The morbid Democratic Party 4

Left-leaning Time, taking a view from the left – so a softer one than would a cold observer from Mars – diagnoses causes of morbidity in the Democratic Party. And prescribes no cure. 

In its habitual irritating style, packing in irrelevant detail, it narrates and asserts:

Like virtually all Democrats, Tim Ryan is no fan of Donald Trump. But as he [Tim Ryan] speeds through his northeastern Ohio district in a silver Chevy Suburban, the eight-term Congressman sounds almost as frustrated with his own party. Popping fistfuls of almonds in the backseat, Ryan gripes about its fixation on divisive issues and its “demonization” of business owners. Ryan, 44, was briefly considered for the role of Hillary Clinton’s running mate last year. Now he sounds ready to brawl with his political kin. “We’re going to have a fight,” Ryan says. “There’s no question about it.”

That fight has already begun, though you’d be forgiven for missing it. On the surface, the Democratic Party has been united and energized by its shared disgust for Trump. But dig an inch deeper and it’s clear that the party is divided, split on issues including free trade, health care, foreign affairs and Wall Street. They even disagree over the political wisdom of doing deals with Trump.

Every party cast out of power endures a period of soul-searching. But the Democrats’ dilemma was unimaginable even a year ago, when Clinton seemed to be coasting toward the White House and demographic change fueled dreams of a permanent national majority. Now, eight months into the Trump presidency, the party looks to face its toughest odds since Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984.

The Democrats are in their deepest congressional rut since the class of 1946 was elected, and hold the fewest governors’ mansions–15–since 1922. Of the 98 partisan legislatures in the U.S., Republicans control 67. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Democrats lost 970 seats in state legislatures, leaving the party’s bench almost bare. The median age of their congressional leadership is 67, and many of the obvious early presidential front runners will be in their 70s by the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, there’s still no sign the Democrats have learned the lessons of the last one. “I’ve tried to learn from my own mistakes. There are plenty,” Clinton writes in her campaign memoir What Happened. The book, released on Sept. 12, casts blame on Russia, the FBI and the candidate herself, but never quite finds a satisfying answer to the titular question. Even if it did, these days the party seems to prize ideological purity over Clintonian pragmatism. “There is no confusion about what we Democrats are against. The only disagreement,” says strategist Neil Sroka, “is what we’re for.”

Which leaves the party confronting a puzzle. The momentum may be on the left, but picking up the 24 seats required to retake the House, and the three states needed for control of the Senate, will mean luring back blue collar workers in places like Ryan’s Mahoning Valley district, where the steel plants are shells of their former selves, small businesses are boarded up and payday lenders seem to be on every corner. This used to be a Democratic stronghold, but Trump won three of the five counties in Ryan’s district. If Democrats don’t refine their pitch to alienated white voters, Trump could win re-election with ease. “The resistance can only be part of it,” Ryan says. “We have to be on the offense too.”

It’s not clear who has the influence or inclination to spearhead that shift. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi are seasoned dealmakers who can raise Brink’s trucks full of cash. Their Sept. 6 pact with Trump, which pushed back a pair of fiscal showdowns and delivered hurricane relief money to storm-stricken southeastern Texas, was hailed as a fleecing by the Democrats. After a dinner of Chinese food in the Blue Room of the White House a week later, the pair said they had reached a tentative agreement with Trump to sidestep the Justice Department’s rollback of an Obama-era program that helped young immigrants who were in the country illegally. But among the grassroots, any agreement with the President is viewed as cause for suspicion. When Schumer dared to back a handful of Trump’s Cabinet picks earlier this year, activists protested outside his Brooklyn apartment, hoisting signs with slogans like Grow a spine, Chuck. In her San Francisco district on Sept. 18, Pelosi was shouted down by activists who were angry that her proposed immigration deal with Trump did not cover more people.

For all these challenges, the party’s time in the wilderness could prove to be an opportunity. … But before the party comes together, first it has to banish the furies that threaten to tear it apart.

The counterpoint to Ryan’s call for moderation could be found onstage in August in a Hyatt ballroom in Atlanta. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the former Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate, had come to deliver a battle cry to 1,000 grassroots activists. “The Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill,” she said in not-at-all-veiled criticism of President Bill Clinton’s mid-’90s strategy to peel off Republican votes. “We are not a wing of today’s Democratic Party,” Warren declared to her fellow liberals. “We are the heart and soul of today’s Democratic Party.”

Warren is clearly thinking of running for President in 2020. If she does, a crowd will be waiting to cheer her on: a year ago, under pressure from supporters of insurgent Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democrats adopted the most progressive platform in their history, which called for free college for families earning $125,000 or less and Medicare options for Americans as young as 55. This march to the left has become a sprint since Clinton’s defeat.

Groups that support abortion rights have stopped offering polite silence to Democrats who disagree. Others are demanding jail time for bank executives. Small-dollar donors are goading progressive groups to advance liberal policies and challenge lawmakers who balk. A group of prominent liberal Democrats, including some 2020 hopefuls, are pushing a national single-payer health care plan – even though its strongest backers acknowledge that it has zero chance of becoming law in this Republican-controlled Congress. Representative Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois threatened on Sept. 8 that Democrats may shut down the government in December if Congress doesn’t provide a pathway for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. “Running on progressive values,” strategist Adam Green told a candidates’ training session in Washington this summer, “is how Democrats will win.” …

Efforts to mend the rifts of the 2016 election have fallen flat. Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched a national tour with Sanders and newly minted party chairman Tom Perez, who was elected in February. Things didn’t go well. When Sanders thanked Perez at rallies, his so-called Bernie bros heckled the new chairman. The attempt at unity was a footnote within a month. “The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic Party is an absolute failure,” declared Sanders, who plans to seek a third term in the Senate next year as an independent.

Activists aligned with Sanders are working to mount primary challenges against centrist Democrats. Our Revolution, a group that rose from the ashes of Sanders’ presidential campaign, led a protest in August outside the DNC, demanding a more liberal platform. Party staffers tried handing out snacks and bottles of water, but the hospitality did little to defuse the tension. “They tried to seduce us with doughnuts,” said former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a protest organizer.

Some of the grievances hinge on strategy as much as substance. Kamala Harris, the popular junior Senator from California, backs Sanders’ health plan and won an endorsement from Warren during her election last year. But as California’s former top cop, Harris declined to prosecute bankers, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, for their role in the 2008 financial crisis. She also spent part of her summer raising cash in the tony precincts of the Hamptons. As a result, Sanders allies say she’s a Wall Street shill. “Follow the money,” says Nomiki Konst, a Sanders supporter who serves on the DNC panel tasked with forging postelection unity.

No one waits on the horizon to broker a peace. The DNC has been hollowed out, first by Obama’s neglect and then by a Clinton campaign that raided its talent. Now it is trying to play catch-up, sending $10,000 a month to each state party to help add bodies and channel activists’ energy into permanent organizations. But the party is still $3.5 million in the red, and Republicans are outraising it by a margin of roughly 2 to 1. Meanwhile, Perez is serving as a visiting fellow at Brown University, where he teaches a course called Governance and Leadership in Challenging Times.

Schumer says the party lost the White House in 2016 because it had a “namby-pamby” message on the economy. He’s not risking that again, working with members from both chambers on an aggressive, worker-focused message. The blueprint, dubbed “A Better Deal”, has Warren’s fingerprints all over it, calling for a national $15-per-hour minimum wage and cheaper drugs, colleges and child care. “The focus starts on economic issues,” Schumer said. “That’s where the American people are hurting.” …

Governing in Washington these days is “the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done,” complains Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat. “Most of my life, there was about 20% on the right fringe and the left fringe, but 60% in the middle, where common sense would prevail. Now I’m thinking 40% on each fringe.”

Part of the problem is that red states are getting redder, while blue states are growing ever more blue. Consider West Virginia, where Manchin is still popular from his days as governor. When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, he carried 42 of the state’s 55 counties. That number climbed to 43 four years later. But by 2000, West Virginia residents were sour on Democratic trade policies that many saw as costing them coal and steel jobs. Al Gore won 13 counties that year, and John Kerry took just nine in 2004. It’s little wonder that during Manchin’s first campaign for Senate, in 2010, he cut an ad that showed him firing a rifle at an Obama-backed environmental bill. Obama would go on to lose all 55 counties in 2012–a feat Hillary Clinton repeated.

Democrats still outnumber Republicans in West Virginia by 12 percentage points [according to heavily Democrat-weighted polls -ed].  These Democrats, however, don’t want to hear about NFL players protesting during the national anthem or the latest in the ongoing investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow. They care far less about Black Lives Matter than keeping their checking accounts in the black. Add in the 21% of West Virginians who say they don’t identify with either party, and it’s a dangerous proposition for candidates like Manchin to parrot talking points from MSNBC. It’s not that he’s a squish on cultural issues; it’s that he’d rather talk about lifting the economy in his state, where 18% live in poverty.

The Democrats’ focus on identity politics is one reason Manchin suggested, half-heartedly, that he doesn’t care if he wins another term next year. “The Washington Democrats’ mentality has been more urban,” he says. “They forgot about rural America and rural states. They don’t want you to tell them about their bathrooms or their bedrooms or all this other stuff we’re trying to control.”

Some say another problem is Pelosi. The first female House speaker and a legendary vote wrangler, she was widely, if wrongly, blamed for a series of special-election defeats in the spring, even though Democrats fared far better than usual in places like Kansas and Georgia. A special election in June became less about the candidates than about the specter of Pelosi, whom Republicans cast as a puppet mistress for the Democratic nominee. … [Tim] Ryan’s long-shot bid to replace her as House Democratic leader won [only] 63 votes last year.

Part of Ryan’s pitch has been to put away the pitchforks and modulate the tone. “We cannot be a party that is hostile to business. We need those businesspeople to hire our people, who just want a shot,” Ryan fumes. “We can be business-friendly and still be progressive.” And while it puts him at odds with some peers, such arguments have also won him some unlikely fans. “The smart guys in the Democratic Party, they understand what’s going on. [Ohio Democratic Senator] Sherrod Brown gets this. Tim Ryan gets this.” Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon told 60 Minutes’ Charlie Rose in an interview that aired on Sept. 10. “The only question before us: Is it going to be a left-wing populism or a right-wing populism?” …

One only needs to look at the shuttered mom-and-pop businesses dotting Ryan’s district to see why voters were inclined to listen to Trump’s promises. Which is why Ryan is pushing plans to bring high-speed Internet to the farming communities and to recruit tech giants to the cheap real estate in local cities and towns.

On a Friday in late July, Ryan was padding through the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s annual Italian festival in Youngstown. Simmering red sauce was heaped on polenta, and elephant ears layered with powdered sugar were matched with mostaccioli showered with ground Parmesan from plastic tubes. It was a throwback to a time when church socials defined communities. “These are my peeps,” Ryan says to no one in particular as voters swarm him. …

If Ryan has bigger ambitions to lead, he is not alone. A shadow campaign for the 2020 nomination is quietly taking shape in early-nominating states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Some of the most interesting names are unfamiliar ones. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., visited Iowa in early September to check in. Jason Kander, the former Missouri secretary of state who is viewed as a rising party star, recruited a Sanders aide to stake out territory in Iowa and has announced plans to open offices for his voting-rights group in five states. …

“We have the next generation of Democratic leaders. We need to lift them up in the public eye,” says Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, a group dedicated to electing women who support abortion rights. “This is not a party of one leader. It’s just not.”

Back in Youngstown, you can see the wheels spinning in Ryan’s head. He sees a role for a Midwesterner who can connect with the working-class voters who took comfort in Trump’s rage. Indeed, he thinks the Democrats’ future depends on it. “We can get the party back on track,” Ryan says as his SUV rolls away from a meeting with Ohio union chiefs. “Someone’s going to figure this out. Someone needs to.”

Now to take a view – not from disinterested Mars but – from the conservative Right.

What we see is a party riven by irreconcilable contradictions.

Its leaders are not just old but out of touch with the rising generation of “progressives”. Who will represent the women in pink pussy hats who cheer Hamas-supporting Linda Sarsour more enthusiastically than they did Hillary Clinton? The thousands of possible voters of all colors and ethnicities who march with Black Lives Matter and call for the killing of cops? The black students who are demanding black-only living quarters and graduation ceremonies in their colleges? And those – mostly white – who appear in black clothes and hoods and masks to set fires and smash windows and clobber Trump supporters in the name of “anti-fascism”?  The opponents of free speech?  The loud decriers – black brown and white – of “white privilege”? The SJWs – social justice warriors – who want guaranteed free everything from housing and meals to surgery and university, from condoms and marijuana to Teslas and abortions?

How will the lions of feminism lie down with the lambs of the burkha?

How will the Muslims who hate the Jews even more than they hate everyone else reconcile with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Bernie Sanders?

How will those rising “progressives” who want free stuff but hate whitey, accept the leadership of the only one offering it: Bernie? Whether as Democrat or Independent, would he be voted for by the free-goodies multitude who remain uncontaminated by knowledge of economics  – as an old white man?

How will the Congressional Party thrive when its House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, has declined all the way into her rapidly advancing senile dementia?

What store of riches will it plunder when it has taxed the rich into poverty?

How will it light, cool, warm, transport the people and keep their iPhones active on wind-power?

How will it use, and to what end, a House, a Senate, a White House, or any seat of government if it concedes to its strengthening lobby for the abolition of national borders?

How will it survive long enough to say “I told you so” when breathing driving manufacturing humans and flatulent cows heat up the planet to an unbearable extra degree or two in a hundred years’ time, if it allows Iran to become a nuclear power in a mere ten years or so?

Speed on, Tim Ryan, in your silver Chevy Suburban, popping fistfuls of almonds, to your Italian festivals; pad through basilicas; heap simmering red sauce on polenta, match elephant ears layered with powdered sugar with mostaccioli showered with ground Parmesan from plastic tubes!

Way to go – to political oblivion?

Nancy’s nemesis 3

This is good fun.

A Nancy Pelosi meeting stormed by a crowd of the ‘undocumented youths’ – aka illegal aliens – whose cause, to stay in the US, she ardently espoused. She is shouted down. Their clamor silences her. She cannot utter a word. See the consternation on her face.

Enjoy!

The Left always destroys its own.

Posted under immigration, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 18, 2017

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The Russian hacking that never happened 3

The Nation weekly journal is generally on the side of the Others: the Democrats, the socialists, the statists, the Islam-promoters, the politically correct, the “social justice warriors”.

So if THEY say that there was no Russian hacking of the DNC during the 2016 election year and can prove it – which it seems they can and have – then the conspiracy to spin a “narrative” that presidential candidate Donald Trump plotted with “the Russians” to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House, is over.

We quote the meaty parts of the article by Patrick Lawrence at The Nation:

It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised — a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled. Forced into a corner and having no choice, Trump just signed legislation imposing severe new sanctions on Russia and European companies working with it on pipeline projects vital to Russia’s energy sector. Striking this close to the core of another nation’s economy is customarily considered an act of war, we must not forget. In retaliation, Moscow has announced that the United States must cut its embassy staff by roughly two-thirds. All sides agree that relations between the United States and Russia are now as fragile as they were during some of the Cold War’s worst moments. To suggest that military conflict between two nuclear powers inches ever closer can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole.

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it. It is tiresome to note, but none has been made available. Instead, we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception. These officials profess “high confidence” in their “assessment” as to what happened in the spring and summer of last year—this standing as their authoritative judgment. Few have noticed since these evasive terms first appeared that an assessment is an opinion, nothing more, and to express high confidence is an upside-down way of admitting the absence of certain knowledge. This is how officials avoid putting their names on the assertions we are so strongly urged to accept — as the record shows many of them have done.

We come now to a moment of great gravity.

There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate”.  This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:

  • There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year — not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak — a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.
  • Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.

This article is based on an examination of the documents these forensic experts and intelligence analysts have produced, notably the key papers written over the past several weeks, as well as detailed interviews with many of those conducting investigations and now drawing conclusions from them. …

 

Qualified experts working independently of one another began to examine the DNC case immediately after the July 2016 events. Prominent among these is a group comprising former intelligence officers, almost all of whom previously occupied senior positions. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), founded in 2003, now has 30 members, including a few associates with backgrounds in national-security fields other than intelligence. The chief researchers active on the DNC case are four: William Binney, formerly the NSA’s technical director for world geopolitical and military analysis and designer of many agency programs now in use; Kirk Wiebe, formerly a senior analyst at the NSA’s SIGINT Automation Research Center; Edward Loomis, formerly technical director in the NSA’s Office of Signal Processing; and Ray McGovern, an intelligence analyst for nearly three decades and formerly chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch. Most of these men have decades of experience in matters concerning Russian intelligence and the related technologies. …

Until recently there was a serious hindrance to the VIPS’s work, and I have just suggested it. The group lacked access to positive data. It had no lump of cyber-material to place on its lab table and analyze, because no official agency had provided any. …

Based on the knowledge of former officials such as Binney, the group knew that (1) if there was a hack and (2) if Russia was responsible for it, the NSA would have to have evidence of both. Binney and others surmised that the agency and associated institutions were hiding the absence of evidence behind the claim that they had to maintain secrecy to protect NSA programs. … [but] “Everything that they say must remain classified is already well-known,” Binney said …

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations wherein each could build on the work of others. In this a small, new website called www.disobedientmedia.com proved an important catalyst. Two independent researchers selected it, Snowden-like, as the medium through which to disclose their findings. One of these is known as Forensicator and the other as Adam Carter. On July 9, Adam Carter sent Elizabeth Vos, a co-founder of Disobedient Media, a paper by the Forensicator that split the DNC case open like a coconut.

By this time Binney and the other technical-side people at VIPS had begun working with a man named Skip Folden. Folden was an IT executive at IBM for 33 years, serving 25 years as the IT program manager in the United States. He has also consulted for Pentagon officials, the FBI, and the Justice Department. Folden is effectively the VIPS group’s liaison to Forensicator, Adam Carter, and other investigators, but neither Folden nor anyone else knows the identity of either Forensicator or Adam Carter. … Unanimously, however, all the analysts and forensics investigators interviewed for this column say Forensicator’s advanced expertise, evident in the work he has done, is unassailable. They hold a similarly high opinion of Adam Carter’s work.

Forensicator is working with the documents published by Guccifer 2.0, focusing for now on the July 5 intrusion into the DNC server. The contents of Guccifer’s files are known — they were published last September — and are not Forensicator’s concern. His work is with the metadata on those files. These data did not come to him via any clandestine means. Forensicator simply has access to them that others did not have. It is this access that prompts Kirk Wiebe and others to suggest that Forensicator may be someone with exceptional talent and training inside an agency such as the FBI. “Forensicator unlocked and then analyzed what had been the locked files Guccifer supposedly took from the DNC server,” Skip Folden explained in an interview. “To do this he would have to have ‘access privilege’, meaning a key.” …

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate — the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

These statistics are matters of record and essential to disproving the hack theory. No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed. Compounding this contradiction, Guccifer claimed to have run his hack from Romania, which, for numerous reasons technically called delivery overheads, would slow down the speed of a hack even further from maximum achievable speeds.

What is the maximum achievable speed? Forensicator recently ran a test download of a comparable data volume (and using a server speed not available in 2016) 40 miles from his computer via a server 20 miles away and came up with a speed of 11.8 megabytes per second — half what the DNC operation would need were it a hack. Other investigators have built on this finding. Folden and Edward Loomis say a survey published August 3, 2016, by www.speedtest.net/reports is highly reliable and use it as their thumbnail index. It indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively. Peak speeds at higher rates were recorded intermittently but still did not reach the required 22.7 megabytes per second.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

Time stamps in the metadata provide further evidence of what happened on July 5. The stamps recording the download indicate that it occurred in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone at approximately 6:45 pm. This confirms that the person entering the DNC system was working somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. In theory the operation could have been conducted from Bangor or Miami or anywhere in between — but not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone. Combined with Forensicator’s findings on the transfer rate, the time stamps constitute more evidence that the download was conducted locally, since delivery overheads — conversion of data into packets, addressing, sequencing times, error checks, and the like — degrade all data transfers conducted via the Internet, more or less according to the distance involved.

In addition, there is the adulteration of the documents Guccifer 2.0 posted on June 15, when he made his first appearance. This came to light when researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath. They found that the first five files Guccifer made public had each been run, via ordinary cut-and-paste, through a single template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints. They were not: The Russian markings were artificially inserted prior to posting.“It’s clear,” another forensics investigator self-identified as HET, wrote in a report on this question, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.

To be noted in this connection: The list of the CIA’s cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to. (The tool can also “de-obfuscate” what it has obfuscated.) It is not known whether this tool was deployed in the Guccifer case, but it is there for such a use. …

VIPS has assembled a chronology that imposes a persuasive logic on the complex succession of events just reviewed. It is this:

  • On June 12 last year, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
  • On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.
  • On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.
  • On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia. Virtually no media questioned this account.

It does not require too much thought to read into this sequence. With his June 12 announcement, Assange effectively put the DNC on notice that it had a little time, probably not much, to act preemptively against the imminent publication of damaging documents. Did the DNC quickly conjure Guccifer from thin air to create a cyber-saboteur whose fingers point to Russia? There is no evidence of this one way or the other, but emphatically it is legitimate to pose the question in the context of the VIPS chronology. WikiLeaks began publishing on July 22. By that time, the case alleging Russian interference in the 2016 elections process was taking firm root. In short order Assange would be written down as a “Russian agent”.

By any balanced reckoning, the official case purporting to assign a systematic hacking effort to Russia, the events of mid-June and July 5 last year being the foundation of this case, is shabby to the point taxpayers should ask for their money back. The Intelligence Community Assessment [ICA], the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.

Behind the ICA lie other indefensible realities. The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers — an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ. Dmitri Alperovitch, its co-founder and chief technology officer, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which suffers the same prejudice. Problems such as this are many.

In effect, the new forensic evidence considered here lands in a vacuum. We now enter a period when an official reply should be forthcoming. What the forensic people are now producing constitutes evidence, however one may view it, and it is the first scientifically derived evidence we have into any of the events in which Russia has been implicated. … The cost of duplicity has rarely been so high.

How has the Democratic Part reacted to the revelation, in a usually supportive magazine, that they have been proved to have lied?

Flat denial, and accusation that the revelation is itself  a “conspiracy  theory”:

[The Nation’s] Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.” 

We await with keen interest – animated we confess by more than a little Schadenfreude – the reaction of: the Mainstream Media, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Robert Mueller, James Comey, Julian Assange, Guccifer 2.o, Vladimir Putin, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

A sad little Democratic rally 7

So having pondered their failure for nearly 9 months after losing the White House, and finding themselves with very little power anywhere, power-hungry Democratic leaders have, it would seem, tentatively arrived at the thought that perhaps the continual bashing of President Trump and those who voted for him is not working well for them.

Is the party coming back from that legendary Land of Free Stuff, far over the left horizon?

It held a rally yesterday (July 24, 2015) to announce a re-launch of something, and a newish slogan to decorate it: “A Better Deal”.

Better than what? Better than FDR’s New Deal?

The announcement of the rally attracted about 100 enthusiasts. The slogan has yet to excite the tens of thousands who line up before daybreak to attend a Trump rally in the late afternoon.

But the “better deal” they propose must be carrying them a little way back from the far left, because voices from the far left deride them for it.

Tom Worstall writes at Forbes:

For once in my life I find I agree with the Bernie Bros and other sniping at the Democratic Party from the left – this “A Better Deal” program from Schumer, Pelosi et al is pretty weak beer, little more than a listing of three things which would be quite nice to have. And that’s the problem really, they’d be quite nice but they’re not inspiring, they don’t address the roots of any problems at all, in fact only tinker at the margins. Above all, none of them are the sort of thing to get the juices running nor – much more to the point – the sort of thing to get the election time volunteers out there and hyped up.

What are the three things?

Seriously? We’ll shout at the pharma companies a bit more, here’s a tax credit for apprenticeships and we’ll really look darn hard at the Amazon, Whole Foods merger type of thing?

That’s it? That’s supposed to get half the country marching against patriarchal capitalism?

Doesn’t really even qualify as beer does it, very weak tea might be a better description. But this is the one they’re running with:

“Too many Americans don’t know what we stand for,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, told a sweat-soaked crowd of about 100 at a park here off Main Street. “Not after today [will that be the case].”

Such is the battle cry of a party in the wilderness  

The writer goes on to suggest more exciting policy ideas for the Democrats, while denying that he himself is actually for them.

I’m still waiting to hear the “bold solutions” that Democrats promise. I can think of one possibility: Why not propose some version of truly universal single-payer health care?

I can think of a set of policies which would mobilize the base rather more. I wouldn’t say that I actually recommend any of these policies, my solutions to things tend not to be acceptable in Democrat circles. But yes, why not call for single payer (no, really, I don’t think it’s a good policy but as a rallying call however), $20 an hour minimum wage at some future date and a $3 trillion infrastructure program? No one is particularly listening to how these sorts of plans will be implemented nor paid for, the aim at present is to simply get that excitement at the world that could be raging. Seriously, the promise of a chicken in every pot would be more inspiring that “A Better Deal” so far.

Political excitement, which is what the Democrats are trying to engender, is created by the dreams of what could be, not the sort of marginal management issues proposed in “A Better Deal”.

But didn’t a vital section of the electorate demonstrate decisively last November that it is not easily taken in by promises of the impossible?

Posted under Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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The dying of the Left 8

Parties of the socialist Left are dying in Western democracies.

No need to look at Venezuela where the most recent total wreck of a country has been brought about by socialism to see that the creed has lost its appeal. Look at France, Britain, America.

The Socialist Party is finished in France:

Samuel Earle writes at The Atlantic:

The most open presidential race France has seen since the formation of the Fifth Republic, with four candidates in close contention, saw no place for the Socialist Party, a stalwart of the French political scene for the past half century. The election was full of surprises, scandals, twists, and turns. But for numerous reasons the Socialists were never really in the mix.

The Labour Party is done for in Britain:

Jason Cowley writes at the leftist New Statesman:

The stench of decay and failure coming from the Labour Party is now overwhelming. Speak to any Conservative MP and they will say that there is no opposition. Period. … Labour is fatally divided inside parliament and outside it. On its present foundations this Labour house cannot stand. The MPs do not want the leadership. The leadership does not want the MPs; it wants to unhouse them. [Jeremy] Corbyn … is not a leader … [He] has failed even on his own terms, and his failure has created a crisis of the left

The Labour Party has had to advertise  for people who will stand as their candidates in the forthcoming general election.  Prime Minister Theresa May has called it because she expects to increase her (not very conservative) Conservative Party’s majority by a very large number.

The Democratic Party in America became a socialist party. It lost heavily in the 2016 elections and is now in tatters.

This is what the American Left looks like these days. These are self-described “anti-fascists”. They call themselves Antifa. Their banners are intentionally made to look like the banners of the Nazis. And they themselves look very like ISIS.

Thus this pictorial statement:

And what of the Democratic Party leaders?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is rapidly going senile.

Honeymoon-in-Soviet-Russia Bernie Sanders distances himself from the Democratic Party yet has captured the support of its base. A strong indication of the party’s disintegration there, as socialist Bernie leads the flock far off into limbo.

And what of Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee?  The party that won’t condemn Antifa finds its susceptibilities hurt by Perez’s constant swearing! And a minority of Democrats are disturbed by his announcement that the party will no longer tolerate members who are against abortion on demand. So-called “pro-lifers” are not wanted. In fact, abortion has become so central an issue that the party could fairly be named “the Abortion Party”. On its way into oblivion, that is.

Tragically, though, it will leave behind it an heir that is even more thoroughly totalitarian, even more ruthlessly oppressive, even more cruel than most socialist tyrants – the Left’s foster-child Islam.

Russian connections: the hornet’s nest 1

When the Democrats decided to try and make a case that Donald Trump, at the time he was a candidate for the presidency, was a traitor to America in league with the Russians – as a ruse of course, they knew there was no such case in truth –  they poked a hornet’s nest and they will be stung.

The Democrats, not the Republicans, have wooed the Russians.

From Front Page, by Lloyd Billingsley:

“In 2015, Russian intelligence agencies penetrated the computers of political organizations, think tanks and other U.S. institutions in what looked like a foreign intelligence-gathering operation, but this is not the first time we were hacked by Russia. This particular action was ‘so extraordinary’ because ‘President Vladimir Putin decided to become an active participant in the U.S. election and attempt to influence its result for Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton’. Further, ‘this is not idle speculation or the partisan characterization of ambiguous events – it is the consensus conclusion of all our intelligence agencies’.”

Suddenly the nation learnt – from candidate Hillary Clinton in one of the last debates she had with Donald Trump, when she recited the talking points fed to her – that there are 17 US intelligence agencies. And the impression that the Democrats wanted to give was that all 17 of them – including, for instance, the Coast Guard’s – had independently come to the conclusion that Russia was interfering in the US elections.  Later it was revealed – not by Democrats – that one of President Obama’s last dirty deeds was to arrange for the spread of intelligence among all the agencies. Why? To make it seem that they corroborated each other, and to make it easier for willing agents to “leak” stories, true or false, to the Democrat-supporting media without being easily tracked down if by any remote chance a Republican administration or non-Democratic investigative journalist might try to find the leaker.

That [the quotation] is Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, in a March 26 Sacramento Bee commentary headlined, “Independent commission needed to investigate Russian hacking of our democracy.”

Schiff wonders, “When did the Russians decide to turn intelligence gathering into data weaponization, and why? What was the U.S. government response and how do we protect ourselves in the future? And did the Russians have the help of U.S. citizens in this compromise of our democracy, including people associated with the campaign they assisted?”

In classic style, the California Democrat provides no evidence for what he assumes up front to be true. [And] he fails to provide any contrast between Democrats and Republicans in recent actions involving Russia, some of them strategic.

Since the days of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, which Democrats derided as “Star Wars”, Russia had denounced U.S. efforts to shield itself and European allies from missile attack. The Russian protests got particularly loud when the Bush administration worked out a missile defense pact with Poland and the Czech Republic.

One of President Obama’s first actions was to cancel missile defense for U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic. Even the New York Times called it a “security reversal”. Mitt Romney called it a “gift to Russia” and more gifts were on the way in the “re-set” of relations.

“We want to ensure that every question the Russian military or Russian government asks is answered.” That was U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Secretary Clinton touted “deep cooperation between our countries” and agreed to the most intrusive arrangement the United States ever accepted.

A week after the departure of Dmitry Medvedev, when the FBI busted 10 Russian spies operating in the United States, the Democrats’ Russian re-set team promptly swept it “under the rug”. 

Putin followed Medvedev and the Democrats’ Russian re-set team did nothing to stop the imperialist autocrat from gobbling up part of Ukraine. Likewise, with continual American retreat, the Democrats’ Russian re-set team effectively made Putin the master of the Middle East.

It was all, to paraphrase Ian Fleming, “to Russia with love’. Yet as Nancy Pelosi claims, Putin had a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton, and as Adam Schiff explains, Putin opted to oppose Hillary Clinton and back Donald Trump in the 2016 election. That narrative emerged only after Trump’s victory last November, with good reason.

The Democrats and their allies in the old-line establishment media are “progressives”, who have somehow escaped the conditioning that affects the masses and know where history is progressing. Therefore, if progressive candidate Hillary Clinton fails to win, the reason must be interference by Russia.

Meanwhile, the administration of President Donald Trump, to counter a surge in missile launches by North Korea, announced the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) in South Korea by the end of 2017. As the Washington Times reported, this move by Trump “angered not only North Korea but also China and Russia, which see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat”. 

Chinese, North Korean and Russian anger did not prompt the Trump administration to back down. The Stalinist North Korean regime has been missile-rattling for years, with the ultimate target the United States. No Democrat administration, least of all the Russian re-set team, ever deployed the purely defensive THAAD in South Korea. Instead they opted for “strategic patience”, also known as doing nothing.

Adam Schiff has yet to explain why the all-powerful Russian spooks were unable to produce Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 emails, which she kept on an unsecured server in her house. Revealing those would have killed her candidacy in a second. …

Adam Schiff is unable to consider the reality that Hillary Clinton lost because voters perceived her as shrill, corrupt, untrustworthy, and incompetent.

And because enough of them wanted Donald Trump to be president.

*

Hillary Clinton had corrupt dealings with the Russians which she should be answering for in a court of law. And her campaign chairman, John Podesta, had fishy relations with them too:

*

And here’s the famous picture of Obama whispering conspiratorially to Dmitry Medvedev in March 2012:

The losing Left 3

Except in Western institutions of education, the socialist Left is a spent force.

Where it has had absolute power it stands in the midst of the ruin it has made (Cuba, Venezuela); or it has conceded that only capitalism brings prosperity (China); or it screams absurdly that it will destroy the West and fires dud missiles over the ocean (North Korea). No new such states will be established in the foreseeable future.

Where it has had to share power it is seen by voters as standing for nothing worth voting for.

The British Labour Party is decaying – even according to its own members.

“The Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) has suffered the worst result in their history after losing more than three-quarters of their parliamentary seats in [the recent] general election.”

The French Socialist Party is “heading for implosion “ in the forthcoming elections.

The Democratic Party in America (yes, it is a socialist party) is a sad rump. The president is a Republican and the Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Supreme Court will most likely be dominated by conservative justices for a long time to come.

Even pro-Democrat CNS News, however reluctantly, reports:

Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority … In 24 of the 32 states with Republican-controlled legislatures, voters have also elected Republican governors. In contrast, Democrats have a “political trifecta” in just six states.

The country was not excited by the prospect of a leadership consisting of senile Nancy Pelosi, dishonest whiny Harry Reid, and crooked Hillary Clinton.

Of course the dark side is going down fighting. Its militant cohorts consist of black-clothed thugs who mob-attack Republicans and anyone else they don’t like with with fire, clubs, fists, and boots.

Elected Democrats, the unhappy few, are doing their utmost to destroy the Trump presidency, chiefly by pretending with a great deal of faux outrage that President Trump is in league with the Russian government!

Leftists want power for power’s sake. They want one-party rule – their own perpetually. They try to buy votes by offering “free stuff”. The Venezuelans fell for that, and now they are sans food, sans medicine, sans hope, sans everything.

But the fight is on. In America it is a kind of civil war.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.

It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.

It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.

It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become “patriotic”.

There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.

After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.

This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.

Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.

That’s why compromise has become impossible.

Our system of government was designed to allow different groups to negotiate their differences. But those differences were supposed to be based around finding shared interests. The most profound of these shared interests was that of a common country based around certain civilizational values. The left has replaced these Founding ideas with radically different notions and principles. It has rejected the primary importance of the country. As a result it shares little in the way of interests or values.

Instead it has retreated to cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda.

But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.

In the hidden transition, its authority figures had hijacked the law and every political office they held to pursue their ideological agenda. The left had used its vast cultural power to manufacture a consensus that was slowly transitioning the country from American values to its values and agendas. The right had proven largely impotent in the face of a program which corrupted and subverted from within.

The left was enormously successful in this regard. It was so successful that it lost all sense of proportion and decided to be open about its views and to launch a political power struggle after losing an election.

The Democrats were no longer being slowly injected with leftist ideology. Instead the left openly took over and demanded allegiance to open borders, identity politics and environmental fanaticism. The exodus of voters wiped out the Democrats across much of what the left deemed flyover country.

The left responded to democratic defeats by retreating deeper into undemocratic institutions, whether it was the bureaucracy or the corporate media, while doubling down on its political radicalism. It is now openly defying the outcome of a national election using a coalition of bureaucrats, corporations, unelected officials, celebrities and reporters that are based out of its cultural and political enclaves.

It has responded to a lost election by constructing sanctuary cities and states thereby turning a cultural and ideological secession into a legal secession. But while secessionists want to be left alone authoritarians want everyone to follow their laws. The left is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates with severe punishments for those who disobey.

The left describes its actions as principled. But more accurately they are ideological. Officials at various levels of government have rejected the authority of the President of the United States, of Congress and of the Constitution because those are at odds with their radical ideology. Judges have cloaked this rejection in law. Mayors and governors are not even pretending that their actions are lawful.

The choices of this civil war are painfully clear.

We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.

But we cannot have both.

Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.

That is what we have now.

The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.

The question is what comes next.

The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.

The left doesn’t believe in secession. It’s an authoritarian political movement that has lost democratic authority. There is now a political power struggle underway between the democratically elected officials and the undemocratic machinery of government aided by a handful of judges and local elected officials.

What this really means is that there are two competing governments; the legal government and a treasonous anti-government of the left. If this political conflict progresses, agencies and individuals at every level of government will be asked to demonstrate their allegiance to these two competing governments. And that can swiftly and explosively transform into an actual civil war.

There is no sign that the left understands or is troubled by the implications of the conflict it has initiated. And there are few signs that Democrats properly understand the dangerous road that the radical left is drawing them toward. The left assumes that the winners of a democratic election will back down rather than stand on their authority. It is unprepared for the possibility that democracy won’t die in darkness.

Civil wars end when one side is forced to accept the authority of the other. The left expects everyone to accept its ideological authority. Conservatives expect the left to accept Constitutional authority. The conflict is still political and cultural. It’s being fought in the media and within the government. But if neither side backs down, then it will go beyond words as both sides give contradictory orders.

The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws and its elections. Now their treason is coming to a head. They are engaged in a struggle for power against the government. That’s not protest. It’s not activism. The old treason of the sixties has come of age. A civil war has begun.

This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.

We see the Left totalitarians losing the war. Nasty as their fight is and will continue to be for quite some time, it is not them we have to fear but their terrible foster-child, Islam. 

That is the totalitarian force that is gathering strength – and in Europe it is winning.

