Monday, September 12, 2016

Cruising the Web

I wish all the best to Hillary Clinton that she recover quickly from pneumonia. I have a friend who got hit with bacterial pneumonia over the summer and she was knocked for a loop for about 6-8 weeks. I can't imagine trying to campaign or appear in debates feeling so debilitated. What is striking is how her campaign's attempt to hide her health problems just fed more skepticism about her health and underlined the reasons why people distrust her. We were told that there was nothing wrong with her and anyone who speculated about her health was a conspiracy-minded nut. When she seemed to faint or collapse on Sunday morning, the campaign said it was just a reaction to the heat, although people quickly found that it was around 80 degrees at that time of day in New York. As the video of her collapsing went viral we finally got the word that she was suffering from pneumonia. And that it had been diagnosed on Friday! In other words, the campaign knew she had pneumonia when reporters started asking about her collapsing and they immediately resorted to prevarication. That seems to be the go-to mode for her and her campaign. It was only after the media spent the day hashing over her health that they finally released a note from her doctor.

It's time both candidates released full information about their health. I'd prefer an independent group of doctors to examine each candidate because I don't trust either campaign or their chosen doctors. Failing that, I agree with the WSJ's recommendation that both candidates adhere to the McCain standard on revealing their health.
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump should be held to the same standard as Sen. McCain, who in 2008 invited medical experts and journalists to scour more than 1,000 pages of records, many from the Mayo Clinic, where he was treated for melanoma. Reviewers could not remove the documents from a private room, but the campaign sent out a detailed description of the Senator’s history from more than one specialist who treated him. Nothing turned up, and questions faded.

Marc Siegel, an NYU professor of medicine, was among those who reviewed Mr. McCain’s records and describes the episode nearby. He suggests that the Trump and Clinton campaigns allow similar access.

The irony is that the reporters who chased Sen. McCain are now dismissing any questions of candidate health as a conspiracy against Mrs. Clinton, as if her campaign has never fibbed about private email, the Clinton Foundation or sundry other topics. This pattern of dishonesty is one reason health rumors persist. By the way, Mrs. Clinton told the FBI recently that she didn’t remember certain briefings because she was recovering from her 2012 concussion. So add that to the list of reasons her neurological records are relevant.

Mr. Trump has said he’s willing to release his full history if Mrs. Clinton does, and that he may even disclose his first. If he’s so sure he’s struck a winning issue, then he should. No one expects a President to be an Olympic athlete. But the public is entitled to a review of the evidence, and the brouhaha over coughing and other tedium is the latest symptom of a broader malady: That voters are wondering if either candidate is leveling with them.
Heck, how about holding Hillary to the standard that her husband supported?
In 1996, after Bob Dole released all of his health records and challenged the president to do the same, the White House released 11 pages of letters from doctors summarizing laboratory tests. President Clinton sat down for a lengthy interview with Lawrence Altman of the New York Times, who was also a medical doctor.

Bill Clinton told Altman he didn’t think of the interview as an invasion of privacy. “The public has a right to know the condition of the president’s health.”

Sharyl Attkisson excoriates the way the media
have covered Hillary's health. They became advocates of Hillary while taking on the role of refuting all the conspiracies out there.
In other words, all this was “the stuff of conspiracy theorists” until the reporters who appear to have been proven wrong, decided it was not. It’s almost as if we in the media take an editorial position with no factual basis, dare critics to prove us wrong, and then when events do, we modify our stance.

That’s not what the news is supposed to do. Reporters are, ideally, supposed to bring facts to light. If we relegate our role to one of spinning and trying to convince the public of our position; then end up bringing up the rear after-the-fact, what good are we?

Pneumonia is a serious disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year about 50-thousand people in the U.S. die of pneumonia. While successful pneumonia treatment often leads to full recovery, it can have longer term consequences: “worsened exercise ability, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and quality of life for months or years.” How much does it matter? Perhaps not much. After all, any of us could drop dead tomorrow. It will be up to Americans to decide whether this is an issue that matters to their vote. It’s up to the news media to try to get at the facts rather than advance either candidate’s narratives.

Michael Goodwin rightly excoriates the New York Times and the Washington Post for violating their own journalistic standards to serve as a media praetorian guard for Hillary. They've declared that there is nothing more to learn about Hillary's server, deleted emails, or anything else.
America’s two most prominent newspapers used to compete for Pulitzer Prizes and readers, but now they’re competing to see which can suck up more to Clinton. On Friday, both papers’ editorial pages turned on fellow liberal card-carrier Matt Lauer for his performance as the moderator of the commander-in-chief forum, with The Washington Post blasting him for being too tough on Clinton and the Times accusing Lauer of letting Trump ramble, boast and lie.

The unsubtle point was clear: journalists must focus all their firepower on Trump, or they will get a beatdown from the Clinton Praetorian Guard. She must be protected, even if that means taking the “new” out of “news.” How odd for businesses protected by the First Amendment to demand that others shut up.

Then again, the stakes are high. The best lap dog can expect better access and more leaks from a Clinton White House. Whoppee.

In any other era, there would be staff revolts as both papers trash their standards and torch their credibility in their partisan quest. But Trump Derangement Syndrome is creating an unprecedented spectacle as elite news organizations reveal contempt for their own traditions and the millions upon millions of Americans who don’t agree with them.

Put it this way: With polls showing a tight race, Trump is on track to win at least 50 million votes in the fall. That’s a lot of Americans to dismiss as idiots, rednecks and racists just because you hate their candidate.
Meanwhile, Byron York questions the widely-held conclusion on the left that Matt Lauer went so very easy on Trump compared to Clinton. I hadn't watched the whole thing and had only watched clips so the story that Lauer Let Trump get away with his deceptive claim that he had always opposed the war in Iraq was what I'd seen and what had aroused the ire of those on the left chewing out Lauer. However, York looks at the other questions that Lauer asked Trump and it is clear that Lauer wasn't simply lying down for Trump while asking Clinton about her email scandal. Yet wasn't that appropriate considering that reporters have had few opportunities to question her and the forum was supposed to be about national security and the charges are clear that she mishandled classified information. Why is that inappropriate? And Lauer did press Trump about his idiotic praise of Vladimir Putin and challenged Trump's claim that he supports Putin because he has an 82% approval rating.
"Well, he does have an 82 percent approval rating — " Trump began to answer. Lauer cut him off, saying to Trump:
He's also the guy who annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine, supports Assad in Syria, supports Iran, is trying to undermine our influence in key regions of the world, and according to our intelligence community, probably is the main suspect for the hacking of the DNC computers.
Could any Hillary Clinton supporter, could any conservative NeverTrumper, could anyone, journalist or layman, who just wants to see candidates challenged — could any find fault in Lauer's assertive response? Putin was one of the main topics of the evening, and it is hard to imagine any television moderator coming up with a better follow-up than Lauer had for Trump.

On the issue of ISIS, Lauer pushed Trump on Trump's famous statement that he knows more about the terrorist organization than the nation's generals. Trump backed down. Lauer pressed Trump on just how he would "take the oil" from ISIS. And Lauer asked Trump about his claim that he has a plan to destroy the terrorist organization:
So is the plan you've been hiding this whole time asking someone else for their plan?
Could any Hillary Clinton supporter be unhappy with that question? After all, Lauer lifted it nearly verbatim from Clinton's recent stump speeches.

At another point in the conversation before an all-military audience, when the subject was the scandal-plagued Veterans Administration and Trump said, "By the way, Hillary Clinton six months ago said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, there's no real problem," Lauer jumped in with on-the-spot fact-checking:
No, no, she went on after that and laid out a litany of problems within the V.A.
Again, could any Clinton supporter, or any journalistic watchdog, be unhappy with that? Or, for that matter, could they be unhappy with Lauer digging up a 2013 tweet from Trump about sexual assault in the military and asking Trump provocatively, "Does that mean the only way to fix it is to take women out of the military?"
So Lauer was much tougher on Trump than the left pretended after the forum. What they were really objecting to was that he asked Clinton questions about the server and then allowed audience members to ask her more questions. Probably the most devastating question came from the man in the military who prefaced his question by pointing out that he would have been prosecuted and thrown out if he'd done what she had done. And she didn't have a good answer for him. That is what the Democrats are really upset about - not that he didn't fact check one claim of Trump's, but that he dared to ask tough questions of Hillary. And they have to work Lauer over to make sure that the other debate moderators know what's in store for them if they are similarly tough on Hillary.
So to review: Yes, Lauer pressed Clinton on a number of questions. But he also pressed Trump. He fact-checked on the fly. He clarified Clinton's position when Trump mischaracterized it. He elicited from Trump new statements on Putin, on the nation's generals, on women in the military, on his intelligence briefings — all of which made news and served as ammunition for Trump's adversaries.

