Weekend Open Thread

Nothing better proves the complete hypocrisy of the left better than the way they’ve treated Obama’s non-action on the Louisiana floods. The left only cares about people when they can wring political advantage out of it – there’s no upside in highlighting disaster in Louisiana (Democrat President, Democrat governor), so there’s just nothing to care about.

LA Times tracking poll shows Trump once again with a national lead – not that big a thing, but the LA Times did pick up the previous Trump surge in the polls. I suspect that Trump’s “pivot” (as it were) over the past week is going to bring most GOPers home to him…and that will work to increase his poll numbers.

Libertarians should focus on liberty. Of course. But they don’t seem to be – in fact, in 2016, I’ve seen them as de-facto Democrat Lite.

Ed Morrisey’s review of the Ben Hur reboot. He gives it 4 out of 5 stars. I’m very wary of watching remakes as 99% of them suck very, very badly. This is especially a tough hill to climb for me because (a) I was always a big fan of Charlton Heston and (b) that version of Ben Hur is now a beloved memory of my youth. I think, though, that I might give this one a shot.

A Palestinian who rendered aid to a Jewish woman is facing persecution by his fellow Palestinians. Couple this with that Egyptian athlete who refused to shake hands with the Israeli in Rio and you really get to the crux of the problem: all too many Muslims refuse to concede the basic humanity of Israelis. Obviously, given the subject of the story, some of them do – but enough of them don’t to cause all the trouble.

The glories of socialism – Venezuelans raid zoo for food.

Some people are upset at questions regarding Hillary’s overall health – but I think it just natural. She’s pushing 70 and Trump is over 70…both of them should be observed closely as to whether they have the sheer physical stamina for the job. And there’s Trump, out on the hustings day in and day out…while Hillary keeps to a light schedule and just isn’t in the news all that much. To be sure, part of this is just in the nature of things – Hillary is disliked and her advisors have probably carefully explained to her that the less people see her, the better her chances…but surely the Democrats can come up with enough friendly audiences to keep her busy?

Honest conversations about race are anything but. The bottom line is that the Progressives don’t want such a conversation as anything relevant and true on the subject indicts them. But, meanwhile, the right also doesn’t want such a conversation because, well, I guess we’re afraid to have it. But it does need to be had – and Trump, to his credit, has at least dived into it. I’m praying that we on the right start seriously talking about it – and, more importantly, listening about it. The future of our nation really revolves around how we resolve this issue…Tribalism is what can break us apart and finish us as a people. We must become united.

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21 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Amazona August 20, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    I had a black man working for me who was very blunt about his opinion of the race issue. He says it doesn’t matter. That race doesn’t matter, that is. He has a unique perspective—when his parents died he and his brothers were taken in by a white family. He says he finds skin color absolutely irrelevant. He asked me if he could go with me to the Paul Ryan rally in Coloradoin 2012, has black friends and white friends and a white girlfriend. As he told me, some people are tall, some are short, some are thin, some are fat, some are light skinned and some are dark. Big deal.

    It’s interesting to spend time with black people who are not American. They don’t obsess about race, and therefore race is just not an issue.

    I do not see any efforts in the so-called “black community” about the betrayal of Dr. King’s famous dream exhibited in their rhetoric or actions.

    I applaud Trump’s efforts at opening up this difficult discussion, but it has to be done. Black people in this country have, for the most part, been treated like livestock by Democrats—fed and housed and harvested for votes, but not treated with respect, as human beings entitled to participate in the American dream.

  2. Amazona August 20, 2016 / 11:07 pm

    re: Ben Hur. I don’t think I will go see it. I have just reached the point of not liking to see movies in which horses are used the way they are in movies like this. I know the conditions have been improved, but when I see scenes like those in the trailers, it reminds me that of all species horses have not only contributed the most to the development of civilization, they have been the most routinely abused. From blind mine ponies to war horses cut down because they were bigger targets than their riders, it is a sad history, and I have become sensitized to it. As for Ben Hur, I have never gotten over the sight of the spinning blades on the chariot wheels—-blades designed to cut the legs out from under the horses.

    It’s just become a thing with me.

  3. Cluster August 21, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    From the YCMTSU file – when Hillary supporter Ben Cardin was asked today about the Iran statement that the $400 million was directly paid for the release of the prisoners, he said and I quote, “the Iranians never tell the truth, so we just shouldn’t believe anything they say”. Really. Evidently Obama and Hillary believed them enough to sign a nuclear deal with them allowing them to essentially perform their own inspections. The incompetence and dishonesty amongst Democrats is astonishing. Case in point, Hillary’s “big” economic plan is to …. wait for it ….. invest in infrastructure. That may sound familiar to many of you. Remember “shovel ready jobs”?

    Re: Trump’s message to blacks, when I heard him say that Democrat policies have failed the black community for the last few decades and that Democrats only care about their votes, I gave him a standing ovation. I have been waiting for someone in the GOP to say that for the last 20 years. It’s a hard truth that everyone, particularly the black community needs to hear.

    Red State continues to fight old battles and violate Reagan’s 11th commandment:

    http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/08/21/gop-ever-wants-win-need-ready-purge-people-like-party/

    This morning the RCP average has Trump down by just 5.3%, well within striking distance with over 2 months to go. I will remind the establishment that Bush I was down by considerably more at this point in 1992 and still won, so my question is to folks like Erik Erickson, Rich Lowry, Goldberg, George Will, etc., what happens if Trump wins? What will you do then? What will become of all of your threats lobbed at the “Trumpists” to purge them from the party? What if they themselves face being purged from the party?

    I don’t think this election is at all R vs D, or conservative vs liberal. This is an election between average everyday Americans and the political-media complex ran by career politicians, incompetent federal bureaucrats, lobbyists, corporate power brokers and special interests, and the more that message gets out, thanks to Conway and Bannon, Trump could win easily.

    Two more anecdotal stories. A black friend of mine who is a successful small business owner has been a vocal supporter for Trump from the very beginning. And the wife of my business partner who is hispanic and comes from a very large hispanic family, has also been a vocal Trump supporter from the beginning.

    • Amazona August 21, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      I could not be happier to see Trump’s poll numbers rising and I hope this is the beginning of a trend.

      As for how “…Erik Erickson, Rich Lowry, Goldberg, George Will, etc., what happens if Trump wins? What will you do then? “ I imagine it will be exactly the same as what would happen if Trump were to lose. It will be, no matter what, one group with one strongly held idea that is not the same as the strongly held idea of another group, and there will be “I Told You So” from either side no matter what.

      What will become of all of your threats lobbed at the “Trumpists” to purge them from the party? “ What???? What “threats……to purge them from the party? Wow, do you ever have the wrong idea there. Unless something has been going on that I don’t know about, there has been no consideration of the goofy idea of “purging” Trump supporters from the party. Where did you get that idea? All what threats?

      No, the internal revolution within the party is to “purge” it of the same people that you can’t stand, the elites such as McConnell and Boehner and so on. It is to get of people like Priebus, who stand for the Same Old Same Old that ticks us all off. I haven’t heard a word about “purging” the party of Trumpists. I have commented, on my own, that many of them are shallowly rooted Personality Politics people who don’t have a deep ideological foundation and who are likely to swan off after the next Flavor of the Month that waves something shiny at them. I have not said we should run them off with pitchforks.

      You are constantly, insistently, making my point for me—–that there is enough residual defensiveness about supporting Trump to now need to have that support validated by making the rest of us fall in line and join the fan club, and there is a lot of paranoia involved in that. No, most of us will not fall in line and join the fan club, because our objections were valid, real, and significant. But we will pull the right lever at the right time, and you people just need to get over it and settle for that. And you don’t need to start inventing all sorts of vendettas against you, If there any, I haven’t heard of them. Speaking for myself, my reaction is more like the one I have when I see an Obama (or worse yet, Hillary, or worst of all, Bernie) bumper sticker—an internal eye roll. If Trump loses this election for us, yes there will be disdain but as I have said, you all knew that going in and thought it was worth it because of your fervor and fandom, and it was a decision you made. If it was the wrong decision, you will be blamed. How can that come as a surprise? We have only been saying it for about eight months now. All Trump’s negatives were laid out for you, and you didn’t care. But blaming is not the same as “purging”.

      On the other hand, it appears that the Trumpists are the rabid vendetta-minded hysterics. Your linked article is not the first time we have seen objections to Trump framed as actual “treason” as well as “treason against Trump”.

      “If we lose, I’ll know where to go to place blame,” Stewart said. “If they want careers in politics afterwards, they won’t get them. They’ll be destroyed. This is treason against Trump.”

      This is the kind of vicious, hateful, narcissistic rhetoric we keep seeing from so many Trumpists, which sounds more like cultism than political analysis. Your insistence that we come around to admiration for the man is not as extreme or unhinged, but it is on the same spectrum. And it is from the Trumpists that we are hearing threats of retaliation for failing to fall into lockstep.

      BTW, when people have complained about some aspects of Trump’s appeal, comparing it to the populist appeal of an early Hitler in its emotional magnetism and ability to stir strong emotions and cult-like fanaticism, one of the fears was that his followers would act exactly like this man, and demand severe penalties for failing to pay proper obeisance to the Great One. “Treason against Trump”? Seriously? When you factor in Trump’s own personal well-known and recently illustrated passion for vindictiveness and carrying of grudges, the combination is rather chilling, and one of the things that stir concerns about a Trump administration, armed with the power and might of the government.

      So some people are still openly anti-Trump. I didn’t see you getting the vapors when some Republicans remained anti-McCain, or anti-Romney. There is no reason to insist on making such a big deal out of this.

      • Cluster August 21, 2016 / 2:10 pm

        The “purging” was the jest of the article identifying the one supporter who mentioned the “treason against Trump”, a line which was probably best left unsaid but is a consequence of the heated rhetoric on both sides. This opposition against Trump is also very personal in nature, against the man himself more so than his policies in my opinion. I will again point out Trump’s positions statements found on his website which I have to believe most conservatives would agree with.

        And re: anti Romney crowd, I was vocal in my detest for them as well. Remember a poster by the name of GMB? He was anti Romney because of Romney’s religion and I remember all of us excoriating him for that position.

        Trump was not my first, or even my second choice, but I am 100% convinced that a Hillary presidency will be catastrophic for this country, so I am praying that good common sense Americans will rally around this political outsider to achieve the best possible outcome. What worries me greatly, is that I don’t think the NeverTrumpers believe that a Hillary presidency will be all that bad. In fact, some are openly supporting her; ie: Bruce Bartlett.

        Here’s another observation, Trump has been a politician for just over a year now and while he has admittedly made YUGE mistakes, he is finding his groove, surrounding himself with good strategists and making big improvements. How many politicians could enter Trump’s world of commercial real estate development and do as well in the same time frame? My guess is that none of them could. particularly the Clinton’s.

      • Amazona August 21, 2016 / 5:14 pm

        I’m fine with Trump’s current positions and hope he sticks with them. My objections were to the positions he had held for many years, all or nearly all of the antithetical to conservative political philosophy.

        “I will again point out Trump’s positions statements found on his website which I have to believe most conservatives would agree with.” Yet these are all new positions, and there is no indication that he even wrote them. He has had trouble remembering them on the campaign trail, though he seems to be settling in with them and keeping track of them.

        As for being against Trump the man, yes, that is true. After decades of pious mouthings of “character is important in a president” and “we need a candidate who is a Christian” and so on, yes I admit to being quite unhappy at the sudden embracing of an admitted serial adulterer and whoremonger who talked in very disparaging terms of his sexual conquests on a radio show, going so far as to admit he had left his wife for “a great piece of ass”—-who later became his wife.

        My objections were based on two metrics. One was disgust for the man himself—vulgar, crude, sexist, narcissistic, with a history of shady business dealings that spoke to me of inherent dishonesty just as his adulteries did. I knew, for example, that he not only betrayed Ivana with his affair with Marla Maples, he promised his children he would end the affair, and they learned that he had betrayed their trust when he took her on a family ski vacation to Aspen where their mother was publicly humiliated by her presence. These, and other, aspects of Trump as a man convinced me he is, at heart, not a good person, as well as being a cheat and a liar and a crude offensive buffoon. The other metric was the awareness that these things would be used against him in a campaign, and it would be hard to fight something that is true.

        I was amazed that so many people could look at his political history and then, without blinking an eye, believe that he had changed, overnight, into the opposite of what he had been—not basing this gullibility on evidence, mind you, but just because he said so. Just because a man known for lying, who admits to lying to make deals and get what he wants, says what he needs people to believe to get something else that he wants, is hardly compelling to me.

        You will not find anyone who disagrees to any serious degree with the positions outlined on the Trump web site. The problem is not what he says—it is whether he can be believed, given his history. It’s the old leopard/spots thing. It’s remembering him admitting that he says what he has to say to get the result he wants. So it is irrelevant to say that his positions would appeal to most conservatives. That’s not the point.

        “…..I am 100% convinced that a Hillary presidency will be catastrophic for this country, so I am praying that good common sense Americans will rally around this political outsider to achieve the best possible outcome. “ Agreed.

        “How many politicians could enter Trump’s world of commercial real estate development and do as well in the same time frame?” Completely irrelevant. Though I think that a lot of people in politics are really really smart and have the same basic ability to grasp concepts that a good businessman has to have, and with the same amount of time and the same degree of assistance and guidance and mentorship many of them could do very well in commercial real estate. Remember, Trump was in this field since he was a teenager., and had contacts and a lot of seed money when he started out. He did not start from scratch. And he often failed. Failed rather dramatically, at great cost to many.

        Any positives associated with his business dealings are, to me, offset by the negatives, so at best it is a wash.

        The people who do not think Trump should be president think this because they have reams of hard cold evidence of misdeeds, lies, failures, and personality disorders that add up to a scary scenario. The people who want to use Trump and any power he might gain to punish and destroy those who do not love him are just pathological bullies who should never be given any power at all, and who only add to the long list of things that make people uneasy about Trump.

    • M. Noonan August 21, 2016 / 6:59 pm

      It’ll be interesting to see how the most devoted Trumpsters take his pivot on immigration. To be sure, he’s actually coming around to my view on the matter – border security plus some means of legalizing most of the illegals currently in country – but the official word is that his “thing” was “deport ’em all”. Now there appears to be some softening of that – though one can’t be sure, with Trump, what exactly is going on.

      In a lot of ways, he’s an American Bismarck – he says things for effect, at the moment, and may say quite a different thing the next moment for a different effect. It is not, actually, inconsistent to be for border security and some form of amnesty…we’ll see how it plays out.

      • Amazona August 21, 2016 / 9:38 pm

        He admitted within a couple of weeks of the “deport ’em all” statement that he didn’t really mean it when he said it—-it was just to “start negotiations”. Yet the Trumpbots continued to use the “deport ’em all” comment as what drew them to him and what motivated their fanaticism.

        This is one of the things that generated so much frustration with his ardent followers. They said they loved him for his “deport ’em all” statement but it never bothered them when he admitted he had never meant it. It was things like this that created the impression that Trumpists were/are blindly fanatical even when the facts on the ground contradict the things they say or at least said matter to them.

        So Trumpsters won’t care what he says, about immigration or anything else. For all the claims to the contrary, his is a personality cult with superficial trappings of ideology, just as Hillary’s is, and neither fan club will ever be budged by reality.

        I know that people can change. Quite honestly, I think Trump is so shallow that whatever he used to think or believe CAN change, reverse itself, and be as strong in the new direction as it was before. That is a two-edged sword: On one hand it would mean that he is now completely sincere in everything he now says he now believes, and on the other it would mean he is easily knocked off course by the newest thing that strikes him.

        I’d love to believe that he is now completely 100% sincere in everything he says, in everything on his web site that says it represents his beliefs and policies. I don’t have the blind faith of the early cult members or the newer converts, but I am willing to take a chance—-because I have no choice. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that anything about Trump will shake the faith of the true believers, because so far nothing has.

  4. Amazona August 22, 2016 / 7:23 am

    There’s really not much more to say about the Trump candidacy, no matter how much the anti-Trumpists and the pro-Trumpists want to continue hammering us with their sides of the story. Both have legitimate arguments, but in the long run only two things remain inarguable: Trump is better than Clinton, and the only thing that can sway anti-Trump opinions is going to be what Trump, himself, does.

    In the meantime, while the different sides are tilting at their respective windmills, some things are being overlooked if not downright ignored. For example, how much attention is being paid to Huma Abedin? In a nation where even the most radical rabid Liberal acknowledges the threat of at least SOME Muslims, even though they have narrowed the threat to a mere few “radical” Muslims they claim act and believe far outside mainstream Islam, there is little or no attention paid to the fact that if Hillary Clinton is elected a woman who has worked for, written for and represented aspects of militant Islam is very likely to be sitting in on top secret meetings of the most sensitive nature.

    (emphasis mine)

    “Hillary Clinton’s top campaign aide, and the woman who might be the future White House chief of staff to the first female US president, for a decade edited a radical Muslim publication that opposed women’s rights and blamed the US for 9/11.

    One of Clinton’s biggest accomplishments listed on her campaign Web site is her support for the UN women’s conference in Bejing in 1995, when she famously declared, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Her speech has emerged as a focal point of her campaign, featured prominently in last month’s Morgan Freeman-narrated convention video introducing her as the Democratic nominee.

    However, soon after that “historic and transformational” 1995 event, as Clinton recently described it, her top aide Huma Abedin published articles in a Saudi journal taking Clinton’s feminist platform apart, piece by piece. At the time, Abedin was assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs working under her mother, who remains editor-in-chief. She was also working in the White House as an intern for then-First Lady Clinton.”

    Read more at 1776 Coalition: http://www.1776coalition.com/rise-up-1/huma-abedin-worked-at-a-radical-muslim-journal-for-a-dozen-years#ixzz4I3bhUgwQ

    Are we to believe that no one vetted an intern for the First Lady, working in the White House? There are only two answers to this question. (1) Yes, we knew of her radical connections but we just didn’t care, or (2) No, we had no idea and therefore should not be trusted with anything regarding national security.

    There is another excellent article which, after going through a list of groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, ends:

    “The infrastructure’s public face is organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which combine public relations spin with sharia policy activism.

    This is not a random proliferation of fraternities, the sort of cultural solidarity exhibition routinely seen throughout the American melting pot. The Saudi-constructed, Brotherhood-conducted Islamist infrastructure in the West is on a mission – the “Muslim Minority Affairs” mission. It seeks to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists, who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West. Its goal is incrementally to infiltrate sharia principles in our law, our institutions, and our public policy. That means the mission takes direct aim at our liberties, particularly free expression, because it enables examination and negative criticism of Islamist ideology. It takes aim at our alliance with Israel, because Jews are regarded as enemies and all of “Palestine” as Islamic territory. And it takes aim at our economic system, because sharia regards capitalism as a bane of human existence – there is a reason why the Brotherhood’s American operatives make common cause with the Left on everything from socialized medicine to finance regulation to gun control to surveillance law.

    The media and the Obama Left will continue ridiculing the notion of Brotherhood influence on our government and attacking the five conservative House members who have raised concerns. The Republican establishment will lay cravenly low and pray that the controversy blows over – except for the stray useful idiot who calculates that there’s good press to be had in parroting the Democrats’ “McCarthyism” canard. Nevertheless, to perceive no correlation between the Islamists’ fervid anti-assimilation program and the United States government’s stunning accommodation of the Brotherhood and its agenda is to be willfully blind.”

    http://www.aim.org/guest-column/huma-abedins-muslim-minority-affairs-not-just-a-journal/

      • Amazona August 22, 2016 / 12:30 pm

        Preachin’ to the choir, son, preachin’ to the choir. Remember, I am the one who coined the phrase “Complicit Agenda Media” and usually use quotation marks around the word “journalist”. My only quibble with the title of the article is that it implies that this is now going on, while I think it has already happened.

        I loved it when the Trump fans scolded CNN, chanting “Do your job” and “Tell the truth”.

        Every now and then one of the alphabet network channels is in serious financial trouble, and I have always wondered why some billionaire conservative doesn’t buy it. Given that about half of the nation defines itself as conservative, I think that a station that doesn’t take sides and just shows the news, plus running clean entertainment that families can watch together would take a huge chunk of the market share. It wouldn’t have to, and probably shouldn’t, advertise with a slogan like Fox’s “Fair and Balanced”–it would just speak for itself.

    • Amazona August 22, 2016 / 10:16 pm

      BTW, now the Clinton campaign story is that Huma was not really an editor for the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs—she just kind of had her name on the masthead but didn’t do any, you know, like real work there.

      I guess when your robot following shows that they will buy anything you tell them, you think they will buy anything you tell them.

  5. Cluster August 22, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    Here’s something worth noting: Recently FEMA revised the flood plan map for my area and since I have a rental home that is now in that flood plain and carry a small mortgage on it, I am required to have flood insurance. Mind you I live in a county that averages 6″ of rain annually. I just read this morning that the flooded areas of Louisiana are not in a FEMA flood plan and thus the vast majority of home owners have lost everything and have no coverage. That’s a big miss considering that I am sure Fannie and Freddie own the majority of mortgages in that area.

    • Amazona August 22, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      I know what you are saying, but……if you live in Louisiana, do you really need to have Uncle Sam tell you to get flood insurance?

      • Cluster August 22, 2016 / 9:55 pm

        Good point but if their mortgage is guaranteed by the tax payer, shouldn’t we insist that it is insured? They don’t have to take the mortgage, there are other options.

      • Cluster August 22, 2016 / 10:04 pm

        Not to mention that I sure would like to see the results of the FEMA studies that designated an area that has numerous waterways and swamps and is prone to hurricanes to not be in a potential flood plain.

      • Amazona August 22, 2016 / 10:20 pm

        Oh, come on! Maybe I am reading too much into your comment, but it sounds suspiciously like you are saying government agencies should have some accountability. Smokin’ some of that wacky baccy?

      • Cluster August 23, 2016 / 7:41 am

        I am just questioning the genius’s at FEMA for designating flood plain status to parts an arid desert that receives 6″ of rain annually and imposing the requirement of flood insurance while other parts of the country, specifically swamp infested, hurricane prone low lands to not be in a flood plain. I sure would like to see those findings.

      • Amazona August 23, 2016 / 10:05 am

        Perhaps you missed the sarcasm in my comment. Sure, it would be great to have some explanations, and accountability, from any government agency, Dream on. I think the first step has to be to gut every agency, and then to demand the same kinds of oversight and productivity we demand in the private sector.

        Which brings me back to needing an overhaul of the Civil Service laws.

  6. Cluster August 23, 2016 / 8:21 am

    The MSM’s new favorite word – the “Alt Right”. And MSNBC this morning is warning of the potential violence from this unhinged “Alt Right” movement all the while completely overlooking the actual violence that stems from the Democrats and the “Alt Left”. I just don’t recall any Trump supporters lighting their cities on fire or shooting at cops.

    • Amazona August 23, 2016 / 10:07 am

      They are scrambling to deflect attention away from themselves. The violence at Trump rallies was not from Trumpists, but from Leftist agitators, many of them probably hired given the appearance of coordination and consistency from one rally to the next.

      The thing about the “radical Right” we are seeing now in written opinions on Trump is that it uses words and ideas, not rocks and guns and fire.

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