Monday, July 29, 2019

John Ratcliffe Attacked

At AoSHQ, "Fusion GPS and Deep State Activated to Attack John Ratcliffe."

Click through for the deep state tweet attacks.



'Complete Chaos' at Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Not enough "diversity" at the DCCC.

At Politico, "DCCC in 'complete chaos' as uproar over diversity intensifies: Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the campaign arm, is set to make a surprise return to D.C. on Monday in an attempt to calm protests," and "Top DCCC staffer out amid diversity uproar":
The executive director of House Democrats’ campaign arm is stepping down amid an outcry from Democratic lawmakers over the lack of diversity in the committee’s senior ranks.

Executive Director Allison Jaslow, a close confidante of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos, announced her resignation at an all-staff meeting Monday, according to multiple sources. Jaslow said her resignation is effective immediately.

Jaslow’s sudden departure comes as Bustos tries to contain the fury from Democratic lawmakers and aides that she has done little to address the lack of diversity in the upper ranks of the campaign arm since winning the chairmanship late last year.

Two Hispanic lawmakers, Reps. Vicente González and Filemon Vela, called for Jaslow’s resignation in a statement to POLITICO on [S]unday."
2020 is going to be a hoot. Democrat circular firings squads all the way.

Via Memeorandum.


Charles Manson Murders 50 Years Later

Pretty fascinating reading.

At LAT, "Charles Manson’s murderous imprint on L.A. endures as other killers have come and gone":


Hearing the retired prosecutor recount the bloody crimes that scarred Los Angeles, it is easy to forget that the savage murders happened half a century ago.

Stephen Kay runs one hand slowly down his cheek, describing the mark a thick rope scraped along actress Sharon Tate’s face. The rope was tied around her neck and looped over a living room beam in her rented Benedict Canyon home. She was 8 ½ months pregnant. Clad in just a white bra and panties. Still alive, though not for long.

He recounts, as if it were yesterday, how Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were tied up and dragged into separate rooms in their Los Feliz home, where they too died at the hands of Charles Manson’s brutal “family.”

“When Rosemary heard Leno getting stabbed, she cried out,” Kay says. He leans forward, hands splayed on knees, his voice rising like a terrified woman’s. “ ‘Leno! Leno!’ ”

Kay is slender, avid and 76. His white hair fluffs out above his tanned face. He helped put Manson family members behind bars for the 1969 slayings of nine people and has since attended 60 parole hearings to make sure they stayed there. He still recalls every awful detail of the murders, at times closing his eyes as if to block the images.

The slaughter and its aftermath “left the biggest imprint on Los Angeles, [on] all of Southern California,” Kay says. And also, it seems, on the prosecutor himself. “It’s the case that just never goes away.”

The Tate-LaBianca murders rocked California, drew international attention and came to symbolize the city of Los Angeles. And they continue to fascinate to this day, as their 50th anniversary nears.

“Helter Skelter” tours that follow the family’s bloody footsteps regularly sell out. Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” — fiction wound around Manson family fact — opened Thursday night. Chief prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi’s 1974 book, “Helter Skelter,” has never gone out of print; it is joined on a regular basis by new entries into the Manson canon, at least two this summer alone.

Other killers have come and gone. Other crimes since have accounted for more deaths. People more famous than Tate, hairdresser-to-the-stars Jay Sebring and coffee heiress Abigail Folger have been slain. Still, the memory of Manson and the men and women he persuaded his followers to murder has not faded.

The question, which persists to this day, is why?

“It’s a story that still baffles,” says Linda Deutsch, who covered the Manson case for the Associated Press. “Manson had a streak of pure evil…. It persists now that he’s dead — finally. It’s as if the curse has not disappeared; it hangs over everyone who was ever involved with him.”

L.A. in the 1960s

Pamela Des Barres’ San Fernando Valley home is a shrine to the 1950s and ’60s — to rock ’n’ roll, spiritual quests and her life as a proud and prolific groupie. An oil painting of Walt Whitman (“my God,” she calls him) shares wall space with a portrait of Elvis. There’s a picture of James Dean, all leather jacket and motorcycle, on the hearth behind a bust of Jesus.

“Sixty-nine was my year,” says the author of “I’m With the Band” and member of the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously). “That’s when the GTOs’ album came out. I was dating Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Waylon Jennings.… It was like anything could happen, and it was all good.”

The “greatest music was being made” in Los Angeles, says the onetime flower child from Reseda, who sports blond braids and an off-the-shoulder peasant blouse that shows off her tattoos — Elvis’ signature snuggling up against Jesus’ face. She is 70. “Pre-Altamont and pre-Manson, it really felt like the most magical place to live.”

That was before the Tate-LaBianca murders began grabbing headlines that August. Before a member of the Hells Angels stabbed a man to death at a free concert headlined by the Rolling Stones at the Altamont Speedway in Northern California in December. Before everything changed.

Los Angeles in the late 1960s was a place where someone like Manson could share a table at the Whisky a Go Go with someone like record producer Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son. Where members of the Beach Boys could hang with members of the “family,” who, in turn, rubbed shoulders with the Straight Satans biker gang. Where beautiful people could throw parties and have no idea who was taking LSD by the pool. Where everyone was looking for a guru, no background checks required.

Hollywood gossip queen Rona Barrett says the entertainment industry and those in its orbit operated under “a caste system” — until they didn’t. In the late ’60s, the change was swift and equalizing.

That’s when Manson showed up.

Designs on musical fame

Charles Milles Maddox, who would later take his stepfather’s last name, was born in 1934 to a desperately poor single mother in Ohio who cycled in and out of prison. She dragged her son around the Midwest and sent him off to reform school because he was out of control and her new husband didn’t like him. He was 12 years old and would go on to spend most of his life in one institution or another.

Prison was where Manson learned to play guitar. He was obsessed with the Beatles and their emerging fame, which prompted him to try songwriting so he too could become an international star. Prison was also where he learned the art of pimping and where he took a four-month Dale Carnegie course, with “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as required reading.

And it was where he met a fellow prisoner named Phil Kaufman, who had contacts in Hollywood. Kaufman told the aspiring musician that, when he was released from federal prison on Terminal Island, he should polish up some songs and go play for a guy he knew at Universal Studios.

That meeting, in late 1967, did not go well, but Manson was not deterred.

Soon he was seeking a musical sponsor to help him get a recording contract. The “girls” of Manson’s family were deputized to aid in the search, scouring the Sunset Strip and Topanga Canyon. They came through with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, who picked a pair of them up while hitchhiking.

Wilson introduced Manson to his songwriting partner Gregg Jakobson and Melcher, who lived for a time with girlfriend Candice Bergen at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, a house that was later rented to a prominent movie director and his actress wife.

It helped that Manson had a certain strange charm and at least a little musical talent. Jakobson says he could strum his guitar and make up a song on the spot about the flies that happened to land on his arm. He could talk for hours about his odd philosophies. And he had drugs and girls to spare.

Manson saw Wilson, Jakobson and Melcher as his tickets to fame and fortune. He auditioned for Melcher. He made several demos. The Beach Boys recorded his song “Cease to Exist,” but they changed the title and the words and didn’t give him a writing credit. Melcher eventually told Manson, “I don’t know what to do with you in the studio.”

Manson did not respond well. He had told the family that a contract was imminent. His future and his pride were riding on it.

Morbid curiosity

The voices are spectral and chilling, broadcast from speakers inside the white van with the black funeral wreath on its grille. On a recent summer morning, Scott Michaels, founder of Hollywood-based Dearly Departed Tours, prepares his passengers as he heads toward Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon.

“This is the story of the Tate murders told by the killers.”

But it is still unsettling to hear the disembodied voices of Charles “Tex” Watson, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins describe that awful night 50 years ago — Aug. 9, 1969. They were Manson family stalwarts, 20 to 23 years old at the time. The recordings were taken from parole hearings and old media interviews.

Watson, with a slight twang, describing Manson’s instructions: “ ‘I want you all to go together and go up to Terry Melcher’s old house. And I want you to kill everyone in there.’ Terry Melcher was Doris Day’s son. And we had previously met him and had been in that house before.”

Kasabian: “I was told to get a change of clothing and a knife and my driver’s license.”

Atkins, sounding like a breathy little girl: “We drove to the house with instructions to kill everyone in the house, and not just that, but we were instructed to go all the way down, every house, hit every street and kill all the people.”
Keep reading.

President Trump's Newspaper Habits

He's a voracious newspaper reader, getting four papers delivered daily: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.



Nice Surprise

At Entensity, "Didn't Expect Those (Big Honkers)."

Bernie Slides in New L.A. Times Poll

He's sliding downhill, that is.

Of the top candidates, Bernie's fortunes have been hurt the most this last few months.

At LAT, "Democratic 2020 race up for grabs: Half of voters have changed their minds since spring, poll shows":

WASHINGTON  —  As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their second round of debates this week, a new poll finds that half of likely primary voters have changed their minds since the spring, highlighting how unsettled the contest remains.
Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead in the latest USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times nationwide poll, while three senators, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, are essentially tied for second place. That marks an improvement for Harris and Warren and a decline for Sanders since April, when the poll last tested the Democratic race.

More notably, about half of the voters in the poll have changed their preferences since the April survey -- a reminder that at this point of the campaign, most voters don’t have firm commitments.

Voters at this stage of the campaign are “corks on the water floating around,” said Mike Murphy, the longtime Republican strategist who is co-director of USC Dornsife’s Center for the Political Future, one of the sponsors of the poll. That’s particularly true for voters nationwide, who have less exposure to the candidates than voters in states with early primaries.

The volatility has a limit, however. The vast majority of voters who switched since April moved among the top four candidates or between them and undecided status. The mass of candidates languishing at 1% or lower hasn’t benefited.

Biden continues to lead the poll, with 28%. Harris was at 10%, putting her in an effective tie with Warren, also at 10% and Sanders, at 11%. An additional 25% said they were undecided when presented with a list of 25 people who have declared they are running.

Beyond the top candidates, the poll found only Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas having more than 1% support. Buttigieg’s support has grown since April and now stands at 5%, while O’Rourke’s has shrunk to 3% -- all shifts within the poll’s margin of error.

“When your front-runner is at 28% and undecided is at 25%, it’s a pretty fluid race,” said Jill Darling, the poll director.

Unlike some other public opinion samples, the USC/L.A. Times poll surveys a panel of more than 7,000 members, tracking their views over time. Polls using the panel can look at how and when specific voters have changed their preferences.

In the primary contest so far, the first round of debates in June appears to have played a big role in changing minds. Harris, in particular, gained support among people who watched the debate, during which she forcefully challenged Biden over his nostalgia about working with segregationist senators early in his career. The exchange appears to have boosted Harris without doing long-term damage to Biden, who gained roughly as many supporters as he lost.

People who reported that they watched the debate -- about 3 in 10 of those who said they planned to vote in a Democratic primary -- were more likely to have switched than others. But even many voters who did not watch the debate changed their minds.

That churn has affected candidates in different ways. Biden and Sanders do best among voters who have backed the same candidate all along, while Harris and Warren, who each gained lots of new followers, do better among those who have changed their minds. About 7 in 10 of those backing Harris and 8 in 10 backing Warren were converts since April, the poll found.

Sanders sits at the opposite extreme -- about 8 in 10 of those backing him now also backed him in April. That’s both a strength for him and a weakness.

The Vermont senator has a solid core of supporters, many of whom grew attached to him in 2016 when he ran against Hillary Clinton. One indication of that: He did best among the roughly 1 in 4 voters who neither watched the June debate nor heard or read about it.

Outside of his core support, Sanders has been losing backers, and unlike other candidates, he has picked up relatively few new ones. Almost half the supporters he had in April have moved elsewhere.

About 1 in 10 former Sanders backers now say they’re undecided. Twice as many, however, now back Biden.

That’s a reminder of another important fact: Voters aren’t as ideological as analysts sometimes make them out to be.

Sanders has staked out the left-most position in the contest. Warren shares many of his policy views. Biden has defined himself as a centrist. But nearly three times as many former Sanders backers moved to Biden as moved to Warren.

Biden and Sanders both do better with non-college educated voters than with those who have graduated from college...

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Max Hastings, Armageddon

At Amazon, Max Hastings, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945.



Antony Beevor, The Second World War

At Amazon, Antony Beevor, The Second World War.



E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed

I love those old Bantam book covers!

And available at Amazon, E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa.



Former Anchor Krystal Ball Slams MSNBC's Lurch to the Left (VIDEO)

Ms. Ball's at the Hill TV now, and she's not pleased with MSNBC, her former network, especially conspiracy theorist Rachel Maddow.

Watch:



Freeze Pipes

At Drunken Stepfather, "FREEZE PIPES FOR THE FUCKING WIN OF THE DAY."

India Reynolds on the Beach (PHOTOS)

At Taxi Driver, "India Reynolds Topless on the Beach Suntanning."

Mackenzie Maynard's Saturday Forecast

The fabulous Ms. Mackenzie, at ABC 10 News San Deigo:



Oildale Offer Life Beyond Califonia's Leftist Bubble

It's Robin Abcarian, at LAT, "Column: In tiny Oildale, the local barber, a Trump fan, has had it with California":
OILDALE, Calif.  —  Chris Vaughn was wiping shaving cream off the tops of an older man’s ears when I arrived at his Oildale barbershop on Wednesday morning.
On a big TV along the back wall of the shop, former special counsel Robert S. Mueller was stumbling through his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

Vaughn wore a red baseball cap that said “red hat Mafia” on the front and “MAGA” on the back. His customer, a plumbing shop owner in his early 80s, stood up and removed the barber cape, revealing suspenders with an American flag motif.

“Why don’t they spend time fixing our country?” Vaughn said. “This attempt to make people not like Trump is a waste. Mueller looks like he has Alzheimer’s.”

The freshly shaven man paid Vaughn. “Y’all enjoy this crap!” he said cheerfully, gesturing to the TV as he walked outside into the already blistering heat.

As Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare, Calif., welcomed viewers to “the last gasp of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory,” Vaughn and I ducked into a back room, away from the sound of the TV and blasts from the compressed air nozzles his barbers use to blow snippets of hair from customers’ necks.

I was tired of the liberal bubble. I know what people are going to say before they open their mouths. I wanted to spend time in a conservative one, and maybe be surprised.

Vaughn and I chatted about politics, and what it’s like to live in Oildale, an unincorporated community in Kern County just north of Bakersfield that is overwhelmingly white and pro-Trump in deep blue, increasingly diverse California.

Oildale, with a population of about 32,000, is famous for being the birthplace of Merle Haggard and for the massive oil patch that drew Dust Bowl migrants west. It is also known for its intractable poverty, drug problems and a legacy of racism against blacks. Its population is 86.7% white. (Bakersfield’s white population is 67.5%.)

“I have a very clear view of politics,” said Vaughn, who is a Republican. “Either you are moral or you are not.” He hesitated. “Moral — meaning what you do in office. Personally, I don’t care about Donald Trump’s personal life.”

Vaughn opened Norris Barbershop, named for the street it sits on, nine years ago. Before that, he’d spent eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard and had a good job selling ads for Yellowbook, the local directory, until the economy cratered in 2008 and he was let go.

“I ran right to the Bakersfield Barber College,” he said. He attended school from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., then went to work in a wrecking yard from 1 to 7 a.m.

Turns out, an interest in cosmetology runs in his family; a handful of relatives do nails or style hair. “I didn’t realize how artistic I was until I started cutting hair,” he told me. “I am good at fixing really bad haircuts.”

He began advertising his shop on a local right-wing talk radio station, a big expense for a small business that charges only $16 per haircut. But he feels it paid off. “Conservative radio built this business,” he said. Not only did his shop get a boost, but sometimes the hosts would put him on the air to talk politics.

“There are not that many conservative shops in Bakersfield anymore,” he said. “You won’t come in here and find people with sagging pants, smoking dope, drinking alcohol. You can send your wife in and I guarantee no one is going to bother her or make her feel uncomfortable. I’m a family shop.”

When I asked him if there was a racial undertone to that comment, he insisted there was not. “I am talking about culture, not race,” he said. “Culture is not skin tone. My generation is the Beastie Boys generation. That started the whole big clothing thing. I had enough respect not to show my underwear or my butt walking down the street.”

Like a lot of people, Vaughn uses his own lack of personal animus to ignore or deny the reality and effects of systemic racism. He welcomes all races to his shop, and recently hired a barber who also speaks Spanish. The Muslim man who runs the vape store next door is a friend.

But when I pointed out that research shows black and brown students can sometimes receive harsher punishment than white kids, he scoffed...
More.


Boris Johnson Becomes U.K. Prime Minister, Replacing Theresa May (VIDEO)

At LAT, "Boris Johnson takes over as U.K. prime minister, vows to push Brexit through ‘no ifs, ands or buts’," and "New U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s agenda hints at a snap election."




SJWs Ruined Twitter

I'm trying to adjust to the new Twitter layout, but it's hard. One can go back to "legacy" Twitter, which I'm thinking about. We'll see. We'll see.

At the Other McCain, "Meet the Women Who Ruined Twitter."


Supreme Courts Clears Pentagon Border Wall Funding (VIDEO)

At LAT, "Supreme Court rules for Trump in border wall funding dispute."



Friday, July 26, 2019

Megan Parry's Friday Forecast

It's a beautiful day.

And here's the beautiful Ms. Megan, at ABC News 10 San Diego:



Brooke Shields Bikini Photos

She's looking good!

At Egotastic!, "Brooke Shields Just Got MILFy as Hell in a Yummy Lands’ End Bikini."

Orioles Beat Angels in 16 Innings: Outfielder Stevie Wilkerson, Pitching 55 MPH, Records the Save (VIDEO)

What a game!

Second longest in Angels history, and also in Orioles history.

At the L.A. Times, "Angels use 10 pitchers in a 16-inning marathon but lose to Orioles."

My mouth was hanging open watching this guy Stevie Wilkerson pitch. He was throwing up softballs, but it was so late in the game, players were clearly tired, and no one could adjust to the lobs. It was freaky.




Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mueller Debacle: President Trump Beats the Elites Again (VIDEO)

Laura Ingraham, from last night:



Doddering Robert Mueller: How Long Has He Been Like This?

At the Federalist, "How Long Has Robert Mueller Been Like This?":

Robert Mueller, in his current state, should not have been allowed to supervise the Russia collusion investigation.  But the greater question is, how long has Robert Mueller been like this?

The regulation on the appointment of a Special Counsel provides that the person named as the Special Counsel “shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”  The regulation further provides that the Special Counsel’s responsibilities “shall take first precedence in their professional lives, and that it may be necessary to devote their full time to the investigation, depending on its complexity and the stage of the investigation.”

On July 24, 2019, Democrats staged vivid and irrefutable proof that the appointment of Robert Mueller came to violate these principles.  Watching even a few minutes of the hearing testimony, it swiftly became apparent that the stammering and confused Robert Mueller lacked even a basic understanding of the underlying facts of the Russia collusion investigation.

How, for example, could anyone following the story not be familiar with Fusion GPS?  It was clear that Mueller didn’t write the report as he seemed to read for the first time excerpts cited by interrogators.  He didn’t know what was and was not in the report.  He didn’t write his letter to AG Barr complaining about Barr’s summary of the underlying conclusions.  He didn’t write his script in the May 2019 press conference.  Mueller can’t keep his story straight about whether he would have indicted the president but for the Justice Department Policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.  He didn’t even know that one of his top attorneys who headed up the Papadopoulos investigation (Jeannie Rhee) actually represented Hillary Clinton in litigation over emails.

So I’ll ask this again:  How long has he been like this? ...

Caroline Vreeland

At Drunken Stepfather, "CAROLINE VREELAND BIG TITS SUCKING IT IN OF THE DAY."

And at Sense, "“WHY DON’T YOU?” ADVICE FROM IT GIRL CAROLINE VREELAND: The Singer/Actress/Model’s Guide to Work, Wine, and FaceTiming with Lee Daniels."

Inside the Fight Over the Democrat Party's Future

Well, this is interesting, at least.

At Time Magazine:

They are both Democrats: Joe Biden, the 76-year-old former Vice President, and Ilhan Omar, the 36-year-old freshman Congresswoman. An old white man, with blind spots on race and gender and a penchant for bipartisanship; a young Somali-American Muslim who sees compromise as complicity. To Biden, Donald Trump is an aberration; to Omar, he is a symptom of a deeper rot. One argues for a return to normality, while the other insists: Your normal has always been my oppression.

How to fit those two visions into one party is the question tying the Democrats in knots. What policies will the party champion? Which voters will it court? How will it speak to an angry and divided nation? While intraparty tussles are perennial in politics, this one comes against a unique backdrop: an unpopular, mendacious, norm-trampling President. As Democrats grilled Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, on July 24, their sense of urgency was evident.

The one thing Democrats agree on is that Trump needs to go, but even on the question of how to oust him, they are split. Ninety-five of the party’s 235 House Representatives recently voted to begin impeachment proceedings, a measure nearly a dozen of the major Democratic presidential candidates support. The party’s leadership continues to insist that defeating the President in 2020 is the better path. Half the party seems furious at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not attacking Trump more forcefully, while the other is petrified they’re losing the American mainstream, validating Trump’s “witch hunt” accusations with investigations into Russian election interference that most voters see as irrelevant to their daily lives.

These divisions have come into focus in recent weeks. Two parallel conflicts–the fight among congressional Democrats, and debates among the 2020 candidates–have played out along similar lines, revealing deep fissures on policy, tactics and identity. A consistent majority of voters disapprove of the President’s performance, do not want him re-elected and dislike his policies and character. Even Trump’s allies admit his re-election hopes rest on his ability to make the alternative even more distasteful.

But for an opposition party, it’s never as simple as pointing out the failures of those in power. As desperate as Democrats are to defeat Trump, voters demand an alternative vision. “You will not win an election telling everybody how bad Donald Trump is,” former Senate majority leader Harry Reid tells TIME. “They have to run on what they’re going to do.”

The Democrats’ crossroads is also America’s. As Trump leans into themes of division, with racist appeals, detention camps for migrants and an exclusionary vision of national identity, the 2020 election is shaping up as a referendum on what the country’s citizens want it to become. This is not who we are as a nation, Trump’s opponents are fond of saying. But if not, what should we be instead?

“That little girl was me.” With this five-word statement at the Democrats’ June 27 debate in Miami, Senator Kamala Harris did not just strike a blow against Biden. She showed where the party’s most sensitive sore spots lie.

Harris explained that she had been bused to her Berkeley, Calif., public school as part of an integration plan; Biden, as a Delaware Senator, had worked to stop the federal government from forcing busing on school districts that resisted integration. On the campaign trail this year, Biden had boasted about being able to work with political opponents, citing his chumminess with Senators who were racists and segregationists. “It was hurtful,” Harris said, “to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”

It was a powerful appeal, drawn from the personal experience of a woman of color whose life’s course was altered by the public-policy choices made in the halls of power. What was exposed wasn’t so much a real policy difference–after the debate, Harris took essentially the same position as Biden against mandatory busing in today’s still segregated schools–but a dispute about perspective. Biden, clearly ruffled, became defensive and eventually gave up, cutting himself off midsentence: “My time is up.” Biden remains the front runner, but the line had the ring of a campaign epitaph.

Presidential primaries are always the battleground for political parties’ competing factions, and some of the debates Democrats are enmeshed in now are ones they’ve been having for decades. Swing to the left, or tack to the middle? Galvanize the base, or cultivate the center? Tear down the system, or work to improve it? These familiar questions are now shadowed by the specter of Trump and his movement. If Americans are to reject Trumpist nationalism and white identity politics, what’s their alternative?

With two dozen presidential candidates and the race only just begun, the majority of Democratic voters say they are undecided. But a top tier of five candidates has emerged as the focus of voters’ attention: Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Harris and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. At the moment, it is Warren and Harris who appear on an upward trajectory, while the three male candidates trend downward.

Biden’s pitch to voters is moderation, electability and a callback to the halcyon days of the Obama Administration. Sanders seeks to expand the fiery leftist movement he built in 2016. Warren has staked her campaign on wonkishness and economic populism, while Harris paints herself as a crusader for justice. Buttigieg offers a combination of generational change and executive experience. To imagine each of them in the White House is to conjure five very different hypothetical presidencies come January 2021.

On Capitol Hill, the party has been spread along a similar axis of race, power, perspective and privilege. To address the humanitarian crisis on the southern border, Pelosi pushed a compromise bill this summer that sought to fund migrant detention while protecting the rights of asylum seekers. She was opposed by members of the so-called Squad–a quartet of outspoken freshman Representatives who have become champions of the party’s rising left wing: Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All women of color, all 45 or under, all adept with a Twitter zinger and prone to inflammatory statements, they seek to build a movement and shake up the party–a markedly different theory of change from Pelosi’s dogged insistence on vote counting and the art of the possible.

The ugly sight of a President luxuriating in “send her back” chants laid down a marker for 2020. As much as traditional Republicans might like the President to campaign on a healthy economy, a tax cut that put more money in the pocket of two-thirds of Americans and a slate of new conservative federal judges, Trump plans instead to plunge even further into fear and division. And as much as Democrats might like to talk about health care, climate change and the minimum wage, their candidate will inevitably be dragged into his sucking morass of conspiracy mongering and tribalism.

For a moment, the controversy unified the bickering House Democrats, who passed a resolution condemning Trump’s comments. But behind the scenes, Democrats’ reactions to the spectacle were a test for the electoral theories of their feuding factions. Progressives (and many Republicans) argued that Trump was only making himself more toxic to swing voters. But some in the Democratic establishment fretted that Trump’s repellent statements were a political masterstroke, elevating four fringe figures as the face of the party...
More.

President Trump's Blistering Attack on 'Fake News' Media After the Mueller Debacle (VIDEO)

Scorching:



Leftists Taking the Mueller Debacle Really Hard (VIDEO)

Here's Sarah Kendzior, who's been a regular on MSNBC spreading the hate against this administration, routinely smearing the president as an "autocrat" dictator.

And at the video, Rachel Maddow calls for the entire Mueller team to testify before Congress. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross had something to say about the stages of grief, man.




The 2020 Election: The One Way to End the Trump Presidency

It's not gonna happen, although this is an excellent piece.

At WaPo, "Democrats are now left with one option to end Trump’s presidency: The 2020 election":

Many Democrats long have considered Robert S. Mueller III a potential savior, as the agent of President Trump’s eventual undoing. Wednesday’s hearings on Capitol Hill probably shattered those illusions once and for all. If Democrats hope to end the Trump presidency, they will have to do so by defeating him at the ballot box in November 2020.

In reality, that has been the case for months. Still, scheduled testimony by the former special counsel before two House committees offered the possibility that he would say something that would suddenly change public perceptions and dramatically jump-start long-stalled prospects for an impeachment inquiry. That was certainly the Democrats’ goal. If anything, things could move in the opposite direction.

Regardless of the evidence of obstruction contained in Mueller’s report, impeachment is a fraught strategy for the Democrats, given public opinion and the dynamics in the Senate. After Wednesday, the prospects for impeachment appear more remote, which means it will be left to the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, with the help of the party, to develop a comprehensive case against the president, one that can win 270 electoral votes. To date, that hasn’t happened.

House Democrats have fumbled in their efforts to hold Trump and his administration accountable, despite promises to do so. Presidential candidates are more focused on one another and playing to their internal constituencies than on organizing the brief against the president to take into the general-election campaign. That remains a major challenge as the contest moves forward.

Next week’s Democratic debate in Detroit will offer the candidates a fresh opportunity to begin to frame the election — the case for their party and the case against Trump — as well as to state or restate their views about impeaching the president. With Mueller’s testimony over, the onus will be on them to show the leadership what rank-and-file Democrats are looking for.

Mueller gave the Democrats some things they wanted. In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, he rebutted Trump’s claim that he was totally exonerated by the report. Not true, Mueller said. Nor, he told the House Intelligence Committee, was his investigation a hoax or a witch hunt, as the president has claimed. And he seemed to suggest that Trump was not charged with obstruction because Justice Department regulations say that a sitting president cannot be indicted and that a president can be charged after leaving office.

But there was some ambiguity surrounding statements about whether Trump would have been indicted absent those regulations. Before the intelligence committee, Mueller corrected his previous comment, noting that the report did not definitively answer the question of whether Trump had committed a crime.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mueller’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee proved a disappointment to any Democrat who thought that he would take up the role of witness for the prosecution. Laurence H. Tribe, a Harvard law professor and impeachment advocate, tweeted Wednesday afternoon: “Much as I hate to say it, this morning’s hearing was a disaster. Far from breathing life into his damning report, the tired Robert Mueller sucked the life out of it.”

Mueller proved to be a reluctant — and at times shaky — witness. He had warned the Democrats in a brief public statement when he exited the Justice Department in May that he would not go beyond the written report if called to testify...

Claudia Romani

At Taxi Driver, "Claudia Romani Topless and Covering her Nipples."

Megan Parry's Thursday Forecast

Oh boy it's been hot.

Here's the lovely Ms. Megan, at ABC 10 News San Diego:




Hailey Clauson Intimates (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



When Stalin Faced Hitler

Summer reading, at Foreign Affairs.

And don't miss Kotkin's incredible two-volume biography, Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, and Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.


Hailey Baldwin

Justin Bieber scored by marrying this chick. Let's see if he doesn't lose her and blow it.

At Taxi Driver:


Mueller Testimony Sinks #Dems Hopes for Impeachment

There's just too much titillating commentary on yesterday's debacle. I'll try to get to some of it throughout the day.

Meanwhile, at the Los Angeles Times, "Mueller’s testimony seems unlikely to boost impeachment — but could vindicate Pelosi":
WASHINGTON —  Robert S. Mueller III did little on Wednesday to boost the prospects of impeaching President Trump.

The former special counsel’s highly anticipated testimony before Congress did not deliver the sort of splashy moment that circulates on cable TV. Instead, as he promised, Mueller stuck carefully to the text of his investigative report, occasionally — at times haltingly — offering a nuance, but often providing one-word answers to questions.

The result seemed likely to do little more than harden the opinions held by the public — and lawmakers — on President Trump and whether he should be removed from office.

Even Democratic supporters of impeachment were openly disappointed that the hearing did not deliver fireworks...
More.

And at Instapundit, "GUY BENSON: As America Yawned, Mueller’s Testimony Damaged Him, Made Impeachment Less Likely," and "LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: ‘The Robert Mueller Story’ Was Box Office Poison."


Matt Margolis, Trumping Obama

Out Tuesday, at Amazon, Matt Margolis, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy.



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Mueller Disaster

Well, things didn't go well today for the Dems, and it's a laugh right, heh.

At BuzzFeed, via Memeorandum, "A Bit of a Dud” — Some Democrats Say the Mueller Hearings Didn't Live Up to Expectations."

And at the Other McCain, "Mueller Hearing a Democrat Debacle."

And Instapundit, "WHEN YOU’VE LOST CHUCK TODD: Todd calls Mueller hearing an optics disaster for Democrats."

Katie Bell

Conservatives have been retweeting this lady, for good reason, heh.


NYC’s Anti-Cop Anarchy: What Say You, Dante de Blasio?

From Michelle Malkin:



Dante de Blasio is the son of Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has abandoned his crime-wracked city (but not his public office, tax-subsidized salary or perks) for a quixotic presidential bid to become America’s social justice warrior-in-chief. Calculated to promote his race card-playing dad’s campaign, Dante stoked anti-cop hysteria a few weeks ago with a widely disseminated USA Today op-ed. Dante’s screed came just days after de Blasio declared at the first Democratic debate:

“I’m different from all of the other candidates in this race in that I’m raising a black son in America.”

De Blasio reminds audiences that Dante is black as often as former GOP presidential candidate John Kasich reminded every unfortunate person within earshot that his dad was a mailman. A Google news search for “De Blasio black son” yields nearly 85,000 hits. We get it. We get it. We get it.

Because his pigment and political bloodline give him the special privilege of making blanket assertions about, well, anything, Dante was rewarded with a major media platform to ply a kinder, gentler version of the vile “Cops=pigs” narrative to an audience of millions. Police officers are menaces on the streets who pose a greater threat to “people of color” than unknown strangers, homeless people and drug addicts, Dante de Blasio argued. He had “no fear on a night walk until the police came,” the op-ed declared darkly.

“We’re taught to fear the people meant to protect us, because the absolute worst-case scenario has happened too many times. This reality cannot continue.”

But actual reality smacked NYPD officers in their heads in two viral videos this week that had non-white witnesses in the ‘hood laughing and jeering hysterically. In Harlem and Brooklyn, cops were attacked with buckets of water while onlookers hooted, hollered and incited chaos. A brazen young thug, not paralyzed in the least by the anxiety that de Blasio conjured up for his column, hurled a bucket that hit one of the LEOs in the back of the head. Members of the neighborhood mobs where the attacks occurred — similarly unaffected by Dante’s manufactured disquietude — whipped out their phones to share their glee and cheered like they were watching an episode of “WWE RAW.”

“Who does that in their right frame of mind? People who believe there’s no consequences,” a law enforcement source fumed to the New York Post. “There’s total anarchy out here.” Another NYPD supervisor warned: “Today it’s a bucket of water. Tomorrow it could be a bucket of cement.” In 1993, a Housing Authority cop John Williamson was murdered after a Washington Heights mob went wild because NYPD officers were towing illegally parked cars. Someone hurled a 30-pound bucket of spackling compound from a building rooftop that struck and killed Williamson.

Here’s more of the reality Dante de Blasio and his cop-hating daddy won’t acknowledge: The Big Apple’s police force has long been the target of racially driven vigilantes who are frightened of nothing and nobody.

Megan Rapinoe Bikini (VIDEO)

She's very athletic, heh.



Dazed and Confused

Previously, "Mueller Tesimony: Dueling Circus Realities."

And at VodkaPundit, "Drunkblogging the Mueller Hearing."


Boxer Maxim Dadashev Dies

Actually, you could say he was killed. "Dies" sounds so passive.

They didn't stop the fight until the 11th round.

Brutal.

I looked for more footage, but so far this is it.

At ESPN, "Boxer Dadashev dies from Friday fight injuries":

Dadashev (13-1, 11 KOs), from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and based in Oxnard, California, needed help leaving the ring. He collapsed before making it to the dressing room and began vomiting. He was taken from the arena on a stretcher and was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery for two hours for a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain). Doctors hoped to relieve pressure on the right side of his brain, where most of the damage was, with the surgery and placed him in a medically induced coma to allow time for brain swelling to subside.

Mueller Tesimony: Dueling Circus Realities

The Mueller testimony is live right now, and I'm unimpressed.

Here's Politico, "Mueller refutes Trump’s ‘no collusion, no obstruction’ line."

Actually, this whole thing's a dud. Mueller claims he hadn't heard of Fusion GPS.

I just tuned in, though I'll post highlights this afternoon.

Meanwhile, at this morning's LAT, a pre-analysis, "Democrats and Republicans prepare for Mueller testimony, but with competing goals":

WASHINGTON —  As a senior Justice Department official and then FBI director for 12 years, Robert S. Mueller III carefully guarded his reputation as a straight shooter in the midst of political upheaval and partisan warfare.
His square-jawed, just-the-facts approach will be put to the ultimate test Wednesday when the former special counsel testifies for five hours in nationally televised House hearings about the Russia investigation, which examined Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and President Trump’s attempts to shield himself from the probe.

Democrats and Republicans are plotting ways to transform his testimony — first to the House Judiciary Committee and then to the House Intelligence committee — into a series of politically charged sound bites they can use to attack or defend the president.

Democrats plan to steer Mueller toward the most damning parts of his final report, particularly incidents where Trump directed underlings to fire Mueller — none did so — or discourage witnesses from cooperating with the special counsel’s office.

The key question is whether Democrats can get Mueller to say point blank that Trump would have faced criminal charges if he weren’t the president, a declaration that would further blunt Trump’s false claims of full exoneration.

Republicans are expected to pursue a two-pronged approach. They’ll try to undermine Mueller’s credibility by suggesting his team was politically biased against Trump. They also want to highlight conclusions in the report that benefit the president, such as Mueller’s determination that he could not establish a criminal conspiracy between his campaign and Moscow.

Both Democrats and Republicans have at least one thing in common: They expect to face a reluctant witness with a history of terse, dry answers to overheated congressional questioning.

“I think he will be equally parsimonious with both sides,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Mueller did not want to testify, telling reporters on May 29 that he would not go beyond the details contained in the 448-page report released six weeks earlier. But he agreed to appear on Capitol Hill after Democrats issued him a subpoena.

Jim Popkin, a spokesman for Mueller, said he’s preparing for the hearing with a small group of former officials from the special counsel’s office.

“This is someone who has prided himself over the years for very careful preparation. He will be extremely well prepared come Wednesday,” Popkin said Monday.

Mueller will make an opening statement and submit a redacted copy of his report for the record.

“I think it’s safe to say that on Wednesday he will stick to the four walls of the Mueller report as much as he can,” Popkin said.

In a Monday letter, the Justice Department told Mueller that his testimony “must remain within the boundaries of your public report” to avoid infringing upon executive privilege and other confidentiality requirements. The letter said Mueller had requested guidance from the department earlier this month, a suggestion that he may rely on it to avoid answering questions he wants to avoid.

Democrats have made no secret of their goals — they worry that Trump paid little price for pushing legal and political boundaries, and they’re concerned that voters struggled to digest the lengthy report.

“Not everybody will read the book, but people will watch the movie,” said a Democratic staff member on the Judiciary Committee, who requested anonymity to discuss preparations for the hearing...

Bad-ass Buffalo Chucks Tourist Kid Like 20 Feet Lol

Well, that's a vacation she'll never forget.


Bella Thorne in Business Suit

At Taxi Driver:



Megan Parry's Midweek Forecast

It's high summer heat this week.

Gotta keep cool with some air-conditioning and a wonderful cold draft beer.

Here's the lovely Ms. Megan, for ABC 10 News San Diego:



Sunday, July 21, 2019

Trump Sets the Terms; Democrats Are Clueless

At NYT, FWIW, "Trump Sets the Terms on Racial Division. Do Democrats Know What to Do?":

GREENVILLE, N.C. — President Trump waited for 13 seconds, as the chants from the crowd of thousands grew louder.

“Send her home!” the North Carolina audience yelled, mimicking Mr. Trump’s recent tweet attacking a Somali-born Democratic congresswoman.

“Treason!” one man screamed.

“Traitor!” shouted another.

The moment Wednesday night, a microcosm of the angry tribalism that often emanates from Mr. Trump’s campaign rallies, immediately caused ripple effects for the president and his party. Some Republican members of Congress denounced the chant as racist and xenophobic. Mr. Trump tepidly disavowed his supporters’ words, only to praise them the following day. For Democrats, especially the candidates seeking to defeat Mr. Trump, the impact of the rally was clear: This will be a general election focused on race, identity and Mr. Trump’s brand of white grievance politics.

Until this past week, the 2020 field has generally tried to ignore the president’s incendiary language — talking about it, the thinking goes, only gives him more power. Instead, candidates have preferred to discuss policies, making the case for themselves by advocating changes in the criminal justice system or maternal health, or ways to eliminate the racial wealth gap.

Now some feel an urgency to take a different approach.

“This election will be a referendum, not on Donald Trump, but a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other,” Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey said. “But this is going to get worse before it gets better.”

Senator Kamala Harris of California, the most viable woman of color to run for president, said that the scenes from Mr. Trump’s rally, while personally upsetting, were not surprising.

“When we’re on that stage together in the general, I know he’ll try to pull the same thing with me,” Ms. Harris said. “But I’m fully prepared for that. I’m up for it. Because he is small. He is wrong. He is a bully.”

And at a fund-raiser in Los Angeles on Friday, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. told supporters that Mr. Trump is “tearing at the social fabric of this country.”

“This is not hyperbole,” Mr. Biden said. “The fact of the matter is this president is more George Wallace than George Washington.”

