Can someone explain to me why it’s a good thing that the House is doing all it can to get votes for a bill not meant to pass?

I don’t care if as of this writing Tim Tebow is hitting over fifty points higher than Jackie Bradley Jr. I’ll take Bradley in center field turning doubles into flyouts every day of the week.

Johnny Depp and I are the same age and while he did much better than me for most of his life this piece by Robert Stacy McCain linking a Rolling Stone profile convinces me not only that I’ve pulled ahead but that nothing is more dangerous to life and soul than being rich enough to make your wildest fantasies come true.

Jake Tapper’s encounter with Keith Ellison over his association with anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan reminded me of something that Joe Kennedy Sr. once said about his son Bobby Kennedy: “Bobby’s my boy, when he hates you, you stay hated.”

If Jeb Bush had been in the White House instead of Donald Trump with this economy and these results from the Supreme Court Rick Wilson & Bill Kristol would be calling him the greatest president of all time.

When I see tweets like the one below I’m convinced that the New York Times forgets they no long have a monopoly on photographs, video and the means to distribute them.

Iranian protesters chanting “Death to Palestine” is the most significant international story that the mainstream media is ignoring today.

It’s no coincidence that the Democrats started calling Republicans “Nazis” became mainstream once the World War 2 generation Democrats who had experience fighting the real thing had died out.

Reflecting on the week in the Supreme Court culminating in the retirement of Justice Kennedy today, none of these results are possible without the combination of the unlikely victory of Donald Trump on election day and the even less likely act of Mitch McConnell keeping his nerve before it.

Nothing is more healthy for the soul that a week away from the net, the political world or both.

If you want to know what the American dream is, it’s a tiny family owned wing/taco place smaller than my kitchen that had a Mexican flag in its window becoming so popular that the folks running it have to move to a larger location to accommodate the business.

I turned on CNN to hear what they would have to say after the President’s speech on the Iran deal.  They insisted that pulling out of the Iran deal didn’t make us more safe, that it would cause division among the allies and that it would make the world less safe.  It was amazing to watch and see, particular Christiane Amanpour who never seems to see standing up to enemies of America as anything but a disaster.

Let me remind all of those people of something that I tweeted out during their coverage:

A reminder to viewers the same people saying pulling out of the doesn’t make us safer said actions would make war in more likely

It’s worth noting that the President made it a point to answer questions concerning the Secretary of State about to land in North Korea within the hour before leaving. This reminded every single viewer on CNN and MSNBC and every other network that chooses to spin this as a disaster, that these same people were insisting that Donald Trump was going to lead us to nuclear war on the Korean peninsular.

Under Donald Trump America is leading and the narratives of our enemies, the media and the left all seem to be hardest hit and the fact that the media and the left have the same reaction as our enemies to this leadership is not a coincidence.

Update: Boy it didn’t take long for Donald Trump to prove my point did it?


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The CIA has such a lousy record that the country might be better without it.

Let me run through just a few of the examples I know about from years of reporting in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.

My all-time favorite happened in Lebanon.

DaTech3.jpgThe pro-Iranian group Hezbollah identified numerous CIA operatives by staking out a Pizza Hut in Beirut. How did Hezbollah figure out that the CIA was meeting with double agents and informants at Pizza Hut? The CIA decided to use the code word “pizza” when communicating with agents.

The code literally meant to meet at a pizza joint for pizza! Ten agents had their identity revealed, and numerous other informants were discovered—some of whom were executed. The CIA was left essentially blind in Lebanon for several months, having to pull the agents out, because agents were lazy and uncreative with their tradecraft.

No. 2 on my list? Iran.

The CIA had little idea that Islamists were going to overthrow the Shah of Iran in 1979.  The religious elements of Iran were gaining power, but the CIA viewed religion as a challenge and threat from another time. There was no way a religious movement could overthrow a powerful, secular leader backed by Western powers, right? Just six months before the revolution, the CIA bluntly stated: “Iran is not in a revolutionary or even a pre-revolutionary situation.”

Tell that to the friends and family of the hostages held for more than a year in the U.S. embassy in Tehran!

Even we journalists had a pretty good idea that something was about to hit the fan. It’s not often that journalists realize that something important is about to happen!

No. 3: The Soviet Union

The CIA missed the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union two years later. The agency failed to catch Aldrich Ames, an analyst who was an agent for the Soviets. Ames was a drunk and a womanizer who was heavily in debt. When the Soviets offered him $50,000 in exchange for information, he sold out.

For years, the CIA was unable to figure out that Ames was the mole giving away assets. The USSR even planted fake information through another mole to throw the CIA off Ames’ trail.

An estimated 100 people were compromised, including at least 10 Americans.

There are many others. The Bag of Pigs and 9/11 come to mind.

I’m certain there are many fine people in the CIA. But a record like the one I document here should bring some pause about the effectiveness of the agency.

Judson: I’m agan it!

Mack: Agan What? You didn’t hear what Daniel said?

Judson: If Daniel said it I’m agan it!

Daniel Boone Ken-Tuck-E 1964

A few days ago Stacy McCain talked about making common cause with Radical Feminists in the battle against the Transgender cult:

This brings us back to Magdalen Berns, who holds a physics degree from the University of Edinburgh and describes herself as “a critic of religion, capitalism, identity politics, conservatism, neoliberalism and socially imposed gender norms.” She’s no right-winger, in other words, yet she is fighting the same “social justice warrior” (SJW) mentality that was exposed in 2014 by the #GamerGate activists. And what a pugnacious fighter she is! It would seem that SJWs have reached their Stalingrad, so to speak, and radical feminists like Magdalen Berns are the Red Army, ferociously defending the embattled city against the onslaught.

Give me such fighters as allies, I say, and I will not quibble with them over ideological differences, so long as the war continues.

Apparently the MSM has taken the same line when it comes to the Iranian Mullahs and Donald Trump.

Over the last few days protests have erupted in Iran and unlike 2009 when Barack Obama (back in the days when we didn’t know what side he was on in the war on terror). The Trump administration spoke up quickly.

as did the Trump state department:

Now given how the “resistance™” the professional left and the media have been crying about facism for the last year you would think the MSM whose customer base supposedly consists of anti-fascists who hate thoracic anti-gay clerics would be all over the protests, and they, at least the staged pro-government ones

You see it’s all about economics pay no attention to the “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to Rouhani.” and all that. As Ace puts it:

CNN and the New York Times (and the AP, and all the rest) are eager conspirators in Obama’s Echo Chamber, and they will not let our “Partner in Peace,” the rabid terrorist Ayatollahs of Iran, go down without giving their level best to prop them up.

And the Business Pac review is not much kinder:

It is time for journalists to rise above the shopworn fray and take up the mantle of another people’s freedom. There are lives on the line; not merely the corporeal heartbeats that drive these people ever on under brutally oppressive conditions, but the lives that may have been, should they have been afforded the basic human dignity to pursue their own dreams.

While standard bearers of the US media like the Washington Post arrogantly proclaim “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” an affront against the faux-dictatorship of President Trump that smacks even more risible in relief to the Iranian mullahs, here is the front page as of this early afternoon.

Why? Well the answer is very simple. The MSM is so completely invested in the defeat of Donald Trump that if he gives speeches against the evil Mullahs like this

and this

or even this from Mike Pence

It just can’t be allowed to stand. Can you imagine Donald Trump getting credit for the fall of the #1 non superpower enemy of the United States over the last 37 years not to mention the side effects of such a win:

Overseeing the fall of an oppressive, hardline Iranian regime that sponsors terror all around the globe – followed by the rise of a democratic Iran not interested in aggression against its neighbors – would be a foreign policy victory for President Trump, one of the biggest for a president since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

If the Iranian regime is ousted, the move would neuter Hezbollah’s primary source of funding. It would diminish Hamas at a time when the United States rightfully is moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in defiance of the United Nations.

Replacement of the Iranian government could signal that Assad’s days in Syria are finally coming to an end, without powerful bullies to back him up. A new Iranian government would also no doubt give Russia pause about meddling in Middle East affairs – a hesitancy it did not have when the Obama administration gave Russian President Vladimir Putin “flexibility.”

As far as the MSM is concerned Donald Trump is the focus of evil in the world, he simply can’t be allowed a success like this and like Stacy McCain making common cause with radical feminists if the MSM and the left has to throw in with a murderous theocrats terrorists well that’s a small price to pay to obtain allies in such a holy crusade.

Update: Once again Jake Tapper is the exception that proves the rule. I have mixed feelings on that. I’m very pleased that Jake is confirming my high opinion of him, but it would be nice SO nice for the MSM to do the same, just once!

by baldilocks

My old boss, Roger L. Simon, delves into the first issue that came to my mind when I read that the Iranian people were protesting against the mullahs: the last time it happened. That was in 2009.

