Thursday, October 31, 2019

House Votes for Impeachment

Along strict party lines.

At the New York Times, "A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump":

WASHINGTON — A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in a historic action that set up a critical new public phase of the process and underscored the toxic political polarization that serves as its backdrop.

The vote was 232-196 to approve a resolution that sets out rules for an impeachment process for which there are few precedents, and which promises to consume the country a little more than a year before the 2020 elections. It was only the third time in modern history that the House had taken a vote on an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president.

Two Democrats broke with their party to vote against the measure, while Republicans — under immense pressure from Mr. Trump to shut down the impeachment inquiry altogether — unanimously opposed it.

Minutes after the vote, the White House press secretary denounced the process as “a sham impeachment” and “a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the president.”

Practically speaking, the resolution outlines the rights and procedures that will guide the process from here on out, including the public presentation of evidence and how Mr. Trump and his legal team will be able to eventually mount a defense.

But its significance was more profound: After five weeks of private fact-finding, an almost completely unified Democratic caucus signaled that, despite Republican opposition, they now have enough confidence in the severity of the underlying facts about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine to start making their case for impeachment in public...

Nobody really thinks Trump's going to be impeached AND removed from office. Democrats don't even believe that. It's a scam, sham, wam-bam.

See HuffPo:

Monday, October 28, 2019

'House Democrats may be thinking that the argument against executive privilege is stronger if the whole House has voted or that by demonstrating a better standard of procedural regularity, they may influence the judge to avoid the case without reaching the merits...'

A great piece, at Althouse, "Maybe they hope it will be voted down! Suddenly, House Democrats want a formal vote on impeachment."

And ICYMI: "Unconstitutional Impeachment."

The Strike Against Islamic State's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Complicated Leftist Efforts to Destroy President Trump

From Mollie Hemingway, at the Federalist:

Mobility of Newcomers to America: Poor Immigrants Rise?

Lost in the debate about "build the wall," and so forth, is the basic fact that a majority of Americans embraces immigration as a "net plus" to society and our future. Frankly, the debate today is not about legal or illegal immigration or the appropriate levels of newcomers to our country. The debate now, on the left in particularly, is whether to have any meaningful control of our national sovereignty at all. Leftists literally want open borders, as Andrew Sullivan pointed out over the summer.

Putting that to the side, it's fascinating that newcomers to the country, regardless of the country of origin, succeed economically at a rate consistent to patterns of immigration going back over a century. This should be a confirmation of our pride as a "land of opportunity." People come here to seek a better life, to escape political and religious tyranny, and to have a better material life for themselves and for their families.

But, are the sending their best lately? I'm skeptical.

At the New York Times, "Children of Poor Immigrants Rise, Regardless of Where They Come From":

Immigration to the United States has consistently offered a route to escape poverty — if not for poor immigrants themselves, then for their sons.

New research linking millions of fathers and sons dating to the 1880s shows that children of poor immigrants in America have had greater success climbing the economic ladder than children of similarly poor fathers born in the United States. That pattern has been remarkably stable for more than a century, even as immigration laws have shifted and as the countries most likely to send immigrants to the United States have changed.

The adult children of poor Mexican and Dominican immigrants in the country legally today achieve about the same relative economic success as children of poor immigrants from Finland or Scotland did a century ago. All of them, in their respective eras, have fared better than the children of poor native-born Americans. If the American dream is to give the next generation a better life, it appears that poor immigrants have more reliably achieved that dream than native-born Americans have.

The findings, published in a working paper by a team of economic historians at Princeton, Stanford and the University of California, Davis, challenge several arguments central to the debate over immigration in America today. The Trump administration has moved to reorient the country’s legal immigration toward wealthier immigrants and away from poorer ones, arguing that the nation can’t afford to welcome families who will burden public programs like Medicaid. This research suggests that immigrants who arrive in poverty often escape it, if not in the first generation then the second.

“The short-term perspective on immigrant assimilation that politicians tend to take might underestimate the long-run success of immigrants,” said Ran Abramitzky, a professor at Stanford and one of the paper’s authors, along with Leah Platt Boustan, Elisa Jácome and Santiago Pérez. “By the second generation, they are doing quite well.” Keep reading.

President Trump and other proponents of tighter immigration have also suggested that today’s immigrants, predominantly from Latin America and Asia, are less likely to assimilate into the economy than earlier immigrant waves from Europe. This data suggests that is not true. It also shows that Norwegians, whom President Trump has held up as model immigrants, were in fact among the least successful after they arrived.

And then don't forget to read Michelle Malkin's book, Open Borders Inc.: Who's Funding America's Destruction?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Unconstitutional Impeachment

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley, at WSJ, "This Impeachment Subverts the Constitution":

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed committees investigating President Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” but the House has never authorized such an inquiry. Democrats have been seeking to impeach Mr. Trump since the party took control of the House, though it isn’t clear for what offense. Lawmakers and commentators have suggested various possibilities, but none amount to an impeachable offense. The effort is akin to a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder—a legislative effort to punish a disfavored person. The Senate should treat it accordingly.

The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power of impeachment” to the House—the full chamber, which acts by majority vote, not by a press conference called by the Speaker. Once the House begins an impeachment inquiry, it may refer the matter to a committee to gather evidence with the aid of subpoenas. Such a process ensures the House’s political accountability, which is the key check on the use of impeachment power.

The House has followed this process every time it has tried to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment was predicated on formal House authorization, which passed 126-47. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee determined it needed authorization from the full House to begin an inquiry into Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which came by a 410-4 vote. The House followed the same procedure with Bill Clinton in 1998, approving a resolution 258-176, after receiving independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report.

