Bookworm Beat 6/30/19 — the Democrat debates illustrated edition

The Democrat debates are the gift that just keeps giving — for Trump and his supporters. Plus a lot of other pointed and funny posters and cartoons.



























































And lastly, Trump shows that he understands war: You avoid it if you can, but if you can’t, you fight to win — and you let your enemy know your goal:


The post Bookworm Beat 6/30/19 — the Democrat debates illustrated edition appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

African American Pro Gun Response to The Washington Post.

Response to “Virginians weigh in on gun proposals” By Gregory Schneider of the Washington Post. Re posted in Fredericksburg dot com.

Greetings Mr. Schneider,

I hope my correspondence finds you in good health and spirits. My name is Corey Fauconier, I am a resident of Henrico County, Virginia. July 9, 2019 will mark my third time as a Lobby Day Leader with the Virginia Citizens Defense League (known herein as the VCDL).I became interested in the second amendment after a break in to my Eastern Henrico County home. My wife Mandy, was home alone with our ten pound doggie daughter Eva Elizabeth when an intruder broke in. Luckily, Eva barked to alert Mandy and she was able to grab a butcher knife from off the block.

GYour article got my attention after being shared on the VCDL Facebook page. Unfortunate. The entire angry white man thing is so main stream media. To make black people scared. I have been with members of the VCDL on past Lobby Days and I have had white men have eye opening conversations with me about guns. I have kept in touch members of the VCDL that I have met for fire arms training and chat groups on the second amendment legislation. I have recieved hugs from my white brothers who thank me for attending and pray that I would be able to speak with more people from the African American community.

I am disappointed in the reporting of gun violence and the second amendment. It is very one sided and much of it only supports the Bloomberg funded non profits. I have personally attempted to reach out to Democratic lawmakers in our Commonwealth as well as leaders from Everytown for Gun Safety and Mom’s Demand Action with no response.

I am now a Shift Supervisor Government Armed Security Officer at a Commonwealth of Virginia office building. My team and I make sure all Virginians remain safe while visiting.I invite you to come to Lobby Day with us on July 9, 2019. So you can witness the passion and kindness of my brother and sister gun owners in our Commonwealth. Please find my contact information below.

Yours in Liberty,

Corey M. Fauconier

Henrico County, Virginia

Thoughts about the two Democrat debates

The Democrat Debates were indeed boring, but they were also a wonderful insight into Democrat policies and candidate strengths and weaknesses.

I watched both of the Democrat debates. I’ve now had 43 hours to ruminate about Wednesday’s debate and 19 hours to ruminate about Thursday’s debate. That’s given me a little perspective. For what it’s worth, here’s what I think:

I. The debates as a whole.

When Obama ran in 2008 and again in 2012, he tried to underplay his radicalism. Both times, he played lip service to the center and then governed to the Left. A perfect example concerns how he handled LGBT issues, whether for open military service or getting married. He assured voters that neither would happen and then went and supported the more Leftward policies anyway. I’m not opining about the policies. I’m just pointing out that Obama lied.

What’s refreshing about the current crop of candidates is that they are not disguising their political beliefs and practical goals. Given that Trump is completely open about his traditional American political values and that the Democrats have stopped hiding their Leftism, this may be the most honest political campaign since the one in 1860.

Indeed, if the ultimate Democrat primary victory retains that honesty into the election campaign, rather than trying to rewrite the history of whatever he or she said during the primaries, we will not see the usual presidential campaign in which candidates circle the middle (a middle that moved increasingly Left beginning in the 1990s). Instead, there are some very stark differences here. Talk about American having a true “time for choosing.”

One of the major differences between every single Dem candidate on the one hand and Trump on the other hand, is the way in which they view America. Obama occasionally leaked out comments showing his dislike and disdain for both America and Americans, but he tried to dress his politics in the upbeat, and entirely meaningless, mantra of hope. Yeah, sure America was great he said, but he would make it so great it would be “fundamentally transformed,” apparently into a different kind of greatness entirely. But it was all great.

Trump, of course, is Mr. Optimistic. He has wonderful visions about a great America that will still be a recognizable America, although better than ever before. Most importantly, it won’t be socialist country. It will continue to be a free market, sovereign nation in which people benefit from small government, individual liberty, and true equality before the law. Our foreign friends will respect us and our foreign enemies will fear us (as they should). Indeed, some of our foreign enemies may well have abandoned their wicked ways to join the community of nations. Trump is optimistic and endlessly upbeat.

The twenty Democrat candidates paraded before the American people on Wednesday and Thursday are pessimistic, angry people who live in a dystopian reality that they hope to make worse for everyone. Theirs is a world in which people are starving and dying in the streets, filth is piled everywhere, there are no jobs, an apocalyptic climate “emergency” is waiting around the corner, the races despise each other, and gay people are marginalized and dying.

Thinking about it, there is some truth to their reality: They’re pretty much describing Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, inner city Washington D.C., de Blasio’s New York, the whole states of California and Illinois, and any other communities in which Leftists have been free to have their wicked ways.

Listening to Democrat candidates’ dystopian visions, it was as if the Trump economy never happened. There is no record low unemployment amongst blacks and Hispanics; there is no 3%  or more quarterly economic growth; and there is no vibrant stock market, one based on real economic gains rather than the Obama market, when fearful investors parked their money in the market because they were afraid to put it into an unstable real economy.

No one should be too surprised, I guess, about the fantasy world the Leftists have built. After all, these are the same people who believe that a person’s biological sex is a social construct, that the sun has nothing to do with the earth’s climate, and that pot is harmless. Facts tend not to interfere with their belief systems.

Significantly, none of the 20 candidates is a happy warrior. All of them, instead, seem to be auditioning for a leadership role in a Mad Max movie — they will be the only stable dictator in a world of horrific violence, despair, and decay.

In addition, none of the 20 candidates has charm or charisma. I’ll talk about their individual traits below, but my overall takeaway was that these are very weak people. If you look at Trump, whether when he was campaigning in 2015 and 2016 or during his years as president, what you see is an effortless alpha male. He commands any space he’s in. He is optimistic and powerful. Whether or not you like where he plans to lead America, he is a relaxed, happy, effective leader. He’s also very, very funny and can show tremendous warmth and charm.

In contrast, the 20 Democrats are frenetic, shrill people who hoped to disguise their fundamental personal weaknesses by outshouting each other. Funnily enough, when I think of them, I think of a movie review I read at National Review. Yeah, I know that sounds like a non sequitur but it’s not.

The review was about Murder Mystery, a made-for-Netflix movie staring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, both of whom are capable of being appealing. What piqued my interest about the review was the fact that Kyle Smith likened their teaming to Nick and Nora Charles, the dynamic married duo who starred in a series of Thin Man movies in the 1930s. Nick was played by the debonair William Powell and Nora by Myrna Loy, one of the most beautiful, charming, funny, appealing actresses ever to grace the silver screen. Here’s what Smith had to say:

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished UpAdam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston make a fine Nick and Nora Charles.

[snip]

In Murder Mystery, Sandler does the unexpected and plays a character who’s neither Kurt Cobain nor Jerry Lewis but just an ordinary working stiff with a slightly disappointed but basically loving wife. Thanks to a deft, funny script by James Vanderbilt and brisk direction by Kyle Newacheck, this throwback comedy turns out to be an easygoing charmer.

[snip]

Murder Mystery takes us back to the days when Nick and Nora Charles were martini-sipping crime-solvers in the six-film Thin Man series, updating the formula with a superb twist: This time the couple are working-class types who get pulled into a world of international playboys and billionaires’ yachts. Sandler’s Nick is a frustrated NYPD cop (he tells everyone he’s a detective, but he keeps flunking the exam) and Aniston is Audrey, his hairdresser wife of 15 years. He promised her a trip to Europe one day, but the money to pay for it has never come. He’s the kind of guy who buys her the wrong allergy medicine at the drugstore to save 50 cents. When he finally does decide to max out the credit card to get her that transatlantic vacation, Audrey sneaks into first class, where she meets a charming bon vivant (Luke Evans) who likes her enough to invite the pair of them to hang out on his yacht. She’s Jennifer Aniston, so this is plausible enough.

I have to part ways with Smith. Aside from the upper class setting, Aniston and Sandler are nothing like Nick and Nora. They’re neither witty nor charming. They are, instead, shrill, angry, and irritating, three traits that no sane Thin Man writer would ever have thrust upon those characters. I slogged through the end of Murder Mystery to see whodunnit (not worth the slog), and came away desperately disliking the lead characters.

That’s exactly how I felt watching the debate. I’d been promised that at least some of the candidates would offer charisma, if not wit and charm, but none offered anything. They were alternately shrill, angry, paranoid, irritating, greedy, totalitarian, and completely loopy (an adjective that’s not reserved solely for Sanders and Williamson). The thought that these types of human beings might lead our great nation was quite disturbing.

The candidates’ policy prescriptions matched their personalities. Across the board, they want to increase government power, raise taxes, impose socialized medicine, upend the Second Amendment, abort babies up to the minute of birth, and open our borders while promising free medical care, education, and welfare to all comers. In other words, they imagine a dictatorship of the elite — an angry, paranoid, elite that hates so much the people over which it governs that it wants to import an entirely new, more amenable group of people over which it can govern.

Regarding importing a whole new demographic, as several people commented it was often unclear whether the candidates in these Democrat debates wanted to be president of existing, legal American citizens, or were seeking the votes of Latin Americans who have yet to arrive here illegally. I listened to Derek Hunter’s podcast today, and he said it was as if the candidates vying for Angela Merkel’s position in Germany tout to the voters all the good things they promise to do for France.

It’s the rare, peculiar, and frightening candidate who doesn’t pander to his own voters, but panders instead to citizens of another nation entirely. It’s hints that these candidates believe that, between now and November 2020, they can get enough illegal aliens into America to vote a Democrat into office.

II. The individual candidates

And now a few thoughts about the individual candidates at the Democrat debates. It’s a given that all of them said things intended to appeal to their mad base (open borders, socialized medicine for all comers, unlimited abortion, high taxes, gun seizures, abasement before Iran, the destruction of the American economy through a Green New Deal, etc.). My comments are just about their personalities. Ladies first.

Kamala Harris presents with a flat, Fran Drescher voice and a naggy personality. She can definitely go on the attack, as she did with her probable lies to Biden about busing. My question, though, is whether American voters really want to elect as president their hated ex-wife or the mother with whom they had issues, especially when she’s made it plain that she wants to empty their bank accounts and control every aspect of their lives? Heck, if they wanted that, they could have stayed married to that shrew or accepted living in mad Mom’s basement….

Also, contrary to Harris’s “I’m the only black person here” statement, she has something significant in common with Obama: She’s a fake American black, for her black-skinned father is very elite Jamaican man and she was raised for a significant part of her life outside of America. In other words, Harris has no connection to the American black experience.

Kirsten Gillibrand presents with a shrill, childish voice and an angry, bossy personality. She demands attention, rather than earns it, and when she gets it, she hectors people sharply. For all her anger, her history of flip-flopping frantically to whatever the political winds demand tells me that, if you put her in a room with a mullah or a member of North Korea’s Kim clan, she’ll collapse like an old tissue.

Amy Klobuchar has a no-nonsense affect that reminds me strongly of my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Fukuda. Or maybe she’s like some Mary Poppins-esque nanny who firmly puts you in your place. Indeed, her presentation is so firm and normal that it’s easy to forget that, when it comes to policies, she’s as Leftist as the rest of them. In other words, she’s the school teacher from Hell.

Tulsi Gabbard was in the military. Did you know that? She definitely was in the military. She’s happy to tell you over and over again that she was in the military. When she talks about the military, her voice takes on the harsh tones of a drill sergeant. The rest of the time, she sounds, not sedate, but sedated. And by the way, she was in the military. I’ve also heard she looks nice in a bikini. Trump, I’m certain, does not.

Elizabeth Warren is someone about whom I cannot be objective because I’ve disliked her for thirty years, going back to her banking law class. Learning that Warren leveraged family lore into a well-paying Harvard gig based upon imaginary diversity did not make me like her more. Learning that she lied her way into fame by gaming statistics about medical care and family bankruptcy did not make me like her more. Hearing her denigrate individual achievement in America (“you didn’t build that”) did not make me like her more. Her current assurances that for everything she dislikes about America she has a plan, when it’s clear that the plan is always about more taxes and more power for the government, do not make me like her more. And finally, her spinsterish, scolding presence on the debate stage does not make me like her more. I really dislike her.

Marianne Williamson is the hippie whom time forgot. Most of the time she spoke with the earnestness of a stoned preacher on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in 1967. “Love, man . . . yeah, that will heal the world. Just more love and maybe some health-giving flowers for America’s inner being. I’ll drop love bombs on Kim Jong-un and the Mullahs. Even our archest of arch enemies, Donald Trump, will feel the healing power of my love deep in his evil soul. Nameste, America. Peace.”

And now the men, in alphabetical order:

Michael Bennet had a hysterical quality I found very disturbing. There’s something emotionally off about the man.

Joe Biden really did try to be Mr. Normal in a field of radicals but he lost it there when he said that his first act as president, should he win, would be to defeat Donald Trump. Otherwise, he was pathetic as he tried desperately to find his footing while crossing the ice floes made up of his decades in Democrat politics all the while fending off the snapping young Democrat dogs surrounding him.

Cory Booker will be defined forever by the horror that showed on his face when he realized that Beta has stolen his “I speak Spanish” shtick. Otherwise, he was his usual glib, insincere self. His insistence that the rights of black transgenders is a matter of paramount concern was peculiar. He also sounded ineffective when he complained about crime in the city in which he once sat as mayor. All I could think of was “you had once job….”

Pete Buttigieg is another ineffectual mayor. He presides over the 300th largest city in America, a position he won by 8,000 plus votes. That’s not 8,000+ votes more than his competitors. That’s total votes. The blacks in his city despise him because it’s obvious that he always viewed them, not as his job, but as stepping stones to something bigger. His constant attacks on Christians are a glaringly obvious psychological insight into his anguish about living a life inconsistent with Biblical precepts (for the Bible is not fond of gay sex), but are decidedly unappealing in an American presidential candidate. Also, he looks like Beaver Cleaver’s radical Leftist brother — immature and politically dangerous.

Julian Castro is short and wants abortions for transgender women (i.e., men). He cannot win and should leave the national stage before he embarrasses himself further. By the way, I too am short and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that in a telegenic age, a pipsqueak who is confused about basic human biology squaring off against the alpha male Trump is not a good look. Buttigieg, by the way, also suffers from the short man problem.

Bill de Blasio has only one advantage in the race, which is that he’s tall enough to square off physically against Trump. Otherwise, I wouldn’t buy a used car from that corrupt, hypocritic, and I certainly wouldn’t trust him to take possession of American’s money and redistribute it. Also, considering that monied New Yorkers are leaving in droves, taking away the funds supporting his crazed, corrupt socialism, is not a selling point for the rest of America.

John Delaney was slightly more sane than the rest of the people on the stage. He’s also bland and is a little too obsessed with his own father. He has no chance.

John Hickenlooper is a nattering old maid. Old maid men do not win in American politics. The only thing that puts the lie to his old maid status — and most decidedly not in a good way — is that he sat through a porn flick with his mother.

Jay Inslee is a scary dude. He’s an apocalyptic street corner preacher, but with a better haircut. His end-of-days climate obsession is not a winner.

Beto O’Rourke is Beta O’Rourke. Take away the skateboard and the flapping arms (and did you notice how careful the MSNBC/NBC camera men were to hide his hands?) and you’ve got the kid in the dorm who thought he was deep and cool while everyone else knew full well that he was a not-very-bright dork. Dork’s don’t win presidential campaigns.

Tim Ryan is visually identical to Inslee. Other than that, I can’t remember a darn thing about him.

Bernie Sanders — I’ve covered Bernie in a separate blog. He’s a mean-spirited, evil, foaming-at-the-mouth, yellow-toothed socialist tyrant wannabe.

Eric Swalwell is running a campaign that can be summed up thusly: The Second Amendment is toilet paper. All the other candidates also want to take your guns, but Swalwell is the most fanatic on the subject. Let me remind you of other politicians who seized guns: Hugo Chavez, Hitler, Stalin, the Kims, etc. I’m sure Swalwell doesn’t believe he ever could be a tyrant, but the temptation is always there for a political leader once the people he’s disarmed stand helpless before him.

Andrew Yang opposes circumcision. Aside from being fundamentally anti-Semitic, because circumcision is Judaism’s core covenant with God, it’s also an unhealthy position, for there’s indisputable evidence that circumcision slows the spread of certain sexually transmitted diseases, most notably AIDS. I cannot support him under any circumstances. I also think the whole “give every $1,000” is stupid. Why not just lower tax rates? That way, taxpayers will keep their own money in proportion to the money they’re forced to pay, while those who don’t pay taxes don’t just get more free cash.

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There’s Good News and Bad News; Each Reader Will Have to Decide Which is Which!

There is good news and bad news and I’ll let the reader decide:

I did not get appointed to the Hanover County School Board. I congratulate the new Henry District representative: George Sutton.

Some think that is good: Sandy is too conservative or too libertarian. Some might think this is bad: I thank all those who supported me. Some may decide this is great news: Sandy the blogger is back! I do intend to stay at the laptop to call for new ideas and for political idealism. So I am back!

Impatience: the real cause of Oscar Ramirez’s and Valeria’s deaths

Although Democrat open borders advocates immorally enticed Oscar Ramirez to head for America, it was his own foolish impatience that killed him and his child.

I’m not going to include in my post the photo showing the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his two-year-old daughter Valeria, lying dead in the Rio Grande. That poor little girl has already been exploited enough.

Democrats are blaming Trump for the deaths because he has refused to open the southern border to all comers. Republicans are blaming Democrats for enticing illegal immigrants into dangerous situations by rewarding illegal activity. Indeed, Republicans say that Democrat promises of preferences for people with children are specifically putting children at risk — whether the illegal aliens’ own children or those they purchased for the purpose.

Put ultimately, no matter the American policies, it’s the people seeking to enter our country illegally who are making the final decision about crossing illegally into America. In this case, decision that killed Valeria wasn’t Trump’s or the Democrats’. Instead, the horribly bad, truly foolish, death-dealing decision came from Oscar Ramirez — the child’s father.

First, understand that this journey wasn’t necessary. The family wasn’t escaping deadly persecution. They just wanted more money in their El Salvadoran lives (which is a perfectly rational desire):

Oscar worked at a Papa Johns pizza restaurant, where he was earning $350 a month.

They lived off his wage, limiting themselves to $10-a-day, because Tania had already quit her job as a cashier in a Chinese restaurant to care for Valeria, their only child.

The family lived with her mother in a housing complex in Altavista.

They were not fleeing violence, Tania’s mother has since said, but were in desperate search of a life where they could earn more.

Their plan was to spend a few years in America to save up enough money to eventually return to El Salvador and buy or build their own house.

Second, after just two months of waiting, Oscar got impatient with the legal process and decided to act:

After two months in southern Mexico with no prospect of entering the US legally, the family decided to make their way to the border to push their case forward.

It was that decision to cross the Rio Grande, a decision that was due solely to Oscar’s impatience, that led to his and his innocent child’s death. If you doubt me, let’s shift the decision-making to a different scenario that makes his sole responsibility obvious:

Imagine that Oscar, Tania, and Valeria want to board a ferry. They watch as it fills up but, because they’re at the back of the line and couldn’t buy preferential tickets, they realize that they’re going to miss this ferry and will have to wait to catch another. As they watch the ferry pull away from the dock, Oscar, fed up with the delay, announces, “Eff this fecal matter. We’re going to get on that ferry.”

He grabs his two-year-old daughter, jumps in the water and swims to the ferry. He deposits the frightened child on the deck and then — from her perspective — abandons her as he turns around to get his wife (who obviously can’t swim either, something he should have thought of). At this point, the toddler does a perfectly logical toddler thing: She chooses jumping into the water to being abandoned on a the ferry.

Then they drown.

If you read that story in the news, would you blame the ferry company? Would you blame the ticket desk that didn’t issue them a better ticket so they got on? Would you even blame the idiots on the ferry who kept hollering, “Come on. You can do it!”?

No. You’d blame the impatient father who did something stupid, killing himself and his child.

We see stories like this all the time. Let’s do a different scenario:

Oscar, Tania, and Valeria are driving across country because Oscar wants a better job. In the Midwest, they come to a train crossing. As they near, the bells ring, the lights blink, and the bar comes down. However, Oscar sees that it’s going to be a long train, one of those that might force them to wait for an hour or more before all the train cars pass by. He therefore announces, “Eff this fecal matter. We’re going to the other side now.”

Oscar guns the motor despite his child’s screams and his wife’s pleas for him to show some common sense. They make it halfway across the tracks before the tires get stuck and the car stops moving. As the train nears, Oscar manages to push his wife out of the car but can’t unbuckle the child safety seat in time. They die (see photo above for an example of how they die).

Other examples of impatient parenting decisions that lead to dead kids are people who jay-walk with kids in the face of oncoming traffic; people speeding on the freeway with their kids in the car because they want to get somewhere quickly; people who can’t wait for a boat to dock and jump vainly for land, drowning themselves and their kids. I could go on and on and on.

Every day, people kill their children through stupidity, especially through impatient stupidity. This case was no different, and wrapping it up in an immigration sob story doesn’t change it. Oscar, young, impatient, driven by poorly thought out impulses, killed his daughter. That he willingly sacrificed his own life in a belated effort to save her doesn’t change the core fact, which is that the fault for Valeria’s death lies with Oscar and Oscar alone.

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Benjamin Wittes and witless logic about Trump

The Benjamin Wittes “I believe” tweetstorm about Trump, intended to expose conservative “Doublethink,” instead exposed Leftist irrationality and ignorance.

The anti-Trump blogosphere, both Leftists and #NeverTrumpers, is excited about an endless series of tweets from Benjamin Wittes all intended, in a sarcastic way, to challenge Trump and his supporters. Before I go further, some background on Wittes: He is a Brookings Institution Senior Fellow who graduated from Oberlin and is currently co-director of Harvard Law School’s Brookings Project on Law and Security. In other words, he’s been marinated in Leftism since he hit college (and, given that he went to a non-Orthodox Jewish school in New York City, probably for his entire life).

Okay. Now back to those tweets. It’s apparent from reviewing the tweets that what Wittes is trying to do is show that conservatives have entered the Orwellian world of “doublethink”:

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

In fact, what Wittes has managed to do is show that Leftists are incapable of even “singlethink” — that is, the ability to look at two related pieces of information and recognize that they can easily and logically exist simultaneously in the same universe. For example, I can simultaneously believe that cows produce milk to feed their young and that humans consume and benefit from milk. As you can see, these two apparently disparate thoughts — cows milk is cow food but it’s also human food — manage to exist in the same universe without creating a logical black hole that destroys all rational thought.

With that in mind, how about we take a look at the Wittes tweet thread (which I’ve rendered in plain text):

I believe the president. I have always believed him.
‘I believe the president’: GOP stands by Trump on sexual assault allegation
Republicans are dismissing E. Jean Carroll’s accusation and still sticking with Trump.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/25/trump-accuse-gop-1382385

Yeah, I stand by President Trump too on this one. I’m not going to analyze it here, though, because Wittes raises the subject again, below, and that’s where I address more fully the sordid sexual allegations Lefties like to raise against Trump.

I believed him when he said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. And I believe him now when he says his travel ban has nothing to do with religious discrimination.

In other words, Wittes is saying it’s impossible simultaneously to believe that Trump wants to keep Muslims out of America while not discriminating against Muslims; i.e., it’s doublethink! Except that to anyone who pays attention to facts, there’s nothing “doublethinky” at all about the fact that there is a segment of Islam that is cheerfully dedicated to Western destruction.

As it is, Wittes seems to have sat out the last few decades, when extremist members of the Islamic faith:

  • took over Iran in 1970 and declared war on America;
  • bombed a U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans;
  • bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, killing 6 Americans;
  • bombed American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, killing 224 people;
  • bombed the USS Cole in 2000, killing 17 Americans;
  • attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, killing 2,996 people, the vast majority of whom were Americans;
  • attacked Fort Hood in 2009, killing 13 Americans;
  • attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012, killing 4 people, among whom was an American ambassador; bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing 5 Americans;
  • attacked a recruiting station in Chattanooga in 2015, killing 5 Americans;
  • attacked a Christmas party in San Bernardino in 2015, killing 14 Americans;
  • attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, killing 49 Americans; and
  • ran over bicyclists in New York in 2017, killing 8 people.

And all of the above are just the bigger attacks aimed directly at Americans since the Iranian Revolution.

In the same time period, some of the better known Islamist attacks around the world targeted London, Manchester, Nice, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris, Berlin, Madrid…. And of course there was ISIS, which decimated the Christian Yazidis by slaughtering the men and sexually enslaving the women, before turning Islamic wrath on any of the “wrong” types of Muslims unluckily enough to be caught in its path. Those beheadings, crucifixions, and tortures were all internecine Islamic brutality.

Really, when you come right down to it, there’s a pretty long list of Islamist attacks around the world. Religion of Peace, a website dedicated to tracking Islam-inspired murder, notes that, since 9/11, there have been 35,222 Islamic attacks around the world. That’s not the number of dead; that’s the number of attacks. In May 2019 alone, Islamists killed over 800 people in 169 different attacks over 27 countries.

With that in mind, it’s perfectly reasonable to say that, when Muslims seek leave to come to America, a wise government will scrutinize them carefully to make sure that they the particular Muslims at issue don’t belong to that subset of Muslims (roughly 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims) who believe it is your religious responsibility to slaughter as many “unbelievers” as possible — and to say that without hating Muslims en masse. Indeed, word just broke today that the U.S. warned Mexico that ISIS members were heading to our southern border, hoping to slip in with all the other illegal aliens Democrats so adore, in order to launch mass murder attacks in America. (Thankfully, they seem to have been caught.)

Moreover, it’s perfectly reasonable, when trying to figure out how best to protect Americans from terrorism to rely upon Obama administration data identifying countries that generate the greatest number of terrorist attacks around the world. It’s not Trump’s fault, nor is it “anti-Muslim” sentiment, that the countries the Obama administration identified as the greatest terrorist supporters were Muslim countries. That’s just reality.

In other words, there’s nothing illogical about seeking to protect Americans from murderous Islamic extremists — a subset of Islam that manifestly exists — without hating all Muslims.

I believed him when he said Mexico is sending us its rapists and criminals, and I believed him when he said he loves Hispanics. [Linking to this post of his.]

Is it possible to respect and admire the Hispanic people and culture without respecting and admiring rapists and criminals? Wittes doesn’t think so. He’s trying to say that Trump was maligning Hispanics as a whole when he said that a disproportionate number of Mexican criminals were heading north to America. Of course, if Trump was not maligning Hispanics as a whole, but was merely noting accurately that too many hardcore criminals are using a porous border to their advantage, then the two statements can simultaneously exist perfectly well in a logical universe.

First, let’s acknowledge that there are rapists and other criminals in Mexico. In January 2018, the Mexican government admitted to its highest murder rate in history, driven by vast criminal activity:

Soaring levels of drug-related violence made 2017 Mexico’s most murderous year on record, according to government statistics released Sunday.

There were 25,339 homicides in Mexico last year, a 23% jump from 2016 and the highest number since at least 1997, the year the government began tracking the data. Overall, murders in Mexico had been declining in recent years, reaching a low of 15,520 in 2014. But officials say a surge in drug-related crime reversed that trend.

Mexican rape statistics are pretty stinky too:

Officials estimate that each year there are 120,000 rapes, one every 4 minutes, making Mexico number one in the world for sexual violence incidents. (México es el primer lugar en violencia sexual: ONU) (Over 14,000 Women Are Raped in Mexico Every Year: Report)

Most of these rapes go unreported.  Of those that are reported, very few are brought to justice.  For example, in 2009, 14,829 rape cases were filed.  Of those, only 3,462 were prosecuted, which led to only 2,795 sentences. (Amnistía Internacional (AI) en 2012)(LA VIOLENCIA SEXUAL EN MÉXICO INICIA EN CASA Y EN SU MAYORÍA QUEDA IMPUNE)

Do you want those rapists and murderers to invite themselves into America? I don’t. I want a border policy that requires people to prove, as best as possible, that they’re non-criminal, well-intentioned human beings before heading into my country.

We also know that the rapists that make Mexico the most dangerous country in the world for sexual violence have been taking advantage of women and children who enter America illegally. Already in 2014, before Trump lambasted the rapists coming to America, HuffPo (!) reported on the scope of the problem:

According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report.

What this means is that, when Trump announced that he wanted to stop the flow of criminal illegal aliens, he was also protecting those Hispanic women and girls who are being raped along the way. That sounds like someone who likes Hispanics and wishes them well, rather than the opposite.

By the way, Mexico may not have been deliberately sending us the baddies, but it certainly wasn’t trying to stop them. Already in 2005, the Mexican government was provided instruction manuals for those entering the U.S. illegally. Mexico claimed it was to save lives, but Mexico could have saved lives by (a) stopping people at its border and (b) cleaning up its utterly corrupt government rather than letting the U.S. serve as a source of revenue and a way to lessen population pressure within Mexico.

And there’s one more thing to keep in mind about hating Mexican criminals while loving Hispanics: Those illegal alien rapists and murderers don’t go to Beverly Hills, Marin County, the Hamptons, or D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood (where Obama lives) to find prey. They prey on people in their own communities; namely, fellow Hispanics. If you love Hispanics, you can show that love by protecting them from the drug dealers, rapists, robbers, and murderers who see in America a new source victims for their crimes. There’s no doublethink involved in holding both those thoughts simultaneously.

I believe that Trump Tower makes the best taco bowls.

I don’t like taco bowls, so this one is entirely subjective. If Wittes likes Trump Tower’s taco bowls, that’s very nice.

I believe that Donald Trump will drain the swamp and that his election has delivered us from the corruption of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

I believe that too. With William Barr and his Inspector Generals examining the administrative state’s efforts to subvert the 2016 election, I think there’s a chance that we will return to an era of honest, or at least less partisan, government in D.C. This healthy trend will be helped by the fact that Trump is cutting regulations, shrinking administrative agencies, and attempting to move agency operations from the D.C. swamp out into those regions of America that the agencies are actually supposed to serve.

As for the corruption of Bill and Hillary, all I can say is that, if you want to see collusion with Russia and just look at the Clintons. Look at the Steele dossier, look at the sale of America’s uranium to Russia, and look at the vast amounts of money that flowed from Russia to Hillary via Bill’s speaking engagements. While I don’t think Trump will ever seriously prosecute either of those grifters, I have to believe America is safer without the Clintons willingly selling off American interests to hostile foreign countries in order to enrich themselves and advance their grip on political power.

I believe him when he says there’s no reason for him to disclose his tax returns.

No one should ever have to disclose his or her tax returns. If politicians want to do it voluntarily, fine. If not, fine. Trump’s tax returns are irrelevant to his promises as a candidate and his practices as a president. See? I can hold that logical thought just fine.

I believe him when he says there’s no reason to divest himself of any of his financial holdings.

If you were good with the Clinton Foundation that existed to sell America’s interests to enrich the Clinton clan (and I’m betting Wittes didn’t complain too much or at all), I don’t ever want to hear another word from you about a politician’s financial holdings. In any event, it’s a modern concern. It’s worth remembering that past presidents, men of true greatness such as Washington, would have laughed themselves silly over this idea.

By the way, please remind me how Harry Reid, after decades in government service, became hugely wealthy. And Biden. How’d Biden get so rich? And how did his unsavory son get so rich? In other words, if you’re really worried about financial corruption, clean your own house before casting stones at a man who has been a happy and unabashed billionaire for decades with money made in the real world, rather than through politics.

I believed him when he protested that he wasn’t trying to get a security clearance for his daughter and son-in-law. And I believe him now when says he needs his family installed by his side in the West Wing.

I believe that Jared Kushner’s deserves a security clearance.

If you were okay with Ben Rhodes’ security clearance, you’ve got nothing to complain about. If you were okay about Michelle’s mother moving into the White House, you’ve got nothing to complain about. If you didn’t mind Hillary’s recently deceased brother economically raping Haiti, I don’t want to hear from you. If you sat silently while Biden used the VP’s office to enrich his son, you need to stop talking.

So far, aside from snarky complaints about his buttoned down look, the Left doesn’t have much to hang on Jared Kushner. Although I have to say that I’m worried that, before Trump became the great conservative hope, both Kushner and Ivanka were garden-variety elitist Democrats. I hope seeing the bared fangs of the Democrats attacking them has educated Kushner and Ivanka about who their real enemies are.

I believe that only rank partisanship and media bias explain the skepticism about Trump’s finances running rampant in the press.

I’m glad Wittes believes that. I believe it too.

I believe E. Jean Carroll is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I also believe she is not Trump’s type.

I believe Temple Taggart McDowell is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Rachel Crooks is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Natasha Stoynoff is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Mindy McGillivray is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe that all of the other women who have accused the President of sexual assault are also cheap tramps who were asking for it.
In any event, I also believe that the President was merely engaged in “locker room talk” when he boasted of grabbing women by the pussy.

I believe that when you’re a star, they let you do it.

Wittes is clearly incredulous that people could believe that Trump did not rape someone. He believes this despite the fact that Republicans have seen false rape allegations leveled against multiple conservatives who are deemed terrible dangerous to the Leftist cause, conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. These allegations always crumbled in the face of objective facts and credible testimony.

Contrariwise, Democrats never seemed particularly bothered by more substantive claims against prominent Democrats such as Teddy Kennedy or Bill Clinton. Indeed, they’re also remarkably unconcerned about Joe Biden’s disturbing habit of pawing little girls. Democrats will talk about — and usually excuse — his handsiness with adult women (“That’s just Joe being Joe”), but they’re remarkably silent about his weird, creepy behavior around children.

As for me, I’m disgusted that, even in jest, Wittes would say that E. Jean Carroll is a “tramp who was asking for it.” Trump hasn’t said that nor have his supporters. What they have said is that Carroll’s affect is so peculiar it appears she has substance abuse or mental illness problems.

There are a few other reasons to question Carroll’s assertions: She’s a Democrat donor. She has a book to sell. She bizarrely refuses to press charges against Trump because it would insult real rape victims on our borders. Her narrative is hard to believe, for Bergdorf was a busy store with locked fitting rooms that sales clerks had to open for customers, which is hardly the setting for a sexual assault. She thinks rape is sexy. Oh, and she seems to have lifted her narrative right out of an old Law & Order plot.

I’ll add that I suspect that Carroll was promiscuous as a young woman and that her current hostility to men may be a way of distancing herself from the bad feelings she gets looking back upon her own actions. “It wasn’t me; it was them, the men, the rapists, the bullies….” Indeed, if one assumes solely for the sake of argument that Trump did actually have a brief hook-up with her (something I strongly doubt), I wouldn’t put it past Carroll to reframe it as rape so that she wouldn’t see herself as being cheap or for her to reframe it as rape to sell a book and tarnish a Republican.

So yes, in the logical world, one can absolutely believe that a mentally fragile woman has copied a narrative she saw on a TV show in order to sell a book to Leftists, all of whom will believe anything about President Trump, no matter how hackneyed the playbook or surreal the allegations.

As for Carroll’s not being Trump’s type, I’m sure that’s true. I’m going to bet that Trump likes his women willing. If she wasn’t willing, she wasn’t his type.

How about those other allegations?

Other sexual assault charges against Trump came from women who were hardcore Hillary supporters and whose allegations were not only insubstantial, but also vanished quickly. For example, those close to the aptly named Rachel Crooks say that her interaction with Trump more than a decade ago was brief and that her current accusations bear no relationship to her story at the time. In other words, she was either lying then or she’s lying now. Common sense tells us that the latter is more likely.

Interestingly, Wittes doesn’t even mention Jessica Leeds, who asserted that Trump was all over her “like an octopus.” Her statement is either a quotation from a Velvet Underground song (widely known when Leeds was young) or, possibly, a quotation from a well-publicized sexual harassment lawsuit in England. One more thing: Leeds has the same phone number as the Clinton Foundation. Really. What are the odds of that? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that Wittes left her off his list.

And that tired old “grab ’em by the pussy” shtick? Some of us actually watched the entire video giving rise to the claim that Trump grabbed women inappropriately. Watching the video instead of taking the media’s word for the video’s contents reveals that Trump was engaging in hypothetical locker room talk. It was crude, but the only thing he actually admitted to doing was making a move on a woman and immediately backing off when she rejected him. When it came to his grabbing women statement, he did not frame it in the first person but put it out as a hypothetical. I’ve always suspect that, had he said more, he would have added, “At least, that’s what Bill Clinton (or Bill Cosby) told me….”

Finally, I’ll bring up Stormy Daniels here, although Wittes doesn’t. What’s seldom mentioned is that Daniels later admitted she never actually had sex with Trump — meaning Trump paid her off just to make her go away, not because he had anything to hide. Keep in mind that Daniels’ lawyer during the interval when the media couldn’t get enough of her was Michael Avenatti, who’s proven to be a psychopathic criminal who defrauded handicapped people and tried to blackmail Nike.

Mostly, Daniels strikes me as a simultaneously pathetic and sinister figure — a woman who used her body to make a living and, when her body stopped being appealing, a woman who turned to extortion to make money. Creepy and sad.

I believed the President when he said he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare and I believed him when he said it was the Democrats’ fault that he didn’t repeal or replace Obamacare.

President Trump would have repealed Obamacare but for two types of legislators: Democrats and John McCain. So yeah, I believe the President about both his intention and the reason he failed. There is nothing inherently contradictory in those two statements.

I believe the President that he’s a great deal maker, and I look forward to his negotiating new trade deals on my behalf.

I believe that tariffs will bring China to its knees.

I believe tariffs will bring Mexico to its knees.

I believe tariffs will bring the European Union to knees.

I believe tariffs will bring Canada to its knees.

I believe that China is trying to protect its businesses from the tariffs by subsidizing them, something that it can only do for so long. After all, behind the hype is the fact that China needs us more than we need China. As CNBC reported:

“So far, the U.S. has slapped duties on $250 billion in Chinese products, while Beijing has put tariffs on $110 billion in American goods. Trump has threatened to impose separate tariffs on more than $300 billion in currently untaxed Chinese goods, and reiterated that threat in the interview Monday morning.”

That tells you in which direction trade is flowing and who holds the cards — and it ain’t China.

I believe that, in order to prevent Trump’s threatened tariffs, Mexico sent 15,000 troops to its border to help control what even Democrats are now calling a crisis. Pence nailed it when he said, “The truth is, in the last 10 days, Mexico has done more to secure our southern border than Democrats in Congress have done in the last 10 years….”

I believe that past administrations sold out the American worker especially to China, as well as to other countries or economic groups (Canada, Mexico, the EU, etc.) that imposed heavy tariffs on American goods and, worse, used government subsidies to make their goods more attractive to consumers. Arguably, this kind of unfair trade will even out in the long run, since the countries and economic unions engaging in this activity cannot maintain subsidies forever. But the long run can be one or two generations and millions of American lives destroyed.

I therefore believe that Trump’s tough negotiating tactics are forcing the long run to happen now. He’s telling them, “I see your unfair trade practices and I’ll raise you so much more in unfair trade practices that you’ll break soon, not in decades. Then we’ll go back to free trade and everyone will be happy.”

I believe both that separating children from their parents is good policy that will deter desperate people from fleeing Central America and coming to the United States and that the policy of separating children from their parents is President Obama’s fault.

I believe in a big, beautiful. transparent wall.

I believe in steel slats.

I believe that around 30 percent of these allegedly “desperate people” aren’t that worried about the children they drag along with them because those poor, misused, trafficked children aren’t theirs.

I believe that the policy of separating children is indeed Obama’s fault, although to be fair to Obama, it was a prior administration that made it impossible for the government to deal expediently with families:

President Barack Obama separated parents from their children at the border.

Obama prosecuted mothers for coming to the United States illegally. He fast tracked deportations. And yes, he housed unaccompanied children in tent cities.

For much of the country — and President Donald Trump — the prevailing belief is that Obama was the president who went easier on immigrants.

Neither Obama nor Democrats created Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, which calls for every illegal border crosser to be prosecuted and leads to their children being detained in separate facilities before being shipped to a shelter and eventually a sponsor family.

But Obama’s policy helped create the road map of enforcement that Trump has been following — and building on.

[snip]

No numbers on children separated from their parents under Obama is available because the Obama administration didn’t keep them, according to Trump DHS officials.

Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under Obama, who defended that administration’s use of family detention in court, acknowledged that some fathers were separated from children.

Most fathers and children were released together, often times with an ankle bracelet. Fresco said there were cases where the administration held fathers who were carrying drugs or caught with other contraband who had to be separated from their children.

“ICE could not devise a safe way where men and children could be in detention together in one facility,” Fresco said. “It was deemed too much of a security risk.”

One of the most controversial measures that Obama took was to resurrect the almost-abandoned practice of detaining mothers and children to deter future illegal immigration.

The government had one lightly used 100-bed facility in central Pennsylvania and added three larger facilities in Texas and New Mexico holding thousands.

The New Mexico facility would later close and Obama would face legal challenges that stopped him from detaining mothers and children indefinitely.

[snip]

Obama took other controversial steps as well, including fighting to block efforts to require unaccompanied children to have legal representation and barring detained mothers with their children from being released on bond.

I believe that if you didn’t care when Obama did it but suddenly care now that your new position is phony. You don’t care about immigrants. You care only about is scoring political points.

Finally, I believe that you’ve come down firmly on the side of rejiggering America’s population balance through illegal means in order to create a permanent Democrat Party power base. Kamala Harris, who’s not the brightest bulb on the block, gave the game away in this tweet:

(By the way, is it just me, or does Kamala’s voice remind you of Fran Drescher’s voice, if Drescher were the ex-wife who made your life a living hell with her nagging, prevaricating, and hectoring?)

One more thing . . . about that wall? I believe that you’re either really stupid or pretending to be stupid when you fail to understand that Trump’s reference to slats or invisibility means that he imagines a wall through which light can be seen, as opposed to a solid wall that impairs all visibility. Those are not inconsistent statements; they’re just typical Trump puffery, akin to a manufacturer boasting that it makes “the best facial tissues” or “the lightest weight face cream.”

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Vladimir Putin.

Yeah, about that solicitude to Putin:

President Obama was running for re-election in March 2012, when a live microphone picked up his whispered conversation with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Obama told Medvedev it was important for incoming President Vladimir Putin to “give me space” on missile defense and other difficult issues and that after the 2012 presidential election he would have “more flexibility.” Medvedev said he would “transmit” the message to Putin.

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told Medvedev at a gathering in Seoul, South Korea.

“Yeah, I understand,” said Medvedev, who was about to replaced by Putin as Russian president. “I understand your message about space. Space for you–”

“This is my last election,” Obama said. “After my election I have more flexibility.”

“I understand,” Medvedev said. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Did Witness complain about Obama then? Or did he complain when Obama said this?

Gov. Romney, I’m glad you recognize al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida. You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years. But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.

And speaking of al Qaeda, did Wittes say anything bad about Obama when Obama essentially handed Syria over to Putin? That certainly made Putin a happy camper.

As for Trump’s solicitude for Putin. While Trump is careful not to alienate a man with whom he has to do business, whether he likes doing so or not, this is the type of solicitude Trump had displayed as of last year:

  • The Trump Administration has implemented a wide array of sanctions and other punitive actions against Russia for their destabilizing actions and provocations against the U.S. and its allies.
    • In response to Russian interference in the 2016 election and other malfeasance, the Trump Administration has sanctioned Russian oligarchs and intelligence entities.
    • Throughout 2017 and 2018, the U.S. sanctioned numerous Russian actors for violating non-proliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran and Syria, and supporting North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction.
    • The Trump Administration has issued sanctions against more than one hundred Russian actors and firms for Russia’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine and its ongoing occupation of Crimea.
    • In March 2017, in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon in the United Kingdom, the Trump Administration ordered multiple Russian consulates in the United States closed and expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers.
  • Due to sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration, the Russian economy and Russian geo-economic projects have been severely constrained.
    • In 2018, as Russian investors reacted to new sanctions, the Russian Ruble made its biggest fall in over three years, and, as of July 2018, is down nearly nine percent against the dollar.
    • As a part of its sanctions against Russia, the United States has prevented numerous companies from partnering with Russian offshore oil projects, denying these projects access to capital and key resources.
    • The Trump Administration has also opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s largest geo-economic project, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Russia.
  • In the wake of Russian provocations, President Trump has exercised U.S. military power and worked to bolster U.S. allies in Europe.
    • In 2017, President Trump approved the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine addressing the country’s vulnerability to Russian-backed separatists in its eastern provinces.
    • Under the Trump Administration, Russian mercenaries and other pro-Syrian regime forces attacking U.S. troops in Syria were killed.
    • The U.S. has increased troops and its military capability in Eastern Europe and dramatically increased training and drills with its NATO partners.
    • In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense increased its spending as part of the European Deterrence Initiative by $1.4 billion dollars.
    • Due to pressure from President Trump, U.S.’ NATO allies have increased defense expenditures by five percent.

Moreover, none of the above even mentions the fact that America’s increased oil production has been disastrous for the Russian economy.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Kim Jong Un.

Trump is being incredibly canny about his relationship with Kim Jong-un. He looked back at decades of America’s dealing with North Korea and saw a pattern: America told North Korea “be careful or we’ll destroy you.” North Korea responded by amping up its nuclear power. America, instead of responding with the promised military force, instead said, “We’ll pay you to stop being naughty.” North Korea took the money to help prop up its regime and lay dormant until the next time it needed money.

This was a dreadful, completely dead-end pattern that saw North Korea creep ever closer to being a full nuclear power, using American protection money to meet that goal.

Trump tried a different tactic: Trump told Kim Jong-un that North Korea had two choices: Develop nuclear power and be an outcast nation that America would inevitably destroy, with Kim being the first person to be killed, or give up nuclear power and tyranny to become as free and prosperous a nation as South Korea. The verdict is still out on how far Kim Jong-un will go, but he hasn’t done anything naughty of late, there are no more nuclear tests, we haven’t paid them millions in protection money, and Trump gave Kim an ultimatum with that offered a good, face-saving way out. Just as we see with the Clintons, corrupt, evil people don’t always get the punishment they deserve. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply to remove them from power.

To summarize, the old America/North Korea paradigm was, “We’ll destroy you. No, wait. We won’t. We’ll pay you off.” The new paradigm is “We’ll destroy you, Kim Jong-un personally, or welcome you and your nation into the fold if you repent and change your ways.”

The old paradigm consistently failed. I’ve never forgotten that it was Hillary Clinton who liked to go around repeating a quotation attributed variously to Einstein, Mark Twain, and Chinese sages: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That’s what we were doing. The new paradigm, on the other hand, might well work.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Regep Tayip Erdogan.

Was Wittes also complaining back when Obama buddied up to Erdogan (emphasis mine):

[Fareed Zakaria] But have you been able to forge similar [good] relationships with foreign leaders? Because one of the criticisms people make about your style of diplomacy is that it’s very cool, it’s aloof, that you don’t pal around with these guys.

[Obama]I wasn’t in other Administrations, so I didn’t see the interactions between U.S. Presidents and various world leaders. But the friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy.

I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests. And that’s part of the reason we’ve been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done.

Incidentally, it’s been on Trump’s watch that Erdogan’s party just suffered a stunning election defeat in Istanbul. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe people around the world are seeing that they can vote to change the paradigm.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Mohammed Bin Salman.

I believe that too. The Muslim world has a huge schism: Shiite versus Sunni Islam. Iran, which has been in a constant state of deadly war against us for 40 years represents the Shiite influence around the world. Saudi Arabia is the center of Sunni Islam, especially because it controls Mecca. Both are nasty places. Both subordinate women, kill gays, kill Christians, and kill Jews.

Sometimes, though, in the world of geopolitics, you end up making common cause with nations that aren’t very nice. As the old saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That’s why Israel, which Iran has threatened to destroy, has good working relationships with Saudi Arabia. And that’s why we have to have a good working relationship with Saudi Arabia.

More than that, Mohammed bin Salman is a reformer. He’s still a Saudi, which helps explain why he may have been behind the bungled assassination of the completely awful, anti-American, pro-radical Islami Kashoggi dude. I’m not giving him a pass for the killing, but it was a very Middle Eastern way of dealing with someone viewed as an existential threat.

But again, MBS is a reformer. I wrote about him a year and a half ago:

If Prince Mohammed bin Salman can avoid assassination (and I devoutly hope he can), he is a true reformer. He is trying to upgrade women’s status, he is purging the most corrupt members of the royal family and, most importantly, he is behind the outreach to Israel. There have been rumors that a member of the House of Saud made a secret trip to Israel and, assuming that rumor is true, Prince Salman is the best bet.

If you’re interested in more details about Salman’s reforms, you can read more of what I wrote here.

Also, for a little perspective, don’t forget that Obama gave nasty Iran pallets of cash and permission to go nuclear, even though Iran never backed off from its cruel practices within its borders or its avowed war on America (a war that has played out through terrorist attacks as well as the deaths of hundreds of American troops in Iraq).

I believe that it makes a great deal of sense to tweet belligerently about Iran and also tweet one’s doubts and hestitancy about military action.

Once again, Wittes and I find ourselves in agreement. Trump’s strategy is brilliant. I did a short version in a tweet:

I wrote about Trump’s smart strategy at greater length here:

Trump cultivates a different, albeit equally unpredictable and dangerous, image: He’s the attack dog, constantly barking ferociously, anxious to charge his enemies and rip out their jugulars. The only thing holding him back is the leash that his more mature advisers are able to tug on, just barely, in order to restrain his killer, otherwise-unmanageable instincts.

[snip]

With the events of the past 24 hours, Trump just sent a clear message to the Mullahs: “If it were entirely up to me, the mad dog, any time you cross me in any way, you will die. This time, you got lucky because my advisers were just barely able to hold on to my leash; next time, I guarantee you, you won’t be so lucky.” If that is indeed the message Trump sent and the Mullahs received, it’s a good disincentive for calculating killers who, like so many of the men on death row, are happy meting out death to others but are incredible cowards when they are called to face the Grim Reaper.

[snip]

Meanwhile, Scott Adams saw an even more brilliant spin to Trump’s conduct over the last 24 hours. (You can hear what he has to say here.) My potted summary is that (a) the U.S. was probing Iran’s defenses and a single drone, no matter how expensive, was a small price to pay for that information; (b) Trump forced the Mullahs to imagine their own deaths (which is kind of the same point I was making); and (c) by saying that the deaths of 150 civilians was what dissuaded Trump from acting this time, Trump sent the message to ordinary Iranians that he cares more about their lives than their own rulers do. Combine that with the crushing economic pressure Trump has placed on Iran since he jettisoned Obama’s awful agreement, and you’ve got the Mullahs thinking very carefully about what to do next.

You can read more of what I wrote here.

Wittes wrapped up his tweet storm by sarcastically stating the opposite of everything he believes about Russiagate. It’s hard even to know where to begin addressing his statements, because so much of what he says is inane, disproven, irrelevant, or (I believe) about to be disproven big time. I’ll just throw out a few Russiagate points to emphasize how Wittes fails to prove that Republicans and conservatives live in a world of Orwellian Doublethink. Instead, it is Wittes who lives in a world in which Leftism has deprived him of even the ability to engage in the most basic, functional “singlethink.”

I believe that the whole Russia connection story is “fake news” designed to cover up an embarrassing electoral loss on the part of the Democrats.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Michael Flynn’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Carter Page’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Paul Manafort’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about George Papadopoulos’s dealings with a cutout for the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Russia’s setting up a secret line of communication to the Trump administration through Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater and brother of a cabinet secretary.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Jared Kushner’s meeting with a sanctioned Russian bank while working for his father-in-law’s transition. I believe that kind of thing happens all the time in all transitions.

I also believe there was nothing unusual about having a member of a Hungarian extremist party working in your White House while he was resolving a pending gun charge for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane. I think his wife should be press secretary for a federal agency.

I believe there was no collusion.

I believe there was no obstruction.

I believe Robert Mueller has conflicts of interests because he used to be a member of the president’s golf club.

I also believe he absolutely cleared the president of any whiff of a suggestion of wrongdoing.

I also believe you can’t trust a word of his report because he ran a WITCH HUNT!

I believe Jim Comey is a treasonous liar.

I believe John Brennan is a treasonous liar.

I believe Jim Clapper is a treasonous liar.

I also believe Don McGahn is a liar—and a bad lawyer.

I believe real lawyers don’t take notes.

I believe Jeff Sessions left the president on an island.

I believe in insurance policies.

And yes, I believe that Barack Hussein Obama wire tapped Trump Tower.

I believe Devin Nunes was merely conducting an impartial investigation when he came across information the President needed to know about and that he therefore raced over to the White House to inform him of his discovery.

I believe any patriot would have done the same.

And I believe that stopping briefly before going in and before coming out of the White House to tell the press all about it is perfectly consistent with complaining about leaks.

I believe it makes all the sense in the world to rush over to the White House to inform the President of material you learned from the White House.

I believe that leaks are the real story.

I believe the president has fully cooperated with investigators.

I also believe in investigating the investigators.

Regarding the Mueller report, there’s no doubt that he staffed his team with hardcore Democrats. They worked for Dems, donated to Dems, partied with Dems, and wept when Hillary lost. I don’t know about you, but that strikes me as indicative of bias.

There’s also no doubt that, try as they might, that Dem affiliated team was unable to find any evidence tying Trump or his family to Russian efforts to affect the outcome. There’s also no doubt that the report missed a few Russia-relevant points. Thus, (a) the report did not challenge then-President Obama’s peculiar disinclination to block known Russian interference in the 2016 election and (b) the report sidestepped entirely that Hillary commissioned and paid for the Steele Dossier, which was predicated almost entirely information that Hillary’s agent avidly sought out from . . . Russia!

And of course, we know that, although Mueller couldn’t find evidence that Trump or his team colluded with Russia, there was good evidence that Hillary and the Dems colluded, and that people in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and NSA violated protocol and laws to spy on Trump. It was this failure to bring down Trump on collusion that led Mueller to try to imply that Trump was guilty of criminal obstruction. (I’ve detailed here how Mueller perverted the statutory language to try to weasel his way into this one.)

Moreover, at a very basic level, it’s ethically improper and morally wrong for a prosecutor to smear someone for wrongdoing when the prosecutor admits he doesn’t even know if there’s enough evidence for a basic wrongdoing case. In America, people are not required to prove their innocence to the public. Instead, if the prosecutor believes he has the goods on someone, the prosecutor is required, using due process, to prove that person’s guilt.

On a more interesting level, remember that Trump knew all along that he was innocent of colluding with Russian and understood that he was being investigated and harassed by the same people who engaged in illegal spying. Seen in this light, it’s pretty hard to accuse Trump of obstruction of justice when he fired a corrupt FBI head (who lied to Trump’s face) and fulminated about the abuse he’s receiving, even as he produced millions of documents and hundreds of witnesses.

Regarding the Trump Tower eavesdropping, there’s no longer any question that, through mass unmasking and FISA applications that were predicated upon the Steele dossier (a document even the FBI admitted was not credible and was entirely unsourced), the Obama administration was listening in on Trump Tower.

There’s no question that Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for only a few months, was a sleazy lobbyist who, like his fellow sleazy lobbyists, the Democrat-supporting Podesta brothers, didn’t properly registered his dealings with Ukraine. He also cheated on his taxes. He also didn’t do anything with Russia.

Jim Clapper is indeed a liar. He’s been caught in several blatant lies. These are documented here and here, for example. Brennan lied too, both during the Obama administration and during Russiagate.

In any event, the known facts about Russiagate are what they are. What I’m looking forward to is hearing from Barr and the Inspector Generals. I happen to believe that we’ll have more than enough evidence to show that the Obama administration spied on an opposing political party’s presidential campaign. What’s going to come out in the future is the dirty details about what people did, what they knew, and when they knew it. For me, the next year is going to be all popcorn all the time.

Finallyl, when it comes to Witess’s last two tweets, I agree with him wholeheartedly:

I believe that no president has ever been treated more unfairly than Trump has.

And yet, I still believe that Donald J. Trump will Make America Great Again.
Don’t you?

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I owe a lot of people a very big apology

To all of you who filled out my Bookworm Room contact form and never heard from me — I am so sorry. I had a major hole in my thinking and entirely missed your messages.

Okay — I am so embarrassed about my stupidity. All I can do is apologize here. Here’s how I have grievously sinned against more of you than I can count:

I know that there’s a “contact Bookworm” tab on my blog. It was set up a long time ago, and I kind of forgot about it. If I thought about it, it was that it simply gave an email address to contact me. If I’d actually checked it out and seen the contact form, I would have assumed that the contacts automatically routed to my email.

Oh, boy, was I wrong! While I was updating my WordPress today, I started poking around at dashboard buttons I’ve always ignored. One of them was labeled “feedback,” which I’d always assumed, without bother to verify, contained messages from WordPress that were of more interest to my webmaster than to me. Still today, for the first time, I clicked on that link and found, to my absolute horror, that all the messages from people who filled out my “contact” form were hiding behind that “feedback” link. Nothing got forwarded. It all just sat there.

I’m going to start now sending out apologies to every single person who filled out the form and who never heard back from me. This will take a long time because the “feedback” page doesn’t include any easy way to reply to people. I’ll have to block and copy each email address into my email account.

This post is my public apology. I am so very sorry I ignored you. There is no excuse for my failure to do so. I was thoughtless and lazy.

In the future, if you want to contact me, please send me a direct email. And about that email….

For years, my email address has been Bookwormroom *at* gmail.com. However, I’m disgusted by what Google has been doing. It was one thing to know it was a Leftist company and to suspect that it might have been gaming the system. It’s another thing entirely to know that it’s using its almost complete monopoly over searches to “re-educate” people’s thoughts and subvert an election. Since my “free” gmail address is ad supported, giving revenue to Google’s monopoly, I’m looking for a new email provider.

My current choice for a new email address is ProtonMail, which is a highly secured, non-commercial email system. I’ve set up an account there — Bookwormroom *at* protonmail.com — and am seeing how I like it. I currently have a free account, which means I get only “150 emails per day” (and I don’t know if that means I can send 150 emails, receive a 150 emails, or send and receive only 150 emails). If I like Proton mail, I’ll look into getting a paid account for both Bookworm Room and my real me address.

For now, you can email me at either address — the Proton or the Gmail address. I’ll keep people posted about whether I elect to go with Proton email, select another email provider, or stay with the gmail account.

The ugly reality is that, while I hate Google the company, I love Google’s products. Whether it’s emails, maps, photo management, Google Docs, or more, they’re brilliantly designed interfaces and information providers. Still, you can’t fight a war — and this is war — without some sacrifice, right?

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Project Veritas proves Google uses Orwellian content engineering

With the 2020 election in sight, Google is doing more than censoring content; it’s trying to change how people think to alter permanently how they vote.

Legislation is too slow — and potentially too dangerous, given the power it hands to government — to affect this problem in time to protect the election in 2020. Moreover, it’s never going to happen with Democrats in control of the House. However, I’ve proposed an alternative, which the Trump administration can do through the Attorney General’s office. I know other have proposed other remedies that can be effected more quickly. Something certainly needs to be done, not the least of which is sharing this video so it gets as many views as possible. (And I really like the irony of it being viewed as much as possible on Google’s YouTube.)

(By the way, as I am writing this, the Project Veritas site is down. Perhaps it got overwhelmed by the number of people trying to view it. Or perhaps something else happened….)

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Ravelry, a fiber arts social network, silences Trump supporters as “white supremacists”

Ravelry, one of the biggest fiber art social media networks, identifies Trump supporters as “white supremacists” and asks its community to help police them.

If you do any type of fiber crafts — knitting, quilting, crocheting, etc. — you’re familiar with Ravelry. It’s a very well-organized social network dedicated to allowing fiber crafters meet in cyberspace, whether to teach or learn, talk about projects, find patterns, etc.

Ravelry is also a marketplace allowing for individual crafters to sell instructions and patterns. Only recently, I bought two excellent PDF project instructions from a gal whom I later discovered, looking at my credit card statement, markets through Ravelry. The site also gets a small percentage of these PDF sales. It also makes money selling logo wear.

Ravelry is very popular. While it’s unlikely that all its members, or even most of its members, are active on the site at any given time, and many sign up never to return, as of February 2019, 8,000,000 people had signed up for Ravelry.

Unfortunately, Ravelry has decided to wade into politics and to do so in the most ugly way possible. In an announcement today to its membership, one with a Pride flag proudly displayed in the upper left hand corner, Ravelry said that from now on Trump supporters will be silenced.

Please note that the site is not silencing all political discussions on the ground that they are disruptive to a site dedicated to fiber hand crafts. No, no. It is only silencing Trump supporters because they are “white supremacists” — and it’s asking its other members to go full Stasi and police the site for any incipient Trumpista break-outs.

The following is the full text of the Ravelry announcement (bold-italicized emphasis mine):

Ravelry bans Trump

We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry.

This includes support in the form of forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content. Note that your project data will never be deleted. We will never delete your Ravelry project data for any reason and if a project needs to be removed from the site, we will make sure that you have access to your data. If you are permanently banned from Ravelry, you will still be able to access any patterns that you purchased. Also, we will make sure that you receive a copy of your data.

We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.

Policy notes:

  • You can still participate if you do in fact support the administration, you just can’t talk about it here.
  • We are not endorsing the Democrats nor banning Republicans.
  • We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions.
  • We are not banning people for past support.
  • Do not try to weaponize this policy by entrapping people who do support the Trump administration into voicing their support.
  • Similarly, antagonizing conservative members for their unstated positions is not acceptable.

You can help by flagging any of the following items if they constitute support for Trump or his administration:

  • Projects: Unacceptable projects will be provided to the member or made invisible to others.
  • Patterns: Unacceptable patterns will be returned to drafts.
  • Forum posts: right now, only posts written after Sunday, June 23rd at 8 AM Eastern
  • Profiles: Please do not flag profiles yet if the only banned content is an avatar or avatars. There is not yet a flagging system for those.

Much of this policy was first written by a roleplaying game site, not unlike Ravelry but for RPGs, named RPG.net. We thank them for their thoughtful work. For citations/references, see this post on RPG.net: https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/new-ban-do-not-po…


Update history

  • Sunday, June 23rd @ 8:00 AM Eastern: First version
  • Sunday, June 23rd @ 8:12 AM Eastern: Clarify that if you are permanently banned from Ravelry you will receive a copy of your data including any purchased patterns.

Meanwhile, even as Trump supporters are banned as “white supremacists” because they support legal, rather than mass illegal, immigration, Ravelry is all in for the LGBTQ++++ spectrum. Indeed, just as silencing Trump supporters merited an announcement, so did Pride Month:

Ravelry on Pride month

Casey it should be noted, is one of the site’s founders. He also proudly boasts on the “about” page that his pronouns are “he/him” and that he’s married with children. Oh, and he’s white (seen in his photo). In other words, He’s a heteronormative, cisgendered, toxic, white male who’s reinforcing the patriarchy and damaging the environment by being a breeder. Ick.

(By the way, I don’t give a flying whatsit about an individual’s sexuality. I give a lot of flying whatsits about the gay mafia — or, as I call it — the QueerBorg attempting to use sexuality to impose a hard Left social and political agenda on America.)

Significantly, Revelry got its inspiration for silencing Trump supporters from the gamer community. You may remember GamerGate, which occurred when the gamer community was suddenly taken over by Social Justice Warriors as anxious as the Ravelry people are to silence any non-woke, hard-Left social justice voices.

Sadly, while Ravelry is the most dramatic outbreak of social justice warrior-ism turning a non-political activity into a toxic soup, this trend has been breaking out for some months in the knitting world. Just three months ago, Vox ran a story entitled “The knitting community is reckoning with racism : Fiber artists of color are taking to Instagram stories to call out instances of prejudice — and to try to shape a more inclusive future.

The article opens with the author and others taking offense that a knitter was exited about a trip to India. I’m going to have to quote the first few paragraphs so that (a) you can see how little it takes to offend people nowadays and (b) you can see how aggressive the social justice workers are when it comes to imposing their views on others and demanding full submission:

Karen Templer’s Fringe Association Co. is kind of like Goop for knitting. There are tips and how-tos for navigating knitting’s trickier maneuvers. There are knit-alongs for chunky cowls and cute fingerless gloves. There’s an online store that sells the Fringe bag, which has come to be known in some circles as the Birkin of knitting bags. And there’s the blog where Templer puts her personal thoughts.

On January 7, she blogged excitedly about her upcoming trip to India. She wrote that 2019 would be her “year of color.” She said that as a child, India had fascinated her, and that when an Indian friend’s parents offered to take her with them on a trip, it was “like being offered a seat on a flight to Mars.” She spoke of her trip as if it were the biggest hurdle anyone could jump: “If I can go to India, I can do anything — I’m pretty sure.” Templer, it should be noted, is white.

As someone who is mixed-race Indian, to me, her post (though seemingly well-meaning) was like bingo for every conversation a white person has ever had with me about their “fascination” with my dad’s home country; it was just so colorful and complex and inspiring. It’s not that they were wrong, per se, just that the tone felt like they thought India only existed to be all those things for them.

The initial comments on Templer’s blog post were supportive, but quickly, knitters and fans began to criticize her tone. “Karen, I’d ask you to re-read what you wrote and think about how your words feed into a colonial/imperialist mindset toward India and other non-Western countries,” wrote commenter Alex. “Multiple times you compare the idea of going to India to the idea of going to another planet — how do you think a person from India would feel to hear that?”

Templer, rather than giving these Social Justice Warriors a polite or impolite “eff you,” instead apologized:

Templer has since apologized for her post, writing, “It took women of color pointing this out for me to see it … which is not their responsibility, and I am thankful to them for taking the time,” and that she’d be continuing to raise visibility of people of color (and specifically black/indigenous POC) knitters and their work. (Templer declined to comment for this piece.) But her post triggered a wave of conversations about racism and prejudice in the fiber arts world, which thus far shows no signs of slowing down.

You can imagine how the rest of the article goes. That article was my first indication that the SJWs are trying to destroy fiber crafts. Just a couple of weeks ago, in something that relates to Ravelry’s revelry about LGBTQBYOB, the New York Times ran an exultant article about gay men knitting: “Trading the Noisy Gay Bar Scene for the Knitting Circle : Many gay men in New York are looking for alternative ways to socialize. A look at the surprising revival of the knitting circle.” Could there be anything more woke?

(I wonder if any of those gay knitting warriors know that they’re not breaking any ground here. In medieval Europe, knitting craft guilds belonged exclusively to men. Just as women traditionally cooked in the home, while male chefs cooked in the professional world, women might knit the socks at home, but the big time, big money knitting was a male preserve.)

To any of my readers, or anyone else who sees this, I urge you to resist this effort to politicize the craft world. GamerGate came to an ignominious end because the male Gamers fought back against the effort to silence them. I’m worried that knitters, who tend to be female, may yield to this crude political censorship in order to be nice and polite.

If a craft site wants to ban politics entirely, fine. It’s great to focus on the crafts without distractions. But for a social media site openly to silence half of the American public on the ground that they’re “white supremacists” because they support a president who believes that open borders will destroy America goes beyond the pale. This kind of thing needs to be squashed instantly.

I’ve signed out of Ravelry for good and I urge you to do the same.

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On Iran, Trump makes some very smart moves

When it comes to Iran, Trump is brilliantly locking the country in a box by breaking it financially, frightening its leadership, and courting its people.

Although I no longer post any content on my real-me Facebook page, I do check it out regularly. It helps me stay abreast of interesting things in my friends’ lives and it helps me see what’s going on with the Lefties amongst whom I grew up and a handful of NeverTrumpers I met along the way.

When it comes to Iran, my Facebook friends are very clear on what’s going on. According to the Lefties, Trump is either a complete moron who wants to get us involved in WWIII with Iran or he’s an evil, Hitler-esque genius who wants us to get involved in WWIII with Iran so that he can seize permanent power over America. Amusingly, the Lefties often advance both arguments simultaneously.

Meanwhile, according to the NeverTrumpers, who are as invested in Russiagate as the Lefties, Trump is Putin’s foot soldier. They contend that Trump-the-moron was too dumb to realize that sending rockets off in response to Iran’s shooting down a drone would start WWIII. Thankfully, he immediately ceased operations when his master — that would be Putin — told him to stop. But of course, we’re not really thankful, because the only thing worse than Trump-the-moron is Trump-the-Putin-sock-puppet. It’s a sad world when you’re a NeverTrumper.

I have a different take. The short version is this tweet:

The longer version goes back to a theory I developed when George Bush was president. Back then, the Lefties on my feed all called Bush a “cowboy,” meaning that he was a stupidly loose cannon who might do anything, at any time. Back then, I argued that Bush’s actions were, in fact, very restrained, but that there was a virtue to being perceived as a loose cannon. It made him unpredictable and, to our enemies, threatening.

Trump cultivates a different, albeit equally unpredictable and dangerous, image: He’s the attack dog, constantly barking ferociously, anxious to charge his enemies and rip out their jugulars. The only thing holding him back is the leash that his more mature advisers are able to tug on, just barely, in order to restrain his killer, otherwise-unmanageable instincts.

This seems to be a successful pose. After all, it was his insouciant, killer dog bomb-dropping during a dinner with Chairman Xi that probably brought Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table. On the one hand, Kim is the premier of a despicable, deadly totalitarian system, and has apparently participated fully in that system, whether because he believes in it or because it’s the only way to stay alive in a tank full of fanatical communist alligators. On the other hand, Kim is also a guy who was raised in the West, who likes his creature comforts, and who doesn’t want to die. He worries that Trump might kill him and that’s an incentive to negotiate.

I’m not quite sure whether the same desire to live motivates all or a critical mass of the Mullahs. Unlike Kim, who is a creature of this world, the Mullahs are, at least ostensibly, creatures of the afterlife.

As I’ve pointed out for almost two decades now, the Mullahs are not like those American Evangelicals who prep for Armageddon. The Evangelicals believe that world events will trigger Armageddon and they simply want to be prepared to ride it out in the event that they are not instantly transported to Heaven. The Shia Mullahs, however, have a different philosophy: they believe that it is their responsibility to bring about Armageddon, at which time the Hidden Imam will reappear and blah blah blah eschatology. (No, that’s not a typo or half-finished thought; that’s just my explanation for their ideology.)

Anyway, in theory, if the Mullahs genuinely believe in their own shtick, they’re chomping at the bit for war. Trump, though, at least in my estimation, is gambling that they do not believe in their own shtick. Like so many leaders of fanatical cults, they’re good with sending others off to die for the cult’s benefit, but less interested in doing the dying themselves.

With the events of the past 24 hours, Trump just sent a clear message to the Mullahs: “If it were entirely up to me, the mad dog, any time you cross me in any way, you will die. This time, you got lucky because my advisers were just barely able to hold on to my leash; next time, I guarantee you, you won’t be so lucky.” If that is indeed the message Trump sent and the Mullahs received, it’s a good disincentive for calculating killers who, like so many of the men on death row, are happy meting out death to others but are incredible cowards when they are called to face the Grim Reaper.

Meanwhile, Scott Adams saw an even more brilliant spin to Trump’s conduct over the last 24 hours. (You can hear what he has to say here.) My potted summary is that (a) the U.S. was probing Iran’s defenses and a single drone, no matter how expensive, was a small price to pay for that information; (b) Trump forced the Mullahs to imagine their own deaths (which is kind of the same point I was making); and (c) by saying that the deaths of 150 civilians was what dissuaded Trump from acting this time, Trump sent the message to ordinary Iranians that he cares more about their lives than their own rulers do. Combine that with the crushing economic pressure Trump has placed on Iran since he jettisoned Obama’s awful agreement, and you’ve got the Mullahs thinking very carefully about what to do next.

By the way, speaking of brilliant spins, I think Victor Davis Hanson nails what’s going on in the Mullahs’ minds, and we have the Democrats to thank for it:

The Iranian theocrats despise the Trump administration. They yearn for the good old days of the Obama administration, when the U.S. agreed to a nuclear deal that all but guaranteed future Iranian nuclear proliferation, ignored Iranian terrorism and sent hundreds of millions of dollars in shakedown payments to the Iranian regime.

Iran believed that the Obama administration saw it as a valuable Shiite counterweight to Israel and the traditionally American-allied Sunni monarchies in the Gulf region. Tehran assumes that an even more left-wing American administration would also endorse Iran-friendly policies, and so it is fishing for ways to see that happen in 2020 with a Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Joe Biden presidency.

Desperate Iranian officials have already met secretly with former secretary of state John Kerry and openly with Senator Diane Feinstein, likely to commiserate over Trump’s cancellation of the nuclear deal and to find ways to revive the Obama-era agreement after Trump leaves office.

To that end, the Iranians wish to disrupt world oil traffic while persuading China, Russia, and the European Union to pressure the U.S. to back off sanctions.

Iran hopes to provoke and embarrass its nemesis into overreacting — or not reacting at all. If Trump does nothing, he looks weak to this Jacksonian base of supporters. But do too much, and he appears a neoconservative, globalist nation-builder. Either way, the Iranians think Trump loses.

After all, Iran knows that Trump got elected by flipping the blue-wall states of the Midwest — in part by promising an end to optional interventions in the Middle East. Accordingly, Iran hopes to embarrass or bog down the U.S. before the 2020 elections. In Tehran’s view, the challenge is to provoke Trump into a shooting war that it can survive and that will prove unpopular in the United States, thus losing him the election.

In other words, Iran is attempting to interfere in the 2020 election by making it impossible for Trump to be reelected. The Mullahs fear Trump and, possibly upon advice from people such as Kerry and Feinstein, are hoping to spur Trump into acting in a way that will give the White House back to Iran-friendly Democrats. (For Democrats, foreign interference is always okay if it works in their favor.) For that reason alone, every American should vote for Trump — and should make it clear today and every day that he or she will cast that Trump vote.

With foreign interference from Iran and traitors at home, Trump is maintaining a very delicate high-wire act and doing a damn fine job. And that’s what I think is going on with Trump and Iran.

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