Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Boot-licking reporters and journalistic "ethics" in Clinton-world

Gawker has a great story, scraped from emails produced in a FOIA lawsuit, that exposes Mike Allen, Politico's Chief White House correspondent, as a world-class devotee of boot sole. In order to get an interview with Chelsea Clinton, Allen promised her handler (Deputy Secretary of State Philippe Reines, who apparently had the job of publicist or gatekeeper for the Secretary's adult daughter, a fact that itself would be considered very out-of-bounds if it happened in any non-governmental corporation) that the interview would be, essentially, no-risk publicity for Chelsea. Allen positively grovels:

This would be a way to send a message during inaugural week: No one besides me would ask her a question, and you and I would agree on them precisely in advance. This would be a relaxed conversation, and our innovative format (like a speedy Playbook Breakfast) always gets heavy social-media pickup. The interview would be “no-surprises”: I would work with you on topics, and would start with anything she wants to cover or make news on. Quicker than a network hit, and reaching an audience you care about with no risk.
Mmmm! Boot be tasty!

Sorry to share something so degrading this early in the morning, and on the verge of a nice holiday at that. But if your "progressive" niece chokes out her Obamacare talking points per HuffPo, you can roll this baby out in retaliation.

Regardless, I have a modest proposal that would put an end to this sort of thing, or at least shine a light on it.

Journalism, which claims the status of a "profession" without any of the regulation that goes along with one, could very easily establish a norm -- call it an ethical rule -- that would separate genuinely independent work from the pseudo-PAC propaganda pushed by most journalists: Before every interview or feature, append a simple statement that describes the extent to which the subject had any control or influence over the questions before they were asked, or any ability to review the story before it was published. An example: "In order to secure this interview with Chelsea Clinton, Politico promised that Clinton's representative would agree on the precise questions in advance, that there would be no surprises, that Politico and Clinton's representative would collaborate on the topics addressed in those questions, and that Clinton would have an opportunity to speak on any subject important to her at the beginning of the interview."

Then we can all decide whether the interview is worth reading or not.

It is hard to imagine a more obvious reform. Since it has not been adopted, we can assume the press is in league with its subjects more often than not, and reporters should be considered flacks for their subjects unless they establish otherwise.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Deliver Us From the Clueless

Friday night I was minding my own business, relaxing, watching a little idiot-tube after a hard day in the salt mines and what do I come across but a Republican "communications consultant". Oh Joy! As you might imagine I was all ears. After all, over the past several years have we not gotten our asses kicked mightily by the news media, social media, popular name it? Obviously we are not communicating our message well, otherwise campaigns like "Pajama Boy" would have never made it past the brainstorming stage. The Democrats have a very effective propaganda machine and I want our side to study their methods and at the very least neutralize their message but preferably go on the attack and put them on the defensive for a change. So, how do we do this Mr. Big-Time Consultant?

Wow, talk about let down! To me this was very disheartening to think somebody like this has influence over our messaging. I came away thinking this guy is part of the problem, in fact this guy (and others like him) may BE the problem. Anyway the pearls of wisdom this gentleman espoused were things like "We study the language of leadership, what Americans are looking for now is a leader". Sounds great, tell me more. "They're looking for someone who is responsible with their rhetoric, positive about solutions, this whole notion of getting into a fight about whether we call it Radical Islamic terrorism or whether we point fingers at others...we've tested it" So we shouldn't call it Islamic terrorism because you're worried about the language, you're worried about being PC? We shouldn't put the words Islam together with terrorism? "Everyone knows who we're talking about at this point. The time we spend talking about the language, we politicize the situation and take the focus away from agreeing on the solution. We have much less of a gap on policy solutions than we do on this rhetorical debate of what to call it." This has all been "focus group tested" we are assured.

I'll just bet it has. I'd also bet the focus group were self described "moderates" of the type the GOP is forever obsessing about. The country clubbers listen to a guy like this, they tone down their language to the most white bread, least offensive possible and then proceed to get their 40% (if they're lucky) of the conflict averse, muddy middle all the while alienating five million base conservatives who would have otherwise turned out and voted Republican. Brilliant strategy. I just wish our consultants would change sides. Maybe then we wouldn't have to deal with things like this.

President Obama compared congressional Republicans who reject his nuclear deal to Iranian hardliners who chant “death to America” during a speech selling the agreement with Tehran at American University Wednesday.

In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life. 

Harry Reid sees a common thread in GOP White House field: ‘They’re all losers’

Pelosi: The GOP is 'a political party at war with its own government'

One would think this kind of rhetoric would scare the hell out of our mild-mannered GOP Super-Genius consultant class and their testosterone free focus groups. But apparently it's only a problem when conservatives use blunt language.

Buy a clue Republicans, taking (and actually paying for) advise from clueless losers will get you nowhere. Ask Mitt Romney.

The Hammer's College Football Review: Week 12 (to hell with it, I'm getting drunk edition)

The wheels on the bus go round and round and it just ran over THE Ohio State Buckeyes. Man what a defense those Spartans have! Michigan State shut down OSU's running game like they were the '78 Steelers, most especially in the second half. The Buckeyes with this big late season loss at home, well that pretty much does it for the playoff. You know I'm not at all surprised. A team that has three quarterbacks has no quarterbacks and an implosion is potentially just a game away. I know these guys are defending champions but they haven't really been pushed to the limit this year, Michigan State has. Up against a top defense something cracked in the foundation. That was the difference in the game. Now it's on to the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes for Big Green.

Speaking of Iowa, the Hawkeyes are a well coached, fundamentally sound football team with some good wins against quality competition. But they haven't played the likes of an Alabama or Clemson. Yes indeed Pitt is respectable, Wisconsin and Northwestern are GOOD football teams. But Iowa hasn't even played the best in their conference so who knows? Next week they play a struggling but again respectable Nebraska in Lincoln. I expect them to win. But in the Big Ten Championship game I wouldn't wager a penny on them. Sorry TigerHawk, we know they're good, the question is are they THAT good? We shall see.

I can sure tell you who ain't good however, and that is the South Carolina Gamecocks. Ordinarily they wouldn't deserve a mention with the disaster that has beset Columbia this year, but news is defined by extremes sometimes. The University of South Carolina Gamecocks' loss to the Citadel yesterday must be unendurable to the Gamecock faithful. I'll let The State newspaper describe what happened.
"The Citadel handed South Carolina its first loss to a Football Championship Subdivision team in 25 years, 23-22 in front of 77,241 fans at Williams Brice Stadium, but it wasn’t an upset. It was the first loss by any SEC team to an FCS school since Florida lost to Georgia Southern in 2013, but it wasn’t an upset. It was The Citadel’s first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision team in its last 29 tries, but it wasn’t an upset."

I don't know about you, but sounds like to me somebody in Columbia is disgusted, upset and just tired of be tired of this crappy football team. How in the hell did a Steve Spurrier recruited and coached team fall so far so fast? Sheet fur I should have been able to coach this team to a win over the Citadel, from 40 rows up half drunk. Looks like interim head coach Shawn Neverheardofyou will be job hunting real soon.

And then there's Clemson. I actually think next weeks game in Williams Brice is up for grabs. The Cocks have hit rock bottom and they've got nothing to lose. They hate Clemson's ass like the Israelis and Pallies and would like nothing better than to ruin Clemson's run. In fact with a win over Clemson they would consider the season a success. Now if Clemson were 5-6 it wouldn't matter, but knocking Clemson off the top rung, man that would be SWEET. Clemson better be ready.

That's about it. Oklahoma State lost but no real surprise. I am surprised they stayed undefeated this long. Next week they have Oklahoma in Norman so we'll see. This is just another rival showdown on rivalry week. LOTS of big games and lots more shakeups to come. I do want to thank CW who pussied out on a proposed wager thereby saving me $75.00. Duke was a 2.5 point underdog against the Wahoos in Charlottesville and my wager was I'll take Duke even for a Cohiba sampler. No dice said CW. Just saved myself a weeks pay.

Not to be blasphemous or anything but if you have a God please pray to him/her for the Wolfpack to smite the unjust, criminal, cheating lowlife North Carolina Tar Heels next Saturday. This matchup transcends sport. This is good versus evil. This is Elliott Ness and Al Capone, Allies Axis, the West vs Islamic Jihad kinda stuff and we'll need all the help we can get. Thank you and God Bless.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's wrong, chum? Your college basketball team drop its SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON? Or its first?  Your health care provider jumping out of Obamacare?

Share your pain, friends. Share it.

159 today. Gotta drop five.

Hey I've Got This...Hey, No You Don't!

