Today Steve Martin tweeted this heartfelt tribute to the late Carrie Fisher: When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well.
And then he was shamed into deleting it by shrill Leftist thought police claiming that it was "sexist." Read their scolding here. It's almost as if the Left couldn't stand the President-elect coming off as more ridiculous than they are and felt they had to catch up.
To say that someone is attractive is neither to diminish that person nor to imply that physical attractiveness is their only positive characteristic. In fact, the point of Martin's post was that besides possessing physical beauty Princess Leia was witty and intelligent.
Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children killed by order of Herod in an effort to rid himself of the perceived threat of "He Who is born King of the Jews." Since Roe v. Wade, American Christians have also observed it as a day to mourn for the contemporary counterparts of the Holy Innocents, the millions of American babies who have been victims of legalized abortion.
As Jefferson said of slavery, "I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just." But God is also merciful. Let's pray for repentance on the part of those who have had and have enabled abortions- and for the rest of us, who have failed so miserably in providing them with clear alternatives and encouragement in choosing them, and who have failed also to be as concerned as we might have been about the welfare of our fellow citizens of all ages who have already been born.
Personally, I think those groups are pretty revolting already. They already have representation on the President-elect's staff in Steve Bannon. But apparently the crazies want Mr. Trump to openly embrace them, not just refuse to repudiate them like he did during the campaign.
Now, I do not hold a high opinion of Donald Trump's acumen. But it would take a special kind of obliviousness for him to do that.
Whether he intended to send them the message that he was in their corner or not, in combination with the crazy statements he's been making for the past year, that's the message not only they but a lot of us have gotten. Remember this?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a marathon year-end press conference in which he downplayed talk of a renewed arms race (even while tossing his buddy Donald Trump a bone by emphasizing the strategic advantage he claims for Russia's modernization of its nuclear forces) while continuing to heap praise on the Russophile American president-elect.
Parenthetically, America's nuclear arsenal does need to be modernized, just as the Russians have modernized their own. But talk of increasing it in size after decades of strenuous efforts to reduce the number of nukes in the world, as Trump has suggested, is crazy.
Trump and the "illiberal" populist and nationalist parties of Europe can be expected to continue to be in thrall to the Russian tyrant in the coming years. This is a bizarre situation, unprecedented since the United States has been a global power: our foreign policy agenda is being set by a foreign nation which sees us as their enemy, and one weaker than we…
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to rthe city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “…
New evidence suggests the same hackers that targeted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) earlier this summer also targeted the operational capability of Ukrainian artillery in 2014. Crowdstrike, the cybersecurity company that originally investigated the breach of the DNC and attributed the attacks to Russia, reportedly found a unique piece of malware both within the DNC’s network and embedded in an Android application developed by a Ukrainian soldier to assist in processing targeting data. The hackers infected the app with this unique piece of malware that then spread - via the app - throughout the Ukrainian military to reveal the positions of Ukrainian artillery units. During the same timeline, pro-Russian artillery launched over 120 attacks on Ukrainian forces, destroying 80 percent of their D-30 Howitzers and forcing their retreat over hundreds of kilometers of border territory.
The Cipher Take:
The unique malware found in both the DNC and the Ukrai…
Aside from the wisdom of Trump's instincts with regard to the Middle Kingdom, there are ways in which things are done in the world of diplomacy. And for all his bragging about his ability as a dealmaker, the Donald is not only dismally ignorant of them but doesn't seem to either know it or care.
There is no end to the trouble that this man may unnecessarily get us into in the next for years simply because he's so completely ignorant in the area of foreign policy, too cocky to admit it, and too impulsive to act only after he's gathered all the information he needs to make his decision.
Neither President-elect Trump nor his family understands his conflict of interest issues. Nor do they seem to want to.
Further, he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about when he criticizes the F-35 program (the F-18 is an alternative only to the Navy's version of the F-35, the F-35b, pictured at the right. And the figures Trump cited for the F-35 were an estimate of the entire cost of the program for the next 30 years!), or the Boeing contract to build the new Air Force One. His ill-informed and apparently impulsive tweets about matters he doesn't understand promise to continue to complicate defense procurement and may well endanger our national security as time goes on.
The bottom line: however Trump sees them, the Russians still see us as their number one enemy and chief geopolitical opponent. Syria is beside the point. Ukraine while definitely not beside the point, is by no means the whole point. Russia always wants to be seen as pushing the United States back and asserting its own power and influence in the world. It's national ego (and certainly that of its president) was badly bruised by losing the Cold War. It wants a new one- and this time, one it will win. Of course, if America is foolish enough to abandon the world to the Putins and the Kim Jung-Uns and the ayatollahs and let them run wild, the objective of reversing the blow to Russia's national prestige at the expense…
"Kapos," for the uninitiated, were Jewish concentration camp inmates given special privileges for ratting on and abusing fellow prisoners. The Friedman appointment is yet another signal of the extreme and intolerant nature of the administration that will take over next month.
