PowerLine -> Trump’s list + Cotton to the defense

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> Trump’s list + Cotton to the defense

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Mr. Yousef goes to UNHRC
  • Minnesota Mischief
  • Countering Kersten [updated]
  • Cotton to the defense
  • Trump’s list
Mr. Yousef goes to UNHRC

Posted: 10 Oct 2017 12:45 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Melanie Phillips recently drew attention to the September 25 appearance of a former prince of Hamas with a surprising message at the 36th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The sole purpose of this worse than worthless organization seems to be the disparagement of Israel. Melanie posted the video along with an introduction. Here is the video.

Up for discussion was the evergreen subject of human rights in the territory under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (it’s not clear to me whether this includes the marvelous state of human rights protected by Hamas in Gaza). Israel is castigated by one and all. Speakers seen in the video include representatives of such paragons of human rights as the PLO, Syria, Qatar, North Korea, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Iran. Then the surprise guest speaking under the auspices of United Nations Watch is heard.

Where are the men of Monty Python to do justice to the farce of the UNHRC? Where is Rod Serling to guide us on our way to the Twilight Zone?

They aren’t here, but Melanie Phillips is. She provides this introduction to the mystery guest at the UN party:

Musab Hassan Yousef is the so-called “Green Prince.” The son of one of the founders of the Hamas, Yousef turned against that terrorist organisation and became such a supporter of Israel that this Ramallah-born Arab served for some years as an informant for the Israeli Shin Bet security service.

Thus much is well known: there is a book and even a movie about this man. Nevertheless, when the campaigning group UN Watch brought him to speak to the UN no-one seems to have expected what was coming.

The reaction was as comical as the underlying situation is unforgiveable. The UN, the crucible of defamatory lies and libels against Israel because of the dominance there of the Arab block and its global allies, rarely hears the brutal truth about the Palestinian leadership – and certainly not by someone with Yousef’s pedigree. Watch this video of what Yousef said – and watch the faces around him as he said it.

United Nations Watch puts it this way: “EPIC MOMENT: U.N. stunned, Palestinian delegates in shock, as UN Watch brings surprise guest speaker—Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef—to expose PLO lies. Watch heads turn!!”


Minnesota Mischief

Posted: 10 Oct 2017 12:32 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)To offer a benign variation on one of Scott’s themes, this morning two “Minnesota men” and a California man released a new study showing what total bosh Minnesota’s state energy policy is. The “Minnesota men” were John and his colleague Peter Nelson, and I was the “California man.” The study, “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure,” now up on the Center of the American Experiment’s website.

Minnesota, like most “good government” states, has an ambitious renewable energy policy that, for all intents and purposes, really reduces to a pro-wind power policy. And it’s a miserable failure on its own terms. The state has succeeded, to be sure, in installing a lot of wind power generation capacity, but at a time when electricity demand has been fairly flat, which means the state was building new generation capacity it didn’t much need. Minnesota’s electricity prices for most of the last 20 years have been about 20 percent below the national average price, but over the last five years this price advantage has disappeared, and in just the last few months the lines have crossed and Minnesota electricity prices are above the national average. The cost to consumers has been $4 billion and counting.

The real failure, however, is that the policy is not achieving the greenhouse gas emission reductions that are the main object of the state’s policy. In fact, while greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 6.6 percent in Minnesota over the last 10 years, this actually lags the nation, where GHG emissions have fallen by about 10 percent.

These two charts tell an amazing tale. The first one, Figure 7 from the report, shows that CO2 emissions from the electric power sector have actually risen slightly the last couple years even as the installed amount of wind power has soared:

Why is all this new wind power failing to have much effect on CO2 emissions? Because wind power falls when the wind doesn’t blow (duh), and wind output especially falls in the summer months just when electricity demand increases sharply. So wind power has to be backed up by some other conventional source. And incredibly the wind falloff in Minnesota is being backstopped by . . . coal!

Heh. Lots more to be said about this, but this is enough for now.


Countering Kersten [updated]

Posted: 10 Oct 2017 05:17 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

In 1747 Samuel Johnson announced the plan to write what became his Dictionary of the English Language. Johnson had hoped to get the job done in three years. His friend Richard Adams questioned his ability to complete such a massive undertaking in such a short time. It had taken the 40 members of the French Academy 40 years to compile their Dictionary, Adams reminded him. Boswell reported Johnson’s famous response: “Sir, thus it is. This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As three to sixteen hundred so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.” (In the event it took Johnson nine years.)

I think of Johnson’s gibe whenever the Star Tribune publishes a column by Katherine Kersten. Kathy makes an argument solidly grounded in fact and analysis. Within a day or two, the editorial pages are weighed down with the groans and shrieks of outraged Twin Cities leftists. They invariably make me wonder, with enemies like this, does Kathy need friends?

Most recently, the Star Tribune published Kathy’s column on the decline of the Edina public schools on the altar of racial mania and obsession. That was this past weekend.

Today the Star Tribune carries two columns and four letters responding in a fashion to Kathy’s column. Counterpoint column one by Annie Mogush Mason explodes with a profusion of shibboleths explaining why the Edina public schools must keep doing that voodoo that they are doing to such ill effect. With enemies like this…

Counterpoint column two by Edina High junior Charles Heinecke testifies that he hasn’t seen anything of concern. Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.

Four letters provide variations of ad hominem argument.

As one to six– actually, it’s more like three to 1600 — so is the proportion of Katherine Kersten to the Twin Cities left.

Quotable quote (Sue K. Hammersmith, retired president of Metropolitan State University): “Where Kersten sees a calamity; I see courage to address a problem.” (Love that semicolon.)

UPDATE: Kathy responds to the counterpoint columns in this American Experiment post.


Cotton to the defense

Posted: 10 Oct 2017 04:21 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Susan Glasser recorded a podcast under the moniker of Global Politico yesterday with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton. Glasser focused the interview on national security and foreign policy issues. Senator Cotton expresses himself trenchantly in complete sentences and full paragraphs. He is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He speaks frequently with President Trump. He knows what he is talking about. The interview is lucid and informative.

I have embedded the Stitcher version of the audio below. The transcript is posted here. Glasser’s write-up with embedded audio is posted here under the heading I have borrowed for this post.

Glasser introduces the interview with a preview of coming attractions: “This is a moment of truth for President Trump’s national security team. He is set to overrule both his secretaries of State and Defense on the Iran nuclear deal this week, declaring it no longer in the U.S. ‘national interest’ in explicit contradiction to their public position. And if they don’t like it, Senator Tom Cotton says, then they should get out.”

Reading recommended by Senator Cotton: Walter Russell Mead, A Special Providence.

Quotable quote: “I would submit that [Trump’s] foreign policy, over these first nine months in office, is much more in keeping with the bipartisan tradition of foreign policy, starting with Truman in 1945 and going through George Bush in 2009, than President Obama’s policy was. In almost every area, in his own way, with his own rhetoric, he has reasserted American leadership, and he’s willing to confront threats before they gather….So even though his rhetoric may sound unusual to the foreign-policy establishment in Washington and New York and Brussels, I think his foreign policy itself is much more in keeping with a long bipartisan tradition than Barack Obama’s was.”


Trump’s list

Posted: 09 Oct 2017 08:35 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Dick Durbin may be playing dumb on the “Dreamers,” but President Trump isn’t. On Sunday evening, he released his immigration principles that “outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.”

As we have explained, DACA recipients are a subset of Dreamers. They are the ones who came forward to take advantage of the DACA program illegally instituted by President Obama. Trump has expressed willingness to back legislation that grants them permanent status, in exchange for concessions from Democrats on border security and related issues. Now, he has set forth a list of the reforms he wants.

What are these reforms? They include funding the border wall, significantly beefing up staffing of ICE, ending asylum abuse, stopping sanctuary cities, requiring E-Verify, and ending chain migration and the visa lottery.

The Democrats immediately cried foul. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi complained that Trump’s list “fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”

Certainly, Trump’s list is aggressive. It is best viewed as an opening bid. I’m pretty sure Trump would sign DACA legislation that did not include all of the items he enumerated. If so, the list represents an attempt to negotiate a compromise.

Whether a compromise can be reached depends on whether congressional Democrats are willing to accept some of what Trump is calling for. The Dems haven’t shown that willingness. As Mark Krikorian says, Schumer and Pelosi would be willing to accept meaningless border security theater — e.g., drones — in exchange for a DACA amnesty. But it’s not clear that the Democratic base would allow even this.

Krikorian reminds us that last month anti-borders radicals shouted down Nancy Pelosi, screaming “We are not a bargaining chip!” and “All of us or none of us!” In other words, the anti-borders activists are demanding a “clean DREAM Act” (which would be many times larger than a simple DACA fix) without even flaccid border security provisions. In that environment, says Krikorian, the Dems are in no position to bargain with Trump.

Thus, in a sense, Trump has done Schumer and Pelosi a favor. They can pretend to be interested in compromise, but claim, falsely, that the president’s aggressive list makes compromise impossible.

At the same time, Trump has done immigration hardliners a favor. In Krikorian’s words, he has made it “less likely Congress would send him, or he’d sign, a naked DACA amnesty, maybe with some fig-leaf border security provisions,” an approach favored not just by Pelosi and Schumer, but also more than a few Republicans. “Having raised the bar like this, signing a DACA bill that doesn’t include some significant portion of what’s outlined would be a Neville Chamberlain-level failure of deal-making and would have political consequences,” Krikorian concludes.

With Donald Trump, nothing is certain, but Krikorian’s analysis seems sound. The upshot? Probably no DACA fix by March, when DACA work permits start expiring at the rate of a few hundred a day.


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