Back in those pre-9/11 days when I identified as a liberal, the one thing I was sure drew all my then cohort together was opposition to fascism, whether secular or religious.

Boy, was I wrong and never was that more clear than in 2009 when the Green Movement demonstrators were marching through the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, demanding freedom from the mullahs. The whole world was watching, as we used to say in the sixties, only their cause was purer than ours was then. The horrifying theocrats who ran the “Islamic Republic” regularly raped women in prison before they killed them, hanged homosexuals in the streets and tortured just about everyone else who didn’t comply with the edicts of their Islamo-fascist regime.

The students and others marching in the streets to overthrow these tyrants desperately wanted America’s help, specifically the support of our “oh-so-liberal-progressive” president. they shouted, “Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?”

Obama was silent.

I can’t think of a moment I was more disgusted by the acts (inaction actually) of an American president. What did he stand for? What did we stand for?

Well, who knows? What we do know is he wanted to deal with Iran his way — whether to get the glory for himself or for other even less attractive reasons we will never know. He was secretly communicating with Ahmadinejad and Khamenei even before he took office, hinting at accommodation.

“Without preconditions,” as I recall from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website. His way, indeed.

Well, we all know about the former president’s Iran Deal. But what of the latest revelation of the previous administration allowing Hezbollah drug cartels free rein to move snowy mountains into the United States?

Iran, Iran, Iran. Senator Obama, then afterward, President Obama, seem intent on pleasing and appeasing the mullahcracy of that nation at any costs — like a courtship.

It’s almost as if they have some hidden hold over him. Or maybe I’m just a racist.

UPDATE: More evidence of … something … from the Times of Israel. Wow.

US intelligence agencies have given Israel the green light to assassinate the senior Iranian responsible for coordinating military activity on behalf of the Islamic Republic in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida.

For the past 20 years or so, Qassem Soleimani has commanded the Quds Force — the branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards responsible for military and clandestine operations outside of the Islamic Republic.  (…)

Three years ago, Israel came close to assassinating Soleimani near Damascus, al-Jarida quoted unnamed source as saying, but the Americans [meaning President Obama] tipped off the Iranians against the background of intense disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem.

(Thanks to Instapundit)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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Happy Christmas weekend!

I want to write about the Obama administration alleged cover up for Hezbollah in Latin America story, since I’ve been blogging about Hezbollah‘s (Hizballah Hizbollah) inroads in our hemisphere for the last decade. It’s 8:30 in the morning and this post is due at noon, so I’m doing a bit of research while having breakfast, and will remain in pajamas until I’m finished with this post.

A story from the NY Post related to the Obama-Iran deal popped up in my Facebook feed, so I go to the NYPost, and find the op-ed by David Harsanyi, A deafening media silence on the Obama-Hezbollah scandal,

Even when outlets did decide to cover the story, they typically framed it as a he-said/she-said. “Politico Reporter Says Obama Administration ‘Derailed’ Hezbollah Investigation,” reads the NPR headline. Did Josh Meyer of Politico say something about Obama or did he publish a 14,000-word, diligently sourced, document-heavy investigative piece? If you get your news from NPR, you’d never know.

The investigative story Politico published has two on-the-record sources, and myriad well-sourced details.

I have been blogging on Hezbollah and Iran in Latin America for well over ten years. Before I did yesterday’s post at my blog, I printed out and carefully studied Mayer’s long article.

I could not find one thing that contradicted what information I have read on Hezbollah and Iranian presence in Latin America during the past decade. As far as I could see, his information on the drug trade is rock-solid.

More importantly, the revelation that the Obama administration not only threw obstructions in front of investigators but failed to prosecute major players in the enterprise is a Very Big Deal, a bigger deal than Iran-Contra, where

The Reagan administration was forced to admit that it had covertly continued to fund the [Nicaraguan] Contras by means of arms sales to Iran which were themselves illegal and in breach of a trade embargo against that country.

Indeed, with billions of drug trade money funding terrorists, and tens of thousands of lives ruined, The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook makes Iran-Contra look like pikers.

But, as Harsanyi puts it,

The preponderance of editors, journalists, pundits and bookers, on the other hand, still coddle Democrats. They may do it on purpose or unconsciously, but it’s destroying their credibility. Because as David Burge once noted, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

On the other hand,
I am elated that Meyer’s thoroughly researched piece came out. He deserves accolades for this.

Little bloggers like myself come across information – such as Hezbollah’s inroads in our hemisphere – that makes us wonder why none of the big fish ever write about. It really is a big deal when one does.

Will the story, having come out during the holiday season, continue to be ignored?
That remains to be seen. It may be up to alternative media to keep it in the limelight, but, no matter what, The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook warrants a most rigorous congressional investigation.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

This week that well-known right wing outfit Politico told us the tale of Project Cassandra an operation concerning Hezbollah drug running

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

This was nipped in the bud by the Obama Administration, no Hezbollah’s cocaine shipments or the money laundering but the DEA’s attempt to stop it

“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said David Asher, who helped establish and oversee Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

Of course MSM’s disinclination to report on this story despite it coming from one of their normally favorite sources is generating some outrage:

My own outrage is of a different sort.

For years we have been hearing about the plight of Black America in the inner cities (almost exclusively controlled by Democrats for decades). While the left tries to blame the NRA or gun manufacturers the actual problem comes down to the drug trade.

You have dealers targeting youths for addiction, you get crime generated to pay for these drug habits, then gangs recruiting youth for membership in the drug trade as a quick way out, finally you get ongoing wars over the control of that trade costing the lives of not only young black men involved in the trade but innocents who get caught in the crossfire terrorizing entire neighborhoods.

Put simply if you enable the Drug Trade you enable Terrorism against the inner City Black Community.

And this is what outrages me.

The Black Community stood behind Barack Obama and his administration tooth and nail. They ignored the bad economy, the failed policies, the rise of ISIS terror and furthermore in 2012 they turned out and saved him from defeat against a much more competent adversary.

Barack Obama didn’t just betray America by enabling international terrorists in order to allow himself to fund one of the World’s primary backers of said terror, but he did so knowing that the Hezbollah drug trade terrorized black neighborhoods, black families and particularly young black men, betraying those who had been his most loyal supporters.

Those black lives destroyed by the drug trade didn’t matter to Barack Obama or his administration as much as funding Iran did. That’s an uncomfortable truth that many who voted Obama will silently endure rather than admit how badly they have been played.

That’s the real outrage of the Hezbollah Iran Obama Drug story.

Update: Compare and Contrast

The Trump administration is pushing back aggressively against what the intelligence community often refers to as the “Iran Threat Network” or ITN, and as part of that campaign it is especially keen to focus on the activities of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, in Latin America.

To my shock this story is again from Politico.

Update 2: Instalanche, thanks Steven, Hi folks take a peek around.

If you live in the New England Area, are free on January 20th and like good speakers and all you can eat Chinese food then Join me and the Worcester Tea Party us at Tang Dynasty Restaurant Rte 12 Leominster Mass for our event President Trump A Year in Review and Looking Ahead featuring a panel including: Mike LaChance Contributer to Legal Insurrection blog and editor of AmericanLookout.com Chip Faulkner: Of Citizens for Limited Taxation & Host of the Friday Morning Group, Christopher Maider: Longtime Host of the Meat and Potatoes Radio show , Dianna Ploss: President of the Boston Chapter of Act for America

And of course me DaTechGuy as the moderator.

Tickers are $20 and include an all you can eat Chinese buffet. You can get them here.

Hope to see you there.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list?

Jerusalem Capital of Israel Trump

Sir Humphrey Well I’m sure it’s a question of us maintaining our relationship the Arabs.  The power of Islam.  [lowering his tone]  Oil Supplies.

PM James Hacker:  Humphrey I’m talking about what’s right and wrong.

Sir Humphrey:  Well don’t let the foreign office hear you.

Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986

Don Corleone: And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

The Godfather 1972

One might think Donald Trump’s propensity to keep promises that he made to the voters who he considers his customers, enough of a reason for his decision to finally recognize the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel when all of his predecessors failed to do so.  But even ignoring that character trait of Trumps to see things as they are there are two factors that make this the most opportune time for the US to make this move.

Fracking

Since the 1970’s the Arab nations have held their control over oil prices over our head as a club to restrain us from serious opposition.  Their ability to increase energy prices and hurt the US economy has been a factor for presidents from Nixon to Clinton to consider.  Only a massive attack like 9/11 was enough to override those considerations and act.

However the Fracking booms has changed the equation.

With the US now able to supply it’s oil need to the point that we are a net exporter combined the ability of US Frackers who have become more and more efficient, to add to production if prices start to increase suddenly trumps any attempt by Arab nations to push us around on the basis of oil, and that’s not even considering Trump’s actions to enable pipelines and drilling within the country.

Put simply the Arabs ability to mess with our energy supply is now a thing of the past and without the Obama administration trying to regulate Fracking away it’s unlike to return in our lifetimes.

Iran:  

Fracking takes away the ability of the Arabs to muscle us but the rise of Iran and the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program (ironically aided by the Obama administration)  has suddenly given states like Saudi Arabia , Jordan and others completely dependent on the US (and Israel) to keep Iran in check.

As none of them are willing or even able to hold off Iran on their own the US and Israel can name their price for that protection.

So while Palestinians will the Jerusalem decision as a justification to commit terrorism and murder Jews (as opposed to all the other reasons they have used for such terror for years) the reality those same Arab nations, while giving lip service to these Palestinian moves will quietly refrain from any concrete or meaningful action because they know that American and Israeli power is the only thing keeping them from becoming vassal states of Iran.

And with countries from both Africa and Europe already following suit the genie is out of the bottle for good.

And that doesn’t even count the possibility that Trump might be willing to cut the purse strings that keep the corrupt Palestinian authority in power.  Or his willingness to call Arab empty threats and bluffs.

Trump understand negotiating from strength and while he has that strength and leverage he’s going to use it.

That’s what a leader does.

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It’s unlikely that President Trump will certify that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor, which means Congress will be able to impose new sanctions on the Islamic state. Iran has now threatened to attack any American bases within a 2,000 km range if we impose these sanctions. These shouldn’t be viewed as idle threats.

This is a deal that never should have happened and the President would be wise to do what he can to end it. However, we cannot go into this thinking there will be no consequences. Instead, we should prepare for the inevitability that Iran will strike U.S. forces, bases, ships, and allies. They’ve been itching for a good fight for a while and supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria hasn’t quenched their thirst for blood.

Unlike North Korea, which is run by a narcissistic madman, Iran is pragmatic. That should worry us all because it actually behooves them to draw America into an isolated conflict. They have diplomatic support from nearly all of our allies other than Israel and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, they have military support from Russia and possibly China and North Korea. This is not a situation like Iraq where we’ll be able to send in some coalition forces and have troops surrendering to journalists. This is a dedicated and passionate group of Shiite Muslims who worship their leaders. They’re also adept at cyberterrorism and possess and shockingly advanced military.

According to Streiff at RedState:

Given the Iranian direct and indirect provocations in the Persian Gulf and along the deconfliction line separating US supported Syrian rebels from pro-Assad forces, it is very likely that Iran will try retaliation of some type to see what it can get away with.

Not since the Cold War has America been targeted by those who can actually harm us and our allies. We already have one dangerous enemy that wants to strike us in North Korea. Add Iran to that mix and we need to be cognizant of the risks. We shouldn’t fear them and provoking them seems unavoidable in light of the actions of the previous President, but we shouldn’t dismiss them as harmless. They’re not.

by baldilocks

Was Bush right? It depends, of course, on what the topic is.

Zero Hedge points to Statista and YouGov polls containing the following information:

Americans have consistently identified ISIS as the biggest threat to their nation across multiple polls. Traditional foes, such as the countries making up George W. Bush’s infamous “Axis Of Evil”, have been pushed into the background by the rise of non-state actors like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. In recent years however, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that the threat presented by some of America’s traditional enemies has started to manifest itself once again. Russia’s annexation of Crimea came as a reality check to the Obama administration while as recently as last Saturday, North Korea conducted a ballistic missile test.

YouGov conducted a poll to find out which countries Americans perceive as their nation’s biggest enemies. North Korea has continued to make headlines even after that missile launch with news emerging earlier this week that Kim-Jong-un’s half brother was allegedly poisoned in an airport in Malaysia. Both incidents have illustrated the unpredictability of the nuclear-armed regime in Pyongyang and it comes as little surprise that 57 percent of Americans consider North Korea their enemy.

Recall that George W. Bush named Iraq, North Korea and Iran as the Axis of Evil. In spite of the big headlines that feature Russia as the biggest Bad Guy, the Russians come in sixth on chart–which, of course, does not mean that they aren’t a bigger threat than is perceived by the polled. (Aside: while reading all the reportage about Russia today, I briefly felt 25 years-old again, but my hair color is telling a different story.)

Iran came in second. Syria and Iraq came in third and fourth, respectively–ISIS; and Afghanistan is fifth.

Does the American public have a better handle on who America’s enemies are than their leaders do, both of the recent past and the present? Time will tell. But I think that these polls may show one thing: that Mainstream Media propaganda isn’t as effective as it may seem to those of us who lament its existence. That’s cause for hope.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks