What’s obviously missing in this story: again?

Well, a few weeks ago it was some Hillary Clinton voters expressing their anger at the election of Trump to the office of the POTUS, by torturing a mentally challenged white teenager and live streaming it on Facebook. The horrific attack caused furor because it came at a time that the DNC operatives with bylines were desperate to create the illusion that America was under attack from the racists, misogynists, and other assorted evil people that the left want you to believe is the only reason Trump could beat crooked Hillary. They danced around what happened for a while, and we then spent days after with people actually telling us why 4 black teenagers brutally abusing a handicapped white kid while screaming “Fuck White People” and “Fuck Trump” didn’t amount to a hate crime or racism. The story disappeared from the news soon after that, obviously because it wasn’t the narrative these douchebags wanted to tell.

It looks like we have more of the same. Facebook was again used to stream the live rape of a Swedish woman bu three men for whom we never get a description. Trained like I am to pick up on these queues after decades of our DNC operatives with bylines doing the same when reporting on criminal or bad behaviors by the left, it became immediately obvious that the lack of details about the perps could only mean that there was another concerted effort to hide misbehavior by a group the left knows is trouble but would like to prevent us from knowing so. My first guess was that the lack of detail probably comes from pressure from the authorities not to divulge details that would embarrass the leadership cast or fear of retribution from the authorities. After all, in Europe, saying things that are not permitted, even when they are true, can and has landed people not just in trouble with the authorities, but behind bars. I did some digging, and in the comment section of this article dealing with the issue, it looks like someone has confirmed my suspicions. I expect them to end up paying for revealing information that the elites in Brussels have told the powers that be is taboo. All because the truth reflects horribly on them and what they are doing to the annoying and ungrateful serfs they are caring so hard for.

Keep it up you people. The more of this we see the more people will realize that the credentialed elite class should no longer be allowed near the leavers of power. Anyone willing to put their citizens in definite harm’s way in the name of an ideological vision and ideal, deserves the boot. I hope the Swedes go all Viking on the people doing this to their country.

Bizzaro World

So Trump’s inauguration was on Friday. It was obvious that the inauguration — while well-attended — was not as well-attended as Obama’s. There were visible open spaces on the mall, MTA ridership was down and ballpark estimates were low. 250,000 tickets were sent out but it looks like the total crowd was in about the half million range or a bit below. This would be massively less than Obama’s crowds, but close to what Bush drew. Estimates will come out soon (the Park Service no longer make estimates after Louis Farrakhan threw a fit over his “million man march” drawing “only” 400,000 people.)

For some reason, Trump and his supporters got in a tizzy over the low attendance numbers though. There were a number of arguments that could be made in Trump’s favor: the weather wasn’t great; Trump’s supporters are more working class; DC is a very heavily Democratic town; there’s less of a cult following of Trump; etc. But instead of doing that, Trump decided to go with an outright brassbound cringingly obvious lie:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer came to the briefing room Saturday to chastise journalists for their coverage of attendance at President Trump’s inauguration before leaving the briefing room without taking any questions.

..

“Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted,” Spicer said, his voice escalating in volume. “No one had numbers…because the National Park Service does not put any out.” He said the same applied to “any attempt to count the protesters today,” referring to the Women’s March on Washington that packed the National Mall area.

Despite the lack of numbers he cited, Spicer went on to assert “this was the largest audience to ever witness the inauguration period both in person and around the globe.”

“Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way in one particular tweet to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall,” Spicer said. He described what he considered unfair visuals from the event: “This was the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings were used to protect the grass on the mall…That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing while in years past, the grass eliminated this visual.”

Later, Spicer blasted the reporting as “shameful” and “wrong,” calling them “attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration.”

Spicer cited false MTA ridership figures, made false claims about floor coverings (which were used in past inaugurations), blasted the media and then stomped out. You have to watch it to get the full flavor. He was angry. It reminded me of nothing so much as Bill Clinton wagging his finger at us and insisting he’d never touched Monica.