That didn't just happen. Lauer, the moderator, made it happen. And neither side has any legitimate complaint about how he treated them.

Instead of looking to journalists to fact-check the candidates during the debates, how about giving the candidates the opportunity to rebut the lies stated by their opponents. James Taranto links to the advice of the saintly Jim Lehrer, the well-respected dean of debate moderators.
"I don't think fact-checking is the function of the moderator," said Jim Lehrer, who moderated every first presidential debate of the general election campaign between 1988 and 2012. "It is the moderator's job to make sure the candidate has the opportunity to do the fact-checking. It's a subtle difference. If the moderator fact-checked all the time, you'd never get through it."
Taranto comments,
Lehrer gets at an important and frequently overlooked point. Even if the moderators play it straight, Trump will have an antagonist in the debates: Hillary Clinton. Implicit in the demand that moderators favor Mrs. Clinton is the fear that she is not up to the task of taking on Trump herself. That’s what you get when you choose a nominee based on family connections and spare her the tough primary campaign that might have exposed her lack of political talent.

Spring Savings in Grocery and Gourmet Food

Groceries under $10

Best Deals in Pet Supplies

Office and School Supplies

Any criticism of Hillary's performance at that forum should not ignore the asininity of Putin. It's mind-blowing to me that the Republican nominee is a guy who purports to admire Putin, a man who has assassinated or imprisoned his critics and is now helping Assad to kill civilians in Syria. Putin has a long history of using terrorist incidents or supposed terrorist plots to crack down on enemies and solidify his power in Russia. And Trump's moronic defense that Putin has high poll ratings just demonstrates what a skewed view of leadership Trump operates under. Philip Klein also rightly criticizes the way the Trump camp is trying to spin Trump's remarks as to saying that he was just admiring Putin's strength compared to Obama's. That is both stupid and insulting to America.
Trump is dismissing actions Putin took threatening neighbors and working against U.S. interests by essentially saying, well, Obama has done a lot of things that were just as bad. This is exactly the type of moral equivalency that conservatives spent decades fighting against — when those on the far left tried to portray the U.S. and Soviet Union as morally the same, or slam U.S. as being the real terrorists in the Middle East. Imagine the reaction on the right if, in 2008, candidate Obama said Hugo Chavez was a great leader, and when confronted with his human rights violations, said, "Well you could say the same about what George Bush did in Iraq."

This is very important. Trump is not merely saying that Putin has been more effectively advancing his nation's interests than Obama, but he's saying that none of the evil actions he's taking have been any worse than Obama. And that is reprehensible and indefensible. And nobody on the right should be defending him.
Conservatives used to deride the arguments of moral equivalence that put up American actions as just as bad as anything any evil dictator or terrorist group did. But now when it's Trump criticizing Obama, they're mostly silent. For shame. Obama might have been weak in his actions in the Middle East and that weakness may well have led to the morass that we have now and the hundreds of thousands of deaths. But Obama is not evil or malevolent and Putin is. That is where criticisms should begin and end. If conservatives were angry when Obama went around the world apologizing for American actions or finding some sort of moral equivalence between the actions of Palestinians who deliberately kill civilians and then celebrate their murders and Israelis who defend themselves against such attacks or stating that all religions are murdering those of other faiths, we should be equally angry when Trump does it.

Jonah Goldberg reminds us
of the history of conservatives opposing false moral equivalence during the Cold War and after.
There was a time when one of the worst sins you could commit on the American Right was to buy into “false moral equivalence.”

During the Cold War, this usually meant saying that we were no better than the Soviet Union. For example, Democratic Senator William J. Fulbright — Bill Clinton’s mentor — said of the Soviet Union in 1971, “Were it not for the fact that they are Communists — and therefore ‘bad’ people — while we are Americans — and therefore ‘good’ people — our policies would be nearly indistinguishable.”

My old boss William F. Buckley famously had the best retort to this kind of myopic asininity. “To say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”

After the Cold War, the false-moral-equivalence arguments didn’t stop; they simply mutated to fit the times. The isolated abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were expanded into an indictment of America itself. “Shamefully,” Senator Ted Kennedy declared in 2005, “we now learn that Saddam’s torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management.” Senator Dick Durbin claimed American policies were indistinguishable from those of the Nazis, the Soviets, and Pol Pot. Amnesty International dubbed the prison at Guantanamo Bay “the Gulag of our time.”

The problem with this sort of rhetoric should be obvious; however bad Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay may be in your eyes, logic and facts can’t make them the moral equivalents of genocidal mass slaughter (in Saddam’s Iraq, Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or the Soviet Union). Nor is locking up terrorists and enemy combatants anything like imprisonment — or summary execution — of dissidents, intellectuals, and other civilians.

Last year, President Barack Obama went for a personal best in the worst moral equivalence Olympics. At a National Prayer Breakfast, he argued that those who condemn the tactics of the Islamic State — the beheadings, the slavery, the mass rapes, burying people alive, and so forth — must understand that Christians did some very bad things ten centuries ago during the Crusades. So let’s not “get on our high horse” about all that.

Conservatives, including yours truly, ran to their respective rhetorical garages to get as many brickbats, crowbars, and sledgehammers as necessary to demolish that specious nonsense.
But now conservatives have abandoned their high horse in order to defend odious moral equivalency when Trump does it.
When Lauer ran through just a few of Putin’s offenses, including his alleged involvement in the hacking of the Democratic party’s computers, Trump responded: “Well, nobody knows that for a fact. But do you want me to start naming some of the things that President Obama does at the same time?”

I take a backseat to no one as a critic of Barack Obama, but this is repugnant. Barack Obama has done some terrible, foolish, and deplorable things as president. But all of his transgressions are measured against the standards of our constitutional system and our political culture. For instance, in 2009, the Obama Justice Department outrageously monitored the phone calls and e-mails of my Fox News colleague James Rosen. In order to get the warrants, they hilariously named Rosen a “criminal co-conspirator” of one of his sources. That’s really bad. But it is not the moral equivalent of having Rosen gunned down in the street.

That Donald Trump cannot see such distinctions is no longer shocking. That many of his conservative supporters can’t either grows less shocking by the day.
And this is not the first time that Trump has drawn such false moral equivalencies. A couple of months ago, he made similarly repugnant comments about Erdogan's crackdown on his opposition. Apparently, Erdogan is another strongman whom Trump admires.
Hey, remember the time President Obama arrogantly lectured Americans about the 12th century Crusades, implying that we have no right to criticize radical Islam because of the West’s own history of “injustice?” Well, Donald Trump just did the same thing in his latest interview with The New York Times. After “crediting” Turkish Islamist dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his strongman ability to violently suppress last week’s coup and purge the country of all dissent, Trump proceeded to chastise the United States for its own supposedly tenuous relationship with “civil liberties.”

When asked how he could casually praise a despot who has jailed or suspended at least 50,000 people on trumped-up charges, Trump turned inward and vilified the United States in a way that made even Noam Chomsky blush. In effect, the real estate mogul drew a moral equivalence between the mass purge in Turkey and the erosion of “civil liberties” in America....
TRUMP: I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country. We have tremendous problems when you have policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore. When you have all of the things that are happening in this country — we have other problems, and I think we have to focus on those problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.
Joshua Yamesh at Daily Wire comments,
For a candidate that bills himself as the near-messianic figure that will singlehandedly “Make America Great Again,” it sure doesn’t sound like Trump really thinks much of America. Perhaps that’s the genius of the con. If your starting point is “bad,” then even the slightest improvement to America may be seen as “great” or at least “greater.”

Let’s put these egregious comments into context. As The Daily Wire reported, “Turkey has so far fired or suspended over 50,000 people in the days following the coup attempt. Another 9,000 people have been arrested and remain under detention. The victims of the purge include, members from the interior ministry, high-ranking military officers, police officers, intelligence officials, professors, university deans, journalists, media personalities, judges, prosecutors, secular activists, religious minorities, and public servants.”

Here’s a further breakdown, courtesy of CNN:

-21,738 teachers in private institutions have had their licenses revoked
-2,745 judges and prosecutors have been listed for detention, although it is unclear if they have all been detained
-1,577 university deans have been asked to resign.

These numbers don’t include the 8,777 police officers and Ministry of Interior members. Nor do they include the 118 high-ranking military officials and 100 intelligence operatives suspended, detained, stripped of rank, and interrogated.

By all accounts, Turkey has devolved into an Islamist police state, where the wrong look can land you in a government jail. But that didn’t stop Trump from suggesting that the United States, as the world’s leading superpower, doesn’t have a right to comment on, let alone interfere in Turkish internal affairs.

“I don’t know that we have a right to lecture,” said a farcically stoic Trump, adding:
Just look about what’s happening with our country. How are we going to lecture when people are shooting our policemen in cold blood? How are we going to lecture when you see the riots and the horror going on in our own country. We have so many difficulties in our country right now that I don’t think we should be (sic), and there may be a time when we can get much more aggressive on that subject, and it will be a wonderful thing to be more aggressive. We’re not in a position to be more aggressive. We have to fix our own mess.
Somewhere between paleoconservative isolationism and post-colonial academic leftism sits Trump, the populist philosopher. The amateur politician’s moral impugning of the United States is not just obtuse but profoundly hypocritical. This is the same man who routinely calls for a wholesale ban of all Muslims entering the country. This is the same candidate who rose to fame after calling Mexicans “rapists.” This is the same GOP nominee who callously mocked a disabled reporter.

Trump’s rhetoric here is also dangerous. It adds fuel to the fire of anti-American sentiments worldwide, lending credibility to the false notion that the United States has historically damaged the world more than it has helped it. That’s simply not true.

Best Deals in Auto Parts

Sales and Deals in Beauty and Grooming

Deals in Jewelry

Ross Douthat reminds us
that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have underestimated Putin. Remember Bush's ludicrous claim that he could look into Putin's eyes and "get a sense of his soul"? Obama hasn't been much better.
Over the same period, Democrats have gone from mocking George W. Bush’s naïveté about Putin … to mocking Mitt Romney for describing Russia as America’s main geopolitical foe … to spinning theories about Trump being an agent of Russian influence that seem ripped from a right-wing periodical circa 1955.
Those on the right who support Trump are finding excuses for his admiration of Putin and are suddenly supporting Julian Assange because he might release damaging information on Hillary.
Unless you’re Trump himself, Putin’s destabilizing moves — the Crimean anschluss, the Ukraine invasion, the shadow war against his neighbors and Western governments writ large — have made it much harder to imagine Moscow as anything but an adversary to be checked, contained, opposed.

But the trajectory of events in the Middle East, where American grand strategy has mostly come to grief and we face a shifting array of foes and rivals, suggests the limits of a “new Cold War” lens. Our primary interest in Syria and elsewhere is not, as it was decades ago, containing Russian expansion. It’s containing jihadi terrorism, ending the refugee crisis, restoring some kind of basic order — and in all these tasks we need a way to work with Moscow if we hope to see them through to any kind of finish.

Which gets at the underlying question here, one that both parties ought to be debating: Just how right was Romney? Russia certainly looks more like a more dangerous geopolitical rival today than it did four years ago. But is Putin’s regime and its revanchist ambitions the biggest potential danger that we face? Bigger than Al Qaeda and ISIS and their epigones? Bigger than the far-richer, far-stronger, and equally authoritarian People’s Republic of China?

It is not enough to say that all of them are dangers; statesmen must prioritize, and our priorities are dangerously open-ended and undefined.

If the last four years really are a Cold War 2.0 overture, then our approach to the Middle East and Asia needs to be refashioned with an eye toward winning a new twilight war with Moscow.

