THE BLUE WALL IN WASHINGTON

January 5, 2017

“Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” – Orwell

Much of what Donald Trump said during the 2016 campaign seemed to be braggadocio, bombast, and on occasion, a kind of non-specific cranial buzz. Still, if you listened carefully, and ignored the ambient noise, there was always a message in most of his rhetoric; signals that were usually lost or ignored by a smug and hostile Fourth Estate.

Trump’s Signals

Immigration is a problem. Neither Mexicans nor Muslims are ideal immigrants, yet the former are to be preferred over the latter. The left coast and Hollywood, ironically, might fall into the sea without cheap labor and drugs from Mexico.

The East Coast is little better. Washington, DC is corrupt, a haven for patronizing, condescending, elite apparatchiks, right and left.

The DNC was trying to cook the Democrat Party primaries and general election. The press, broadcast networks, CPB, and the Intelligence Community get honorable mention as sous chefs.

The gruesome foursome now rationalizes defeat as a Russian conspiracy. Vladimir Putin put it best, “The American party that calls itself ‘democratic’ seems to have forgotten what democracy means.”

The Clintons are shameless frauds. Hillary is the most corrupt person ever to run for high office. Her loss is the country’s gain.

The Pentagon along with the Intelligence Community are not sacred cows; bovine, expensive, and proliferate maybe, but not sacred.

The EU and NATO, like Swedish hippy communes, might be globalist or Utopian experiments gone horribly wrong. Allies who will not pay or play should not stay. All coalitions, like sausage, have a sell-by date.

America needs to rethink foreign policy; towards Israel, towards Europe, towards Russia, and towards an irredentist Muslim world. Ideology and culture matter.

Russian alarm about NATO expansion is justified. Demonizing Russia, or isolating it from Europe, is strategic madness.

Recent trade deals favor foreigners. America has swapped jobs, core industrial skills, agricultural and industrial safety for a pocket full of domestic mumbles.

Obama’s only real claims to legacy are a failed health care boondoggle, a Muslim world in flames, and a touch of melanin, the latter a glass half-full at best.

American media, and the Intelligence Community, are not objective reporters anymore, if they ever were. Fake partisan news and propaganda are now joint ventures. The US State Department, for example, is now, by law, the official host to an American “Ministry of Truth” funded by defense appropriations.

Trump is correct also about the Washington, DC swamp. It needs to be drained.

Sooner is better.

Signals and Noise

During the 2016 primaries and election campaign, party elites and a sycophantic media engineered a gauntlet for Trump that ran from ridicule, to contempt, to hostility, to vindictiveness. All of which are now reduced to childish tantrums. Ironically, Michelle Obama claims that the White House needs “adult” (sic) leadership. Surely, given the post-election behavior of camp Clinton/Obama and the American left, she cannot be thinking of her husband, his spokesmen, his cabinet, or the Democrat Party.

How is the eleventh hour vote against Israel at the UN anything but juvenile or petulant rage? How is the 11th hour expulsion of Russian diplomats anything but adolescent sour grapes?

In any campaign, data and statistics are manipulated for advantage. The 2016 election might be a case study. Hard to believe that all that polling and all those statistical forecasts could have been so universally wrong without someone cooking the books.

Feint signals from the real world since the Trump victory provide anecdotal hints of a cultural sea change. Disparate icons such as Clint Eastwood and Henry Kissinger may not have been all in for Trump but both have made sober, if not optimistic, assessments of the next administration.

We know what Eastwood thinks after decades of millennial political correctness. And Dr. Kissinger says that Donald Trump represents an “extraordinary opportunity.”

Indeed!

The great failing of statistical analysis is that it seldom accommodates relevant factors which cannot be conveniently quantified. Such analysis will often ignore inconvenient truths too, arithmetic that might not support expected outcomes.

Trump campaign rallies were an example. Big Trump numbers were largely ignored whilst Mrs. Clinton’s often anemic attendance figures were seldom revealed. One day in Florida, a couple of Tim Kaine rallies had to be cancelled due to an interest deficit while a Trump rally a few miles away was drawing thousands.

The national TV networks could not believe their lying eyes. Minor anti-Trump protests might make the evening news, but huge enthusiasm gaps were seldom covered in any detail. Every good spin master knows that books are cooked with two sets of numbers, select facts and facts that are ignored altogether.

The old saw that claims “figures don’t lie, but liars still figure” comes to mind. Just as the Fourth Estate missed or misconstrued numbers and facts in the campaign, there are now some significant signals in post-election statistics, numbers that team Trump ignore at their peril.

Blue Wall Moves To Washington

The District of Columbia and surrounding bedroom communities in Virginia and Maryland supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 by wide margins. This is the federal government demographic; bureaucrats, contractors, and a host of camp followers living off the taxpayer dime.

The socialist heart of the left is still beating in Big Brother’s crib. Neither Pennsylvania Avenue nor the District of Columbia and suburbs is Trump country.

Mythology runs neck-to-neck with fake news in Washington. The non-partisan myth is the most pervasive, the shibboleth that suggests that the civil service, Foreign Service, the Intelligence Community, or defense officials are impartial, political eunuchs. In fact, the size of the federal behemoth, deficit spending and debt, is a function of entrenched socialist illusions, a bond that unites both political parties.

Bigger is always better inside the Beltway. Few souls get to, or thrive in, any federal office by arguing for less of anything.

District of Columbia voting habits are probative. Over 90 percent of the presidential vote in 2016 went to Democrats. Less than one in ten supported Trump. The District is half white and half black, yet both liberal demographics preferred Hillary Clinton. When Trump comes to town, the Beltway will be the new blue wall of active/passive political aggressors; a blue wall of press, politicians, apparatchiks, non-profits, lobbies, and associated contractors.

The DC civil service cohort and associated camp followers are many things. Good loser isn’t one of them. Trump has his work cut out in the capital and it begins with bureaucratic hostility and inertia.

Still, the president elect has the edge coming in. His critics continue to underestimate or misconstrue Trump and his game. Trump plays politics like the Patriots play football.

The best defense is good offensive – and stout leadership.

Trump’s early appointments are significantly offensive! The generals have landed. No accident that Marines are leading the charge. Battles to breach the new blue wall, the DC Beltway, and “make America great again,” will require more than a little hand-to-hand street fighting.

A new year indeed! Whether or not 2017 is “happy,” remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, America says God speed to the Trump beach head and Semper Fidelis to those valiant centurions on point in DC.

Take no prisoners!


Previously published in the American Thinker

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Tags: the blue wall, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, 2016 election, Politics,  Civil Service, Democratic Party, fake news.


Fake News & Fake Intelligence

December 24, 2016

Fact and belief are often very different things. With fact, a thing is or it is not, a fairly simple binary calculation. An assertion might be a fact and at the same time not necessarily true. Belief is an amphibian, a sinister specter, often festooned with weeds and barnacles. Indeed, beliefs are scientific, seasonal, ethnic, sexual, political, theological, philosophical, and historical; just to name a few of the veritable infinity of adjectival consorts.

