Monday, October 22, 2018

Attack on America: 7,000-Strong 'Migrant Caravan' Heads to the U.S. Through Southern Mexico (VIDEO)

Kate Linthicum of the L.A. Times is a partisan advocate campaigning through her "journalism" for open borders and unlimited access for the so-called "refugees" of the illegal immigrant caravan.

And below, Newt Gringrich's recent op-ed at Fox News and a raw video of the recent migrant siege of the Mexico border, via Ruptly:

The Nightmare of Democrats' Leftist Agenda

From VDH, at American Greatness, "Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing":

If the New Democratic Party was smart, it would do what the old Democratic Party did long ago: always sound centrist if not conservative in the last weeks of a campaign, get elected, then revert to form and pursue a left-wing agenda for a year or two—and then repeat the chameleon cycle every two to four years.

But although many Democrats in Trump states still dance the old bipartisan two-step, lots of blinkered progressive wolves don’t even bother to put on the sheep’s clothing.

Evidently, the new progressive and radical Democratic Party is far more honest—or perhaps far more hubristic—than in the past. So what now looks and sounds like a wolf is a wolf. Democrats have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. Or rather, they still believe it is 2008 all over again, with a host of wannabe Obamas on the 2020 horizon, all appealing to identity politics, Maenad feminism, and neo-socialism. The hipster theory is that 30 percent of the present electorate will always vote en masse for unapologetic progressives, and that bloc number, due to changing demography and persuasive street theatrics, soon will grow to 50 percent of all voters.

More to the point, the strategy of hating Trump 24/7 and fueling the 90 percent negative media coverage of the president had seemed to be a winning hand—given that Trump has usually below 45 percent approval in most polls, and pundits promised a huge blue wave neutering what certainly would be Trump’s last two years in the White House.

Yet the result of a progressive wolf baying proudly like a left-wing wolf is that as we head to the 2018 midterm, progressives may soon blow what should be, by history’s analytics, a big win for the out party in any president’s first term.

Man-Made Disasters
As the economy kept booming and things overseas calmed down, the Democrats found it harder to run a campaign strictly against either the ogre or the incompetent Trump. So they stayed on the offensive and did not bother to hide their agendas of open borders, “Medicare for All,” abolishing ICE, identity politics quotas, radical feminism, abortion on demand, and climate change hysterias. And they were quite lupine in their sincerity even as the public insidiously began to tune them out.

The first disaster was disrupting senate confirmation hearings, on the part of both senators and paid operatives in the gallery. Hysterics by Senators Cory “Spartacus,” Kamala Harris, and Richard Blumenthal soon gave the impression that Democratic stalwarts were unhinged.

After all, somehow the Democrats had managed all at once to 1) lose the vote on Kavanaugh; 2) to ensure that the Bushite Kavanaugh likely would become so radicalized by the horrific treatment meted out that he would not follow the usual David Souter liberalizing trajectory, 3) unite Republicans and more or less end the Never Trump factionalism, 4) go on record of opposing due process of law and rejecting the entire political and cultural tradition of American jurisprudence, and 5) so discredit their opposition to a court nominee, that next time around everything they do and say about a nominee will be seen as mere go-through-the-motions leftist boilerplate.

The second disaster was condoning and indeed empowering street thuggery. Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder went full Maxine Waters in parroting the new incivility and seemed to think most Americans enjoy pampered protestors getting in the faces of their opponents to scream, yell, and in general go berserk. It is never a wise thing to be in alliance with young Bacchants shrieking as they scratch the closed doors of the Supreme Court or rude young activists swarming someone at a restaurant and screaming obscenities in a nasal voice.

Most Americans wondered, what in the world would the frenzied anti-Kavanaugh protestors have done if they had broken down the court doors and plunged into the swearing-in ceremony: scratch Mrs. Kavanaugh and the two Kavanaugh girls, or rip apart Brett Kavanaugh as if he were a young King Pentheus? Progressives seem to think it is cool that the street mobs are now the paramilitary wing of their own party.

Immolated by Identity Politics
A third mishap was senator Elizabeth Warren’s amazingly stupid ploy of releasing her DNA ancestry test before the midterms. The Massachusetts Democrat somehow adduced that a person with about a 1 percent likelihood of being an indigenous person (more likely from Central and South America than from the American plains) somehow was proof of her long-feigned minority status. That Warren worked in cahoots with newspapers to massage the gambit, as refutation of Donald Trump’s “Pocahontas” ribbing, backfired when it took the media two retractions to get down the basic math of Warren’s infinitesimally tiny Indian bloodlines.

The reaction was obvious: if someone can cajole a minority billet for careerist purposes based on a 1-percent ancestry, then every American can be anything he wishes. And when everyone is everything, then no one is anything—and the racial basis for diversity set-asides is dead.

In Warren’s logic, how can the average African-American be authentically black with an average white pedigree 25 times greater than her own Indian heritage that she used to authenticate her status as a “person of color” academic? And how weird it is that Warren identifies with the 1 percent of her ancestry, rather than the 99 percent of other various tribes and races—and then claims that she does so not necessarily for any careerist advantages when such advantages are well established.

The timing was even worse, as Boston was also the contemporaneous scene of a landmark lawsuit lodged by Asian groups against Harvard University’s disingenuous racial restrictionist admission policies. Harvard, every bit as intellectually dishonest as Warren, conjured up all sort of personality and character issues to stereotype and demonize Asian applicants for admission, as a way of nullifying their academic records of achievement and thereby reducing their percentages of racial spoils in order to help more “diverse” Hispanics and blacks.

So what will Harvard now do, subpoena its own esteemed law professor Elizabeth Warren to lecture jurors about how minorities like herself would lose out when there are too many Asians? At some point on the horizon, voters are going to conclude that the diversity monster is devouring itself and making a mockery of common sense...
Still more.

Steamy New Hailey Clauson (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

The Truth About Jamal Khashoggi

I haven't blogged about this guy because I don't care. After I found out who he was, I could see how the leftist press was exploiting the guy's death as a campaign issue against the White House and the GOP.

The leftist media is despicable.

See Sebastian Gorka, at American Greatness, "Why the Media Couldn’t Care Less About Khashoggi":

People die. Every day. It’s our lot. Some deaths attract more attention than others. Sometimes for good reasons. Sometimes for nefarious and dishonest ones.

The largest metropolitan U.S. cities see deadly violence every weekend. And those run by the Democratic Party for the last several decades are especially prone to it. Recently, Baltimore witnessed seven murders in less than 24 hours. How much coverage does the Washington Post or CNN give those murders? In fact, New York City made headlines this week for having had the first homicide-free weekend in 25 years. This was news because it is so anomalous. How perverse.

So what about Jamal Khashoggi? Yes, it is now clear that Saudi Arabian man was murdered. But what are the facts of his death and do they matter to you? Or to America?

First things first. It is important to understand that Khashoggi—whose name the mainstream media seems to be having such difficulty pronouncing, even though no one had any difficulty for decades with his uncle Adnan Khashoggi, the late billionaire arms dealer—was neither an American nor was he strictly speaking a journalist.

Khashoggi was a Saudi national who recently moved to the United States. How a man with his past obtained a green card from the State Department is another interesting question, and more on that momentarily.

Secondly, he was not a journalist. At least not in any conventional sense of the word.

Journalists have a beat. Journalists are accredited and cover news stories, from the local police blotter to the White House. Khashoggi was a newly minted U.S.-based commentator, an opinion piece writer, after having spent much of his life as a subject about which journalists write (he was a friend of the Osama bin Laden family and an activist for a decidedly dark cause). To call him a journalist would be just a wrong as calling me a journalist on account of the opinion pieces I write.

So, ask yourself, why does the mainstream media complex almost exclusively refer to him as a journalist?

These may seem to be technical mistakes but when added to the hagiography and selective coverage of Khashoggi’s past now flooding the media, it is obvious this is no accident.

Take the U.S. newspaper where Khashoggi had published his commentary, the Washington Post. With a straight face its employees have lavished praise on the missing Saudi national, lauding him as a champion of free speech and democracy.

“Free speech” and “democracy?” This is a man who was a fully paid up member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological mothership that gave us Hamas, al-Qaeda, and, eventually, the Islamic State. He is the same man who, under the banner of his organization, DAWN (Democracy for the Arab World), was providing the glide path for Islamists to pervert and subvert any nascent structures of representative government in the Middle East. Shades of Orwell and 1984’s “War is Peace” Newspeak. But this time it’s “Democracy is Salafist Theocracy.”

None of the above can be used to justify torture, let alone an extrajudicial execution by an international hit squad. But they are facts that the media is failing to report, or worse, intentionally keeping from the American people. And they are facts that bear directly on the question of how the Trump Administration should respond to the death of this foreign national who was killed on foreign soil.

In addition to “lapses” in honest coverage there is the question of professionalism and balance among the media.

Some may have become inured to the precipitous drop in media ethics and journalistic tradecraft since our 45th president’s inauguration, which brings us now to an age in which all you need is one anonymous “source” to build a story attacking the Trump Administration and a market in which more than 90 percent of media coverage about President Trump is negative. But the depths to which media brand-names have sunken would embarrass a high-school newspaper.

Allegedly serious outlets are publishing stories about the Khashoggi death relying on little more than hearsay, as in “someone who spoke to a Turkish official who knows someone who heard the audio of . . .” As far as “journalism” goes, this is laughable, especially when one considers the Turkish government and what Erdogan has wrought as he tries turn Turkey into his own neo-Ottoman play thing, imprisoning thousands along the way, including more journalists than any other government in the world.

And as to balance and perspective, well, the mainstream media hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory here either.

I hereby challenge a budding cub reporter or journalism student—ideally, one who is not afraid of being fired or given an “F”—to author a comparative study. Question: How many column-inches have already been expended on this one foreign death overseas in the past three days, versus those dedicated to the deaths of four American nationals, including a serving ambassador, in the whole month after the Benghazi attack in September 2012?

Or—and here let’s ignore the conspiracy theorists and stick to major outlets—as former CNN defense correspondent and radio host Chris Plante has recently asked, how many hours of TV coverage have already been broadcast on Khashoggi’s fate as opposed to Seth Rich’s murder? Rich, after all, was an American working at the center of American politics who was killed in the nation’s capital. It would be safe to say that CNN and MSNBC have already dedicated more air-time this week to one Saudi national’s death in Turkey than to Rich’s July 2016 murder. Why? Well, because the media has an agenda. It has an axe to grind.

In accord with some simplistic mathematics of political revenge, these outlets must attack President Trump for his deft, devastating, and repeated use of the moniker #FAKENEWS. These “journalists,” 90 percent of whom admit to being left-wing, can’t stand having their integrity impugned by a successful president who—unlike the GOP establishment for far too long—simply does not care what they say about him or anything else. They see the Khashoggi story as the perfect cudgel with which to bash Donald J. Trump and so regain their vaunted status. “See! See! He gives us no respect and then this is what his allies do!” And that is how an insalubrious pro-Brotherhood Saudi agitator magically becomes a “U.S. journalist who championed democracy.”

When I served in the White House, many in the press team considered my treatment of the media strange, even unseemly...
 Keep reading.

English Swimwear Designer Kimberley Garner Bikini Photos

Here, "It’s official: Kimberley Garner’s booty in a thong bikini is the most insanely sexy/perfect booty of all time… WOW!" (That's Popoholic's headline, FWIW.)

BONUS: At the Sun U.K., "Kimberley Garner wows in a sexy photoshoot as she promotes her own bikini line: The former Made In Chelsea star and socialite, 28, reclined in a hammock showing off her amazing figure."

Emily Ratajkowski Busting Out

At Popoholic:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Today's Shopping

At Amazon, Today's Deals. New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

And see especially, Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Quiet Dual-Stage Slow Speed Masticating Juicer Creates Continuous Fresh Healthy Fruit and Vegetable Juice at 80 Revolutions per Minute High Juice Yield, 150-Watt, Metallic.

More, Floopi Womens Indoor/Outdoor Faux Fur Lined Basic Moccasins Slipper W/Memory Foam.

And, CRAFTSMAN CMEBL700 Electric Leaf Blower 240 mph 380 CFM 12 amps.

Also, Pendleton Men's Westerley Full Zip Sweater.

Still more, Carhartt Men's Arctic Quilt Lined Yukon Active Jacket J133.

Here, Horny Goat Weed Herbal Complex Extract for Men & Women | Ginseng, 100% Maca Root Tongkat Ali Powder | 60 1000mg Optimum Dosage Capsules.

Plus, CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Blueberry Crisp - (2.4 Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count).

And see, Samsung UN65MU6300FXZA 65" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model) Plus Terk Cut-the-Cord HD Digital TV Tuner and Recorder 16GB Hook-Up Bundle.

BONUS: Allen C. Guelzo, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

'The People's Vote' March for a New Brexit Referendum

Leftists want a do-over. Just thinking about it makes me guffaw.

Britain had the "people's vote" on Brexit two years ago and leftists lost. They also lost their minds, and they've been wailing and waging a hissy fit war on democracy ever since. The final deal for the formal "leave" negotiations should have been completed long ago, so blame the inept Theresa May for that (bless her heart, the corrupt little totalitarian).

In any case, here's the Guardian U.K., "People's Vote march: '700,000' rally for new Brexit referendum," and "Huge crowd turns out in London to demand a 'people's vote' on Brexit."

And video, "Hundreds of thousands attend People's Vote march in London: Organisers say more than 600,000 people rallied in central London on Saturday to call for a referendum on the final Brexit deal."

And don't miss Pat Condell's blistering denunciation of the loser remain progs. Watch:

Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

At Amazon, Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 (Vintage International).

Out in Paper: Ron Chernow, Grant


Now in paperback, at Amazon, Ron Chernow, Grant.

Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

At Amazon, Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI's War on the American Indian Movement.

Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks


Keeping up with the "Cultural Marxism," make sure you pick up a copy of this one.

At Amazon, Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks.

'Migrant Caravan' Breaks Border Fence at Guatamala-Mexico Checkpoint (VIDEO)

Here's the video, via Associated Press, "Migrants force through fence at Mexican border: On Friday, the migrant caravan of at least 3,000 broke down gates at the Guatemalan border with Mexico and streamed toward a bridge to Mexico."

And here's Laura Ingraham with her opening "angle," at Fox News:

Glamorous Rhian Sugden

She's a selfie-lovin' babe, heh.

Kara Del Toro Bikini Shots

This is from earlier this year, but Ms. Kara is spectacular.

At Hollywood Tuna, "Kara Del Toro Belongs in a Bikini."

Kate Upton on Picking the Perfect Swimsuit (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:


Well, I rarely use it, so deleting my account won't affect me much either way. I guess I'd lose a few connections to people that are valuable. Maybe I could message my important contacts, get their cellphone numbers, and then delete the monstrosity.

I hadn't really thought of it until now, and that sounds pretty good actually, heh.

In any case, Jacob Weisberg reviews two books that I've promoted here, Siva Vaidhyanathan's, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, and Jaron Lanier's, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.

At the New York Review, "The Autocracy App":

Facebook is a company that has lost control—not of its business, which has suffered remarkably little from its series of unfortunate events since the 2016 election, but of its consequences. Its old slogan, “Move fast and break things,” was changed a few years ago to the less memorable “Move fast with stable infra.” Around the world, however, Facebook continues to break many things indeed.

In Myanmar, hatred whipped up on Facebook Messenger has driven ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. In India, false child abduction rumors on Facebook’s WhatsApp service have incited mobs to lynch innocent victims. In the Philippines, Turkey, and other receding democracies, gangs of “patriotic trolls” use Facebook to spread disinformation and terrorize opponents. And in the United States, the platform’s advertising tools remain conduits for subterranean propaganda.

Mark Zuckerberg now spends much of his time apologizing for data breaches, privacy violations, and the manipulation of Facebook users by Russian spies. This is not how it was supposed to be. A decade ago, Zuckerberg and the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, championed Facebook as an agent of free expression, protest, and positive political change. To drive progress, Zuckerberg always argued, societies would have to get over their hang-ups about privacy, which he described as a dated concept and no longer the social norm. “If people share more, the world will become more open and connected,” he wrote in a 2010 Washington Post Op-Ed. This view served Facebook’s business model, which is based on users passively delivering personal data. That data is used to target advertising to them based on their interests, habits, and so forth. To increase its revenue, more than 98 percent of which comes from advertising, Facebook needs more users to spend more time on its site and surrender more information about themselves.

The import of a business model driven by addiction and surveillance became clearer in March, when The Observer of London and The New York Times jointly revealed that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had obtained information about 50 million Facebook users in order to develop psychological profiles. That number has since risen to 87 million. Yet Zuckerberg and his company’s leadership seem incapable of imagining that their relentless pursuit of “openness and connection” has been socially destructive. With each apology, Zuckerberg’s blundering seems less like naiveté and more like malignant obliviousness. In an interview in July, he contended that sites denying the Holocaust didn’t contravene the company’s policies against hate speech because Holocaust denial might amount to good faith error. “There are things that different people get wrong,” he said. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.” He had to apologize, again.

It’s not just external critics who see something fundamentally amiss at the company. People central to Facebook’s history have lately been expressing remorse over their contributions and warning others to keep their children away from it. Sean Parker, the company’s first president, acknowledged last year that Facebook was designed to cultivate addiction. He explained that the “like” button and other features had been created in response to the question, “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” Chamath Palihapitiya, a crucial figure in driving Facebook’s growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” over his involvement in developing “tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” Roger McNamee, an early investor and mentor to Zuckerberg, has become a full-time crusader for restraining a platform that he calls “tailor-made for abuse by bad actors.”

