Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gigi Hadid Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Video 2016

Following-up, "Rebecca Romijn Slams Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner as Not 'True Supermodels'."

At Sports Illustrated, "Gigi Hadid Outtakes 2016."

Currently Reading: Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS

If folks are wondering why I'm reading all these histories of Nazi Germany, well, it's actually my academic specialty. My dissertation looked at the West's pathetic response to Germany's rise in the 1930s, with an analysis of balance of power theory.

So, I just like reading all about international politics in the Interwar Period.

In any case, I saw this book at my favorite used bookstore, The Bookman, in Orange.

It's great!

At Amazon, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS.

Heinz Höhne photo ChT2KoBUYAEitmb_zpskayxrzxh.jpg

Twitter Genius Trolls the Guardian

Via Louise Mensch, at Heat Street:

Deal of the Day: Up to 46% Off Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors

At Amazon, Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector.

More, Save on Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors.

Plus, Save Up to 51% on T-Fal and WearEver Cookware Sets.

And, 40% Off Select ASICS GEL-Excite 3 Running Shoes.

Still more, from Ed Feulner, The American Spirit.

And from Dennis Prager, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.

BONUS: Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism.

Trump Says He'll Win Without GOP Unity

This is what I most like about Donald Trump. He's taking it to the GOPe.


And at Memeorandum.

U.S. Economy Grew at Pathetic 0.5% Rate in First Quarter of 2016 — Thanks Obama!

O's upset he's not getting enough credit for saving the economy from a depression in '09, heh.

I mean really? He's proud of a 2.0 percent growth rate for his entire term in office? It's the worst economic record of any postwar president.

At WSJ, "U.S. Growth Starts Year in Familiar Rut":
A sharp pullback in business investment and weak global demand dragged down an already-lackluster U.S. economy in the opening months of 2016, the latest setback in a bumpy expansion entering its seventh year.

Consumers and the housing market kept the U.S. from sliding backward, though only barely. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, advanced at a 0.5% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That marked the economy’s worst performance in two years.

Corporate executives and economists say turmoil across global financial markets in the opening weeks of the year may have restrained U.S. economic activity, with conditions improving somewhat after the Federal Reserve scaled back its expectations for rate increases and commodity prices began stabilizing.

“While all is not well with the U.S. economy, neither is the economy as moribund as the print on the first-quarter GDP report implies,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp. “Consumer spending and housing will provide the main support going forward.”

Slow first quarters followed by a rebound have been common in recent years, leaving hope for better months ahead. The U.S. economy contracted in the opening quarter of 2014 and barely grew at the outset of 2015, only to bounce back and leave the economy on the same staid trajectory seen during much of the expansion. For all of 2015, GDP advanced 2.4%, the same as 2014.

Yet stronger global headwinds over the past year have served as an added restraint. Among the forces working against the U.S. expansion in recent months: Tepid demand from overseas and a strong dollar have led to a drop in exports, subtracting from growth. Cheap oil, meanwhile, has thrown business spending into disarray. Outlays for mining exploration and wells contracted the most on record in the first quarter.

The latest worry about the global outlook came Thursday when the Bank of Japan surprised many investors by declining to launch fresh stimulus measures despite a weak economic outlook. The BOJ and the European Central Bank have been among the institutions pushing interest rates into negative territory to boost their economies, moves that had weakened their currencies and pushed the dollar higher.

The Fed hasn’t budged on interest rates since December, when it raised its benchmark for the first time in nearly a decade. Fed officials initially expected to raise interest rates by a full percentage point this year, but in March downgraded their expectation to just half a percentage point amid the global economic turbulence.

After its latest meeting concluded Wednesday, the central bank highlighted the domestic economy’s mixed signals and remained ambiguous about whether it would move its rate target from a range of 0.25% to 0.5% in June.

Despite the cause for concern, the outlook isn’t entirely bleak. For example, business investment in computers, software, research and development and nonenergy structures all rose during the first quarter...

Rebecca Romijn Slams Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner as Not 'True Supermodels'

Shoot, are you kidding me?!!

Kendall Jenner is a freakin' goddess!

So what if social media catapulted her to fame? She's to die for.

At People, "Yolanda Hadid Defends Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner After Rebecca Romijn Says They Aren't 'True Supermodels'."

Actually, Gigi's not my favorite, so score a point or two for Rebecca, lol.

Open-Borders Thugs Protest Donald Trump at California GOP Convention (VIDEO)

CBS News 13 Sacramento has the video below.

And at the Los Angeles Times, today's front page lead story, "Trump spurs a fresh wave of Latino activism":

As Donald Trump's presidential campaign moves into California, he's being met by a revitalized, youthful Latino-rights movement playing from a different rule book than its predecessors.

Trump faced large and hostile demonstrations outside a rally Thursday night in Costa Mesa and at the Burlingame hotel where he delivered a speech to the California Republican Convention.

Protest organizers in Southern California said the anti-Trump demonstration spread through word of mouth and involved mostly young people, including many high school and college students. They brought with them Mexican flags, which were once discouraged at immigrant rights rallies for fear they would be regarded as un-American.

But in reaction to Trump, the Mexican flag has re-emerged, unfurled and unapologetic and a symbol for a new generation of Latino activists. Protesters said they have no hesitation about putting their heritage on display, especially when it comes to the rise and rhetoric of Donald Trump.

"People are angry — they are feeling personally attacked and in danger," said Luis Serrano, 28, an organizer with California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance.

Some activists have discussed whether aggressive protests might actually boost Trump with his conservative base and help him win the Republican primary, where he faces Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

On Friday, Trump tried turning the protests to his advantage. After demonstrators blocked his entrance to the hotel, forcing him to walk around a back way, he joked: "It was like crossing the border."

Serrano and other activists said speaking out against Trump outweighs the risk of their protests inadvertently earning the presidential candidate votes. Some groups are trying to use outrage against Trump to register more Latino voters...

Hoisting the Mexican flag is only going to help Trump. Maybe not in California, but if these Latino protests take off in battleground states, they're going to hurt the Democrats. See also, "Trump protesters, Mexican flag-wavers could bring unintended consequences for GOP race."

Friday, April 29, 2016

Jackie Johnson's Partly Cloudy and Cooler Forecast

I'm just chilin' this weekend. We're visiting friends in Temecula tomorrow, and I've got grading to do, so not too much wild partying lol.

Here's Jackie, via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Fox News Pulls 'Outnumbered' Star Andrea Tantaros Over 'Contract Issues'

At Evil Blogger Lady, "Andrea Tantaros Rule 5: Why is the hot commentator getting pulled?"

It's obvious her outspoken support for Donald Trump has made her persona non grata among some influential people in the Fox News lineup. Indeed, "ANDREA TANTAROS RUMORED TO BE PURGED FROM @FOXNEWS DUE TO HER OUTSPOKEN SUPPORT OF NATIONALISM OVER GLOBALISM."