On an outgoing tide 2

Going out on the Democratic Party’s receding tide, soon to be happily forgotten, is many an old Nurse Ratched of the Progressive Asylum, among them, to the loudest cheers of Donald Trump supporters, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Harry Reid, and surely … may it be …  yes …. with a push and a bit of luck, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Breitbart reports:

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan said Thursday he will challenge Rep. Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader, shaking up the Democratic leadership race after the party’s electoral shellacking.

“What we are doing right now is not working,” the 43-year-old Ryan said in a letter. “Under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929. This should indicate to all of us that keeping our leadership team completely unchanged will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections.”

Pelosi [78 years old] … said in announcing her candidacy on Wednesday that she has the backing of two-thirds of the caucus. Ryan dismissed that claim, as disgruntled Democrats clamor for change after losing the White House and remaining in the minority in the House and Senate with minimal gains.

The election is slated for Nov. 30. It marks the second time Pelosi has faced a challenge after a dismal Democratic performance in an election.

In a closed-door session earlier Thursday, Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., said she told her colleagues that “if we don’t, as a party, have our leaders accept responsibility for where we are, we can’t move forward and get to the point where our message is going to resonate with voters”. …

What message would that be, we wonder.

The first female speaker of the House, Pelosi has led House Democrats since 2002. …

Some Democratic lawmakers expressed their frustration in the closed-door session, and some grew angrier after Pelosi left the room to hold her weekly news conference, according to those who attended the session …

Among the frustrations for junior Democrats is that several top Democrats on powerful committees have been atop their posts for many years – well into their 80s in some cases – and are not some of the party’s most vibrant voices. For instance, the top Democrat on the panel responsible for taxes and the Affordable Care Act is 85-year-old Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, while the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee is John Conyers, 87, who’s been in Congress for more than 50 years.

In the meeting, Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., said he issued a challenge in the caucus “that anybody who is running for any position of leadership needs to come back and explain to us how we’re going to be able to survive one, the Trump years, but two, to not have the same excuse we have every two years where there’s some external factor that somehow causes us to not gain the seats that we need.”

The elections had been scheduled for Thursday but were postponed until after Thanksgiving.

One of the internal factors that “somehow causes” the Democrats “to not gain the seats” they “need” is undoubtedly Nancy Pelosi. Let’s hope enough of them realize that, and push her out to sea. Or grass. Either metaphor will do.

Perhaps those who are then still standing on the wilder shores of progressivism, will find their way back to America.

The man who will clean the Augean Stable 8

A great new movement, a grassroots rebellion, has arisen in America. Those who realize this, and understand why, have no trouble seeing Donald Trump as president of the United States after the disastrous, almost ruinous, deeply depressing presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

Conrad Black understands it. He writes at the National Post, of which he was formerly a proprietor:

Donald Trump polled extensively last year and confirmed his suspicion that between 30 and 40 per cent of American adults, cutting across all ethnic, geographic, and demographic lines, were angry, fearful and ashamed at the ineptitude of their federal government.

Americans, Trump rightly concluded, could not abide a continuation in office of those in both parties who had given them decades of shabby and incompetent government: stagnant family incomes, the worst recession in 80 years, stupid wars that cost scores of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars and generated a humanitarian disaster, serial foreign policy humiliations, and particularly the absence of a border to prevent the entry of unlimited numbers of unskilled migrants, and trade deals that seemed only to import unemployment with often defective goods. I was one of those who thought at the outset that Trump was giving it a shot, and that if it didn’t fly it would at least be a good brand-building exercise.

Americans, unlike most nationalities, are not accustomed to their government being incompetent and embarrassing. History could be ransacked without unearthing the slightest precedent or parallel for the rise of America in two long lifetimes (1783-1945) from two and a half million colonists to a place of power and influence and prestige greater than any nation has ever possessed — everywhere victorious and respected, with an atomic monopoly and half the economic product of the world. Forty-five years later, their only rival had collapsed like a soufflé without the two Superpowers exchanging a shot between them. International Communism and the Soviet Union disintegrated and America was alone, at the summit of the world.

And then it turned into a nation of idiots, incapable of doing anything except conduct military operations against primitive countries. The objective performance of the latter Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations, and the Gingrich, Reid-Pelosi, and Boehner-led congresses, and most of the courts, have for these 25 years been shameful and as unprecedented in American history as the swift rise of America was in the history of the world. The people turned out rascals and got worse rascals.

We would not be so hard on Newt Gingrich. He’s been saying sensible things about Trump.

Donald Trump’s research revealed that the people wanted someone who was not complicit in these failures and who had built and run something. Washington, Jackson, the Harrisons, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and others had risen as military heroes, though some of them had had some political exposure. Jefferson and Wilson were known as intellectuals, Madison as chief author of the Constitution, and Monroe and John Quincy Adams as international statesmen. What is called for now is a clean and decisive break from the personalities and techniques of the recent past. Donald Trump doesn’t remind anyone of the presidents just mentioned, but he elicited a surge of public support by a novel, almost Vaudeville, routine as an educated billionaire denouncing the political leadership of the country in Archie Bunker blue-collar terms.

Last (Super) Tuesday, he completed the preliminary takeover of the Republican Party.He demonstrated his hold on the angry, the fearful, and the ashamed by passing the double test: he had held no elective office, but he was a worldly man who knew how to make the system work  and rebuild American strength and public contentment. All the other candidates in both parties were vieux jeu, passé. Only a few of the governors (Bush, Christie, and Kasich) had run anything successfully, none of them had built anything, and all were up to their eyeballs in the sleazy American political system — long reduced to a garish and corrupt log-rolling game of spin-artists, lobbyists, and influence-peddlers. Bernie Sanders gets a pass, but he is an undischarged Marxist, and while many of his attacks on the incumbent system and personnel have merit, his policy prescriptions are unacceptable to 90 per cent of Americans.

It was clear on Tuesday night that Trump’s insurrection had recruited the Republican centre and pushed his opponents to the fringes. The conservative intellectuals, including my friends and editors at National Review, as well as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and some of the think tanks, attacked Trump as inadequately conservative. They are correct — he isn’t particularly conservative, and favours universal medical care, as much as possible in private-sector plans, but a stronger safety net for those who can’t afford health care, and retention of federal assistance to Planned Parenthood except in matters of abortion. Traditional, quasi-Bushian moderate Republican opponents and liberals  were reduced to calling him an extremist — claiming he was a racist, a “neo-fascist” said Bob Woodward, America’s greatest mythmaker and (albeit bloodless) Watergate assassin, and a “Caesarist” by the normally sane Ross Douthat in The New York Times. (He was confusing the triumphs of the early Caesars with the debauchery of the later Caligula and Nero and the earlier bread and circuses of the Gracchi, but it is all bunk.)

John Robson [a columnist and editorial writer for the National Post], took his place in this queue on Monday, claiming Trump was squandering an inherited fortune (he has multiplied it), and concluding that Trump is “a loathsome idiot”.  The sleaziest dirty tricks campaigner of modern American history, Ted Cruz, claimed Trump was in league with gangsters.

We would not be that hard on Ted Cruz.

On Tuesday night, Cruz ran strongly in his home state of Texas but his support is now confined exclusively to Bible-thumping, M16-toting corn-cobbers and woolhats, and he has no traction outside the southwest and perhaps Alaska. The orthodox Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, is now a Chiclet-smiled, motor-mouth loser, having first been exposed as such by Chris Christie (the New Jersey governor who could have won the nomination and election four years ago and is now running for the vice-presidential nomination with Trump). Rubio should bite the dust in Florida next week. On Super Tuesday evening Donald Trump made the turn from rabble-rouser to nominee-presumptive. The only early campaign excess he has to walk back is the nonsense that all the 11 million illegal migrants will be removed, and then many will be readmitted. Of course the selection process must occur before they are evicted, not after.

Even the formidable and adversarial journalist Megyn Kelly acknowledged that he looked and sounded like a president. He spoke fluently and in sentences and without bombast or excessive self-importance. He is placed exactly where he needs to be for the election, after Hillary Clinton finishes her escapade on the left to fend off the unfeasible candidacy of Bernie Sanders. (This is if she is not indicted for her misuse of official emails — Obama is nasty enough to have her charged, and almost all prosecutions of prominent people in the U.S. are political, but she is now all that stands between Donald Trump and the White House, but is almost a paper tigress.) Trump sharply raised the Republican vote totals and the fact that he carried 49 per cent of the Republican voters in Massachusetts, a state with almost no extremists in it, indicates how wide his appeal has become.

Obama may well be “nasty enough” to have Hillary charged, but is he law-abiding enough?

Hillary Clinton was, as Trump described her when she unwisely accused him of being a sexist, a facilitator of sexism; simultaneously the feminist in chief and First (Wronged) Lady, as spouse of America’s premier sexist. She was elected in a rotten borough for the Democrats in New York State, and was a nondescript secretary of state. She has been caught in innumerable falsehoods and her conduct in the entire Benghazi affair (the terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador) was reprehensible. Her indictment for various breaches of national security and possible perjury is regularly demanded by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and other worthies. …

All these and more failures, as well as unseemly activities with the Clinton Foundation, will be mercilessly pounded on in the campaign. Donald Trump will not simulate the languorous defeatism of the senior Bush or Mitt Romney, or the blunderbuss shortcomings of Bob Dole and John McCain. (Romney’s savage attack on Trump on Thursday served to remind Republicans of how he squandered a winnable election in 2012 and faced in all four directions on every major issue.)

It really is incomprehensible why Mitt Romney laid himself open, with his vituperative attack on Trump, to an obvious blow in retaliation; that he failed miserably when he was a Republican nominee for the presidency. Any opinion of his on any candidate could only remind everyone of his failure. He figuratively lay down in front of Trump and begged, “Kick me!”  Which Trump obligingly did – though not too hard.

Eight years ago, it was time to break the colour barrier at the White House. Now it is time to clean the Augean Stable. Donald Trump has his infelicities, though not those that malicious opponents or people like John Robson, who simply haven’t thought it through, allege. But he seems to have become the man whom the great office of president of the United States now seeks. He is far from a Lincolnian figure, but after his astonishing rise it would be a mistake to underestimate him.

We prefer him not to be a “Lincolnian figure”.

But we like Conrad Black’s turn of phrase when he says that “the great office of president of the United States now seeks” Donald Trump. 

Certainly an enormous number of Americans want to place him in that office. Which might be the same thing.

Why the Trump phenomenon is important 35

We have had three emails about the article we quoted yesterday (see the post immediately below). Two of the three agreed with it.

We quote what Alexander Firestone wrote, with his permission:

This is a very impressive article and is almost certainly a correct analysis.

When Obama was first elected in 2008 both House and Senate went democratic with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running the show there. That situation allowed passage of Obamacare among other vile things. Two years later both houses went Republican with John Boehner elected as speaker.

Rank-and-file republicans expected John Boehner to be the principal voice of the opposition to Obama’s lunatic ideas and policies. That was his job. But he did nothing. No one ever heard his voice. I defy anyone to name a single issue or a single bill in which Boehner told the White House to go to hell and got it thru. 

Six years utterly wasted and Obama more-or-less given a blank check.

That’s what’s wrong with the Republican establishment.

For six years the Republican Party establishment did nothing to oppose the systematic dismantling of this country by the Obama administration, from the “reset” with the former Soviet Union to the abandonment of Poland, the Czech Republic, the UK, NATO, the Ukraine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, India, et al.; to the attempted embrace of Iran, China and North Korea; to the disasters of Libya, Iraq and Syria; to the abandonment of American Veterans thru the corrupt VA; to insane quantitative easing; to multi-trillion dollar deficits, and the transfer of trillions of dollars from American savers to banks and Wall Street operators; to IRS scandals and the corruption of the Justice Department under Holder and now Lynch; to the systematic dismantling of the US Navy; to the release of hundreds of terrorists from Gitmo to resume their activities unimpeded, etc., etc. The list can be expanded ad nauseam if not ad infinitum.

Did anyone hear even a squeak from Boehner?

No. And that’s why the Republican establishment has been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the rank-and-file, blue collar workers (both democrat and republican), conservatives with and without religious or social agendas, and the millions of hard-working Americans who feel betrayed by our elites.

Yes, the Obama administration and the liberals are the enemies of this country, but the supposed opposition did nothing to oppose any of this because, as this article makes clear, they were paid off by the left to just go along.

That’s why the Trump phenomenon is so impressive and so very important.

Now it is the personalities that matter. Specific issues, programs, etc., have become irrelevant. Quoting some old speech by Trump, or Cruz or even Hillary is of no importance and will change nothing.

Hillary is corruption incarnate.

Trump is the anti-corrupt Washington candidate, and he owns that role.

That’s what it all boils down to. All else has become irrelevant, and one is morally obligated to come down on one side or the other. There are NO other options. Carping at something Trump once said doesn’t help at all.

We concur. The enormous popularity of Trump is a rebellion against the deep corruption in the centers of power.

It is a sign of the health of America.

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