My Own Private Caracas

I heard this – or a piece just like it, and which may well have been a rerun – on NPR on Sunday afternoon – explaining Bernie Sanders’ putative popularity among young latinos. 

And I found it pretty much chilling, to be honest.  

The Sanders campaign is pitching its candidate  as Tio Bernie – “Uncle Bernie” – to young Latin-Americans:

Shawn Navarro, a 33-year-old Sanders volunteer in Las Vegas, refers to his favorite presidential candidate as “Tío Bernie.”

“He reminds us a lot in the Latinx community of your grandpa, or your tío,” explained Navarro after a recent Spanish-language campaign event in Nevada. “He’s kind of stern, a little grumpy at times. But, at the same time, you really know he’s looking out for you.”

Latinos, Navarro says, are tired of listening to talking points from Democrats who come to their neighborhoods, “speak a little bit of Spanish” and “eat tacos,” but then don’t deliver any real results. It’s why, he says, exit polls found that Donald Trump and Mitt Romney, “who was far less offensive,” performed roughly equally with Latinos in the 2016 and 2012 elections.

Latinos come from a part of the world that’s been fairly ravaged by socialists painting themselves as “family” for right around two centuries.

There’s a real educational opportunity, here.

I don’t entirely mean for “progressives”.

Hacks

Early yesterday evening, as I drove home from work, I heard National Public Radio’s wall-to-wall coverage of the Iowa Caucuses.

As they – or one or another of their intervieweews, anyway – raved about the process, they kept mentioning an “App”. One of the NPR anchors – who “covers” “election security”, we were told – mentioned that “the App” was of unknown origin; “who programmed the thing” was literally a secret. The media hadn’t even been allowed to look at it, or at the people who developed it.

“What could possibly go wrong?”, I said to myself.

Nonetheless, Dems were in high spirits, including Tom Perez:

Well, you saw the headlines.

These are the people who want to run the healthcare system and plan the economy.

I mean, the Democratic Party, not literally these three people. Although they appear as if the work (l to r) for the IRS, the Department of Education and TSA.

As I drove home around 11 last night, it was becoming clear the Hawkeye Cauci were turning into a Bolivian Cluster Cuddle, with “the App” not working, and with precinct chairs sitting on hold for hours, or just giving up and going home.

So – what about “the App?”

So – not only do people commit suicide when they cross Hillary, but so apparently do entire party units.

The conspiracy theory du jour – Bernie was winning, and the Hillary/Biden machine told the Iowa Machine to finesse the the results no matter what.

Which, Ben Shapiro notes, shouldn’t be a problem for Bernie or his Bros:

Wonder if Putin had anything to do with it?

Service Of Convenience

Pete Buttigieg – whose race for president this cycle may be distinguished by “lasting longer than A-Klo’s” and not much more – stood out from most of the rest of the Democrat field by being a veteran.

This stands out among typical Democrats in more or less the same way a nun at a Mormon missionary at a Slayer concert does.

And, like those Slayer fans, they don’t really know what to do about the interloper from another universe – what questions to ask, what lessons to learn?

Which, Kyle Smith notes, conceals a lot of problems:

Three things stand out about his brief sojourn in the Navy: One, he joined via direct commission. This, to most veterans, is a jaw-dropper. To say the least, this isn’t the way it’s usually done. Many of us recall the intensive pre-commission training (in my case, four years of ROTC in Connecticut and Advanced Camp with the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg) as the most trying intervals of our careers. Others spent four years at Annapolis or West Point. Buttigieg just skipped all of that. He passed a physical. He signed some papers. Voila. To put this in terms a liberal might understand: Imagine you heard that someone got a “direct diploma” from Harvard but didn’t actually have to do four years of papers and tests. You’d never forget it. You’d probably think of that person primarily as a short-cut specialist for the rest of your life.

Then there’s the little matter of his political role model – John Kerry. As in, someone who explicitly used a brief tour in the service as a stepping stone to politics, over the bodies of his erstwhile comrades.

And Smith notes how “off” some of Mayor Pete’s schtick feels to peolple who have been there: Like Buttigieg’s references to the nujmber of times he left his camp in Afghanistan:

Has anyone who has ever served the U.S. military on overseas land not driven around? When he launched his campaign last April he bragged about “119 trips I took outside the wire, driving or guarding a vehicle.” That’s . . . not a thing. There are no such stats. Sorties in aircraft are an official military statistic. Motor-vehicle trips are so routine no one would bother to keep track, any more than someone would log how many times Pete Buttigieg took a shower. No one cares. So Buttigieg himself created this phony statistic. Picture it: He made himself a little Hero’s Log but all he had to put in it was “routine trips.” It’s pathetic. It’s hilarious. It’s apple-polishing, resume-buffing, box-checking, attention-seeking vaporware. Just like his whole career.

Democrats are well aware of the reverence most people have for veterans, and especially the reticence people have , after 18 years of war, for criticizing veterans of any kind in any way.

As someone who’s a fairly committed student of military history, I’m every more so.

But I read, and I listen, and I absorb things. And this passage in this account from Buttigieg’s book (related here) caused my BS detector to…,,well, not howl. Maybe chirp a little. I’ll add emphas

Buttigieg has talked about the 119 times he says he crossed “outside the wire,” leaving the relative safety of the base as a vehicle commander on convoy security detail in dangerous parts of Kabul.

And then…:

“In a ritual to be repeated dozens of times, I would heave my armored torso into the driver’s seat of a Land Cruiser, chamber a round in my M4, lock the doors and wave a gloved goodbye to the Macedonian gate guard,” Buttigieg wrote. “My vehicle would cross outside the wire and into the boisterous Afghan city, entering a world infinitely more interesting and ordinary and dangerous than our zone behind the blast walls at ISAF headquarters.”

I don’t know much – and I’ll defer to any combat-arms vets in the house – but I’m fairly sure that “vehicle commanders” don’t ride in the driver’s seat. Drives drive. “Vehicle commanders” in convoys in combat areas don’t; they focus on navigating, communicating, and above all maintaining situational awareness.

So yeah – I’ve got questions,.

Elections Have Consequences

I say this apropos what’s happening in Virginia right now.

After a chaotic morning at the state capitol in Richmond, and despite huge turnout from thousands of gun owners, Virginia Democrats approved a number of gun control bills in a key committee hearing Monday.

Ten years ago, I’d have said “this kind of overreach is going to lead them to an electoral reckoning”. Power for “progressives” is like a Blackjack table for a habitual gambler.

And it could very well still be the case in Virginia, where most of the counties have declared themselves “sanctuaries” from Governor McMinstrel’s depredations.

But I’m less sanguine about this than I used to be, at least in places like Virginia. Virginia is so dominated by Blue counties, and Blue America has gotten so very, very tribal, intellectually monolithic, entitled and, let’s be honest, stupid – and that’s not even bringing the money of Big Left into the picture.

This could very well be Minnesota next year.

End Traffic Violence!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Nobody needs more than one car. Nobody needs to drive a car more than once a month. There should be psychological profiles and strict background checks for all vehicle transfers, including loans to friends and rent a cars. A 6 gallon gas tank limit is plenty.

No wonder the Democrats and media are pushing the “impeachment effort” so hard; Warren is insane, and she’s the sanest of the bunch (among those who have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting nominated – sorry, A-Klo and whoever that flavor of the month from Hawaii was…).

Kamala Harris: Going For The Banana Republican Nomination

Alleged presidential candidate Kamala Harris on how she’ll solve the “crisis” in pharmaceutical prices:

Wait.

Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the wannabe dictator?

Some Pathological Liars Are More Equal Than Others

Famous not-actual-Native American Elizabeth Warren, who was not fired from a job for being pregnant, didn’t actually send her kid to public school.

But it took other people, in every case, to make that info public.

The school thing? Oh, yeah:

Sarah Carpenter, a pro-school choice activist who organized a protest of Warren’s Thursday speech in Atlanta, told Warren that she had read news reports indicating the candidate had sent her kids to private school. Though Warren once favored school choice and was an advocate for charter schools, she changed her views while seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
“We are going to have the same choice that you had for your kids because I read that your children went to private schools,” Carpenter told Warren when the two met, according to video posted to social media, which was first identified by Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at Reason Foundation.
Warren denied the claim, telling Carpenter, “My children went to public schools.”
A school yearbook obtained by the Washington Free Beacon indicates, however, that Warren’s son, Alex Warren, attended the Kirby Hall School for at least the 1986-1987 school year, Warren’s final year as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. The college preparatory school is known for its “academically advanced curriculum” and offers small class sizes for students in grades K-12. The yearbook indicates that Alex Warren attended as a fifth grader.

Running as she is for the nomination by party for which an outsized share of delegates work for the Teachers Unions, it makes good sense to throw black families under the bus (and promising “historic investments” is exactly that).

Except within the Democrat party.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Forget the Ukraine, how did President Trump manage to rig a DNA test, to make Hunter Biden look like heel, to make his father, Joe Biden, lose the Democrat nomination?  The guy’s amazing.  Is there anything he can’t do? 
Joe Doakes

Conceal his mental decline forever? 

Similarities

Four years ago, Democrats got a little crusty when you pointed out that, underneath the targets of their respective rhetoric, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had a lot in common.

Both preached an implausible platform that grabbed a lot of people who wanted (and want) a politician to “Fix things”, sure. Beyond that, both of them were America-firsters, although Sanders only manifested that through wanting to keep American jobs in the US (via economically ruinous means, natch).

And now – well, the same goes for Warren:

Warren’s catchphrase, “I’ve got a plan for that,” has as much cultural resonance with her base as Trump’s “Make America Great Again” does with his, and it’s remarkably similar to Trump’s “I alone can fix it.” It tickles the intellectual erogenous zones of a certain type of progressive wildly overrepresented in the upper echelons of the meritocracy. It screams: “We have all the answers!” and “We know what to do!”
Technocratic liberalism isn’t just an ideological worldview dating back to Walter Lippmann’s 1914 Drift and Mastery, it’s a cultural orientation. If you can’t see it, it’s probably because you’re part of it. Fish don’t know they’re wet, after all.

The media loves to point out the craziness and impossibility of many of Trump’s promises. He said fixing health care would be “so easy.” He vowed to eliminate the deficit in eight years. (It’s up nearly 50 percent since he took office). He was going to ban Muslims and make Mexico pay for the wall. Whether his supporters believed him or not, they liked what these promises said about his priorities. “Don’t take him literally,” we were advised, just “take him seriously.”

Demogogs gonna demigog.  

Campaign Contribution

Trump goes to hostile areas – Minneapolis, the Nationals’ stadium.

“Progressives” – spoiled, entitled public unioneers, academics, PR flaks disguised as journalists, “students” and non-profiteers, eternal beneficiaries of a prosperity they had nothing to do with creating – act like spoiled toddlers, continuing the tantrum that started three years ago and looks unlikely to stop until 2025 at least.

In Minneapolis, hundreds of testosterone-raging post-adolescent rage-o-holics and their soy-boi significant others/servants beclowned themselves and ganged up on the occasional lone, elderly or diminuitive rally-goer, presumably feeling the earth move in the process.

And in DC?

And I have to think that Trump has got to be looking at more such appearances in “Blue” territory; these outbursts of toddler tantrum-mongering have got to be racking up the contributions, the votes, and the moderate Democrats thinking “OMFG, who are these clowns?”

Decision Point

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

With all the ominous news about President Trump lately, I’ve been considering whether to vote Democrat.  But who to choose? 
Beto O’Rourke supports the Menstrual Equity Act to guarantee women everywhere have access to feminine products during their “time of the month.” And he’s outspokenly in favor of banning certain guns, the Second Amendment be damned. Bold positions, those.
Marianne Williamson, who warned of Trump’s dark psychic forces, assures voters she’s not a kook.  Every politician should have learned the lesson from Richard Nixon – that never works, it only confirms what we all suspected. 
Kamala Harris seems nice.  She was a prosecutor who may have refused to let an innocent man off death row.  And she started her climb up the ladder of success the old fashioned way – on her back.  Plus, she’s Negro so she has the moral authority to address the shameful legacy of slavery.  Well, nearly.  She’s certainly as much a descendant of African slaves as Elizabeth Warren is a descendant of Native American Indians
Hillary Clinton says Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein are Russian moles, planted in the primaries to help Trump win.  Hillary’s an expert on Russian collusion, she would know.  Plainly, I can’t vote for either of them.
I dunno, it’s almost as if all the people calling Trump’s pot black have black kettles of their own.  Maybe stick with the devil I know?
Joe Doakes

As with all current Democrat messaging, it’s about gulling the gullible, not convincing those who check their facts.

The Irreducible Logic Of An Illogical Choice

I’ve said it before, I’ll no doubt say it again; I don’t like Donald Trump. I discovered my dislike of him in 1986. I kept it going, cordially, even through the 2000s, when many of today’s “resistance” (gag koff choke) were making him reality TV’s most popular personality.

And I like a lot of Trump supporters even less. Not present company of course.

I voted for Scott Walker in 2016 – and still think he was the best person for the job by a Wisconsin mile. I didn’t think Trump had a chance – of staying in the race after caucuses, then of getting anywhere near the nomination, and finally of getting elected. I literally went into shock, on the air, when it became clear he was going to win three years ago.

I figured, best case, we’d get a couple good SCOTUS justices. Two down, maybe another to go, here. If nothing else, I consider him a success for that alone. There’s been more; obliterating ISIS (although this Kurd thing could screw that all up), focusing the nation on illegal immigration, rolling back some of the damage Obama did on foreign policy…

…but of course, he’s spending like a Democrat (and the Democrats, who control the House, which controls appropriations, *could* do something about it, but they won’t, so shush, Dems). Which is going to be a huge problem…someday

Thing is? Given any of the alternatives to Trump? I couldn’t in conscience vote for any of them.

*Every last one* of them at the top of the ticket (except Tulsi Gabbard, and I have as much chance of getting the Democrat nomination as she does) is promising to do to the Bill of Rights what Donald Trump bragged about doing to fictional women; grab it and molest it. A vote for *any* Democrat is a vote for a gutting the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, for abolishing the Electoral College (making the entire country serfs, paying obeisance to New York and California), for imposing “our best interests” on us exactly the way it’s done in Baltimore, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, or all of California. From sea to crumbling ,dysfunctional, crime-ridden sea. But hey, abortion will be legal until the sixth trimester…

Sorry, Libertarian friends – if you normally vote GOP, a third-party vote is a vote for the Dems. More’s the pity. See you down-ticket, maybe. And all you “withhold my consent” folks? All due respect, but that’s just too precious for me.

So – will I vote Trump? We’ll see.

Will I vote for *any* Democrat who’s actually going to get on a ticket outside of a red Congressional district? I couldn’t do that in any form of conscience that could be reached at the speed of light in my lifetime. I prefer Trump. God help me.