Truth is, as artists well know, part tart and part goddess, ephemera often bought and sold if the price is right. Indeed, she’s more than a bit of an oxymoron too, emphasis on the last two syllables.

The gap between fact and fiction might be narrowed by time, but history and conventional wisdom are selective too, frequently a world apart from reality. The conventional wisdom is often neither true nor wise.

Most arbiters of truth or reality are self-anointed.

Mark Zuckerberg is a modern example, the poster child for millennial vacuity and the nerd generation. The CEO of Facebook, infant terrible of herd exploitation, is about to appoint a posse of thought police to monitor and censor “fake news” on internet.

If you are devotee of Facebook news, you might have the civic awareness and attention span of a gerbil. Still, Zuckerberg is a good modern example of how digital wealth gets confused with maturity or wisdom.

Having Zuckerberg, or any cyber cohort, as a digital news cop is a little like appointing Bill Clinton as scoutmaster for a Girl Scout troop. Clinton and Zuckerberg are indeed soulmates. Just as Clinton uses political position for personal gain and exploitive sex, Zuckerberg exploits and monetizes personal data – and in turn uses gullible adolescents of all ages.

In this respect, Facebook is no different than Nielsen, the   National Security Agency, or the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). All three are accomplished data miners, albeit for different ends. Truth or verifiable fact in those venues, if anything, is probably an afterthought.

Nielsen Creates Truth

Nielsen Holdings PLC is a global data mining corporation that has been in business since 1923. Its signature survey is in-home monitoring of television viewing habits. TV content, programming, and advertising dollars are a of function of Nielsen ratings and statistics.

Well north of eighty percent all domestic purchasing decisions are made by American women who watch television or use TV as a surrogate for child care.

Nielsen is in the business of both monitoring and creating truth in the American marketplace.  All so-called “Nielsen families” are aggressively recruited “volunteers,” a demographic that has been led to believe that their household habits and tastes might be typical – or trend setters.

The Nielsen monitoring pitch appeals to a passive, vain feminine demographic, all of whom volunteer, with incentives, to provide Luxemburg corporate snoops with a veritable gold mine of personal and family behavioral data. Nielsen data is ubiquitous in entertainment, politics, marketing, advertising, retail, and manufacturing.

How volunteer victims, monitored electronically, became a “typical” demographic is a question seldom asked or answered by statisticians. More to the point, the personal is not just political, as Ms. Hamish likes to say, but monitoring female behavior in American homes and numb nut behavior on the Internet is also very lucrative for admen and madmen alike. The emphasis here again is on the second syllable. Hype is still a boys club.

Think of all the fake news embedded in daily the drumbeat of advertising and the daily orgy of vacuous TV News and amusements. Calling TV content “art” is a little like calling Hip Hop and Rap music.

You can hardly scratch the surface of the daytime digital wasteland. Fake news and vulgar memes are created daily on an industrial scale with the assistance of data conglomerates like Nielsen and now internet social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Data isn’t truth either.  Most truth is too painful. The data mining and communication industries cook the books and clueless demographics every day of the week. Fake news today is just another part of the mindless media mix.

The Intelligence Community and “Meta Data”

The federal government and the Intelligence Community are Johnny-come-latelies to data mining on an industrial scale. You would have thought that someone in those 16 federal Intelligence agencies would have noticed those Nielsen families, those Orwellian patriots who volunteer year after year to have their homes and habits monitored.

Wiretap warrants are not required for passive volunteers.

Nielsen and NSA are similar to the extent that they both monitor behavior to recognize and exploit patterns. Industry does it for profit while government does it in the name of security. Both offer no assurances for privacy other than “trust us.”

Nielsen is different from NSA to the extent that commercially profiled demographics get feedback in the form of advertisements and content.

If you believe in permanent erections, believe face cream will make you beautiful, believe a diet will make you a size 2, and believe Bart Simpson or the Kardashians are solid role models for your kids; then you should thank every Nielsen family that you know.

Nielsen creates statistical truth and television remixes those numbers into American culture, such that it is.

Ironically, while consumers seem to trust Nielsen implicitly, citizens have a very different take on Big Brother and the federal Intelligence Community. Trust in God is a much better bet these days than trust in Charlie Rose, Martin Baron, Arthur Sulzberger, or James Clapper.

DCI Clapper likes to call terrorists “nefarious characters.” Household snooping is “meta-data,” an attempt to put lipstick on the state surveillance pig.

Peeping Toms and fake news makers are brothers by the same mother.

The 2016 primaries, the election, and the run up to the Electoral College are all examples of fake news gone awry; all characterized by near universal media and Intelligence ridicule and contempt for the Republican candidate. Pundits and polls were unanimous in predicting that Donald Trump should lose by a landslide. The vast majority of the gainsaying and polling “data” turned out to be wrong.

Hard to believe that what passed for reporting and analysis in 2016 wasn’t a political flash mob, engineered “fake news” on an epic scale.

For American journalists, 1984 seems to be the future.

Adding insult to injury, Clinton Inc., the American media, the Intelligence Community, and team Obama now double-down, claiming that Russian meddling was the reason for the Clinton defeat.  Adolescent pique and lame excuses seem to be the exit strategy for James Clapper and a flailing, if not failing, Barack Obama.

Former Director of CIA, Michael Morell, Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi cut-out, appeared on public television no fewer than ten times to vilify the Republican candidate. The former director of NSA and DCI, James Clapper, played similar roles in the campaign season. Clapper resigned after Trump won, but the demonization of Trump and the Russians continues unabated.

The Russians Are Not Coming

Russians are now sucked into the tawdry post-election recriminations inside the Beltway. Washington political, academic, and media elites, right and left, bereft of any adult capability for reflection, are desperately seeking excuses for failure. Russians in general and Vladimir Putin in particular are convenient scapegoats.

Fake news threads associated with the DNC email leak are probably designed to do three things: divert attention from the Hillary nomination fixers, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Trump win, and queer the prospects of improving relations with Russia.

Putin’s mortal sin seems to be that he thinks that Trump will be a better Commander-in-Chief than Obama or Clinton. Such a claim is not much of a stretch, yet still heresy to the American left and social globalists everywhere.

Putin’s venial sins are legend also. Two stand out.

After the Beslan massacre, the Russian 9/11, the FSB went after Chechen terrorists with a vengeance. In less than two years, Shamil Baseyev was cornered and executed on the crapper, literally in a porta-potty. Only one of Basayev’s colleagues lived long enough to get life in prison. Nobody calls Chechen Islamists “freedom fighters” any more.

Osama bin Laden was at large for ten years before Uncle Sam brought him to justice. Al Qaeda and ISIS are still in business.

Another Putin sin is Syria. NATO has been mucking in the Levant for decades now, five times as long as it took to win WWII on two fronts. In the last couple of years, Russia did more to defeat terror in the Levant than Brussels and Washington have done in 30 years.