(Spicer also blasted Time for incorrectly reporting that MLK’s bust has been removed from the Oval Office. The reporter in question realized within hours that his view was obstructed and apologized for the error. Spicer accepted the apology on Twitter, then went out and had a hissy fit about it anyway.)

Look, I’m used to politicians lying. But never this blatantly, this stupidly or this angrily. It’s usually stuff like claiming small decreases in spending growth are “draconian cuts” that they’re the most transparent administration ever. It’s usually stuff they can weasel around. But this was an obvious lie, a ridiculous lie, the kind you would have expected for Baghdad Bob.

There’s a lot of theories floating around. Some people think Trump is gaslighting the country — trying to lie so much about little things that his lies about big things will be swallowed. Some people think he’s trying to distract attention away from other things (although the number of dumb Trump lies and dumb Trump scandals is so high, they’re guaranteed to overlap). I never ascribe to conspiracy, however, what can be ascribed to incompetence. Trump is just a dumb, venal, conceited man who desperately wants to think he is beloved and worshipped. Hence the hilarious claims that he won the election in the biggest landslide in history. Hence the bizarre claims that his approval numbers are rigged. Hence the surreal sight of a press secretary screaming at the press that a million and a half people attending the inauguration, apparently mostly disguised as empty reviewing stands. He desperately wants our admiration and worship, the two things he will never get. Because even if his Presidency goes exceedingly well … he’ll still be Donald Trump. He’s never going to be Reagan or even Bush 41. The most he can aspire to be is a low-rent Bill Clinton, a President we can say did a good job but was still a horse’s ass.

There is one real concern here, however. If the Trump Administration gets a reputation for dishonesty, it could create problems in foreign relations. If we need to reassure China that we have no intention of recognizing Taiwan, they need to believe that. If we have to mitigate a conflict between India and Pakistan, both sides have to trust us. If we tell the world that Iran has restarted its nuclear program, they can’t think we’re full of shit.

This reflexive flagrant dishonesty is going to bite us in the ass down the road.

Update: This nails it:

Rule #1 for press relations is that you can obfuscate, you can misrepresent, you can shade the truth to a ridiculous degree, or play dumb and pretend not to know things you absolutely do know. But you can’t peddle affirmative, provable falsehoods. And it’s not because there’s some code of honor among press secretaries, but because once you’re a proven liar in public, you can’t adequately serve your principal. Every principal needs a spokesman who has the ability, in a crunch, to tell the press something important and know that they’ll be believed 100 percent, without reservation.

Sean Spicer is blowing credibility on an issue that means absolutely nothing. What’s he going to do when we’re on the brink of a war or something?

Yeah, it isn’t about making sure he doesn’t succeed even if doing that is bad for America

Democrats loyal to former President Barack Obama are waging a behind-the-scenes effort to undermine President Donald Trump’s national security team by blocking key appointees, according to multiple sources familiar with the outgoing administration’s efforts.

The centerpiece of this obstruction is the recent refusal by Senate Democrats to quickly confirm incoming CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Democratic leaders—including Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), and Patrick Leahy (Vt.)—postponed Pompeo’s confirmation, claiming they need more time to debate the pick, which is widely supported by a majority of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

The decision to stall Pompeo’s vote, a move that will leave the critical post of CIA director vacant as Trump takes office, is part of a wider effort by the outgoing administration and its allies to hamstring Trump on the national security front, according to multiple sources, including those close to the Trump administration.

Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA director who served under former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, told the Washington Free Beacon that he is “puzzled by the objections recently raised” by Senate Democrats.

“It’s hell being the political football,” Hayden said Saturday afternoon, ahead of a visit by both Trump and Pompeo to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.

Democrats cited Hayden’s role under Bush and Obama as a precedent for Pompeo’s holdup.

“Just as Director Hayden served as a bridge between the Bush and Obama presidencies eight years ago, Director [John] Brennan could play the same role for the incoming and outgoing administrations, if the President is willing to keep him on,” Matt House, a Schumer spokesman, said in a recent press statement.

