Saturday, May 06, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

Sure, President Obama in his post-presidency is taking gobs of money for doing what he does best--talking to the global elites crowd. I think he is wildly overrated, but it surely is his best talent. I find it amusing that some on the left defend him because he is no longer running for office. In fact, I think Obama will tour the Davos circuit in his quest to realize his true calling by becoming secretary general of the United Nations, making good on his pretense at being a citizen of the world.

While I think Republicans should have a sense of urgency in repealing or dramatically scaling back (I don't like the pursuit of the perfect to be the enemy of the good) Obamacare, I find the notion that if Republicans can't negotiate a deal acceptable to their members that the solution is to reach out to Democrats. If Republicans can't agree among themselves, how on Earth could Republicans agree with Democrats without making this just a liberal government health care scheme?

"People say Whole Foods is for pretentious people, and I can see why." You don't go to Whole Foods to buy healthy food. You go there to buy a sense of moral superiority.

I don't think the notion (tip to Instapundit) that Trump's style limited his appeal is self-evidently ridiculous. Yes, Trump won. And his electoral victory is 100% legitimate. But he did lose the popular vote rather decisively to Clinton. Bush was only a bit under Gore in 2000 in the popular vote (yet barely scraped by in electoral votes). And even Bill Clinton never cracked 50% of the popular vote in either 1992 or 1996 (when facing Dole!). As I and many other commenters noted, each party nominated the only candidate that the other party's candidate could beat. Hillary was simply awful as a candidate. Her problem wasn't that she didn't think about Trump in her false confidence--it's that she didn't think about Trump voters. Trump shouldn't get cocky and assume the Democrats will be as cooperative as they were in 2016.

This makes me worry if Iran's hand puppets in Iraq are rounding up Sunni Arab Iraqi men.

When Volkswagen cheated on diesel emissions tests, that was corporate greed triumphing over the health of people. So what is it when public school administrators cheat on lead levels in schools? Was it for the children?

I know I've mentioned this before,  but we have a bomb shortage. Yes, in a war against a pathetically small force of light infantry we are running out of bombs to drop. Mind you, I assume that this shortage doesn't count war reserve stocks that we'd be foolish to dip into for this fight against ISIL. If current production rates can't satisfy the needs of a bombing campaign against several thousand scumbags who think a hobby center drone rigged to carry a grenade is high tech, our military readiness has deteriorated far more than I thought.

Yes, being president is a hard job. That's why I had sympathy for President Obama the longer I didn't hear him speak on any issue.

So it makes no sense at all for Republicans to treat the House minority leader as a face of the opposition? She is the gift that keeps on giving. Why wouldn't the Republicans wrap her up and re-gift her?

I like to think we are in the Era of  Peak Stupid. But I am an optimist, I freely admit.

Note that reduced illegal border crossings on our southern border by migrants makes it easier for the Border Patrol to keep an eye out for national security and drug smuggling threats who have less of an opportunity to get lost in the "noise" of a people flood moving north.

Forgive the British press. The British have no written constitution and so perhaps are unclear on the difference between parliamentary rules and a written constitution.

So upper class people pay $425 for jeans that look dirty yet think people who actually get dirty jeans from working are deplorable. No word from the cultural appropriation mob on this product. Please God, let us be at Peak Stupid.

Oh yeah, May 1 was May Victims of Communism Day. Nazi Day doesn't bring out the left even though they are pretty much the same with similar blood-stained records.

I'm going to remind people again that it is the Statue of Liberty that sits in New York harbor and not the Statue of Illegal Immigration. Just saying.

So this article recounts a 1778 raid (no, it was not an invasion as the title says) by John Paul Jones on a British port, saying "it didn't go well,"  and then concludes by saying the raid helped turn British public opinion to ending the war in which America won our independence. Not too bad for a 30-man raid that tactically didn't go well.

So Russian-speaking Germans who came to Germany from Russia after the USSR collapsed are a potential Putin ally within Germany. But large-scale Moslem migration is diversity! Got it.

Democrats crack me up. They seem upset--as they were a year ago--that Trump offered to talk to the scumbag Kim Jong-un. I certainly wouldn't talk to Kim without our South Korean and Japanese allies, mind you. But the Democratic objection is puzzling when you consider that they wouldn't let federal law enforcement arrest Kim Jong-un if he showed up in an American sanctuary city.

The top American general in Europe wants more forces, including Army heavy brigades, to deter Russia. I'd like a corps back in Europe with a couple heavy divisions and two brigades each forward deployed (with REFORPOL sites for the balance), a couple armored cavalry regiments (which we'd need to rebuild) for the Russian/Belorusian border in the east, and a parachute brigade. I formally abandon my older proposal to put a lighter corps in Europe (see my article at page 15). In my defense I wanted to avoid giving the Russians an excuse to be hostile. But that ship sailed without any of our help at all.

Question: If Russia "hacked" our election, putting their friend Trump in the White House, wouldn't the Russians keep it quiet to enjoy the fruits of that success rather than go out of their way to claim Trump is a great friend of Russia with deep ties to them?

Interesting Stratfor article on illegal immigration from the southern border. Yes, I realize that Mexican inflow is being supplanted by Central American inflow. And while a "wall" across the border is not feasible, I always took that as shorthand for a barrier and a willingness to defend the barrier. As I've said, saying a 10 foot wall is easily overcome by an 11-foot ladder is lazy thinking. Any barrier if undefended or poorly defended can be penetrated by determined crossers. Barriers just buy time for defenders to react. Funny enough, the dramatic drop in crossings under Trump shows the value of determined defenders even without a barrier. People believe we defend the border more and so the flow is down for various reasons. That belief will wear off. With no barrier under construction yet, we will see how well a determination to defend the border will work without a better barrier.

We really need to ramp up and update our Red Flag and Top Gun programs to train Air Force and Navy pilots to win air superiority. The era of just being bomb truck pilots is ending.

"Amanpour blows it: Clinton interview a fluff affair[.]" In terms that the odious Colbert can understand, is either one of them a p*ssy holster? Insert the usual "if a comedian had said this about Obama" observation. And shame on liberals who laughed at Colbert's rage.

Clinton is lucky that Comey only vaguely said the investigation into her illegal email server was revived prior to the election. Clinton is right that it was political: she should have been arrested back then. She really should be prosecuted for her deliberate evasion of email security and retention requirements given all the new information out. She can't be trusted and she was almost our president. Thank Obama and Trump for the "almost" part.

Actual dictator--liberal hero edition. With bonus socialism effing up a wet dream.

For the Left, a Republican proposing a decrease in the rate of increase of some federal budget line item will kill your grandma; but North Korea's economy isn't all that bad, really.

Even if Moqtada al-Sadr is no longer a fully functional Iran hand puppet, it would be wrong to trust this three-time insurrectionist. He is dangerous for the future of Iraq. And I don't trust that Iran won't gain influence in Iraq if Sadr remains around.

Do not be confused by the horrible Obama nuclear deal, Iran under the mullahs is our enemy.

I received that Google Docs email fishing scam. On my Yahoo! email, actually. It looked like a mistake and the sender email was for an actual research scientist. I even emailed him to let him know that I'd deleted his email and emptied my trash. Luckily, my sense of honor kept me from looking at the document. Good thing.

For all the Democratic anger about Russian interference in our 2016 election (and I think it was both ineffective in changing the outcome and designed to harm the presumed winner Clinton), Susan Rice will not testify before Congress unless she is frogmarched into the hearing room, apparently. And yes, Rice's standard of being invited by both parties is new. Elections have consequences, I was assured.

Get a grip, liberals. You seriously believe the worry of being born to "handmaidens" is less ridiculous than the accusation of President Obama being born in Kenya?

Yeah, I have always assumed the kids will be all right. Most students just want a degree. Most want free speech and aren't part of the nutty fanatics who dominate Twitter. Of course, if so many faculty and administrators weren't just as nutty, it would be better.

Iraqi forces hit ISIL in Mosul from the northwest where ISIL defenses were weaker and barriers thinly placed. I'm always encouraged when friendly forces don't advance from an expected direction. Over the last 7 months my discussions of the battle have been handicapped by my expectation of this approach. Better late than never, I suppose.

Never mind.

I'd listen to those cultural appropriation folks if they just weren't so darned stupid. And wouldn't going along with them be culturally appropriating their stupidity? I'm sensitive that way, of course.

Fake news. It's not just for inbred, knuckle-dragging deplorable hill folk any more!

Democrats would have you believe that Trumpcare will lead to people bringing out their dead. Get a grip.

All that "Chinafornia" stuff is interesting--except when it is alarming like the Hollywood self-censorship--but it won't be a partnership until you add "America" to some coastal Chinese province to show how we are partnering with locals to as high a degree. Although if the Chinese move into California is less investment and more Plan B in case things go bad in China, it's a totally different thing, isn't it?

Colbert won't be fired or shunned.  I'm not in favor of claiming his scalp. At the very least, he becomes Exhibit A in defense of a non-liberal who gets hounded by the latest Twitter-based hate-fest.

How is Russian hacking of Macron's emails smart given that he is likely to beat Le Pen in the French election? Aren't the Russians just turning a socialist into an enemy of Russia? Is this "hybrid warfare" just a combination of the Internet and stupidity?

The Army once again has electronic warfare capabilities, with an interim system given to the Stryker brigade in Europe. While this isn't relevant to that topic, I'd give that brigade a battalion of Abrams tanks. But I'm my own editor, so there.

Fareed Zakaria says that President Trump is turning other countries against America. Which is funny considering that President Obama--who Zakaria desperately wanted to work for--stiffed our allies in a futile effort to make friends of our enemies. And funny enough the only country less friendly to America now seems to be Russia. I couldn't read the article without subscribing. But all you really need to know is that Zakaria couldn't find his own buttocks with both hands and a GPS signal. So I can thank the firewall for sparing me the ordeal of reading yet another word vomit from that idiot savant.

Well I'll be darned. A women's march against actual tyranny.

Yeah, so this is the mother of all stupid. I'm just glad the Pope didn't accuse America of cultural appropriation for the origins of the term.