When I was a kid we used to play pickup basketball at Fairfield gym in my hometown. On Saturdays in the winter we would literary play from around nine in the morning until around maybe ten at night (or whenever we were thrown out). We had a fairly eclectic group of players, young 16-17 year olds like me (some younger if they were good) and a few twenty somethings already married with jobs. The rules were you get a team together and call a game (we're next!) and you hold the court until you loose. The game was to 21 with each basket counting as one and you had to win by two. Games in the forties were not all that uncommon.
Well one Saturday I arrived late and there must have been fifty guys there so I had to take what I could get in terms of teammates. So I teamed up with some other stragglers (a group of county guys who had arrived together) and we anxiously waited a good two hours for our turn. The etiquette is when you get on the court you choose a man to cover defensively (it's all man to man defense). Well I chose Mark (no last name please) who was a lightening quick, highly skilled little guard (Wake Forest 76-80). I didn't know if I could cover Mark as I had been struggling with a twisted ankle for about a week, but I didn't think any of the guys I was playing with could. Remember, we had sat around for at least two hours just to get our asses on the court and if we lost I'd be waiting around another two hours unless I could catch on with another group! Damn-it I wanted to win and I also wanted to hang Mark's ass out to dry. But some 18 year old county high school senior insisted on taking him. It didn't go well.
Our opposition had only two players worth a damn, but that's all they needed. With Mark playmaking and 6-4 ex-All-Conference forward "Tuna" (can't even remember his real name) working the inside, well they were slicing us up. Mark was absolutely running wild and something had to be done. I tried sloughing off my guy and helping out but Mark was too quick and if I committed completely he'd find MY guy and MY guy would score and YOURS TRULY would look like an idiot. Well, when the score was like 12-3 I suggested in my famously diplomatic way that we should switch defensive assignments and I'll take Mark. Well, even the suggestion of such a thing by a younger guy to an older guy is a very serious breech of protocol requiring an immediate response. I was berated in the harshest possible terms and reminded of my age and inferior status (basketball skills not withstanding). As you might imagine we lost badly and the consensus among my teammates (the clique of county boys) it was my fault. Lesson learned.

This is EXACTLY the way I feel when I'm told the "outsiders" are losers by the establishment. Oh a Trump or Carson or Cruz may win the primaries they say, but in the general we need a professional who can appeal to the general electorate. Well that's fine, but let's look at the professionals and see what we've got.
Jeb: I actually like Jeb Bush. I think he would be a good administrator, have the proper respect for the office and his competence is unquestionable. The problem is Jeb is a garrison general. Jeb is George McClellan when a US Grant is what's required. In 1996 or 2000 Jeb would be perfect, not now. The times require an Alpha Male on steroids and that's not Jeb.
John Kasich: Kasich is a little too eager to cross the aisle. Unlike Scott Walker Kasich made deals with the unions in Ohio, he didn't take them down. When I hear him say "Come on, we can't deport 11 million" I'm thinking come on, it was 11 million in the 90's, the actual number of illegals is 30-50 million, no one knows for sure. THAT'S the problem. Gov Kasich either knows this FACT and is blowing smoke up our ass or is ill-informed. Either way he deserves ejection from the game.
Marco: Look I like Marco. He's a smart, talented individual and I look forward to voting for him...but not right now. I could say he's inexperienced and leave it at that, but that's not all. This may sound a little crazy but I want Marco to lose some more. An undefeated team that crushes their opposition over and over is always suspect. Losing is a valuable life experience and one that Marco needs.

The biggest issue, and I've said this repeatedly (ask CW) is immigration. It's not the only issue and it won't necessarily get you elected, but being on the wrong side is a death sentence. The nominee of this party must be a STRONG proponent of the enforcement of our immigration laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS. The American people are scared. They see a President and a Democratic Party that is out of touch and GLEEFULLY unresponsive to their concerns. From tech workers who have lost their jobs to H-1B imports to union members at odds with watermelon environmentalists (green on the outside, red on the inside) to coal miners to academics (yes academics who feel besieged) to the unemployed to the underemployed from sea to shining sea, they are all unhappy. The people see a President who is offended and indignant at the very reasonable concerns for national security in regards to "Syrian" refugees. His pigheaded intransigence is on full display and he is not helping himself, Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party.

