Building a legacy, Obama style:
Obama’s Legacy at Stake in Paris Talks on Climate Accord
By CORAL DAVENPORT NOV. 28, 2015
Building a legacy, Obama style:
Obama’s Legacy at Stake in Paris Talks on Climate Accord
By CORAL DAVENPORT NOV. 28, 2015
Yesterday it was raining. I went out and shook my fist at the sky. Fiercely! Today it is sunny and beautiful. You're welcome, fellow New Englanders.
Our President seems to have a comparably unsettled relationship with reality. Here he is after the Colorado Springs shooting:
Obama Says ‘Enough Is Enough’ After Colorado Shooting
By JONATHAN MARTIN NOV. 28, 2015
President Obama responded angrily on Saturday to the mass shooting that took three lives, including that of a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs over the Thanksgiving holiday, calling the country’s recurring outbreaks of gun violence “not normal.”
“We can’t let it become normal,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”
Enough is enough! The President is going to act! By heavens, it's time for leadership!
Well, Obama actually agrees - it is time for leadership. Just not his:
Without calling explicitly for new laws, Mr. Obama invoked the name of the slain police officer, from the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus, to plead with leaders to show the will to address such shootings.
"Plead with leaders"? Damn right - get the President on the line! Oh, wait...
Angela Merkel is tied up with the refugee debacle, so she can't help. Putin doesn't really seem like a gun control guy. I wonder who will help him here?
The NY Times fills a typically slow news weekend with a report on the most transparently deceitful Administration ever:
Tighter Lid on Records Threatens to Weaken Government Watchdogs
By ERIC LICHTBLAU NOV. 27, 2015
WASHINGTON — Justice Department watchdogs ran into an unexpected roadblock last year when they began examining the role of federal drug agents in the fatal shootings of unarmed civilians during raids in Honduras.
The Drug Enforcement Administration balked at turning over emails from senior officials tied to the raids, according to the department’s inspector general. It took nearly a year of wrangling before the D.E.A. was willing to turn over all its records in a case that the inspector general said raised “serious questions” about agents’ use of deadly force.
The continuing Honduran inquiry is one of at least 20 investigations across the government that have been slowed, stymied or sometimes closed because of a long-simmering dispute between the Obama administration and its own watchdogs over the shrinking access of inspectors general to confidential records, according to records and interviews.
What? The IGs are a part of the Executive Branch. Surely the Most Transparent Administration in History wants the straight dope on what is happening in the various department? Ahhh, not really:
“The bottom line is that we’re no longer independent,” Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, said in an interview.
If you like your Inspector Generals you can keep your Inspector Generals.
The restrictions reflect a broader effort by the Obama administration to prevent unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information — at the expense, some watchdogs insist, of government oversight.
Justice Department lawyers concluded in a legal opinion this summer that some protected records, like grand jury transcripts, wiretap intercepts and financial credit reports, could be kept off limits to government investigators. The administration insists there is no intention of curtailing investigations, but both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed alarm and are promising to restore full access to the watchdogs.
“This is by far the most aggressive assault on the inspector general concept since the beginning,” said Paul Light, a New York University professor who has studied the system. “It’s the complete evisceration of the concept. You might as well fold them down. They’ve become defanged.”
Nowhere has the fallout over the dispute been felt more acutely than at the Justice Department, where the inspector general’s office said 14 investigations had been hindered by the restricted access.
These include investigations into the F.B.I.’s use of phone records collected by the National Security Agency, the government’s sharing of intelligence information before the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, a notorious gun-tracing operation known as “Fast and Furious” and the deadly Honduran drug raids.
Well, if Congress is unhappy now, wait until Hillarity! is President. Little Ms. Sunshine Law she is not. And once again, we are fortunate that this is not happening under Bush and Cheney, or libs would be leaping from ledges and the streets would be unsafe.
Fun Fact: On November 28, 1925 the first broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry aired live on the radio, under its original name the WSM Barn Dance. At the time, the show aired after an NBC radio program featuring opera and classical music. On December 10, 1927 host George Day opened the show by saying, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on, we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'."
The Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running radio broadcast in US history. Happy 90th birthday.
He had no new initiatives to announce against ISIS.
His biggest laugh line:
He added that Americans should still be vigilant. “If you see something suspicious, say something,” he said. “That’s always helpful. Unless its a Muslim kid with a beeping box containing a tangle of wires. Then I'll just have to invite him to the White House to prove we aren't a nation of haters and you'll get sued for ten million buckaroos. But if you see some elderly nuns acting suspiciously, or even the armed and dangerous Swedish Bikini team, definitely give us a call."
He didn't actually say that. But he might have!
I SHOULD ADD: Given Obama's luck with "ISIS is contained", this is bold talk - his polling numbers and loss of public confidence must have rattled his handlers. How it will be helpful to announce that there is nothing to announce and we should all be chill because his long term plan is on course remains unclear, to me anyway.
Hard though it may be to prove a negative, the Times does us all a service by talking to a guy who really is in a position to know:
A Definitive Debunking of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Claims
How alarmed were New Jersey officials by reports of Muslims dancing in the streets of Jersey City and Paterson on Sept. 11, 2001, to celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center?
They feared riots would break out and were ready to send in the National Guard and the State Police to preserve order.
But John J. Farmer Jr., then the New Jersey attorney general and the state’s chief law enforcement officer, said on Tuesday that he ordered an investigation that very day and found the reports to be bogus, more wild stories born in the stricken hours after the attacks.
Few people, if any, could address the circumstances more definitively than Mr. Farmer, who went on to serve as senior counsel to the Sept. 11 commission.
In an account Mr. Farmer provided Tuesday, he described being in the state’s command center, in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, directly across the Hudson River from the burning wreckage of the trade center. The New Jersey State Police radio antenna had been on top of one of the towers, cutting off communications.
“We were forced to rely on runners for intelligence about what was happening across the river and in New Jersey,” Mr. Farmer said.
In the vacuum, rumors were flying, he said. Bombers with suicide vests were in Times Square. Saboteurs were lurking around power plants. New York City’s mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was missing.
And then there was the wisp of a story that Mr. Farmer said was most disturbing of all: “That Muslims were dancing on the rooftops and in the streets of Jersey City and Paterson.”
Indeed, pockets of radical Islamists had set up in Jersey City in the past. The 1993 World Trade Center bombers rented a van and stored chemicals and fertilizers in that city.
Open jubilation at the mass death, Mr. Farmer said, might quickly be followed by rioting and more deaths. “If true, we would have had to mobilize the State Police and National Guard and locked the place down,” he said.
“We followed up on that report instantly because of its implications,” he added. “The word came back quickly from Jersey City, later from Paterson. False report. Never happened.”
This surely cannot prove that nobody celebrated anywhere in New Jersey, but Trump spoke of "thousands", seeing it on television, and claimed it was widely covered. Not good.
AllahPundit follows the arc of Obama's impotent exhortations to and about Syrian thug Assad - from "Assad must go" in 2011 to "we can start looking at Mr. Assad choosing not to run" for re-election in 2015. If Barry Red Line still had credibility left to lose in Syria this would be a problem. Instead Putin and Assad will continue to treat Obama like a lost tourist in a bazaar who has become separated from his group, lost his wallet, and doesn't know the name or address of his hotel.
Still, Obama has excellent Thanksgiving advice for Assad and so many others: Assad must go for a run.
FWIW, AllahP also plugs the Bolton Super-partition of Iraq and Syria to create a new Sunni state.
Writing in the Times, Bushmen John Bolton has a plan for battling ISIS:
John Bolton: To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State
By JOHN R. BOLTON NOV. 24, 2015
Before transforming Mr. Obama’s ineffective efforts into a vigorous military campaign to destroy the Islamic State, we need a clear view, shared with NATO allies and others, about what will replace it. It is critical to resolve this issue before considering any operational plans. Strategy does not come from the ground up; instead, tactics flow deductively once we’ve defined the ultimate objectives.
Today’s reality is that Iraq and Syria as we have known them are gone. The Islamic State has carved out a new entity from the post-Ottoman Empire settlement, mobilizing Sunni opposition to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Iran-dominated government of Iraq. Also emerging, after years of effort, is a de facto independent Kurdistan.
Although Biden insisted Iraq could remain one country under a federal structure, this looks like a grander version of the Biden plan to partition Iraq. But let's take that as a positive - there might be a voice within the Administration willing to push this.
As to the logic, this seems right to me:
If, in this context, defeating the Islamic State means restoring to power Mr. Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppets in Iraq, that outcome is neither feasible nor desirable.
Sunnis today support the Islamic State for many of the same reasons they once supported Al Qaeda in Iraq — as a bulwark against being ruled by Tehran via Baghdad. Telling these Sunni people that their reward for rising against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq will be to put them back in thrall to Mr. Assad and his ilk, or to Shiite-dominated Baghdad, will simply intensify their support for the jihadists. Why would they switch sides?
This is why, after destroying the Islamic State, America should pursue the far-reaching goal of creating a new Sunni state. Though difficult in the near term, over time this is more conducive to regional order and stability.
The Kurds also get a state, which will freak out the Turks. Mr. Bolton slides past this, as well he might. On the other hand, I infer that Assad keeps the parts of Syria that include the airbase and naval facility prized by Putin.
He alludes to the fact that the West drew these lines on a map a century ago. As a a centennial observance we could re-draw them.
Lots of ideas. We'll have to take a look at this. Have to look at a lot of things! #TrumpKu
I yield to no one in my admiration for an upbeat, sunny attitude but...
Analysts Accuse CENTCOM of Covering Up Cooked ISIS Intelligence
Science confirms what the Paleo people have been saying for years - this whole wheat-based diet is new and humans are not necessarily well-adapted to it:
Agriculture Linked to DNA Changes in Ancient Europe
The agricultural revolution was one of the most profound events in human history, leading to the rise of modern civilization. Now, in the first study of its kind, an international team of scientists has found that after agriculture arrived in Europe 8,500 years ago, people’s DNA underwent widespread changes, altering their height, digestion, immune system and skin color.
Researchers had found indirect clues of some of these alterations by studying the genomes of living Europeans. But the new study, they said, makes it possible to see the changes as they occurred over thousands of years.
I'll skip the explanations and pick a few examples:
Previous studies had suggested that Europeans became better able to digest milk once they began raising cattle. Dr. Reich and his colleagues confirmed that LCT, a gene that aids milk digestion, did experience intense natural selection, rapidly becoming more common in ancient Europeans. But it didn’t happen when farming began in Europe, as had been supposed. The earliest sign of this change, it turns out, dates back only 4,000 years.
While agriculture brought benefits like a new supply of protein in milk, it also created risks. Early European farmers who depended mainly on wheat and other crops risked getting low doses of important nutrients.
So a gene called SLC22A4 proved advantageous as soon as Europeans started to farm, Dr. Reich and his colleagues found. It encodes a protein on the surface of cells that draws in an amino acid called ergothioneine. Wheat and other crops have low levels of ergothioneine, and the new variant increases its absorption. That would have increased the chances of survival among the farmers who had the gene.
Yet this solution created a problem of its own. The same segment of DNA that carries SLC22A4 also contains a variation that raises the risk of digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. These diseases, then, may be an indirect consequence of Europe’s pivot toward agriculture.
There are some skin tone insights for people of pallor:
Dr. Reich and his colleagues also tracked changes in the color of European skin.
The original hunter-gatherers, descendants of people who had come from Africa, had dark skin as recently as 9,000 years ago. Farmers arriving from Anatolia were lighter, and this trait spread through Europe. Later, a new gene variant emerged that lightened European skin even more.
Why? Scientists have long thought that light skin helped capture more vitamin D in sunlight at high latitudes. But early hunter-gatherers managed well with dark skin. Dr. Reich suggests that they got enough vitamin D in the meat they caught.
He hypothesizes that it was the shift to agriculture, which reduced the intake of vitamin D, that may have triggered a change in skin color.
So the Vitamin D idea lives on, with a twist blaming 'modern' farming.
We are offered conflicting narratives about a shooting in Minneapolis. Here is the WaPo with two versions [with UPDATES below]:
Five Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis; police searching for white suspects
Simmering racial tensions have boiled over yet again after several men shot five people who had been protesting the recent police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis.
Police announced on social media that five people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and that officers were searching for “3 white male suspects” who fled the scene.
Here is the first version the WaPo presents, my emphasis throughout, and let's call this version WaPo1:
Details of the shooting, however, remain murky.
Oluchi Omeoga, a young protester who has participated in the demonstrations since last Monday, said she witnessed the incident.
Omeoga and her fellow protesters saw three people wearing masks who “weren’t supposed to be there,” she told the Associated Press. When the three interlopers left the crowd and began walking down the street, a few protesters followed them. But when the three men reached a corner, she said, they pulled out weapons and fired at the protesters.
A second WaPo version cites the Minneapolis Start Tribune; let's call this WaPo2:
“A group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights,” Miski Noor, a Black Lives Matter organizer, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Police have not confirmed or denied Noor’s claim.
Noor said the white men “opened fire on about six protesters,” after the protesters tried to herd the men away from the protest area.
Here is what we see in the Star Tribune. Call it Strib1:
Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”
One of the three counterdemonstrators wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening.
When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.
Three white supremacists, a dozen protestors. And the mood?
Jie Wronski-Riley said angry protesters moved the counter-demonstrators away from the encampment at the police station. Wronski-Riley heard what sounded like firecrackers and thought, “surely they’re not shooting human beings.” Two young black men on either side of him were hit, one in the back and leg, the other in the arm.
At least two of the three men who had been taunting protesters were firing guns, said Wronski-Riley, who described the incident as “really chaotic, really fast.”
Whites taunting protestors, who become angry so a dozen protestors "herd" them to a dark area. I assume their defense will be that they felt threatened, and that their previous actions were all legal as free speech, free assembly, and so on.
Here is the NY Times, version, NYT1:
Miski Noor, an organizer at the Minneapolis arm of Black Lives Matter, said the shooting happened as demonstrators were escorting three masked men who had been behaving suspiciously away from the site of the rally, where people have gathered for more than a week to protest the Nov. 15 shooting of Jamar Clark, 24.
When they reached a dark area, the men turned around and opened fire on the demonstrators before fleeing, Ms. Noor said.
That is basically WaPo2 with "escort" substituted for "herd". I know I would rather be 'escorted' than 'herded' and I guess Times reporter Ashley Southall feels the same way. Since the word "herd" is not in quotes in the source Strib1, that may have been an appropriate editorial judgment.
More from the Times:
During a telephone call to the precinct, police officers were overheard reviewing surveillance video and describing a masked white man pulling out a firearm, a description that appeared to align with accounts of the shooting that witnesses had given to Ms. Noor. In accounts given on social media and to Ms. Noor, witnesses described the gunmen as three men, two white and one Asian, wearing masks and bulletproof vests.
Ms. Noor said that groups of men had been showing up to the demonstrations and “acting shady” since Friday. Witnesses reported that the men were filming protesters and refusing to answer questions about why they were there, she said. In response, the group put together a safety committee to watch for potential agitators and escort them away as a preventive measure, she said.
What, an Asian white supremacist? Standards are evolving in the Little Apple.
As to "acting shady", I don't know what that means but I know that at Mizzou there was a call for 'muscle over here' when one (Asian) reporter who appeared to be unsympathetic approached the protestors' 'safe space' in the middle of campus. Whether the Minneapolis protestors had a similar mindset is an undeveloped theme here. But 'escorting away' or 'herding away' people who are filming, taunting and asking questions does not sound wholly legal to me; asking for a police intervention would be the appropriate response.
That said, if three guys are in bullet proof vests, carrying sidearms and 'taunting' the protestors one might argue they were approaching this situation with an aggressive mindset and were looking for trouble.
And do keep in mind - this is Minneapolis, so the odds are good that the protestors are a mix of white, black and other. That seems to be confirmed on this video, anyway.
SINCE YOU ASK: The WaPo1 version - the whites supremacists were walking away, then turned and fired on a few people following them - is the current candidate to take hold as the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" version. Since BLM spokespeople aren't advancing that line, we doubt it will take hold anywhere other than the WaPo.
However, look for the dozen angry herders on the safety committee to be whittled down to three elderly nuns and a retired school crossing guard by the end of the week. Plus the people who got shot.
Not to put the reporters in an awkward spot or blame the victims, but... if the shooters are likely to claim self-defense, is it worth asking whether any of the shooting victims have a history of violence? One would hope the protest organizers aren't that foolish, but who knows? In any case, look for that line of pushback to be developed by Rush et al.
UPDATE: TWO MEN ARRESTED SO FAR: Police have arrested one white man and one Hispanic (likely the 'Asian', but let's not leap to conclusions. And then released; this story is shifting as I type). This Strib story has names for five shooting victims, so I imagine their backgrounds will emerge.
Black Lives Matter protesters move downtown; 1 of 2 shooting suspects released
Protesters marched from the 4th precinct to downtown Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon. A 23-year-old white man was arrested in Bloomington at 11:20 a.m. A second shooting suspect has been released.
Police have arrested two men they have been seeking in connection with a shooting at the Black Lives Matter encampment Monday night.
Minneapolis police said they arrested a 23-year-old white man in Bloomington at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday. A second shooting suspect arrested in south Minneapolis at 12:05 p.m. has been released. The search for other suspects continues.
Authorities are weighing whether to treat the shooting of five people protesting near the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct station Monday night as a hate crime, sources familiar with the investigation said Tuesday morning.
The victims, all black men — ages 19 through 43 — were taken to hospitals with noncritical injuries, according to police.
Minnesota is not a stand your ground state but we may yet see the self-defense hate crime play out.
As protesters took turns speaking, one of the shooting victims returned to the scene, leaning heavily on a cane. Wesley Martin, 43, said he was shot after he and a group of others chased the suspected gunmen toward an alley off Morgan Avenue.
The suspects have variously been "herded", "escorted" and now "chased".
“I’ve been out here every night since it started and you know when people look suspicious,” Martin said.
The bullet ripped through his right knee, Martin said. He said his 19-year-old brother Teven King was also shot, in the stomach.
As Martin spoke, his cousin Leroy Williams, nodded in agreement.
“Really we could get violent,” Williams said. “And there’s a lot of us that are willing to go to jail (for this). But we’re not. We’re keeping the peace.”
Violent towards whom?
Williams also said that one of Clark’s cousins, Cameron Clark, 24, was also among the shooting victims.
Carrie Brown, Martin’s cousin, lives down the street from the precinct house and said she and others were cooking dinner for the protesters when “these four white guys walked up … They had masks and they had a briefcase. I thought they were there to donate [something].”
Brown said that someone in the crowd pointed the men out as suspected agitators and the crowd started to chase them away, heading north on Morgan Avenue.
The men got as far as an alley just north of the precinct house when they started shooting, Brown said.
“When we turned around they started to shoot at us from behind,” Brown said.
The shooters appeared to be wearing bulletproof vests under their clothing, she said.
“It was all scary. You wouldn’t expect anything like that. We didn’t have a security details. Everybody here was peaceful. We didn’t expect these psychos.”
“We all were terrorized last night,” Brown added. “I’ve never seen racism like that.”
So now roughly twelve protestors, some of them with a temperment to violence, chased three men towards an ally. But it was only when the protestors turned back that the three men started shooting, which doesn't really explain the guy who was shot in the stomach. Well, maybe he turned again and ran to the sound of guns.
The defense side is going to see a real opportunity here. Which means the upcoming trial might be as polarizing as the Democrats need it to be.
UPDATE 2: From the Srtrib:
Still, the shootings galvanized protesters, who said Tuesday that the shots rang out after they attempted to drive the men, who they described as “white supremacists,” from the area.
Witnesses to the shootings said they confronted the men before they fired and forced them from the protest area. According to a video interview with two men immediately afterward, the group demanded that the assailants remove their masks. When they refused, a scuffle ensued. As the crowd began to push the men out, shots were fired.
So now we have a scuffle preceding the shooting?
Three suspects are in custody, all seemingly white:
On Tuesday, days after that video went public, four men were arrested in connection with Monday night’s shooting of five protesters a block from the Fourth Precinct headquarters in an act that drew condemnation coast to coast.
Police arrested Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, 23, of Lakeville, and a 32-year-old man from Minneapolis, who was later released from custody after police determined he wasn’t at the shooting scene.
Later Tuesday, two more men — Nathan Gustavsson, 21, of Hermantown and Daniel Macey, 26, of Pine City — turned themselves into police and were booked on probable cause assault in connection with the case.
More from Wesley Martin, a shooting victim:
At 10:41 p.m., three masked men began shouting. Wesley Martin was among those who escorted them away.
Suddenly, shots rang out.
“I heard the N word and that’s when everybody started charging,” he said. “And we get to 14th and Morgan [avenues], and all I heard was pow…pow, pow, pow, pow, pow.”
"Charging", "Scuffle", the N-bomb and a fighting words scenario - this is a self-defense hate crime.
I may be overcome by holiday cheer but the BBC report that Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 may be good news. Well disguised good news of the life handing you lemons so break out the gin and tonic variety, but good news nonetheless.
This might just serve as a warning shot over Putin's bow and help him refocus on the fact that he is not the only armed power in the Syrian region with advanced military capability and an agenda. A bit more cooperation in coordinating an effort against ISIS would be welcome. If this also leads to a bit less Russian support for Assad, well, let the chips fall. The Times coverage includes this favorable straw in a bale of grim news:
Mr. Putin said he found it suspicious that Turkey had reached out to its NATO allies after the episode but not to Moscow. He nevertheless insisted the situation should encourage more cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
I still want to see Hillary's no-fly zone, and reminding the Russians that sure, we will shoot you down might help with that. The NY Times has a report of major schisms developing inside Team Obama; now it is Dour John Kerry urging a more vigorous effort against ISIS. How do you ask a man to be the first man to die for a mistake? Over to the Times:
John Kerry Adds Voice to Those Urging Bigger Push Against Islamic State in Syria
By DAVID E. SANGER NOV. 23, 2015
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — With the Obama administration under mounting pressure from some of its own top former officials to take a more aggressive approach to combating the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that he would like to see the American-led military and diplomatic effort in Syria “go faster.”
He added that President Obama had charged his aides with “coming up with any concepts that will, in fact, work, and which could help change the situation on the ground.”
In interviews over the past few days, however, White House, State Department and Pentagon officials have described fierce debates within the administration over how deeply to involve American forces in the campaign against the Islamic State.
Several said that the arguments made last week by Mr. Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton — calling for a no-fly zone in Syria and a more muscular military response to bolster the diplomacy now underway — generally reflected arguments Mr. Kerry made, and lost, in the Situation Room.
“I think you are going to see many of those decisions revisited now,” said one senior administration official, who declined to speak on the record about continuing strategy discussions within the administration.
Yet so far Mr. Obama appears to be sticking to his incremental approach, part of a long-term effort to make the Persian Gulf states less dependent on American intervention in the region’s crises. His trip to Asia over the past week was part of his aim to refocus American diplomatic energy.
Troubling. Obama quit talking to Republican Congressional leaders a long time ago, rarely chats with Congressional Democrats, and is probably going to have to shut out all these questioning voices inside his own Executive Branch. Fortunately Sasha and Malia should be around for the holidays so they can pick up the conversational ball if Valerie and Michelle lag.
BACK IN THE AIR: Doc Drezner is worried about the Russian shootdown but remaining calm:
So will this business get out of control?
Obviously, it could — but I don’t believe it will. For one thing, Russia and Turkey are sufficiently interdependent that a serious heightening of tensions would severely impair both countries. Turkey would find it very difficult to suddenly stop using Russian natural gas. Russia would find it very difficult to not use the Dardanelles.
On the military side of the equation, as strategically reckless as Vladimir Putin has been, I suspect he would not want to escalate this conflict. Doing so would involve NATO, not just Turkey, and I doubt that Putin wants to get into a war of attrition that would grind away Russia’s air force. Furthermore, there is the pesky problem of the Syria conflict not going away, and Putin’s proxy in Syria still being in grave danger.
I am in my "punch a bully in the nose" phase, so I would be all in for the diplomatic equivalent of "You're damn right I ordered the Code Red!". But from Team Obama?
Oops! Carson's not actually wrong about Jefferson: Column
Do tell! I should add that the USA Today climbdown is amusing and informative. Will it serve as an example to the many, many Progressive Groupthinkers that couldn't spend two minutes Googling Jefferson and the Constitution before bashing Carson?
That's not my bet, but I am never going to be smart enough to be a progressive. My goodness, I can't even spell "epistemic closure" and I am still hazy as to what an "echo chamber" might be.
Well, hardly for the first time - the InstaPundit gets results!