that had favored the gun industry. Biden declared that, since the vote, 150 million Americans have been killed by guns. He also said the vote happened in 2007, when it was actually in 2005. Many people immediately scratched their heads, thinking they may have missed a holocaust that had claimed roughly half the populat…

Republicans think Bernie Sanders puts House majority in play

Washington Examiner:
The rise of Democratic contender Bernie Sanders has top House Republicans optimistic the party will recapture the majority this November, and they have their fingers crossed he will seize the nomination.

The Republican Party lost the House in 2018 amid heavy defections from key voting blocs dissatisfied with President Trump. With Sanders emerging as the Democratic front-runner this month, House Republican leaders are convinced the GOP is now poised to win back the chamber. In interviews Thursday, they characterized the socialist Vermont senator as a virtual panacea for nearly every political challenge the party faces heading into the fall, and his success is helping them whether he gains the nomination or not.

“The majority is in play,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told the Washington Examiner before speaking at a gathering in D.C. to boost female Republican congressional candidates. Added McCarthy’s deputy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise …

Anti-energy left finds judge to approve their environmental wacko agenda

Washington Post:
Judge voids nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas leases, saying Trump policy undercut public input The ruling was a win for environmentalists, who challenged the policy as part of an effort to block drilling in habitat for the imperiled greater sage-grouse. I suspect this judge was probably appointed by a Democrat and is willing to impose his environmental extremism on the country.   He is interfering with commerce at the behest of radical environmentalists.  Actually, Trump's election was based on his energy policy and included the public input of millions.  BTW, those energy policies have been a benefit to the country.  They have made the US energy independent while reducing the cost to consumers and boosting the economy.

Socialism if fundamentally opposed to free choice by individuals

Washington Post Op-ed:
Hey Bernie, you can’t separate Cuba’s social policies from its authoritarianism When you impose socialism you are taking away people's freedom of choice.  That is why authoritarian polices are required to impose it on the population and it is why millions of people have been killed trying to impose it.   It is an anti-freedom agenda by the left and some of Bernie's followers have made it clear that they are willing to go to extremes to impose it.

Some Democrats think Bernie Sanders is a bigger danger as candidate than removing him would be

NY Times:
Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie SandersInterviews with dozens of Democratic Party officials, including 93 superdelegates, found overwhelming opposition to handing Mr. Sanders the nomination if he fell short of a majority of delegates. A large divided field of candidates gives Sander's voters an outsized opportunity to seize the nomination, but it does not mean he would get widespread support after getting it.  His views are considered absurd by a large majority of Americans.  He's making excuses for despots and that is also hurting him and those who support him.

Defense developed for dealing with hypersonic missiles

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Daily Mail:
$19.6million 'Glide Breaker' hypersonic defense glider is being developed which can shoot incoming missiles out of the sky and travel up to five times the speed of soundThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has teamed up with Aerojet Rocketdyne for a $19.6 million project to develop hypersonic rocket that will be capable of intercepting enemy missiles mid-air. The glider will be able to knock incoming missiles or vehicles out of the sky while moving at up to five times the speed of sound. The project had been in development since 2018, and the early stages of planning have gone well enough for DARPA to issue a new contract to develop 'enabling technologies' for the glider. This could impact Russia's investment in hypersonic weapons.  It is further evidence that weapon development never really stops.

Is the media and are voters ignoring Biden's incoherence?

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streiff:

Last night’s Democrat debate contained a great number of bizarre moments. In my view, Joe Biden stood out from the crowd. Not only did he claim that nearly half the population of the United States has been killed by firearms since 2007, he claimed authorship of a bill that was written by Amy Klobuchar after Biden left the Senate. But one of his strangest moments took place when he seemed to pull up just short of saying he would go to war with North Korea if they did not disarm. Here you not only get to hear blather, which if translated into action would result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, dead, but you get to see Joe Biden at his peak ‘sundowning’, ‘where am I and how did I get here’ best


Tom Elliott@tomselliott  · 
Biden: “Why am I stopping? … No one else is stopping”

Actually, it appeared he just forgot what he was going to say.

Tom Elliott@tomselliott

EU food Luddites look like loser in deal with Trump

Politico:
Brussels is ready to offer to speed up the approval process for genetically modified organisms imported into the EU, as part of a mini trade agreement with Washington.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to strike such a deal with U.S. President Donald Trump by March 18. POLITICO spoke with four diplomats and three EU officials who said that as part of the deal, the EU could commit to accelerating its system of checks and approvals for GMOs — a system Washington alleges was designed to arbitrarily slow down the approval of crops that compete with EU products.

Many EU countries have banned their farmers from growing genetically modified plants, but the EU does allow imports of GMOs grown abroad, such as soy, maize and sugar beet, which can be sold in Europe as food, animal feed, or both. However, each new variant must go through a lengthy approval process. Spanish farmers are the EU's main growers of GM crops.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representativ…

The left's leaking scam

Mark Hemingway:
The latest example of mistaking leaks for journalism comes from The New York Times. Last Thursday, the Times reported that “Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump.” This report prompted John Brennan, former CIA head and charter member of the anti-Trump resistance, to declare, “We are now in a full-blown national security crisis. By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s.”

Brennan’s overheated warning proved to be premature. By Sunday, the Times was walking back its initial reporting in a second report, “Dueling Narratives Emerge From Muddied Account of Russia’s 2020 Interference.” Contrary to its first story, the Times was reporting that intelligence officials “now maintain that the House members either misheard or misinterpreted a key part of the briefing, and that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not m…

Media shows little interest in vicious attacks on Trump supporters

Salena Zito:
Media Silence on Voter-Registration Attack Deepens Our Divide She is talking about the guy who videoed himself driving into a Republican voter registration effort.  I have seen the same lack of interest in the coverage of the liberal fascists of the left, Antifa.  There is also the physical assault of people wearing MAGA hats.  There is something deranged about the left's attitude toward Trump supporters that the media is just not that interested in.

Blizzards and storm tossed seas plague Great Lake region and down into Carolinas

CNN:
Towering waves are forming Thursday on the Great Lakes, with swells that could reach 20 feet, CNN meteorologists said.

Huge waves already have been spotted over southern Lake Michigan, following a mass of cold air that pushed a north wind over the region, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Lake Ontario could get waves of up to 20 feet near its center, Guy said. Waves as tall as 10 feet could form on Lakes Huron and Erie, peaking on their southern shores.

More than 2 million people south of Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario are under lakeshore flood warnings Thursday, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

Strong winds fueling the waves are associated with a winter storm that's also due to dump heavy snow and rain Thursday over the Great Lakes, New England and into Canada, he said.

Wind gusts could approach hurricane force along the Maine coast, while wind advisories stretch from Vermont to South Carolina, and scattered power outages are possible, Hennen said. Wind advisories cov…

Behind the anti-plastic movement--An irrational hatred of oil and gas

John Tierney:
Why do our political leaders want to take away our plastic bags and straws? This question is even more puzzling than a related one that I’ve been studying for decades: Why do they want us to recycle our garbage?

The two obsessions have some common roots, but the moral panic over plastic is especially perverse. The recycling movement had a superficial logic, at least at the outset. Municipal officials expected to save money by recycling trash instead of burying or burning it. Now that recycling has turned out to be ruinously expensive while achieving little or no environmental benefit, some local officials—the pragmatic ones, anyway—are once again sending trash straight to landfills and incinerators.

The plastic panic has never made any sense, and it’s intensifying even as evidence mounts that it’s not only a waste of money but also harmful to the environment, not to mention humans. It’s been a movement in search of a rationale for half a century. During the 1970s, enviro…

Democrat voters nervous after watching debate

Washington Free Beacon:
Democratic voters were twice as likely to say Tuesday's presidential debate made them nervous about the current slate of candidates as to say it inspired them, according to a CBS poll.

Asked how the debate made them "feel about the group of Democratic candidates that you have to choose from," 47 percent of Democratic respondents told CBS News they felt "nervous." The next most common answer was "optimistic" at 42 percent, while "inspired" and "excited" came in a distant third at 25 percent.

The Democratic voters reported their dissatisfaction after a debate that CNN called "messy, chaotic, and embarrassing" and the Trump campaign called a "hot mess." With the Super Tuesday primaries approaching and the Democratic establishment failing to slow socialist Vermont senator Bernie Sanders's rise as the frontrunner, the Charleston debate devolved into candidates shouting over one another and s…

Rural America wants to secede from control of out of touch urban elites

Glenn Harlan Reynolds:
The United States has a bad case of “secession fever,” and the only cure is splitting up states.

As a recent article in the Washington Times notes, residents of more rural parts of many states want to secede, because those states are dominated by the residents of large urban centers, who know little and care less about the lives of people out in the country. “You’ve got Oregonians seeking to cascade into Idaho, Virginians who identify as West Virginians, Illinoians fighting to escape Chicago, Californians dreaming of starting a 51st state, and New Yorkers who think three states are better than one.”

And this leaves out eastern Washington, which, like eastern Oregon, has been talking about breaking off from the liberal-dominated coastal regions. For that matter, California has produced multiple secession plans aimed at breaking the Golden State up into two, or as many as six, separate states.

This phenomenon isn’t new — I wrote an article about it for the Notre …

Joe Biden's fantasy world

Washington Times:
Biden campaign admits he was never arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela Does Biden have a false memory problem or does he make stuff up to appeal to a certain group of voters such as blacks in South Carolina?  Can we afford to have a President who is not tethered to the real world or who is willing to make stuff up to appeal to voters?

Why socialism sucks

Yukong Zhou:
Upon winning the Nevada Caucuses on Saturday, Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist from Vermont, declared on 60 Minutes his admiration for Cuba under the late dictator Fidel Castro.

This romanticizing of socialism by the current frontrunner of the Democratic presidential race is dangerous and delusional. I know, because I have experienced firsthand the human tragedy of socialism in China. Real socialism is cruel, dehumanizing and even deadly; there is absolutely nothing romantic about it.

I was born in 1963, under the reign of Mao Zedong. Sanders and his intellectual comrades, such as New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like to invoke socialism as the cure to economic inequality in America. Under real socialism in China, however, I saw “equality” firsthand -- everybody lived equally in extreme poverty.

All economic activities were controlled by the government in Maoist China. Private enterprise and market transactions were banned. Profit incentives did not ex…