Aleppo and Syria are not Benghazi and Libya redux. Thanks to the Kremlin.

The fake news campaign against Russia and Trump persists nevertheless, a tactic pregnant with domestic and foreign policy blowback. Fake news and fake Intelligence are now fast friends. If 16 Intelligence agencies cannot deny hackers or interference, what does that say about the competence, or impartiality, of Clapper’s legions?

Partisans at NSA and CIA might be the best things to happen to Chekist spies since fur hats and vodka.

Withal, Russia is a better ally to Syria than the US ever will be to the Kurds. For good or ill, the Russian president can make a decision, act, and stand by allies long enough to succeed.

Putin seems to be an effective action hero who swings a big stick whilst critics like Barack Obama, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the Clintons seem to be a cabal of vindictive losers, fey wannabees who suffer from terminal political penis envy.

The real threat to the integrity of the American political system is a mirror. Sadly, political reflection, right and left, apparently died with Pat Moynihan.

Media hostility to a reform minded presidential candidate is predictable, given the social globalist cast of American journalism. However, the open hostility of Intelligence Community leaders to an incoming president is unprecedented and seditious in ways that should be obvious by now. American Intelligence is too big and, arguably, now out of control.

If America continues to tolerate partisans on the taxpayer dime, especially in the Intelligence Community; “crooked” Washington will surely breed more of them.


Previously published at American Thinker

Tags: James Clapper, Vladimir Putin, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, DNI, CIA, NSA, FSB, and US Intelligence Community

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Twerking at the Pentagon

December 11, 2016

Call it karma, but the 2015 Super Bowl was a tribute to the virtues of modesty, experience, and ultimately, poetic justice.  The Carolina Panthers were led by an obnoxious bore that never missed an opportunity all season to twerk like a teen on the playing field or gloat like a fool at interviews.

The Denver Broncos, in contrast, were led by a mature and modest adult on the cusp of retirement. On Super Bowl Sunday, the old man from Colorado wiped the gridiron with Carolina. Lessons in humility continue today, the Panthers are last in their division in the 2016 season.

Presumption comes before the fall in sport and war. Trash talking never won a real fight in the real world. Adult leadership always matters.

Success in sports, business, statecraft, and war is a function of quiet confidence. Gloating motivates the competition. An overestimate is a no-lose hedge. An underestimate is a fatal flaw. And if you’re in it to spin it, you are probably not going to win it.

At the moment, team America is losing five hot wars and one cold war, all in slow motion.

Somehow, such ground truth is lost on the virtual generation of politicians, diplomats, and generals. Indeed, if you follow the national security monologue today, you would be led to believe that spin, propaganda, public relations, and bombast are substitutes for actual success.

Resume and political twerking seem to be the new measures of accomplishment for national security professionals.

America might be bleeding, yet generals, for example, wear so much fruit salad camouflage than no one notices the hemorrhaging. Indeed, ignoring deficits and defeat is now a DOD meme. The Pentagon is a bull pen for oft promoted and often decorated underachievers.

Contemporary operational art, if it can be called that, is to do just enough to keep Muslim small wars going but never enough to win.

The only true victors in the matrix of military mediocracy seem to be Beltway bandits and the chaps who make and sell gadgets, bombs, and bullets to DOD.  Dwight Eisenhower is probably spinning in his grave today. Hot “long wars” and long cold wars are good news for the military/industrial complex. Not so much for the taxpayer or true security.

Few, at this point, can argue that Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or Yemen are better off after American meddling. Let’s review the bidding.

Eastern Europe

The Clinton era campaign to dismantle Yugoslavia is still playing out. Civil war in the Balkans began with agitation in Muslim Kosovo which quickly escalated to other Yugoslav provinces. Pushback from Christian Serbs degenerated into a sectarian blood bath. The EU and America sided with Muslim factions, bombed Serbia into a cease fire, and the rest is history. EU and NATO helped to create two radical Islamic sanctuaries in the heart of Europe, ignoring the toxic record of Muslim fascism in Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina.

When an objective history of 20th Century Balkans is written, Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina will not be in the win column.

It’s probably no accident that the EU sought to dismember a former Soviet client state whilst the USSR itself was racked by political revolution.  NATO and the EU filled the Warsaw Pact vacuum by pulling former Moscow satellites into the Brussels orbit. Absent the Warsaw Pact buffer, Russia found itself with both the EU and NATO as hostile neighbors.

The Cold War with the Soviet Union, and now Russia, was never far removed the turmoil in the Balkans. Say what you will about Vladimir Putin, but he has stabilized Rodina within. His pushback in Georgia and Ukraine is understandable too from a Russian security perspective. Surely, no rational Kremlin leader could let the naval and nuclear weapons at Sevastopol fall into the hands of neo-Nazi crazies in Kiev.

These days, it’s probably not difficult for the average Russian to believe that the Kremlin is the ultimate regime change target for Brussels and Washington.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan began as another proxy war with the Soviets; an early clandestine success that morphed into a nasty guerilla war with the locals. The Kremlin was prudent enough to cut its losses in 1989. When the Russians departed, the Americans stepped in for a quarter century of humiliations. The Taliban (nee Mujahedeen ) now have a secure theocratic naro-state in most of the countryside. Sovereign Afghanistan barely exists outside of Kabul.

The Afghan War used to be known as the “war of necessity’ when bin Laden was alive. The 9/11 mastermind is dead now for five years, but al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS still flourish and one of the three is likely to eventually seize Afghanistan.

When Afghanistan succumbs, whither nuclear Pakistan?

Iraq

At the beginning of the Obama administration, Iraq was known as the “war of choice,” implying that America didn’t need to be there. After the initial Schwarzkopf  blitz of 2003, America is still in Iraq, albeit with fewer allies. Indeed, America, a “coalition of one,” is currently fighting its third Iraq war in 13 years. Iraq is now the DOD poster child for battle fatigue and mission creep. No end in sight for either.

Having reversed the sectarian poles, Sunni to Shia, and cashiered Sadam Hussein’s army; America now finds itself as a proxy ally to Shia Iran, mired in a ground war with a growing Sunni Islamic State.

Former Bath Party soldiers fight for the Levant jihad. After rearming Shia Iran by “deal”, America now sides with a Persian client state that one day may be the Shia counterpart of Sunni ISIS. Yes, Iraq and Iran used to be irreconcilable enemies. Naive American policy blunders gifted Baghdad to the ayatollahs.

The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq provided an opportunity for the kind of executive twerking that minimizes Muslim imperialism to this day. Team Obama mocked ISIS as the “junior varsity.” What the president failed to say was more telling.

Presumably, the Muslim “varsity” is the larger global jihad. According to intelligence estimates, ISIS alone now has a presence in 40 states and attracts recruits from 90 countries, including America.  And ISIS is just one of dozens of global jihadist armies, Sunni and Shia, with similar religious/political agendas. Islamist foot soldiers are supported directly or indirectly by both Arabs and Persians.

The blow back from three American campaigns in Iraq is now threefold:  ISIS, a Shite Iraq, and a new vassal state for Iran.

The quagmire in Baghdad is starting to make ten years in Saigon look like money well spent.

Syria

Hard as it is to imagine, Syria is a bigger mess than Iraq, although it’s difficult to believe that either state will survive in its present configuration. Syria is the exemplar of “humanitarian” folly, although Libya might be close second.

The Syrian campaign began as another anti- regime fiasco, underwritten by the simplistic belief that democracy is the default setting for failed Muslim states. Sovereign failure and collapse, alas, is engineered by sponsored assassinations, coups, civil wars, or “humanitarian” interventions.

The decades old campaign to unseat Bashir Assad has now degenerated into another proxy war with the Kremlin. In this case, Moscow has the moral high ground. Unlike American, the Russian intervention in Syria is at the request of the host. The Kremlin is actually defending, not destroying, Syrian sovereignty.

Indeed, the Russian Air Force, Kurd, and Persian militias seem to be winning in the north. If Aleppo falls, Russia and Iran will have scored a major victory over the Sunni jihad in Syria. If and when the Russian led coalition drives ISIS back into Turkey, expect John Kerry and Ash Carter to be the first to take a bow.

The valiant Kurds, unfortunately, are unlikely to benefit from any al Nusra/ISIS defeat in Syria.

The Kurds are the largest, if not only, demographic of genuine Muslim “moderates” in the world. Caught between duplicitous Turks and feckless Americans, the Kurdish quest for a national sovereignty is likely to be kicked to the curb by a US defense establishment that prefers to pander to Ottoman theocrats in Ankara.

The Kurd quandary is just a facet of the larger dilemma that dogs US foreign/military policy in the Ummah. Few if any Arab, Persian, or Muslim factions trust the White House or the Pentagon after decades of spastic policy.

Libya

Libya is another tragic case of regime change folly embellished with callous adolescent taunts. Once the most affluent nation in North Africa, Libya is now reduced to barbaric free fall and religious civil war. The ISIS “junior varsity” has more than a toehold in yet another failed Muslim state with oil wealth. Mission creep proceeds apace in North Africa too. US air strikes have begun in Libya – again.

With Libya, gloating reaches new juvenile lows. Mrs. Clinton twerked: “We came, we saw, he died,” after the sponsored Gadhafi kill. Clearly, the US State Department was driving the Libya putsch.

Mrs. Clinton was cackling an artless replay of Julius Ceasar’s cryptic report (47 BC) to the Roman senate: “Veni, vidi, vinci; I came, I saw, I conquered. The very phrase has come to mean quick, successful victory. The American sponsored implosion in Libya is neither.

Subsequent to the Libyan collapse, which included the assassination of the US ambassador, the then Secretary of State concluded: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Assessing the post-Gadhafi meltdown in North Africa; President Obama trash-talked the misadventure as North African “tribalism;” indeed calling erstwhile prosperous Libya, another “shit show.”

Vulgarity is often the lingua fanca for national security amateurs, as when State Department official Victoria Nuland chortled “fuck NATO” because some Europeans failed to endorse the US sponsored coup in Ukraine fast enough.

Yemen

The war in Yemen is another proxy fight, Saudi Arabia against Iran, Persian against Arab, and Sunni against Shia. In this case, America and England side with the Sunni. The wealthiest Muslim nation in Africa is trying to bomb the poorest Muslim nation back to the Stone Age.

Unaided, it would be impossible for the corrupt Emirates or a theocratic Saudi Arabia to fight their way out of a harem. The Saudi free-fire zone in Yemen is impossible without British and American weapons and munitions. Any moral argument about “indiscriminate” Russian bombing in Syria is undermined by the Saudi/American/British aerial blitz in Yemen.

A casual observer would be hard pressed not to see the Yemen and Mosul, Iraq fronts as distractions, if not diversions, from humiliations in Syria and Libya.  Lame ducks, seeking legacy, often morph into black swans.

As we speak, the American navy is exchanging missiles with Shia gunners in Yemen. American and Iranian flotillas are doing a martial pas de deux at Bab al Mandeb, a maritime standoff that could go hot with a single stray round.

Cold War with Russia

Just as the Shia/Sunni rift underwrites much of the mayhem in Muslim small wars, civil and sectarian; the proxy war between America and Russia compounds Ummah instability. Kremlin bashing now seems to be a staple for both American political parties. Even Hillary Clinton was fond of Anti-Putin twerking with Pussy Riot

Much Russophobia is also a diversion too – or whistling in the dark. Picking a fight with Moscow, whilst Muslim small wars abide, is a just twitch short of strategic insanity. Making matters worse, the trash talkers now accuse the Kremlin of meddling in American elections.

If the Russian FSB is capable of tampering with American elections, then the problem is the FBI and the National Security Agency, not Vladimir Putin. Russian and American Intelligence operatives do pretty much the same things, all of which are probably illegal somewhere. The difference between the two is that the Kremlin doesn’t seem to confuse effective tradecraft with adolescent loose talk.

If there’s a legitimate threat to the integrity of American elections from Intelligence operatives, the immediate danger comes from partisan American, not Russian, officials. Michael Morrel, former deputy at CIA, and Michael Hayden, former director at NSA, take a bow here.

And if America is as weak and vulnerable as officials like Morrel and DNI Jim Clapper claim; what does that say about the 17 plus Intelligence agencies and the myriad of DOD agencies that are supposed to provide security?  The problem with national defense may be the same as the problem with domestic social programs. Spending has been divorced from results – and solutions.

The only defense thread with a plus vector is funding, especially in the “wilderness of mirrors,” the Intelligence Community. National security today, for both political parties, is more business than security.

The more America spends on Intelligence, the less the White House seems to know about threats. Bigger Intelligence has never been better, especially if the need is objective analysis. The best technical Intelligence collection in the world is now undone by cooked books and asserted conclusions, especially specious analysis about Russia or Islam.

Much of the associated political twerking is a toxic remix mandated by Beltway thought police.  The worst invective is now reserved for “Russians,” when we actually mean the Putin administration. No such blanket bias is permissible for Arabs, Persians, or Muslims where the preferred terms for culprits are undifferentiated euphemisms such as “criminals, radicals, or extremists”.

Or to borrow a gem from DNI James Clapper, Muslim shock troops and terrorists are called “nefarious characters.”  If you listen to the Orwellian verbiage approved by fiat for America’s Muslim wars, you might believe that race, country of origin, and political theology had nothing to do with the ongoing Muslim jihad or the larger “clash of civilizations.”

The Russian Shibboleth

The specter of the Russian bear haunts those many inconclusive Muslim wars. From Afghanistan in 1978 to Syria today, the perception of the Kremlin as a manipulator of dark forces continues to haunt the American foreign/military policy establishment. It’s as if all the baggage of the Comintern , the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, and the Cold War were still with us.