Mrs. Pelosi discarded this process in favor of a Trump-specific procedure without precedent in Anglo-American law. Rep. Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee and several other panels are questioning witnesses in secret. Mr. Schiff has defended this process by likening it to a grand jury considering whether to hand up an indictment. But while grand-jury secrecy is mandatory, House Democrats are selectively leaking information to the media, and House Republicans, who are part of the jury, are being denied subpoena authority and full access to transcripts of testimony and even impeachment-related committee documents. No grand jury has a second class of jurors excluded from full participation.

Unlike other impeachable officials, such as federal judges and executive-branch officers, the president and vice president are elected by, and accountable to, the people. The executive is also a coequal branch of government. Thus any attempt to remove the president by impeachment creates unique risks to democracy not present in any other impeachment context. Adhering to constitutional text, tradition and basic procedural guarantees of fairness is critical. These processes are indispensable bulwarks against abuse of the impeachment power, designed to preserve the separation of powers by preventing Congress from improperly removing an elected president.

House Democrats have discarded the Constitution, tradition and basic fairness merely because they hate Mr. Trump. Because the House has not properly begun impeachment proceedings, the president has no obligation to cooperate. The courts also should not enforce any purportedly impeachment-related document requests from the House. (A federal district judge held Friday that the Judiciary Committee is engaged in an impeachment inquiry and therefore must see grand-jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal.) And the House cannot cure this problem simply by voting on articles of impeachment at the end of a flawed process.

The Senate’s power—and obligation—to “try all impeachments” presupposes that the House has followed a proper impeachment process and that it has assembled a reliable evidentiary basis to support its accusations. The House has conspicuously failed to do so. Fifty Republican senators have endorsed a resolution sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urging the House to “vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry and provide President Trump with fundamental constitutional protections” before proceeding further. If the House fails to heed this call immediately, the Senate would be fully justified in summarily rejecting articles produced by the Pelosi-Schiff inquiry on grounds that without a lawful impeachment in the House, it has no jurisdiction to proceed.

The effort has another problem: There is no evidence on the public record that Mr. Trump has committed an impeachable offense. The Constitution permits impeachment only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Founders considered allowing impeachment on the broader grounds of “maladministration,” “neglect of duty” and “mal-practice,” but they rejected these reasons for fear of giving too much power to Congress. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” includes abuses of power that do not constitute violations of criminal statutes. But its scope is limited.

Abuse of power encompasses two distinct types of behavior. First, the president can abuse his power by purporting to exercise authority not given to him by the Constitution or properly delegated by Congress—say, by imposing a new tax without congressional approval or establishing a presidential “court” to punish his opponents. Second, the president can abuse power by failing to carry out a constitutional duty—such as systematically refusing to enforce laws he disfavors. The president cannot legitimately be impeached for lawfully exercising his constitutional power.

Applying these standards to the behavior triggering current calls for impeachment, it is apparent that Mr. Trump has neither committed a crime nor abused his power. One theory is that by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Kyiv’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter was unlawful “interference with an election.” There is no such crime in the federal criminal code (the same is true of “collusion”). Election-related offenses involve specific actions such as voting by aliens, fraudulent voting, buying votes and interfering with access to the polls. None of these apply here.

Nor would asking Ukraine to investigate a political rival violate campaign-finance laws, because receiving information from Ukraine did not constitute a prohibited foreign contribution. The Mueller report noted that no court has ever concluded that information is a “thing of value,” and the Justice Department has concluded that it is not. Such an interpretation would raise serious First Amendment concerns.

Equally untenable is the argument that Mr. Trump committed bribery...

The Final Humiliation of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

It's Graeme Wood, at the Atlantic:

Lindsey Pelas Leaked on Instagram

At the Inquisitr, "Lindsey Pelas’ Nudes Reportedly Leaked on Instagram By Same People Who Posted Nudes of Demi Lovato."

And Perez Hilton, "Demi Lovato Hackers at It Again, Posting Nude Photos of Model Lindsey Pelas!":

If you’re not familiar with Lindsey’s work, she’s actually an incredibly popular IG model and social media influencer with over NINE MILLION followers. Yeah.
Raw photo here.

Ariel Winter in Tiny Top


And Taxi Driver:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Killed

President Trump teased the news last night, and this morning he's got the far-left media in a psychotic tizzy.

At the Other McCain, "Al-Baghdadi ‘Died Like a Coward’."

And the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "Special Operations Raid Said to Kill Senior Terrorist Leader in Syria."

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Katie Hill Nude Three-Way With Bong and Tattoos (PHOTOS)

This is the obligatory Katie Hill nude scandal entry. I've held off on posting this, mostly to see if it's all true. But it turns out Red State indeed got a huge scoop, which MSM outlets only reluctantly followed up, lest they damage the career of one of their own far-left partisans.

See the Other McCain, "UPDATE: Naked Bisexual Democrat’s Scandal Just Got Worse, Believe It or Not."

Also, "UPDATE: Naked Bisexual Democrat Is Also a Mentally Ill Drunk (Allegedly)."

Plus, "Naked Bisexual Democrat Update," and "‘Naked Democratic Congresswoman’."

In the end, this is what matters, at KTLA News 5 Los Angeles, "Scandal Brings Election Risk to Rising Democrat Rep. Katie Hill in Deeply Divided L.A. District."

Also, at ABC 7 News Los Angeles:


Friday, October 25, 2019

Mexico Releases El Chapo's Son After Deadly Cartel Gunfight (VIDEO)

A great piece at Instapundit, "CLAIRE BERLINSKI PRESENTS: On Mexican State Collapse: a Guest Post by El Anti-Pozolero."

Tulsi Gabbard Won't Seek Reelection

Well, not only will we be seeing a Tulsi third party presidential bid, we'll be also seeing continuing endless radical left allegations of Tulsi and everyone else as "Russian assets."

At Hot Air, "Tulsi Gabbard: I’m Not Running for Reelection."

Mass Power Outages Planned as Wildfires Threaten (VIDEO)

California, our own Third World country.

At LAT, "Huge swaths of California could go dark with widest power outages yet expected this weekend."

Also, "As Kincade fire rages, Northern California faces biggest blackouts ever this weekend."

'Diablo' Winds Fuel Southland Fires (VIDEO)

It's the Santa Ana winds, which come every October, but now called the "Diablo" winds, for some reason.

At LAT, "Two destructive fires. Hundreds of miles apart. One culprit: Winds."

Also, "Tick fire explodes overnight: 14 Freeway closed, six homes destroyed as battle intensifies."

Megan Parry's Friday Forecast

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

Bella Thorne Panties and Reefer

At Taxi Driver below.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Thirty-Nine "Chinese Nationals' Dead in Truck Container-Trailer in Grays, Essex (VIDEO)

Terrible, terrible awful story.

At the Telegraph U.K., "Detectives focus in on Irish gang after 39 migrants froze to death in lorry."

'Interstate Love Song'

I haven't posted this one in a while.

Heard during yesterday morning's drive-time at 93.1 Jack FM, Stone Temple Pilots.

Dead or Alive


The Impression That I Get
Mighty Mighty Bosstones

In The Air Tonight
Phil Collins/Genesis

It's Time
Imagine Dragons

Old Time Rock & Roll
Bob Seger

True Faith
New Order

Interstate Love Song
Stone Temple Pilots

Broken Wings
Mr. Mister

The Warrior

Walking on a Dream
Empire of the Sun

Hotel California
Eagles/Don Henley

Enjoy The Silence
Depeche Mode

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Growing Numbers of Immigrants Getting Naturalized So They Can Vote

For Democrats, this is what it's all about. Flood the country with immigrant, who vote for the far-left Dems at a rate of about 5-1.

At LAT, "As Trump seeks reelection, immigrant voters stand in his path":

HOUSTON —  This is where a nation changes: a public school auditorium that moonlights as a veritable citizenship factory.

At the M.O. Campbell Educational Center, where murals honoring the arts and sciences adorn the walls, U.S. immigration officials routinely hold packed naturalization ceremonies. Immigrants approved for citizenship walk in, take the oath of allegiance, and walk out as Americans — and as a small army of new voters.

“It will never, ever be easier to register than it is this morning,” U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, who presided over a ceremony last month, told the 2,155 immigrants from more than 100 countries who had just taken their citizenship oaths. “The record for registrations is 89% of those who are sworn in.... Let’s see if we can break that record today.”

Amish Soni, a 34-year-old radiologist from India holding a small American flag, was one of the 85% who registered to vote that morning, aided by a volunteer from the League of Women Voters. He “definitely” plans to vote in 2020, partly because he thinks the healthcare system should be fixed, but also: “I’m not a big fan of Donald Trump.” And he’s far from the only one.

At ceremonies like these across the country, hundreds of thousands of immigrants are expected to receive their U.S. citizenship and become eligible to vote before November 2020, gently reshaping — and threatening — the electoral path that President Trump must thread to win reelection.

Over the last two decades, naturalized immigrants have grown into a force at the ballot box, with the United States recently swearing in more than 700,000 foreign-born U.S. citizens each year.

Naturalized citizens — who share the full legal rights of natural-born citizens, except for the ability to become president — cast more than 8% of the ballots in the 2018 midterm elections, almost double their share in the 1996 presidential contest, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Surveys show that many of the new citizens are liberal-leaning, which is one of several demographic trends helping put some historically red states such as Texas, Arizona and Georgia closer to Democrats’ reach.

The gains in immigrants’ electoral strength have been gradual. But Trump’s anti-immigration policies may be accelerating the trend by spurring even more people to naturalize and to vote, worrying some moderate Republican experts.

“It’s not ‘bad-ish’ news. It’s extremely bad,” said Mike Madrid, a Sacramento-based GOP consultant who studies Latino voters. He thinks the party’s use of anti-immigrant rhetoric to mobilize non-college-educated white voters will come at a steep electoral price. “This is a five-alarm fire.”
Keep reading.

'One has to wonder whether the dismissal of the entire field isn't just a machination to generate a late draft-Hillary movement...'

Following up, "Is There Anybody Else?"

Interesting. I hadn't thought of a "draft Hillary late" movement, but then, I don't think the country --- much less the Democrats --- could stand a third attempt by Crooked Hillary to win the presidency.

See Ed Morrissey, at Hot Air, "“Anxiety Rises”: Biden Opens Up Biggest Lead As Dems Fret Over 2020 Options."

Is There Anybody Else?

For the Democrats, the leading candidates are not inspiring.

At the New York Times, "Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’":

WASHINGTON — When a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan last week, the dinner began with a discussion of which presidential candidates the contributors liked. But as conversations among influential Democrats often go these days, the meeting quickly evolved into a discussion of who was not in the race — but could be lured in.

Would Hillary Clinton get in, the contributors wondered, and how about Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? One person even mused whether Michelle Obama would consider a late entry, according to two people who attended the event, which was hosted by the progressive group American Bridge.

It’s that time of the election season for Democrats.

“Since the last debate, just anecdotally, I’ve had five or six people ask me: ‘Is there anybody else?’” said Leah Daughtry, a longtime Democrat who has run two of the party’s recent conventions.

With doubts rising about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s ability to finance a multistate primary campaign, persistent questions about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s viability in the general election and skepticism that Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., can broaden his appeal beyond white voters, Democratic leaders are engaging in a familiar rite: fretting about who is in the race and longing for a white knight to enter the contest at the last minute.

It is a regular, if not quite quadrennial, tradition for a party that can be fatalistic about its prospects and recalls similar Maalox moments Democrats endured in 1992, 2004 and in the last primary, when it was Mr. Biden who nearly entered the race in October. But the mood of alarm is even more intense because of the party’s hunger to defeat President Trump and — with just over three months to go before voting starts in Iowa — their impatience with finding Mr. or Mrs. Right among the current crop of candidates.

“There’s more anxiety than ever,” said Connie Schultz, a journalist who is married to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, another Democrat who some in the party would like to see join the race. “We’re both getting the calls. I’ve been surprised by some who’ve called me.”

“I can see it, I can feel it, I can hear it,” Mitch Landrieu, the former New Orleans mayor, said of the unease within the party. He said he thinks Mr. Biden is best positioned to defeat Mr. Trump but called the former vice president’s fund-raising “a real concern.”

Mr. Biden’s lackluster debate performances and alarmingly low cash flow — he has less than $9 million on hand, not even half of some of his rivals — has fueled the Democratic disquiet. But if the causes of the concern are plain to see, what exactly can be done about it is less clear.

And even some of those being wooed acknowledge that it can be hard to discern between people just being nice and those who genuinely want them in the race.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both told people privately in recent weeks that if they thought they could win, they would consider entering the primary — but that they were skeptical there would be an opening, according to Democrats who have spoken with them.

Former Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who associates say has wondered aloud about whether he should have run and has found it hard to watch Mr. Biden’s missteps, has also been urged to get in. But he still thinks the former vice president, who was once his longtime Senate colleague, is the party’s best nominee.

Another Obama administration official who weighed a campaign at the start of the year, former Attorney General Eric Holder, is considering a last-minute entry but has conceded it may be too late, according to a Democrat familiar with his thinking.

Mr. Brown, who nearly entered the race earlier this year, said the pressure on him to reconsider from labor leaders, Democratic officials and donors has “become more frequent.” And Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor, who also weighed a campaign run before deciding not to, said he too has been nudged by friends to reconsider. “It’s nice to be rumored about,” he said, before notably refusing to rule out a last-minute entry. “Don’t ask me that question,” he said.

But Mr. Patrick suggested an 11th-hour bid was highly unlikely and had a message for increasingly angst-ridden Democrats: “Everybody needs to calm down, it’s early. It’s so early.”

Small Share of U.S. Adults Dominate Politics on Twitter

Seen earlier:

Jake Tapper Insinuates Rep. Josh Hawley as Anti-Semitic

This is something else.

Click through at the links and read all the tweets. Tapper got torched.

Here, "Facts First: CNN’s Jake Tapper Dishonestly Insinuated Josh Hawley Is An Anti-Semite And It Did Not Go Well."

Via Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "This is CNN."

Leonardo DiCaprio's Ex-Girlfriend Kendal Schuler

When's Leo going to actually marry one of these women? He's dated some gorgeous babes, dang.

At Drunken Stepfather, "KENDAL SCHULER OF THE DAY":
KENDAL SCHULER is one of Leo’s ex beards. You can tell by her tits. You know that prose she had tattooed onto her tit like the underwire of a bra – you know because she’s deep like Leo thinks he’s deep cuz no one wants to admit they are vapid cunts…and in Leo’s case he doesn’t want to admit he fucks his guy friends cuz chicks are boring…and he gets those guy friends to fuck by baiting them with environmentally friendly jets and coke fueled parties with trash like this who think it’s their big break. God. People are dumb…

Monday, October 21, 2019

Huge Rhian Sugden

At Taxi Driver:

Emily Agnes

At Drunken Stepfather, "EMILY AGNES OF THE DAY."

Jennifer Delacruz's Monday Forecast

Very warm late-October weather, with real fire danger from the winds.

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

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Searing Moment in the Middle East

For the record, I'm not pleased with President Trump's handling of Syria and Turkey this past week or so. Not pleased at all. Yeah, I can dig the current public sentiment to wind things down, and end "regime change wars," but previous commitments should be honored and our dealings with allies should be respectful and up and up. It's especially disgraceful to cough up territory and control in places Americans have shed blood, to say nothing of fierce fighters like the Kurds.

Oh well.

At WaPo, "The hasty U.S. pullback from Syria is a searing moment in America’s withdrawal from the Middle East":

BEIRUT — The blow to America’s standing in the Middle East was sudden and unexpectedly swift. Within the space of a few hours, advances by Turkish troops in Syria this week had compelled the U.S. military’s Syrian Kurdish allies to switch sides, unraveled years of U.S. Syria policy and recalibrated the balance of power in the Middle East.

As Russian and Syrian troops roll into vacated towns and U.S. bases, the winners are counting the spoils.

The withdrawal delivered a huge victory to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who won back control of an area roughly amounting to a third of the country almost overnight. It affirmed Moscow as the arbiter of Syria’s fate and the rising power in the Middle East. It sent another signal to Iran that Washington has no appetite for the kind of confrontation that its rhetoric suggests and that Iran’s expanded influence in Syria is now likely to go unchallenged.

It sent a message to the wider world that the United States is in the process of a disengagement that could resonate beyond the Middle East, said Hussein Ibish of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

“There’s a sense that the long goodbye has begun and that the long goodbye from the Middle East could become a long goodbye from Asia and everywhere else,” he said.

Images shared on social media underscored the indignity of the retreat. Departing U.S. troops in sophisticated armored vehicles passed Syrian army soldiers riding in open-top trucks on a desert highway. An embedded Russian journalist took selfies on the abandoned U.S. base in Manbij, where U.S. forces had fought alongside their Kurdish allies to drive out the Islamic State in 2015.

“Only yesterday they were here, and now we are here,” said the journalist, panning the camera around the intact infrastructure, including a radio tower and a button-powered traffic-control gate that he showed was still functioning.

“Let’s see how they lived and what they ate,” he said, before ducking into one of the tents and filming the soldiers’ discarded snacks.

On Arab news channels, coverage switched from footage of jubilant Syrian troops to scenes of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s lavish receptions by the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Washington’s most vital Arab allies in the Persian Gulf. The visits had been long planned, but the timing gave them the feel of a victory lap.

“This has left a bad taste for all of America’s friends and allies in the region, not only among the Kurds,” said a former regional minister who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to not embarrass his government, an American ally. “Many will now be looking for new friends. The Russians don’t abandon their allies. They fight for them. And so do the Iranians.”

It was the manner of the withdrawal, hastily called amid chaos on the battlefield as Turkish forces pushed deep into Syria, that gave the event such impact in the region, analysts said. Few had anticipated that the most advanced military in the world would make such a scrambled and hasty departure, even after President Trump signaled he would not endorse a war on behalf of the Kurds against a U.S. NATO ally.

Less than 48 hours before the withdrawal announcement, U.S. Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had given assurances that the troops would remain indefinitely, standing by their Kurdish partners to continue to hunt down the Islamic State.

 But the Turks’ capture Sunday of a key highway that served as the U.S. troops’ main supply line revealed the fragility of a mission that had narrowly focused on the Islamic State fight while neglecting regional dynamics, including the depth of Turkish animosity to the Kurdish militia with which the United States had teamed up...

Tulsi Gabbard Slams Hillary Clinton, the 'Queen of Warmongers'

Just beautiful.

At Epoch Times, "Gabbard: Clinton Smeared Me Because ‘She Won’t be Able to Control Me’ If I’m Elected President."

And on Tucker's below:

Lindsey Pelas

She's a cool tweep, responding frequently to her followers.

Hillary Clinton Asked to Leave Costco

From Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still a satiric Website, before morphing into America’s Paper of Record..."

Alex Biston's Saturday Forecast

Here's the lovely Ms. Alex, at CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Kimberley Strassel on the Eric Metaxas Radio Show (VIDEO)

She's on tour to promote her book, Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America.

And with Eric Metaxas:

Demi Lovato Leaked Photos

At LAT, "Demi Lovato’s nude photos leak after her Snapchat is hacked."


Detroit Couple Hoped to Make It Big in Hollywood, Now They're Homeless

Dashed hopes on the hard streets of L.A.

At the Los Angeles Times, "They came to L.A. to chase a Hollywood dream. Two weeks later, they were homeless":

So many people come to L.A. carrying little else but big dreams. One misstep, one con, one stroke of bad luck can be all it takes to derail them.

I recently met a young couple from Detroit whose journey here started with great hope.

They arrived last spring in possession of a promise, $800, two backpacks and two duffel bags.

The promise was what had prompted them to leave home. But it was broken that first day, before they left LAX.

Their interactions in our city then began to fray so fast that two weeks later they were sleeping on our sidewalks.

I asked them if I could tell their story in part to remind us all how swiftly disaster can strike, but also as a nudge to contemplate how we treat others — our newcomers, our most vulnerable, those we routinely write off.

Why tell a person you’ll help them if really you won’t? Some people like to toy, cats pawing at mice.

In Detroit, Loxk Calhoun (pronounced Lock, born DaShawn), had been scraping by for two years on his own since his mother kicked him out at 18. He was thrilled when someone in the music business encouraged him to come to L.A. He describes himself as an audio engineer who also writes music and raps and performs. He wants to be better known. The guy from L.A. said if Loxk just flew out here, he’d put him up and help make that happen.

But Loxk got here and he didn’t. He offered no help at all. When Loxk called from LAX, he said he’d be out of town for a long time.

Loxk and his girlfriend, Bri Meilbeck, who just turned 24, suddenly had only each other. They were novice travelers. They’d been together just one month. In a giant city, they had no one else whose support they knew they could count on.

In a fix, Loxk called another contact on his phone — a music producer he hadn’t yet met. He was relieved when this virtual stranger said that he and Bri could come stay. But the West Hollywood house they arrived at, which looked like a mansion on the outside, turned out to have bedroom after bedroom crammed with bunk beds. Bri and Loxk didn’t know how many there were or even whose house it was.

They also didn’t know that the producer to whom they had given some money owed rent — until one night after dark they got the word that the landlord wanted them gone at once.

This was the moment when they slipped into homelessness and slipped out of the world as they’d known it. They were the only ones who noticed. They had just $50 left.

As they strained to lug all they owned out the door, they knew that they would have to own less. At a dumpster, they shed a lot of favorite clothes, including Bri’s pink Adidas track suit.

Where to go was a problem. They didn’t know L.A.

But there had been a moment during those early days when they were feeling so overwhelmed by the strangeness of it all that they needed to get away and be alone. So they’d splurged on a cheap room at the Las Palmas Hotel in Hollywood, which in “Pretty Woman” is where Julia Roberts lived in the tough times before Richard Gere.

They’d liked that little brush with fame, though there’d be no fairy-tale rescue for them. Now pushed out of the house, they went back to the Las Palmas and scaled the fence of the park next door. Trying not to be seen, they avoided the playground’s rubber mats and lay down on pavement under Bri’s faux fur coat. All that night, she kept her eyes open.

A couple of years earlier, Bri had gotten very close to finishing college. She’d had her act together. She’d never imagined this.

“I was very scared. You could hear people yelling and screaming. I thought someone was going to rob us,” she told me. On her phone, she searched the discussions on the social news website Reddit, typing in phrases: “I just became homeless,” “Where do homeless people go in L.A.?”

Early the next morning on Venice Beach, the two bummed a smoke from a homeless man with a dog. He offered up tips for their new life.

Wear fresh socks to avoid infections. Go to St. Joseph Center for help. He walked around with them looking for a tarp and pieces of cardboard for their bedding.

That night and for a few nights to come, until they could get their own, he let them sleep in his little tent, squeezed in with him and his German shepherd, in front of the Public Storage at 4th and Rose avenues...

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saddleridge Fire, Porter Ranch, Los Angeles (VIDEO)

At the Los Angeles Times, "For Porter Ranch, Saddleridge fire is the latest disaster on a growing list."

And, "Saddleridge fire’s rapid spread left residents little time to get out," and "City and state declare emergencies as Saddleridge fire burns homes in the Valley."

Classic Rock Show, 'All Along the Watchtower' (VIDEO)

I literally listen to this every day. Mindbogglingly good.

The band's website is here. I wish they'd tour the U.S., man.

Jennifer Delacruz's Saturday Forecast

I haven't seen Ms. Jennifer in a while --- she's spectacular!

It's hot and fiery weather, though. Take it easy out there if you're in California.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:

Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

At Amazon, Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766.

Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill

At NPR, "In 'Catch and Kill,' Ronan Farrow Offers a Damning Portrait of a Conflicted NBC."

And at Amazon, Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Shepard Smith Out at Fox News

I don't watch shep, so I missed his live announcement.


Alexis Ren Stunt Team (VIDEO)

Seen on Twitter:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

New Bella Thorne Bikini Photos


Heh. Don't Litter

On Twitter:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Nice Lady

Seen on Twitter:

Lights Out in California

It's Chuck DeVore, at the Federalist, "The Lights Are Out in California, And That Was the Plan All Along."

Homelessness in San Francisco

What a nightmare.

From Heather Mac Donald, at City Journal, "San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless."

The stories that the homeless tell about their lives reveal that something far more complex than a housing shortage is at work. The tales veer from one confused and improbable situation to the next, against a backdrop of drug use, petty crime, and chaotic child-rearing. Behind this chaos lies the dissolution of those traditional social structures that once gave individuals across the economic spectrum the ability to withstand setbacks and lead sober, self-disciplined lives: marriage, parents who know how to parent, and conventional life scripts that create purpose and meaning. There are few policy levers to change this crisis of meaning in American culture. What is certain is that the ongoing crusade to normalize drug use, along with the absence of any public encouragement of temperance, will further handicap this unmoored population.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Britney Spears Stretching

I wonder how she's doing lately, with all her legal issues?


'Suddenly, banks have been left grudgingly weighing the benefits of a party run by neo-Marxists, radical union leaders and lawmakers with a history of supporting communist regimes...'

You can't be serious?!

You gotta read this piece on Britain's Labor Party, and especially how open Labor is to what's essentially a communist political economy.

At the New York Times, "Jeremy Corbyn or No-Deal Brexit? The U.K. Might Have to Choose":

LONDON — He is the bane of bankers, a bearded, teetotaling socialist often derided in the British press and in Parliament for his efforts to suppress dissent inside the Labour Party and his radical plans to remake the British economy.

But in the unmitigated chaos of Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition Labour leader, is trying to remint himself as a safe pair of hands, and an unlikely salve to jittery British markets panicked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans for an abrupt split with the European Union.

And, surprisingly, it might be working.

“‘What method of execution would you prefer?’ is basically the question,” said David Willetts, a Conservative former minister who was once an aide to Margaret Thatcher. “Corbyn would in normal circumstances look like an off-the-scale risky gamble. However, Brexit is the single biggest change in Britain’s economic and political relations in 40 years, so Brexit itself is an off-the-scale economic gamble.”

With an early election looming, Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party, once a friend to big business and a refuge for establishment figures of all types, has torched one convention after another, creating dust-ups with Queen Elizabeth II, the Supreme Court and Parliament. The prime minister’s proposed Brexit deal, proffered last week to Brussels, was met with so much dismay that most analysts believe he is fully resigned to Britain leaving the bloc without one.

That has turned Mr. Corbyn — a lifelong rabble-rouser and one of the most left-wing leaders in Labour’s century-long history — into an improbable figure of restraint. He is implacably opposed to a no-deal Brexit and promises a second referendum that could reverse the split altogether...
Keep reading.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Amateur Rocks Black Dress (VIDEO)

Watch, "Amateur: The Hardest a Black Dress Has Ever Been Rocked."

James Bond Nostalgia

On Twitter:

The 'Just Society' of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

It's statist collectivism, socialism in all but name.

At Fox News, "AOC pushes national rent control, welfare for illegal immigrants in latest massive proposal":

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is promoting a new package of left-wing economic policies, including national rent control and expanding welfare to illegal immigrants across the country, as part of a massive new proposal aiming to achieve a “just society.”

The freshman lawmaker, who champions the multi-trillion-dollar Green New Deal proposal to combat economic inequality and climate change, has now proposed a package of bills aimed at solving perceived economic injustice.

“A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing,” the website for the package says. “By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society.”

That “Just Society” proposals are made up of six different pieces of legislation that deal with issues including housing, welfare, poverty and human rights.

“The Place to Prosper Act” would prevent year-over-year rent increases of more than three percent. Meanwhile, “The Embrace Act” would allow illegal immigrants to claim the same welfare benefits as U.S. citizens and those immigrants here legally,

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law ... an individual who is an alien (without regard to the immigration status of that alien) may not be denied any Federal public benefit solely on the basis of the individual’s immigration status,” the bill reads.

A federal public benefit is defined as: “any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States; and...any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.”

A similar bill “The Mercy in Re-entry Act” uses similar language to stop the granting of public benefits based on whether a person was convicted of a criminal offense...
Yes, let's joke about what a "crazy person" she is, but imagine, if folks don't take this seriously, what will happen if the Democrats win power in 2020.

'The impeachment nightmare that House Democrats are so eagerly plunging the country into now is merely another outbreak of that party’s inability to accept the voters’ verdict of 2016...'

From Andrew Malcolm, at McClatchy, "Clinton and Russia didn’t take down Trump, so Democrats try Ukraine and impeachment":

Donald Trump’s unlikely victory was so shocking for Hillary Clinton and her lazy, overconfident campaign team and supporters that she was emotionally unable to compose herself for a concession speech until the next day.

Which suggests to many that voters made the correct choice for commander in chief, even if they have real doubts about Trump.

Clinton and her crowd have never recovered. Even before Trump took the oath and could perform an actual high crime or misdemeanor in office, an impeachment campaign was underway.

Now, billionaire Tom Steyer and noisy segments of that Democratic caucus have finally succeeded in forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch the preliminary impeachment inquiry, which — news flash! — has actually been playing out in the House Judiciary Committee since mid-summer. The Ukraine phone call is the cover story for a foregone impeachment conclusion.

It’s never surprising anymore that politicians alter their tune with each day’s changing climate. Here’s Pelosi last March:

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

Here’s Pelosi last week: “Right now, we have to strike while the iron is hot.”

The president’s high crime she professed to see even before the July Ukraine phone transcript emerged was Trump pressuring Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Ukraine’s president has denied any quid pro quo or feeling any pressure from Trump.

Here’s an amazing irony that somehow hasn’t attracted the same volume of media attention: That same Joe Biden is currently on the presidential campaign trail, boasting that, in fact, as a sitting vice president he did threaten Ukraine with a quid pro quo loss of aid if it didn’t fire the prosecutor investigating an energy company that was paying Biden’s son $50,000 a month for something. Biden succeeded.

This latest assault on Trump was sparked by a whistleblower alleging, albeit secondhand, that the president personally was pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, a possible opponent next year. Turns out, the informant is a CIA employee, giving credence to a prescient 2017 warning from Sen. Chuck Schumer when Trump first criticized intelligence agencies.

“Let me tell you,” Schumer said, “You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Realistically, neither of these impeachment inquiries will accomplish anything. That is, beyond drowning out any other attempts at newsmaking to impress voters...

Xi Jinping Jonesin' for Maoism

This is interesting.

From Elizabeth Economy, at Foreign Affairs, "China’s Neo-Maoist Moment: How Xi Jinping Is Using China’s Past to Accomplish What His Predecessors Could Not":

Few countries commemorate historical milestones with the zeal of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and 2019 offers a bonanza of celebratory opportunities: 40 years since Deng Xiaoping launched the economic reforms that opened China to the rest of the world; 40 years since China and the United States established diplomatic relations; and, on October 1, 70 years since the founding of the PRC. These events provide the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opportunities to laud past achievements, legitimize the course it has set for the country, and rally support for challenges yet to come. And as Chinese President Xi Jinping surveys the country’s progress, he can point to any number of extraordinary economic, social, and geopolitical achievements.

Outside observers tend to credit the Deng-era reforms for China’s meteoric rise. But Xi and the rest of the Chinese leadership are more focused on the earliest years of the PRC—when Mao Zedong sat at the helm of the Communist Party. Like Mao, Xi has prioritized strengthening the party, inculcating collective socialist values, and rooting out nonbelievers. Like Mao, who invoked “domestic and foreign reactionaries” to build nationalist sentiment and solidify the party’s legitimacy, Xi has adopted a consistent refrain of unspecified but “ubiquitous” internal and external threats. And like Mao, Xi has encouraged the creation of a cult of personality around himself.

Yet Xi has revived the methods and symbols of Maoism not in service of a return to the past but in order to advance his own transformative agenda, one that seeks to ensure that all political, social, and economic activity within, and increasingly outside of, China serves the interests of the CCP. He is creating a model that reasserts the power of the Communist Party; progressively erases the distinction between public and private in both the political and economic spheres; and seeks to integrate foreign actors, including private businesses, more deeply into a system of CCP values and institutions. Xi also aspires to accomplish what Mao and his successors could not: to render irrelevant the political and physical boundaries separating Taiwan and Hong Kong from the mainland, and to offer China as a legitimate model for other countries disinclined toward liberal democracy.


Party ideology increasingly pervades everyday life in China, narrowing the space for the expression of alternative views. The government heavily censors the Internet; limits foreign television content; and has called for schools to be “strongholds of Party leadership,” punishing professors for using unapproved texts or “defaming the rule of the Communist Party.” At the same time, Xi’s contribution to CCP theory, known as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, is pumped relentlessly through the system: more than 100 institutes devoted to Xi Jinping Thought have sprung up over the past few years; a phone app, Study Strong Country, offers mandatory quizzes for party members on Xi’s thoughts and activities; and even college entrance exams now feature political questions tied to the leader’s campaigns and sayings—a practice, journalist Zheping Huang notes, that was popular during Mao’s tenure.

The CCP also seeks to shape the daily choices of its citizens, influencing their behavior to better reflect the interests of the party. One element of this enterprise is the social credit system, an ambitious experiment in social engineering designed to evaluate the trustworthiness of Chinese citizens and condition their behavior through punishments and rewards. Underway in more than 40 pilot programs throughout the country, the social credit system is slated to be rolled out nationally in 2020. As the China scholar Rogier Creemers has observed, this system is about “doing things that are right and incentivizing things that are right. But right is not something that people get to sort out for themselves. It doesn’t call upon individual moral autonomy, rather it calls upon obeisance to, and compliance with, a certain state-defined version of the good.”

In one pilot program in eastern China, for example, people receive points for donating bone marrow or performing other good deeds, but lose points for late payment of bills or traffic tickets. Other programs penalize citizens for participating in protests. While much of this tracking and accounting is done with technology, the CCP has also revived Mao-era tactics: paying elderly residents to report on the behavior of their neighbors, publicly celebrating model citizens while shaming those who fall short. As one government document noted, the objective of the social credit system is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.” It is a motto that can be taken literally: in 2017, more than six million Chinese were barred from air travel as a result of social credit misdeeds...
A nightmare, and this is the country with designs for regional, if not global, hegemony.

See previously, "China's Military Power."

Friday, October 4, 2019

Angry Joe Biden (VIDEO)

Boy, ask him about his influence peddling and does he really get pissed off.

President Trump Warns Speaker Pelosi: White House Won't Cooperate Until Full House Votes on Impeachment

This is how it's done.

At the Epoch Times, "White House to Send Pelosi Letter Refusing Compliance With Demands Until Impeachment Inquiry Vote."

Hannity: Release the Biden-Ukraine Phone Transcript (VIDEO)

Hannity's on it:

Megan Parry's Friday Forecast

It's cooled down a bit.

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

Happy Devin Brugman

She's still got it.

What Did Adam Schiff Know and When Did He Know It?

Here's the great Kim Strassel, at WSJ, "Schiff’s Shifty Timeline":

If the latest impeachment push continues to backfire, Democrats can thank their duplicitous House Intelligence chairman, Adam Schiff.

The New York Times reported this week that the “whistleblower” who set off the latest inquisition provided an “early warning” to Mr. Schiff’s committee that he or she was filing a complaint over Donald Trump’s July 25 call to Ukraine’s president. The media is now at pains to stress that whistleblowers do sometimes reach out to Congress, that all “procedures” were followed, and that what really matters is the accusation that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

Actually, it matters a great deal that Mr. Schiff knew about this early and withheld it deliberately from both the public and his House colleagues. He used his advance information to lay the groundwork steadily for later exploitation of the issue. He went so far as to charge the White House with a coverup—of a complaint he already knew about. The timeline of this orchestrated campaign is another knock to the legitimacy of the so-called impeachment inquiry. If the public can’t trust Mr. Schiff to be honest about the origins of his information, why should they trust his claim that the information itself is serious?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Katie Bell

I have no idea who this woman is, but some conservatives on Twitter have been retweeting her.

Stacy Poole

Seen on Twitter:

[Update: You gotta click on the photos to see Ms. Stacy's humongous rack in all its glory.]

Democrats Will Destroy America’s Energy Sector … And Economy

At Issues & Insights:

China's Military Power

At the Los Angeles Times, "The military might showed off at China’s 70th anniversary parade moved some Chinese to tears. Here’s why."

And watch this astonishing video, seriously:

Missouri Executes Russell Bucklew

I covered the Eighth Amendment in my classes today and shared this story with my students. From the piece:

Bucklew's girlfriend, Stephanie Ray, left him on Valentine's Day 1996. Over the next few weeks, according to court records, he harassed her, cut her with a knife and punched her in the face.

Ray feared for her life and the lives of her children, so she moved into the Cape Girardeau County mobile home that her new boyfriend, Michael Sanders, shared with his children.

On March 21, after stealing his nephew's car and taking two pistols, handcuffs and duct tape from his brother, Bucklew followed Ray to Sanders' home. Sanders confronted Bucklew with a shotgun inside the home. Bucklew fired two shots, one piercing Sanders' lung. He bled to death.

Bucklew then shot at Sanders' 6-year-old son and missed. Court records say he struck Ray in the face with the pistol, handcuffed her and dragged her to his car. He later raped Ray before heading north on Interstate 55.

A trooper spotted Bucklew's car and eventually became engaged in a gunfight near St. Louis. Both men were wounded. Bucklew later escaped from the Cape Girardeau County Jail. He attacked Ray's mother and her boyfriend with a hammer before being recaptured.

Pilate and another attorney for Bucklew, Jeremy Weis, said in a statement that Bucklew was remorseful for his crimes.

Morley Swingle, who was Cape Girardeau County prosecutor when the crimes occurred, said they were among the most heinous of his career.

"He is probably the most pure sociopath I ever prosecuted," Swingle said of Bucklew. "He was relentless in the way he came after his victims."
A human piece of garbage, the guy was on death row for 23 years. Boy, did he ever enjoy some due process, sheesh.

Five Observations on the Politics of Impeachment

From Sean Trende, at RCP: