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Lord Help Us!!

Hillary Is Talking About Smart Leadership™

Batten down the hatches!!!

fter months of buildup, Hillary Rodham Clinton finally takes center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for president, testifies from a position of political strength as her potential rival for the nomination, Vice President Joe Biden, announced Wednesday that he will not jump into the presidential race and she rides the momentum of a solid debate performance.

In advance of her testimony, Clinton campaign released a summary that said she is appearing before the committee to honor the memory of the four Americans killed in Benghazi. The summary said Clinton will testify that Benghazi was a tragedy that must be learned from but that America must continue to lead in a dangerous world.

“To do otherwise would mean drawing the wrong lesson from Benghazi,” she will say, according to the summary.
Clinton will vow to pursue a “smart brand of leadership” that balances diplomacy, development and defense, and will say this approach to diplomacy involves an element of risk-taking that can never be eliminated outright.
At the same time, the Benghazi committee is on the defensive as the panel’s GOP chairman scrambles to deflect comments by fellow Republicans that the inquiry is aimed at hurting Clinton’s presidential bid.

My thoughts about all of this are tumbling around like little rug rats wrestling over a toy. Where to begin?

First of all, didn’t we have Smart Leadership™ under Obama? Didn’t our standing in the world turn to dust? Is the entire Middle East not aflame? Is Iran now taunting us? Is Russia our new boss?

Did we have Smart Leadership™ when Nancy Pelosi wisely stated that we must pass the bill to find out what is in the bill? Is the fact that the American middle class takes home fewer dollars – not inflation adjusted, just fewer dollars – after seven years of Smart Leadership™ than they did during the eight years of George W. Bush in the White House?

Oh, yes, indeed. The Democrats are very, very smart. I look forward to eight more years of smartness.

As for the Republicans, while it is ridiculous to disregard the work of the Benghazi Committee for the stupid one-liner of one prominent Republican, that is the way the world works. We all know it. Therefore, the comment, stating that the committee’s work was all about destroying Clinton’s chances to become President, was unforgivable. He went a long way toward electing her.

– Aggie

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What Is The Difference Between The Average Person And A Lab Animal?

Very little in the Age of Obama

A new executive order from President Obama directs all government agencies to use psychological science and data to help connect more Americans to government programs.

The order instructs government agencies to use “behavioral science”— a tactic used by Obama’s political campaigns to harness data from their supporters to target them effectively.

The program has already existed in an experimental form, but now Obama has formally established the federal “Social and Behavioral Sciences Team,” ordering them to to use psychology and experimental behavior data to make government more user-friendly.

An example of these techniques used during Obama’s campaign was that it was better to affirm a positive message rather than denying a negative message.

According to reports, behavioral science was used to advise the campaign to focus on Obama’s Christianity instead of trying to deny the notion that he was a Muslim. Other tactics included encouraging supporters to act for the campaign in small ways before asking them to commit to bigger goals.

A study released today by the president’s office of National Science and Technology reveals that behavioral science has already helped government agencies target individuals.

The program demonstrated that more people decided to enroll in health insurance, thanks to specially designed letters to people who had given up on completing their Obamacare enrollment forms.

The program, however, will likely lead more government agencies to using and storing data from randomized research trials on everyday Americans to understand their behavior.

Obama’s executive order codifies his government experiment into law, allowing every agency to target individuals for greater service and success.

“A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights — research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them — can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people,” Obama writes in his executive order.

To be honest, if this program were instituted by a President and an administration that I trusted, it wouldn’t concern me. But under these buffoons, the potential for mind-control is obvious. It makes me understand that all of those sic-fi stories about futuristic governments controlling our every thought are no longer so absurd.

– Aggie

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Black Lives Matter Threaten Police

Creeps.

– Aggie

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Judge Blocks Release Of More Planned Parenthood Videos [Update]

It appears that the releases are limited to the material from one company, because this came out today. Note: If you don’t want to see the gross stuff, stop at about 8:57. The material leading up to 8:57 is all about money, lawyers, etc. Having said that, the conversation is fascinating and informative after 8:57. Eyeballs, brain, another boy!!

This is what free speech looks like in the Age Of Obama

The pro-life group behind a series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos accused the bioservice firm StemExpress late Wednesday of trying to “cover up this illegal baby parts trade” after the company obtained a court order blocking the release of footage.

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary injunction Tuesday stopping the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video showing three officials from StemExpress, a company that transfers fetal tissue from abortions performed at Planned Parenthood and other clinics to medical researchers.

I understood that there are nine more tapes. Most of us get it by now, but this is a typically fascist move. Next they will arrest the videographer in the middle of the night, perp walk him to jail, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will blame the riots in Baltimore on him.

– Aggie

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Our Depressing Country

Steyn on Trump, Sanders, and Clinton

I’ll just quote one paragraph here:

Meanwhile, another old white man is destabilizing the Republican primary. Donald Trump would also be the oldest man elected president, but like Bernie he too seems to be reaching parts of the base the younger and prettier types can’t. Six months out, no predictions are possible about the first states: I assume a George Pataki or Lindsay Graham or two will have fallen by the wayside by January, but a lot of the rest seem to have just enough cash to hang in awhile and it’s not clear there aren’t a couple more still to come. With a dozen or more candidates many of whom are all in the single digits and within the margin of error, you might be able to win New Hampshire with, say, 14 per cent of the vote. In an open primary, if the youth vote is over with the Dems voting for Bernie, an older culturally conservative Perot vote might well show up in the GOP to vote for Trump. Who knows?

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I am quite sure that Trump could capture a significant percentage of the working class white democrat vote (Obama’s famous bitter clingers), along with lots of Republicans. He could form a 3rd party which would siphon off votes from whomever the democrats run. And the result will be Hillary Clinton, or possibly Bernie Sanders, I suppose. I just don’t see the guy getting 50.0001% of the vote. And let’s be honest; he is offensive. Not just about Mexicans, but nearly every time he opens his mouth. He has created a public persona about being an obnoxious person. It makes for great TV. I have nothing against the guy, and if it comes down to Hillary or The Donald, I’ll vote for him. But we can do soooo much better. Any one of these people is better: Walker, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Fiorina, Kasich… who am I forgetting?

Trump’s message gets lost in his personality, which is the size of our solar system. We need a normal human being to discuss the fact that blacks, whites, browns, old, young, just about everybody, has suffered economically during the Obama years. That the democrats failed to create peace and prosperity. That the nation is more threatened, from without and within, that at any time since 9/10/2001. We need a grown-up, not a blow-hard.

– Aggie

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Syrian Rebels Ask Israel To Attack Hezbollah

So, do you think that Israel should attack Hezbollah because the rebels request it? Where is “the world community”? Where is the United States of America?

Gone fishin’

Syrian rebels, whose forces are fighting against a new offensive in the South by the axis of the Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Iran, is calling on Israel to attack their positions.

An Israeli Druse who is in frequent contact with the Syrian opposition said that the warning came to alert the IDF, before the axis is able to take the Syrian Golan that borders Israel.

A Syrian rebel commander in the South vowed to wage guerrilla war against the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Syrian government forces, which have launched a major offensive against insurgents in the sensitive border region near Israel and Jordan.

The offensive that got under way this week is focused in an area south of Damascus that is the last notable foothold of the mainstream armed opposition to President Bashar Assad, who has consolidated control over much of western Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war, says the push is being spearheaded by Hezbollah, and that government forces and allied militia have made significant progress.

Mendi Safadi, who served as former Likud deputy minister Ayoub Kara’s chief of staff, has independently met with members of the liberal and democratic Syrian opposition who oppose the Islamists and want friendly relations with Israel.

Safadi met a week and a half ago with Syrian rebel leaders in Bulgaria and has traveled in the region, met with activists, and relayed messages from them to the Prime Minister’s Office.

He was responsible for relaying the congratulatory letters from the Syrian opposition to then President-elect Reuven Rivlin.

More at the link. But it sure seems to me like the vaunted Arab Spring and their European and US supporters should step up to the plate. Europe and the US: Limp and Lame.

– Aggie

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Occupy Hong Kong

How long till Elizabeth Warren claims to be their intellectual foundation?

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong remain on the streets for a fourth day Tuesday in an unprecedented show of civil disobedience. Both sides are refusing to back down.

The protest was sparked by anger over China’s refusal to allow the open selection of candidates for Hong Kong’s leader — called the chief executive — in the city’s first democratic election scheduled for 2017.

A statement on Twitter from the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement said it set an Oct. 1 deadline for Leung Chun-ying to meet their demands for genuine democracy or for him to step down as Hong Kong’s leader.

The group said it would soon announce new civil disobedience plans if no action was taken to meet demands by Wednesday. However, Leung said Tuesday that neither he nor China’s communist leaders in Beijing would back down.

“The central government will not rescind its decision,” said Leung, rejecting one of the protesters’ demands.

They call it the “umbrella revolution” because the protestors use umbrellas to disperse the pepper spray and water cannons. They wear goggles and wrap themselves in plastic to protect themselves from the burning chemicals.

That’s fine, as long as it lasts:

The smug schmucks of our Occupy movement should take note: when there’s really something on the line—and not just lame posing—you find a way to stay in the field, even if it’s a killing field.

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Captain Obvious To The Rescue

We’ve all been made aware of the social science research which claims that conservatives are stuck in rigid ways of thinking, always support authority, blah, blah, blah, whereas liberals are oh-so-open-minded, right?.

Those of us who are conservative, but reside in very liberal parts of the country, know this to be nonsense. Just attend a single cook-out in Cambridge, MA and see if you can express yourself when the conversation turns to: Obama, Health Care, Bush, Israel, the economy, school choice, conservatives, the Tea Party, Christians, Muslims, hate speech, etc. You can compliment the host on the food, though.

Anyway, now there is research that highlights the obvious:

Conservatives are conservative because they’re authoritarian and resistant to new ideas. Everyone knows that, right? There’s a bunch of social-science research that even proves it. If only conservatives were more open and less dogmatically attached to their tribe and their traditions, the world would be a much better place.

A lot of smart people endorse some version of this story. And yes, research surveys show that conservatives do express a much stronger affinity for obedience, authority and in-group loyalty than do liberals.

But there’s a question those surveys can’t answer: How does what people say translate into what people actually do? Jonathan Haidt, one of my favorite social scientists, studies morality by presenting people with scenarios and asking whether what happened was wrong. Conservatives and liberals give strikingly different answers, with extreme liberals claiming to place virtually no value at all on things like group loyalty or sexual purity.

One of Haidt’s most memorable questions involves a man who has sex with a frozen chicken, then cooks the chicken and eats it for dinner. Is this wrong? he asks. Philosophy-class enlightenment values pretty much give one answer: No one was harmed, so it can’t be wrong. And yet: I’m willing to bet that most of the folks who say that it’s A-OK would still be weirded out if they found out this is what their spouse had prepared for a special anniversary feast. Or that this is how a co-worker spends every Monday night.

In the ultra-liberal enclave I grew up in, the liberals were at least as fiercely tribal as any small-town Republican, though to be sure, the targets were different. Many of them knew no more about the nuts and bolts of evolution and other hot-button issues than your average creationist; they believed it on authority. And when it threatened to conflict with some sacred value, such as their beliefs about gender differences, many found evolutionary principles as easy to ignore as those creationists did. It is clearly true that liberals profess a moral code that excludes concerns about loyalty, honor, purity and obedience — but over the millennia, man has professed many ideals that are mostly honored in the breach.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who had questions about the prevalence of conformity on both sides of the political spectrum:

The way I saw it, this slavish obedience to authority and tradition on the part of conservatives was the true source of the culture war between liberals and conservatives over foreign war, abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, and racial inequality. They way I saw it, conservatives clung to old, near-sighted ways of thinking and fell in line with the dictates of the “man in charge.” If only conservatives would think for themselves — like liberals do — the war would be over and we could get on with life, governance, and progress. Or so I thought.

Then, in 2012, I went on a cycling trip around Cuba.