Democrats opposing Pompeo have expressed concerns about his desire to combat terrorism by boosting the collection of personal data in the United States. They also have raised concerns about Pompeo’s stance on enhanced interrogation techniques.

Hayden dismissed these concerns, saying Democratic talking points on the matter are unconvincing.

“With regard to interrogations and surveillance, Congressman Pompeo said that he would follow the law. If his intelligence professionals advised him that current law denied him intelligence opportunities that would be otherwise available, he would so advise the Congress so that they could discuss and debate whether changes in the law might be indicated,” Hayden said. “That is the essence of a professional carrying out his duty within the American political context.”

There is nothing abnormal about Pompeo’s desire to potentially strengthen the interrogation techniques available to the U.S. military, Hayden said.

I love the fact that all it took for democrats to suddenly feel spying on Americans was a bad thing that we shouldn’t be doing was for a republican to be elected! Maybe they should also ask him what his take is on drone striking as many people as possible, including Americans citizens, without due process. Cause if he is against that he certainly is taking a radical turn away from the way the Obama administration did things.

Note that I am all OK with drone striking non-Americans without any due process. Enemy combatants are enemy combatants, and while collateral damage sucks, people that hide behind human shields and then use that to play martyrs, need to be denied that benefit. But not American citizens. And Obama smoked a few of those and claimed he had the authority to just do whatever he wanted.

My point is that changing the letter next to the president’s name sure as hell made the left all righteous and concerned about abuse again for some reason…..

Women’s March

I won’t say anything about their goals or objectives. But the turnout for today’s Women’s March has so far been extraordinary. Either on Twitter or FB, I’m seeing crowds from LA to Austin to Nashville to DC. And they are dwarfing what showed up for Trump’s inaugural. It seems to be almost entirely peaceful.

Doubtless, there is a lot of stuff I’d disagree with out there (the agenda seems to be a mishmash of liberal priorities). And I’m wondering where all this was while Obama was droning American citizens and snooping through our phones. But I have to tip my hat to the organizers. This is an astonishing turnout.

Trump’s First!

The Senate today voted 98-1 to confirm Mattis as Trump’s Sec Def:

The Senate easily confirmed retired Gen. James Mattis to be the next defense secretary on Friday, shortly after President Trump took the oath of office, making Mattis the first confirmed member of the new Cabinet.

Mattis’ nomination to be the Pentagon’s top civilian easily passed the Senate in a 98-1 vote. The only “no” vote came from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is Trump’s nominee for attorney general, didn’t vote.

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved his nomination this week in a 26-1 vote in which Gillibrand was again the only opposition.

Gildebrant opposed the Mattis nomination under the pretense that a civilian should run the military, and she is correct: that civilian is the POTUS. Methinks however that Gildebrant had ulterior motives she hid behind a veneer of concern. From the article:

Gillibrand is a vocal member of the Armed Services Committee and has spent years crusading against the Pentagon’s policies on sexual assault in the military. Gillibrand has repeatedly and unsuccessfully introduced bills to reform the way the U.S. military handles sexual assault, in the face of objections from the Pentagon.

Mattis has been vocal about the damage done under the Obama administration that turned the military from an organization that was staffed by warriors into one staffed by social justice warriors, and his intent to change that crap. The military, contrary to the belief and agenda from the left, is the one organization that has no room for social engineering of any kind that doesn’t make its members more lethal and effective at killing and blowing up shit. That’s what war is. Or at least that is what people that want to win wars do.

After WWII, the western world over time forgot what militaries are for. I read an interesting book once that claimed this was an unavoidable consequence of the nuclear age, but I think while that did make leaders more cautious about going to war (a great thing), what really did the most damage is the move to sanitize warfare. War was, and always, will be – if you want to win – about breaking the enemy and most importantly, the enemy’s will to fight. The stupid quote that force never settled anything was coined by idiots. History is replete with examples where force settled everything. Ask the Carthaginians, the Mongols, the Armenians, the Jews, or Osama bin Laden, what their take on that is. WWII was the last war where the western world had people that fought to win. There were no innocent bystanders, and both sides bombed the living shit out of civilians.

War historically was, and is supposed to be a ugly and nasty thing to be avoided at all cost. Sanitized warfare has only resulted in a lot more and perpetual conflicts, where because the deaths happen in smaller numbers that oft does nothing but cause people to talk, has confounded many into seeing it is as a superior way of doing things. It is not. There is never any finality, and the decision to go to war has become far easier to make because the people involved always convince themselves they can keep casualties down and fight it all nice and clean like a video game. Eventually those playing the video game will end up fighting those that fight for keeps and care little for civility, and that’s when the shit hits the fan. The barbarians have always stormed the gates when those that thought civilization made war a bad idea, and nothing was worth defending, lost their bearings, and it was never good when it happened for anyone (often including the barbarians).

Anyway, this was not supposed to be a post about war itself, but about turning the military into a social engineering experiment. If they made all players plat by the same rules, at least the results would have chance of being beneficial, but what has been happening to the military – because SJW types have demanded reality and human nature subside to their ideological beliefs – has been detrimental to the survival of this country and the western world. Mattis reversing some of the idiocy of the last 5 decades, but especially the last 8 years, is a welcome thing. Gildebrant, and people like her whom want reality to bend to what they want it to be, can go do her social engineering elsewhere.

UPDATE: And his second.

UPDATE PLUS 1: Well done, sir.

Historic day today, and some other things

Today Barack Obama vacates the WH, and to the chagrin of the intelligentsia and the left, is replaced by a guy that the left took for granted would lose and referred to as the orange haired clown. I wish I someone would tape the reactions of Hillary Clinton today. That would make for one heck of a documentary. My guess is she will be drunk as a skunk, throwing shit at people, and especially Bill, blaming everyone for not giving her, her dues, and in general acting like the spoiled entitled person she is. Today Trump becomes US president, and while the DNC operatives with bylines continue to fantasize on how Trump would not end in the WH, reality is gonna suck for these people. Anyway, did I mention trump becomes president today? I did, good.

Now I propose an exercise. No big workout of either the body or the mind, although people that are historically challenged might have a hard time wanting to remember things. Here it goes. Remember how horrible the right behaved when Obama won the WH from Boosh? Those anti-democracy douchebags, thinking obviously that the only time democracy works is when they are winning, not only had the temerity to oppose Black Jesus’ coming, but setup subversive training camps for their paid grievance mongering apes! Heck, these frightwingers were so distraught and butthurt that the snowflakes needed special treatment! What a bunch of pansies. Thankfully now that Obama is leaving the adults will be in charge of a smooth transition, honoring democracy and the office of the presidency, just like the left spent the months before the election telling everyone patriotic Americans should behave like. If only those evil rightwingers wouldn’t resort to censorship!

At least we all can breathe a sigh of relief at this all. After all, the most transparent and ethical administration evah has left behind a government of laws and balanced power which should limit the next president’s ability to abuse power. And nobody should worry, since the guy is a pariah anyway. Sure, he talks a lot of crazy shit, but then again, he ain’t gonna get away with anything, because despite the plebe’s ineffective pushback, the guardians of freedom are on the job! The American people can count on them.

OK, enough satire, but the truth hurts. BTW, I have found the first Trump cabinet member I think needs to absolutely go and be blocked. And I am being serious. Mnuchin just crossed a line for me when he said that he wanted to expand the IRS. That den of inequity and evil needs to be disbanded. And no, I am not being sarcastic here. The IRS needs to go. It’s by far the most dangerous entity out there. More dangerous than the NSA snooping on you or the DOJ coming after you. The IRS can destroy your ability to make an income. Nothing is more important to a person’s independence.

UPDATE: Done deal.

Fake News Alert: Ricky Perry

So last night, the NYT ran a sensational story about how Rick Perry, Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, doesn’t know what the Energy Department does. According to them, he thought it mostly promoted fossil fuels or whatever and didn’t understand that much of their authority centers around regulating and maintaining our nuclear arsenal. Social media jumped all over it, liberals wrung their hands while others pointed out that this claim seems thinly sourced.

Oh, yeah … it was total bullshit:

The New York Times interpreted a quote from a former Trump transition official to mean that Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of energy, didn’t fully grasp the role of the Department of Energy.

That former transition official, Michael McKenna, told The Daily Caller Wednesday that the Times misinterpreted him and Perry “of course” understood that a key role of the Department of Energy is caring for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

In fact, you can go back to Perry’s acceptance of the nomination to find him talking about the nuclear arsenal. And, back in 2012, his campaign platform talked about closing the Department of Energy … while moving its control of the nuclear stockpile to the Department of Defense. So, yes, Rick Perry knew what the job entailed. He almost certainly knew it better than most of the people currently mocking him.

This building hysteria is becoming a problem with Trump’s cabinet nominees. I can certainly see why people don’t like some of them. I don’t like Sessions. I think Tillerson was out of his depth. And while I’m open-minded on DeVos, she badly flubbed some questions. But this is getting ridiculous. Perry at Energy is actually one of the less alarming appointments. Perry was a successful governor of Texas. His Presidential campaign floundered, I think, because he didn’t really want the job. He always crossed me as the sort of Republican I grew up with: somewhat bumbling, vaguely competent; the kind of guy who wants to get the job done as expeditiously as possible so he can get back to the golf course or his mistress (or both). Save your ammo guys. There are away more alarming people in this Administration than James Richard Perry.

We’ll see how the hearing goes, but the NYT’s report is garbage.

Yeah, I am rubbing it in..

The other day, on one of the many threads that degenerate into people flinging poo and hoping it sticks to the wall about Trump, I made the argument that some of the people I had talked to admitted that the major reason the left is so unhinged about Trump was tied to an abject fear that after decades of abysmal and compounded failures of the implementation of a slew of progressive ideas, and the horrible turn of the last 8 years in particular, that Trump would swoop in, and be successful. Of course, the usual crowd immediately attacked me for this, pointing out that I needed to find different liberals to talk to. Some even went so far as to imply that maybe I was just making shit up. bear with me as I set this up.

Then again, I clearly remember how the left was eager to see Reagan implement his ideas, back when he won in the early eighties, expecting them to crash and burn. At the time convention was that piss poor economic performance – the stuff that later came to be known as the carter malaise – was a given. All because big government and central planning – by the ascending club of douchebag credentialed elites that went on to run western democracies today – was the only way to go forward. these smug know-it-alls where certain that the Keynesianism and massive government expansion & control were the only thing that would work, only to freak out when Reagan’s changes resulted in a huge boom and unprecedented growth. Of course, the democrat controlled congress reacted to that boom by desperately trying to control the messaging and by sending twice what they collected out of the booming economy. Reagan was forced to go along with that so he could both get his military build up (which is what spelled the demise of the USSR) and the things he knew would spur and keep continued growth.

The left learned a huge lesson from that mistake: allowing something other than their idiotic ideas to be implemented was a recipe for disaster. After Reagan, no one would ever be allowed to challenge the standard lefty dogma unopposed. The taxpayers being fleeced, and the American people in general, be damned. And they thought they had won that battle with Obama and the narrative from the DNC operatives with bylines that spent 8 years telling us we were in a great economy, one that was always just around the corner from taking off like a bat out of hell because of the genius of the credentialed elite in charge. Mountains of money were thrown at problems those elites told us they knew how to solve. When it didn’t happen, they blamed everyone else for the failures but their stupid ideas. Heck, we even had people that argued that the reason these idiotic half-baked ideas did not pan out was that not enough money had been funneled to democrat special interest, friends, operatives, and campaign coffers! And they thought enough people were lapping the shit up that despite the abysmal reality one of the most crooked and opportunistic people would end up elected to carry on that legacy. But then reality kicked them in the teeth.

As soon as Trump won, the left, already unhinged but until then wrapping their miasma in a veneer of legitimacy, went batshit crazy. Snowflakes that had been given participation trophies and had gobbled up the propaganda about the virtues of the nanny state and its supremacy, suddenly had no idea what to do with that. Like religious fanatics, assured of their dogma’s supremacy, and smug in their belief they are the smart ones because they believe the right things, suddenly getting that all challenged, these people have basically experienced an existential crisis. The urge is to deligitimize and to assure failure (like they did with Boosh too). The enemy must be defined and defeated.

So what does this have to do with my original comment at the start of this post? Well, it seems I am not alone in having those lib friends that want Trump to not succeed/ It looks like others have similar friends or are noticing that there is definitely that component of fear of success by Trump there. Nothing is more dangerous to the nanny staters than real world events which will clearly show that their ideology offers neither real answers nor solutions. Especially in this day and age where they have lost control of the messaging.

Manning to Go Free

I’m actually shocked:

President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks.

The President also pardoned James Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who pleaded guilty in October to a single charge of making false statements to federal investigators in 2012 when he was questioned about leaking top secret information on US efforts to cripple Iran’s nuclear program to two journalists.

A presidential commutation reduces the sentence being served but it does not change the fact of conviction, whereas a pardon forgives a certain criminal offense.

Manning, a transgender woman and former US Army soldier, was serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison in eastern Kansas, despite her request to transfer to a civilian prison. A White House statement on Tuesday said her prison sentence is set to expire on May 17.

The material, which WikiLeaks published in 2010, included a classified video of a US helicopter attacking civilians and journalists in Iraq in 2007. Labeled “Collateral Murder,” the film drew criticism from human rights activists for the deaths of innocent people.

Though found guilty on 20 out of 22 possible charges (including violating the US Espionage Act), Manning was not convicted of the most serious one; aiding the enemy, which could have earned the private a life sentence.
Instead, the former intelligence analyst was sentenced to prison, as well as demoted from private first class to private and dishonorably discharged.

Manning was in solitary for no apparent reason and was having problems (e.g., two suicide attempts). But this is honestly surprising. I know the intelligence community was vehemently opposed. Obama has been commuting a lot of sentences for drug dealers and such, which I don’t really have a problem with. But this is the biggest one yet.

I’ll have to think about this one a bit though. Manning’s leaks crossed me as less defensible than Snowden’s. Snowden, at least, was revealing NSA malfeasance and civil liberties violations, even if one disagrees with the manner in which he revealed them. Manning’s leaks seemed more motivated at embarrassing the military and political leadership than anything else (e.g., Cablegate, which revealed diplomatically embarrassing discussions but no actual scandals).

So why has Obama pardoned Manning and not Snowden? I suspect because Manning undermined Bush and Snowden undermined Obama. We’ve seen this kind of partisan bullshit with Wikileaks. Republicans who denounced it when Manning was releasing info praised it when it released the DNC’s e-mails. And Democrats who praised Wikileaks when it was humiliating Bush denounced it when it humiliated Clinton. My stance on Wikileaks evolved a bit in the early days (as you’ll see in the link below) but solidified by the end of the Bush years. While I appreciate the efforts to reveal lawbreaking and civil liberties violations, I do not trust this messenger. Assange does not have our interests at heart and the information he has revealed has generally not benefitted us or the world. Quite the contrary.

As an example, I wrote a long blog many years ago on the “collateral murder” video. I disagreed with Wikileaks editorializing of the video, seeing it more as a tragic accident than the deliberate targeting of civilians. And be sure to click through to letters from Andrew Sullivan’s readers who go into the context of the video.

Anyway, Manning is going free and I’m happy for her, I guess. But I’m very surprised and baffled by this. I really didn’t expect it.