Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

“Fake but accurate”: another Clinton anti-gun fraud

Posted by Richard on October 23, 2016

The Podesta emails released by Wikileaks contain a wealth of examples of how dependent on fraud, fakery, and manipulation of a compliant press the Clinton campaign is. Gateway Pundit pointed out an example of interest to those of us concerned about our civil gun rights:

So much about Hillary’s campaign is fake, even some of her supporters. A blog posted to Medium in January was made to look like it was written by a Hillary supporter who was a victim of gun violence was actually orchestrated and written by her staff. Then the piece was customized for the person assigned as the author.


HT: Billlls Idle Mind, which appropriately labeled the Medium post as fantastic, according to one of the definitions of that word.

UPDATE: NRA-ILA reported this story along with a lot of other evidence from the leaked emails of the Clinton campaign’s commitment to make war on gun owners. See also their dissection of the preposterous lie Clinton told during the third debate when asked about her statement that the Supreme Court is “wrong on the Second Amendment.”

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Tragic consequences of the left’s control of education

Posted by Richard on October 22, 2016

Those of us who intelligently embrace the concept of American exceptionalism don’t do so in the “Rah, rah, we’re number one” way that sports fans embrace their team; we do so because the United States is unique among nations because of the nature of its founding. America isn’t based on a shared ethnic or religious or geographic heritage, it’s not based on conquest or assimilation by royal marriages. Instead, it’s based on a set of ideas, the ideas of John Locke and the Enlightenment: the sovereignty of the individual, the natural rights of all human beings, government as the servant of the people and not their master. The Declaration of Independence outlined these ideas and the Constitution was their implementation. As Margaret Thatcher said, “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.”

For as long as there has been an organized “progressive”/leftist movement in this country, it’s tried to diminish and destroy those ideas and with them American exceptionalism. It has succeeded to a large extent because the left gradually, and in the last couple of generations almost completely, took over education all the way from kindergarten through college. The result today is young people full of ignorance and indoctrination.

Some of the consequences of the left’s current monopoly of education are on display in the depressing results of a recent public opinion survey (emphasis added):

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation released its first “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Towards Socialism” Monday. The survey showed a distinct generation gap regarding beliefs about socialism and communism between older and younger Americans.

For example, 80 percent of baby boomers and 91 percent of elderly Americans believe that communism was and still is a problem in the world today, while just 55 percent of millennials say the same.

Just 37 percent of millennials had a “very unfavorable” view of communism, compared to 57 percent of Americans overall. Close to half (45 percent) of Americans aged 16 to 20 said they would vote for a socialist, and 21 percent would vote for a communist.

When asked their opinion of capitalism, 64 percent of Americans over the age of 65 said they viewed it favorably, compared to just 42 percent of millennials.

The survey also revealed a general lack of historical knowledge, especially among young adults. According to the report, one-third (32 percent) of millennials believed that more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin.

Let that last statistic sink in for a moment.

Where do you think they got such an insane idea?

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The October surprise ignored by the media

Posted by Richard on October 5, 2016

On Tuesday, Clinton cheerleaders and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) were practically chortling because a much-anticipated Julian Assange press conference turned out to be just about WikiLeaks’ tenth anniversary, with no Clinton-damaging October surprise.

But there had already been an October surprise on Monday. It’s just that only Fox News (and various alternative media sites piggy-backing on their story) chose to report it (emphasis added):

Immunity deals for two top Hillary Clinton aides included a side arrangement obliging the FBI to destroy their laptops after reviewing the devices, House Judiciary Committee sources told Fox News on Monday.

Sources said the arrangement with former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson also limited the search to no later than Jan. 31, 2015. This meant investigators could not review documents for the period after the email server became public — in turn preventing the bureau from discovering if there was any evidence of obstruction of justice, sources said.

Think about that for a moment. Not only did the Department of Justice and FBI hand out immunity deals to most of the people involved in the Clinton email affair (apparently without the usual requirement that they provide complete and truthful testimony), but they also agreed not to examine documents that might reveal a cover-up and to destroy the computers holding those documents so that no one could ever examine them.