More at TV Newser, "Andrea Tantaros Won’t Be on Fox News, for Now."

Meanwhile, she's been promoting her book, Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable.

Frankly, though, I'm not that interesting in "Outnumbered" unless she's hosting. She's so good!

Andrea Tantaros photo CcZCrVbWEAAVFll_zpstgenhrww.jpg

Deal of the Day: Rubbermaid Glass 22-Piece Set [BUMPED]

At Amazon, Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid Glass Food Storage Container, 22-Piece Set.

Also, Up to 50% off select Moen kitchen & bath faucets.

More, Elk Lighting 22001/6 Preston 6-Light Pendant, Brushed Brass.

Plus, Chippewa Men's 6" Rich Oiled Walnut Waterproof Lace Up Boot Steel Toe.

Still more, from the Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection.

From Benjamin Kunkel, Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis.

And Slavoj Žižek, Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism.

BONUS: Aaron Klein, The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists.

Donald Trump Jumps Freeway Barrier to Get to GOP Convention: 'It felt like I was crossing the border...' (VIDEO)


The despicable leftist illegal alien communists blocked the freeway.

At Gateway Pundit, "WILD VIDEO=> Trump Jumps Barrier, Crosses Ditch to Avoid Violent Leftist Mob in California."

Leftists and Mexican Thugs Burn the American Flag They Stole from Donald Trump Supporter (VIDEO)

Here's the headline at Gateway Pundit, "VIDEO=> LEFTISTS AND OPEN BORDER THUGS Bust Through Security and Storm California GOP Convention" (via Memeorandum).

Leftist anti-Trump protesters hoist the Mexican flag while burning the American flag, via KCRA News 3 Sacramento:

More, via Memeorandum, "California GOP Convention Chaos: Protesters Block Donald Trump's Motorcade."

Donald Trump Rouses Cheering Crowd in Costa Mesa: 'Build That Wall' (VIDEO)

Following-up from previously, "Latinos Riot, Smash Police Cars, Outside Donald Trump Campaign Event in Costa Mesa (VIDEO)."

At the O.C. Register:

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump brought his rousing message of political indignation to a full house at Costa Mesa’s 8,000-seat Pacific Amphitheatre on Thursday and was celebrated by the vocal crowd for providing an alternative to the status quo.

Within minutes of taking the stage to kick off his California campaign, Trump had the crowd on its feet chanting, “Build that wall.”

“Your crime numbers, they’re going through the roof, and we can’t have it anymore,” Trump told the packed venue at the OC Fair & Event Center. “We’re going to get our country back to a balance.”

Outside, sheriff’s deputies on horseback and in riot gear had to separate pro- and anti-Trump groups who shouted profanities at each other and nearly came to blows, with one side chanting “Dump Trump” as the other shouted, “Go back to Mexico.” After the rally ended, demonstrators jumped on a Costa Mesa police car, breaking out the windows and attempting to turn it over, as hundreds of people blocked the streets.

The tensions may be an early sign of what’s ahead for California in the weeks leading up to the June 7 primary, as Trump shifts his attention to the state that could prove the most crucial yet in his drive to be the Republican standard bearer.

“No state has suffered more from open borders than the state of California,” Trump told the crowd.

Trump’s choice of Orange County for his first major California event of the year is no surprise. While the county’s increasing ethnic diversity has contributed to Republican voter registration recently slipping below 40 percent, the GOP still has an 8-point advantage over Democrats, and the county continues its longstanding national reputation as a Republican powerhouse.

The county’s many wealthy donors also make it a national fundraising hub for GOP candidates.

Hours before the rally began, large crowds of flag-waving supporters and scattered sign-carrying protesters gathered at the fairgrounds.

Dawn Mayo stood on a concrete planter box in front of the fairgrounds’ Pacific Amphitheatre, surrounded by Trump supporters. She waved a blue “Make America great again” hat in her hand as she tried to lead the crowd in a “Go Trump!” chant that quickly died out.

“I’ll get them excited. Give me time,” said Mayo, 49, who grew up in New York and drove from San Diego on Thursday afternoon to attend the rally. “I love Trump. I want the energy to be up and people to be as excited as I am.”

A first clash came around 4:30 p.m.

Latinos Riot, Smash Police Cars, Outside Donald Trump Campaign Event in Costa Mesa (VIDEO)

Some of my students were emailing and tweeting me from the event.

Many Trump supporters waited in line all day to get into the rally, at the Pacific Amphitheater, located at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Attendees were required to RSVP, but nevertheless at least 3,000 rally-goers were turned away as the venue was packed to capacity. After Trump finished speaking, apparently around 8:30pm, mostly-Latino protesters, many hoisting the Mexican flag (seen at the video below), took to the streets outside the fairgrounds.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County; 17 arrested, police car smashed."

Also, at the O.C. Register, "Video: Police cruiser smashed in post-Donald Trump rally protest in Costa Mesa, about 20 arrested."

Hundreds Swarm SDSU President to Protest David Horowitz Freedom Center Anti-BDS Posters (VIDEO)

At FrontPage Magazine:

A series of posters created by the David Horowitz Freedom Center targeting proponents of the Hamas-inspired and funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state have incited a storm of controversy on the San Diego State University campus where hundreds of students swarmed University President Elliot Hirshman to claim that he did not condemn the posters forcefully enough and demanding an apology.

The Freedom Center’s posters identified by name a number of prominent student and faculty BDS activists on the campus and described them as having “allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate BDS and Jew Hatred on this campus.” The posters also contained the hashtag #StopTheJewHatredonCampus, the slogan of the Freedom Center campaign which seeks to confront the agents of campus anti-Semitism and refute the genocidal lies spread by Palestinian terrorists and their campus allies. These lies include the claims that Israel occupies Palestinian land and that Israel is an apartheid state.

Protestors were also incensed by a print ad taken out by the Freedom Center in the Daily Aztec.

The ad states:
There is an epidemic of Jew hatred on American campuses and at San Diego State University. This Jew hatred is incited by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association and assorted leftist groups, all of whom support the terrorist organizations Hamas and Fatah.
The ad goes on to explain that both SJP and MSA were created by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and that both groups “disseminate genocidal lies about Israel whose purpose is to weaken and destroy the world’s only Jewish state.”

Posters for the campaign appeared on five California campuses, including at UCLA and UC-Berkeley, where they also sparked protests from anti-Israel activists, as well as university administrators who falsely characterized them as “hate speech.” Images of all the posters may be viewed here. Accounts of the protests and administrator responses can be read here.

In an email sent to San Diego State’s entire student body on Tuesday, Hirshman criticized the posters but also defended the importance of free speech: “First, we recognize and fully support the rights of all parties to voice their positions on political issues, whether supportive or critical. We also understand that when parties adopt a specific political position they become responsible for their actions and these actions may produce criticism.”

