Friday, October 9, 2015

Grass-Roots Anger Transforms Republican Party Establishment

It's hard out there for a Republican.

At WSJ, "Grass-Roots Anger Transforms Republican Party in Congress and Presidential Campaign":
WASHINGTON—The insurgent uprisings rocking the Republican Party in Congress and the presidential campaign are creating heartburn among establishment party figures, who worry an unguided fury will keep the GOP from reclaiming the White House next fall. But that same turmoil is eliciting cheers from many in the party’s grass roots, who, far from fearing the turbulence, think it serves their burning desire to force changes in the government.

Both sides suspect that the Grand Old Party, long run by a hierarchical and well-organized elite, is being transformed by the conservative anger that initially propelled the party back to congressional power in 2010.

The shocking news that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) abandoned his bid to become House speaker on Thursday put an exclamation point on the party’s divisions. Coming on the heels of House Speaker John Boehner’s own surprise resignation, the episode showed the growing clout of the activist wing of the party, which is also fueling the White House bids of celebrity real-estate developer Donald Trump and other political newcomers.

“Everyone in Washington is in denial and they wonder when this bubble is going to burst; it ain’t going to burst,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. “The House Republican turmoil is a symptom of the larger tidal wave. It is not a problem in itself.”

One GOP presidential candidate openly taunted his party’s leaders over the upheaval in Washington. “It’s bedlam in Washington right now,” Mr. Trump declared at an event Thursday in Las Vegas. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

GOP lawmakers are hoping that the storm in Congress will be calmed if Rep. Paul Ryan, a conservative who enjoys respect across the party, can be persuaded to run for speaker. On the presidential trail, many establishment-oriented Republicans are despairing of finding a way to restore order—other than to wait for the insurgent spirit to burn out and let a more conventional candidate emerge and lead the party into 2016.

“It’s quite a mess,” said Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. “What went on in D.C. is a reminder it’s not just confined to the presidential race.”

The fissures first appeared before President Barack Obama took office but have grown pronounced now that he is on his way out. The tumult is driven by long-simmering, grass-roots frustration with the party establishment since George W. Bush’s presidency.

The turmoil produced some of the party’s biggest successes—the GOP takeover of the House, its dominance in state governments around the country and its seizure of Senate control—but also stacked Congress with more conservative, confrontational lawmakers. One factor is the absence of one clear national leader. Conservative groups and talk-radio hosts have filled the void, agitating against party leaders or anyone deemed an “establishment figure.”
Still more.

The Outrage Industry

I just found out about this book, from Jeffrey Berry and Sarah Sobieraj, The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility.

Also, from Alan Abramowitz, The Polarized Public: Why American Government is so Dysfunctional.

Democrats Move Left on Immigration, Republicans Move Right

Well, it must have taken Einstein to figure that out.

At LAT, "Democrats move left on immigration, GOP to the right":

Stop Illegal Immigration photo CPCKnEOUAAAdnyF_zpscuuwpbgo.jpg
American views on immigration have grown more polarized, with Republicans taking harder-line positions as Democrats and independents take more liberal stands, a new poll indicates.

The shift can be seen on several issues, including whether children born in the U.S. to people in the country illegally should be eligible for citizenship. Over the last nine years, Democrats have become steadily more supportive of so-called birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Republicans have become slightly more opposed to it.

Just more than half of Republicans favor amending the Constitution to end birthright citizenship, according to a new poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Donald Trump is among the leading Republicans who have called recently for ending birthright citizenship, although Trump has argued the change could be made without amending the Constitution.

Fewer than 1 in 4 Democrats back an end to birthright citizenship, the poll found. That's a notable shift since 2006, when slightly more than 1 in 3 Democrats took that position. Among independents, 37% would back a constitutional amendment, down from 44% in 2006. Blacks and Latinos have both become more opposed to an amendment, as have Americans younger than 50.

A similar shift has taken place on the issue of building a fence along the entire U.S. border with Mexico. Overall public opinion has remained stable, with just less than half of Americans backing the idea. But support has grown in the GOP, from 65% in a 2007 Pew survey to 73% now. Democrats have gone in the opposite direction, from 37% support to 29%.

Despite the intense campaign debate among Republicans over immigration, two-thirds of Republicans continue to say that they believe that at least some immigrants in the U.S. illegally should be allowed to stay. One-third say they should not be allowed to stay, the position taken by Trump and several other GOP presidential candidates.

Armed Activists Protest Obama Visit to Roseburg, Oregon (VIDEO)

From Nina Mehlhaf, on Twitter, "Anti-Obama protestors already gathering at Roseburg airport-some w/ holstered guns saying not to politicize tragedy," and "More Roseburg protestors showing off their right to carry guns well ahead of the President's arrival."

Also at Gateway Pundit, "HUNDREDS TURN OUT to Protest Barack Obama in Oregon “Go Golf!” (VIDEO)." (Via Memeorandum.)

And watch, "AMAZING turnout today to protest Obama in Oregon after the mass shooting at Umpqua College."

California Coastal Commission Bans Captive Breeding of Orcas at SeaWorld (VIDEO)

Look, leftists are trying to shut down SeaWorld, and they're winning.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Coastal Commission bans captive orca breeding at SeaWorld San Diego."

And at the San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Coastal Commission’s dubious decision to ban whale sex at SeaWorld":

The authoritarian decision by the California Coastal Commission to ban breeding of killer whales at SeaWorld San Diego seemingly carries the unusual assertion that the commission has the authority to regulate mammalian procreation in the coastal zone. The legal foundation for that is clearly shaky.

The commission was already on dubious legal ground when its staff demanded that, as a condition of approval for SeaWorld’s proposal to double the size of its orca habitat, it agree to take no more whales from the wild. That is a federal issue; the park is licensed and authorized to operate as a public display facility for orcas under two federal animal-welfare laws. But SeaWorld hasn’t taken any whales from the wild for 35 years anyway, so it agreed to that condition before Thursday’s hearing.

The new conditions prohibiting captive breeding and whale transfers, apparently meaning SeaWorld also cannot bring orcas here from its other parks, were another matter. They will over time mean the end of the park’s whale programs. And that could mean the end of SeaWorld, at least in San Diego.

The commission decision was based on emotion and shallow animal-rights politics. It fails to recognize that breeding is a fundamental part of orca life...

Common Response After Killings in Oregon: 'I Want to Have a Gun'

Makes sense. Well, that is if you're a normal American.

At the New York Times.

8th-Grader Wearing Patriotic Pro-Veteran T-Shirt Sent Home from Dexter McCarthy Middle School in Gresham, Oregon (VIDEO)

This stuff is despicable and out of control.

At KOIN News 6 Portland, "Principal sends student home for patriotic shirt with gun."

UPDATE: Linked at Legal Insurrection, "8th Grader sent home for patriotic shirt with gun image on it (#IStandWithAlan)." Thanks!

Renee Ellmers Resignation Rumors

Kevin McCarthy resignation rumors as well.

At Twitchy, "DEVELOPING: Amid affair rumors, Kevin McCarthy and Renee Ellmers expected to resign?"

PREVIOUSLY: "The Renee Ellmers Rumor and Kevin McCarthy’s Decision (CACHED)."

HIllary Clinton's Laughable Internet Illiteracy

From Ashe Schow, at the Observer, "Hillary Clinton’s (Democrat) Woman Privilege":
The drip, drip of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails has revealed one narrative that doesn’t seem to have been played up in the media.

Hillary Clinton is technologically illiterate. If she were a Republican man, she would be chastised for being so bad at, well, everything that has to do with technology. Heck, if she were a Republican woman, she’d be ripped to shreds as a moron on par with how the media treated former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin or former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. If either of those two women couldn’t figure out how to find an NPR station, for example (as Ms. Clinton couldn’t), they would be the subject of continuous mockery.

Saturday Night Live’s repeated skits about Ms. Palin, for example, led many people to believe the former 2008 vice presidential candidate actually said she could see Russia from her backyard.

But with Ms. Clinton, the comedy sketches to date have been tepid (humorous, but tepid) and have avoided her obvious failings with technology. Now would be the time to list a couple examples of Ms. Clinton’s—let’s call them “disagreements”—with technology, but I think the sheer number of these instances needs to be pointed out. I’m also going to include some other instances of Ms. Clinton showing she’s out of touch with regular people...
Keep reading. It's gold.

Stunning Footage of the Northern Lights


Hamas Chief Calls Surge of Violence a New Palestinian Intifada (VIDEO)

At the Times of Israel, "Hamas leader declares ‘intifada’ in the West Bank":

Hamas’s chief in Gaza on Friday called violence that has hit Israel and the West Bank in recent days an “intifada” and urged further unrest.

“We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada… It is the only path that will lead to liberation,” Ismail Haniyeh said during a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City.

“Gaza will fulfill its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation,” he added.

The Islamic terror movement Hamas rules Gaza, the Palestinian enclave squeezed between Egypt and Israel and separated from the West Bank.

Gaza has been the site of three wars with Israel since 2008, but it has remained mainly calm amid the recent unrest in Israel and the West Bank...
Also at the Guardian UK, "Violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories – the Guardian briefing," and "Hamas leader in Gaza declares intifada as deadly attacks continue."

National Dialogue Quartet wins Nobel Peace Prize (VIDEO)

It's the Tunisian pro-democracy group that pushed the Arab Spring.

At USA Today, "Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet wins Nobel Peace Prize":

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet for its efforts to bring democracy to the country, where the political upheaval in 2011 sparked pro-democracy movements throughout the Arab world.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the group "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011."

“It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war,” the committee said.

The National Dialogue Quartet is made up of four organizations: the Tunisian General Labour Union; Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; Tunisian Human Rights League; and Tunisian Order of Lawyers....

Plus, so far so good, at the Times of Israel, "Tunisia’s elections represent yet another Muslim Brotherhood defeat."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Renee Ellmers Rumor and Kevin McCarthy’s Decision (CACHED)

This was at Memeorandum earlier today, "The Renee Ellmers Rumor and Kevin McCarthy's Decision."

But clicking through shows that the post, at Red State, was taken down. It turns out Congresswoman Ellmers got a cease and desist order against Erick Erickson. See Matt Lewis, "Why did Kevin McCarthy quit?"

The cached version of Red State is here, "The Renee Ellmers Rumor and Kevin McCarthy’s Decision."

These are salacious rumors. Renee Ellmers is a hot woman. See Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, at Right Wing News, "Rumored Renee Ellmers Affair Helps Drive Establishment Squish Kevin McCarthy Out of Speaker’s Race [Video]."

France Train Hero Spencer Stone Stabbed in Sacramento Street Fight (VIDEO)

The Sacramento Police Department's going all out in stressing that the knife attack on decorated hero Spencer Stone wasn't terrorism.

See the Sacramento Bee, "Train hero Spencer Stone stabbed, in serious condition."

But news reports out of Britain say that authorities are searching for two "Asian" suspects, which for the politically correct British media means two Muslim suspects. See Jihad Watch, "Spencer Stone stabbing: police searching for two “Asian” male suspects, say attack not terrorism":

The Daily Mail is a British paper, and in the British press, “Asian” is the universally-employed code word for “Muslim.” If this British paper is suddenly using the word to refer, as in the American custom, to people from China or Japan, they’re not saying so. It is also possible that the Sacramento police said they were looking for “Asians,” by which they really did mean Chinese or Japanese or Koreans or Southeast Asians, etc., and the Daily Mail is too careless to note the difference in usage.

And so now the plot thickens. Police are insisting this attack had nothing to do with terrorism, but they always do that, no matter what the circumstances. If Spencer Stone was indeed stabbed by Muslims, then the possibility that the stabbing was related to his stopping the jihad attack on the French train cannot be dismissed out of hand...
Also at Atlas Shrugs, "Watch VIDEO: CCTV of Fight, France Train Hero Stabbed, Police Hunt 'Asians,' aka Muslims."

The 7-inch Amazon Fire Tablet

They're hoping to do high volume with these.

At Amazon, Fire, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers, Black.

Plus, from Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924.

Germany Faces Few Mass Shootings Amid Tough Gun Laws

Well, we're not Germany, but then, leftists never tire of attacking America's tradition of freedom and basic constitutional guarantees.

At the New York Times.

Gun-Free America

At Reason TV:

BONUS: From Charles Cooke, at National Review, "An Open Rant Aimed at Those Who Would Repeal the Second Amendment."

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Assisted Suicide Bill Into Law

There's supposed to be all kinds of safeguards with the legislation, but I still don't like it.

At the Los Angeles Times, "After struggling, Jerry Brown makes assisted suicide legal in California."

FLASHBACK: "Assisted Suicide of Healthy 79-Year-Old Raises Right to Die Issues."

Abigail Ratchford Slow-Motion Video

At Zoo Today, "Abigail Ratchford's slow-motion bouncing boobs!"

Donald Trump Beats Rivals in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (VIDEO)

He's like the energizer bunny.

At CNN, "Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton lead in swing state polling."

'Open Your Eyes'

Actually, a corny song, complete with campy theatrics.

But then, with the level of political ignorance among today's youth, old Stiv might've been onto something.

The Lords of the New Churchs, "Open Your Eyes."

Video games train the kids for war. Army chic in high-fashion

Law and order's done their job. Prisons filled while
the rich still rob.

Assassination politics. Violence rules
within' our nation's midst.

Well ignorance is their power tool. You'll only know what they want you to know.

The television cannot lie. Controlling media with smokescreen eyes.

They play a politician's picture show. The acting's lousy but the blind don't

They scare us all with threats of war. So we forget
just how bad things are.

You taste the fear when you're all
alone. They gonna git'cha when you're on your own.

The silence
of conspiracy. Slaughtered on the altar of apathy.

You gotta
wake up from your sleep. 'Cause meek inherits earth...six feet

Open your eyes see the lies right in front of ya.

Open your eyes...

Charlotte McKinney Posted Sexy Selfie in Plunging Top on Instagram on Wednesday

At London's Daily Mail, "'Late night on set!' Charlotte McKinney posts a sexy selfie in plunging top."

And on Instagram, "Late night on set .. Excited to share with you guys."

Plus, flashback, "Charlotte McKinney: They're Real. And They're Spectacular (VIDEO)."

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Major Climate Change Bill (VIDEO)

At the San Diego Union-Tribune, "California governor signs major climate change bill to boost renewables, building efficiency."

Also, "California wants renewable energy for half its power by 2030."

And flashback to June, from Joel Kotkin, "Putting climate change ahead of constituents."

Jessica Mendoza Attacked After Debut in Nationally Televised Postseason Broadcast

I just don't see what's the big deal. If she knows her stuff, let her get out there and announce some games.

At the New York Times, "Criticized for Being a ‘Woman Announcer,’ Jessica Mendoza Shines Anyway."

And flashback to August, "Jessica Mendoza Debuts on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Iraq After Russian Intervention in Syria

From Patrick Martin, at the Institute for the Study of War:
The Russian formation of a coordination cell in Baghdad is an inflection point aimed at undercutting U.S. influence over the direction of the anti-ISIS efforts in Iraq and Syria. However, the Russian footprint in Iraq is much smaller than in Syria, while U.S. influence over the ISF and Iraqi state are much greater than U.S. influence in Syria. The U.S. and the U.S.-led Coalition can maintain its position as Iraq’s essential ally in the anti-ISIS fight by increasing advisory, materiel, and aerial support to the Iraqi state, without substantially increasing its ground presence. Such changes must prepare Iraq to recapture territory from ISIS quickly in order to demonstrate the value of cooperation with the U.S.

Why Frequent Sex Increases a Woman's Pregnancy Odds

News you can use, at Instapundit, "NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE."

Christopher Harper-Mercer Discharged from Army After Attempting Suicide

Well, I knew he was discharged from the Army after just weeks of basic training, but I didn't know that was the reason.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Alleged Oregon Shooter Discharged From Army After Suicide Attempt":
The gunman who allegedly killed nine people and wounded nine others at a rural community college in Oregon last Thursday had been discharged from the Army after attempting to commit suicide, according to law-enforcement officials familiar with the case.

Christopher Harper-Mercer, who was 26 years old at the time of the shooting, was discharged from basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., after just one month in 2008. The Army said it couldn’t confirm details of his discharge due to privacy regulations. But law-enforcement officials familiar with the investigation into last week’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg said the discharge occurred after Mr. Harper-Mercer tried to take his own life.

The details of the suicide attempt haven’t been made public. But it is the latest indication that Mr. Harper-Mercer—described by former friends and neighbors as a disaffected loner who loved firearms and disliked religion—had been deeply troubled long before opening fire on fellow students and a teacher in Oregon.

The Army discharge didn’t affect Mr. Harper-Mercer’s ability to legally purchase firearms. He didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, which would have required a court-martial, according to an Army spokesman. Because he didn’t have that type of discharge, often deemed equivalent to a felony, he wasn’t precluded from buying guns under existing federal law.

The nature of his administrative separation is protected by privacy laws, and an Army spokesman said it could have been for a wide variety of reasons.

Mr. Harper-Mercer’s parents couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific events that unfolded on Thursday,” the family said in a statement Saturday. “Our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the families of those who died and were injured.”

An official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said last week that a total of six guns—five pistols and a rifle—were recovered from where the shooting took place, along with a steel-enhanced flak jacket and five magazines of ammunition. Eight more guns were found at the nearby apartment that Mr. Harper-Mercer shared with his mother, officials said.

The guns all appeared to have been purchased through a federally licensed firearms dealer by Mr. Harper-Mercer or his relatives, federal officials said.

Friends and neighbors have described Mr. Harper-Mercer as reclusive and odd, and also having shown a keen interest in guns. A classmate also told The Wall Street Journal that he attended a school for emotionally troubled students while living in Torrance, Calif. And in online postings linked to his email account, Mr. Harper-Mercer showed a fascination with mass shootings.

At a Wednesday news conference, Oregon authorities said that two plainclothes Roseburg police detectives were the first to confront Mr. Harper-Mercer after he opened fire on a writing class at the college. The two came across Mr. Harper-Mercer in a hallway and exchanged fire with him, wounding him once...
Still more.

Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin

I've been dipping into this the last few days, and it's finally starting to grab a hold of me.

At Amazon, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar.

Eve Hewson Teaches You How to Text a Girl (VIDEO)

It's Bono's daughter.

At GQ, "Don't let your bad texting get in the way of a great thing."

Gallup Won't Do Tracking Polls for Campaign 2016

Well, Gallup's not doing tracking polls right now, and so far it has no plans to.

An interesting piece, at Politico, "Gallup gives up the horse race."

Radical Feminists Storm Red Carpet at London Premiere of 'Suffragette' (VIDEO)

Check out the homepage of these radical feminists, Sisters Uncut:

We are Sisters Uncut. We stand united with all self-defining women who live under the threat of domestic violence, and those who experience violence in their daily lives. We stand against the life-threatening cuts to domestic violence services. We stand against austerity.

In the UK, two women a week on average are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. The cuts make it harder for women to leave dangerous relationships and live safely.

Safety is not a privilege. Access to justice cannot become a luxury. Austerity cuts are ideological but cuts to domestic violence services are fatal.

Every woman’s experience is specific to her; as intersectional feminists we understand that a woman’s individual experience of violence is affected by race, class, disability, sexuality and immigration status.

Doors are being slammed on women fleeing violence. Refuges are being shut down, legal aid has been cut, social housing is scarce and private rents are extortionate.

What’s more, local councils are selling out contracts to services who are running them on a shoestring – putting the safety of survivors at risk and deteriorating the working conditions for those who work with abused women.

To those in power, our message is this: your cuts are sexist, your cuts are dangerous, and you think that you can get away with them because you have targeted the people who you perceive as powerless.

We are those people, we are women, we will not be silenced. We stand united and fight together, and together we will win.

No more cuts to domestic violence services

Restore funding that has been cut

Secure funding for specialist domestic violence services; this should be ring-fenced* at a national level

Local Authorities to fully meet the demands of their communities, recognising that different women have different needs
Guaranteed access to legal aid for women experiencing domestic violence

Provide access to safe and secure social housing for women who otherwise cannot afford to flee

Panic rooms should not be classified as a spare room under the Bedroom Tax

Safety should not be subject to immigration status; extend access to safe housing to women with no recourse to public funds

The Year We Obsessed Over Identity

One of the themes of my earlier post is how the Democrats have become a cultural Marxist party on identity politics, while keeping a surprisingly centrist economic policy. See, "How Did the Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?"

And there's more on that, especially on the larger pop cultural trends, at the New York Times, "2015's headlines and cultural events have confronted us with the malleability of racial, gender, sexual and reputational lines. Who do we think we are?"

Holly Williams Reports on Russia's Attacks on Opposition Forces in Syria (VIDEO)

Following-up from last night, "U.S. Concludes Russia Targeting CIA-Backed Rebels in Syria (VIDEO)."

And here's Holly Williams, at CBS News This Morning, "Russians launch new airstrikes on Syrian opposition forces."

How Did the Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?

This is interesting, from Thomas Edsall, at the New York Times.

Obama's Justice Department to Release 6,000 Prisoners, the So-Called 'Non-Violent' Drug Offenders

I'm obviously not so thrilled about this, but Obama promised a fundamental transformation, so there you go.

At the New York Times, "6,000 Inmates to Be Freed as U.S. Tries New Tack on Drugs."

Also at Pajamas, "Happy Halloween! Feds to Release 6,000 Prisoners at End of Month."

FLASHBACK: From Heather Mac Donald, at City Journal, "Is the Criminal-Justice System Racist?"

Do Civilians with Guns Ever Stop Mass Shootings?

From Helen Smith, at Pajamas.

Far-Left Politics and the Obama Justice Department

At WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: Justice and the Obama Justice Department."

It's from Michael Mukasey, at the September issue of Hillsdale College's Imprimis magazine, "Justice and the Obama Justice Department."

Water Rationing in the Central California Town of Okieville

Yeah, rationing in the Central Valley, something you won't see in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

At CBS News 5 San Francisco:

And at the Los Angeles Times, "#drylandsCA: The drought’s hard lesson: ‘When water is life’."