This election is ours to lose. However, if by some miracle Marco or Jeb or Kasich is the nominee then I am there with my support, as I have always been. But if said nominee goes on to LOSE to Hillary talking their "crossing the aisle, let's all get along, pathway to citizenship" bullshit when it's our belief this is THE PERFECT YEAR for an outsider, then my friend we will be parting company. We, meaning the conservative base of the Republican Party have done our part. We have been team players. Take a hard look at your candidate. If you are not 100% sure he can cover Mark then do us all a favor and get the hell out of the way.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The GOP's "Get Serious" Moment

As a late-20's conservative from the Midwest, I didn't realize I could care more about politics until I had a son. With "his" first presidential race coming up, there is a new desperation to do everything I can to ensure the country he grows up inspires in him the same awe it did for me as a child.

This is why we conservatives need to get serious. The Paris attacks were an act of war by an organization grown in the vacuum provided by successful enacting of bad leftist diplomatic theory. From Libya, to Ukraine, to Iraq, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba - a systemic inability to demonstrate credibility has left the global order itself in question.

It is a failed policy of those informed by "fact checking" done by interns with campaign crib sheets or new-media journalists don't have an attention span longer than 5 years. It is a Vox foreign policy, and one we cannot afford for another 8 years. The GOP must nominate someone who is a capable and believable Head of State, who is a competent Commander and Chief. As conservatives who believe in small government, we inherently believe these duties to be the primary ones of the president.

Unfortunately, Trump is already seeing a bump. Ann Coulter claimed that the Paris Attacks were the night Donald Trump was elected. If she is right, if Trump is our nominee - conservatives will lose this election because the American people trust us on foreign policy and security, but watched us nominate a clown instead.

As a movement, we cannot take ourselves seriously if we then choose a candidate whose incompetence is a parallel to the superficiality of MSNBC, Salon, and Gawker. In a time when military and diplomatic decision making are increasingly important, the GOP front runner is a man who doesn't know the difference between a fighter and a bombercan't name the legs of the nuclear triad are, and thinks he was in the military because of his boarding school. No surprise from a man who admits to getting his military advice from "watching shows." To those who mistakenly think he can negotiate his way out of putting our military at risk, he can't even identify who he has to negotiate with. Trump is the "Vox" candidate - a mile wide, but a neck-snapping inch deep if he's ever required to get any real work done for the nation. When this amateurism is given any more authority than blog post privileges, it gets people killed.

If conservatives plan to go on the offensive against the degradation and destruction of a global order built over decades, they cannot be afraid to go on the political offensive against Donald Trump. The GOP's silken-glove approach to the famously explosive tantrum thrower has allowed him to thrive in a permissive space. Trump voters are mad at a party that will not fight - and the Republican candidates allow Trump to thrive by permitting him to win fights he has conjured out of whole cloth.

Republicans can and must force Trump to fight in their territory - a national security landscape where he will stumble and fall. Republicans must unrelentingly reveal to Trump supporters, and to those sitting on the fence, the terrifying incompetence behind his empty rhetoric.  Rand Paul showed how effective competent aggression can be against Trump when Trump wrongly announced that China was a signatory of the TPP. The GOP showed how not to combat Trump by ceding to his demands on debate time. Trump is supported because he can put on a guise of strength - his supporters will abandon him if the emperor is drawn too far out into the light in his "new clothes,"

Of course, this battle should be waged by only some of the Republican candidates. The longer Trump stays in front with only a 30% plurality of the vote, the longer he can maintain a façade of legitimacy. Roughly 70% of the Republican vote is currently split among 10 different candidates. If these candidates walked the talk, they would demonstrate the selflessness of Governor Romney, who preemptively ceded the field to newer leadership. Governor Jindal, wisely, chose to cede the field as Perry and Walker did before him. All worthy candidates who realized it was not their time. Meanwhile, Governor Bush is running a dead campaign, and attacking candidates with a chance of victory. Ted Cruz is courting Donald Trump, which is unbecoming of someone who values principled leadership. Governor Kasich, by all accounts a winning governor of a bellwether state, still plods along despite a less-enamored nation. Governor Christie is ruining renewed interest by decrying orphans (only Trump can get away with that stuff).  Governor Huckabee is still campaigning for another TV show. These are all becoming or are no-chance campaigns. 7 years ago we laughed about "hope" not being a policy. We should apply the same standard to ourselves. Getting serious is to knowing when to be a member of the supporting cast and play for the team win.

If the GOP loses the election, which we will with Trump as nominee or after a political horse trade that will drive his former supporters from the voting booth, we cede another 8 years to decline. Secretary Clinton will face the same China, Russia, and Iran that bested her, and a terrorist organization she ignored. Whether the GOP wins will determine whether we, as a nation, have given up.

We have been playing a game, which is Trump's natural habitat as a casino magnate. However, this is real life - it is time to get serious.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Dispatch from the Road

I awoke fully rested at 0345, which is fine when one goes to sleep before 60 minutes is over. Yes, I am in San Diego again, with my internal clock remaining on Easton time. I flew here yesterday, taking the opportunity before I left to post a Facebook shot of my standard travel rig (blazer, white t, track pants, trainers) which elicited far more discussion than it merited--but that's Facebook. I wish I had taken as much time thinking about my preparation, as I traveled without neck ties and without the power cord to my laptop.

The neckties were easily (and cheaply) remedied with a trip to some discount clothing mill called "Ross", a place I had never before been and wish never to return to. On a Sunday afternoon, the place was crawling with bargain hungry customers, clothes were strewn about, there seemed no order whatsoever to the place. I almost gave up looking when I happened upon a tie rack that had a few decent choices on it. Even better though, were the prices--$7.99 and $9.99 respectively.  They'll do just fine.

The power cord is a bit more of an issue. The previous one suffered a massive casualty last week in which the the cord essentially wore away at the AC adapter, but in my mind, this was not an issue as I believed that I had another. This belief was false however, and so Amazon is spiriting a few of these bad boys to me while I am here. I will use the battery until it dies, and then rely solely upon my phone for computing power from here.

It rained here yesterday. Rain is a noteworthy occurrence in Southern California. I happened to be at a local grocery chain buying pre-cooked hard boiled eggs (keeps the breakfast costs down--my clients appreciate my thriftiness) and the place was jammed. The conversation in line revealed clear consensus that it was due to the rain--as if people here did what we in the East do when it is going to snow. Odd.  But then again, this is California.

I will be here through Wednesday evening, and then redeye back to Easton. I have been assigned full Turkey duty this year, which means selecting and cooking, and so I will likely begin that process on Thursday and Friday. We normally field a crowd of a dozen on Thanksgiving, and so something in the neighborhood of 22-24 lbs ought to do. This will be my ninth Thanksgiving with the Kitten et Kittens, and it is my firm belief that they are nearing a consensus view that I should be invited back next year.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Hammer's Journal de Football Collégial: Week 11

To begin with let us all pray for our French brothers in arms who have experienced unimaginable tragedy this weekend. My hope is God gives them the strength to do what must be done. Enough said.

This time in the season is a very dangerous time indeed for teams in the hunt. You've played a good few games. Other coaches have the film, they know what you like to do and how you like to do it. Your guys are a little banged up at this stage. They're a little tired. They find it hard to get up for a team they know is inferior. If you make it through next week, two weeks from now is rivalry week. This week and next week is where upsets can and will happen. So, you've got to keep your kids focused on some 5-5 team and to not think about the 4-6 RIVAL (if you're lucky they're 4-6, they could be 9-1) you've got after that which will give you every last thing they've got so as to screw up your championship run...well, needless to say it's a tall order. I can tell you this though, there will be surprises the next two weeks. Somebody will go down HARD! If, let's say South Carolina takes down Clemson (I am in NO WAY predicting this) would anybody be shocked? Hell no! So there you go.

Alright, who got a scare yesterday and who screwed the pooch? Well number one on the scare list has to be Oklahoma State followed close behind by Iowa. Mini-soda played Iowa tough, probably their best game since the opening loss to TCU. However no shame there, Iowa is damn good football team. They've got a well balanced, potent offense and defensively they've solid. I'm starting to like this team. However Oklahoma State should have lost yesterday. They dicked around most of the game as is per usual. Look, these dudes can ring that cash register and against a vastly inferior team like Iowa State they should have hung 70 points on the Cyclones. But they like to sleepwalk through most of the game and then do the old John Elway thing in the 4th quarter. Ok fine. But they got a one loss Baylor and the Oklahoma Sooners coming up. Let's see how that strategy works for the Cowboys. Look for them to get mauled!

Speaking of losing... Baylor. Oklahoma shut down their running game and rattled the Bears freshman QB who replaced starter Seth Russell after he got his neck broke (or some shit) a couple of weeks ago. The Sooners are one of those teams that lost early (Texas) but just doesn't have the mojo to make it into the playoff even if they do win out against Ok. State and TCU. Oh well, somebody get Chuck Fairbanks on the phone. Is he still alive?

Well let's talk about the best of the rest. Who are the best teams right now that haven't a hope in hell of making the playoff?
1. Arkansas. I know, they got a shitty record, but these guys are bangers. They couldn't win a championship if you held a gun to their heads but they can beat anybody on any given Saturday. Ask LSU.
2. Florida. The Gators are a year away but even still, when they get into the SEC Championship game against the Tide, Saban better have his boys ready. Florida has something to prove.
3. Michigan State. They fuqued up, that's all I gotta say.
4. North Carolina. It disgusts me to say this but Carolina can play with anybody. They're the second best team in the ACC and without doubt if they hadn't lost to South Carolina first game they'd be ranked 5 or 6. This is one of the best offensives they've ever had and certainly the best since Dick Crum's 1980 team (Amos Lawrence, homeboy Ron Wooten, Lawrence Taylor) that went 11-1. I wasn't around for "Choo Choo" Justice so my frame of reference is limited but currently they're in the midst of their longest winning streak since 1914. One can only hope everybody on campus gets indicted for corruption but that appears unlikely. UNC has spent 11.5 million dollars in legal and other fees (PR firms etc.) with people like the New York City law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (founded 1792) to make this NOT happen. By the way, these guys are GOOD! They got me out of a indecent exposure charge a few years ago (hey, I had to piss ok!?) for which I am forever grateful. Of course I am permanently banned from all Applebees but that's ok.

Well that's all I got. The next two weeks should be a lot of fun.
Viva la France!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Terror

Like many of you I am sure, I spent much of last evening glued to the telly (and Twitter) watching coverage of the terror attacks in Paris, perpetrated almost certainly by one or another subsidiary of radical Islam. I grow weary of apologists who lecture me on the vast number of Mohammedans who are not actively involved in terror. Yes. I am bright enough to make a distinction. But I am also bright enough to realize that there is a vast heat sink of support that exists for radical Islam nestled snugly in the heart of "moderate" Islam. One simply does not exist without the oxygen supplied by the other. Not to mention the double standard applied to "moderate" Islam, one that rises when one considers the lunacy of a hypothetical. worldwide Catholic terror organization dedicated to the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire actively killing people in modern national capitals, who behead apostates for the sport of YouTube videos. "Moderate" Catholics would be pilloried daily and the entire religion would be smeared and rooted out by secular governments appalled by the anti-modernity and the violence.  Such a hypothetical (as you already know) is playing out before our eyes, while our leaders speak of  "the struggle against violent extremism" (Clinton, Hillary Rodham) without the courage to name its source.

We--the font of freedom and liberty in the modern world--have become content to diminish ourselves as agents of goodness and right, preferring instead to ponder what additional benefits we might receive from the sweat of the brows of others, while our ability to contend with horrors such as last night's continues to decline. The vermin who carried this out are hatched and succored from a known location, their supply lines and their means of funding are known, and their general movements are well-understood. We (the West) knew and know with certainty that evil-doers were sprinkled among the refugees, but our empathy prevented acting to stem the tide.  What is required is the will to challenge them, but we appear to be lacking it.  Were the will present, the ways are increasingly absent.  We look at our defense budget as that which is to be resourced after all else is well-stocked, rather than that which is first to be funded. We "lead from behind" while doing the absolute minimum to retain some semblance of world leadership, creating for ourselves seemingly insoluble situations through our weakness and then shrugging our shoulders at the lack of good options available.

Some see last night's violence as the path to the Presidency of a candidate without restraint, who makes them believe that he is all powerful, all knowing, and all capable. He provides us with this persona through his carefully managed irresponsibility aimed at whipping up the masses without so much as a plan for a plan nor a hint as to who would help him implement it, had he stumbled upon one. Perhaps, but I will prefer to continue to believe the American public will select a man or woman of balance, strength, resolve, and character as the reality of what we face further wakes us from our increasingly isolationist slumber.

It is high time that serious people began to run the show once again.  Let us hope that we are not too much damaged before they can grab an oar.

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