Perhaps even more damning are the recent actions of Brian Acton and Jan Koum, the founders of WhatsApp. Facebook bought their five-year-old company for $22 billion in 2014, when it had only fifty-five employees. Acton resigned in September 2017. Koum, the only Facebook executive other than Zuckerberg and Sandberg to sit on the company’s board, quit at the end of April. By leaving before November 2018, the WhatsApp founders walked away from $1.3 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. When he announced his departure, Koum said that he was “taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate Frisbee.”

However badly he felt about neglecting his Porsches, Koum was thoroughly fed up with Facebook. He and Acton are strong advocates of user privacy. One of the goals of WhatsApp, they said, was “knowing as little about you as possible.” They also didn’t want advertising on WhatsApp, which was supported by a 99-cent annual fee when Facebook bought it. From the start, the pair found themselves in conflict with Zuckerberg and Sandberg over Facebook’s business model of mining user data to power targeted advertising. (In late September, the cofounders of Instagram also announced their departure from Facebook, reportedly over issues of autonomy.)

At the time of the acquisition of WhatsApp, Zuckerberg had assured Acton and Koum that he wouldn’t share its user data with other applications. Facebook told the European Commission, which approved the merger, that it had no way to match Facebook profiles with WhatsApp user IDs. Then, simply by matching phone numbers, it did just that. Pooling the data let Facebook recommend that WhatsApp users’ contacts become their Facebook friends. It also allowed it to monetize WhatsApp users by enabling advertisers to target them on Facebook. In 2017 the European Commission fined Facebook $122 million for its “misleading” statements about the takeover.

Acton has been less discreet than Koum about his feelings. Upon leaving Facebook, he donated $50 million to the Signal Foundation, which he now chairs. That organization supports Signal, a fully encrypted messaging app that competes with WhatsApp. Following the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he tweeted, “It is time. #deletefacebook.”

The growing consensus is that Facebook’s power needs checking. Fewer agree on what its greatest harms are—and still fewer on what to do about them. When Mark Zuckerberg was summoned by Congress in April, the toughest questioning came from House Republicans convinced that Facebook was censoring conservatives, in particular two African-American sisters in North Carolina who make pro-Trump videos under the name “Diamond and Silk.” Facebook’s policy team charged the two with promulgating content “unsafe to the community” and indicated that it would restrict it. Facebook subsequently said the complaint was sent in error but has never explained how that happened, or how it decides that some opinions are “unsafe.”

Democrats were naturally more incensed about the twin issues of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the abuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica in its work for Trump’s presidential campaign.
Keep reading.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Democrats Have Shifted to the Extreme Left

Following-up from yesterday, "The Democrats' Left Turn."

At IBD, "It's Official: Democrats Are the Extremists Today":

Everyone knows that the country is more politically polarized than ever, but most don't know why. Data from the highly respected Pew Research Center provides a definitive answer. It's because Democrats have moved sharply to the extreme left.

The Pew report — titled "The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider" — is the latest in a decades-long series of surveys it has conducted to gauge people's views on various key issues, including the size of government, immigration, corporate profits, race relations. The authors of the report note the "divisions between Republicans and Democrats on fundamental political values ... reached record levels during Barack Obama's presidency. In Donald Trump's first year as president, these gaps have grown even larger."

Given the way politics gets reported these days, it's easy to conclude that the widening gap is the result of Republicans become more extreme in their views. That is, after all, a mantra among Democrats and the press. The GOP is the party of racist, sexist, xenophobic, right-wing extremists, we hear over and over again, while Democrats are but humble centrists.

The Pew data, however, make it clear that the shift toward the extreme has happened among Democrats, not Republicans.

This can be seen in dramatic fashion when you look at where the center of each party was in 1994, and where it is today. Pew used a 10-item scale of political values to determine ideological purity among those who claim affiliation with the two parties. The results show that while the Republican center moved only slightly to the right over the past 23 years, the center of Democratic part shifted far to the left. (See the nearby chart.)

Take a look at specific value questions Pew asks and you can see why.

Pew asks, for example, whether poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return. In 1994, 63% of Republicans agreed with this sentiment, as did 44% of Democrats.

This year, 65% of Republicans agreed — a 2-point increase — while just 18% of Democrats did — a 26-point drop.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Democrats used to believe that most people who want to get ahead can do so if they work hard. Today, just 45% of Democrats believe this. Among Republicans, the change was negligible — it went from 73% in 1994 to 77% today.

How about the question of whether racial discrimination is the "main reason many black people can't get ahead these days"?

In 1994, just 39% of Democrats and 26% of Republicans felt this way. That was 14 years before the U.S. elected a black president.

Now, after eight years of Obama in the White House, 64% of Democrats say racism is the main reason blacks can't get ahead, while 14% of Republicans do.

Claudia Lion Photos

At Drunken Stepfather, "Claudia Lion Invisible of the Day."

Russia's GRU Military Intelligence Service is Putin's Personal Political Instrument

At Der Spiegel, "Doing Putin's Dirty Work: The Rise of Russia's GRU Military Intelligence Service":
Russia's GRU military intelligence service has become a political instrument for President Putin -- in the poison attack in Salisbury, hacking against the West and even in dealing with his country's doping scandal. Lately, though, the secret service can't seem to stay out of the headlines.

Each autumn, Russia's GRU secret service celebrates its birthday. Falling on Nov. 5, the festival is officially called the Day of the Military Intelligence Agent and commemorates the founding of the Soviet military intelligence service in 1918. At the GRU headquarters, a modern, functional building located in northwest Moscow, the defense minister gives an inspiring speech, followed by medals for deserving employees.

This year, though -- on the GRU's 100th birthday -- the mood is far from cheerful. Instead of a party atmosphere at headquarters, the Defense Ministry held a crisis meeting instead. And it was apparently open season on the GRU. "Complete incompetence" and "unbridled sloppiness" were a couple of the accusations leveled at the agency, one journalist learned, and a jokester apparently even asked why GRU agents abroad "don't just put on budenovkas?" Budenovka is the name of the striking pointed caps adorned with the Soviet star that members of the Red Army began wearing in 1918.

At the moment, Russia's military intelligence service is having trouble staying out of the headlines. That in itself is a sign of crisis, given that spies generally prefer to keep themselves out of the news. Until recently, only a handful of people abroad even knew what the abbreviation GRU stood for: Main Intelligence Directorate. For most people, Russian intelligence was synonymous with the domestic FSB intelligence agency once headed by Vladimir Putin.

Leaving Tracks Everywhere

That, though, has recently changed, with new details about the GRU emerging on a regular basis in recent weeks. Whether it's the poison attack on ex-double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, or a cyberattack in The Hague, the exposing of coup plans in the Balkans or the hacking of anti-doping agencies, of the U.S. presidential campaign, of the German federal parliament's computer network or of the Malaysian public prosecutor's office investigating the shooting down of an airplane over Ukraine, the GRU has been leaving its tracks everywhere. The series of blunders is surprising. But so too is the fact that this intelligence service has become so ubiquitous. Is it still even a military secret service or has it morphed into something bigger? And if so, how did GRU get there?

Andrei Soldatov also finds himself asking such questions recently. The Moscow-based journalist has spent years reporting on the world of the Russian secret services. Now, he no longer even understands it himself. He sounds a bit like a music critic who has been forced to listen to a jackhammer instead of a string quintet.

Until recently, the GRU had been regarded as professional, if not particularly squeamish. But the latest news -- such as the March 4 attack in which ex-agent Skripal was supposed to be killed in Salisbury using a neurotoxin -- has cast the agency in a different light. Two men suspected by the British in the incident claimed on Russian television that they had been nothing more than harmless tourists. The performance was ridiculously implausible, and it didn't take long for it to be refuted. The investigative journalism platform Bellingcat recently revealed that both are high-ranking GRU officers and recipients of Russia's highest government award, the "Hero of the Russian Confederation." The site identified the men traveling under the aliases Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov as Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin.

Another clumsy operation also ensued in The Hague only one month after Salisbury. Four GRU employees attracted the attention of Dutch intelligence agents when they tried to hack the computer network of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from a parking lot. The four had entered the country with diplomatic passports and had been picked up at the airport by an embassy employee. Their computer still carried traces of an attack on an anti-doping conference. Soldatov describes the story as "a nightmare," adding that it is far more bizarre than the action in Salisbury. How, he asks himself, can a secret service act in such a dumb way? And what is going on in the heads of military officers who are sent to attack sports organizations rather than military targets?

To answer these questions, one has to look at the GRU's past. Since the dismantling of the Soviet Union's once all-purpose KGB, Russia has been home to a broad palette of intelligence agencies. The KGB's First Chief Directorate became the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation. The agency is regarded as chic and elegant, and it is located "in the forest," as its shielded headquarters are referred to in agent jargon. The KGB's Ninth Chief Directorate became the Federal Protective Service (FSO), which is responsible for providing protection to Putin and the Kremlin. The agency is feared primarily because proximity to Putin is synonymous with power in the country. The rest of the KGB became the Federal Security Service (FSB), the domestic intelligence agency. It's the best-known agency and it also took over KGB headquarters at Lubyanka Square. Unfortunately, it also adopted some of the Soviet secret polices' methods.

What makes the GRU so special is the fact that it is the only intelligence agency that has nothing to do with the former KGB and its legacy. It was and still is subordinate to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It even possesses what amounts to its own army. The GRU's Spetsnaz brigades are elite troops trained for action in enemy territory. They also serve to attract new agents. Those who prove themselves in the GRU's Spetsnaz military service stand good chances of advancement within the apparatus.

This is why typical GRU agents differ from their civilian counterparts in the SWR foreign intelligence service. Broadly speaking, they typically aren't sharp analysts with good manners, but social climbers who lack finesse. Though they know how to bury an explosive device and feel more comfortable under enemy fire than in a provincial part of England. At first glance, the two Salisbury suspects, GRU officers Chepiga and Mishkin, seem to fit that mold. Both of them have traveled an impressive path from remote villages on Russia's fringe to the officers' clubs in the capital.

Diminished Influence

While KGB colleagues had to watch the monument to their idol Felix Dzerzhinsky, who founded the Soviet secret police, being dismantled on Lubyanka Square in 1991 and their authority later divided, the GRU didn't have to reform at all. The organization still doesn't even have its own press office. But the agency suffered all the more after Putin entered the Kremlin in 2000. Under Putin, the GRU lost influence relative to FSB, which became ever more powerful. And the radical Russian military reform beginning in 2008 struck the agency right at its core. Then-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov initially stripped the GRU of the Spetsnaz brigades, the very thing that distinguished it from the other secret services. "The idea was to get rid of the Soviet legacy," says military expert Alexander Golts. "Serdyukov didn't foresee at that time that a new Cold War would break out."

It's perhaps no coincidence that GRU also had its power symbolically curbed at the time. The traditional abbreviation was shortened to GU -- from the "Main Intelligence Directorate" to the "Main Directorate" of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, even though the old designation has been retained in everyday usage. Meanwhile, the bat in the organization's original coat of arms, which some GRU veterans proudly wear as tatoos, was replaced by a carnation.

"They don't like Putin at the GRU," says Sergei Kanev, a prominent investigative journalist in Moscow. Kanev's reporting helped shed light on GRU activities in Salisbury. He helped expose supposed tourist Ruslan Boshirov as GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga and also discovered that officials at the Defense Ministry are furious at the GRU right now. "There were angry people at the weekend meeting," he says, adding that he learned about the atmosphere there from a reliable source. If Kanev's source can be believed, then President Putin already summoned GRU head Colonel General Igor Korobov to a meeting back in mid-September for a dressing down. Korobov is said to have collapsed at home afterward...
Still more.

Amber Lee's Offshore Winds and Warm Weather Forecast

Boy, it's freakin' hot out today, man. These are major Santa Ana conditions, and wonderful surfing weather.

If you're local, head down to the beach --- you can't beat this!

Here's the fabulous figured Ms. Amber, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Democrats' Left Turn

From Thomas Edsall, at NYT, "The Democrats' Left Turn Is Not an Illusion":

Over the past 18 years, the Democratic electorate has moved steadily to the left, as liberals have displaced moderates. Self-identified liberals of all races and ethnicities now command a majority in the party, raising the possibility that views once confined mainly to the party elite have spread into the rank and file.

From 2001 to 2018, the share of Democratic voters who describe themselves as liberal has grown from 30 to 50 percent, according to data provided by Lydia Saad, a senior editor at the Gallup Poll.

The percentage of Democrats who say they are moderate has fallen from 44 to 35; the percentage of self-identified conservative Democrats has gone from 25 to 13 percent.

Well-educated whites, especially white women, are pushing the party decisively leftward. According to Gallup, the share of white Democrats calling themselves liberal on social issues has grown since 2001 from 39 to 61 percent. Because of this growth, white liberals are now roughly 40 percent of all Democratic voters.

While a substantial percentage of Democratic minorities identify as liberals, those percentages have not been growing at anywhere near the rate that they have for white Democrats, so blacks and Hispanics have not contributed significantly to the rising percentage of self-identified Democratic liberals. Over the past 17 years, for example, the percentage of black Democrats who identify themselves as liberals grew by a modest three percentage points, according to both Gallup and the Pew Research Center.

In fact, white liberals are well to the left of the black electorate on some racial issues.

Take the issue of discrimination as a factor holding back African-American advancement. White liberals are to the left of black Democrats, placing a much stronger emphasis than African-Americans on the role of discrimination and much less emphasis on the importance of individual effort.

Among white liberals, according to Pew survey data collected in 2017, 79.2 percent agreed that “racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead these days.” 18.8 percent agreed that “blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition,” a 60.4 point difference, according to a detailed analysis of the Pew data provided the Times by Zach Goldberg, a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgia State University.

Among blacks, 59.9 percent identified discrimination as the main deterrent to upward mobility for African-Americans, and 32.0 percent said blacks were responsible for their condition — in other words, blacks are more conservative than white liberals on this issue.

The dominant role of well-educated, relatively upscale white Democrats in moving the party to the left reflects the declining role of the working class in shaping the party’s ideology...
Still more.

I hate the use of "liberal" to describe these ghouls. They're leftists. Radical leftists, in fact.

When I teach ideology in my American government classes, I indicate that today's Democrat Party is a leftist party with a hardcore radical fringe. Think tech sector progressives, Hollywood leftists, and coastal elites. These idiots are not only driving the leftward tilt, they're destroying the country. Vote these people out. Put them down, hard. You life may depend on it.

Demi Rose Stuns With Giant Plunging Bikini Cleavage

At Fleshbot, "Fresh Links."

The Republican #WalkAway Movement.

This is really well done.

From Troy Worden, at American Greatness:

'Wrong Way'

Sublime, from Tuesday morning's drive-time, at 93.1 Jack FM.

Times Like These
Foo Fighters

Wanted Dead Or Alive
Bon Jovi

The Go-Go's

Black Hole Sun

I Would Die 4 U

You Make Lovin' Fun
Fleetwood Mac

Tell Me Baby
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Personal Jesus
Depeche Mode

Bohemian Rhapsody

People Are Strange
Various Artists

Wrong Way

Who Is Karl Marx?

Here's Paul Kengor, for Prager University:

And flashback, "Bicentennial of Birth of Karl Marx, the Man Whose Ideas Killed Untold Millions."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

'Laughter and enjoyment are out, emotional support are in, as Netflix's latest comedy special makes clear...'

From Scott Beauchamp, at AmCon, "Social Justice Warriors Aren't Funny":

“Laughs are cheap. I’m going for gasps.” – Mac in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
There’s an older episode of The Green Room with Paul Provenza when the late Patrice O’Neal, arguably one of the best stand-up comics in recent history, gets serious for a moment, saying: “I love being able to say anything I want. I had to learn how to stop caring about people not laughing. Because the idea of comedy, really, is not everybody should be laughing. It should be about 50 people laughing and 50 people horrified. There should be people who get it and people who don’t get it.”

O’Neal gets right to the chaotic, trickster heart of comedy with that statement. Comedy at its best balances humor against shock–not necessarily vulgarity, mind you, but a sort of unsettling surprise. It’s a topsy-turvy glimpse at an uncanny, upside-down world, which, if the joke lands, provides a bulwark against torpor and complacency. Great comedy inhabits the absurdity of the world. It makes itself into a vantage point from which everything seems delightfully ridiculous, including (often especially) the comedians themselves. We wouldn’t need comedy in a world that wasn’t absurd. Perhaps that’s why Dante only included humor in his Inferno. There is no absurdity in paradise.

Unfortunately, Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, a comedy special recently released on Netflix, only embraces the non-laughter half of O’Neal’s dictum. It’s the very epitome of self-serious, brittle, didactic, SJW “comedy.” It’s not funny. And worse, it’s not meant to be. Gadsby, a queer Australian comedian, uses her “stand-up special” as a way to destroy the very medium she pretends to be professionally engaged in. Her basic argument is that, since comedy is by its very nature self-deprecating (true), people who define themselves as members of an oppressed minority shouldn’t engage in comedy because they’re only participating in the violence already being done to them by society at large.

As Soraya Roberts writes in The Baffler, “[Gadsby’s] performance is not comedy, in fact, but a rejection of comedy­–a medium she boils down to half-truths made up of tension (the set-up) and relief (the punchline), as opposed to the whole truth of storytelling’s beginning, middle and end.” It’s interesting to note here how Gadsby defines comedy down to a vapidly narrow set of very specific and au courant therapeutic concerns. “Laughter is not our medicine,” she actually says at one point in the show. It’s the same predictable posturing we’ve come to expect from mediocre talent riding the wave of SJW self-seriousness, a sort of emotivist mad libs. “Punchlines need trauma because punchlines need tension,” Gadsby harangues the audience. “I will not allow my story to be destroyed.”

The flaws of this sort of SJW anti-comedy are obvious. There’s no shock, no surprise, no wild current of absurd energy charging the room with tension. And so it’s a stretch to even call it comedy in the broadest sense. It’s more like a cross between a TED Talk and a gnostic sermon. But maybe more importantly, if Gadsby’s ideology is taken to its logical extreme, all comedy is verboten, because it would mean either that marginalized people are making fun of themselves (out) or that only non-marginalized people have “access” to “comedic spaces” (definitely out). And so the end game of this specious logic brought to the stage is the self-defeating conclusion that minorities simply don’t do comedy...

Rookie Georgia Gibbs (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Heidi Heitkamp Looks to Be Crushed on the Shoals of Hard-Left Identity Politics

A great post from Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain, "As ‘Blue Wave’ Collapses, Desperate Democrat Denounced by Women":
Heitkamp looks set to lose a seat Democrat have held since 1960 and why? Because in the post-Obama era, Democrats have made identity politics the sole basis of their electoral appeal. Democrats are the anti-white party and the anti-male party. Common-sense people outside the coastal urban bubbles reject this ideology of hatred, and yet the more they register their opposition to the Democrat agenda, the more the Democrats double down. If you opposed the dishonest smear campaign against Justice Kavanaugh, you’re a “rape apologist,” guilty of defending “white male privilege.” The possibility that Christine Blasey Ford was lying (which is what the preponderance of evidence indicates) was automatically excluded from discussion, and anyone who argued on behalf of due-process rights was accused of “misogyny.” In essence, Democrats made the Kavanaugh hearings a referendum on radical feminist ideology, and were shocked they lost...
RTWT at the link.

Lily Allen Goes Out and About in Completely See-Through

She's a nice lady!

At Taxi Driver, "Lily Allen Goes Out and About in Completely See-Through Top."

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BONUS: Sven-Eric Liedman, A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx.

The NPC Meme is the Best!

This is the craziest thing ever, and boy did it make the Twitter administrative leftists mad!

At Zero Hedge, "4Chan Sparks Mass Triggering With NPC Meme; Twitter Responds With Ban Hammer":

The "weaponized autists" at 4Chan have done it again, because they can; a new meme suggesting that liberals are soulless idiots who can't think for themselves has gone viral. The concept compares Democrats to "nonplayable characters," or NPCs - the recurring characters in video games with repetitive lines and limited knowledge. Lack of an "inner voice" is a dead giveaway that someone may be an NPC.

The NPC meme essentially meant to ridicule the post-election perpetual outrage culture in which liberals simply parrot the latest talking points from their favorite pundits, who do their thinking for them.

The 4chan version is a simple greyed out, expressionless face known as "NPC Wojak" - which has triggered the left so hard that Twitter conducted a mass-banning campaign for accounts promoting the meme, and the New York Times wrote an entire article trying to figure it out.

The Times writes of the Twitter bans:
Over the weekend, Twitter responded by suspending about 1,500 accounts associated with the NPC trolling campaign. The accounts violated Twitter’s rules against “intentionally misleading election-related content,” according to a person familiar with the company’s enforcement process. The person, who would speak only anonymously, was not authorized to discuss the decision. -NYT.
There is precisely zero evidence that the accounts were spreading "intentionally misleading election-related content," so we're just going to have to take Twitter's word for it.
Um, actually, I think leftists on Twitter just couldn't handle the lolz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck, Identity Crisis

At Amazon, John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck, Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America.

Don't Expect Big Democrat Wave Come November

A great report, at CNBC, "Don't expect a big Democratic wave this fall, a new CNBC poll says":

With economic optimism soaring in the country, will Democrats be able to sweep to power in either house of Congress or will buoyant sentiment help Republicans keep hold of their Congressional majorities?

The latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey offers mixed signals, but leans against a wave Democratic election like that those that swept Republicans to power in 2010 and 2014.

The poll of 800 Americans across the country, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent, found a six-point Democratic lead on the question of who voters will choose in the November congressional elections. The 42 percent to 36 percent margin is not far from what pollsters would expect given the greater percentage of Democratic registered voters.

"A six point differential is not something that's going to cause a big electoral wave," said Micah Roberts, the Republican pollster on the CNBC poll, a partner Public Opinion Strategies. "Economic confidence that people have among a lot of groups is providing a buffer" for Republicans.

Indeed, the poll found that 48 percent of the public is optimistic about the current economy and optimistic it will get better, the highest level in the poll's 11-year history and more than double the 20 percent registered in the December 2016 survey. The poll, conducted Oct. 4th through the 7th, shows 83 percent of Republicans are optimistic but also 22 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Independent voters.

To be sure, control of Congress is often decided by the sum of local issues and candidates rather than national sentiment. And this time, several special factors could have a big effect: including more open GOP seats, greater Democratic enthusiasm and millions of dollars of outside money flowing into contested seats. And a lot can change in the remaining weeks before the vote.

Still, Jay Campbell, the Democratic pollster for the survey and a partner with Hart Research Associates, is skeptical of a wave for the Democrats, saying the six-point advantage is "not enough to suggest this is going to be a massive wave election a la 2010." Campbell did add that the survey found a large 17 percent of undecided voters who will be critical to the outcome.

Several other polls have found a double-digit lead for Democrats in the so-called generic ballot question, but the average for polls tallied by Real Clear Politics is just 7.3.

Working in the Republicans' favor is not only record-high optimism about the economy but also about the stock market and near-record high optimism about wage growth...
Still more.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Elizabeth Warren Releases DNA Test Showing 1/1024 Native American Ancestry

This has been the big story at Memeorandum all day.

See the Boston Globe (safe link), "Warren releases results of DNA test."

And at Twitchy, "MATH doesn’t add up! It gets WORSE for Elizabeth Warren and her DNA release (hint, she’s STILL Fauxcahontas)."

And from William Jacobson, at Legal Insurrection, "Elizabeth Warren DNA test does NOT prove she’s Native American, contrary to the hype."

James Holland, The Allies Strike Back

This the follow-up to Holland's, The Rise of Germany, 1939-1941 (The War in the West).

At Amazon, James Holland, The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943 (The War in the West, Vol. II).

What the Establishment Misses About Trump's Foreign Policy

From Professor Randall Schweller, at Foreign Affairs, "Three Cheers for Trump’s Foreign Policy":

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election heralded nothing less than certain catastrophe. At least, that was and remains the firm belief of “the Blob”—what Ben Rhodes, a foreign policy adviser in the Obama administration, called those from both parties in the mainstream media and the foreign policy establishment who, driven by habitual ideas and no small amount of piety and false wisdom, worry about the decline of the U.S.-led order. “We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight,” the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman forecast after Trump’s victory. Others prophesied that Trump would resign by the end of his first year (Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump: The Art of the Deal), that he would be holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in six months (the liberal commentator John Aravosis), or that the United States might be headed down the same path that Germany took from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich. That last warning came from former U.S. President Barack Obama last December at the Economic Club of Chicago, where he invoked the specter of Nazi Germany. “We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly,” he said. “Sixty million people died, so you’ve got to pay attention—and vote.”

So far, the world has not come to an end, far from it. A year into Trump’s first term, the Islamic State, or ISIS—a fascist organization, by the way—had been virtually defeated in Syria and eliminated from all its havens in Iraq, thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to equip the largely Kurdish militia fighting ISIS in Syria and give U.S. ground commanders greater latitude to direct operations. All the while, Trump has continued the Obama doctrine of avoiding large-scale conventional wars in the Middle East and has succeeded where his predecessor failed in enforcing a real red line against Bashar al-Assad’s use of nerve gas in Syria by launching targeted air strikes in response. In North Korea, Trump’s strategy of “maximum pressure” has cut the country’s international payments by half, forcing Kim Jong Un to realize that his only choice is to negotiate.

On the domestic front, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in May, a level not seen since the heady days of the dot-com boom—with unemployment at an all-time low among African Americans; at or near multidecade lows among Hispanics, teenagers, and those with less than a high school education; and at a 65-year low among women in the labor force. Meanwhile, on Trump’s watch, the stock market and consumer confidence have hit all-time highs, the number of mortgage applications for new homes has reached a seven-year high, and gas prices have fallen to a 12-year low. Finally, with Trump pledging to bring to an end the era in which “our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than their own,” illegal immigration was reduced by 38 percent from November 2016 to November 2017, and in April 2017, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 15,766 apprehensions at the southwestern border—the lowest in at least 17 years.

As his critics charge, Trump does reject many of the core tenets of the liberal international order, the sprawling and multifaceted system that the United States and its allies built and have supported for seven decades. Questioning the very fabric of international cooperation, he has assaulted the world trading system, reduced funding for the UN, denounced NATO, threatened to end multilateral trade agreements, called for Russia’s readmission to the G-7, and scoffed at attempts to address global challenges such as climate change. But despite what the crowd of globalists at Davos might say, these policies should be welcomed, not feared. Trump’s transactional approach to foreign relations marks a United States less interested in managing its long-term relationships than in making gains on short-term deals. Trump has sent the message that the United States will now look after its own interests, narrowly defined, not the interests of the so-called global community, even at the expense of long-standing allies.

This worldview is fundamentally realist in nature. On the campaign trail and in office, Trump has argued that the United States needs its allies to share responsibility for their own defense. He has also called for better trade deals to level a playing field tilted against American businesses and workers and to protect domestic manufacturing industries from currency manipulation. He is an economic nationalist at heart. He believes that political factors should determine economic relations, that globalization does not foster harmony among states, and that economic interdependence increases national vulnerability. He has also argued that the state should intervene when the interests of domestic actors diverge from its own—for example, when he called for a boycott against Apple until the company helped the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the terrorists who carried out the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California.

This realist worldview is not only legitimate but also resonates with American voters, who rightly recognize that the United States is no longer inhabiting the unipolar world it did since the end of the Cold War; instead, it is living in a more multipolar one, with greater competition. Trump is merely shedding shibboleths and seeing international politics for what it is and has always been: a highly competitive realm populated by self-interested states concerned with their own security and economic welfare. Trump’s “America first” agenda is radical only in the sense that it seeks to promote the interests of the United States above all...
Still more.

Wet Fashion Edita Vilkevičiūtė

At Drunken Stepfather, "Edita Vilkevičiūtė Wet Tits Out for Fashion of the Day."

Today's Deals

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BONUS: Matthew Kneale, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Jennifer Delacruz's Red Flag Warning Forecast

The weather's changing rapidly from wet and rainy on Friday to gusty and windy tonight into tomorrow. October is normally going to get those Santa Ana conditions, so I guess this is a return to normal.

In any case, here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:

Heather Mac Donald, The Diversity Delusion


 At Amazon, Heather Mac Donald, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.

Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All


At Amazon, Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.

How #Democrats Created Insane 'Social Justice' Mobs

From the inimitable Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain, "The TrigglyPuff Party: How Democrats Created Insane ‘Social Justice’ Mobs":

Commenting on the irrational female rage unleashed by the Kavanaugh confirmation circus, Stephen Green remarks: “The Democrats have worked hard to lock down the Trigglypuff vote, but at what cost of even slightly more moderate voters?” But do such voters really exist?

We are more than 25 years into a cycle of increasing polarization that arguably began with Bill Clinton’s election as president. Clinton’s radicalism — remember the so-called “assault weapons” ban? — sparked a backlash that cost Democrats the control of the House that they’d held for 40 years. Everything thereafter increased the partisan divide: The budget standoff that led to the government shutdown, the Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment crisis, the Florida recount in 2000, the Iraq War, the recapture of Congress by Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats, Obama’s election in 2008, the Tea Party movement, on and on.

It is not the case that America’s politics have become more divisive because the Republican Party has moved further right. Liberal pundits, commenting from within their ideological cocoons, habitually apply labels — “far right,” “extremist,” “white nationalist,” etc. — to depict the GOP as beholden to a dangerous fringe, but this is just paranoid propaganda. The typical Republican voter in 2018 is actually no more “extreme” than his father was in 1988. Nor is the policy agenda of the GOP now any more “far right” than it was in the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The cause of the increased partisan divide is not that the Republicans have moved right, but that Democrats have moved left.

What happened, when did it happen and why did it happen?
What happened?

A whole helluva lot, lol, but keep reading.