Maybe He’ll Come Out, Next

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Beto urges banks to refuse service to people Beto doesn’t like.  This is a good start, but it’s not sufficient. I recommend we take principle farther
Urge Banks to cut off business with anyone who has an abortion.
Urge Banks to cut off credit for all Methodist’s.
Urge Banks to refuse to do business with companies that sell or Support rap music
Urge banks to cut off credit card transactions at liquor stores, pizza parlors, State Fair cheese curd booth, and other unhealthy food vendors. Also, no credit cards for Vaping, tobacco, fireworks, p*** movies, adult novelty store sales, or tap dancing shoes, which are totally legal but they annoy me.
Yes, I think he’s really onto something here.
Joe Doakes

Where “onto something” = “desperately trying to get traction with an ever-loonier Democrat far left”.

This Time Without Daddy Warbucks’ Money

Let’s not be coy about it – Jason Lewis lost the 2nd District congressional election because Angie Craig floated to a close win on a tsunami of out-of-district money during a first-term midterm that was bound to bring out the knee-jerks and the soccer moms. The Bloomberg fortune alone pumped seven figures of filthy anti-gun lucre into the district – testimony to how much Big Left hated the most articulate conservative in the House.

But it’s a whole ‘nother election, and Angie Craig has exactly as much to show for her time in office as you’d expect an “HR Executive” to have accomplished – the same as they accomplish in the real business world. Bupkes.

Or – rematch? Nah. Maybe a swing at the Butcher of Vandalia, Tina Smith.

I’d go for that.

Off The Table?

It’s about a year and a half too early to be making big assumptions about such things, but its entirely possible Trump (and relentless Democrat intersectional class warfare) has driven Ohio out of “Swing State” status:

The first hint that Ohio might have lost its bellwether status came in 2016. If you’ll recall from my Wargaming the Electoral College series for the presidential election, Ohio was never in play for Hillary Clinton. While that should have been a coal mine canary that Trump’s chances of winning were far better than the polls indicated, most every expert (and Yours Truly) glossed over that indicator as we pored over our 270toWin maps.

Previously, Barack Obama won Ohio handily in 2008 and 2012. George Bush’s electoral mastermind, Karl Rove, bet big on Ohio twice — and won twice, too. In fact, as Roll Call’s Ben Peters reminds us, “Going back to 1896, the Buckeye State has backed the winning candidate in all but two elections — the best record for any state in recent history.” Looking ahead, he writes, “Election handicappers largely put Ohio in the GOP column for 2020 — Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the state’s presidential race Likely Republican.”

It’s good news in a sense – it’ll take the Dems a while, and a lot of illegal-alien voting, to get Ohio back in the gray zone – but it further shows that the nation’s cultural divide is becoming gnarlier.

And given how far to the extreme left the Democrat party is pulling, I’m almost afraid to see what “the center” looks like anymore.

Best Interests

Daniel “What-i-gieg?” Buggigieg is the incumbent mayor of South Bend Indiana.  He’s also the media’s flavor the the month among the roughly 225 Democrats running for the 2020 Presidential nod. 

Why? 

Is it the intersectional lottery – he’s a gay midwestern Democrat?  Or is it his accomplishments as mayor of South Bend?

It’s the lottery:

While Chicago is notorious for its murder rate, in 2015, Buttigieg’s South Bend actually topped Chicago’s 16.4 homicides per 100,000 people with a homicide rate of 16.79 per 100,000 people. Those numbers put Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s city on the list of the top 30 murder capitals in the country for the year.

In January, three shootings in one week killed two teens and left a woman paralyzed from the waist down. In one summer week, the casualties included a 12 and a 13-year-old. Last year, a man shot 6 people when he opened fire on 50 partygoers in a house and was sentenced to 100 years in jail.

By 2017, shootings had risen 20% on Mayor Buttigieg’s watch. Rapes increased 27% and aggravated assaults rose from 183 in 2013, the year before Buttigieg took office, to a stunning 563 assaults.

It’s hard to know which are flying faster, bullets in South Bend or dollars into Buttigieg’s campaign.

But then with Democrat politicians, effectiveness isn’t the issue.

The ability to divert the low-information voter base with a raft of hopey-changey unicorn piffle is.