But if Beijing is, in the long run, a more important rival than Moscow — if China’s capacities and ambitions are more dangerous than Putin’s bold play of a weak hand — then we may need a path to de-escalation and wary cooperation with the Russian regime.

After Hillary went to a fund-raiser and criticized Trump supporters by saying that "half of Trump supporters" belong in what she calls "the basket of deplorables" containing "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it" Americans who are "irredeemable" and "not America." the Twitterverse erupted in criticism. Whatever someone thinks of Trump, he does have just about as many people supporting him as Hillary does and to call half of those people "irredeemable" and "not America" is just not smart politics. Ed Morrissey writes that her criticism of those voters in front of a bunch of millionaire celebrities resembled Mitt Romney criticizing the 47% in front of a fund raiser.
Nothing says woman of the people like a political candidate who got filthy rich while serving in the Senate and State Department insulting millions of voters while surrounded by celebrities, right? Hillary Clinton shifted her attack from Donald Trump to his supporters at a fundraiser in New York City, putting “half” of them into “a basket of deplorables.”
Morrissey links to an article that Salena Zito had written about Trump's supporters in Pennsylvania, people who feel that both Washington and the wealth elite on Wall Street have ignored and disrespected them and their hard work. These people fear that the life they and their parents led is disappearing and worry about their kids' futures.
Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street board rooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile (many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in).

Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed.

The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state.

These Trump supporters are not the kind you find on Twitter saying dumb or racist things; many of them don’t have the time or the patience to engage in social media because they are too busy working and living life in real time.
These people are not "deplorables" or "irredeemables."
Should it get the “47 percent” treatment? Yes, perhaps even more deservedly than Romney; his (misguided) remarks were about specific tax and safety-net policies, not accusing tens of millions of Americans of bigotry simply for not supporting him. Will it? No, and for one unassailable reason — the media will never start that same kind of feeding frenzy around Hillary. They’ll cover it initially, perhaps even noting what a foolish misstep it was as Don Lemon did in the CNN clip, but very quickly the media narrative will turn to whether Republicans are “pouncing” and “overplaying their hand.” Don’t be surprised if that shift occurs as soon as tomorrow morning’s news shows.

That doesn’t mean that Team Trump has to let it go, though. If they’re smart and well organized, they will soon start pushing “basket” memes of their own — ads that feature the kind of people about which Salena reported, normal folks who don’t want business as usual in Washington and sneering elites insulting them. Candidates for the Senate and House should do the same, and the RNC should make it a major theme of the cycle. If played properly, this could be the biggest gift basket Team Hillary will provide Republicans in 2016.

As the WSJ writes,
Hillary's words betray what progressives really think of those who vote for Republicans. And her attitude demonstrates what an awful candidate she is. But the way that the Democrats circle the wagon and refuse to criticize her demonstrate how winning trumps everything else about her.
So she thinks half of Mr. Trump’s voters are loathsome bigots and the other half are losers and dupes who deserve Democratic pity. It’s no accident that Mrs. Clinton said this at a fundraiser headlined by Barbra Streisand, the friendliest of crowds, because this really is what today’s elite progressives believe about America’s great unwashed.

Mr. Trump has certainly made appalling comments, but Republicans and media conservatives have criticized him for it. They denounced his praise of Vladimir Putin. They assailed his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and his insensitivity to the Khan family. Some have said they can’t support the GOP nominee.

But where are the Democrats raising doubts about Mrs. Clinton’s behavior? Mrs. Clinton reneged on her confirmation promise to the Senate not to mix her State Department duties with the Clinton Foundation by doing favors for donors. She maintained a private email server to hide her official emails and lied about it to the public. Yet no prominent Democrat we know has denounced this deception, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there’s “too much ado” about it.

The great liberal media watchdogs aren’t challenging Mrs. Clinton either. They’re beating up NBC’s Matt Lauer because he spent too much time asking Mrs. Clinton about the emails during last week’s military forum. This is best understood as a collective warning to the moderators of the coming debates not to jeopardize their standing in polite progressive company by doing the same.

As Mrs. Clinton’s support has eroded in the polls, Democrats are figuring out that they may have nominated the only candidate who could lose to Donald Trump. But then they didn’t give themselves many good choices. Their Congressional leaders are old, and their bench in the states is thin after their election wipeouts of 2010 and 2014. Mrs. Clinton’s bid to be the first woman President fit the party’s priority for identity politics, and the Clinton machine would do what it takes to win.

Mrs. Clinton is still leading, and Mr. Trump is always a driverless-car accident waiting to happen. But it’s also obvious that a majority of Americans do not want to vote for an extension of the Clinton dynasty. They aren’t “deplorables.” They’ve seen Mrs. Clinton in public life for 25 years and they know what they’ll be getting if she wins.

Kindle Deals up to 80% off

Today's Best Deals

Deal of the Day in Books

Norman Podhoretz, a man whose opinions I've always respected, makes one of the more persuasive arguments for Trump.
“I think the Iran deal is one of the most catastrophic actions that any American president has ever taken. That’s how seriously I regard it. It paves the way for Iran to get a nuclear weapon,” he said. “If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, I think that we would be in great danger of seeing an outbreak of a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel. So that alone would be enough to turn me against the Obama administration and virtually everyone who took part in it, and certainly Hillary Clinton. It overshadows everything from my point of view.”

But what makes Podhoretz, who once urged former president George W. Bush to bomb Iran, more confident that the former reality television star would prevent Tehran from gaining nuclear weapons capability? “Well, I’m not 100 percent sure, not even 50 percent sure,” he said. “[Trump] has described it as the worst deal ever made, and he has said he would renegotiate it — and he may very well mean that.”

In the past, Trump has given conflicting answers over how he would address the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. During his address at this year’s AIPAC Policy Conference, he said, “My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” And then, minutes later, he also said, “We must enforce the terms of the previous deal to hold Iran totally accountable. And we will enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before, folks, believe me.”

It is not lost on the 86-year-old Podhoretz that Trump has a tendency to fluctuate on issues. “I find Trump impossible to predict,” he said. “I don’t think anyone knows exactly what he would do about anything. But the fact of the matter is, you’re dealing here not just with two individuals, you know, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, you’re dealing with two political parties.”

“I think there is no question that on Israel the Democrats can no longer be trusted,” he said. “The liberal community, generally, and the Democratic Party, particularly, have grown increasingly unfriendly to Israel over 50 years, and it’s reached a point now where there are elements within the party who are positively hostile to Israel, and many who are simply cold and unfriendly.”

....“If Trump were to be elected, he’s not an emperor, he’s just one person, and he’s got a whole party and constituency coming along with him and so does Hillary,” he said. “You know, you’re not voting for king. You’re voting for a president whose powers are limited and circumscribed by the Constitution and by the other branches of government. So to me, it’s just a no-brainer.”

“While I can’t predict for you what Trump will do about anything,” he added. “I can predict for you what Hillary will do about everything.”

....“I think she would continue the policy of daylight between Israel and the United States that Obama inaugurated. And by the way, she played along with that completely,” he said. “There was the 45-minute harangue, the chewing out she gave to Bibi at one point. So I think this distancing from Israel would continue and probably grow worse.”
Perhaps. Believing so means believing that Trump didn't mean what he said when he said he wanted to be "neutral" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that what he said in a speech written by his son-in-law is what he believes now. I can understand why Podhoretz would rather go with the devil he doesn't know - Trump, than the devil he does know - Clinton. It would have been interesting to have heard Podhoretz's thoughts on Trump's continued praise of Putin.

Spring Savings in Grocery and Gourmet Food Groceries under $10

Best Deals in Pet Supplies Office and School Supplies

Kindle Deals up to 80% off

David Harsanyi reminds us
of the time in 1992 that Bill and Hillary lied on national TV about his affair with Gennifer Flowers and then flew back to Arkansas for the execution of a mentally disabled man to distract public attention. They want on "60 Minutes" after the Gennifer Flowers story came out and denied it. Hillary supported Bill and was there to offer him cover. Later, when Bill had to testify under oath in 1997 during the Paula Jones suit, he actually admitted that he had had that affair. But then lying on national TV is nothing extraordinary for this couple.
In 1981, Rector shot a man for refusing to allow his friend into a nightclub. Later, he shot another friend of his — a police officer — who came to arrest him. Rector then performed a partial lobotomy by shooting himself in the head in a suicide attempt.

Whether you support the death penalty or not, there was a plausible contention that Rector was unable to put forward a proper defense because he couldn’t even comprehend the charges against him. For his last meal, Rector reportedly asked the guard to put aside his pecan pie because he was “saving it for later.”

In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that putting mentally retarded people to death was “cruel and unusual.” But in 1993, the Clintons, with wilting poll numbers, saw an opportunity to show Bill was tough on crime and move beyond the Flowers’ fiasco.

In 1979, as governor Clinton commuted the sentence of a mentally ill murderer named James Surridge. He would go on to kill again. Now, during the 1992 primary race, faced with the prospects of losing his shot at the presidency, Clinton refused to even issue an order of executive clemency — not freedom — to stop the execution of another one.

That alone might have been understandable. This time, though, Clinton — I should say the Clintons — made a big show of traveling back to Little Rock in the midst of the campaign for the presidency so Bill could personally preside over the execution. It was covered by every major media outlet in the nation.

Rector was executed by lethal injection, although it took doctors almost an hour to find a proper vein. When a friend told Clinton about the delay, after spending a couple of minutes on the topic he moved on to more pressing matters: his “execution.”
By his own "execution," Bill meant the Flowers story. He equated that with executing a mentally disabled guy. Liberals used to care about that sort of thing, but not when it meant damaging their guy when he was going against George H.W. Bush. Harsanyi also reminds us of Hillary's changing positions on the death penalty whenever it suited her politically.
Hillary was always recalibraing her position on the death penalty to extract maximum political reward. In 1976, while leading a legal aid group at the University of Arkansas, Hillary claims to have helped save Henry Giles from the electric chair. Hillary stopped taking this position on the death penalty when her husband ran for Arkansas attorney general. In subsequent years, she supported capital punishment, even lobbying Congress to make certain federal crimes eligible for the death penalty in 1994. In 1996, when crime was again at the forefront of a national debate, law-and-order Hillary went out on the road for her husband and warned Americans about “superpredator” kids and so on.

As a carpetbagger Senate candidate in New York, Hillary claimed her position on the death penalty was “unenthusiastic support.” Today she supports the death penalty in limited cases and complains about “mass incarceration” that were prompted by Clinton-era policies.

Today's Best Deals

Deal of the Day in Books Best Deals in Auto Parts

Sales and Deals in Beauty and Grooming

Deals in Jewelry

This is the kind of special-forces story that I enjoy reading about.
A British sniper took out a feared ISIS executioner as he prepared to murder several hostages by shooting a fuel tank on his back and incinerating him.

The SAS marksman fired a single round from his Barrett .50 calibre sniper rifle at the terrorist, who was about to use a flame thrower to kill 12, from 1,500m.

The bullet hit the flame thrower's fuel tank and caused a huge fireball, also killing three other ISIS members who were ready to film the execution.

Shortly after the explosion, the prisoners - thought to be civilians - were freed by British and US special forces.

The ISIS executioner killed in the mission is said to have been on a US 'kill list' for several months, due to his method of slaughtering prisoners by burning them alive.

As the mother of two brilliant daughters (if I do say so myself), I like this finding.
Smart people should thank their mothers because, according to researchers, their mothers are responsible for the transmission of the intelligence genes. Thus, gender stereotypes that survived over centuries are perhaps about to disappear. Single mothers who want an intelligent son don’t need to look for a Nobel Prize at the nearest sperm bank and it is likely that men begin to re-evaluate the intelligence of women.

At the basis of this idea there are those known as “conditioned genes”, that behave differently depending on their origin. Basically, these genes have a kind of biochemical tag which allows to trace the origin and reveals even if they are active or not within the progeny cells. Interestingly, some of these affected genes work only if they come from the mother. If that same gene is inherited from the father, it is deactivated. Obviously, other genes work the opposite, are activated only if they come from the father.

We know that intelligence has an hereditary component, but until few years ago we thought that much of it depended on the father as well as on the mother. However, several studies revealed that children are more likely to inherit intelligence from the mother, because intelligence genes are located on chromosome X.