Hirshman’s failure to outright condemn the posters did not sit well with SDSU’s anti-Israel activists and the campus left...
Keep reading.

Identity of Zero Hedge's 'Tyler Durden' Outed by 'Disgruntled' Ex-Employee

Well, this is interesting.

At Bloomberg, "Unmasking the Men Behind Zero Hedge, Wall Street's Renegade Blog" (via Memeorandum):
Colin Lokey, also known as "Tyler Durden," is breaking the first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club. He’s also breaking the second rule of Fight Club. (See the first rule.)

After more than a year writing for the financial website Zero Hedge under the nom de doom of the cult classic’s anarchic hero, Lokey’s going public. In doing so, he’s answering a question that has bedeviled Wall Street since the site sprang up seven years ago: Just who is Tyler Durden, anyway?

The answer, it turns out, is three people. Following an acrimonious departure this month, in which two-thirds of the trio traded allegations of hypocrisy and mental instability, Lokey, 32, decided to unmask himself and his fellow Durdens.

Lokey said the other two men are Daniel Ivandjiiski, 37, the Bulgarian-born former analyst long reputed to be behind the site, and Tim Backshall, 45, a well-known credit derivatives strategist. (Bloomberg LP competes with Zero Hedge in providing financial news and information.)

In a telephone interview, Ivandjiiski confirmed that the men had been the only Tyler Durdens on the payroll since Lokey came aboard last year, but he criticized his former colleague's decision to come forward.

He called Lokey's parting gift a case of sour grapes. Backshall, meanwhile, declined to comment, referring questions to Ivandjiiski. A political science graduate with an MBA and a Southern twang, Lokey said he had a checkered past before joining Zero Hedge. Earlier this month, overwork landed him in a hospital because he felt a panic attack coming on, he said.

“Ultimately we wish Colin all the best, he’s clearly a troubled individual in many ways, and we are frankly disappointed that he’s decided to take his displeasure with the company in such a public manner,” Ivandjiiski said...

And at Zero Hedge, "The Full Story Behind Bloomberg's Attempt to 'Unmask' Zero Hedge."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

New from David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left — Volume VI: Progressive Racism

At Amazon, The Black Book of the American Left — Volume VI: Progressive Racism.

And from the book's website, "Introduction to Volume VI: Progressive Racism":

Progressive Racism photo Progressive Racism_zpsyaqcexjg.png
This is the sixth volume of my writings called The Black Book of the American Left. It is also one of the most important, as its subject—race—goes to the heart of the most problematic aspect of America’s history and heritage, and is thus the focus of the progressive assault on America and the American social contract. For obvious reasons, progressives have largely concentrated on one race in particular—American blacks, or “African-Americans” as they have come to be known through at least five permutations of political correctness in my lifetime: “coloreds,” “Negroes,” “blacks,” “persons of color” and—only then— “African-Americans.” The injustices of slavery and segregation and the historic sufferings of this community form a factual basis for the progressive indictment, which systematically ignores the historic gains—unprecedented and unparalleled—of this community because of America’s tolerant and liberating social contract.

The first essay in this volume, “The Reds and the Blacks,” explains how this indictment fits the left’s melodrama of “oppression” and “social justice,” and is merely an extension of Marx’s discredited formulas of “class oppression.” Parts I & II of the text that follows address the falling-away of the civil rights movement from the mission and values championed by Martin Luther King. An introduction, “Memories in Memphis,” is the account of my visit to the “National Civil Rights Museum” housed in the motel where King was murdered. This visit provided a summary moment in my efforts to understand these historic events. “Memories in Memphis” first appeared as the opening chapter in Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes. The original title of this book published in 1999 was “Hating White People Is a Politically Correct Idea.” This was an accurate description of the culture promoted by the new leaders of the civil rights movement, and—equally important—was the undeniable thrust of what was being taught in university curricula devoted to the malevolent race, gender and class “hierarchies,” which tenured leftists falsely claimed as structures of American society. The book was rejected by my publisher, Basic Books, whose editor told me, “We will never publish a book with that title.” His response indicated how completely the literary culture had succumbed to the new dispensation. I had to find an obscure publisher in Texas to get the book in print, and thus the upshot of trying to right an injustice was a dramatic diminishment of my career as an author.

Both essays, “The Red and the Black” and “Memories in Memphis,” were written in 1999, and the opening chapter of Part II, “The Race Card,” two years earlier. All the other chapters in this volume are organized in chronological order to form a running journal of the conflicts that followed the transformation of the civil rights cause. Until then it had been a movement to integrate African-Americans into America’s multi-ethnic democracy. In less than a decade it had become a movement led by demagogues to refashion racial grievances into a general assault on white people and on the country they were said to “dominate.” In its core agendas, the new civil rights movement was an assault on the basic American social contract, and in particular the 14th Amendment, with its commitment to equal rights under the law and thus to race-neutral standards and race-neutral governmental practices. Post-King civil rights became a movement to institutionalize racial preferences—the same kind of discriminatory practices that characterized segregation—and to recreate a race-conscious political culture in which blacks and a handful of designated minorities were singled out as the groups to be racially privileged. On other the side of the coin, whites were made targets of exclusion, suspicion and disapprobation.

Part III recounts an effort I undertook in the spring of 2001 to oppose a campaign by the left to gain reparations for slavery. This was a cause that had been first proposed in 1969, during the civil rights era, and rejected by every major civil rights organization. At the time of the proposal there were no slaves alive to receive reparations, while the vast majority of Americans who would be forced to pay reparations were descended from immigrants who had arrived in America well after slavery had been abolished. The clear goal of the radicals who launched the reparations campaign was to indict America as a racist society, and to sow the seeds of racial conflict. It was also an obvious shakedown effort of the kind that had come to characterize the civil rights leadership of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. In the winter of 2001, I published an account of these battles titled Uncivil Wars: The Controversy Over Reparations for Slavery, which explained why the issue of race was at the heart of the left’s assault...
Keep reading.

Clinton vs. Trump? Brace Yourself for Fall Campaign

Sounds about right to me. An increasingly likely match-up.

From Susan Page, at USA Today, "Analysis: 4 ways to see the emerging and polarizing Clinton-Trump fall campaign":
The primaries aren’t over, but the general election has begun.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, bolstering their formidable leads in convention delegates after five Northeastern primaries Tuesday, are increasingly focused on the fall campaign they expect to wage against one another.

“I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely,” Trump declared in New York.

In Philadelphia, Clinton’s victory speech was aimed at Trump. “Despite what other candidates say,” she said, “we believe in the goodness of our people and the greatness of our nation.”

Trump easily won Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Clinton won in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut, while Bernie Sanders won Rhode Island.

It sounds like the pitch for the ultimate reality TV show: an election that would pit two of the most polarizing figures in public life today in the race for the White House — one the wife of a former president, herself a former senator and secretary of State; the other a billionaire businessman who has never run for office before.

The primary results and exit polls in the contests provide clues about the outlines of a possible Clinton-Trump contest.

Two words: Brace yourself...
Keep reading.

Good and Evil Really Exist

Here's Boston College philosopher Peter Kreeft, for Prager University:

Target's Evil Co-Ed Restroom Policy

This is a great, great essay from Laurie Higgins, who is now by far the most authoritative voice for standing up to the LGBT totalitarian left.

At the Illinois Family Institute:

Behind the Tanlines Body Painting Swimsuit 2016 (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated, "Watch the exclusive behind the scenes video from the Bodypainting SI Swimsuit 2016 shoot, featuring Caroline Wozniacki, Lindsey Vonn."

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Speech (VIDEO)

Click through at Memeorandum, "DONALD J. TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH."

And watch, via CNN, "Donald Trump's entire foreign policy speech."

Trump's sounding a lot more restrained of late. He's positively gracious and subdued.

Also, at the Washington Post, "GOP front-runner dismisses globalism as damaging to U.S.":

Donald Trump said in a foreign policy speech delivered Wednesday that “America first” would be the “major and overriding theme” of his presidential administration, and he dismissed globalism as a “false song” that has helped bring America to its knees in the world.

Trump charged President Obama with direct responsibility for chaos in the Middle East, China’s rise and Russia’s hostility, along with a string of international “humiliations” that undercut respect for U.S. power. Offering few specifics, he said that as president he would reward friends, punish enemies — including “very, very quickly” destroying the Islamic State — and reexamine whether international institutions and alliances served U.S. interests.

“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else,” Trump told about 100 invited guests and an equal number of journalists who attended the event hosted by the National Interest magazine at a Washington hotel.

The morning after he swept five Republican primaries in his steamrolling quest for the GOP nomination, Trump was somewhat subdued, reading his 40-minute address from a teleprompter without his usual bombast and with relatively few off-script interjections. A senior campaign official said that Trump had largely rewritten a draft prepared by staffers from ideas he has expressed during the campaign.

While he struck familiar themes of protectionism, nationalism and promises to correct “a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy,” many of Trump’s more incendiary views were absent. There was no mention of Mexico, let alone the construction of a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants. Although he spoke vaguely of a “pause for reassessment” of immigration policy overall, he did not repeat his pledge to stop all Muslims from entering the country or his acquiescence to the spread of nuclear weapons...
Keep reading.

Plus, from David Horowitz, at FrontPage Magazine, "A QUICK REACTION TO TRUMP’S SPEECH":
If Mitt Romney had given the speech that Donald Trump did today, and if he had followed its strategy during the third presidential debate with Obama on foreign policy, he would have won the 2012 election. Trump’s themes were straightforward: Make America strong again, put America’s interests first. The Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has strengthened our enemies, disparaged our allies, and earned us global disrespect. It has led to disasters that include the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the Middle East. The theme of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry years has been the weakening of America – point Trump with maximum bite: “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.” And of course the Jeremiah Wright-Billy-Ayers-radical-Barack Obama did set out deliberately to do just that. Obama’s agenda is American weakness, which leads to losing. Trump’s agenda: we must start winning...

It was a good speech. Listen for a while at the video above.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jackie Johnson's Continued Wind Advisory Forecast

Continued high winds in parts of the Southland tonight, and partly cloudy heading into the weekend.

The winds have been keeping the temperatures a little cooler.

Here's Ms. Johnson, via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Donald Trump Populist Rebellion Sweeping the Nation (VIDEO)

Following-up from previously, "Systematically Underestimating Donald Trump's Performance."

A great segment with Laura Ingraham, on last night's Hannity:

Deal of the Day: Breville Juice Fountain

At Amazon, Breville BJE510XL Juice Fountain Multi-Speed 900-Watt Juicer.

Also, $20 Off Kindle Paperwhite.

Plus, Skechers Sport Men's Equalizer Game Point Training Sneaker, and Skechers Sport Women's D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker.

More, 50% Off Selected Skechers Shoes.

And, from Leszek Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders - The Golden Age - The Breakdown.

Alain Badiou, The Communist Hypothesis.

David Priestland, The Red Flag: A History of Communism.

BONUS: Stanley Kurtz, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.

ICYMI Yesterday: Andrea Tantaros, Tied Up in Knots

I just got a promotional email from the publisher, Harper Collins. They're sending me a review copy of the book, which is cool.

Check it out, Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable.

Newt Gingrich on Donald Trump's Sweeping Victories in Super Tuesday's I-95 Primaries (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Donald Trump Sweeps 5 States in Super Tuesday I-95 Primaries (VIDEO)," and "Systematically Underestimating Donald Trump's Performance."

A great segment, from last night's Hannity:

Systematically Underestimating Donald Trump's Performance

Last night was a real turning point in the campaign.

Most analysts were frankly shocked at how well Trump did. Some folks are in a state of denial that the Manhattan mogul will be the GOP nominee. But it's all but inevitable at this point.

Here's Althouse, "Donald Trump did not just win in all of the 5 states yesterday. He won in every county in each of the 5 states."

Today's Jackie Johnson's Weather Forecast

I was too tired to get this posted last night.

It's been cooler and windy the last couple of days -- with rain in some areas.

Via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Concerns Mount That Sweden's Green Party May Have Been Infiltrated by Islamists

Well, no surprise here.

It's what Islamists do.

At Instapundit, "NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Sweden’s Greens deny claims party has been infiltrated by Islamists."

Donald Trump Sweeps 5 States in Super Tuesday I-95 Primaries (VIDEO)

Lots of feverish headlines at Memeorandum.

And at the Los Angeles Times, "With five-state sweep, Trump closes in on winning nomination without a convention fight":

Donald Trump stacked up five more wins Tuesday, sweeping the East Coast primaries in a decisive showing that moved him significantly closer to capturing the Republican presidential nomination and avoiding a bruising fight at the party's convention this summer.

Trump's victories — in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — were by commanding margins, giving him the overwhelming majority of 172 delegates at stake.

Speaking in New York City, at the gilded office and condominium tower that bears his name, Trump declared the fight for the GOP nomination ended — “I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely” — and said his rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, should immediately stand aside.

“As far as I'm concerned, it's over,” he said.

“We should heal the Republican Party,” continued Trump, who cited his business success as proof he is the only one qualified to do so. “I'm a unifier.”

The Manhattan real estate mogul, who won his home state of New York last week in a landslide, had been expected to do well Tuesday in the heavily urbanized Atlantic corridor.

Even so, and “even if you don't like Donald Trump, it's hard to deny the magnitude of his victories,” said Stuart Rothenberg, an independent campaign analyst.

Trump's dominating performance was important from both practical and psychological standpoints, pushing him closer to the 1,237 delegates needed for a first-ballot victory at the party's July convention and also shaping perceptions of the race to his great advantage.

In exit poll interviews, nearly 7 in 10 Republicans who cast ballots in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut suggested the candidate who gets the most votes — which has been Trump — deserves to win the nomination, even if he falls short in the delegate count.

“There's kind of a growing sense of inevitability,” said Rothenberg, publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. “The trajectory now suggests he will be very close to 1,237 by the end of business on June 7, and probably close enough to sweep up the crumbs he needs to be the nominee.”

California, with 172 delegates — more than any state — will be important in determining whether Trump clinches the nomination or falls just short.

He began the day with 845 pledged delegates and was on track to win at least 105 more. Cruz had 559 and Kasich 148, and picked up only half a dozen more between them, according to nearly complete returns.

The most crucial fight may come in Indiana, which votes next Tuesday...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Out Today: Andrea Tantaros, Tied Up in Knots

She's such a smart lady.

Check her out weekday mornings at 9:00am on the West Coast (12:00pm in D.C. and New York), on "Outnumbered."

Her new book is out today, Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable.

Andrea Tantaros photo CcZCrVbWEAAVFll_zpstgenhrww.jpg

Far Left-Wing San Francisco Divided Over Surge in Crime and Homelessness


From Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF RAMPANT LAWLESSNESS AND VIOLENCE? San Francisco Torn as Some See ‘Street Behavior’ Worsen."

Here's 10 Times Obama Pledged 'No Boots on the Ground' in Syria (VIDEO)

The background's at the Los Angeles Times, "Up to 250 U.S. military personnel will be sent to Syria, Obama to announce."

And major kudos to NBC news for this epic mashup of O's prior denials of "boots on the ground" in Syria:

Suffolk University Poll Shows Turmoil, Possible Defections, Among GOP Voters

Here's the new poll out from Suffolk, "National Poll with USA TODAY":

While 60 percent of Republican primary and caucus voters will support the eventual Republican nominee if their candidate is not chosen, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today national poll of likely election voters, a majority of Donald Trump supporters said they would vote for the businessman if he were to lose the nomination and run as a third-party candidate.

Forty percent of Republicans whose favored candidate is not nominated said they will vote for the Democratic nominee, seriously consider a third-party candidate, stay home on Election Day in November, or are undecided.

Democratic Party loyalty was higher among those polled, with 69 percent of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders voters saying that they will support the Democratic nominee regardless of whether their preferred candidate is chosen.

“As the Republican leadership scrambles to organize a unity effort at the July GOP National Convention in Cleveland and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich team up to stop front-runner Trump, we are seeing bipartisan dissatisfaction with convention rules and fairness,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Both the RNC and DNC chairs have their hands full this election season.”

I personally don't believe that Republican voters "whose favored candidate is not nominated" will vote for Hillary Clinton in the fall. I suspect this is pure bombast, spewed to pollsters at this stage in the primary campaigns in an effort to influence public opinion. Americans are extremely polarized, with hatred of the opposite party one of the defining features of the era (it's called negative partisanship).

That said, my hunch could be wrong if it's true that Donald Trump really is that caustic to those who've said they can't support him. But if that's the case, we should expect those voters to stay home on election day rather than cross party lines and vote for Hillary.

But it's all speculation at this point. We'll know more, and more precisely, after the party conventions wrap up in July and new polling comes out to show how well the party nominees are able to unify their disparate factions. It's going to be interesting.

(If Trump runs as a third-party candidate all bets are off. I suspect his backers would indeed bolt the GOP, throwing everything into utter uncertainty. I simply have no idea what will happen then, other than to think that the modern Republican Party's washed up as a viable presidential election vehicle.)

What Hate Education Breeds

From Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary:

Palestinians have a new idol in their pantheon of heroes and heroines. Her name is Dima al-Wawi and she is 12 years old. But unlike the paths to distinction in other societies for children, al-Wawi isn’t a math or science whiz or a great athlete. Instead, she’s guilty of attempted murder.

The girl was released on Sunday after serving 4 and-a-half months in jail where she was housed with other youngsters. Upon returning to her home village of Halhoul near the city of Hebron, she was greeted as a conquering heroine as both the Fatah Party that runs the Palestinian Authority and Hamas competed to shower her with praise. But rather than contemplate the depravity of a society that indoctrinates a little girl to think of murder and the very real possibility that she might be killed in the attempt as a praiseworthy activity, the coverage of al-Wawi’s release centers mostly on outrage that she was imprisoned and the notion that her crime somehow symbolizes the “frustration” of Palestinians about Israeli policies or the existence of settlements. And that, in a nutshell, is not only everything that is wrong with the culture of Palestinian politics but also what’s wrong with much of what passes for coverage of the Middle East in the international press.

The facts of the case are fairly straightforward...
Keep reading.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Jackie Johnson's High Wind Warning Forecast

High winds through tonight, and we had cooler than average temperatures today.

Here's the lovely Ms. Johnson, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Ted Cruz-John Kasich Alliance Against Donald Trump Quickly Weakens

Well, that didn't take long.


The temporary alliance between Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, formed to deny Donald J. Trump the Republican presidential nomination, was already fraying almost to the point of irrelevance on Monday, only hours after it was announced to great fanfare.

With the pact, the two candidates agreed to cede forthcoming primary contests to each other. Mr. Kasich would, most crucially, stand down in Indiana’s primary on May 3 to give Mr. Cruz a better chance to defeat Mr. Trump there, while Mr. Cruz would leave Oregon and New Mexico to Mr. Kasich. It appeared to be a measure of last resort, but initially it seemed like a breakthrough.

Mr. Cruz trumpeted what he called the “big news” in Indiana, a state that appears pivotal to stopping Mr. Trump from winning a majority of delegates. “John Kasich has decided to pull out of Indiana to give us a head-to-head contest with Donald Trump,” the Texas senator said.

But at his own campaign stop in Philadelphia on Monday, Mr. Kasich tamped down Mr. Cruz’s triumphalism. Voters in Indiana, Mr. Kasich said, “ought to vote for me,” even if he would not be campaigning publicly there. He added, “I don’t see this as any big deal.”

Under the best of circumstances, the arrangement between Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich would seem to be a long shot — more of an expedient to stop Mr. Trump from taking a big step toward winning the nomination next week in Indiana than a permanent joining of forces...

Cuckservatives united, lol.

Hot Happy Monday Blogging

At the Hostages, "MMM 221." (Monday morning workout babe blogging.)

Also, at Egotastic!, "Victoria's Secret Angel Wet Nymphs for Vogue Spain," and "Sara Sampaio for Vogue Spain."

American Amnesia

This looks interesting. Not conservative so much, but interesting nevertheless.

From Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper.

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Step Up Attacks

The campaign's taking on the feel of a general election matchup.

From Cathleen Decker, at LAT, "Trump and Clinton joust in Pennsylvania as underdogs nip at their heels":

As Tuesday's quintuple primaries near, the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns appear to be moving in tandem for the first time.

Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are targeting each other with an eye to November's general election and are mostly ignoring their party challengers. Behind them, their rivals are still aiming at the front-runners in a desperate effort to gain ground before the primary season spirals further out of their control.

Polls suggest that voters in Pennsylvania, the biggest of the Tuesday primaries, are lining up behind Clinton and Trump much as voters in New York did last week — in big numbers.

Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich have given no sign they intend to leave the race before the final primaries in June. But losses in Pennsylvania and the four other Tuesday primaries would be another major blow to the underdog candidates, both in momentum lost and in the delegates each needs to rebound.

"They are struggling to get a narrative that trumps the notion that the other two are inevitable," said longtime Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna, whose surveys for Franklin and Marshall College have Clinton and Trump holding double-digit leads in Pennsylvania.

The contest here has been an echo of the national race. Clinton, who has ties to the state dating to childhood, has campaigned as if she was running for mayor with an excruciatingly local pitch. Sanders, with his more nationalized message, has reveled in the giant, college-area rallies that have dominated his campaign everywhere...

Deal of the Day: Ivation Electric Pressure Washer with Power Hose Nozzle Gun

At Amazon, Ivation Electric Pressure Washer 2200 PSI 1.8 GPM with Power Hose Nozzle Gun and Turbo Wand, All Parts Included, W/ Built in Soap Dispenser.

Plus, Save on Silhouette DIY Machines. More, Silhouette Cameo - Starter Bundle.

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Also, from Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn Sr., Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University.

More, David Horowitz, One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America's Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy.

And, Kirsten Powers, The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.

BONUS: Stuart Taylor, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.

U.S. Army Launches Investigation Into Free-Falling Humvees, Crashing to the Ground (VIDEO)

Definitely wild.

At USA Today, "Humvees dropped from sky smash to bits; Army investigating":

The 173rd Airborne Brigade is investigating what went wrong during an airborne drop that resulted in three Humvees free-falling to their destruction, as depicted in a widely-shared online video.

On April 11, the Army conducted a heavy drop and personnel airborne operation as part of exercise Saber Junction 16 at Hohenfels training area in Germany. About 150 supply bundles, vehicles, communications equipment and indirect weapons systems were dropped, according to Army spokesman Maj. Juan Martinez. But three Humvees slipped from their rigging as their parachutes deployed, plummeting hundreds of feet to the earth. Martinez said no one was hurt.

"The specific malfunctions that occurred on this day are under investigation," Martinez said in an email to Army Times. "There were multiple rehearsals and inspections of the equipment prior to mission execution. We cannot speculate on what went wrong until the investigation is complete."

Martinez also hinted at the severity of the issue, writing in a subsequent email that "this investigation will receive the highest priority."

The video, viewed more than 1 million times since U.S. Army W.T.F! moments posted it to Facebook, shows a couple of planes pass and drop their cargo without incident. The third plane's first item, one of the ill-fated vehicles, has its parachute deploy initially. But a few seconds after it leaves the aircraft, it slips free and falls off its platform.

Someone standing near the camera seems to instantly recognize what is happening, yelling "Ooo, Yeah! Yes!" as it slips. The person in the video laughs as the free-falling Humvee crashes into the ground and kicks up a cloud of smoke...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I've Finished Nicholas Stargardt's, The German War

It took me a little longer than I'd have liked, but I've finished Stargardt's masterful tome, The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939–1945.

It's a phenomenal work using methods of the new social history, and applied to the Nazi regime it produces some pretty astounding revelations. Folks might read the review from MacGregor Knox, at WSJ, "The Reich Mind."

Impressive all around.

The German War photo 12279106_10208406113333405_3686314134360095622_n_zpslqmnwofe.jpg

Austria's (Nationalist) Freedom Party Wins Handily in First Round of Presidential Election Vote (VIDEO)

Yes, the country's common sense Freedom Party is going to be smeared as "far-right" all the way up to the second round of voting, and don't be surprised to see leftist parties form alliances with so-called centrist "Christian Democrats" to block the election of Norbert Hofer. That's basically what happened in the recent French regional elections, with leftist and so-called center-right parties working together to stop Marine Le Pen's National Front.

At the Local, "FPÖ's Hofer wins 36.7% of vote, runoff likely":

Austria's anti-immigration far-right triumphed on Sunday in the first round of a presidential election, with candidates from the two governing parties failing to even make it into a May 22 runoff.

Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) won 36.7 of the vote, followed by Alexander van der Bellen backed by the Greens on 19.7 percent and independent candidate Irmgard Griss on 18.8 percent, projections showed.

From the governing coalition, Rudolf Hundstorfer from the Social Democrats (SPÖ) came joint fourth with just 11.2 percent, level with Andreas Khol from the People's Party (ÖVP).

The only candidate who fared worse than the main parties' candidates was Richard Lugner, an 83-year-old construction magnate and socialite married to a former Playboy model 57 years his junior, who won 2.3 percent.

The result, if confirmed, means that for the first time since 1945, Austria will not have a president backed by either the SPÖ or ÖVP.

Support for the two parties has been sliding for years and in the last general election in 2013 they only just garnered enough support to re-form Chancellor Werner Faymann's "grand coalition".

Austria also no longer has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union and Faymann's coalition, in power since 2008, has bickered over structural reforms.

The next general election is due in 2018. The FPÖ is currently leading national opinion polls with more than 30 percent of voter intentions, boosted by Europe's migrant crisis.

"This is the beginning of a new political era," FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache said after what constitutes the best-ever result at federal level for the former party of the late, SS-admiring Joerg Haider...

Yeah, progressives used to smear Jörg Haider as a Nazi back in the day, but he's having the last laugh from the grave now.

And here's the obligatory "far-right" headline at London's far-left Guardian, "Austrian far-right party wins first round of presidential election."

At the video above, notice how the screen-grab has Hofer raising his hand as in a Nazi salute - "Heil Hitler!"

You know, leftist fearmongering will only work so long. Across Europe you're seeing the nationalist backlash against the invasion of refu-jihadists and rape-fugees. Any time now a nationalist party is going to come to power in one of the leading European democracies, and there's going to be reckoning. Shoot, this could happen in Germany itself, the way Angela Merkel keeps doubling down on national surrender and suicide.

Deal of the Day: NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill

At Amazon, NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill: Stay in Control of your workout with a 7-Inch web-enabled touchscreen. Quickly view your speed, time, distance, calories burned, heart rate, incline, and decline on the large, easy-to-read display.

More, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

Plus, BLACK+DECKER MTC220 12-Inch Lithium Cordless 3-in-1 Trimmer/Edger and Mower, 20-volt (Battery-Powered).

And from Roger Kimball, Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education.

More, from Kim R. Holmes, The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.

Michael Walsh, The Devil's Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West.

And Barry Rubin, Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance.

Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties.

BONUS: From Daniel Flynn, Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation's Greatness.

Playboy Magazine: A First Look at Our April 2016 Cover with French Model Camille Rowe (VIDEO)

At Playboy, "A Visual Treat: Photos from Miss April 2016 Camille Rowe’s Pictorial." (More here.)

And watch, "Miss April 2016 Camille Rowe Looks Right at Home in Her Bunny Suit."

'Game of Thrones' Star Sophie Turner Attempts to Master Archery (VIDEO)

The new "Games of Thrones" season debuts tonight.

Meanwhile, via GQ, "Watch Sansa Stark Discover Her Inner Katniss Everdeen.

BONUS: "Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones Plays a Game of Wits (VIDEO)."

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Branco Cartoons photo Buzz-Navy-600-LI_zps7h80c83b.jpg

Also at Theo's, "Cartoon Round Up..."

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – From Russia With Love."

Beware of Crazy Women in the Social Media Age

At the Other McCain, "Beware of Sex in the Social Media Age (Because the Internet Is Forever)":

 photo Crazy_Rosie_zpsd3rsrnjx.jpg
So here we have Rosie, telling the world that she lives in North East Bedfordshire, where she is suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and — oh, by the way — she has vaginismus and was (allegedly) raped by Jason Lee Weight in June 2014.

Yeah, let’s just put that on the Internet, and also publish photos of yourself topless, Rosie. Because what could possibly go wrong?

Here’s a word parents need to teach their kids: “Crazy.”

What part of “crazy” do I need to explain here? The Internet is forever, boys and girls. Go ask former Rep. Anthony Weiner what he was thinking before he started sending photos of his penis to women. My old buddy Andrew Breitbart turned that into the biggest political story of 2011, and you might have thought former Rep. Anthony Weiner would have learned his lesson, but no, he got caught again in 2013 having some kind of perverted Internet fling with a sleazy admirer named Sydney Leathers.

My teenage sons got an earful of warnings after that. While I was reporting the breaking developments in the second WeinerGate scandal, it dawned on me that kids (and obviously, too many adults who should know better) are simply not thinking before they hit the “send” button on their text messages and emails. They are not thinking about the possible consequences of clicking the “publish” button on their social media accounts. Nor are people thinking about what they are doing in the real world in an age where everybody’s cellphone has a video camera, where anything a guy does in his dating relationships may become the subject of an online rant by an angry ex-girlfriend, where a guy meets a girl at a party and has what seems to him a consensual hookup only to discover, nearly two years later, that she’s telling the world that he’s a rapist.

Rosie’s account of that night is a classic “he-said/she-said” situation. Her story of that (allegedly) “horrific” June 2014 encounter seems entirely plausible, and Jason Lee Weight’s (alleged) behavior is indefensible. Rosie says she filed a report with police “a long time after” this encounter, but a lack of evidence made prosecution impossible. Because I am not a prosecutor or a detective or any sort of “activist,” however, the question of Jason Lee Weight’s guilt or innocence is not actually relevant to my point. Discussing this allegation in terms of “rape culture” is above my pay grade. What I am trying to do here, as a professional journalist, is to convey the reality of what sex means in the social media age. And what I am also trying to do, as a father of six, the youngest three of whom are teenagers, is to explain to parents, teachers and other responsible adults why young people must be warned very strongly about these dangers.

This is not 1977, the year I graduated high school. This is not 1983, the year I graduated college. It’s not 1989, the year I got married. Heck, it’s not even 2008, the year I left The Washington Times and embarked on a career as a freelance correspondent and blogger. Social media has exploded during the past decade, technology has advanced to the point where rapists are livestreaming their rapes on the Internet, where mass murderers publish their “manifestos” online before they commit their deadly rampages. What does this mean for “casual sex”? To quote the recently departed Prince: “Party over. Oops! Out of time.”

Welcome to 2016, boys and girls. There is no such thing as “privacy.”
Keep reading.

Setbacks Hobble U.S. Military Efforts in Iraq

Following-up from previously, "The Inherent Fallacy of Believing We Can Beat the Islamic State Without U.S. Ground Troops."

At the Los Angeles Times, "U.S. faces an uphill effort in helping build an Iraqi force that can retake Mosul":
As machine guns rattled Thursday from a nearby firing range, Iraqi recruits at this dusty base outside Baghdad trained on tactics, radios, firing mortars and tanks before a bevy of visiting Pentagon brass.

But off to the side, their trainers, mostly from Spain and Portugal, said the soldiers often show up late for training courses or don't show up at all.

"The last group we had here was a complete disaster," said Spanish army Maj. Ignacio "Nacho" Arias. "They would come and go without permission."

The troubles at this training base reflect broader difficulties in building an Iraqi ground force capable of pushing entrenched Islamic State fighters out of Mosul, the militants' self-declared capital in Iraq, a priority for the White House and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi's government.

The Pentagon announced in March 2015 that an Iraqi offensive on the strategic city was all but imminent. But those ambitious plans were repeatedly shelved as Iraqi troops struggled to push the militants out of smaller cities and towns.

Iraqi forces finally launched their long-delayed assault toward Mosul last month. It quickly stalled.

The sluggish pace has frustrated U.S. commanders and White House officials, who had hoped to recapture the heavily defended northern city and deal a decisive blow to the militants before President Obama leaves office in January.

Obama made it clear this week that he isn't very optimistic.

"My expectation is that by the end of the year, we will have created the conditions whereby Mosul will eventually fall," he said Monday in an interview with CBS News.

"We're not doing the fighting ourselves, but when we provide training, when we provide special forces who are backing them up, when we are gaining intelligence … what we've seen is we can continually tighten the noose," he added...
Actually, no.

We're not going to tighten the noose unless the U.S. commits to a substantially larger U.S. ground presence, and that's not likely to happen under this administration, and it might not happen under the next one.

But continue reading.

The Inherent Fallacy of Believing We Can Beat the Islamic State Without U.S. Ground Troops

From Kori Schake, at Foreign Policy, "No one — not Obama, Clinton, Trump, or Cruz — will dare to admit the obvious: We’re going to need to put boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria":
On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of 217 more troops to Iraq, as part of the fight against the Islamic State. As Secretary of Defense Ash Carter explained: “This will put Americans closer to the action.” Washington will also send Apache helicopters to Iraqi forces and pay $415 million in salaries for Kurdish troops and other “military needs” in the runup to retaking Mosul.

If you think this counts as getting tough in the fight against radical jihadis who have unsettled the Middle East and brought violence to the heart of Europe, you’re deluding yourself. Obama’s strategy for fighting the Islamic State is half-measures, at best: contributing U.S. military force at the margins of efforts by those most directly affected with loss of territory. The president prides himself on a minimalist approach, doing just about as much for Iraqi forces or the Syrian rebels as they could do for themselves. It amounts to an argument that he is preventing the moral hazard of other countries relying on the United States for their security. But that approach treats as costless two very important elements in fighting the Islamic State: confidence and time.

One of the emptiest canards in warfare is “there is no military solution.” Unless you fight to complete extermination, war always involves convincing your adversary to stop fighting. That is, to cede their political goals rather than continue using military force to attain them. Usually, that requires doing some fighting. Of course, adversaries tend not to give up if they think they’re winning or could win — which is why soldiers like the Powell Doctrine of committing large forces in order to demonstrate your political will to win.

It’s also why Obama’s incremental commitment of small numbers of troops — 300 advisors here, a specialized targeting team there — is so ineffective. It conveys the limits of Washington’s willingness to fight. The Islamic State, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei all understand those limits and are acting accordingly. America’s allies get the message now, too, especially after the president wrote off Iraq and fought the war in Afghanistan halfheartedly. They will not step forward and commit the ground troops necessitated by Obama’s approach because they lack the confidence that Washington will see this difficult fight through...
A great piece.

Keep reading.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hailey Clauson Answers Fast, Funny, and Provocative Questions While on Location in Beautiful Turks and Caicos (VIDEO)

She's so lovely.

Watch, at Sports Illustrated, SI Swimsuit Rapid Fire Questions Starring Cover Model Hailey Clauson."

At the click through, "Hailey Clauson In Nothing But Body Paint - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2015 (VIDEO)."

Deal of the Day: 55% Off Select MonsterRax Overhead Garage Storage Racks

These are cool racks.

At Amazon, MonsterRAX Overhead Heavy Duty Garage Storage Rack , White, 4' x 8'/24". Also, MonsterRAX - 2x8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack (24"-45").

More, Up to 40% Off Select Pebble Smartwatches. Also, Pebble Time Round 14mm Smartwatch for Apple/Android Devices - Silver/Stone.

And, Popular Kindle Best Sellers.

Plus, from Ann Coulter, ¡Adios, America! The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole. (And, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.)

Still more, from Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, and The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction (Kindle Edition).

BONUS: Mark Krikorian, The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal.

It's Nice to Take a Day

A day off from politics.

From Mister H on Twitter:

And also, at Althouse, "Redbud, bluebell."

Why China Won't Overtake the United States

Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth have a great new scholarly article out at International Security, "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers in the Twenty-First Century: China’s Rise and the Fate of America’s Global Position."

And the authors have a shorter version for policymakers and general readers, at Foreign Affairs, "The Once and Future Superpower":
In forecasts of China’s future power position, much has been made of the country’s pressing domestic challenges: its slowing economy, polluted environment, widespread corruption, perilous financial markets, nonexistent social safety net, rapidly aging population, and restive middle class. But as harmful as these problems are, China’s true Achilles’ heel on the world stage is something else: its low level of technological expertise compared with the United States’. Relative to past rising powers, China has a much wider technological gap to close with the leading power. China may export container after container of high-tech goods, but in a world of globalized production, that doesn’t reveal much. Half of all Chinese exports consist of what economists call “processing trade,” meaning that parts are imported into China for assembly and then exported afterward. And the vast majority of these Chinese exports are directed not by Chinese firms but by corporations from more developed countries.

When looking at measures of technological prowess that better reflect the national origin of the expertise, China’s true position becomes clear. World Bank data on payments for the use of intellectual property, for example, indicate that the United States is far and away the leading source of innovative technologies, boasting $128 billion in receipts in 2013—more than four times as much as the country in second place, Japan. China, by contrast, imports technologies on a massive scale yet received less than $1 billion in receipts in 2013 for the use of its intellectual property. Another good indicator of the technological gap is the number of so-called triadic patents, those registered in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 2012, nearly 14,000 such patents originated in the United States, compared with just under 2,000 in China. The distribution of highly influential articles in science and engineering—those in the top one percent of citations, as measured by the National Science Foundation—tells the same story, with the United States accounting for almost half of these articles, more than eight times China’s share. So does the breakdown of Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine. Since 1990, 114 have gone to U.S.-based researchers. China-based researchers have received two.

Precisely because the Chinese economy is so unlike the U.S. economy, the measure fueling expectations of a power shift, GDP, greatly underestimates the true economic gap between the two countries. For one thing, the immense destruction that China is now wreaking on its environment counts favorably toward its GDP, even though it will reduce economic capacity over time by shortening life spans and raising cleanup and health-care costs. For another thing, GDP was originally designed to measure mid-twentieth-century manufacturing economies, and so the more knowledge-based and global­ized a country’s production is, the more its GDP underestimates its economy’s true size.

A new statistic developed by the UN suggests the degree to which GDP inflates China’s relative power. Called “inclusive wealth,” this measure represents economists’ most systematic effort to date to calculate a state’s wealth. As a UN report explained, it counts a country’s stock of assets in three areas: “(i) manufactured capital (roads, buildings, machines, and equipment), (ii) human capital (skills, education, health), and (iii) natural capital (sub-soil resources, ecosystems, the atmosphere).” Added up, the United States’ inclusive wealth comes to almost $144 trillion—4.5 times China’s $32 trillion.

The true size of China’s economy relative to the United States’ may lie somewhere in between the numbers provided by GDP and inclusive wealth, and admittedly, the latter measure has yet to receive the same level of scrutiny as GDP. The problem with GDP, however, is that it measures a flow (typically, the value of goods and services produced in a year), whereas inclusive wealth measures a stock. As The Economist put it, “Gauging an economy by its GDP is like judging a company by its quarterly profits, without ever peeking at its balance-sheet.” Because inclusive wealth measures the pool of resources a government can conceivably draw on to achieve its strategic objectives, it is the more useful metric when thinking about geopolitical competition.

But no matter how one compares the size of the U.S. and Chinese economies, it is clear that the United States is far more capable of converting its resources into military might. In the past, rising states had levels of technological prowess similar to those of leading ones. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for example, the United States didn’t lag far behind the United Kingdom in terms of technology, nor did Germany lag far behind the erstwhile Allies during the interwar years, nor was the Soviet Union backward technologically compared with the United States during the early Cold War. This meant that when these challengers rose economically, they could soon mount a serious military challenge to the dominant power. China’s relative technological backwardness today, however, means that even if its economy continues to gain ground, it will not be easy for it to catch up militarily and become a true global strategic peer, as opposed to a merely a major player in its own neighborhood...