Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cruising the Web

Wow, Vladimir Putin is even more powerful than we all thought. Somehow, he managed to force Hillary Clinton and her campaign to ignore Michigan in the final weeks of the campaign despite warnings from those on the ground that the race there was tightening up. Politico has a tick-tock story on "how Clinton lost Michigan - and blew the election."
Everybody could see Hillary Clinton was cooked in Iowa. So when, a week-and-a-half out, the Service Employees International Union started hearing anxiety out of Michigan, union officials decided to reroute their volunteers, giving a desperate team on the ground around Detroit some hope.

They started prepping meals and organizing hotel rooms.

SEIU — which had wanted to go to Michigan from the beginning, but been ordered not to — dialed Clinton’s top campaign aides to tell them about the new plan. According to several people familiar with the call, Brooklyn was furious.

Turn that bus around, the Clinton team ordered SEIU. Those volunteers needed to stay in Iowa to fool Donald Trump into competing there, not drive to Michigan, where the Democrat’s models projected a 5-point win through the morning of Election Day.

Michigan organizers were shocked. It was the latest case of Brooklyn ignoring on-the-ground intel and pleas for help in a race that they felt slipping away at the end.

“They believed they were more experienced, which they were. They believed they were smarter, which they weren’t,” said Donnie Fowler, who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee during the final months of the campaign. “They believed they had better information, which they didn’t.”
Well, one out of three ain't bad. Nopt, that is bad.

As typical for the losing campaign, it sounds like a lot of rear-covering by campaign operatives and others to shift blame off of them.
The anecdotes are different but the narrative is the same across battlegrounds, where Democratic operatives lament a one-size-fits-all approach drawn entirely from pre-selected data — operatives spit out “the model, the model,” as they complain about it — guiding Mook’s decisions on field, television, everything else. That’s the same data operation, of course, that predicted Clinton would win the Iowa caucuses by 6 percentage points (she scraped by with two-tenths of a point), and that predicted she’d beat Bernie Sanders in Michigan (he won by 1.5 points).

“I’ve never seen a campaign like this,” said Virgie Rollins, a Democratic National Committee member and longtime political hand in Michigan who described months of failed attempts to get attention to the collapse she was watching unfold in slow-motion among women and African-American millennials.
Dang, that Putin. How evil of him to force the Clinton campaign to be so arrogant that they doubted what they were being told from those on the ground.

And now the blame-shifters in the Clinton camp are attacking Huma. Jealousy and resentment that might have been kept hidden while it looked like Huma Abedin would be a chief aide to the next president is now coming out in all kinds of ugliness.Vanity Fair reports,
She was enjoying the red carpet and enjoying the photo spreads much too much in my opinion,” one Clinton insider told me. “She enjoyed being a celebrity too much.” The close Clinton adviser elaborated that Abedin and the other tight-knit circle of people may have suffocated Clinton, preventing the campaign from taking in outside counsel.

“The real anger is toward Hillary’s inner circle,” the Clinton insider told me. “They reinforced all the bad habits.” For instance, the suggestion had been made that Clinton should show her gregarious side, by, for instance, appearing more often on The View. (She appeared once, but Bernie Sanders, her rival for the nomination, appeared a handful of times.)According to this person, however, the inner circle nixed that idea. It seemed, this person elaborated, that even minor suggestions about changing the narrative fell on deaf ears. “Right away,” this person continued, “it was either regarded as an intrusion or a na├»ve suggestion or maybe someone has an agenda. And so people just stopped bothering.
So all those people who seemed to have resented Huma's closeness with Hillary Clinton are now ready to give Vanity Fair a few resentful anonymous quotes about her just so they can make her even more miserable as she faces professional loss and the collapse of her personal life. Ed Morrissey comments,
However, that argument has to rely on a particularly uncomfortable fact: Hillary Clinton created the e-mail scandal in the first place. In fact, her refusal to use the official State Department e-mail system required her inner circle at State to use the home-brew system that intended to keep Congress and the courts from finding Hillary’s communications as Secretary of State. Democrats could argue that Abedin should have been more circumspect in choosing which device to use while accessing it, but that’s like complaining about how the staff arranged the deck chairs on the Titanic while it steamed into an iceberg. Hillary’s the author of all that followed in regard to the e-mails.

Otherwise, Abedin makes a poor target for the knives. The slap at Abedin’s love of celebrity is laughable; she barely exists in the media except for her pictures standing by Hillary’s side. She did more when Weiner ran for mayor, but not a whole lot more, and mostly stopped after his second sexting scandal emerged. Apart from that, Abedin has never been a Svengali to Hillary — the authority dynamic runs in the other direction.

In fact, that suggestion and the broader accusation that Hillary failed because of a palace guard that insulated her from reality seems almost … sexist. Wasn’t Hillary the “chief executive” of her own campaign? Wasn’t she supposed to be the “most qualified candidate ever,” as Barack Obama and other Democrats claimed? Hillary was “a workhorse, not a show horse,” determinedly superior in judgment and executive ability, her supporters claimed — and accused her critics of misogyny for questioning those claims. (In fact, Hillary’s supporters are still making those accusations.) Now the explanation for the loss is that Hillary couldn’t see past her own administrative assistant or unbox herself from the team she put together.

This is just another embarrassing example of denial from Democrats. They nominated an unlikable and incompetent candidate with too much scandal baggage of her own creation, and then alienated even more voters by calling them bigots for noticing. Abedin makes a handy scapegoat for those unwilling to face reality.

Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley at Sabato's Crystal Ball have some interesting observations on incumbent reelection rates in the 2016 election.

[T]his is the first cycle in the history of popular Senate elections that every state that held a Senate election in a presidential cycle voted for the same party for both president and for Senate (34 for 34 this year)....

Looking over the down-ballot outcome, there’s one inescapable conclusion in a year that was defined by a political outsider, Donald Trump, winning the presidency: It was still a really good year to run as an incumbent in 2016, all things considered.

This election cycle, 393 of 435 House representatives, 29 of 34 senators, and five of 12 governors sought reelection (several of the governors were prohibited from seeking another term). Of those, 380 of 393 House members (97%), 27 of 29 senators (93%), and four of five governors (80%) won another term. These members of Congress and governors not only won renomination, but also won in November.

In his determination not to blunder into foreign conflicts as George W. Bush did, Barack Obama has engaged in a consistent policy of what John Podhoretz calls "underreaction." And the results have not been promising.
As his administration comes to its end, President Obama is effectively calling into question the results of the 2016 race by demanding a full accounting of Russian intrusions into our electoral process. But The New York Times tells us the president knew about the political hacks in July.

So now that the barn door is closed, Obama wants to let the horses out, presumably to trample on the public’s perceived legitimacy of the Trump victory. Yet when he actually had the chance to act against the hacking itself, Obama did … nothing.

Which is reminiscent of the time back in 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine and seized territory and he did … nothing.

Which reminds me of the time when Syria used chemical weapons against its own people in 2013 and thus crossed a “red line” Obama himself had drawn that required a military response, and Obama did … nothing.

Or how about after the fall of Moammar Khadafy in Libya in 2011, which led to the country turning into a sinkhole that eventually swallowed up the four Americans killed at Benghazi, when Obama did … nothing?

Perhaps you remember when the Iranian government stole the 2009 election and hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets and Obama did . . . nothing?

The consistency with which Barack Obama has spent his presidency refusing to respond to international provocations, evils and specific threats against the United States is no accident. It constitutes one of the prevailing foreign-policy motifs of the past eight years. Call it the Underreaction Doctrine.

The Underreaction Doctrine binds all these shameful examples of willful blindness to some of the historically unforgivable policy positions of the Obama administration. There was, of course, the president’s own declaration that ISIS was a “jayvee” team and therefore unworthy of concern.

This jayvee team was basically impelled into existence by two other underreactions. First was the punting of the administration on the status-of-forces agreement with Iraq in 2011 that led to the complete withdrawal of American forces — which was deemed to be just fine because Iraq needed to stand on its own anyway.

Second was the uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria that led to a flurry of internal Obama administration policy proposals the president basically ignored.

Taken together, both of these underreactions created the power vacuum in Syria and Iraq that was filled by the recreated remnant of the terror group al Qaeda in Iraq, which transmuted into the Islamic State, which became the first such group to hold and administer territory in the nightmare caliphate of its own evil invention.

Most egregious, perhaps, has been the underreaction to radical Islamic terrorism on our own soil. An Islamist Army doctor under the sway of a radical cleric shoots up Fort Hood in 2009 and the administration calls it a workplace incident.

The Tsarnaev brothers ignite bombs at the Boston Marathon and the president declines to mention their extremist religious ideology as the determining factor in their actions. Omar Mateen massacred dozens at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, all the while telling the 911 operator on the phone that he was acting in the name of ISIS and the administration contended it had no idea what had motivated him.

As these incidents demonstrated, the underreaction was the reaction — for if the president were to acknowledge the existence of a homegrown Islamist threat, it would require him to do more than counsel us against the sin of Islamophobia....

Obama didn’t do anything when each of these events happened — and now he wants to punish . . . Trump, by basically delegitimizing the president-elect over the Russia hacks.

The Underreaction Doctrine was a way of letting the world know that America under his authority would try not to cast its shadow upon the world.

And so the world has cast its shadow upon us instead.

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Leon Panetta has a very good point about those daily briefings that Trump seems curiously uninterested in hearing.
Former CIA director Leon Panetta said on Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump risked being blamed after any potential attack on the United States if he refused to receive more regular intelligence briefings.

U.S. officials told Reuters that Trump is receiving an average of one presidential intelligence briefing a week - far fewer than most of his recent predecessors - but that his deputy Mike Pence gets briefings around six days a week.

Panetta, a former Democratic Congressman who served as CIA director and defense secretary in President Barack Obama's first term, told the Arab Strategy Forum, a conference sponsored by the government of Dubai, that Trump's aversion "can't last."

"I've seen presidents who have asked questions about whether that intelligence is verifiable, what are the sources for that intelligence, but I have never seen a president who said, 'I don't want that stuff,'" Panetta said.

"If we endure another attack and the intelligence officials had indications or information regarding that attack and the president did not want to listen to that, for whatever reason, the responsibility for that attack would fall on the president."
Think of how George W. Bush was blasted for not taking action after an August 6, 2001 presidential daily brief that with the report that "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Just imagine the outrage if there were some horrific terror attack on Americans and it turned out that there had been warnings in the PDBs that Trump hadn't bothered to listen to. I'd like to think that Trump will display more curiosity and concern about hearing intelligence briefings once he's president, but I have no confidence in that.

Jonah Goldberg argues that, while there is no evidence that there is no evidence that Trump didn't win the election, that doesn't mean that Russia didn't play a part in how the election turned out.
The good news for Trump: No credible source has claimed that the Russians won the election for the Republican candidate. To believe that, you’d have to think that the Russians tricked Clinton into deploying her campaign resources disastrously, convinced her to set up her stealth server, or encouraged her to give a lackluster performance on the campaign trail. How did the Russians get Clinton to ignore Wisconsin and Michigan, I wonder?

....The real debate is over whether the Russian meddling — which echoes similar meddling across Europe — was intended to get Trump elected or simply to erode confidence in the democratic process. I fail to see how this is an either/or choice. The hacking could have started with mere mischief in mind and evolved into a pro-Trump effort by the end. Most experts, including those on Trump’s team, didn’t expect to win (contrary to a lot of post-election spin), and it’s doubtful that Russia’s psephologists are that much better than ours. So the most likely goal for the Russians was to set up a defeated Trump to denounce the validity of the election and the integrity of the political process.

But then Trump won on the merits. The great irony is that the Democrats and the media — which not long ago were denouncing any suggestion that the system is rigged — are now echoing the very talking points Putin wants.

It’s a poisonous situation all around. Trump refuses to budge on his claim to a glorious, massive victory (or back off of his disturbing Putinphilia). Democrats — and much of the media — won’t grapple with the fact that Clinton lost fair and square, and they are in desperate pursuit of excuses to reject Trump’s legitimacy. Some are even working to give electors an intelligence briefing before they have to vote, presumably in an effort to overturn the election.

The only hope is that after Trump has been sworn in, both sides can revisit the issue of Putin’s clearly insidious agenda, without the specter of a “do-over” coloring everything people say — and everything Trump hears.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us
of bipartisan blindness on Vladimir Putin. Remember how George W. Bush had gazed deeply into Putin's eyes and knew he could trust him.
"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul.

"He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship," Mr Bush said.
Yeah, that worked out well. McCarthy adds,
Putin’s thug-ocracy is an enemy of the United States: from the Bush-administration howler that Russia is our “strategic partner,” through eight years of the Obama-Hillary “reset”; from Obama’s mumbling as Putin annexed Crimea and other swathes of Ukraine (after Obama, as a senator, joined with senior Republicans to disarm Ukraine), through Bush’s mumbling as Putin annexed swathes of Georgia. I saw Russia as a major problem long before it began violating the “new START” treaty that Obama signed and Republicans approved; before Secretary Clinton helped Putin cronies acquire a major slice of American uranium stock; and before Obama’s promise to Vlad (communicated through Putin-puppet Medvedev) that he’d have “more flexibility” to cut deals after the 2012 election.

....It is worth remembering that in March 2014, when 50,000 Russian troops were marshaled on the Ukrainian border (shortly after Putin had annexed Crimea, and six years after he took parts of Georgia), Obama-administration officials told the Wall Street Journal, “What matters is [Putin’s] intent, and we don’t have a sense of that.” Now, however, despite a comparative dearth of evidence, the CIA suddenly has ESP. Based on what? Evidently, the Post’s anonymous leakers are inferring a Russian rooting interest from the appearance — they can’t say it’s a fact — that greater effort was made to hack the Democrats than the Republicans.

I'm a lot more worried about these sorts of cyberattacks than I am about John Podesta's or the DNC's emails.
Yahoo Inc. revealed new security issues affecting more than a billion users’ data, a theft that is separate and twice as large as the hack it disclosed earlier this year.

On Wednesday, Yahoo said an unauthorized third party stole data associated with more than one billion user accounts in August 2013. In September, Yahoo blamed “state-sponsored” hackers for stealing data on 500 million user accounts, which at the time was the largest theft of personal user data ever disclosed.
There are also the millions of federal employees whose data at OPM was hacked. It seems that every few days we hear about businesses or government agencies that have been hacked. Our IT infrastructure is old and the federal IT workforce is also aging. Instead of baseless allegations that Russia was able to hack the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, I want to know about what our nation's leaders are going to do to improve cybersecurity. Our nation's economy could grind to a halt if we can't trust the internet for financial transactions.

Here is an agenda for Rick Perry at the Energy Department.
[H]e ought to work with Congress to revive the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository in Nevada that President Obama and Harry Reid tried to kill. DOE has paid more than $4 billion to settle lawsuits for breach-of-contract claims by nuclear power plants for not storing spent fuel. Cleaning up the waste will become even more urgent as more nuclear plants retire due to competition from natural gas.
And reversing one more of Harry Reid's despicable inheritances would be an additional plus. The Democrats like to pretend that they're the party which believes in science and evidence while the Republicans ignore such facts. Well, the facts about the safety of Yucca Mountain to store nuclear waste have been clear from all the studies done.
“Today’s report [from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission] settles it: To continue to oppose Yucca Mountain because of radiation concerns is to ignore science,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, said in a statement on Thursday.

“This report says that Yucca Mountain would meet all of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s performance requirements for safe operation. Combined with previous reports, the science is clear that Yucca Mountain would meet all safety requirements related to radiation.

“There is no reason Congress shouldn’t make Yucca Mountain part of the solution to end the stalemate on nuclear waste – paving the way for nuclear power to be a larger source of the clean, cheap, reliable electricity we need to power our 21st-century economy,” Alexander added.

“With the SER [Safety Evaluation Report] now complete, we’re one step closer to keeping the federal government’s promise to build a permanent repository for nuclear waste. We now know from this independent government review that Yucca Mountain is safe and can meet the technical standards,” said Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), chairman of the House Environment and the Economy Subcommittee.
But that didn't matter because Harry Reid was bound and determined to block the fulfillment of the nation's long-term plan to store nuclear waste under Yucca Mountain in Nevada. And he has been successful up to now.
With his retirement and a Republican administration, it's time to move forward.
The U.S. has been searching for a long-term site to store its nuclear waste since the 1970s. The nation’s 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel, which can remain radioactive for thousands of years, is currently sitting in more than 70 reactor sites scattered across the country, often within close proximity to highly-populated metropolitan areas. In 2008, after decades of examination and dozens of lawsuits, the Department of Energy submitted a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to complete construction and make operational the repository under Yucca Mountain, located in the heart of the Nevada desert, 90 miles north of Las Vegas. Yet despite more than $15 billion in expenditures on the project and many decisions by federal courts across the country that reiterate the government’s obligation to store the waste, President Obama and Sen. Reid have effectively used their influence to halt progress on the project.

During the eight-year period from 2007 to 2015 that Sen. Reid served as majority leader, he vigorously fought back against progress on Yucca Mountain in nearly every way possible. According to an April 4, 2015 article in The Hill, “The Democratic leader has worked to cut funding for the application and planning process; fought to stop spending bill riders for Yucca; and sought to ensure the appointment of Yucca skeptics to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). He helped convince President Obama to drop the Bush administration’s defense of the application for Yucca, and establish a policy that any nuclear waste site needs the consent of the local and state governments.”

Sen. Reid’s opposition would make sense if there were strong environmental and safety concerns surrounding Yucca Mountain; however, the opposite is true. On January 30, 2015, the NRC released the fourth and fifth volumes of its five-volume Safety Evaluation Report, which concluded that Yucca Mountain meets all of the technical and safety requirements for the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste. The third volume of the report, which was released on October 16, 2014 found that Yucca Mountain would remain safe for one million years.

Delaying Yucca Mountain has also proven very pricey for taxpayers. In accordance with the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, nuclear reactor operators and their customers have been paying taxes on produced waste in exchange for a government guarantee to use the collected revenue to create a safe, long-term repository for the spent nuclear fuel. Although a 2013 federal appellate court decision barred the government from continuing to collect fees from utilities, the government’s failure to produce a storage location has resulted in overcrowding of nuclear waste in on-site cooling pools, forcing companies to build costly above-ground storage casks.

In order to claw back some of the cost associated with storing this waste, states and utilities have filed dozens of lawsuits. According to an April 6, 2015 article in The Wall Street Journal, “[The Department of Energy] (DOE) has paid more than $4 billion as a result of such suits over the past four years, and by some estimates total liability for these legal breaches could exceed $50 billion.”

In addition to the costs of ongoing litigation, the buildup of nuclear waste at temporary sites will present a further challenge should the government search for a new storage facility. According to an August 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “The amount of spent fuel stored on-site at commercial nuclear reactors will continue to accumulate—increasing by about 2,000 metric tons per year and likely more than doubling to about 140,000 metric tons—before it can be moved off-site, because storage or disposal facilities may take decades to develop. In examining centralized storage or permanent disposal options, GAO found that new facilities may take from 15 to 40 years before they are ready to begin accepting spent fuel. Once an off-site facility is available, it will take several more decades to ship spent fuel to that facility. This situation will be challenging because by about 2040 most currently operating reactors will have ceased operations, and options for managing spent fuel, if needed to meet transportation, storage, or disposal requirements, may be limited.”
For all those who fear carbon-based energy, the only solution to our energy needs that might have a hope of supplying the necessary energy we need is nuclear energy, but that is too scary for them. So they turn to supposed green energy solutions. But the idea that we could get enough energy to supply the country from green energy is a pipe dream. Noah Rothman explains,
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party’s prescription for a post-carbon future—one predicated on the promise of renewable energy—seems forever on the horizon. It seems as though this ballyhooed Green Tomorrow can only be midwifed into existence by the benevolent federal intervention. It also happens that so much of that federal intervention on the part of green entrepreneurs in the Obama era appeared to onlookers like corrupt patronage.

Solyndra, the most famous case of federal waste and mismanagement in the green energy sector, received over $500 million from the 2009 “stimulus” bill before eventually going bankrupt and sticking taxpayers with the tab. Investigators later claimed that the company defrauded the government and lied to independent market analysts and credit-ratings agencies regarding its viability. “Employees acknowledged that they felt tremendous pressure, in general, to process loan guarantee applications,” read a report from the Department of Energy’s inspector general’s office. “They suggested the pressure was based on the significant interest in the program from Department leadership, the Administration, Congress, and the applicants.”

Solyndra was hardly the only renewable energy firm to trade on Democratic infatuation with the prospect of green technology, regardless of its feasibility. The pond-scum-based biofuel firm Sapphire Energy received $104.5 million in Energy and Agriculture Department loans in the Obama years, creating a grand total of 36 new jobs. And all for the project of designing a synthetic motor fuel that costs approximately $26 per gallon. The bankrupt Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer Abound Solar went belly up only after receiving $68 million in subsidies. Beacon Power defaulted on $14 million on Energy Department loans and went bankrupt before eventually restructuring, writing the ship, and eventually servicing its obligations. This, taxpayers were told by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, was a great victory for the cause of green energy.

The Great Unwashed can be forgiven for noticing all this and concluding that Democrats have an interest in destroying viable, job-creating industries while propping up unsustainable boondoggles. At this common-sense realization, the left is compelled to mock their lack of environmental consciousness. Even in political exile following a series of disastrous election cycles, the environmental left cannot help but deride Americans who maintain a bizarre attachment to self-sufficiency and employment.

The Democratic Party avoids confronting these truths because they cannot be reconciled. The left cannot square the fact that the existing energy sector must, in their view, be destroyed in order to build up a fanciful green future on its ashes. Until the left comes to terms with the fact that the passion and high-dollar donations that come from its environmental wing has rendered their party toxic outside coastal and urban enclaves, they won’t be able to repair the damage done during the Obama years.

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Kate Frates notes
how feminists don't seem to care about how ugly some people are about mocking Melania Trump. Of course, there is no comparison between Melania and the saintly Michelle Obama, but didn't raise a peep when the New York Post ran pictures of a naked photoshoot that Melania had done in 1997. Erin Keane issued a screed in Salon full of rather gratuitous insults thrown at Melania.
Melania Trump fascinates me. The swiping of Michelle Obama’s words for a speech she knew the whole country would be watching was a display of DGAF-ery that would make a hung-over sophomore on a paper deadline blush. The photos of her smoldering over Barron’s golden baby buggy call to mind a lesser Disney princess’s evil stepmother, and you can just tell that in Melania’s book that is a serious compliment.
Sure, it's fair to ridicule her for plagiarizing Obama's speech while pretending that she had worked so hard to write the speech herself, but what is wrong with staying back in New York so her son can finish out the school year without having to transfer in the middle of the year. In fact, the one I really feel sorry for is Barron. I can't imagine he's going to get a great welcome in whatever private school in Washington, D.C. he ends up having to attend. I don't imagine that there are too many children of Trump voters in those tony private schools. And kids can be so cruel simply based on whatever they've been hearing at home. Frates comments,
She doesn’t describe how we know Melania looks up to nasty women in fairy tales — maybe we’re supposed to assume Melania’s horrible because, well, “you can just tell.”

Shouldn’t she be praised for deciding to stay back in New York with Barron until he finishes this year of school instead of moving into the White House for the first few months? Barron’s 10, and his life is going to change dramatically once his dad becomes president; keeping a semblance of normalcy in his life while it’s still possible is a good thing. “The campaign has been difficult for Barron, and she is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum,” a source told the New York Post....

There’s a growing likelihood that Trump’s years as president will be damaging to the legitimacy women have fought for for so long — and it’s not going to be Donald’s fault. Women attacking Melania for her looks and disposition are stripping away any attacks we have against men who put women down. How can we tell a man to stop being sexist when women are all too happy to thrash their own?

Any woman who fancies herself a champion of women’s rights, then turns around and lessens a woman’s worth for superficial reasons, should consider the message they’re sending. What they’re saying is that not all women should be defended because not all women are worth it. And if you aren’t worth it, watch out, because the girls will get to you first.

Tell us how you really feel. Duane Townsend, who is billed as a "ife-long resident of Detroit, Mich., and an experienced observer of the American social/political landscape," writes in The Hill to bemoan how the "flyover states" are holding America "hostage."
Now they’ve elected Donald Trump, the ultimate coastal elite. Trump pandered to their bigotry, and anger at Washington, D.C.

The more entrenched the flyover voting bloc becomes in their voting habits, the further they fall behind economically, by voting against their own interests, the more they blame Washington, D.C. and coastal "liberal elites" for their issues.

They’re not silent or a majority

This is a voter demographic fond of describing themselves as hard-working middle-class Americans. Which they are. They’re overwhelmingly middle-aged to senior, white, semi-rural, increasingly suburban and indignant. They seem to be perpetually enraged every election cycle, and after, according to the results.

They either want their country back or they’re tired of being ignored. They regularly blurt the latter as justification for electing right-wing theocrat/closed minds, austerity minded, cultural fascists to office. These are people that use more government subsidy than any segment of the country, but they hate "handouts" to anyone else. They are the largest consumers of SNAP benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The flyover states are the main reason Congress is irreparably broken....

The alleged silent majority is deafening and easily provoked. They reside in their own echo-chamber bubble of indignation about everything from "New York values" (urban, ethnic rights, LGBT, social justice), to the war on Christmas and Black Lives Matter. They mocked and derided all people’s protests from Occupy to #NoDAPL. Their old standbys are opposing a woman’s right to choose, reinstituting school prayer and eradicating "big government." They hate progress. Their idea of American values is straight from circa 1870.
Yup, they're all bitter clingers and deplorables. When the Democrats could brag about the blue wall in the rust-belt states, those flyover states were the heart of America. Now they're contemptible bumpkins who are holding the coastal elites back from their progressive dreams. I'm glad that the Hill could find such "an experienced observer of the American social/political landscape" to rant about how hateful great swaths of the country are to such erudite observers.

Daniel Henninger finds a historic analogue to the sore-loserdom of the Democrats this year.
We knew months ago that the Trump phenomenon could drive women mad and make grown men weep, but how to explain the adoption of a Tom Clancy conspiracy, to wit: Vladimir Putin, using hacker slaves in a Kremlin basement, stole the election for Mr. Trump? Therefore let’s sequester the 538 folks from the Electoral College in a safe house for a CIA briefing before they vote to validate the results of the 2016 election.

Several explanations press into view, the simplest being . . . embarrassment.

Mr. Podesta and his associates lost the election, or at least the one that has been deciding U.S. presidential results since George Washington carried the Electoral College vote in 1789. (Gen. Washington got 69 votes, John Adams 34.)

This year’s loss happened in large part because the Hillary campaign ignored Bill Clinton’s advice to pursue the blue-collar vote that won him the presidency. The Clinton campaign thought Barack Obama’s “coalition of the ascendant” would win a third straight time. Staring out across the U.S. political map today, they look now like the coalition of the descendant.

Little surprise that the people responsible for this debacle are filling the skies with Putin-elected-Trump flak to divert eyes from why they lost states they should have won.
Henninger points out that Democrats have to worried that any economic success of the Trump presidency could solidify his gains among the working class voters of the Rust Belt and lead to future Republican victories there. So they must delegitimize him now and hope he fails.
So yes, the losers in 2016 have an incentive to jam the possibility of a successful Trump presidency. Still, one has to ask: Why this? Why are the Democrats resorting to the goofball gambit of asking Electoral College electors to steal the election for Hillary Clinton?

The answer is because that’s how this wing of the Democratic Party does politics. The progressive Democratic demonstrators that filled Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower after they lost is the same party wing that rioted in 1968 in Chicago outside their own party’s convention.

Among the leaders of the Democratic street politicians back then was Abbie Hoffman—activist, radical, marketing genius.

For Democrats of that generation—which is the Podesta and Hillary and Bernie generation—Abbie Hoffman was their Michael Moore. Abbie summed up his view of politics with a book titled, “Steal This Book.” Many did.

Now Michael Moore is exhorting thousands of bereaved and angry Democrats to descend on Washington next month to “disrupt the Inauguration.”
Henninger's conclusion is that such behavior will just strengthen Trump's support among those flyover voters whom Duane Townsend so despises.
All I can say is: Do it!

Something in the post-1968 Democratic genetic code is always on the brink of tipping into anarchy. Most American voters become uncomfortable when they see an Abbie Hoffman or Michael Moore cavorting in the streets with the country’s politics. Almost always, voters make Democrats pay a price for conducting politics by extra-political means.

After the 1968 Democratic convention, many Democrats believed the party had to move forcefully left, just as Elizabeth Warren,Bernie Sanders,Keith Ellison and various comedians are urging the party to do now.

In 1972, the party nominated Sen. George McGovern, a man of the left. Sen. McGovern got 17 electoral votes. Richard Nixon got the rest.

Shrewd Democrats then found their way to a strategy of nominating Southern governors no one had heard of, such as Jimmy Carter in 1976. He won, barely.

In 1984, Democrats reverted to a progressive liberal, Sen. Walter Mondale, who got 13 electoral votes.

In 1992 they returned to a centrist-seeming Southern governor, Bill Clinton, and won.

Today, the effort to “delegitimize Trump”—with Electoral College conspiracy theories and “disrupt the Inauguration”—sounds like something from antic Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Book.”

The streets—and the political wilderness—await.

Bernard Goldberg wonders what would happen if conservatives behaved like liberals.
Today, liberals in hundreds of cities have decided that “unfair” federal immigration laws don’t apply to them; that it’s their moral obligation to “protect” illegal immigrants from federal agents who might deport them.

Sound familiar? George Wallace and other segregationists thought they were upholding morality too when they tried to “protect” white southerners by keeping black Americans permanently ensconced as second-class citizens. Keeping the races segregated is the moral thing to do. If we don’t want them to vote or eat at our restaurants or go to school with our children that’s up to us, not the federal government.

Today we have sanctuary cities in America. Not that many years ago we had entire sanctuary states.

But sanctuary cities are helping people, progressives would say, and segregation was hurting people.

Fair enough. Sanctuary city progressives don’t inhabit the same moral universe as slaveholders. Nor are they as malevolent as the segregationists of more recent history who disregarded what they considered unfair federal laws in order to keep black people “in their place.” The differences are both obvious and important.

But even after we acknowledge the obvious differences, there are inconvenient questions that won’t go away: Do we really want local officials to pick and choose which federal laws they like and which ones they don’t? Which ones they’ll enforce and which ones they’ll ignore?

“What would San Franciscans do if conservative counties and towns followed their lead?” is what Victor Davis Hanson asks in a piece for National review. “Perhaps a rural Wyoming sheriff can now look the other way when he spots a cattleman shooting a federally protected grizzly bear or predatory timber wolf — or at least shield the cattleman from federal officials. Should public schools in Provo, Utah, start the day with school-wide prayers?”

And remember that evangelical county clerk in Kentucky who wouldn’t issue marriage licenses to gay couples, despite the Supreme Court decision declaring that laws against gay marriage were unconstitutional? Is that OK with progressives? After all, like sanctuary city liberals, she was only doing the right thing – as she saw it.

While we’re on the subject, that’s something conservatives who tried to turn that woman into a national hero might also want to ponder. If a conservative in Kentucky can do what her conscience dictates why can’t a liberal in San Francisco do the same?

Proponents of sanctuary cities – and even backers of the loony notion of modern day secession – are free, of course, to make their case. But opponents ought to remind our progressive friends that they’re not the only ones who have been certain in their convictions when it comes to matters of right and wrong.

Every day I hear some liberal somewhere expressing fear over the soon-to-be Trump presidency. Who knows what he’ll do, they say. What if he decides that he only wants to follow the laws he happens to support?

What if, to pick just one example, he decides that “unfair” federal environmental laws are bad for business and just plain ignores them? You can’t pick and choose which laws you’ll obey, they would scream. You can’t decide which laws are “fair” and which are “unfair.” What kind of country would we have then?

Bingo, my progressive fellow Americans.

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It's so nice that President Obama can leave the presidency and finally have some time for a "decent vacation."
The outgoing executive told Comedy Central's Trevor Noah that after eight difficult years he's looking forward to "a decent vacation."

No doubt Obama deserves one — of course, on his own dime this time. While in office, he's explored the Roman Coliseum, walked the Great Wall of China and snorkeled in Maui. Now during retirement, picking a decent destination will be truly difficult.

Dubbed "the ultimate tourist," by The New York Times, Obama seldom let a trip overseas go to waste. Diplomatic business trips doubled as Obama family vacations, like that time the president stopped in balmy Buenos Aires after swinging through tropical Havana, Cuba.

The 44th president has in fact visited every continent except Antarctica. Obama has told his aides that he wants to gaze on the frozen tundra, the New York Times reports. Unfortunately, duty has kept him from visiting. Often he's had to settle for a few rounds of golf and frequent weekend trips to Martha's Vineyard.

While those might not have been decent by Obama's standards, they were definitely expensive. Each year he's been in office, the first family has spent at least $10 million on getaways. Tracking down travel receipts through Freedom of Information Requests, the conservative group Judicial Watch recently calculated the cost to taxpayers: $85 million in eight years.