I can think of only two explanations. Either the DOJ/FBI people responsible are so naive and easily duped that they shouldn’t be trusted to manage a kindergarten classroom or they colluded with the Clinton team to destroy evidence and obstruct justice. The latter is clearly far more likely. And it makes Watergate seem like the equivalent of jaywalking.

This is an October surprise that should have been breathlessly declared breaking news. It should have led off questioning at the vice presidential debate. It should have led to countless reporters clamoring for answers from Mills, Samuelson, FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Hillary Clinton herself. It should still be dominating the news cycle today.

Instead, a Google News search for “fbi destroy laptops clinton aides” (sans quotes) yields only this. Nothing from the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, or Boston Globe; nothing from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC; nothing from the Associated Press or Reuters.

The people who in journalism school worshiped Woodward and Bernstein, who preened about how they were going to “speak truth to power,” are in cahoots with the Democratic power elite to keep the American people in the dark.

Meanwhile, four Republican congressional committee chairmen have sent a letter to AG Lynch:

… The Republicans expressed “concern” that the “FBI inexplicably agreed to destroy the laptops knowing that the contents were the subject of Congressional subpoenas and preservation letters.”

The letter repeatedly cited Congress’ interest in the “evidence” that may have been jeopardized under the side arrangement.

The new letter asked Lynch why the FBI agreed to destroy the laptops and, significantly, what legal authority the FBI has to destroy records subject to a congressional investigation or subpoena. The letter also asked if the FBI followed through and in fact destroyed “evidence” from the laptops or the laptops themselves.

Asked for comment, a Justice Department spokesman said: “We have received the letter and are reviewing it.”

Based on past history, I predict DOJ will provide a less than satisfying response, various Republicans will bluster for a few minutes in front of microphones (and will be completely ignored by the MSM), and nothing more will come of it.

This country has become no better than a banana republic.

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Free coffee!

Posted by Richard on September 29, 2016

Happy National Coffee Day! USA Today has a list of places where you can score free or reduced-price coffee today. Krispy Kreme will even throw in a free doughnut.

It seems that yesterday was National Drink a Beer Day, so if you celebrated that to excess, some coffee might help. I celebrated National Drink a Beer Day without even being aware of it. Go figure.

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Posted by Richard on September 19, 2016

Shiver me timbers! I almost forgot that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And there’s not a drop of rum in the house!

Q: What comic strip do pirates like best?

A: Gary Larrrson’s The Farrr Side

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Hillary’s health problem

Posted by Richard on September 15, 2016

First, there were weeks of recurring coughing fits (which prompted this gem from Mad Magazine). Then, she was rushed out of the 9/11 remembrance ceremony, and some private citizens recorded her collapsing and being dragged into a waiting van. She became overheated, her staff said. It was 77° at the time. Oh, she was dehydrated, they added, due to the pneumonia she was diagnosed with last Friday. That’s why she’s been so frail that she needs to be helped up steps and is always coughing.

So of course, that van rushed her to the nearest hospital emergency room to get IV fluids and be checked out, right? Um, no. They took her to her daughter’s apartment. An hour later she came out and danced a jig. And a small child just happened to walk toward her, so she exposed the child to her pneumonia in order to complete the photo op.

Bill filled in for her on the campaign trail and, having failed to get the pneumonia memo, talked about her “flu.”

If you’re confused and/or suspicious, some posts by Aesop at Raconteur Report will make you less confused (but much more suspicious). He apparently has expertise in emergency medicine, as well as some personal history that’s relevant. The first post from last Tuesday includes this about the latter (emphasis in original):

1) I’ve had actual “walking” pneumonia, for real. In my twenties.
It absolutely kicked my 20-year old ass, around the block, and down the hill.
Forget about what it would do to a corpulent 68-year old woman.
I did not, for instance, simply go into an air-conditioned apartment for an hour, and come bouncing back to normalcy, same day.
Not just no, but HELL NO.
I was put on a course of antibiotics for a week. I dropped half my college classes for a semester, and it took two weeks at home, doing abso-effing-lutely nothing, to get to where I could come back and struggle through the half that I didn’t drop.
And before and after I got to that point, I looked and felt like death warmed over, thinking I just had a bad chest cold. I did not, for example, look bright and perky in the morning, and then faint dead away in a matter of an hour and a half on a pleasant fall day.

After you’ve read the eight other important points he makes in that post (note: I think he was wrong about Chelsea’s apartment), read the follow-up from Wednesday. And then read today’s update regarding Hillary’s miraculous recovery. If, by the time you read this, Aesop has posted again, you’ll probably want to read that too.

Hillary’s real health problem isn’t her health per se. It’s that this health issue has further exposed the fact that Hillary and her campaign staff are, as Kurt Schlichter says in his latest must-read column, not even competent liars. Even Bill, once the world’s greatest prevaricator, has become maladroit.

Yet why should they bother? Why should Task Force Pantsuit expend any effort at all trying to construct convincing prevarications when the mainstream media is going to smile and nod at whatever they say? Without resistance, you aren’t going to get any stronger, and Clinton’s lies have just gotten weaker and weaker. For her, lying to the mainstream media is like weightlifting by pumping Styrofoam.

Personally, I think all the covering for them that their sycophants in the media can muster isn’t enough to hide the clumsiness of their lies from the public.

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Fifteen years have passed, but we must never forget

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2016

Fifteen years have passed since that awful September 11th morning. Many millennials have no meaningful recollection of it, and apparently their parents and teachers did nothing to inform and educate them. They haven’t seen the video or images (or saw just fleeting glimpses with no context) of what happened to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and to the Pentagon. They don’t know or understand the significance of what the passengers on Flight 93 did, and they aren’t moved, as I am to this day, by the words “Let’s roll!”

That might explain (but not excuse) a mattress store advertising its “twin towers” mattress sale with a spoof in which two “towers” of mattresses collapse. Nothing can explain or excuse what Comedy Central did, as reported on Twitter by Tabitha Bliss, since apparently mature adult entertainment industry professionals approved and aired it. I refuse to view it and hope you won’t either, but here is her tweet:

Most of the rest of this post is, with minor changes, what I’ve posted in past years on this grim anniversary. It’s my hope that someone will stumble across this page who is too young to remember or who has forgotten, and that it will have an impact on them.

But before moving on to that portion, let me suggest that you read an Esquire article by Tom Junod entitled The Falling Man. It’s about one of the most horrifying aspects of that horrifying day. It’s about something that to this day wrenches my gut and makes my eyes well up when I think about it or see images of it, and which caused me some years ago to struggle to create lyrics for a song in my head that, if I had any musical talent, would have been recorded by now. It’s about this picture, and the countless others who did what the man in it did, but perhaps not quite as well.

falling man

Some people have forgotten now
It was many years ago
And peaceful here at home since then
So just let the memory go
But I close my eyes and see it still
Like it was yesterday — Oh no!
People jumping from a hundred-story building!
I can still see those Americans
Jumping from a hundred-story building …

© 2009 Richard G. Combs. All rights reserved.

Fifteen years ago this morning, we watched in horror as people jumped a thousand feet to their deaths because it was better than the alternative. Later that day, we learned that the heroic passengers of United Flight 93, knowing the fate that awaited them, had fought and died to prevent their plane from crashing into the White House or Capitol. In the ensuing days, we learned the details of that brave struggle, and “Let’s roll!” became a phrase that brought goosebumps to me whenever I heard it.

We must not  forget the events of September 11, 2001. We must keep the images fresh in our memories. It’s necessary, I believe, if we’re to retain the resolve we need to understand, oppose, and defeat the ongoing Islamofascist effort to destroy our way of life, of which the attacks of 9/11 were a part.

We must not forget that there is a large, powerful, well-financed international movement dedicated to destroying Western Civilization.

On September 11, 2001, barbarians with box cutters — primitive 7th-century savages who could never build a World Trade Center or a 747, but whose insane ideology is dedicated to making the building of such things impossible — murdered 2,996 innocent people and changed Lower Manhattan from this:

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11

to this:

1st tower falls

Fleeing as the tower falls

Fleeing through the choking dust

Falling to his death

Never forget.

Flag still stands

Never forget.

raising the flag at ground zero

Never, ever forget.

9/11 tribute of light

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It’s not just the Supreme Court we should worry about

Posted by Richard on September 10, 2016

For many pro-freedom folks, the strongest argument for voting for a deeply flawed GOP presidential candidate revolves around the Supreme Court. Donald Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court appointees a while back, a list strongly influenced by the Federalist Society and widely praised by conservatives and libertarians. Of course, there’s no guarantee that he’d stick to that list (although he’s promised to nominate people like those on the list). But it’s a virtual certainty that Hillary Clinton would nominate candidates like Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, if not worse.

But the Supreme Court isn’t the only judicial issue of concern. The Heritage Society points out that President Obama has fundamentally transformed the federal judiciary:

When Obama entered the Oval Office, liberal judges controlled just one of the 13 circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Fifty-five successful presidential nominations later, liberal majorities now control nine of those appeals benches, or 70 percent.

Outside of legal circles the transformation of the influential federal appeals courts has gone largely unnoticed, though.

“The Supreme Court grabs the spotlight, but it hears fewer than 100 cases a year,” Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett said, “while the 13 federal courts of appeals handle about 35,000.”

More than one-third of the 179 judges on federal appeals courts owe their seat to Obama, Willett told The Daily Signal. “That’s a legacy with a capital L.”

Obama also has left his mark on the U.S. District Courts, which are the lower federal courts, successfully appointing 268 judges—seven more than President George W. Bush.

All those appointments were of course confirmed by the Senate. The GOP establishment and its critics disagree about whether Senate Republicans did the best they could or “handed over the keys to the judiciary without a fight,” and the Heritage article fairly presents both sides. Personally, I think the critics have the stronger argument. That’s not just water under the bridge; it gives us an idea of what to expect if Hillary Clinton is elected.

The next president could tip the balance of the four remaining circuit courts of appeals still dominated by conservatives.

“It’s hands down the most fateful issue of the election,” said Willett, who is on Republicans’ short list for the Supreme Court.

“When Americans vote in November, they’re choosing not just a president but thousands of presidential appointees, including hundreds of life-tenured judges.”

In 2013, Sen. Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” for all appointments other than to the Supreme Court, ensuring that a simple majority could end debate (quash a filibuster) and vote to confirm. This precedent will cut both ways going forward.

If Clinton is elected and the Democrats retake the Senate, anyone she nominates to the federal bench is, barring a scandalous revelation, certain to be confirmed. Even if Republicans retain the Senate (I think they probably will, but wouldn’t bet on it), history suggests that most of her nominees would be confirmed. There are several Republican senators who will will not oppose a Democratic president’s nominally qualified nominee based on ideology (unless the nominee is an avowed Stalinist, and maybe not even then).

If Trump is elected and the Democrats retake the Senate, I suspect the self-described deal-maker would nominate judges and justices who could get enough Democrat votes to be confirmed, perhaps people like Souter and Roberts. But I consider this scenario highly unlikely. Given the tepid support for Trump among the GOP base, I can’t imagine him being elected, but the GOP losing the Senate.

So the election of Trump would almost certainly be accompanied by the election of a Republican majority Senate. The nuclear option would then ensure that his lower court appointments could be confirmed, and he’d have every reason to nominate judges acceptable to the conservative base and no reason not to. In just four years, that could easily mean 25 or more circuit court and 100 or more district court appointments.

The Reid precedent doesn’t cover Supreme Court nominations, so that’s a different story. Senate Republicans could tell their Democrat colleagues “you started this, we’re going to finish it” and extend the nuclear option to cover Supreme Court nominations. But I can’t see Mitch McConnell doing that; it would require new leadership with a stiff spine.

The more likely scenario is, again, the nomination of people like Souter and Roberts in order to attract enough Democrat votes to invoke cloture (Roberts was confirmed on a 78-22 vote, with fully half of Senate Democrats voting for him). That’s not something I’d cheer, but it would be far better than two to four more Breyers or Kagans. So maybe a sigh of relief.

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Protested pipeline parallels existing pipeline

Posted by Richard on September 9, 2016

Protesters rallied at the State Capitol in Denver last night in solidarity with the lawsuit and violent protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists against the Dakota Access pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux claim the pipeline will “disturb sacred sites” and its passage under the Missouri River will imperil their drinking water. In addition to the above-linked article about the rally, the Denver Post published an Associated Press “explainer” purporting to tell us what we need to know about the pipeline and the protests. But that “explainer” omitted some information critical to putting the claims of the protesters into perspective.

Rob Port of the Say Anything blog actually read through the 1206-page report on which the Corps of Engineers based their approval of the Dakota Access pipeline. He learned something interesting from a graphic on page 1008 (emphasis added):

Before reading this report I had no idea there was another pipeline already running through this area, but there is. It’s called the Northern Border Pipeline. It’s a natural gas line built all the way back in 1982, and the Dakota Access Pipeline follows it often, including through the areas currently being disputed by protesters.

This is no mere coincidence. I spoke with Justin Kringstad at the ND Pipeline Authority who told me that the Dakota Access line “generally follows the same corridor” as the Northern Border line, and that this sort of thing is “not uncommon.” It can be easier to get easements and regulatory approval for a pipeline built where another pipeline has already gone through.

Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak also told me that the Dakota Access line “tried to follow wherever possible the Northern Border pipeline.”

The two routes aren’t exact, but through the area where pipeline construction has sparked violent protests the two lines run side by side according to Energy Transfer Partners.

Digging into the history of the Northern Border pipeline’s approval, Port learned that the Standing Rock Sioux, who now claim that the new pipeline will “disturb sacred sites,” had no such objection (in fact, no objection of any kind) to the building of the Northern Border pipeline along the same route.

The attempts to stop the Dakota Access pipeline aren’t really about sacred lands or water quality; those are just cover stories. This is just another battle in the leftist/environmentalist war on fossil fuels (and thus on affordable energy and economic growth).

This is another example of a blogger doing what the journalists reporting the story failed to do: dig into the facts to determine how credible the claims they’re reporting are. Most journalists today can’t be bothered with that, except maybe for whatever Trump says. Certainly not for whatever claims their environmentalist and leftist allies make. Those are simply accepted without question. These aren’t real journalists, they’re just leftist/environmentalist PR flacks.

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Happy Independence Day!

Posted by Richard on July 4, 2016

On Twitter yesterday, someone took to task people who write “Forth of July” when it should be “Fourth of July.” I pointed out that we’re not celebrating the 4th day of the 7th month, we’re celebrating our independence. It should be Independence Day.

Today is the birthday of the first and only nation founded on an idea: human liberty. Join me in celebrating that founding and that idea.

Old Glory

Perhaps the finest words ever penned by man, from the document that changed the world for the better like no other before or since:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Go read “The Americans Who Risked Everything,” a wonderful speech by Rush Limbaugh, Jr. (father of talkmeister Rush Limbaugh III) about the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Here’s an excerpt:

Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half – 24 – were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: “Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone.”

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: “Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

“The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.

“If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens.”

Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.

If you don’t have a copy of the Declaration handy, you can find the entire text here. Take the time this Independence Day to read it. Then raise a glass in a toast to Liberty!

John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence"

John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence”

The painting features the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence — John Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson (presenting the document), and Benjamin Franklin — standing before John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. The painting includes portraits of 42 of the 56 signers and 5 other patriots. The artist sketched the individuals and the room from life.

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The Trump assassination attempt

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2016

As Jazz Shaw observed at Hot Air, the mainstream media seemed rather uninterested in the attempt to assassinate Donald Trump at a rally in Las Vegas and in the perpetrator:

One might imagine that this was big news, but even the most rudimentary details of the attempt were missing from the few news hits which bothered to cover it. As John accurately included in his report, the press was telling us that he was, “a UK citizen who has been in the United States for about 18 months. He lived in Hoboken, NJ and then drove cross country to southern California. He drove from there to Las Vegas last Thursday with the intention of killing Trump.

Eventually, we learned that Michael Sandford was in the country illegally and had been plotting the assassination for quite some time, but that’s about when the media dropped the story.

Can you imagine the coverage we’d be seeing if someone had attempted to shoot Hillary Clinton? The same could be said if it had happened with Barack Obama in the summer of 2008. Questions would be debated on air for weeks on end about the evil lurking in the hearts of men and why someone would be so desperate to prevent the election of the first black or female president. But when someone plots for more than a year to kill Trump, travels across the country to find an opportunity and then launches his attempt, it creates barely a ripple in the media pond.

The women on The View discussed it yesterday, and c0-host Sunny Hostin had an interesting point of view. Newsbusters has the transcript (emphasis added):

SUNNY HOSTIN: Let me say this. I mean, and it’s wrong what happened. I mean, you are never supposed to violently try to take someone out because of their views. But with the Trump campaign and all that campaign rhetoric to incite violence— I mean, he did say “I should punch this guy out,” one of the protesters. It makes me wonder whether or not that campaign, the vileness of it and all the rhetoric will bring more people out of the woodwork like that.

So essentially, “He had it coming, wearing that short skirt and everything.”

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The Middle East’s reaction to Orlando

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2016

Mohammed Rady:

Recently, a devastating terrorist attack took place in Orlando, where 49 innocent people were murdered. Surely, the majority of people in the Arab world condemn this atrocious act of violence? The most fatal shooting in recent American history cannot possibly be celebrated by such a large number of peace-loving people who, after all, mostly condemn the acts of terror committed in the name of Islam by groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, right? Right?


As a bilingual Arabic and English speaker from the Middle East, I took the liberty of browsing through Arabic news pages on Facebook earlier today; namely Al Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, BBC Arabic and a number of Egyptian news outlets to gauge how the Arab world was responding to the Orlando shooting. The results were disappointing, alarming, and depressing to say the least. …

Read the whole thing.

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Neo-neocon on the failure to connect the dots

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2016

Go read Neo-neocon’s post on the dots that weren’t connected regarding Orlando shooter Omar Mateen. Here’s a taste:

We are very sensitive to government intrusion, and I think we should be. But when someone has indeed expressed sympathies with violent terrorist groups and has demonstrated communication with members of such groups, I think ongoing monitoring (particularly of social media, which is not a private but a public thing) is absolutely warranted. If the problem is money, more funds need to be allocated. But the problem seems to not be money, but will.

Money is certainly not the problem, since the NSA has the resources to provide data it gathers supposedly for national security and anti-terrorism purposes to the IRS, DEA, and local law enforcement agencies.

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Popehat explains why it’s (almost) never RICO

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2016

If you’re like me, you probably don’t know much about the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. You probably don’t think you need to, and you’re right (unless you’re one of those people who wants to use RICO for this, that, or the other thing that upsets you). And you undoubtedly think reading about RICO would be tedious, dull, and boring for anyone who isn’t a lawyer, and maybe even for them. Well, there you’d be wrong.

What if I told you that you could learn all about RICO and its uses and misuses while being thoroughly entertained and amused?

Don’t believe me? Check out Ken White’s marvelous Lawsplainer: IT’S NOT RICO, DAMMIT. I’ll accept your apology for doubting me when you’re done.

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American Journal of Political Science corrects a slight error

Posted by Richard on June 14, 2016

Last week, Steven Hayward drew attention to a correction in the American Journal of Political Science of a study they had published in 2012. Hayward’s post is entitled Epic Correction of the Decade. I’m thinking it may be the most epic correction of all time. I’ll paraphrase:

“Hey, remember how we said that conservatives are more prone to psychoticism and authoritarianism, while liberals are more prone to neuroticism and wanting to get along with others? It turns out we got that exactly backwards. Sorry, our bad.”

Well, at least they owned up to it. Years later. After a Ph.D. student pointed out the error.

But they’re also arguing (now) that the correlations are so small as to be meaningless, so which way those correlations go doesn’t really matter.

The same study by the same researchers was the basis for three other academic journal articles. According to Retraction Watch, two of those have also published corrections and the last will do so in July.

The trouble with peer review in the social sciences is that all the peers doing the reviewing share the same worldview and prejudices as the “researchers” being reviewed.

Oh, by the way: one of the authors said the surveys for this “research” were conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, and were combined and analyzed in the 2000s. So these “scientists” worked on this stuff for three decades. And your tax dollars paid for it.

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