A Truly Astounding Video

It seems that youtube links open automatically, so I will not provide it. Instead, here is a page link to The Jerusalem Post. Go there and watch the video about flags at UC Berkley. You won’t be disappointed.

– Aggie

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Playing Chicken vs. Being Chicken

The reason Vladimir Putin is eating Barack Obama’s lunch is because Putin behaves like a crazy-a**-motherfu**er. In such a stare-down, Obama doesn’t just blink, he flutters his eyelashes.

In the stare-down over amnesty for criminal aliens, however, Obama is Putin: he’s acting like George III on steroids.

And Republicans in Congress can’t look him in the eye:

The only way for Republicans to block the president’s planned amnesty-by-executive order is to withhold funding for its implementation.

Republicans have yet to devise an agreed strategy to withhold funding that wouldn’t be met by an Obama veto.

Such a veto would result in at least a partial government “shutdown.”

Even though (1) Republicans would continue to fund 99 percent of government, including all essential services and personnel, and (2) Obama’s veto would be the proximate cause of the “shutdown,” Conventional Beltway Wisdom is that Republicans would be blamed for the “shutdown.”

Media will hype stories of alleged catastrophes, disasters, and cataclysms purportedly caused by the “shutdown.”

Media will utterly ignore stories about the profound harm amnesty causes to American workers, American sovereignty, health and safety, the federal budget, and the rule of law.

Republicans know they’re wholly inept at explaining the simplest of facts to the American people and refuting media/Democrat spin.

Consequently, Conventional Beltway Wisdom holds that the “shutdown” will do extraordinary political damage to Republican election prospects for 2016.

Republicans tend to believe what they read in the Washington Post.

Republicans are, therefore, terrified of a “shutdown.”

Republicans are apparently oblivious to the fact that last year’s disastrous “shutdown” resulted in a Republican takeover of the Senate, the largest GOP majority in the House since WWII, control of two-thirds of state legislatures, and GOP governorships in super-blue Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois.

Republicans are similarly oblivious to the fact that Oregon voters rejected driver’s licenses for illegal aliens by a 2–1 margin.

Republicans are apparently unaware that Obama is more unpopular than at any point in his presidency and, post-Grubergate, has less credibility than Baghdad Bob.

I can’t blame Republicans for something they haven’t done. But if they end up having done nothing, Obama should throw them some table scraps because they will truly be his bitches.

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You’re Fired!

Vermont is so green, even their license plates are green.

But they’re red-faced now:

Following an embarrassing string of missteps, Vermont has stopped paying controversial economist Jonathan Gruber for his work on the Affordable Care Act.

A spokesman for Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday that the state would no longer pay the ObamaCare architect.

“As the Governor and I have said, the comments by Mr. Gruber are offensive, inappropriate and do not reflect the thinking of this administration or how we do things in Vermont,” Lawrence Miller, said Wednesday in a statement. “As we have also said, we need solid economic modeling in order to move forward with health care reform.”

Miller continued that he told Gruber, “that I expect his team to complete the work that we need to provide the legislature and Vermonters with a public health care financing plan. I’ve informed Mr. McGruber [sic] that we will not be paying him any further for his part in completing that work.”

Gruber’s original contract with the state was worth more than $400,000. He’s already been paid $160,000.

Odd that the Green Mountain State doesn’t understand green (money). Or maybe it’s typical of the pinkos up there to compel someone to work for no pay.

What grandstanding nonsense.

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What Did One Leninist Dictator Say to the Other?

“Hello Vladimir? It’s Barack.”

Ha-ha.

Anyway, this is how Putin slinked away and licked his wounds after getting the cold shoulder at the G-20 meeting last week:

Meeting supporters in Moscow, Mr. Putin corrected another speaker who said that the United States wanted to humiliate Russia. “They don’t want to humiliate us, they want to subjugate us, to solve their problems at our expense,” he said. “They want to bring us under control.”

Mr. Putin added: “Throughout history no one has ever succeeded in doing that to Russia and they never will.”

Before his speech, the Russian leader was shown a new military vehicle described as a cross between a car and an armoured personnel carrier. Manufacturers had jokingly labelled the vehicles “polite armoured cars” – in reference to “the polite people,” a phrase that became popular in the spring to describe the Russian soldiers who led the Kremlin’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

On seeing the machine, Mr. Putin quipped: “You can get a lot more done with weapons and politeness than you can with politeness alone.”

The phrase appeared to echo a saying attributed to Al Capone: “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”

Putin quotes a real Chicago tough guy, while Obama quotes a movie about Chicago tough guys: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Need we say more?

PS: Suggest your own movie quote as it applies to Obama. Here’s mine from Apocalypse Now: “The horror…the horror…”

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Out of the Shadows and Into the Welfare State

They like to be in America:

President Obama, following through on his vow to sidestep Congress, will announce in a prime-time TV speech Thursday the executive actions he will take to change U.S. immigration law.

Obama will make his announcement, expected to protect roughly 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, from the White House at 8 p.m. EST, then go to Las Vegas to promote the plan Friday.

Obama loves Vegas. That’s where he was jetting off to when Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods shuffled off this mortal coil. What better place to announce the death of a once-great nation?

Step out of the shadows, my undocumented friends, and into the (flash)light:

May 2014 — Humberto Gonzalez, an illegal alien, was convicted in New Jersey of criminal assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison. The rape occurred in 2005 and Gonzalez was not identified until a DNA match was made following an arrest in Texas for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Gonzalez also had a criminal record in Louisiana and Arkansas. (Times of Trenton, May 9, 2014)

February 2014 — Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, an illegal alien from Mexico, was found guilty of two counts of a felony for failure to perform the duties of a driver and sentenced to three years of probation and 250 hours of community service. Garcia-Cisneros committed a hit-and-run that resulted in the death of two stepsisters, 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and 11-year-old Abigail Robinson. (Associated Press, Feb. 4, 2013)

January 2014 — Jasim Mohammed Hasin Ramadon, aka Jay Hendrix, an Iraqi immigrant, was found guilty in Colorado on multiple counts of sexual assault. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison. Sarmad Fadhi “Levi” Mohammed, another Iraqi was earlier convicted for the same assault and sentenced to 16 years in prison. An additional three Iraqi immigrants involved in the assault have received misdemeanor convictions. (Colorado Gazette, January 21, 2014)

January 2014 — Modesto Osco, a Peruvian, pled guilty to indecent assault on a minor. He was sentenced in Pennsylvania to five months to two years in prison. (The Morning Call, January 6, 2014)

Modesto of name, immodest of act.

I know many criminal aliens are hard-working and law-abiding…well, hard-working…well, working. They can’t all be rapists. (Bill Cosby didn’t leave much opportunity for others. Allegedly.)

I’ve already said my piece on the subject. This is an invalid act by a man without the authority to enforce it. But what happens next? Mitch? John?

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Skating to Canada

Let others regale you with frontier tales of deep snow and plunging temperatures.

I note another sign of global anti-warming:

Ice is already starting to form on Lake Superior.

These pictures were taken over the last couple of days near Ashland, Wisconsin by Cheryl Koval of Extreme Photography.

This usually doesn’t happen until December— but the perfect combination of last season’s ice cover, a cool summer and an early blast of arctic air has allowed the ice to form earlier than normal.

Could we see record ice cover again this year? Stay tuned.

Fear not, Buffalo friends, this is good news:

NASA’s Terra satellite captured the clearest shot yet of the Great Lakes region Tuesday afternoon, showing near-continuous streams of lake-effect cloud cover blowing across both peninsulas. There’s the thumb in the center of the image and, well, it’s not easy to make out the rest of the state.

Our accumulations can’t hold a candle to those experienced in western New York, where people in Buffalo’s suburbs are measuring snowfall feet rather than inches. A Weather Service employee measured 63 inches, or about 5.3 feet, of snow Wednesday morning in Lancaster, N.Y., thanks to a stubborn lake-effect band of snow running the entire width of Lake Erie.

Snow forms from moisture, duh, which the Great Lakes provide in abundance. When they’re in their liquid state. When they’re frozen solid, as they will be shortly, look for Buffalo and other communities downwind of the lakes to become winter deserts. You can’t have lake-effect snow when the lake is a block of ice.

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British Parliamentarian Cannot Tell The Difference Between Street Protest And Terror Attack

The mind of the formerly highest ranking British Muslim in the Parliament on display here

Here’s the Tweet from the British Twit:

Israeli extremists storm Al Aqsa & intimidate worshippers
Palestinian extremists storm synagogue & kill 4 worshippers

And here’s more about her:

Former UK Foreign Office Minister and previous Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi started a social media storm after she tweeted a message that clearly implied equivalence between the Har Nof terrorists and Israelis protesting over Temple Mount.

The controversial politician, who – until her resignation in protest at Government policy which she complained was far too tolerant of Israel’s action in defending itself against Hamas rocketry during the recent Gaza war – had been the highest ranked Muslim in British politics with a seat at the Cabinet table.

But her outburst, just hours after the terrorist atrocity, led to a sharp rebuke from her successor as Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps who tweeted that Warsi only spoke for herself and not for their Party.

We at BTL direct a lot of criticism to Leftists, but this is a Conservative Jew hater. Just saying’.

– Aggie

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In Other Terrorism News…

Sorry to bother you with this…

Daniel Bronstein, the victim of the iron bar attack, spoke about his experiences to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday.

“I passed by the Safra square to the New Gate, near the Light Rail,” he said. “Suddenly, five Arabs arrived and sprayed pepper spray in my eyes.”

The Arabs shouted at him to “move” before spraying the pepper spray, he said.

Bronstein was then beaten, but he does not remember details of events.

“I don’t remember exactly what happened from that point on,” he noted. “I saw blood leaking from the back of my head and realized that it was trailing down my body…later, I found out I had been hit on the head. I did not see my assailants at all. I sat down and tried to call someone for help but couldn’t because my hands were shaking.”

Suck it up. You’re alive aren’t you?

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Lame And Lamer

But which is which?

For the first time since the beginning of the current wave of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday issued a condemnation of the latest such act.

Abbas was forced to condemn the Har Nof synagogue attack after facing pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had phoned the PA president twice over the past few days to demand that the Palestinians stop anti-Israel incitement. On Tuesday, Kerry issued a call to the PA leadership to condemn the Har Nof attack.

Kerry’s pressure prompted Abbas to issue two condemnations of the incident. The first came in the form of a terse statement published by official PA news agency Wafa, in which the Palestinian leadership condemned the “killing of worshipers in a synagogue and all acts of violence regardless of their source.”

The statement also called for an end to “incursions and provocations by settlers against the Aksa Mosque.”

Later, Abbas’s office issued a second statement, which again condemned the Har Nof attack and “assaults on the Noble Sanctuary [Temple Mount].”

News Flash: Jews will continue to go to the Kotel and Jerusalem – all of it – is the capital of Israel. But, leaving that aside, who’s more of a dolt, John Kerry or Abu Mazen?

– Aggie

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We Can Quantify The Loss Of Personal Freedom Under Obama

Do you remember all those people who claimed that George W. Bush was taking away our personal freedoms? All those fiery dinner parties? Where are those folks now?

Americans’ assessments of their personal freedom have significantly declined under President Obama, according to a new study from the Legatum Institute in London, and the United States now ranks below 20 other countries on this measure.

The research shows that citizens of countries including France, Uruguay, and Costa Rica now feel that they enjoy more personal freedom than Americans.

As the Washington Examiner reported this morning, representatives of the Legatum Institute are in the U.S. this week to promote the sixth edition of their Prosperity Index. The index aims to measure aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements don’t include, such as entrepreneurship and opportunity, education, and social capital.

The freedom scores are based on polling data from 2013 indicating citizens’ satisfaction with their nation’s handling of civil liberties, freedom of choice, tolerance of ethnic minorities, and tolerance of immigrants. Polling data were provided by Gallup World Poll Service. The index is notable for the way it measures how free people feel, unlike other freedom indices that measure freedom by comparing government policies.

“This is not a good report for Obama,” Legatum Institute spokeswoman Cristina Odone told the Washington Examiner.

In the 2010 report (which relied on data gathered in 2009), the U.S. was ranked ninth in personal freedom, but that ranking has since fallen to 21st, with several countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom passing the U.S.

The nation’s overall personal freedom score has declined by 17 percent since 2009, with a 22 percent drop in combined civil liberty and free choice contributing to that decline.

Of the eight categories in the index, personal freedom was America’s second lowest performance relative to other countries. The U.S. had its lowest ranking when it came to safety and security (a broad measure of how threatened citizens feel in instances such as walking late at night, or expressing their opinions) — ranking 31st out of 142 countries.

More at the link.

– Aggie

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The UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International Could Not be Reached for Comment

But we’ll keep trying:

Ten civilians were killed overnight during fighting between the Egyptian army and Islamist militants in Sinai, near Egypt’s border with Gaza, where the military has launched a crackdown in recent weeks, security and medical sources said on Wednesday.

At least three of the casualties were children and three were women, the medical sources said. The victims were killed in their home by two mortar shells fired by militants during a night-time curfew, security sources said.

When will our State Department condemn these senseless killings? When will Jen Psycho take a # selfie? Why is it only news when Israel regrettably and regretfully takes civilian lives in its battles for self-defense?

These are all rhetorical questions.

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Interesting Midterm Demographic Stuff

Did the Republicans sweep merely because of midterm demographics?

Happily, no.

A congealing conventional wisdom surrounding the 2014 elections is that Democrats had a long night because of an unfavorable Senate map and because Democratic constituencies failed to show up. One storyline growing out of this is that once Democrats can enjoy a “presidential electorate” rather than a “midterm electorate,” their fortunes will turn, and Democrats will run well.

This isn’t entirely correct. The major factors driving the different results between 2012 and 2014 were not demographic. The major difference was that in 2012 Barack Obama was a moderately popular president. In 2014, he is an unpopular president. If this does not change between now and 2016, demographic shifts alone will not save the Democratic nominee.

He proceeds to become wonky, but it’s interesting. The gist of the approach is to compare the known differences in voter demographics between 2010 and 2012, and then apply to the differences between 2012 and 2014. I’ll give you a bit of the argument:

We can illustrate this best by borrowing a page from Harry Enten, and seeing what would have happened if the 2014 electorate had instead more closely resembled the 2012 electorate. That is to say, let’s keep whites voting 60-38 for Republicans, Hispanics voting 62-36 for Democrats, and so forth, as they all did in 2014, but alter their shares of the electorate to resemble 2012 (72 percent white, 10 percent Hispanic, and so forth) rather than 2014 (75 percent white, 8 percent Hispanic, and so forth). This allows us to isolate the effects of demographic change between 2012 and 2014.

The results are underwhelming: If the 2014 electorate had resembled the 2012 electorate in terms of race, the Republican vote share would shrink by just 1.97 percentage points. In other words, in a 2012 electorate, Republicans would have won the popular vote for the House by 4.5 points, rather than 6.5 points. That’s not nothing, as they say, but it still only explains a relatively small share of the difference between the 2012 and 2014 results. Put differently, if Obama had put up the same vote shares among racial groups in 2012 as Democrats ultimately did in 2014, he’d have lost.

Perhaps the difference is not so much differences in the racial makeup of the electorate, but rather differences in the age makeup of the electorate? The 2014 electorate was, in fact, quite a bit older than the 2012 electorate. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given that the elderly population is actually set to grow substantially in the next decade. Regardless, if we reduce the 65+ share of the electorate from 2014’s 22 percent to 2012’s 16 percent, increase the 18-24 year old share from 7 percent (2014) to 11 percent (2012), and adjust everything in between accordingly, the Republican advantage contracts by … 1.94 points.

Now you might look at this and say, “Well, that’s a total of four points!” The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites. So this isn’t a cumulative exercise.

That last section is fascinating. Did you know this: The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites.

Now, I thought that younger whites definitely voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats. I did when I was young and virtually all of the young people that I know today do too. But apparently I exist in a liberal bubble, and this doesn’t generalize to the rest of the nation.

In any case, if Obama continues to suck, we have a hope for 2016. Let’s raise our coffee cups to that.

– Aggie

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