Incurious

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember when the US sent a check to Switzerland to be cashed into a pallet of bills and flown to Iran, where hostages were held at the airport until the money arrived? 

 Remember when President Obama said that was not ransom, that the United States didn’t pay ransom?

 Now they’re saying it was a refund due for a never-completed arms deal from the 1970’s.  And of course we tied the payment to the release of hostages.  It wouldn’t have been prudent to just give them money and hope they released the hostages, since we weren’t paying ransom.

 And it wasn’t money laundering either, and wasn’t done to subvert the law against providing assistance to Iran.  The fact that it was done in secret, converted from fiat money to US cash to Foreign cash, in foreign banks without extradition or information sharing, was not relevant to their good intentions.

 Pathetic.  Who makes up these lies?

 Joe Doakes

Someone who can count on the American people being badly educated, incurious, too hooked on reality TV (including a reality TV election) to pay much attention, and a media that will never, ever question him?

Just off the top of my head, I mean?

The Best Among Us

Remember when flooding in Louisiana was a massive crisis – when we had a Republican President?

The Cajuns are seeing to their own rescue – 15,000 of them:

They’re known as the “Cajun Navy,” and in recent days they’ve become possibly the nation’s most important neighborhood watch.
Troy Green, from Ascension Parish just south of Baton Rouge, loaded up his boat after hearing the Cajun Navy needed a few good sailors.
He drove to East Baton Rouge Parish where the National Guard had a staging area.
“I am here to help,” he said. “Where do you need me?”
They paired him with a local man and the two spent a full day pulling people — at least two of them in wheelchairs — out of flooded houses.
All while Obama golfed.

Buried In The Details

Joe Doakes, de Como Park, envía un correo electrónico:

I recently vacationed in Mexico.  The shops advertised Cuban cigars.  I remember President Obama normalized relations with Cuba so Americans can now bring home Cuban cigars worth $100 for personal use.   Great, I bought a box.

Cigars

Except . . . I’ve learned not to trust that guy.  Before I brought the cigars on the airplane, I did a little more checking.  Media accounts were what I remembered but Newsweek mentioned “Americans eligible to travel to Cuba” can bring home cigars.  Hang on, that’s lawyer speak, what’s that doing in the article?  What does it actually mean?  Finally found the Customs website.

If you buy Cuban cigars in Cuba, you can bring them home; if you buy Cuban cigars anywhere else, they’re still illegal.  Attempting to bring them home is smuggling, a federal crime with a whopping fine and prison time.

Typical for this President, just like his big talk about closing Gitmo, slowing the rise of oceans, gun control . . . it’s announced to great fanfare but amounts to small beer.   I left the cigars for the hotel maid in addition to the cash that I tipped her for looking after our room.  I hope she finds a use for them.

Joe Doakes

Back in 2008, when people said “Obama will be a splendid president, because constitutional lawyer”, I used to respond “a President needs to know the same about the Constitution as a good cop, or maybe a high school civics teacher.  Politicians who are lawyers like to play games with the law.  Never trust them.”

I take no pleasure from getting the last laugh.

Extreme Measures

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It occurs to me that the Obama administration may be quietly supporting a Final Solution to global warming.

World population increased from 2 billion in 1950 to 7 billion today.  All those extra people exhaling carbon dioxide, raising cattle that produce methane flatulence, heating their homes with natural gas, driving cars, charging their iPhones with electricity generated from burning coal . . . they all contribute to global warming.  Hey, Liberals are right, global warming IS produced by mankind: the world simply has too many people emitting too much carbon.

It wouldn’t, if we could reduce world population back to 1950 levels.  But how would we do it in a politically acceptable way?  No Blood For Oil is still a favorite Liberal hymn.

If we support policies that undermine world-wide oil prices, the economy will collapse in oil-producing countries, leading to mass starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we release terrorists from Gitmo and also foment insurrection in Arab countries, civil war will break out leading to bloodshed, disease and starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we unleash the Ebola virus in Africa and the Zika virus in South America and warn women not to get pregnant for three years, we reduce the birth rate below replacement level, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we let felons out of prison and decline to prosecute killers based on color, thousands will die in inner cities, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for wealthier Americans.

Europe is getting ready to eliminate millions of asylum seekers.  North Korea is making noises – maybe a major war on that peninsula will draw in some neighbors to die fighting?  And how are things between India and Pakistan right now, any chance they might massacre a few millions of each other’s citizens for us?

Genocide could turn out to be nicely guilt-free, as it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity to survive global warming.  Settled science, doncha know?  Maybe President Obama really will halt the rise of the oceans and begin the heal the planet.  Boy, would I have egg on my face.

Joe Doakes

Omelette/eggs.  Just saying.

Full Employment – For Propagandists

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama is taking credit for full employment.  The economy is roaring.  The unemployment rate is under 5%.  The recession is over.

Or is it?  The BLS says we didn’t gain 195,000 jobs, we lost 665,000 jobs.  So are those people unemployed?  Turns out, it depends on what the meaning of “unemployed” is.  We’re back in Clinton-land.

Numberz

 

The red line is U3 – people who are unemployed and have looked for work within the past four weeks.

The grey line is U6 – people who are unemployed and have looked for work within the past year.

The blue line is an estimate of people who are unemployed and have not looked for work within the past year because there’s no point – there are no jobs for people with their education and experience.  They’ve given up hope.

Meanwhile, this Federal Reserve study concludes at least some of the unemployment is caused by immigrants.  President Obama’s most recent plan would exacerbate the problem.

What it tells me is:  all the numbers are lies.  The government agencies lie to us, they lie to each other, they lie to the media.  It’s like the old Soviet Union claiming record harvests as they beg the UN for food because harvests were so bad.

I don’t think this is the Full Employment that we were looking for.

Joe Doakes

Honesty has fewer opportunities for graft.

Today’s News, A Month Ago

January:  the Real Americans of the Second Amendment movement watched President Obama’s tearful, angry, and utterly theatrical broadside about guns, gun owners and gun manufacturers, noted that nearly everything he was “proposing” was existing law already, and said that the President’s big “effort” was nothing but a shallow bit of political grandstanding calculated to make it look like he planned to, as his supporters wailed, “dooooooooooo something”, without actually signing the political death warrants of every Democrat between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre.

February:  The New York Times notices the same thing.

Lesson:  the Real Americans of the Second Amendment movement are smarter and better-informed than the media.

Unprecedented!

I’ve had some of my Democrat friends chuckling about the idea that the GOP might endorse Donald Trump for President.

And I can see why they’re so giggly. The idea that a major political party might endorse someone with almost no relevant experience, whose entire campaign is built on saying things people want to hear (sometimes contradictory things to different audiences)?  The product of cynical marketing aimed at a sincere but gullible and undiscriminating audience?  A product bolstered with breathless media hype from a bloated, entitled and leadenly incurious media – the same media that was intimately complicit with creating him as a public figure in the first place?

Why, that‘s just preposterous!  That’s almost like a bad movie!

(“Hey, Mitch – are you talking about Jesse Ventura?”  Why, no.  Very close, of course – but that was almost two decades ago).

Takeaways

I went to a “watching party” to check out President Obama’s town hall meeting on guns last night.

Just a couple observations.

Huh?:  Anderson Cooper was actually pretty good; he kept Obama on his toes with a couple of lines of questioning.

For that matter, the President actually did his best to curb his condescending inner Ivy Leaguer.  Perhaps it’s because his popularity is lower than the NRA’s.

Didja Catch The License Number On That Truck?:  It took a second for this picture…

…to sink in.  Let’s zoom in:


CNN has eschewed the neutral, euphemistic “Gun Safety” or “Gun Violence” for the more accurate “Gun Control”.

I’m amazed, frankly.

The Reason For The Meeting?:  Every day we’re talking – and talking, and talking – about guns, we’re not talking about the First Husband Presumptive.

And now it all comes clear.

Boys Don’t Cry

I was among the conservatives who shook their heads in (in my case) muted mockery during the President’s “gun grab” speech on Tuesday.

Like most shooters, I’ve prided myself for decades on being able to run factual rings around gun grabbers, whether they be politicians or activists, without breaking a sweat; about knowing their case better than they did; about being able to meet challenges like this with a humble “well, actually, not much here surprises me”.   Ever since I was a 24 year old kid with a talk show at KSTP in 1986, I’ve happily made the grabbers look like the ignorant, emotion-based naifs that the imponderably vast majority of them are.

12509209_10205334412982274_2594818559084656109_n

But a lawyer friend of mine once told me an attorney’s adage; “When the law is against you, argue facts; when the facts are against you, argue the law; when they’re both against you, argue like hell”.  In other words, accentuate the positive; play to your strengths.

All the gun-grabber movement has is emotion – so the President plays emotion.

And as David French cautions, “emotional” isn’t necessarily bad politics.   I’m going to add some emphasis here and there:

And while I don’t think this campaign will work, it is incumbent on gun-owners to persist in making the moral case for carrying a firearm. Too often we find ourselves locked into wars over statistics — comparing gun violence across national and cultural boundaries, examining the effectiveness of a particular gun-control measure, or measuring the lives saved by the use of personal weapons in self-defense against the lives taken through suicide and homicide. But gun ownership is about values that are far deeper than any set of statistics.

That last sentence?  Read and absorb.

Gun ownership goes to the heart of what it means to be a responsible citizen in our constitutional republic. It goes to the heart of what it means to be a responsible parent or spouse. It isn’t merely about hunting, or the joy of an afternoon at the firing range, or “looking tough.” It isn’t about fear. It’s about autonomy, independence, and a deep and self-sacrificial regard for the lives of those you love. It’s about exercising the fundamental human right to defend oneself and others. And that can’t be stressed enough, unless we want “gun culture” to live on in ever-shrinking regional enclaves, with each generation bowing just a bit lower to a relentless, motivated political and cultural elite.

I worry, at times, that Real Americans have gotten complacent; many of today’s shooters weren’t around, or don’t remember, the nadir of the late seventies through the early nineties – when gun-grabbers ran the show, when Real Americans were a minority in fact as well as perception.

Never again.

Barack Obama won’t be the last president to feel this deeply about gun control, and his tears reflect the deep feelings of millions of Americans, including those who effectively control the entertainment consumed by millions more. Politics are downstream from culture. We ignore that reality at our own risk.

This is going to be a big subject tomorrow on the NARN, and next week on the blog.

Much Ado

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama supposedly issued some Executive Orders relating to guns.  Both sides are in an uproar.  But wait – what did he actually do?

The White House has a website, naturally.  It lists all Executive Orders.  There are no new orders relating to guns.

Okay, well, maybe the orders were issued but staff is slow updating the website?  No, his speeches and remarks are right up-to-date.

So maybe they’re not technically Executive Orders, maybe they’re some other Presidential Action?  Doesn’t look like it.  The only new Presidential Action relating to guns is a memo directing the AG and the Army telling them to put together a research proposal to investigate the possibility of inventing some future technology that might make guns safer someday.

The White House did post a FACT SHEET about guns.  It refers to Executive Actions.  Is that the same as Executive Orders?  Apparently not.  Looking through the Actions, we find:

 

  1. ATF is finalizing a rule clarifying who needs an FFL to sell a gun.  The federal rule-making process is a well-established procedure for making administrative law, this isn’t a spontaneous action by the President
  1. The Attorney General sent a letter telling states to follow the law and also held a conference call.  That’ll take a bite out of crime.
  1. The FBI will hire more people to do background checks.  Good, they’ll need help processing all the applications generated by panic over the media’s reporting of the President’s unconstitutional power grab – which doesn’t seem to have happened, yet.  Keep reading.
  1. Democrats want to spend more money, $500 million for mental health care.  This is, in fact, the right place to spend money because the mental health system is a disgrace that all too often leads to tragedy; but considering the history of Democrat spending, I’m not convinced any of the money actually will reach the mentally ill.  Instead, I fear it’ll end up being block grants to mental health advocacy groups who will hold picket signs and issue press releases demanding . . . another $500 million.
  1. Social Security will begin the rulemaking process to strip seniors of their right to self-defense, if they mis-manage their finances. Rulemaking takes forever and mis-managing your finances isn’t the same as posing a danger to yourself of others.  I doubt that proposal will go anywhere.
  1. DHS is finishing up rulemaking to clarify that HIPPA does not prevent shrinks from reporting psychos to the background check folks.  Rulemaking, again, not bold new initiatives to make playgrounds safer.
  1. ATF is proposing a rule to outlaw gun trusts used to hold title to machine guns, which have been used to kill exactly zero children and will do precisely nothing to make Americans safer.  More rulemaking, wait and see.
  1. ATF issued a final a rule that gun dealers who lose a gun in transit must report it.  Not controversial, everybody supports that.

Frankly, I don’t see that the President did anything today.  This looks more like a publicity stunt to rally the base and deflect attention away from other administration failures, at home and abroad.  This Presidency started with vacuous promises of hope and change but it’s ending with tearful press conferences about memos and conference calls.  It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Joe Doakes

It does indeed look to be shaping up that way.

Nothing New

Reading the President’s “sweeping” new “gun regulations”, it occurs to me – I was right.

The “war on guns” is one of this electoral season’s candidates for “war on women”; it’s an attempt to get Democrat, especially Black, voters, to come out for an election where there won’t be The First Black President Ever sending tingles up peoples’ legs, and vote for a geriatric white woman.   If Obama, or any president, were serious about violence, he’d send the National Guard into Saint Louis, Baltimore, Oakland, Newark, Camden

It is, like everything Obama has ever done, a lot of big talk combined with a few little nuggets of unconstitutional abuse of power.

With the help of our friends at the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, rather than read the bill, let’s just sort it out.

You’re Being Redundant, Again, All Over:  Restating things that are currently law, including:

  • Background checks
  • Calling for enforcement of existing federal gun laws; Obama’s prosecutions are down 30% over Dubya’s.
  • Ensuring dealers notify law enforcement if guns are stolen.
  • Denying the mentally ill the right to keep and bear arms, with due process, (although the Administration seems to want to remove due process from this)
  • Asking communities to keep guns out of the wrong hands.  Paging Rahm Emanuel.  And Eric Holder.
  • Ensuring dealers have federal licenses, and have criminal penalties for not complying with the rules
  • Watching for large numbers of sales, in conjunction with other factors. This already happens.
  • Ensure criminal data is forwarded to the NICS database from the states completely and promptly.

Talk, Talk, Talk:  Stuff the President can ask for, but needs Congressional approval and, most of all, funding:

  • Funding for 200 new Keystone Kops.  Er, ATF agents.  Tomayto, tomahto.
  • 500 million in mental health funding.
  • Mining Social Security information for info about mental health.
  • Funding for “Smart guns”.  Good luck with that.

Peace And Joy Through Memos:  Calls for sternly worded memos and announcements, including:

  • Demanding the AGO write a letter to the states about coughing up mental health info
  • Telling the AGO to write a memo about domestic violence

Even A Blind Squirrel Can Find A Nut:  There are a few things buried in the proposal that aren’t actually stupid:

  • Overhauling the background check system to make it open 24/7, and cut down on bottlenecks.  This is especially important if Obama insists on constantly launching waves of panic-buying.
  • Investigating illegal online trafficking in guns.  Presumably excluding Eric Holder.  But still.
  • Defining responsibility for reporting thefts at the manufacturer/carrier/dealer level (might be good, provided it doesn’t merely serve as the basis for endless litigation)
  • Help for the mentally-ill.

Have You Really Thought About This?:  The President mentioons “removing the stigma” of mental illness – in the same metaphorical breath as he demands taking guns from people at slightest sign of it.

Would You Like Hobnails With Those Boots?:  These are proposals that are completely unacceptable, and pretty much stupid to boot, including:

  • If the President really is trying to put firearms trusts in the hands of politicized local cops, this will be a big problem.
  • Denying guns to people whose finances are being a managed by Social Security, for no other reason.

You First, Barry:  Things like:

  • “Smart” guns”.  I’ll use them, Mr. President, when your Secret Service detail does.
    • Not to mention the police, to say nothing of the military.  They won’t.  Either will I.

 

 

A Laughing Matter

While the Democrats love to prate and gabble about “gun violence”, they stay rigorously clear on the one “gun safety” measure that has a proven record of, y’know, reducing gun crime – prosecuting criminals who use guns.

The federal legal framework for going after gun criminals has existed for a long, long time – but different administrations, shall we say, approach the issue with different degrees of vigor:

Hinderaker:

The Clinton administration talked a good game on guns–remember the “assault weapons” ban?–but when it came to actual law enforcement, its record was horrendous. (Someone should mention that to Hillary.) Things shaped up considerably under the Bush administration, which achieved record levels of gun-crime-related convictions. But when Barack Obama became president and Eric Holder took over the Department of Justice, enforcement went straight downhill. Over the course of the Obama administration, it has only gotten worse. Today, gun convictions are down 35% since the Bush administration peak in 2005 and 2006. Obama and Holder had an agenda, but it wasn’t law enforcement.

So on guns, as with regard to most other issues, Barack Obama is all talk. He isn’t interested in solving problems, he is just seeking political advantage. His corrupt administration can’t end soon enough.

Unless, of course, it’s replaced by something worse.

Be The Racket You Want To See

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

What the world needs now, is tin pot mayors and local dept heads to flit off to Paris, to save the environment by telling everyone else to stop using fuel to flit about. And to agitate for more outdoor refrigerated hockey rinks so no child ever needs to know the tragedy of soft ice in a January thaw.

Idiots. Has all the class and sense of a local ordinance to condemn war in the holy land, or to admonish the Boko Harem kidnappers, or other sweeping consequential mouthings of liberal platitudes.

Check out the list of dept heads, bike czars, you name it. Anyone with a government expense account is getting in on this one. Exhibit director at the Science Museum? I suppose that makes them the anointed climate expert? What with having created from plaster of paris and scraps of cloth an exhibit that is every bit as scientifically sound as the so-called consensus evidence.

Also – look who’s paying for it. Some do-gooder group. Which is funded by tax dollars. Which are contributed by cities, run by the politicians who are getting a free vacation in Paris. Money-laundering their graft and pretending it’s noble effort to save the planet. They never hold these conferences in Darfur or Mogadishu.

joe doakes

If this were the private sector, the regulatory authorities would squat on it like a rhinoceros with diarrhea.

Pay No Attention

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama reminds me of the Wizard of Oz.

He claims to have God-like powers and therefore is entitled to do whatever he wants to do.

But he doesn’t actually have any powers; it’s all billowing smoke and scornful talk.

But people Believe he has the powers, so they let him get away with doing whatever he wants to do, just as if he actually did have the powers.

Until Toto pulls back the curtain; then, the fraud is revealed.

We need Toto around here.  The sooner the better.

Joe Doakes

The big difference?  The Wizard of Oz protested the truth of his powers until he couldn’t anymore.  Obama seems to have checked out even as the little yappy dogs swarm over his administraiton.

Back To ’67

The biggest news this past year is the general consensus (among those who are paying attention) that Barack Obama is worse – much worse – a president than Jimmy Carter.  He’s more along the lines of Woodrow Wilson or LBJ.

Ed Driscoll on how apt the LBJ parallel actually is:

Between the race riots, the campus riots, the massive expansion of the federal government and the concurrent belief in its infallibility, the military debacles overseas, a feeling in general that the nation was out of control and now this latest call for the wise men to bail him out, it really does feel like we’re living out the last year of the Johnson administration, doesn’t it? Funny, when Democratic operatives with bylines were submitting Tiger Beat-style articles in 2007 and 2008 dreamily forecasting which Democrat presidencies Obama’s would most closely resemble, LBJ’s rarely made the list. Wonder why?

Because none of them remembered back that far?

Today In Amman, Jordan

(SCENE:  Major Thomas ASHTON and Sergeant Major Iain MACTAGGART, members of the British 22nd SAS Regiment – Britain’s premiere Special Forces unit – are standing by a helicopter pad.  Both are suited up for a mission that nobody will confirm is a hostage rescue mission deep into ISIS territory; guns, ammunition, grenades, radios, and survival gear)

ASHTON: Should be a bit of a dustup, eh, MacTaggart?

MACTAGGART:  Aye.  Not the first bloody time, Major.

ASHTON: True.   All right, Sergeant-Major.  Let’s check the men’s kit.  This is going to be a nasty one.

(An orderly – Royal Air Force communications specialist Aircraftman Sheila O’RIORDAN – jogs up to ASHTON with a piece of paper.  She stands at attention and salutes the Major)

ASHTON (taking the paper):  Yes?

O’RIORDAN:  Flash message from Ministry of Defense, sir.

ASHTON:  Thank you.  Dismissed.

(O’RIORDAN salutes.  ASHTON returns the salute.  O’RIORDAN jogs back to the radio tent)

MACTAGGART:  So w`hat’s MOD say, Major?

ASHTON:  President Obama has declared a climate conference.  ISIS has surrendered.

MACTAGGART:  ISIS couldn’t face the onlaught of Powerpoint, eh?

ASHTON:  Sounds like the mission’s off.

MACTAGGART:  Peace has broken out?

ASHTON:  Yes, Sergeant-Major.

(Both men stand for a beat – and then erupt in laughter)

MACTAGGART:  I’ll tell the helos to spool up.

ASHTON:  Right.  Wheels up in ten.

(And SCENE)

Today, In Raqqah, Syria

SCENE:  Abu Bakr AL-BAGHDADI, leader of ISIS and self-proclaimed “caliph” of the new “Khelifa” or Caliphate, is in a conference with a group of his lieutenants, including Sheikh Abu Ali HABIB.

AL-BAGHDADI:  Reports from the front look good.  We’re holding the Kurds, we’re gaining ground in Syria, and the Iraqis are folding like  a Salafist end-table.

LIEUTENANTS:  Allahu Akbar!

AL-BAGHDADI:  And the Great Satan is reacting as we expected; with dithering disguised as grand pronouncements.

LIEUTENANTS:  Insh’allah!

HABIB:  Caliph, I have some bad news.

AL-BAGHDADI:  What is it, Sheikh?

HABIB:   Little Miss Satanette – President Obama (group snickers) is holding a…

(HABIB pauses, catches breath)

….climate change conference.

(Entire group cringes in horror)

AL-BAGHDADI:  That does it.  Let’s give up.  Find an evangelist; I’ll devote my life to Christ.

(Entire group pauses for a silent beat – then breaks into uproarious laughter)

And SCENE

Today In Kurdistan

(SCENE:  Two Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Ali and Sayid, are manning a Russian-built machine gun, scanning a valley warily, watching for ISIS movement.  Suddenly, the radio crackles)

RADIO:   Kebab Six to all Kebab.   President Obama is holding a climate change conference.  Six out.

ALI:  (scanning with binoculars)  Well, I’ll be.

SAYID:   What?

ALI:   (Hands Sayid the binoculars)  Look!

SAYID:  (Looks through binoculars)  Wow.

(Cut to scene through binoculars.  ISIS troops are climbing out of foxholes, hurling their weapons, ammunition and webgear into the distance, and running away, leaving a cloud of dust behind them)

ALI:  Huh.  Don’t see that every day.

SAYID:  Like I’ve been telling you, Ali – it’s all about the climate.

ALI:  Gotta hand it to you.  When you’re right, you’re right.

And SCENE