Jeremy Frimer, the author of the piece, noticed that socialists seemed unable to tolerate even mild questioning of Che Guevara’s eminently questionable legacy. Frimer is a researcher at the University of Winnipeg, and he decided to investigate. What he found is that liberals are actually very comfortable with authority and obedience — as long as the authorities are liberals (“should you obey an environmentalist?”). And that conservatives then became much less willing to go along with “the man in charge.”

Frimer argues that conservatives tend to support authority because they think authority is conservative; liberals tend to oppose it for the same reason. Liberal or conservative, it seems, we’re all still human under the skin.

Here’s a question: Can the average liberal bumbling through Harvard Square even understand the nuance here?

– Aggie

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The Left Continues To March Leftward

This would be a dog-bites-man story if it weren’t so Orwellian

In the U.S., the politics of the left versus the right rolls on with the predictability of traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge. It’s a lot of honking. Until now. All of a sudden, the left has hit ramming speed across a broad swath of American life—in the universities, in politics and in government. People fingered as out of line with the far left’s increasingly bizarre claims are being hit and hit hard.

Commencement-speaker bans are obligatory. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrew as Rutgers’s speaker after two months of protests over Iraq, the left’s long-sought replacement for the Vietnam War. Brandeis terminated its invitation to Somali writer Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam violated the school’s “core values.”

Azusa Pacific University “postponed” an April speech by political scientist Charles Murray to avoid “hurting our faculty and students of color.” Come again? It will “hurt” them? Oh yes. In a recent New Republic essay, Jennie Jarvie described the rise of “trigger warnings” that professors are expected to post with their courses to avoid “traumatizing” students.

Oberlin College earlier this year proposed that its teachers “be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression.” The co-chair of Oberlin’s Sexual Offense Policy Task Force said last month that this part of the guide is now under revision.

I think it’s fair to say something has snapped.

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich was driven out as CEO for donating money to support California’s Prop. 8. An online protest tried to kill Condi Rice’s appointment to the Dropbox board of directors over Internet surveillance. Incredibly, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston didn’t cave.

Earlier this year, faculty and students held a meeting at Vassar College to discuss a particularly bitter internal battle over the school’s boycott-Israel movement. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue “would not be guided by cardboard notions of civility.”

This gets worse and worse. Go to the link and read about the Harvard undergrad who published an article in The Crimson suggesting that we drop academic freedom in favor of social justice. And that we stop all research that doesn’t comply with her idea of social justice. And then read about the agreement that the Obama administration… never mind – I’ll post it:

It’s obvious that the far left has decided there are no longer constraints on what it can do to anyone who disagrees with it. How did this happen? Who let the dogs out?

The answer is not university presidents. The answer is that the Obama administration let the dogs out.

The trigger event was an agreement signed last May between the federal government and the University of Montana to resolve a Title IX dispute over a sexual-assault case.

Every college administrator in the U.S. knows about this agreement. Indeed, there are three separate, detailed “Montana” documents that were signed jointly—and this is unusual—by the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education Departments. Remarked DoJ’s Joceyln Samuels, “The government is stronger when we speak with one voice.”

That’s real muscle. But read the agreement. It is Orwellian.

The agreement orders the school to retain an “Equity Consultant” (yes, there is such a thing) to advise it indefinitely on compliance. The school must, with the equity consultant, conduct “annual climate surveys.” It will submit the results “to the United States.”

The agreement describes compliance in mind-numbing detail, but in fact the actual definitional world it creates is vague. It says: “The term ‘sexual harassment’ means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” But there are also definitions for sexual assault and gender-based harassment. All of this detailed writ is called “guidance.” As in missile.

No constitutional lawyer could read this agreement and not see in it the mind of the Queen of Hearts: “Sentence first, verdict afterwards!” Indeed, the U.S. Education Department felt obliged to assert that the agreement is “entirely consistent with the First Amendment.”

First Amendment? It’s more like a fatwa. The Obama administration has issued a federal hunting license to deputize fanatics at any university in America. They will define who gets accused, and on what basis.

The White House enabled these forces again last week, releasing an Education Department list of 55 colleges that are “under investigation” for possible Title IX violations. Not formally cited but “under investigation.” The list includes such notorious Animal Houses as Catholic University, Swarthmore, Knox College, Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Law School. In truth, every school in America is effectively on the list.

And there’s more at the link. The really unfortunate thing for all of us that just want to be left alone is that there probably is no country left on earth where that can happen. If Texas secedes from the Union, I’ll join them. If they’ll have me…

– Aggie

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Oliver Hussein Holmes

The eminent law professor (lecturer) in chief opines:

“I taught constitutional law for ten years. I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that were facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”

I’ve been forced to ask this before: does he kiss his daughters with that mouth? Maybe all this severe weather we’ve been enduring is the Lord hurling a lightning bolt at each lie like so many Pedro Martinez fastballs.

But he’s got his posse:

The leftists on the new House Democratic “Full Employment Caucus” are planning to “draft” executive orders for President Obama to sign, according to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

“[W]e’ll give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign with pride and strength.

In fact, I think that should be our number one agenda. Let’s write up these executive orders — draft them, of course — and ask the president to stand with us on full employment.”

Did anyone have the heart to tell Rep. Lee that her Valentine to Obama is surplus to requirement? That “executive orders” come from the executive? That her branch of government is irrelevant to government, no matter how well-intentioned or supine? That he doesn’t need her to suck his…toes when he can suck them himself, thank you very much?

What would Alex Toqueville say of our democracy?

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Arab Fizzle

I know how unbecoming it is to look upon the abject failure of the so-called Arab Spring, which promised so much to so many, and laugh. But…

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Egyptians who voted in a referendum overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, official sources said, citing early results of a ballot that could set the stage for army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president.

About 90 percent of voters approved the constitution, the state news agency and a government official said.

It comes as no surprise: the constitution won wide support among Egyptians who backed the army overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July, and there was little or no trace of a no campaign as the state presses a campaign on dissent.

The referendum is a key step in the political transition plan the interim government has billed as a path to democracy, even as it presses a fierce crackdown on the Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized party until last year.

Oh yeah, democracy. Right, sure.

Sisi’s supporters see him as the kind of strong man needed to restore stability to a country in political and economic crisis for nearly three years. The stock market has rallied to three-year highs this week.

High turnout would be seen as a strong stamp of approval for the new, the army-backed order. A Sisi presidency would turn back the clock to the days when the post was controlled by military men – a pattern broken by Morsi’s one year in office.

“You could see the re-emergence of a domineering president,” said Nathan Brown, a professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on Egyptian affairs.

At many polling stations across the Arab world’s biggest nation, the referendum at times appeared to be a vote on Sisi himself. Women chanted his name and ululated as they stood in line to vote, while a pro-army song popularized after Morsi’s overthrow blared from cars.

Sounds like the evening line-up on MSNBC and CNN.

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Good For You, Israel!

More of this, please. Much, much more:

British newspaper The Independent has reported that former British International Development Secretary Clare Short could be arrested the next time she lands in Tel Aviv, after the pro-terrorist organization she is a director of was declared an “illicit organisation” by Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday.

Yaalon, a former IDF chief of staff, outlawed the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) – a Belgian non-profit organization that lobbies on behalf of the Hamas-led Gaza government – using emergency defense regulations.

Short, who chairs CEPR’s Board of Trustees, said she was unsurprised by the decision. She told The Independent: “As CEPR is Palestinian led, and given Israel’s track record, the Defense Minister’s action is not surprising, but it is yet more evidence that Israel’s claim to be a democracy is eroding very fast.”

In 2009, Yaalon turned down an invitation to visit Britain after he was warned he might face arrest on suspicion of war crimes.

He had been invited by the Jewish National Fund to an event in London to raise money for a group that supports Israeli lone soldiers – who have no family in Israel.

Israeli groups on the far-left and other global leftist organizations cooperate in an ongoing campaign to put Israeli officers and politicians on trial if they visit abroad.

I’ll take Israel’s democracy over Britain’s any day, Clair—and twice on Saturday.

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