Monday, December 31, 2018

10, 9, 8, 7....

Happy New Year!!!

Russian hacking, social media ads, and nude selfies...

Accused Russian Troll Farm Casually Mentions Mueller ‘Collected a Nude Selfie’ 
One of the Russian companies indicted by Robert Mueller over its alleged involvement in an infamous trolling operation during the 2016 presidential election filed a motion on Thursday chock full of jabs at the special counsel’s legal knowledge and respect for the rule of law. And in the process, they casually note that Mueller has apparently collected a “nude selfie” of someone.
“Could the manner in which he collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States?” Dubelier asks out loud.
Law&Crime reached out to Dubelier and the other attorney listed on the filing for clarification about who exactly took the selfie and how it possibly pertains to the case, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
At the core of Thursday’s defense motion is the argument that Mueller is unlawfully keeping “millions of pages of non-classified discovery” materials away from the defendant’s own eyes. At issue here is the fact that Mueller is attempting to have ex parte–one party only–discussions with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia regarding continued discovery in the case. Concord Management describes Mueller’s proposed limits as a bid for “the Court [to] deny all allegedly sensitive discovery to Concord.”
In layman's terms, Mueller and his team is holding back disclosure to the Russian companies under the guise that much of their evidence is considered "sensitive".  As pointed out by the legal back and forth, it's pretty much unprecedented that a prosecutor gets to simply withhold evidence from a defendant under the notion that they believe that information is "sensitive (rather than rely on official classifications of something being sensitive or classified). Apparently over three million documents defined as  "sensitive" have been submitted to the court (including the nude selfie).  On top of the nude selfie, some of the other sensitive materials include documents such as promotional emails for Airlines.

While I sort of understand that our American courts are likely going to be harder on a Russian defendant than an American company (or citizen), these are still precedents being set, and we are ultimately a country of laws. It would seem important for us to follow them pretty much in all cases.

Who are 2018's biggest winners and biggest losers?

I am working on "my" list.  Who makes your list?

2020 already?

Warren Announces Exploratory Committee for 2020 WH Bid
Michael Bloomberg on 2020: "I Would Certainly Run as a Democrat"
McAuliffe 'Obviously Looking' at 2020

Obviously none of these would be considered "front-runners" at this point. For that status, I would look to Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and possibly even Beto O'Rourke as the darkhorse. But if you end up seeing a field that expands to Michael Bloomberg and Terry McAuliffe, it will be quite similar to what we saw on the Republican side in 2016. A whole army of candidates.

In 2016, the conventional wisdom was that a clear path to the nomination for Clinton would provide her with a large advantage over the Republican field, simply because of all of the money and resources that would be spent, along with the fact that all of the infighting would leave the eventual nominee damaged goods.

Of course, with the situation reversed in 2020 (a large Democratic field vs what may end up being an incumbent running nearly unopposed), one suspects  that conventional wisdom will figure out a way to conclude that having a large field is an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The true religion!

Fund the wall 2nd largest gofundme fundraiser in history!

Over 18 million dollars raised by nearly 300,000 Americans, the current gofundme campaign is inching closer to becoming the most successful gofundme fundraiser in history. Only a legal campaign called Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund (for people who have experienced workplace harassment) has earned more (22 million).

Thursday, December 27, 2018

I find this.... Interesting

Now this is one of those stories that I see dominated as much by what information is left out than it is by the information provided. As a former wrestler, I have seen referees make wrestlers cut their hair, dry shave heavy stubble, and more frequently cut their fingernails prior to a match. Never once, did I ever see anyone question anyone "other" than the wrestler who was not in compliance.

 Now the interesting thing in the New Jersey rules is that there is an actual "hair cover" that can be worn if your hair is out of regulation. Parts of this article sort of imply (but don't quite say) that this black wrestler had a hair cover and that referee still wasn't satisfied.  But another article I read suggest that part of the issue was that nobody told the wrestler earlier (during weigh ins) that his hair was out of compliance ant that it would require a cover.

So ultimately there is no clear clarification as to whether or not there was a hair cover involved or if one was actually available. That likely means that there was no hair cover involved, and that the idea was that the wrestler would somehow push his hair under the normal headgear and call it good. But the more relevant issue to most seems to be the fact that previous referees chose not to enforce the regulations, and therefore the wrestler in question was unprepared for it happening this time.

But why is this a story and why are people so upset? Well there appears to be a suggestion that these wrestling regulations should not apply to this particular person because of his "race" and the fact that the dreadlocks were "part of his self-image". It's as if the implication is that there is an obvious exception to be made here, and a refusal to make that exception is an act of racism.

One of the things I was taught growing up was that you could never get in trouble if you simply followed the rules. But it seems like that is no longer good advice in our over-the-top PC 2018 culture. Apparently some rules need to be shunned if enforcement happens to "trigger" anyone, especially if that person is a minority or otherwise a protected class. 

I have a feeling that this particular referee will learn this the hard way.

WaPo and the MSM duped
(likely because they wanted to be)

Jamal Khashoggi was named Time magazine person of the year for all of his journalistic breakthroughs. 

But it turns out that Khashoggi was a paid operative for the country Qatar. While the Washington Post loved to print his articles in their editorials, it turns out that they were printing little more than Qatari state sponsored propaganda. Not only was Khashoggi pulling one over on WaPo (and others) in terms of his true identity, but much of what he wrote was also simply "fake news".

He was never a "journalist". He was a foreign operative.

WaPo suggests that the did not know this. They insist that they were duped. But they sure seemed eager to buy what he was selling, and apparently avoided anything slightly resembling a background check. 

Now quite obviously Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not exactly close friends. The murder of Khashoggi seems more explainable (but not justifiable) when you consider that he was not just a journalist, but actually a Qatar operative who was spreading false propaganda (much of it negative towards Saudi Arabia).

The widespread calls for tangible sanctions or drastic policy changes towards Saudi Arabia over the killing of an innocent "journalist" was never rooted in truth. While there is never a true excuse simply to murder someone, the person they murdered was not who the American MSM and American political class told us he was.

The only question is how much they knew.
Was our MSM and political class victims, or accomplices to these lies?

President visits Troops

Those who risk their lives for our Country love the President

Those offended by the use of pronouns hate the President

Let's face the facts of life. First the left was upset that the President did not go overseas during Christmas to visit the troops. But then when they found out that the President and first lady did go overseas to go visit the troops, they criticized him anyways.

Because, of course, he didn't behave the way that the Trump haters would like him to behave. Instead he simply made the troops (rather than liberals) happy. 

Government Shutdown Day Five or Six or Whatever

Tell us how is the Government Shut down messing with you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

This is really really really simple...

So a second child from Guatemala died while in New Mexico. 

Contrary to conventional liberal wisdom, this is not the fault of Donald Trump or any sort of anti-immigration policy.

The reality is that these are children who are being asked to take a 1200 mile journey (basically on foot) in order to illegally cross the United States border in hopes of either getting some sort of asylum or disappearing into the United States. The fact that more children do not die or otherwise become desperately ill along this sort of journey is the surprising thing here. In fact, I am guessing many people probably do run into health issues (even death) prior to getting to the United States. We just wouldn't hear about it.

The ACLU has called out the border services and are demanding that they somehow be held responsible for the deaths of these two children, in spite of providing them with medical attention at the time. But the reality here (again) is that our border services are not equipped (nor should they be required to be equipped) with the sort of medical facilities required to take in the thousands of people who decided to embark on the trek as part of a "caravan".

Personal responsibility is something that liberals have troubles grasping. Whenever something goes wrong (who could imagine health issues with an eight year old asked to walk 1200 miles through hazardous conditions without food, water, or medical attention) they find someone else to blame. Generally someone who they are politically opposed to.

The truth is this child is dead because his parent decided to have him walk 1200 miles to the United States. The next in line for responsibility is anyone who "encouraged" this man to take an eight year old on a 1200 mile trek to the United States. The very "last" people you should blame are those who are looking for ways to "prevent" this kind of reckless behavior.

Yet, in typical illogical liberal logic the "last" people who should deserve blame are the ones they would like to blame. Largely, because they have no ability to take any personal responsibility for anything... ever.  Bad things are always (in their meager minds) the responsibility of the "bad orange man" and anyone who refuses to call him evil.

More great news for America!

U.S. Holiday Retail Sales Are Strongest in Years, Early Data Show
Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 5.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 from a year earlier, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment. Overall, U.S. consumers spent over $850 billion this holiday season, according to Mastercard.
The figures suggest a stock-market swoon and partial government shutdown haven’t curbed consumer confidence and spending.
“Wall Street is running around like a chicken with its head cut off, while Mr. and Mrs. Main Street are happy with their jobs, enjoying their best wage increases in a decade,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail research and consulting firm. A recent drop in gas prices has helped last-minute spending, he said.
The reality is the reality here folks. People are spending money because they are comfortable with the economy and their own position within the economy. Added to a feeling of comfort are the more tangible wage increases along with lowering gas prices. These simply provide people with more money to spend.

It's one thing to make a claim one way or the other about how things are doing. It's quite another to act on it. Americans are putting their money where their collective mouths are, when it comes to consumer confidence. Retailers would rather have the sales, than the polling results.


$2.00/Gallon gas prices!

"We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices"

Monday, December 24, 2018

Shut down not an issue...

The fear of a government shutdown is usually worse than the actual government shutdown. Right now, I doubt if anyone (other than those workers who are personally affected) is really noticing exactly what is shut down. Reality is that most of the Government has been funded already. Only a small portion of our government is down.

All that being said, the media is doing contortions in an attempt to spin this as something both serious and (of course) all Trump's fault. Some, in fact, are attempting to call this the "Trump shutdown".

The argument against building the wall!

I honestly don't think Trump feels a lot of heat on this one. Obviously he felt much more heat after it was suggested that he was willing to sign a budget that did not include the border security funding he is asking for to build the wall.

So at this point, there is very little pressure on either side to get anything done, because there isn't a real impact at this point. If TSA would stop coming to work and air travel was shut down? Well that would push some people to get something done. But short of that, I have no doubt that this shutdown will push on for the foreseeable future.

So what will accomplish the task of bringing everyone together? Well at this point, my best guess is that we will solve this issue with a classic case of semantic magic. Somehow, somewhere, there will be money set aside for additional border control, that will be used to build.... something... along the border. Although it will not be the obvious five billion dollars, and we cannot call it a wall.

Perhaps something like a couple of billion dollars to build a fence or reinforce certain areas along the border with an updated structure. That way, the President can claim he got something to start his "project" while the Democrats can demand that we are not building a wall.

Sounds crazy? Sure. But is it any more crazy that shutting down the government over five billion dollar dispute tied into a multi-trillion dollar budget? The idea that spending this kind of chump change to build a wall is the most controversial or the worst idea that we could possibly ever encounter is... well silly and immature.

Cognitive dissonance at it's finest!

So yesterday I posted some additional information regarding the recent decision to remove our troops from Syria. This post "triggered" an irrational response that could the poster child of Trump induced cognitive dissonance. Several comments of insults, exasperation, conspiracy theories, and of course some more insults.

All because I posted some additional information.

Heck, I didn't even necessarily suggest that this additional information actually provided any evidence as to whether or not the decision to leave was correct or not. I just offered that it was information, and that anyone who relies on the MSM for their information would not have heard about it. 

But the existence of this additional information, along with the obvious notion that it was being ignored by CNN, NYT, and WaPo was still enough to trigger an irrational reaction.

You see the Trump-haters were being sold a simple bill of goods. The bad orange man, prompted by conservative talk show radio hosts, Jared Kushner, and voices in his head made an impromptu decision without any thought, and obviously without any input from anyone he should be listening to.

More to the point, the entire Syria issue had been dumbed down for the Trump-haters into the idea that our American troops are there for the noble cause of aiding the helpless kurds from being otherwise annihilated and wiped out by ISIS. 

This doesn't even begin to qualify as an oversimplification. 

The reality is that we have been providing aid to Syrian rebels taking part in a civil war to overthrow the Government of Assad. That was the major mission here. It's not (as we are being told today) about fighting ISIS. To whatever degree that has become the case, that was never our original intent. 

To make that argument today, is simply dishonest. 
But it is simple. 
Orange man bad. Fighting ISIS good. 

Moreover, we have for all practical purposes given up on the idea of overthrowing that government. We are there without a declaration of war, without an congressional authorization for military action, certainly not with the blessing of the Syrian government, and it would now appear that we are without any real long term goal. 

Now, is there disagreement as to whether or not these troops should leave Syria?  Certainly. But it's obviously not a simple issue of orange man bad, fighting ISIS good.

The main issue here is that there seems to be an unwillingness by many to concede anything to the Russians at this point, and that would include conceding Syria to Assad (who is backed by Russia). In fact, we had been very close to getting out prior to the Russians becoming "more" openly  involved.  But at this point we need to acknowledge that there really isn't any realistic avenue for the US backed troops to bring down Assad anymore. We also need to ask whether there is a true military solution to whatever problems exist in that area? Would would Colin Powell do?

It seems like there is an obvious incentive and obvious argument to be made that it's time to get out. The fact that this is the stance of the bad orange man seems to have driven everyone to change the aspects of the situation into something that would make the decision about our Syrian involvement "obvious" - when it is anything but.

The reality here is that this is a complicated situation. According to "all" sources, the negotiations for all of this have been ongoing for quite some time. One of the articles I linked from November, and was already recapping things that had been discussed and proposed. But the fact of the matter is that our own MSM is so focussed on things like the Russian investigation, and the Russian investigation, and the Russian investigation... that when something like this comes up, they are woefully unprepared to report on it.

So what we get is the same thing we always get. Orange man bad. Orange man did bad thing. Orange man dumb. We should remove orange man from office.  

Anything (even if it is just the introduction of left out facts) that does anything to undercut the bad orange man theories is taken as an emotional and intellectual threat to those suffering from TDS. This threat causes the sort of irrational reaction you saw here. 

