PowerLine 📜John Hinderaker ~ Venezuela Mourns Soleimani – Leila Adan: Ilhan Omar doesn’t represent us (the interview)

PowerLine 📜 John Hinderaker ~ Venezuela Mourns Soleimani – Leila Adan: Ilhan Omar doesn’t represent us (the interview)

Daily Digest


  • Venezuela Mourns Soleimani
  • The 15-Minute Video Book of Bernie
  • What if they held an anti-Trump women’s march and only 10,000 came?
  • Leila Adan: Ilhan Omar doesn’t represent us (the interview)
  • The Power Line Show, Ep. 162: Stephen Knott on “The Lost Soul of the American Presidency”
Venezuela Mourns Soleimani

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 04:40 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)For many years, people have commented on the seemingly-incongruous alliance between radical Muslims and Communists. In fact, however, there is no mystery: both are hostile to the values of advanced Western civilization and yearn for tyrannies that are not, in practice, particularly different from one another. Thus, while millions of Iranians are celebrating the demise of terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani, we shouldn’t be surprised that Venezuela’s Maduro regime is officially mourning him.

Iran’s FARS news service writes:

The Venezuelan government offered condolences to the people of Iran for the assassination of Iran’s top general by a US airstrike in Baghdad and praised Iran’s resistance with this poster.

From left to right, the poster pictures Hugo Chavez, Simon Bolivar, Soleimani, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro:

The translation is: “Faces, times and countries change, but the goal is the same.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

One is struck by the fact that American liberals, like Venezuelan Communists, venerate or at least respect Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Hugo Chavez. (We can leave Bolivar out of it for now.) One of these days, will “woke” American students walk around with pictures of Soleimani on their t-shirts? I wouldn’t rule it out. Guevara was just as bigoted and homicidal, if nowhere near as effective, as Soleimani.

  

The 15-Minute Video Book of Bernie

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 02:59 PM PST

(Steven Hayward)The good folks at ReasonTV put together this 15-minute highlight reel of Bernie Sanders’s greatest socialist hits, and I expect we’ll see parts of this rolled out by other campaigns—especially Bloomberg but ultimately Trump’s campaign—if Bernie does well in the early primaries. Worth it alone for the quote at the very beginning on the virtue of food lines in socialist countries. That one quote alone ought to kill Bernie’s campaign cold.

P.S. In case you didn’t already know, Bernie is an actual Communist.

Chaser:

Bernie Sanders Despised Democrats In 1980s, Said A JFK Speech Once Made Him Sick

Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders once said that he was “physically nauseated” by a speech made by President John F. Kennedy when Sanders was a young man, because Kennedy’s “hatred for the Cuban Revolution […] was so strong.”

“Kennedy was young and appealing and ostensibly liberal,” Sanders reminisced in a 1987 interview with The Gadfly, a student newspaper at the University of Vermont. “But I think at that point, seeing through Kennedy, and what liberalism was, was probably a significant step for me to understand that conventional politics or liberalism was not what was relevant.”

In the same interview, he also criticized Jesse Jackson’s decision to try and affect change by “working within the Democratic party” and offered some pointed remarks about Walter Mondale.

Criticized Jesse Jackson? Isn’t that raaaccciiist???

Pass the popcorn, please.

  

What if they held an anti-Trump women’s march and only 10,000 came?

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 01:58 PM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)That’s what might be in store on Saturday when the fourth annual Women’s March takes place in Washington, D.C.. The Washington Post says that only about 4,500 women have indicated on Facebook that they will attend. The organizers say they expect 10,000 participants.

It wasn’t always like this. The day after President Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands marched in protest in Washington (an event I covered for Power Line).

Taking into account the thousands of marches nationwide, the Post claims that this was the largest single-day protest in American history. It calls the Women’s March organization “the beating heart of the anti-Trump movement.”

Why, four years later, does the organization barely have a pulse? The Post suggests “burnout,” but that seems more like a label than a genuine explanation.

Perhaps outrage at Trump has diminished in spite of non-stop efforts by the Post and other media outlets to gin it up. Certainly, the dire warnings that fueled the January 2017 protests, and induced so many women to wear pussy hats (the Post discreetly refers to them as pink hats in its article), haven’t come to pass.

Women are as free today as they were three years ago. And they are doing better economically, both in absolute terms and in comparison to men.

This doesn’t mean that the women who marched in 2017 are going to vote for Trump, but it may mean they lack incentive to waste a day converging in downtown D.C.

But there’s more to the demise of the march. The organization behind it has been plagued by “national controversies, financial mismanagement, accusations of anti-Semitism, and a reputation for being unwilling to play nice with others.” That diagnosis is from the Washington Post. Oh dear!

The matter of anti-Semitism surely is playing a significant role, given the number of Jewish women who participated in the original march. The Post confirms this:

Jewish women, in particular, fled the organization en masse after its former co-chairs were accused of making anti-Semitic remarks and aligning themselves with the Nation of Islam and its longtime leader, Louis Farrakhan.

Calls for board members to resign were met with little response. Guila Franklin Siegel, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said the inaction was disrespectful to Jewish women who were concerned about the direction of the group.

“Disrespect” seems like the least of the problem. A Jew would have to be truly self-hating to want anything to do with an outfit whose then-leaders (Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Bob Bland) made anti-Semitic remarks and/or aligned themselves with Louis Farrakhan.

Leaders of this year’s event say they are planning “small-scale events” in the days leading up to the march. It looks like the march itself will be a small-scale event.

  

Leila Adan: Ilhan Omar doesn’t represent us (the interview)

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 01:00 PM PST

(Scott Johnson)Chicago’s Morning Answer with Amy Jacobson and Dan Proft on AM 560 invited my friend Leila Adan to discuss her prospective candidacy for Minnesota ‘s Fifth District DFL congressional nomination (video below). Taking off from her Power Line post “Ilhan Omar doesn’t speak for us,” this terrific interview provides another side of the Fifth District (although I am afraid Leila overestimates the number of Jewish voters in the district).

Leila is a proud American and a brave lady. We will follow her campaign once she formally announces her candidacy. She has a message whose importance transcends this particular race.

  

The Power Line Show, Ep. 162: Stephen Knott on “The Lost Soul of the American Presidency”

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 09:57 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)This week’s guest is Stephen F. Knott of the Naval War College, discussing his terrific new book, The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewaljust out from University Press of Kansas. Knott, one of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars of Alexander Hamilton, thinks the American presidency has slipped from the modest republican design of the Founders almost from the very beginning, starting with Thomas Jefferson. (“I have a full-blown case of Jefferson Derangement Syndrome,” Knott admits early in our conversation.)

The point is, presidents and presidential candidates have been promising the moon, the stars, and the planets for a very long time—it didn’t start with Obama and Trump!—and this has contributed significantly to our polarized politics and dysfunctional government. The prospects for restoring the republican simplicity of the office are not very good, but we do best to try out a couple of thoughts—including the thought experiment of why it would have been better for the country if the Clinton impeachment 20 years ago had succeeded in removing Clinton from office. But it was not to be!

You know what to do: listen here or download from our hosts at Ricochet. Also buy the book: it is very readable and not too long. And subscribe to Power Line in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!). It helps, and every little bit helps spread goodness and cheer throughout the Deep State

https://mp3.ricochet.com/2020/01/Ep-162-11320-9.29-AM.mp3

  

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PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Don’t Mess With Texas + 2019’s most momentous development

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Don’t Mess With Texas + 2019’s most momentous development

  • Don’t Mess With Texas
  • The Power Line Show, Ep. 160: The Year in Review and 2020 Preview
  • 2019’s most momentous development, I hope
  • The Genealogy of Free Stuff: The Trump Card
  • The Cartoonish Climate Crusade
Don’t Mess With Texas

Posted: 29 Dec 2019 04:39 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)This short video is suddenly everywhere. It comes from a livestream of the service at the church near Fort Worth where someone opened fire on parishioners with what looks like a shotgun. He was immediately shot by two legally armed persons, one of whom reportedly was a security guard. It appears that altogether, there were six people who immediately pulled guns in response to the shooter.

In recent months, there have been a number of anti-Semitic attacks, including attacks on synagogues. There have been a number of attacks on churches as well. Anti-gun pieties do nothing to protect innocent people when lunatics or ideologically-motivated murderers strike. Churches and synagogues, like many other public places, should be protected. Armed guards are great, but as Glenn Reynolds has said, in any mass shooting situation there is one group of people who are present, by definition–the victims. Only, if they are armed, they don’t have to be victims.

The Power Line Show, Ep. 160: The Year in Review and 2020 Preview

Posted: 29 Dec 2019 02:19 PM PST

(Steven Hayward)Our final episode of 2019 brings together the entire Power Line gang—John, Paul, Scott, and me, along with “Ammo Grrll” Susan Vass—for a look at the current scene and a look ahead to next year. Consisting of excerpts from a recent Power Line VIP member live video chat, John hosts as we review the farce of impeachment, the state of the Democratic nomination contest (including how big a buffoon Joe Biden is), what blue states might actually be in play for Trump (including even Minnesota?!?!), along with a detour into the confused Israeli political scene, and culminating in a constructive proposal from Susan for replacing “The View” on ABC with a show a sane person might actually want to watch.

The excerpts here are only about half of the live chat from last Thursday, and we also had some technical problems keeping Susan connected (either that or she had to excuse herself to go shoot something), so if you enjoy this episode consider joining our VIP program. In the meantime, happy new year, and best wishes from the Power Line crew.

You know what to do next: listen here, or download from our hosts at Ricochet. Subscribe to Power Line in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!).

https://mp3.ricochet.com/2019/12/Ep-160-122919-1.56-PM.mp3

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2019’s most momentous development, I hope

Posted: 29 Dec 2019 12:58 PM PST

(Paul Mirengoff) George Will argues that “nothing more momentous happened in 2019 than Hong Kong’s heroic insurrection.” I would amend this comment to say “potentially momentous.” We can’t say with confidence what bearing the events in Hong Kong will have on the future.

Events on the periphery of great power can portend what that power will one day experience. This was true of the Soviet Union. However, it was decades from the uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia to the collapse of the “Evil Empire.” And China has considerably more going for it than the Soviet Union ever did.

Events in Hong Kong already bear on how China is viewed by countries it would like to dominate or heavily influence. Will says, “If — when, probably — on Jan. 11, 2020, Taiwan reelects President Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese will have joined Hong Kongers in disdaining the ‘one country, two systems’ fudge as a formula for the incremental suffocation of freedom.”

The people of Taiwan already knew what was up with China. I bet China’s other neighbors did too. But events in Hong Kong provided stark reinforcement of this knowledge.

Do American capitalists know what’s up with China? Perhaps, but they don’t seem to care. Will writes:

With this year’s revelations about the million, or perhaps millions, swept into the gulag archipelago in northwestern China, it is possible to hope that in 2020 we will hear less from U.S. businessmen who are as obtuse as they are cocksure. Just 51 days before the New York Times published more than 400 pages of documents on China’s concentration camps, presidential aspirant Mike Bloomberg said the CCP’s leaders “listen to the public” and “Xi Jinping is not a dictator.”

Not content to just “listen to” the public, the CCP, using ever more sophisticated technology, surveils almost everything done by almost everyone. Perhaps 2019 foreshadowed the day when today’s Bloombergs will be remembered as Charles Lindbergh and others are remembered because they thought dictators in the 1930s were “the wave of the future.”

Bloomberg, Lindbergh, and the NBA.

In the second half of his column, Will gets around to bashing President Trump:

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi,” said the United States’ president, who also said of Xi: “He’s a friend of mine.” Xi should reciprocate friendly feelings because President Trump’s biggest blunder, made three days after his inauguration, was jettisoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, thereby unraveling a 12-nation fabric of commercial cooperation that excluded China.

I agree with Will that jettisoning the TPP was a major blunder, for the reason he states. But Will refuses to acknowledge that Trump is the first U.S. president in decades to stand up to China in a meaningful way, albeit not on human rights.

Trump’s reversal of our policy of countenancing unfair Chinese trade policies, theft of intellectual property, etc., along with a resulting “decoupling” of the American and Chinese economies, may prove to be among the most momentous things that have happened in the past three years.

The Genealogy of Free Stuff: The Trump Card

Posted: 29 Dec 2019 11:54 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)On Friday the Wall Street Journal ran an extra-long and remarkable editorial about the agenda of Elizabeth Warren (“Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan, Oh My“), which is so far beyond extravagant that “socialism” seems an inadequate adjective. She makes Bernie Sanders look cautious by comparison. As the Journal put it in the lede:

“[A]s we discovered after a tour of her 60-some policy papers, Ms. Warren is proposing a transformation of American government, business and life that exceeds what the socialist dreamers of a century ago imagined.”

Warren is not simply offering lots and lots of free stuff (Medicare for All, free college, higher Social Security benefits, the Green New Deal, $450 billion in new spending for K-12 education, $500 billion for housing, etc.), but also promises a huge expansion of federal government regulation of just about everything you can name.

I’ve previously offered my theory that Democrats have decided they should make an open lurch to the left because the supposed weakness of Trump presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enact the sweeping socialist agenda that has long been their private dream, even though there is a lot of evidence that many Democratic voters are not super excited about this radical economic agenda, not to mention the identitarian agenda that is equally central to the left at the moment.

An acquaintance with significant experience at the highest ranks of corporate America sent me a note with an additional explanation worth taking up:

Your discussion of the Democrats moving left makes sense. I think there is another factor.  Trump refused to take the traditional Republican (Ryan) route of reforming entitlements.  Democrats had feasted on this position for decades conjuring all kinds of horrors if reforms were enacted.  Trump took this potent issue away from them.  What to do?  Expand the current entitlements!  Once started, a bidding war developed and we have the Democratic candidate consensus on an impossible agenda.  Also, the press had difficulty aggressively criticizing Trump’s position because they had endorsed Democratic criticisms of reform. So Trump is in an enviable position of criticizing unrealistic/irresponsible proposals instead of defending reductions.

There is a lot to this explanation, though it ought to be a source of worry for the long term. I believe Trump would not have won his thin majorities in the key states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (and perhaps his larger margin in Florida) without his prominent campaign pledge not to touch Social Security and Medicare (a promise Ronald Reagan made in the 1984 campaign, after having been hammered very effectively on the issue during his first term; recall too how Bill Clinton made protecting Medicare and Social Security a key slogan of his 1996 re-election campaign).

Consider two additional facts of the Trump fiscal profile. This year the federal government will run a $1 trillion deficit, deep into a cycle of economic growth that ought to be delivering shrinking deficits. If a Democrat were in the White House right now, I imagine Republicans would be objecting loudly to this fiscal profligacy, even if congressional Republicans haven’t shown much real spine for budget restraint. (Don’t blame the Trump pax cuts for this: tax revenues are growing smartly, but congressional appropriations are simply growing faster than tax revenue.)

Second, Trump has proposed some new entitlement spending of his own, such as paid family leave. Time was when conservatives opposed new social spending programs from Republican presidents; think of conservative opposition to Nixon’s proposed guaranteed annual income, the Family Assistance Plan, in 1969-70, not to mention criticism of President Eisenhower’s accommodations of the New Deal in the 1950s.

The Washington Post noted all this a couple days ago, and for once the Post makes a good point:

President Trump shattered Republican orthodoxy on an extraordinary range of economic policies in 2019, setting up a more populist record for him to tout during a 2020 campaign in which Democrats already are accusing him of abandoning working people.

From trade to spending, from the Federal Reserve to paid parental leave, Trump has embraced policy changes that historically are more in line with the approach of Democrats — establishing a forceful role for government in setting the terms of the economy — than of Republicans.

So if Trump has taken over some Democratic ground, what’s left for the left to do but go further left? The only problem for a liberal today is to figure out why anything shouldn’t be free to everyone. It’s a nice trick Trump has pulled off. But it is not without long term political as well as fiscal cost.

Forget populism, and Trump’s “style”: the abandonment of even the half-hearted fiscal conservatism of the Republican Party is the biggest post-Trump question facing the country.

Chaser—This chart, showing the Federal Reserve balance sheet ballooning again in service of keeping interest rates down (a de facto QE IV?)—is something to wonder about, too:

The Cartoonish Climate Crusade

Posted: 29 Dec 2019 10:00 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)For several years now the climatistas have liked to point out that the Pentagon—the military-industrial complex!—is down with climate alarmism, issuing a series of reports saying that climate change might be a serious security risk in the future. I always enjoy this celebration, because it is the first time I can remember that the left has embraced with complete credulity something coming out of the Pentagon, which they otherwise wish to gut if not abolish. (By how much do Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want to cut the defense budget?) Equally amusing is the lack of any perception that Pentagon bureaucrats, like all bureaucrats, might just be engaged in protecting their future budgets by embracing the cause of the moment.

Someone with a Wayback machine has brought back to life this Guardian story from 2004 about the first such Pentagon warning:

A “Siberian climate” for Britain by 2020? I suppose it could still happen in the next 72 hours before 2020 arrives, though I am confused since another prominent climate claim for Britain back in those days was that “snowfalls are a thing of the past.”

I like this sentence further down in the story:

By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war.

So where are these “catastrophic” shortages of water and energy supply? Where water is in short supply, it is almost invariably because of “water socialism” (California specializes in this), while conventional energy is in such abundance at the moment that the biggest problem facing energy producers is how to enforce production cuts enough to keep prices up.

Well maybe the Pentagon just jumped the gun, and climate disaster still looms. In which case I expect climatistas will want to continue supporting a robust defense budget. (Heh.)

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend

Restoration Report

Posted: 17 Nov 2019 03:52 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)I am en route home from the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, Florida. This was my first Restoration Weekend, but it won’t be my last. It was an intense three days; I can’t begin to do it justice in a post but will try to touch on a few highlights that may be of interest to our readers.

* David Horowitz, at age 80, remains a national treasure. This morning there was a touching memorial tribute to Peter Collier, David’s long-time friend, and collaborator. It is good to see that David is still going strong.

* Victor Davis Hanson spoke at the opening dinner Friday night. He put aside his prepared remarks to talk about the impeachment fiasco now taking place in Washington. We had a chance to chat briefly after the event.

* Donald Trump, Jr. spoke at Saturday’s breakfast. He was excellent–in my view, a top-notch surrogate who pulls no punches. Those who attended Restoration Weekend got a copy of his new book, Triggered. I am only a few chapters into it, but it is surprisingly good–one of the fieriest books I have ever read. It tells the story of the last three years from an insider’s perspective, and Donald Jr. is brutal in his evaluations of figures like Robert Mueller. Scott sometimes talks about needing help with his anger management therapy. Trust me: Triggered is therapeutic.

* I was on the first panel of the weekend, on the role of the press in the 2020 election, along with Ned Ryun, Joe Concha, and Chris Buskirk. I expressed views that are probably already familiar to Power Line readers. A fundamental question, I think, is whether the legacy media can still sway many votes, now that most people understand that they are an arm of the Democratic Party. Which has been true for a long time, but has become blindingly obvious due to the hate that Donald Trump has engendered.

* Saturday evening’s dinner featured an extensive lineup that included impressionist Rich Little. He began his act by saying, “Yes, I am still alive!” Not only is he alive, but he is also performing four nights a week in Las Vegas. Little is still funny, and what’s more, he is a solid conservative.

* Candace Owens was the main Friday evening speaker. She arrived in Palm Beach shortly before the dinner, coming from England where she had debated the impeachment of President Trump at the Oxford Union. I am pretty sure she won, although the Oxford students voted narrowly in favor of impeachment. Candace was even better than usual at our event and characteristically remained for an hour after the event was over, chatting with attendees and posing for pictures.

* Pretty much every session, of which there were many, was excellent. I can’t summarize them all, so I will highlight just a few, starting with a panel on K-12 indoctrination in the public schools that included two Minnesotans, Amy “Valentine” and Lynn McHale. It was terrific, and I was struck by the audience’s response. The depth to which our public schools have sunk surprises even a lot of well-informed conservatives.

* For me, the most eye-opening presentation was Caroline Glick’s. In recent years, I have been puzzled by Israeli politics, with its endless accusations of “corruption” and seeming inability to maintain a functioning government. Caroline explained it all: Israel is in the hands of its own Deep State. Unelected bureaucrats, led by a rogue Supreme Court that is not restricted to deciding actual cases, as in the U.S., but can issue orders more or less willy-nilly and somehow has gotten the power to name its own successors, dominate over the country’s elected officials. What is happening in Israel, which seemingly can be countered only by mass political action, should be a warning to Americans as well as Europeans. After her speech, we chatted briefly and she told me that she enjoys Power Line–high praise, in my book.

* James O’Keefe put on a bravura video presentation about Project Veritas. O’Keefe is a natural showman, and PV’s achievements over the last ten years are impressive. He brought out the CNN whistleblower to a thunderous round of applause from the audience.

* We have gotten to know some young black conservatives due to our participation in Turning Point’s Black Leadership Summits in Washington. This year, my organization collaborated with Turning Point USA and the Horowitz Freedom Center to bring some of these young conservatives to Restoration Weekend, all expenses paid. They are fine young people and visibly enjoyed the experience. Here we are with a couple of them:

* Restoration Weekend is held at The Breakers, one of America’s truly great resorts. We played hooky a couple of times to sit by a pool or walk on the beach. One couldn’t find a better venue for a conference or a vacation.

* After dinner on Friday, my wife and I went into the wonderful Seafood Bar for a drink. After a few minutes, a young man who was sitting by himself at the next table got up and approached us. “Are you John Hinderaker?” he asked. I confessed, and he, describing himself as a daily Power Line reader, joined us. A little later his wife arrived, having worked late. They ate dinner while Loree and I commandeered some of their oysters. They are a delightful couple, and we talked with them until 1:00 a.m. They spent the weekend at The Breakers celebrating the wife’s birthday; I hope she has forgiven us!

* Saturday evening’s dinner featured, among others, Diamond and Silk. I had never seen them perform, except in the briefest video snippets. They are hilarious, and their political comedy is smart and up to the minute. I sometimes say that unless you have hung out with black conservatives, you haven’t hung out with conservatives. Diamond and Silk illustrate the point, as does former football star Burgess Owens, another of Saturday’s speakers.

Diamond and Silk

* There was much more, uniformly worthwhile and inspiring. Kudos to David Horowitz, Michael Finch, Lonny Leitner and those behind the scenes at the Horowitz Freedom Center. This was my first time at Restoration Weekend, but next year, I wouldn’t miss it. If you can make it next year, I highly recommend it.

  

Why Colin Kaepernick might not get an NFL job

Posted: 17 Nov 2019 09:17 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)During a recess late in a trial where the plaintiff alleged he had been fired due to his race and/or his age, a federal district court judge said to his law clerk:

Sure, this guy was discriminated against. But he wasn’t discriminated against because he’s black and he wasn’t discriminated against because he’s over 40. He was discriminated because he’s an ass***e.

It might well be the case that, a few years ago, Colin Kaepernick was discriminated against because he led a mini-movement that resulted in some NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem. I never managed to feel sorry for Kaepernick, but I do believe it’s wrong to deny employment to an athlete because of his political views and the way he lawfully expresses them.

The furor over Kaepernick’s views and antics have long since died down, and the NFL seems to have regained the viewers it lost during the knee-taking controversy. There may have been hard feelings against Kaepernick over the legal action he brought against the League. However, by offering Kaepernick a special workout session that all 32 teams could attend, the NFL showed it will let bygones be bygones, if for no other reason than to avoid future litigation.

As Steve noted here, Kaepernick responded by balking at the terms and conditions of the workout and demanding all manner of special treatment. The NFL agreed to most of his demands.

But this was not enough for Kaepernick. Having failed to get 100 percent of what he wanted, Kaepernick rescheduled the session and moved it from the Atlanta Falcons’ facility to a school an hour away.

Representatives from 25 teams were prepared to attend the session scheduled for the Falcons’ facility. Representatives from eight attended the session Kaepernick threw together at the last minute.

After watching a video of the last portion of the workout, Daniel Jeremiah, a respected talent evaluator, said of Kaepernick:

He looked similar to what he has been. Plenty of velocity, inconst[ent] touch/feel. Looked a little gassed.

What Kaepernick “has been” is probably good enough to win a job as a second-string quarterback in the NFL. If Kaepernick doesn’t get that opportunity, it won’t be because he knelt during the National Anthem and it won’t be because he litigated against the NFL.

It will be because he’s an ass***e.

  

The Democrats Aren’t Fooling Anyone

Posted: 17 Nov 2019 08:39 AM PST

(John Hinderaker)Rasmussen asked this question about the Democrats’ politicized impeachment charade: “When they write or talk about the impeachment effort, are most reporters trying to help impeach President Trump, or block his impeachment? Or are most reporters simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner?”

The results:

Most voters don’t expect fair play from the media when it comes to news coverage of the Democrats’ impeachment attempt.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Likely U.S. Voters think most reporters are trying to help impeach President Trump when they write or talk about the impeachment effort. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 32% believe most reporters are simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner. Eight percent (8%) say most are trying to block Trump’s impeachment.

My guess is that most of those who say the press is merely reporting the news doesn’t actually believe it, but are just Democratic Party loyalists.

Interestingly, minorities are more skeptical of reporters’ motives than whites:

Other minority voters (60%) believe even more strongly than whites (51%) and blacks (53%) that most reporters are trying to help impeach Trump.

I expect President Trump to do quite well with all the principal minority groups (blacks, Hispanics, and Asians) in next year’s election.

  

An Ilhan Omar update

Posted: 17 Nov 2019 08:02 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)The Daily Mail has recently published two stories — here (October 21) and, most recently, here (November 12) — covering the tabloid-friendly aspects of Ilhan Omar’s life and career. These stories directly demonstrate a few of the lies that Omar is living and indirectly illustrate the protective cover provided by the Star Tribune.

The Daily Mail is doing the work that the Star Tribune refuses to do, as I am here on Power Line. My thing is the incredible frauds in which Omar is enmeshed. I mean to keep at it until she removes herself from high political office. She is not the most important political figure in our firmament, but she lives and works in my back yard and I have developed knowledgeable sources as well as an appreciative readership in Minneapolis’s Somali community. Attention is warranted.

The Daily Mail’s coverage of Omar has had an impact on the Somali community. They are embarrassed by her. They do not appreciate the humiliation of her most recent ex-husband husband (Ahmed Hirsi, universally known by the nickname Southside), a widely respected player. They have come to see that she is quite the phony. They have come to see her as unrepresentative of the community. (I can’t say the same about the millennial snowflakes and other DFL activists in the district.)

In the past two weeks, I have met with three new Somali sources. They have confirmed everything we have previously reported here about Omar’s back pages. In addition, I have continued to meet with my original Somali sources. Their reliability has been proved many times over. Taken together, they have made the following points:

• There is widespread fear of Omar in the community. They do not feel free to speak out publicly. They require assurance that I will keep their identity in confidence.

• At a meeting with two of my three new sources last week, we spotted Hirsi through a window. “There is Southside,” said one of them, and told me to “close your notebook” (she actually closed it for me).

• They all know that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is Omar’s brother. They didn’t all know that Omar purported to marry him in 2009 until we began covering the issue in 2016.

• Omar made a separate side deal with Hirsi to continue his public silence. She has agreed to pay him $250,000 over time. None of this is reflected in the October 31 divorce decree itself.

I would add only this note based on my own experience. This story is out there for the asking. Any serious reporter who spent time in Minneapolis would find it. The New York Times, the New Yorker, the Daily Beast, the Star Tribune and all the rest — they don’t want it. They want to leave it right where it is.

  

The Power Line Show, Ep. 154: Henry Olsen with the Inside Baseball on Politics and . . . Baseball

Posted: 17 Nov 2019 07:55 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)This week I catch up with Henry Olsen to go through the inside baseball of the unfolding Democratic presidential primary season, but also the inside baseball about . . . baseball! Did you know that the Houston Astros colluded with the Russians and Ukrainians to steal the 2017 World Series! So runs the allegation, with hearings no doubt to follow. In any case, I actually stumped Henry by recalling the slowest relief pitcher ever, Don “Full Pack” Stanhouse. (And when it comes to reforming baseball to make it great again, Henry has a simple proposal: make the fielding gloves smaller. You’ll just have to listen to learn his reasons why—I’m not giving it away here.)

But the main event of this episode is the Democratic field, with new entrants Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg. Henry says to keep an eye on Patrick. We also preview the upcoming British election, which Henry will attend and report on for the Washington Post. The election is setting up as a proxy for Brexit, and Henry expects the Conservative Party and Boris Johnson to do very well. But we’re still almost a month off from the election, so stay tuned.

You know what to do. Listen here, or download the episode from our hosts at Ricochet. Subscribe to Power Line in iTunes, Stitcher, Pandora, or whatever your favorite podcast source may be(and leave a 5-star review, please!).

https://mp3.ricochet.com/2019/11/Ep-154-111719-7.37-AM.mp3

  

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PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Trump Bounces Back – Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Trump Bounces Back – Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

  • Trump Bounces Back

  • The Normandy test

  • Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

  • The Week in Pictures: Calizuela Edition

Trump Bounces Back

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 03:54 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)I wrote here and here that, although the Democrats’ impeachment claims are frivolous, they have hurt President Trump in the polls. Trump’s history is that he tends to rise in the polls until a negative news cycle hits–which happens often–and then he will drop back down.

In the latter post, I noted that before the impeachment frenzy struck, Trump had been rising in the Rasmussen survey. He was at 53% approval among likely voters as of September 24, a number that if maintained suggests a clear path to re-election. The coupling of the words “Trump” and “impeachment” in newspaper headlines–the real purpose of the Democrats’ impeachment drive–drove Trump’s approval numbers in the same survey all the way down to 45% on October 8, against 52% disapproval.

Since then, Trump’s numbers have been climbing back up, presumably as more voters become aware of how silly the Democrats’ grounds for impeachment are. As of yesterday, Trump had made up half of his decline over the prior two weeks, with 49% approval against 50% disapproval. I guess that he will continue to rise until the Democrats come up with their next stratagem to generate negative headlines.

The Rasmussen survey is valuable, by the way, for several reasons. It is the only daily presidential approval poll, based on a rolling three-day average. It also samples only likely voters, unlike virtually every other poll conducted outside the later stages of an election campaign. Whether Rasmussen’s numbers are accurate as a predictor depends on whether the likely voter model holds up. But regardless of whether the numbers are high, low, or exactly right, Rasmussen’s unique status as a rolling daily poll makes it an important indicator of trends. At the moment, things are trending the president’s way.

  

The Normandy test

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 10:11 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Defenders of President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from a portion of Syria, thereby enabling Turkey to have at the Kurds, make several arguments in favor of that move. I don’t find any of them persuasive, but some are better than others.

The worst argument I know of comes from Trump himself. He points out that the Kurds didn’t help us at Normandy.

He’s right, they didn’t. Neither did the Jews of what is now Israel. Like the Kurds, they were stateless. But that doesn’t mean they are not our allies today, or that we should leave them vulnerable to attack by their enemies.

The Saudis weren’t at Normandy, either. Yet, we support them in Yemen. Moreover, we are about to deploy nearly 2,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia, bringing the total to around 3,000.

The Germans were present in force at Normandy. They mowed down the invading American troops. Yet, for decades we stationed large numbers of troops — many, many more than the 1,000 or so we are pulling back in Syria — to protect West Germany from the Soviet Union. (The Soviets didn’t help us at Normandy, but they were instrumental in winning World War II).

In short, I can’t think of a less relevant test for determining U.S. troop deployment than whether a country or a people, helped us at Normandy.

Trump’s foreign policy seems to be based on two goals. He wants to maximize U.S. influence in the world but also wants to bring American troops home. This is a sensible goal, but very difficult to pull off.

Accomplishing it will sometimes require the use of foreign fighters to take on our enemies. In the long term, this will require a certain degree of loyalty to those who help us fight.

The war against ISIS in Syria is a textbook example of this “proxy” approach. The Kurds did nearly all the deadly fighting. We supported them. ISIS was defeated, at least for the time being.

In speeches, Trump touts this victory as a major foreign policy success. I think it’s one of his few to date.

Therefore, the lead role of the Kurds in defeating ISIS more than compensates for their absence from Normandy eight decades ago.

  

Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 10:01 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)What the Democrats fear most is happening: President Trump and his negotiating team are reaching wide-ranging agreements with China that will be a huge boon to the United States.

In an Oval Office press conference yesterday, President Trump and China’s Vice Premier announced a Phase 1 set of agreements that will be documented over the next several weeks. The video of the press conference is embedded below; Trump’s performance was masterful. His many years of experience as a negotiator shine through.

The Phase 1 agreement covers several important topics, including agricultural sales. China has agreed to ramp up its purchases of agricultural products to $40-$50 billion–three times the previous peak–over the next two years. Trump joked that farmers will need to buy more land and work overtime. That means, I think, that Democrats can say goodbye to hopes that tariffs would be the issue that could win votes in rural America.

The agreement also opens up China’s financial services markets to American companies, covers currency manipulation, and addresses some aspects of intellectual property and technology transfer agreements. Phase 2 negotiations will begin immediately.

Given the Phase 1 agreement, new tariffs scheduled to go into effect on October 15 have been canceled. Further tariff increases are scheduled for December 15, but Trump and Steven Mnuchin, who participated in the press conference, emphasized that there is plenty of time to reach a Phase 2 agreement that would nullify those increases. Phase 2 could be the final agreement, or, if there are still open issues, there could be a Phase 3.

Many are saying that the Chinese willingness to enter into this wide-ranging agreement shows that they understand impeachment is a joke, and expect that President Trump will be re-elected. In fact, Trump himself said exactly that in response to a question: “They expect that I’m going to win. Otherwise, they wouldn’t sign the deal. It’s very simple.” If Trump can get our relationship with China straightened out well in advance of the election, with economic benefits becoming visible, the main obstacle to his re-election will, in my opinion, be removed.

Here is the press conference in its entirety:

  

The Week in Pictures: Calizuela Edition

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 03:30 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)There’s a meme that I think I used once here a long while ago, showing a bunch of candles, with the legend: “What did socialists use before candles? Electricity.” This came back to me flying into San Francisco last night from the north, and looking out the window at parts of the state that used to be civilized (i.e., lit with electricity). Welcome to Bolifornia—or is it Calivia? The fun part is all the smug Tesla drivers who can’t charge their cars. (My power has remained on, but I do live in a zone where it might get cut off. But some years ago I installed an automatic gas-powered backup generator.) Final irony alert: California Democrats are calling for an investigation into why the state’s gasoline prices are $1.50 a gallon higher than the rest of the country. Should we send them mirrors with electric vanity lights? Oh, what the heck, let’s begin with a re-run:

Headlines of the week:

         

Okay, this one of from the Babylon Bee, but it’s so good it could easily be real:

And finally. . .

  

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Enter Trump + “Some People Did Something,” Revisited

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Enter Trump + “Some People Did Something,” Revisited

Daily Digest


  • Enter Trump
  • “Some People Did Something,” Revisited
  • Poll: Trump approval rating at 50 percent
  • California Keeps Digging
  • Gut check
Enter Trump

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 04:55 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

 

President Trump may have his faults, but when it comes to trolling he reigns supreme. That goes for showmanship, too. Today, Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mariano Rivera in the East Room of the White House. Rivera,

as you probably know, was a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees, one of the greatest pitchers of all time and by all accounts an outstanding citizen.

The East Room was crowded with reporters and others. President Trump was announced in the usual stentorian way as the 45th President of the United States, and they played the fanfare to “Hail to the Chief.” But then, as Trump and Rivera entered the room and made their way to the stage, they played a recording of Mariano Rivera’s walk-up music, the beginning of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. (Rivera was the Sandman because he put batters to sleep.) It was a great moment:

Trump enters a room at the White House while “Enter Sandman” plays pic.twitter.com/YbJvNDDFHq

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 16, 2019

Two thoughts: first, Trump is a New Yorker, of course, and he lived in the city throughout Rivera’s career. He probably knew that “Enter Sandman” was Rivera’s walk-up music, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his idea to play it today. Second, Trump’s professional understanding of showmanship is reflected in the fact that we don’t just hear a few seconds of “Enter Sandman” as Trump and Rivera come on stage from behind a curtain. Rather, the music plays for a bit before they begin their entrance, and then as they make their way through the crowd. So the fact that we are listening to Rivera’s walk-up music has an opportunity to sink in.

Trump’s knowledge of popular culture and his showmanship, honed by years of appearing on a top-rated television series, are underrated assets.

By the way, you can listen to “Enter Sandman” in its entirety here if so inclined, but I can’t really recommend it.

  

“Some People Did Something,” Revisited

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 12:51 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Ilhan Omar appeared on Face the Nation yesterday. The host asked about her “Some people did something” description of the 9/11 attacks, which was denounced by the son of one of the victims at a commemorative service in New York last week. Specifically, the host asked Omar whether she understands why people find her “some people did something” comment offensive.

Actually, I think many have failed to recognize why Omar’s description, apart from its superficially dismissive tone, is both obnoxious and revealing. I wrote about it here:

She described the September 11 attacks as “some people did something” so that “all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” It’s all about “us,” although what civil liberties were lost is, as always, unclear. …

This is a common theme in Islamic and liberal circles: terrorist attacks are significant only insofar as they raise the specter of “backlash” against Muslims.

Yesterday, Omar repeated her view of 9/11, consistent with what she said to the CAIR group in California where the original comment was made, and with what I wrote in April. Yes, she said, the 9/11 attacks were terrible, they were an attack on all of us as Americans. But–and for Omar, everything important follows the “but”–

I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting, right, the aftermath of what happened after 9/11. Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them. And so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as suspect.

This “stripping of civil rights” from “many Americans” is a fantasy. What on Earth is she talking about? And how exactly was she–age 18 at the time–treated as “suspect” the day after the terrorist attacks? What I remember about the days following September 11 are the frequent encomiums to Islam, from President Bush on down, as a “religion of peace.”

It would be hard to find a more privileged and coddled person than Ilhan Omar, rescued at taxpayer expense from a refugee camp in Kenya, elected to the Minnesota legislature at 34 years old and to Congress, after a single term in the legislature, at 36. And yet, for Omar, the terrorist mass murders of 2001 were all about her, and her purported victimization.

  

Poll: Trump approval rating at 50 percent

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 12:07 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)The latest survey by Rasmussen finds that President Trump’s approval rating is 50 percent. 49 percent disapprove. Rasmussen surveyed 1,500 likely voters.

Kyle Smith notes that Rasmussen consistently finds Trump’s approval rating to be higher than other pollsters do. However, Smith also says that other pollsters find Trump’s approval rating to be on the rise:

He’s at 47 percent according to The Hill, 44 percent with Reuters, 44 percent with The Economist, 43 percent with Politico. The RealClearPolitics polling average gives Trump an overall score of 44.1 percent. On this day in 2011, then-President Obama’s approval rating according to the same metric was 44.0 percent.

FiveThirtyEight, by contrast, claims that Trump’s approval rate is dropping. However, Real Clear Politics supports Smith’s account.

FiveThirtyEight focuses on a poll by ABC News/Washington Post in which Trump’s approval rating is only 38 percent. But the survey to which it links is almost two weeks old and appears to be an outlier.

Given the peace and prosperity America is enjoying under President Trump, his approval rating should exceed 50 percent. It would probably would if Trump showed more restraint in his tweets and other gratuitous commentary.

JOHN adds: Presumably the reason why Trump tends to score better in Rasmussen’s survey than most others is that Rasmussen samples only likely voters. To my knowledge, all other polls, at this stage between elections, sample registered voters or else anyone who answers the telephone. Most other pollsters start running “likely voter” polls deep into the election cycle. Historically, as one would expect, likely voter polls come closer to predicting election results than registered voter surveys.

  

California Keeps Digging

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 11:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)The “First Law of Holes” (“If you’re in one—stop digging”) is usually attributed to the late British politician Denis Healey, but whatever. One thing is certain: California never heard of the First Law of Holes.

 Item, from the Washington Post a while back:

The One Issue Every Economist Can Agree Is Bad: Rent Control

By Megan McArdle

There aren’t that many things you can get economists to agree on. Fiscal stimulus, minimum wages, monetary policy, health care, bank regulation — on almost all the major issues of the day, you can find a respected economist to argue for either side.

But there are a few questions where there’s near unanimity, and rent control is one of them. Pretty much every economist agrees that rent controls are bad. And in the last decades of the 20th century, economists had some success persuading state and local governments to curb these policies.

 Item, from the New York Times:

California Approves Statewide Rent Control to Ease Housing Crisis

California lawmakers approved a statewide rent cap on Wednesday covering millions of tenants, the biggest step yet in a surge of initiatives to address an affordable-housing crunch nationwide.

The bill limits annual rent increases to 5 percent after inflation and offers new barriers to eviction, providing a bit of housing security in a state with the nation’s highest housing prices and a swelling homeless population.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has made tenant protection a priority in his first year in office, led negotiations to strengthen the legislation. He has said he would sign the bill, approved as part of a flurry of activity in the final week of the legislative session.

Of course, it is overwhelmingly California’s bad government policies on housing, going back more than 40 years now, that have created the “housing crisis.” So yeah, let’s have some more bad policy. I’m sure it will work great this time.

  

Gut check

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 09:44 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)The new claim of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh at Yale many decades ago comes from a book by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. Pogrebin and Kelly also wrote the New York Times story presenting this claim.

In their book, Pogrebin and Kelly acknowledge that the alleged victim of the alleged misconduct has no recollection of it. In their original Times article, the two omitted this fact.

In their book, Pogrebin and Kelly focus on the allegation that started the Kavanaugh controversy — Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that he raped her during a high school party. According to Mollie Hemingway, who obtained an advance copy of the book, Pogrebin and Kelly offer no evidence in support of the rape allegation, but say their “gut reaction” was that the allegation “rang true.”

I’m not sure why should anyone credit the gut reaction of two New York Times reporters out to make a name for themselves, and to promote a key Democratic talking point, at Brett Kavanaugh’s expense.

If we’re going to adjudge allegations of ancient misconduct based on someone’s gut, I’m more inclined to go with the gut of Leland Keyser, a lifelong friend of Christine Blasey Ford. Blasey Ford claims that Keyser was with her at the party where Kavanaugh allegedly committed rape. Keyser told Pogrebin and Kelly that she does not believe Blasey Ford’s claim against Kavanaugh:

We spoke multiple times to Keyser, who also said that she didn’t recall that get-together or any others like it. In fact, she challenged Ford’s accuracy. “I don’t have any confidence in the story.”

I find it interesting that Pogrebin and Kelly spoke to Keyser “multiple times.” Apparently, they found it difficult to take “no” for an answer.

Pogrebin and Kelly weren’t the only ones who found this difficult. According to Hemingway:

The authors also acknowledge what had previously been reported in “Justice on Trial” [by Hemingway and Carrie Severino] about the efforts of mutual friends to get her to change her testimony to be more supportive of Blasey Ford. The reporters say that some of Blasey Ford’s friends “had grown frustrated with Keyser. Her comments about the alleged Kavanaugh incident had been too limited, some of them felt, and did not help their friend’s case. Surely, given what a close friend Keyser had been, she could say more to substantiate Ford’s testimony and general veracity, even if she could not corroborate Ford’s more specific memories.”

A group text was formed in which friends such as Cheryl Amitay and Lulu Gonella discussed how to get her to say something more helpful to the cause. An unnamed man on the text suggested that they defame her as an addict. Keyser has been in recovery for some time, as her friends know and as has previously been reported.

Amitay answered, “Leland is a major stumbling block.” While asserting she didn’t want her to make anything up out of whole cloth, she offered ideas for things that could sound supportive of Ford’s story, such as that she’d been in similar situations with Blasey Ford that summer.

“I was told behind the scenes that certain things could be spread about me if I didn’t comply,” Keyser told the reporters, a stunning admission of the pressure to which she was subjected to by Blasey Ford’s allies.

(Emphasis added)

Unfortunately, because the left never gives up on a smear, Keyser can look forward to a lifetime of this treatment. More than 25 years after the Clarence Thomas hearings, the odious Jill Abramson came to the home of Nancy Montwieler (a journalist with whom I once worked) trying to get her to say that Thomas sexually harassed her during the 1980s. (Nancy declined to answer Abramson’s questions but apparently later denied being the subject of any misconduct by Thomas).

As for Keyser, despite the threats and repeated interviews with Pogrebin and Kelly, she still finds Blasey Ford’s story unworthy of belief. Says Hemingway, Keyser has both “logistical and character-driven” problems with it.

Keyser, by the way, as opposed to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. This, of course, makes her unwillingness to support Blasey Ford’s smear all the more credible.

I’m going with Leland Keyser’s “gut” on this one.