Those urging that we "give President Trump a chance" or the benefit of what by now is a non-existent doubt are looking sillier by the day. Trump has been clear as glass about what he was and how he would govern ever since his bizarre and intolerant campaign began.
Good analysis, it seems to me. It not only lays out the reasons for Vladimir Putin's antipathy toward Hillary Clinton (and yes, Trump partisans, Vlad does hate Hillary), but provides insight into both a personality and an agenda which dovetail remarkably with those of Donald Trump.
Trump and Putin are both personally insecure authoritarians who project their self-doubt upon their nations. Their rhetoric in each case resonates with those who themselves are filled with self-doubt and project their own sense of self-loathing upon those same nations.
In Putin's case, he was deeply humiliated by Russia's defeat in the Cold War and determined to renew the contest with the United States and win this time. In Trump's case, his nation is the most powerful on earth, but partly due to the world economic meltdown in 2008, partly as a result of bad decisions by national leaders of both parties, and party due to the eagerness of those in the grips of the hostility which always is e…
Meanwhile, Nina Khruschevena (yes, "Daughter of Khruschev") explores Trump's 'Manchurian Cabinet-' a set of foreign policy advisors designed to provide a plot for a paranoid 1950's movie so over the top that it would be laughable if it didn't appear to be actually happening.
There comes a point at which Trump's extensive Russian holdings and his pronounced tilt toward Vladimir Putin's murderous regime are going to start raising eyebrows even among those determined to give the president-elect the benefit of every conceivable doubt. And it will be quite a role reversal if a Republican president starts being accused by Democrats of being loyal to Russia rather than to the United States. But giving Mr. Trump- well, the benefit of every conceivable doubt, he's going to have to develop an awareness of how much appearances matter.
Donald Trump once tried to cast his bizarre behavior and inconsistent policy statements as virtues, saying that it would be to our advantage to be "unpredictable."
Well, that's one way to put it. Speaking of Trump' anxiety to defend Russia and Vladimir Putin from charges of complicity in the hacking of the DNC's computers, The Cyber Brief quotes Gunter Gressel of the European Council of foreign relations as saying that as disturbed by Trump's attitude in the Russiagate affair as our NATO allies are, "it is more than distrust in intelligence, It is Trump’s erratic behavior and egomania."
The DNC hacking is making all of Europe, but especially France and Germany, nervous about the same thing happening to sensitive computer servers of their own, Gressel continued. Both have elections next year, and German intelligence believes that the same Russians who hacked the DNC's computers also hacked computers belonging to the German parliament a few year…
President-elect Trump's foreign conflicts of interest raise questions about his being a security risk. But just as disturbing is his decision not to receive daily security briefings because he's "smart."
There are a lot of things about Mr. Trump's, shall we say, ample self-regard that are worrisome. But this is one of the most serious. There have been times when a president having had daily intelligence briefings has literally prevented nuclear war. The president must know everything the intelligence community has to present to him. There is no option. Moreover, he has to hear the details over and over because he cannot afford to forget any of them. He cannot go off half-cocked, as Mr. Trump is apt to do. The lives of billions of people and the safety of the nation and the world are at stake here.
'Twas the month before Christmas. The Senate and House,
Were both up for grabs, and each man and his spouse
Would vote foe a POTUS. But which should they choose?
No matter which won, the whole nation would lose!
However they voted, they knew they'd not fail,
To choose a new leader who should be in jail!
One failed to help diplomats in peril dire,
And the other, fit only contestants to fire.
One kept state secrets on a private mail server-
What evil thing had we all done to deserve her?
The other with ignorant comments was nimble,
But his knowledge of governing fit in a thimble.
A stern feminist and far Left was our Hill!
Her voice, how it cackled! Her words, oh, how shrill!
The Donald of riches had nary a lack,
'Cause he borrowed a lot, and did not pay it back!
He ripped off his workers and contractors, too,
And laughed at them saying, "There's nothing that you
Can do about this, 'cause you very well know
That to sue me would cost y…
That Vlad Putin, Anonymous, Julian Assange, Breitbart, Judge Napolitano's tea leaves, assorted chicken entrails, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, William Binney, and Madam Olga's Crystal Ball are more credible intelligence sources than the CIA and FBI.
Who'da thunk it?
It would be bad enough if this was coming from the normal collection of Alt-Right cuckoos. But it actually seems to have become the Republican party line.
But I'd like to ask three questions: first, how, exactly, does Donald Trump know that Russia isn't behind the hacks?
Secondly, why is it so important to him that they not be?
And finally, has the entire Republican party lost its capacity for independent, critical thought and become part of a Trumpist hive mind?
According to Pew Research, 54% of the American people have never heard of the "alt-right," the white supremacist, anti-Semitic extremists who formed the core of Donald Trump's initial support and are represented on the President-elect's staff in the person of Steve Bannon.
28% have heard "a little bit," and only 17% have heard "a lot."
The more educated you are and the further Left you are on the political spectrum, the more likely you are to be acquainted with the alt-right, which the actress portraying German Chancellor Angela Merkel on "Saturday Night Live" last week said was known in Germany as "why Grandpapa lives in Argentina."
The relative lack of awareness of the alt-right among conservatives can be explained as the flip side of the reason why so few Democrats are acquainted with the details of the radical fringe on the Left. We tend to be more aware of the kooky elements on the opposite side of the spectrum than on our…
The CIA believes that the Russians intended to help Donald Trump become president. The FBI and the Director of National Intelligence agree that the Russians were responsible for the hacking but are not absolutely sure of their motives.
Putin, Trump and Trump's supporters deny that the Russians were responsible, Interesting that Trump and the Trumpkins are so defensive about Russia and Putin, isn't it?
And here, in a few seconds, is ABC News explaining why Donald Trump is barred from the presidency unless Congress expressly permits him to retain investments in foreign countries, many unfriendly, totaling hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars.
Note that putting these investments in a blind trust, as he has promised to do, does NOT solve the problem, since he would still be benefitting from doing business in those countries. Note also that even if Congress gives him permission to keep the investments they constitute a major conflict of interest and make him a major security risk, especially given the fact that his finances are structured in such a way that it is all but impossible to separate out personal, corporate, charitable, and campaign funds.
Note also that according to Donald, Jr. the Trump empire has a "disproportionate" percentage of its foreign investments in Russia- whose leader, Vladimir Putin, Mr, Trump, his National Security Advisor-Designate, and his Secretary of St…
Newsweek isn't one of my favorite news sites. Ever since it declared years ago that it was abandoning journalistic objectivity on climate issues because they were "too important," I have distrusted it. In recent years its flagrant left-wing bias was a factor in its demise as a print medium (admittedly the rise of electronic journalism also has driven so many great newspapers out of business probably played a bigger role).orc But the evidence this article sets forth is not only clear but in its factual content uncontested.
Philippine President Duarte is hunting down and killing drug addicts without trial. He says that Trump has told him on the phone that this is "the right thing to do." Trump won't comment on Duarte's crimes publicly despite o…
Hyper-partisanship (the main reason I opposed Ted Cruz's candidacy last year, and believe that the general attitude of what were then my fellow Republicans generally toward the "Establishment," while not entirely unjustified, was tragically flawed in its articulation and expression) created Donald Trump, the ultimate extremist. More than that, it hamstrung the electoral process and allowed a Trump to happen.
And lest the point be missed, the very ineffectiveness and misfeasance and unresponsiveness which fueled the anger that gave rise to Donald Trump is the result in no small measure of the fact that Congress is so busy treating the people on the opposite side of the aisle as our primary problem that they are absolutely paralyzed in dealing with the real problems we face. And that, in turn, is due in no small measure to the fact that we ourselves are so obsessed with our ideology that we would rather our …
Given the revelations concerning his debts, the publicity being given his bizarrely blended personal, campaign and corporate finances, and his eyebrow-raising choice of Vladimir Putin's best American friend to be Secretary of State, a certain amount of defensiveness on Mr. Trump's part is understandable. But especially a president-elect who ran on a nationalist platform really ought to be a little more upset when the country is treated so disrespectfully, even it is by his beau ideal.
Come to think of it, the Avion quote has a lot more to say. Without the hyper-partisanship it refers to, we would not have been left with the choice…
Some of this has been a matter of public record all along. Some of it comes from the Dworkin Report, which is currently on President Obama's desk. No doubt Trump supporters will summarily dismiss it because of its origins and obvious agenda. But like things you hear on Fox News, each point needs to be evaluated on the basis of the evidence, not summarily dismissed because of its origin- and the report, which can be downloaded from the link in the second sentence of this paragraph, presents plenty of evidence to evaluate.
Scott Dworkin is a very partisan Democrat. That should be made clear. But the report on Donald Trump's investments in geopolitically sensitive and sometimes outright unfriendly countries- and with Russian governmental and business leaders- is chilling.
No, sir. You are not. And that's a big part of the problem. You think you are, but you are not. For someone as ignorant as you are to refuse briefings which every president in recent history- men much smarter and more knowledgeable about the world than you are- only provides greater evidence of that fact.
I grow increasingly confident that Donald Trump will be impeached precisely because he thinks he's so smart- and he isn't. He's used to getting away with almost anything if he simply lies about it. If you recall, he even bragged during the campaign for the nomination that his supporters wouldn't dese…
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson negotiated a $500 billion energy deal with Russia. He was thereupon awarded the Russian Order of Friendship, the highest award the Russians award to foreign nationals. The deal was delayed because of sanctions put on Russia by the United States due to the invasion of Ukraine. The Secretary of State would be in a position to remove those sanctions.
No surprise here. Trump's inexplicable love affair with his fellow authoritarian, Vladimir Putin, is common knowledge. Putin has praised Trump's "healthy American isolationism" that will leave Russia and China and extremist regimes such as Iran and North Korea free to run wild in the world without any fear of interference. After all, neither Europe nor any other nation or group of nations has the power to deter them without the active involvement of the United States.
Ours was an election in which the American people chose to ignore reality in order to give vent to anger and frustration (and- in some cases- a well-founded fear of Hillary Clinton's social radicalism). But decisions made out of anger or fear seldom…
With the exception of its misperception of the disgraceful Obama surrender to a repressive regime in Cuba, this article is spot on.
The pusillanimous Obama foreign policy has been a disaster for America and the world. Americans tend to overlearn the lessons of history, and we definitely overlearned the lessons of the ill-considered Second Gulf War. Sadly, the ignorance of the incoming president and his commitment to naive isolationism seems unlikely to produce an improvement on the timidity of the outgoing one.
This is my second-favorite clip from "The Right Stuff."
The Glenn flight was postponed- "scrubbed-" several times because of weather. Here, Lyndon Johnson wants to "console" the painfully shy Annie Glenn on the delay, bringing all three networks into the Glenn living room with him...
John Herschel Glenn- legendary test pilot, the first American to orbit the Earth, longtime U.S, Senator, and the man I supported for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination- has died at the age of 95.
I consider having met him and shaken his hand at Humbolt, Iowa during the campaign leading up to the 1984 Iowa Caucuses one of the greatest honors of my life. While I didn't always agree with his politics in later years, I've always thought the Democrats missed a bet in 1984. The less-informed about him thought that his career as an astronaut was his main claim to the presidency. In fact, he was one of the most knowledgeable people on Capitol Hill, an expert on defense policy and (as one might expect) on scientific policy, and a man possessed of integrity, a sharp and inquiring mind, and an understanding of the world in the declining days of the 20th Century which few of his colleagues could match. He would not have beaten Ronald Reagan, nor, I would say at this point in my l…
During the campaign, I often was confronted by Trump supporters with the dubious argument that by supporting Evan McMullin I was really supporting Hillary Clinton. I never understood why declining to take strychnine in order to prevent death by arsenic meant that I was really taking arsenic, but my Trump-supporting friends seemed convinced that choosing between two utterly unthinkable candidates was somehow a moral duty.
They also seemed to assume that if my vote had not gone to McMullin it would have gone to Trump. It would not, in fact, have gone to anyone. Had McMullin (or someone like him) not run, I would not have voted at all. There would have been no point.
But if I had, it would have been for Hillary. Yes, I know. She's radically pro-abortion. Her social views, in general, are crazy Left. She would probably have put the Constitution beyond saving by appointing a series of Supreme Court justices who would have continued indefinitely the pattern of the Court acting not so m…
Evan McMullin has devoted most of his post-college life- even to the point of foregoing marriage and a family- to fighting ISIS and al Qaeda and our nation's deadliest enemies as a clandestine officer for the CIA. He has done so at the risk of his life.
He has seen authoritarianism in action close-up. One of his main jobs overseas was to locate and facilitate the elimination of jihadist warlords. Evan McMullin knows authoritarians.
And when he looks at Donald Trump, what he sees is an authoritarian like the ones he fought overseas. He knows Donald Trump. After leaving the CIA he served as policy director for the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives. He tells about his first encounter with The Donald in that role in this opinion piece he wrote for today's New York Times.
In fact, when Mitt Romney and Tom Coburn and all the others who were recruited to run as a conservative third-party candidate against Trump and Hillary Clinton backed out, McMulli…