I suspect we may see more of the same here.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Trump pushes Mattis out on January 1st

The President made the move to remove "now retired" Mad Dog Mattis pretty much immediately and has installed Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan as acting Secretary.

Pretty sure this was done for no other real reason other than to trigger the left into a new rage. It will be less than 24 hours before liberals will start blaming Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity for the decision.  

What we have not been told?

Saudi Arabia and UAE sending troops to help Kurds in Syria
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sent military forces to areas controlled by the Kurdish YPG group in north-east Syria, Turkey’s Yenisafak newspaper reported.
The paper said the forces will be stationed with US-led coalition troops and will support its tasks with huge military enforcements as well as heavy and light weapons.
Quoting the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the newspaper reported that a convoy of troops belonging to an Arab Gulf state recently arrived in the contact area between the Kurdish PKK/YPG and Daesh in the Deir Ez-Zor countryside.
This comes at a time when Ankara is preparing to launch an expanded military operation with the Free Syrian Army against the Kurdish PKK group in the northeast of Syria.
The understandings are the product of behind-the-scenes diplomatic talks that were underway prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision this week to withdraw American forces from Syria
According to the terms of the understanding, Russia will continue to give Israel the freedom to strike Hezbollah and Iranian targets and weaponry that threaten the “balance of power” in Syria. According to the Jordanian official, it was these understandings between Trump and Putin that paved the way for the U.S. decision to pull its forces from Syria.
Other high-ranking Jordanian officials have confirmed that Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia are working together to contain the threat posed by Iran and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria. Several of them emphasized that U.S. officials had made it clear that U.S. intelligence agencies would increase cooperation with Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, particularly on sharing intelligence, in a joint attempt to counter Iran’s attempt to create a contiguous Shi’ite corridor from Tehran to Beirut.

Got this reading the Legal Insurrection. They sort of go out of their way to get some facts and opinions on the Syria decision that is not directly coming from the U.S. MSM. If you read between the lines here, it would appear that the decision being made is for the U.S. involvement to be less about heavy lifting (and actual combat) and more intelligence and cooperative support (likely including financial assistance). The concept is that the extra troops coming from our allied countries in the area will replace the troops that the U.S. will be pulling out.

This does not seem unlike the strategy that was once suggested by our previous President and previous administration, who prior to the Russians becoming involved, had been also pushing to reduce our presence in Syria. I strongly suggest that the MSM would not be taking the side of "Mad Dog" over Obama had the two clashed on this issue. In fact, they did likely clash on this issue, and you never heard anyone upset with Obama for firing the "Mad Dog".

Just another case of Trump being damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he goes along with conservatives and aggressive military advisors, he's just another war-mongering, crazy cowboy following bad advice. He he goes in the opposite direction and looks to do something more consistent with what a Democrat might do, then the media tears him apart for not following the advice of those they generally disagree with.

Reality is that nothing made a hard core conservative (such as Mad Dog)  a media darling faster than disagreeing with the President. It works, even if the President makes a decision that (if made by anyone else) the left would love.

Now all that being said, I am not sure if the President made the best choice or not. There is widespread condemnation for the move among many people who I generally agree with. But it would appear that this was decision was the fruit of some ongoing discussions taking place with our allies in the region. There are clearly plans in place to make this move fluidly and with the least amount of risk involved. It was not nearly as simple, dangerous, and off the cuff as most people would have us believe.

Government Shutdown - day 2

Open mic!! 

so we can all talk about suffering that the Government shutdown has caused us! 

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Nearly quarter of a million people put their money where their mouth is...

$14,833,064 has been raised so far in a go fund me page entitled We The People Will Fund The Wall. Now obviously this is far short of the over the top goal of $1 billion, but it tells you that there is real bona fide support for the wall.

Liberals have often times gotten themselves in trouble not understanding that polling only matters if those answering believe in something strongly. If you ask one hundred people about building a wall, and only half of them really care, the half who take it seriously are the only opinions that matter.

If  you look at the reasons for supporting the wall vs not supporting it. People who support it, see it as a national security concern and believe that Americans will be tangibly harmed by open borders. They are reacting to media reports regarding murders, rapes, gang criminals, human trafficking, and other serious dangerous events that are taking place because of porous borders.

What is the reason to oppose the wall? Because you don't like Trump? Because you don't want to spend $5.7 billion dollars? Because you are concerned with the political ramification of Democrats backing down? Because you don't like the political optics of a wall being built? Because you want to encourage more illegal immigration?

The truth is that people legitimately concerned with national security will be more serious about the issue and it will be more likely to influence their vote. Those who oppose it based on the idea that the 5.7 billion is being misplaced on a project that they don't believe will be effective, are not going to see this as an important part of their vote.

Murder, rape, and crime vs political ramifications, TDS, and social optics....

Can anyone else see the obvious reason why we have split apart as a country?