But even as Democratic candidates universally denounced Mr. Trump’s comments, they did not agree on how the eventual presidential nominee should combat the racial division embedded in those words. Do you, on the campaign trail, talk directly about the president’s inflammatory language, racism and discrimination in this country? Or do you talk about jobs and the economy?

Democratic Party leaders, particularly establishment figures with ties to Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, have largely followed a strategy of careful avoidance: responding to the president’s most inflammatory moments, while attempting to redirect the political debate to what is often described as “kitchen table” issues, such as health care and wages.

However, an increasingly vocal group of Democratic grass-roots organizers and pollsters believe that Mr. Trump’s words and legislative actions amount to a cohesive playbook of white identity politics, meant to court white voters of all economic tiers around the idea that their fates are linked, and are under threat by an increasingly diversifying America. They argue that racism and the public performance of it is a “kitchen table” issue for many voters — black and white — that must be dealt with head-on.

“Just as much time and resources as the nominee spends on targeting and messaging around health care and wages and climate change, they should spend an equal amount of resources around an alternative racial vision for the country,” said Cornell Belcher, a prominent pollster who worked with Mr. Obama. “This isn’t a goddamn distraction.”

Ana Maria Archila, the co-executive director of the progressive group Center for Popular Democracy, said Democrats must embrace this moment as an opportunity.

“You have to be able to speak powerfully about our willingness to belong together,” Ms. Archila said. “Don’t just condemn the racism and the language but use it as an opportunity to argue for a vision of the country in which we can all be included.”

To some progressives, the stakes are not just winning in 2020...
Still more.

Today's Shopping

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And, Paul Mitchell Original Shampoo One 10.14 fl oz (300 ml).

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Plus here, MTech USA Xtreme MX-8054 Series Fixed Blade Tactical Knife, Tanto Blade, G10 Handle, 11-Inch Overall.

BONUS: Ryan T. Anderson, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.

Jonathan Yaniv's Human Rights Case

Jonathan Yaniv is the tranny "Jessica" Yaniv, and he's the one who's been able to get feminists kicked off Twitter, Lindsey Shepherd most recently. Also Meghan Murphy, who covers the latest in the scandal at Feminist Current.

See, "Women warned you: Yaniv’s human rights case is the inevitable result of gender identity ideology: Women warned the media, politicians, activists, and the public about the repercussions of gender identity ideology and legislation, and now that those repercussions are being played out in real time, those warned remain silent."



Politico's Summer Reading

This is actually pretty good.

Some good suggestions.

See, "What the 2020 Candidates, James Comey and Other Politicos Are Reading This Summer."

And this looks interesting: Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.

Kendall Jenner Photo Shoot

At London's Daily Mail:


Brent Bozell, Unmasked

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Brent Bozell, Unmasked: Big Media's War Against Trump.




Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Forecast

We went without air conditioning all day yesterday, it was so mild.

Fabulous weather.

Here's the fabulous Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Jason Stanley Fascism

Stanley's the author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them and How Propaganda Works.

I haven't read his book so I don't know if he's any good or not, but I've read Robert O. Paxton's The Anatomy of Fascism, and yes, that was a fascist chant at the Trump rally.

The thing is, though, leftists want you to think we're back in the 1930s and the Nazi threat today is real. The only problem is it's not. Hitler dismantled the German democracy in 1933. Trump might lose reelection in 2020. All the leftist outrage is theater. The fact is we're in a populist nationalist moment. Sometimes the rhetoric sounds fascist. But leftists never look at their own side, with their own fascists and communists, who're doing by far the most damage, and are in fact responsible for the rise of the new politics of the age

Once people figure that out it's all a lot easier to digest.

At Newsweek, "Yes, 'Send Her Back' Is the Face of Evil — I Know Fascism When I See It."


Miley Cyrus' Madness

At Hollywood Tuna, "Miley Cyrus’ Underboob Madness."

And Celeb Jihad, "MILEY CYRUS WORKOUT."

Alexandra Stan

At Celeb Jihad, "ALEXANDRA STAN COMPILATION."

Erica Thomas Hate Hoax

She made the whole thing up.

At BuzzFeed, "This State Lawmaker Says She Was Told To Go Back To Where She Came From. The Man Who Yelled At Her Denies It."


Saturday, July 20, 2019

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

*BUMPED*

At Amazon, J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.



WATCH: Video Show Iran's Takeover of British Oil Tanker

At the Los Angeles Times, "Iran says it detained British tanker in Strait of Hormuz as a ‘reciprocal’ move."

And at Russia Today, with obligatory caveats:



Age of Amnesia

From Joel Kotkin, at Quillette:

RTWT.


Chevrolet Corvette C8 2020 (VIDEO)

Wow!

This is a spectacular car!

At Jalopnik, "Here's a Detailed Look at the 2020 Corvette C8's Impressive Engineering."

And Road and Track, "Mid-Engine Corvette: Everything We Know."

For all the change, it actually still looks like a 'Vette, especially from the front.



Women’s Sports Are Doomed

It's Ian Miles Cheong, at Human Events:



Apollo 11 Still Resonates

At LAT, "Column One: 50 years after Apollo 11, the moon’s allure still resonates."






Who Will Be the First Woman on the Moon?

Nothing against the ladies, but in this day and age, it just can't be another man that goes up and sets foot.

Nope, that'd be misogynist.

At the L.A. Times, "Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Who will be the first woman?"



Olivia Culpo Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2019 (VIDEO)

Nice:



David Horowitz, Mortality and Faith

At Amazon, David Horowitz, Mortality and Faith: Reflections on a Journey through Time.



House Democrats Prepare for Civil War

Grab the popcorn.

At Instapundit, "BLUE ON BLUE: House Democrats Prepare for Civil War as Challengers Plot Primary Battles: Several entrenched New York representatives will face progressive hopefuls seeking to replicate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s success."

Also linked, "Gramscian Damage."


Associated Press Smears Michelle Malkin

Michelle's calling 'em out.

On Twitter: