Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Hanoi Pick-Up

Via Billy


 I had flown in and out of Hanoi twice before—flying out of U-Tapao AB, Thailand—with the peace negotiating team. Both times, we were ordered to wear civilian clothes and be nice to them. They took our pictures as we sat around a table for a briefing. The infamous “Rabbit” was in charge. At least that’s who we thought it was. Big ears. They then took us to a hotel and fed us in a banquet room. The food was delicious and we were ordered to drink their beer when offered. It didn’t taste too bad and was only about 2-3% so the brass weren’t concerned about us being able to fly afterwards.

Then they took us to museums—their War Museum on the first mission. They had parts of our warplanes that had been shot down and also showed us the gun where Hanoi Jane Fonda sat for that infamous picture.

Why the (true) history of 'Dunkirk' matters

Via Billy

Never has so much ignorance been rendered on such a great feat by so few.
Well said though still in a quandary why Hitler held back there.

Such is the historical record of reviewers of the new movie, "Dunkirk."

First, a brief historical primer. Dunkirk was the site of the British Army's evacuation from northern France in May-June 1940. The evacuation was made necessary after the British Army in France, deployed as the British Expeditionary Force, was encircled by a rapidly advancing German army.

Thanks to the immense courage of rearguard forces, RAF pilots, and British civilians (who lent their boats to the effort), 200,000 British soldiers and 140,000 French, Belgian and Polish soldiers were saved from capture.

Now to the reviews...

RNC raises $13.4M in record-setting June haul

Via Billy

 RNC raises $13.4M in record-setting June haul

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has yet to release its June fundraising numbers. The DNC was vastly outpaced by its GOP counterpart in May, raising only $4.3 million compared to the RNC’s $10.8 million haul.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised a record $13.4 million in June, bringing its total 2017 fundraising to $75.3 million.

In a release provided first to The Hill, the RNC announced another strong monthly haul and has $44.7 million in the bank. It's the most the RNC has raised in June of a nonpresidential year.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel credited the record fundraising to the committee’s “loyal network of grassroots donors” due to their support for President Trump and the GOP’s agenda.

More @ The Hill

Trump shuts down CIA program to arm Syrian rebels

Via Billy

 Trump shuts down CIA program to arm Syrian rebels: report

One current official told the Post that the decision is a massive concession to Moscow, saying that “Putin won in Syria.” It's none of our business, dorkhead.

President Trump is shutting down the CIA’s program to arm and train rebels fighting the Syrian government, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, a victory for Russia, which has called for the move for years.

Officials told the Post that shutting down the program, begun by the Obama administration in 2013, is a sign of Trump’s attempts to work with Russia, which has viewed the U.S. attempts to force out Syrian President Bashar Assad during that country's civil war as an attack on its own interests.

More @ The Hill

Trump kills 16 regulations for every new one, crushing 2-for-1 goal

Via Billy

Photo published for Trump administration 'rejects' CBO's 1.9% growth projection: Mick Mulvaney

President Trump's administration, on orders to kill two regulations for every new one, ripped up the playbook during its first six months, eliminating 16 old rules for every new one, according to top officials.

"It's really the beginning of a kind of fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation of where we're going with regulation," said Neomi Rao, the newly installed administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.

In a briefing with a handful of reporters, Rao laid out the administration's regulation agenda, declaring, "It's a're going to see a rollback of regulations."

Fmr. U.N. Amb. Power Emerges As Central Figure In Obama Unmasking: Congress demands answers on why Obama officials demanded classified intel that harmed Trump

Via Billy

Samantha Power

Former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power's involvement in the unmasking by former Obama administration officials of sensitive national security information is raising red flags over what insiders view was an attempt by the former administration to undermine President Donald Trump and key figures on his team, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the situation.

Power appears to be central to efforts by top Obama administration officials to identify individuals named in classified intelligence community reports related to Trump and his presidential transition team, according to multiple sources.

The names of Trump allies in the raw intelligence reports were leaked to the press in what many in Congress and the current administration claim is an attempt by Obama allies and former officials to damage the White House.

Rod Rosenstein suggests Comey broke FBI policy by leaking memos to press

Via Billy

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey broke agency protocol by leaking memos to the press about his meetings with President Trump.

"As a general proposition, you have to understand the Department of Justice. We take confidentiality seriously, so when we have memoranda about our ongoing matters, we have an obligation to keep that confidential," Rosenstein said on Fox News after being asked if it would ever be proper for an FBI director to take notes on a meeting with the president and then leak them to the press.

Rosenstein stressed he wouldn't answer direct questions about Comey. But when asked if he would approve of Comey's leak, he reiterated the duty of offiicals to keep things confidential. "I think it is quite clear," he said. "It's what we were taught, all of us prosecutors and agents."

POTUS WARNS MUELLER: Investigating My Family’s Finances Crosses RED LINE

Via Billy

The New York Times reports:

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, the president also accused James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comey’s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.
Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned that investigators would cross a red line if they delve into Trump family finances unrelated to Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.

John McCain diagnosed with brain cancer

Via Billy

 Image result for John McCain diagnosed with brain cancer 

The tumor was discovered after the senior Arizona senator underwent a minor procedure last week to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. "Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma associated with the blood clot," the hospital said in a statement.

“The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation."

More @ The Hill

Manufacturing hate for “Made in America”

Via TERRY Fla."Beyond words. Kristol is a POS" 

 Bill Kristol @BillKristol
Maybe it's just me, but I find something off-putting about turning the White House into an exhibition hall for American tchotchkes.

It’s “Made In America” week in Washington, D.C. You’d think this would be cause for bipartisan celebration. Who could be against highlighting the ingenuity, self-reliance and success of our nation’s homegrown entrepreneurs and manufacturers? 
Enter Bill Kristol.

The entrenched Beltway pundit ridiculed a festive kickoff event on Monday at the White House, where President Donald Trump hosted companies from all 50 states to showcased their American-made products.

“Maybe it’s just me,” killjoy Kristol tweeted, “but I find something off-putting about turning the White House into an exhibition hall for American tchotchkes.” (That’s the Yiddish word for useless trinkets).


Tell that to the engineers at Hytrol, the Arkansas-based conveyor manufacturer that brought a mechanical display of its technology to the State Dining Room. Hytrol’s late founder, Tom Loberg, started out as a gopher at an electronics parts factory during the Great Depression, worked his way up to designing Navy turbines, hydraulic pumps and cylinders, and entered the conveyor belt business after perfecting bag-transporting machinery for seed, grain and tobacco farmers.

Leave the Monuments Alone: An Artistic Perspective 

The removal and desecration of images of enemies of the state was an accepted part of Roman political life, a formal public dishonour named as damnatio memoriae, and the destruction of built and material culture of a defeated foe was, like rape of enemy women, de facto psychological warfare millennia before such a concept was formalised. In recent years the relocation of the Bronze Soldier of Talinn, and associated Russian war graves in 2009, put contested memorialisation firmly on the agenda at both art and architecture/design conferences. 

The Bronze Soldier controversy arose long before Dylann Roof or the Black Lives Matter movement stirred modern consciences, given public arguments over statues are now strongly associated with race and post colonialism. This linkage was affirmed newly and spectacularly by Mitch Landrieu’s removal of four Confederate memorials in New Orleans. Landrieu’s post-removal speech, transparently praising his own actions, whilst widely applauded as a new benchmark in racial equality, simultaneously reveals less admirable content, a favouring of extreme theatrical sentiment over rational discussion in public life, especially around identity, a supreme self confidence via specifically North American narratives and celebrity name dropping as corroborating authenticity. 

The performativity and dramatic self-projection within the agora shown by Landrieu and other advocates for removing controversial monuments in the United States, cuts across the frequent claims that removal represents an inevitable expression of natural justice and a limpid process of delivering a rightful morality to public space and the designed landscape.

President Trump: “Obamacare Was a Big, Big Lie! A Lie!… It Was a Lie by the President! …HE KNEW IT!”

Via Billy

President Trump: Since 2013 Obamacare premiums have skyrocketed… Despite the promise that premiums would decrease by $2,500 on average, they’ve almost increased by $3,000 and even much more than that in some cases. It’s crushing the Middle Class and the families of the Middle Class. It’s frankly crushing our country. Obamacare was a big lie. You can keep your doctor – Lie! You can keep your plan – Lie! It was a lie directly from the president. You can keep your doctor. You can keep your plan. 28 times he said that. 28 times. And it was a lie and he knew it was!

9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons: Ep. 2 Revolver or Pistol for CCW?

When I asked one of my friends (shout out to Noto) what he thought about revolvers, he told me it was the only choice. More often than not in this country, a scenario you are likely to use lethal force in starts with an assault, at contact range. In his years of conducting undercover and teaching it, one rule was true 100 percent of the time. An auto is always fouled as soon as it comes out, either with hands or trapped in clothing.

Therefore, in real-world situations, an auto has a capacity of one, while a revolver has the capacity of at least five (or eight if it’s the new hotness from Smith & Wesson). Between us girls, this is something I didn’t really know either. It certainly has made me reconsider going to a J-Frame. I say that as someone who has experience dishing out violence. It was my full-time job for a decade and a half.*I don't get it.

                                                                More @ Guns America

‘Won’t Let Myself Be F****d’: Head Of French Military Resigns Over Macron’s Leadership

Via Billy

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 23, 2017.  REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

Pierre de Villiers, the head of France’s armed forces, resigned Wednesday after a public dispute with President Emmanuel Macron.

De Villiers said he could no longer carry out his duties amid budget cuts under the new administration.

“In the current circumstances I see myself as no longer able to guarantee the robust defense force I believe is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people, today and tomorrow, and to sustain the aims of our country,” de Villiers said, according to France24.

The resignation follows weeks of open criticism over Macron’s leadership and decision to cut the 2017 budget by 850 million euro ($969 million).

Turkey Spills Out Secret Details Of US Troop Locations

Via Billy

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Hamburg, Germany July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Turkey has decided to knock the U.S. via its state news agency by leaking out secret details of U.S. troop locations in northern Syria.

Anadolu news agency published a list of 10 U.S. military installations in northern Syria and even included details about the number of troops in specific areas, which is a shocking move for a NATO ally, The Daily Beast reports.

Two of the bases were already known. Some other locations had previously leaked out through a news agency in Iran, but Turkey compiled all of the information and put it out on blast through Anadolu Tuesday via its English language site.

A spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve asked The Daily Beast not to publish base details from the Anadolu news agency.

Conservatives target Congress, not Trump, after healthcare collapse

Via Billy

Conservatives are lashing out at the Republican-controlled Congress over the lack of progress on President Trump’s agenda.

One by one, conservative groups lined up to blame Congress — not the president — for the collapse of Senate Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

“It’s shocking the amount of pushback he’s getting from his own party,” said Carl Higbie, a former spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC. “It’s time to primary some of these longstanding congressional leaders that can’t get the job done.”

Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt trained his ire on Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), arguably the most endangered GOP Senate incumbent in 2018, for opposing the repeal and replace bill.

More @ The Hill

Trump on states that rejected election commission: 'One has to wonder what they're worried about'

Via Billy

Image result for Trump on states that rejected election commission: 'One has to wonder what they're worried about'

President Trump kicked off the first formal meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on Wednesday by promising to extract voter data from states so far unwilling to provide it to the panel and questioning why those states have chosen to withhold the information.

"If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they're worried about," Trump said before the commission convened its meeting on Wednesday. "There's something, there always is."

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the commission's co-chairman, has faced resistance from more than a dozen states in his efforts to collect data on registered voters for use in the administration's investigation.

"All of that information will be forthcoming," Trump said of the states that have so far rebuffed Kobach's request.

HHS analysis finds Cruz amendment lowers premiums, boosts enrollment

Via Billy

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Ted Cruz plans to unveil to Senators at a White House meeting on Wednesday an analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services showing his healthcare Consumer Freedom amendment would lower costs and raise individual enrollment, including those considered "high risk."

The report comes as President Trump attempts to revive talks on a healthcare bill that has failed to garner the support of 50 GOP senators, in part because they fear any change in Obamacare will reduce coverage and raise premiums.

"One way or another, this amendment is going to lower premiums and make people better off," a source close to Cruz told the Washington Examiner.

 The Congressional Budget Office, which said a previous version of the Senate healthcare bill would leave 22 million fewer Americans with insurance, has yet to release an analysis of the Cruz amendment, and Republicans had said they may rely on an analysis from Trump's HHS instead.


Via Billy

First time I've noticed the tear running down Mammy's face.   Moses Ezekiel was an extraordinary sculpturer. Many links on his at NamSouth

Too many people believe that slavery is a "peculiar institution." That's what Kenneth Stampp called slavery in his book, "Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South." But slavery is by no means peculiar, odd or unusual. It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians and many others. Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade. As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, "The Globalist," "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom."

More @ Townhall

NYT: At This Rate, It Will Take 11 Years to Get all of Trump's Nominees Confirmed

 Image result for crazy schumer

Dozens of President Trump's nominees are waiting for their confirmations to move forward as Democrats embark on "historic obstructionism," according to several Republican lawmakers. Yet, the GOP isn't the only one to have noticed the maddening delays. The New York Times is now reporting on the brand new "delaying tactic" the Democrats are employing to deny Trump his nominees.

Here's how the tedious process is unfolding.

More @ Townhall

Rand Paul: Bring Obamacare Vote to the Floor – Then Let Republicans Go Home and Explain to Why They Voted No

Via Billy

I’m looking at every one of the dozens of votes my “team” cast when President Obama was in office to REPEAL.

Kamala Harris Spends Big With Media Firm That Boosted Bernie Sanders’s National Profile

Via Billy

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) has paid the online media firm that helped propel Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during his dark horse run for the 2016 Democratic primary more than $400,000 this year, filings show.

Revolution Messaging LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based progressive online media firm founded by Scott Goodstein, an online director for Obama for America in 2008, was instrumental in helping push Sanders's message out and raise his profile during his race against Hillary Clinton by creating his digital and branding strategy.

President Trump Reverses Obama’s Anti-Christian Refugee Policy

Via Billy

After declaring that Christians have “been horribly treated” by the refugee program under former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump has reversed the Obama administration’s disgraceful discrimination against Christian refugees.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department refugee data, during the period from January 21, 2017 - President Trump’s first full day in office - through June 30, “9,598 Christian refugees arrived in the U.S., compared with 7,250 Muslim refugees. Christians made up 50% of all refugee arrivals in this period, compared with 38% who are Muslim.”

More @ Front Page

Etta James - Misty Blue