Blatant contradictions abound. American foreign policy assumes that Putin’s Russia is Stalin’s Soviet Union. With Islam, a culture barely altered in 1400 years, we assume democracy follows autocracy. In fact, theocracy is the default setting for a metastasizing Ummah. And Russians, since Yeltsin, are models of tolerance and democracy when compared to recidivist Persians and Arabs.

After the Ayatollah’s revolution in 1979, the vector of Shia and Sunni political cultures is race to the barbaric bottom, or the 7th Century, whichever comes first.

Russophobia is now aggravated by Pentagon generals with political agendas. NATO and CJCS brass provide two recent examples.

Former NATO Supreme Allied commander, Philip Breedlove, USAF, was exposed, thru hacked emails, beating the drums for confrontation with Russia. At the JCS, Army Chief of Staff, Mark Milley engaged in similar chest thumping, claiming that Russia was “an existential threat,” a menace that the US Army would “destroy.”

Breedlove and Milley should be careful about what they wish for. Some sense of history might help. The Soviet’s did most of the fighting and took most of the casualties in the last European war. Today, Russians are no longer dependent on the largesse of Lend-Lease. And the Kremlin still has the home field advantage.

Russia isn’t Panama and the Russian Army isn’t anybody’s “junior varsity.” A cynic might conclude that the Kremlin shibboleth is not as critical to US national security as it is for DOD budgets and federal spending.

Efforts to separate Russia from Europe are not in the best interests of Europe or America in any future. Playing a highly personalized version of nuclear “chicken” with Vladimir Putin is not much of a game plan either.

Russians were an indispensable ally for the defeat of 20th Century secular fascism in WW II. Russia may have to play a similar role if 21st Century Islamofascism is ever to be beaten. Unfortunately, the kind of spin and twerking that characterizes State Department rhetoric has migrated to the Department of Defense.

Alas, trash talk and adolescent posturing doesn’t win cold or hot wars. American politicians and generals who can’t acknowledge failure are unlikely to recognize success in any case.

Martial malarkey is especially ironic because DOD is clearly subordinate to the cookie pushers at Foggy Bottom these days. Recall that the former CJCS, another Army general, Martin Dempsey, testified that he didn’t send help to Benghazi because Hillary Clinton at the State Department didn’t ask him for help.

Girls and gays with guns in the ranks is one thing. Girly men on the E Ring is another problem altogether. The mufti militia at the Pentagon needs to think long and hard about getting back to what real warriors do best.

        

                                                                            What Is To Be Done?

 

Stand Up or Stand Down

The bell whether event of the 20th Century was the 1979 religious coup in Iran, the significance of which was largely lost or ignored by most observers under the smoke screen of the hostage crisis and Carter/Reagan era bumbling. The truth about the ayatollahs is that they played America then as well as they played team Obama more recently in 2016.

The advent of Persian theocracy was seismic for two reasons. Religious rule was legitimized in an erstwhile secular state and theocracy in Tehran, rule by clerics, provided both a role model and spark to the fire that still rages in the Sunni world today. Indeed, if you consult narratives for the period, theocracy and the Shia /Sunni rift are largely ignored. The headlong civic plunge backwards is still called, ironically, a “Jasmine Revolution” or an “Arab Spring.”

Alas, the subtext of the global jihad is religious war, an imperial campaign that targets non-Muslim infidels and apostate secular Muslims alike. Now that Shia and Sunni nuclear weapons are part of the equation, Koranic prophesy about Armageddon becomes more relevant to true believers.

Indeed, the “great game” in the Mideast and North Africa is not between East and West; the true nexus of jihad is the antipathy between Arabs and Persians, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Washington has inserted itself on the median strip between these 1400 year old religious road warriors. Before the Shia/Sunni rift is resolved, something more than American naiveté might become road kill.

The rationale for war is often the same as the rationale for the death penalty. Some miscreants are so evil; killing is the only sensible solution. America needs to acknowledge the primal threat of Shia and Sunni Islamism or stand down.  Half-measures and futile appeasements are variants of a death wish actualized in slow motion.

America will not defeat Islamism alone either. A bloated NATO has done little or nothing to restrain the jihad. Indeed, the one unique European policy response to the Ummah hemorrhage is “open borders.” Who in their right mind believes that the answer to jihad and terror in Europe, or America, is more Muslims?

Non-contiguous Islamic nations do not accept Muslim refugees or migrants for good and prudent reasons. Only infidel morons invite ideological, religious, or kinetic threats into the homeland?

Pay and Play

America must insist that Muslims fight and finance their own wars, rescue their own refugees/migrants, and reform a toxic religio/political ideology tomorrow, if not sooner. If the Ummah is content to succumb to Shia and Sunni fundamentalist theocracy, so be it. A unified Muslim threat simplifies the targeting problem for any future “coalitions” that will have to deal with Islamism.

NATO “partners” too must pay their own way and fight as required or resign themselves to the tender mercies of a European caliphate. The EU is already on a slippery slope if Brexit is any clue. Crash Islamization just accelerates the slide.

Humanitarian Intervention?

Social democratic imperialism, or globalism, is the single political canard that underwrites most recent American and European foreign/military policy disasters. Alas, justifying violations of national sovereignty with good intentions is a little like trying to rationalize rape as speed dating.

Unsolicited intervention is usually propelled by special interests, hidden agendas, or colossal arrogance. Armed assault is a hermaphrodite too; an “intervention” for the aggressor is an invasion for the victim. Worst of all, “humanitarian” intervention, as justified by globalist polemicists like Samantha Powers at the UN, is often a euphemism for coercive “regime change.” There’s nothing legal, democratic, moral, or “humanitarian” about any sponsored coup, insurrection, sectarian or civil war.

Nations are sovereign or they are not.

Recent evidence is conclusive.  Regime change is an act of war sponsored by naive nitwits who have no intention of winning the fight or dealing with consequences of predictable chaos.

The Virtual Illusion

If the policy, plan, or strategy is hair brained, tactics and operational arts are unlikely to compensate. So it is with fifty years of Muslim small wars where much American “combat” is fought by arm chair warriors in air conditioned aircraft, “situation” rooms, Pentagon suites, or mobile trailers. We are told that the American President personally selects drone or cruise missile targets. Small wonder then that American tactics echo round the world before strategy can find its big boy pants.

Virtual warriors are not unlike video gamers, nerds far removed from the blood and guts, but dangerous nonetheless. There’s little evidence to date to suggest that air power alone wins any war, large or small.

Indeed, precision guided weapons had little to do with big kills. Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Muamar Gadhafi were all killed the old fashioned way, with boots on the ground.  An airstrike, unfortunately, seldom provides an opportunity for gloating or twerking.

Body count is never as important as bodies that count.

The bin Laden execution has become such a staple for political demagogues that a generation of children might come to believe that the Saudi villain was shot by Foggy Bottom fairies, not a SEAL team. The American State Department is fond of taking bows for the achievements of others and equally adverse to accepting responsibilities for any failures.

New Alliances

If you compare religion, politics, culture, and praxis; there’s not much of a difference between the Islamic State, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. All lope off limbs or heads as public spectacle, each is the leg of a backward triumvirate metastasizing into the past in a quest for monolithic Islamic theocracy. Turkey is now a prime candidate to make the irredentist trio into a quartet.

When democratic socialists pander to clerical thugs; theocracy is validated. Freedom and democracy are suborned.

After 50 years of humiliations, if not defeat, the much vaunted NATO and the EU condominiums have proven to be paper tigers. Europeans, again taking cues from Berlin, believe that Islam will be appeased if Muslim migrants are pacified with open borders, subsidized hots, cots, and unlimited blond girl friends. Most Muslim immigrants and refugees are single males.

Here again, history is instructive. When secular fascism threatened the world in the 20th Century, most of Europe rolled over, north to south, like cheap tricks. There were a few noble exceptions at the margins in London and Moscow that made a difference. Now that religious fascism again stalks the continent, the usual European suspects again play the catamite.

There’s no chance that America alone saves Europe or the Ummah from their worst instincts. Defeating Islamofascism will require stout partners. Few social democracies in continental Europe are up for that challenge today. For too many Europeans, losing a war is the fastest way to end a war. Hat tip to Orwell.

If the conflict with Islamism is to be won, new thinking, less twerking, and new alliances are crucial. Any secular autocrat is a better ally than any Muslim theocrat. Russia and China are ruthless with home-grown Islamists. Moscow and Beijing have no illusions about the meaning of jihad and the threat posed by fascism, secular or religious, abroad or at home.

“Cowards die many times before their actual deaths.”

Julius Caesar

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Trump’s Top Ten

December 10, 2016

There are many things that can be said about the election of Donald Trump and most will probably get said before 20 January 17. Beyond an unlikely candidacy and an even more surprising election, Trump, long before his inauguration, is an overachiever on many fronts. Indeed, a “Reelect Trump” bumper sticker was spotted in Easton, Maryland just a day after the election. Here are the top ten things Trump has already accomplished before his first term begins.

  1. He Hijacked a Major American Party

Just as the Democrats had a coronation planned for Hillary Clinton in 2016, Republicans had a tiara in mind for Jeb Bush too. Alas, Donald Trump beat the odds, and the party hacks, for the Republican nomination. The Grand Old Party has yet to recover from the insurgent coup.

Withal, Republicans need Trump more than Trump needs a party. Either the old guard adjusts to Trump’s pragmatism or Trump might start a new party. Clearly he has the votes.

The Democrats too were bull-rushed by the Clintons, then gob smacked by Trumpsters.

News on the left keeps getting worse. Democrats are now looking to the Minnesota caliphate for new blood, considering Representative Keith Ellison (D) as party chief. Elevating Ellison is a little like playing Russian roulette with five rounds in the cylinder. Ellison isn’t so much a progressive as he is an outspoken Islamist huckster and anti-Israeli demagogue.

Seems the DNC learned nothing from the election.

  1. He Bitch- Slapped American Media

There’s no polite way to put this. American press and broadcast shills, nationally and universally, tried to cook the 2016 primaries and general election with bias, lies, vitriol, hate, and racism. Both parties and the media insinuated, with little or no evidence, that the Republican nominee was a Kremlin stooge. Trump took it all in and gave as good as he got. He was correct throughout, the press, the federal cops, and Clinton Inc. are “crooked.”

When it counted, America’s productive “deplorables” turned out to be a lot more reliable than America’s dependent barnacles. If there is a demographic schism in America, the divide is between the makers and the takers. Score one this time for “makers” and family Trump.

Next time the media sneers at non-college graduates, blue collar men/ women, or “flyover country;” those cynics would do well to remember that folks with enough moxie to get a job and work for a living are the same citizens who get off their keisters and vote.

The press tried to lynch Trump for what he said while largely giving Hillary a pass on what she has done. Sensible voters took that double standard personally. The country will recover from Trump rhetoric long before voters will forget how badly the Clintons, print and broadcast “professionals” behaved.

Trust is a terrible thing to waste.

  1. He restored Political Integrity

When Hillary drones chirped “I’m with her,” Trump responded “I’m with you.” When the vice president elect was asked about Trump’s character, Mike Pence replied “you can’t fake good kids.”  When Hillary was asked about those huge “pay to play,” checks, she responded, “I took what they offered.” When Trump was asked about his presidential salary, he said that he will be a “dollar a year man.”

Even when the question is relative, character matters.

When asked if Trump might make America great again, deplorables across the country responded with a resounding “yes.”

 

 

 

  1. He Saved the Judicial System

With the election victory, Trump gets a judicial trifecta: some balance on the highest court and the opportunity to clean house at the Justice Department and the FBI. Recall that Justice Sotomayor suggested that race and melanin were unique sensitivities. Also recall that Justice Ginsberg campaigned very publically against Trump, an unprecedented breach of judicial temperament and discretion. With any luck, these two and the Keystone cops at the Justice department should be history or irrelevant under a new court and administration.

  1. He Torpedoed Immigration Inertia

For decades, both political parties have played kick-the-can with border security and immigration. Indeed, associated pathologies like drugs, crime, and terror have been neglected or minimized. Even after the Saudi 9/11suicide bombings, political paralysis prevailed. In the recent campaign, Trump used the now famous “wall” metaphor to illuminate the unalloyed stupidity of open borders and uncontrolled, unvetted immigration of refugees, Muslim or Mexican.

Trump has put an eminently logical question on the table. How do we have open borders and insure national security or the defeat of terror and the Muslim jihad?

A nation is safe, secure, and sovereign – or it is not.

  1. He Made Emigration Fashionable

Many Hollywood poseurs, low-rent music divas, media fan boys, and their big city cohorts have vowed to leave America if Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.

Poor loser day is here. Flyover country is waiting. If left coasters are moving north this year, they need to start for Canada before the snow flies.

Note to Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, and Amy Schumer: Please stop on the east coast and pick up Chuck Schumer, Chris Matthews, and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. on your way out.

 

  1. He Reset the US Foreign Policy Agenda

Trump suggests adjustments to policy with Europe, Russia, Israel, and the Muslim world are needed. Winning is back on the table too. If the various Muslim small wars cannot be won with EU or Ummah partners, then new coalitions make sense. Israel is the indispensable moral center of gravity in the Middle East. Russia is the indispensable ally for defeating Islamism and the jihad.

Stand by for Putin/Trump and Netanyahu/Trump bromances to be consummated.

  1. He Burst the Globalism Bubble

If the fatally flawed assumptions of globalism and world government were wounded by Brexit, a Donald Trump presidency might be the coup de grace. By challenging feckless interventions, naïve foreign policy, weak trade deals, and flaccid partners/alliances; Donald Trump has turned US foreign/ military policy on its ear, all to the good.

New thinking and new players are long overdue. The true path to global diversity is national sovereignty, not the rote of EU or UN globalist conformity. Trump’s skepticism about utopian hokum is fresh air.

  1. He Cashiered Humanitarian Intervention

With Trump, disastrous small wars associated with so-called “humanitarian” interventions may be resolved or allowed to die on the vine. “In it to win it or out” might be the new doctrine from the start. If Europe and the Muslim world care not to finance or fight for the defeat of Islamism, so be it. The target set for America, Russia, and China is thus simplified.

Even James Clapper now agrees that America cannot save Islam from itself.

  1. He purged three Dynasties

Armed only with the wisdom of crowds, Trump brought an end to the Bush, Clinton, and Obama regimes. Call it regicide. Call it a political trifecta. Call it hiatus from breeding lawyers in the White House. Whatever!  The prospects for loony liberals and chronically constipated conservatives are greatly diminished in the next four, or eight, years.

If the president elect is as cost efficient as Commander –in-Chief as he was as a candidate, then America may be well served. In spite of an unprecedented media and Clinton Inc. bias blitz, Trump demonstrated that ground truth is the often the default setting in a digital world – if the internet, not the press, does the vetting.

Epilogue

The most obvious post-election irony comes from the mean streets of American cities, liberal urban sinecures where Clinton/Obama voters riot and vandalize in the wake of defeat, validating the worst about the American Left; first arrogant winners, now bad losers at every turn.

Maureen Dowd at the NY Times once pandered to Barack Hussein Obama as the “black prince.” As is their wont, the Times was only half right. Alas, the euphemistic prince turned out to be just another spooky “gangsta” from Chicago, a black swan who never flew, never set a better standard for America or arsonous constituents.

Withal, a quarter century national nightmare may now be over. There’s much to celebrate in 2016, thanks to “deplorables” across the land.

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Who’ s Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

October 6, 2016

G. Murphy Donovan's Blog

Edward Albee died on 16 September. The death of America’s greatest modern playwright was obscured by the run-up to the first 2016 presidential debate. You can’t help but think of the parallels between an evening with Donald and Hillary and an evening with Albee’s George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) in question was a real literary figure trapped in a failed marriage, a dilemma that was resolved by suicide. Woolf filled her pockets with stones and walked into a pond. Albee’s drama is supplemented by intermittent repetition of Disney’s jingle Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.

Albee’s metaphorical wolf is illusion; or more precisely, the truth about self, marriage, family, career, and toxic relationships. Albee was no fan of conventional wisdom, human nature, or the status quo.

Albee lived as he wrote, ever the champion of the need to break…

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Who’ s Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

October 6, 2016

 

Edward Albee died on 16 September. The death of America’s greatest modern playwright was obscured by the run-up to the first 2016 presidential debate. You can’t help but think of the parallels between an evening with Donald and Hillary and an evening with Albee’s George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) in question was a real literary figure trapped in a failed marriage, a dilemma that was resolved by suicide. Woolf filled her pockets with stones and walked into a pond. Albee’s drama is supplemented by intermittent repetition of Disney’s jingle Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.

Albee’s metaphorical wolf is illusion; or more precisely, the truth about self, marriage, family, career, and toxic relationships. Albee was no fan of conventional wisdom, human nature, or the status quo.

Albee lived as he wrote, ever the champion of the need to break the mold, embrace reality. His contempt for critics was legendary. Few journalists went one-on-one with Albee. The need to defy critics, even his father, and be his own man was the one big idea in much of Albee’s work.

All of the action in Albee’s classic feud unfolds in a single evening, similar to the drama of the 26 September argument between Trump and Clinton.

The first act of Virginia Woolf is indeed called “Fun and Games,” much like the first 30 minutes of the Trump/Clinton debate. The beginning is genial enough and then slowly succumbs to the heat of acrimony, recriminations, and hypocrisy.

On the evening of 26 September, Trump was suffocated, like Albee’s George, with issues over which he has little or no control. In the play, George was clinically impotent. In the debate, Trump was made to appear inadequate in the end.

Hillary flogged Donald with taxes, bankruptcies, family inheritance, faux racism, portly beauty queens, and Rosie O’Donnell. None of these “issues” has anything to do with domestic or national security.

Throughout, Trump’s one big idea of the campaign was obscured. Trump is the candidate of change. More of the same is Mrs. Clinton’s only game. Hillary doesn’t have a big idea.

Indeed, Hillary offers only two small thoughts for domestic and foreign policy. Both were parroted or pinched form the Sander’s campaign: no-fly zones in the Levant and “free” college/debt relief at home.

No-fly zones in Syria and Iraq are bogus because that would have USAF flying cover for the Turkish oil racket and the ISIS jihad against Damascus.

The free school/tuition forgiveness proposal is a fraud on three counts. First, no school is free. Somebody pays; maybe not the takers, but surely the makers. Whenever the American left uses adjectives like “free,’ hold onto your wallet.

Secondly, schooling at the college level is likely to benefit those who already benefit at the grade and secondary levels. Several minorities, especially blacks, seem to be immune to the opportunity of free schools. Half of black kids who begin high school do not finish and many of those that do finish require extensive and often ineffective remedial help at college.

There’s no evidence to suggest that the kids who need it most will benefit from “free” college, any more than they “benefit” from free high school. Public school is too often custodial, a waiting room for the nearest jail.

And finally, public school has been hopelessly confused with education. Charter schools, alternative schools, and private schools are all symptoms of public school failure, if test scores and school rankings matter.

The public school illusion is supported by those who don’t need it and undermined by cynics who know that, in the end, school is only an opportunity not a right.

Mrs. Clinton does not have one big idea, nor does she have any original small ideas. She does have, however, a host of failures or bad policies for which she might be pilloried: the private server fraud, Wall Street speaking fees, the Clinton Foundation hustle, open borders, the immigration blitz, regime change disasters, a new Cold War with Russia , Islamic apologists, and all those losing Muslim wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

Trump had the hammer; yet he didn’t pound his golden nail, change. He needed to illuminate Mrs. Clinton’s poor ideas; recite Hillary’s manifest failures; and emphasize the poverty of her too few new ideas.

Mrs. Clinton even managed to make Trump look like the liar on the stage; this from a woman married to a serial predator; this from a woman married to a convicted perjurer; this from a woman who lied to the Benghazi families.

The most obscene hypocrisy of the 2016 campaign is to watch either of the Clintons play the honesty or transparency cards.

At the end of the first debate, uncharacteristically, Donald Trump was left mumbling about his microphone and things he could have said but didn’t. It seems that Trump was intimidated by Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea in the first row. Trump was probably thinking of making America’s most infamous sexual predator a campaign issue, but towards the end of round one, he pulled that punch.

Nonetheless, Bill is still fair game. Clintons in the White House have embarrassed themselves and the country before and it’s a safe bet they will do it again.

Oddly enough, Hillary is capable of recognizing young black super-predators she never met, but claims ignorance of her husband’s predations. Willful indifference to Bill’s not-so-secret life as a masher is of a piece to her willful indifference to national security by using a private email server.

If the Republican standard bearer believes that either Clinton will ever spare him any personal or family indignity, then Donald, like George in Virginia Woolf, is delusional.

The last act of Edward Albee’s play is called “Exorcism.” Indeed, a defeat of the Clintons would be just that, a national purge that could signal a new beginning, an awakening from the long Clinton family nightmare.

For the moment, Trump is the only exorcist in town. Either he throws the devils back to Arkansas or the country suffers through four more years of toxic Clinton/Obama humiliations. Trump brings a hundred million souls to the debates. Now he needs to close the deal, persuade that vast audience to vote for change.

No holds barred! There are only two rounds left.

One final thought for the undecided; picture Bill Clinton Barack Obama, or both, on the Supreme Court.

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Hat tip to Edward Albee (1928-2016) who never finished college, yet he insisted that we face the realities of life, relationships, careers, and especially, poor choices.

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Debating Hillary

September 21, 2016

The impending presidential debates are likely to be the best attended in the history of American politics. The viewing and listening audience will set a standard for political discussions past and future. At this point, the draw is Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, Trump is a candidate who packs a house and elevates the ratings.

Whether or not the Trump “draw” translates into votes remains to be seen. Ironically, Trump’s negatives may be the new positive. Those so-called “undecideds,” might be a closet demographic, folks who do not support Trump publicly, but on Election Day will push the button for change anyway.

At this point in the campaign, both candidates represent real choice. Hillary is the establishment, the ancien regime, more of the same if you will. Trump is the parvenu, the rhetorical bomb thrower. The Donald represents change, anxiety, and uncertainty too.

Here Trump has a decided advantage. Call it the enthusiasm gap. Emotion and energy are the important components of any political campaign. Specific issues are, for the most part, window dressing. Most candidates see politics as the art of saying and playing, not doing.

Issues are merely emotional outreach, the hot buttons of cynical voter manipulation. If you can talk-the-talk well enough, you might never have to walk-the-walk.

The great weaknesses of democracy are tenure, inertia, and complacency.

Few candidates feel compelled to deliver on campaign promises anyway, especially reform. American campaigning and governance have now morphed into perpetual spin, a cynical PR ritual. Nonetheless, most aspirants are still expected to make politically correct noises to get nominated, reelected – or elected.

Trump has proven to be the singular exception to this and almost every other bit of conventional wisdom, a quality of uniqueness that is now both an asset and a liability

Prospects are diminished, in any case, for any candidate who fails to touch the emotional G Spot of the electorate. Relative likeability and some sensitivity to the mood and needs of the masses is money in the bank.

With Barack Obama the touchstone was melanin. With Hillary the emotional G Spot is sex, gender, and the usual piñata politics. Hillary Clinton is figuratively flying on her genitals and literally sitting on Obama’s entitlement coattails.

Romney was correct about one thing in the last election; America is now two classes, a decreasing number of makers carrying a growing burden of takers. Alas, establishment Romney couldn’t get away with that kind of Mormon candor wearing a Republican frock.

With Trump, truth is an offensive weapon.  Change is his forte. Thus, remaking America is at once a noble objective for the “deplorables” and a subversive threat to the usual suspects. Oddly enough, critics right and left seem to be fueling the Trump phenomenon with brickbats.

Indeed, you could argue today that Donald Trump has trashed every possible stuffed shirt, touched every third rail, and roasted every sacred cow on the political green. Indeed, Trump’s critics are in danger of exhausting all stocks of metaphor and invective.

From the beginning, Trump has been riding towards the Oval Office on a tsunami of righteous indignation. The “system” is thought to be rigged or broken and public sentiment says, “throw the bums out.”

The debates are one last hurdle. As media events, these spectacles are front-loaded for Hillary.

The moderators are a rainbow coalition from the American left. There’s nothing “moderate” about Trump’s inquisitors. Lester Holt (NBC) speaks for the black vote. Martha Raddatz (ABC) represents the feminist vote, and of course Anderson Cooper (CNN) represents homosexuals and the socially ambiguous. None of these demographics are sympathetic, or even neutral, about Trump. Chris Wallace (FOX) is supposed to be the red bone, a token at best. These debate panels are rigged and Trump needs to make that clear to the national audience at every debate.

Trump has few sympathizers midst the chattering classes. He can expect a barrage of hostile and/or loaded questions. He would be wise to stay with the tactic that served him so well to date.

Offense!

When confronted with leading or hostile questions, Trump needs to confront media spinners as he has done in the past. If he has done nothing else in this campaign, Trump has exposed American journalists as partisan shills. Trashing pundits is a no-lose hedge. The press is about as popular as herpes.

If Trump doesn’t like the question, he might ignore it and introduce a question of his own. Becoming Hillary’s interrogator permits all those questions not likely to be asked by a biased press panel.

Mrs. Clinton avoids press conferences for good reasons. She doesn’t like questions, accountability, or candor — and she gets rattled or hostile on defense.

Topics likely to keep Clinton in a defensive crouch include: her tolerance of husband Bill’s abuse of women from the statehouse to the White House; the Obamacare fiasco; Veterans’ care incompetence; serial foreign policy failures; the Benghazi betrayal and cover up; the private server and email controversy; subsequent FBI corruption; DNC primary fixing; and Clinton Foundation fraud just to name a few areas where the media will try to give Hillary a pass.

Trump is uniquely qualified to grill Mrs. Clinton. She has a policy and program record to defend.  He does not. Trump is only liable for hearsay or those now infamous lip slips. Clinton, in contrast, has real skeletons that have been out of her closet for over a decade.

Trump does not have a horrid family and policy record to defend.  In contrast, Hillary’s private and public behavior is literally indefensible. She is especially vulnerable as the putative “feminist.” Recall how Mrs. Clinton demonized Bill’s female victims and conquests. A Bill Clinton “score” was characterized as a “bimbo eruption.”

Mrs. Clinton’s achievement deficits are relevant in every sense of the word. Her personal peccadillos, integrity, judgment, temperament, and character should be the core issues of the debates.

Hillary’s contempt for common men and women is now, in her own words, a matter of public record. Less well known are the sentiments of those who have witnessed Clintonian behavior out of the public eye. The few Secret Service testimonials available are unanimous about Hillary Clinton.

She is arrogant, patronizing, condescending, abusive, vulgar, often hysterical, and frequently rude, especially to military and police details. The people sworn to protect the presidential family are usually reticent to discuss their wards. Hillary is the one notable exception.

Secret Service agents consider the Hillary detail to be punishment. She’s that bad.

If there are any institutions that do not look forward to another Clinton regime, it’s the military, the Secret Service, and cops at large. Apparently, Hillary abhors uniforms.

Mrs. Clinton apparently suffers from some kind of multiple personality disorder too, smiling and cackling in public and then morphing into an abusive shrew off camera. There may be a medical explanation for Hillary’s mood swings, but those closest to her believe that the ailment is personality.

Pathology or illness is always fair game, but for any politician, its character, or lack of it, that matters most.

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Key words:

Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, presidential debates, media bias.