Deval takes the Flag, CNN in action, Iranian Anchor vs American ones, Dems shocked Pols playing to win and Spot the Parody Under the Fedora

Ok who had Deval Patrick in the: Last Black Democrat Standing Pool? That’s the case now that Cory Booker is out. I swear someone needs to find out if anyone with a large combination of vowels in their last name put a large wager to that effect down in either Vegas or London.


Went to lunch with DaWife monday and they had CNN on in the background. You would think the attack on the US embassy in Iraq or the protests in Iran going on right now never took place.


Speaking of the protests in Iran a rather amazing thing took place this week

This is an amazingly brave thing to do as such a public statement risks her life, but what I’d really like to see is such a statement from a member of the MSM.


Am I the only person in the US who isn’t all shocked over the Bernie and Warren playing hardball with each other.

Politics isn’t beanbag and presidential politics even less so. The idea that people are getting the vapors over these two fighting tooth and nail for the nomination make no sense at all to me.

Particularly since neither of them have a prayer of beating Trump anyway.


Finally let’s play “spot the parody” look at the image below

One of these is an actual news story from Newsbusters, one is from the Babylon Bee. A person familiar with the layout style of Newsbusters could likely spot the which is which but if you showed it to somebody who isn’t, would you be willing to bet real money as to which is which?

(FYI I showed it to my wife, she guessed wrong)

Spot the “Maverick” Paul, Lee (but NOT Gabbard)

Over the last week the MSM has developed a great affection for a pair of Republican “Mavericks” Rand Paul (R-KY) & Mike Lee (R-UT).

Both had serious objections and had a very different opinion of the White House briefing on Iran than other senators and those differences of opinion were highlighted & Lionized by the MSM. Mike Lee in particular was highlighted on MSNBC , CNN, NBC News & CBS.

As you might guess the MSM loved it because nothing is more popular than a republican who is willing to publicly hit a republican, particularly if it’s Donald Trump.

Paul’s or Lee’s moves which incidentally are both consistent with their previous positions. Those positions are coincidentally shared by their position on the President’s recent decisions on Iran. However a month ago there was another act of a Maverick that took place, one even more significant than either.

Tulsi Gabbard a Democrat candidate for President, when the vote for impeachment came up, voted “Present” on both articles of impeachment, in defiance of both the house but of the base if the party that she is seeking the nominate.

However you might have noticed that while there were several different words used to describe her, the one which was not employed was “Maverick”.

That’s because during the time of John McCain the word “Maverick” was always given a positive connotation because any person who took the side of the Democrats on a key issue, must be lionized across the press. In fact during the presidential campaign that language was used to describe Lindsey Graham, until of course he started supporting Donald Trump.

However a Democrat refusing to support impeachment, the single cause most dear to the left/media, is, as far as the media is concerned, beyond the pale, and a Democrat candidate for president doing so is even worse and Maverick is now identified as a complement of honor.

To put it simply because of her vote on Impeachment, Tulsi Gabbard couldn’t get herself described as a Maverick by the MSM if she came into congress wearing black broadcloth and wielding a deck of cards

Three Trump Choices to Respond to the Iranian “attack”

Last night twitter was all abuzz about the Iranian attack on our bases. All kinds of reports were flying hither and non but after a short period of time it became clear that what we were seeing was a giant propaganda exercise where Iran launched about 15 missiles with more than 20% of em blowing up on the way and then hit large US bases without managing to harm any Americans.

This not withstanding they put out a bunch of photos from previous events pretending that they were from tonight, and plenty of video and news of a great Iranian victory which our Trump hating media lapped up while loudly proclaiming that if we left them alone from this point on they’d leave us alone.

As can be expected the Iranians are talking big. I rephrased the statement of the Iranian diplomats thus:

Or as Kurt Schlichter put it:

There might be an explanation for this bad bit of aim.

If this is true than despite the breathless (and disgraceful) cheerleading for Iran by the American left and the media this might in fact be an Iranian peace feeler in the sense that they can tell their own people they won a great victory while backing down thus saving face, it doesn’t have to be true (for example Egypt still pretends they beat Israel in 1973) and their own people don’t have to believe it but they can pretend that they do. A very Arabian cultural solution keeping their pride while letting the US know they have backed down.

But regardless the President had three options at this point all of which I’m willing to support.

Option #1 Point and Laugh

Option one is to point out that if this is the best the Iranians can do it’s a giant joke and a sign that they are not a threat. He could even confirm the above possibility I just mentioned pooh pooing Iran’s claims as face saving drivel. He can back up his claim by the ineffectiveness of the Iranian action and say his base warning still stands. A few mega hawks will be disappointed and the left that was so worried about escalation will call him cowardly and of course he loses the change to completely erase the Iranian threat but he would avoid a war he doesn’t want plus in the end all the bluster and propaganda won’t bring General jigsaw back together again.

The bad part about this plan it is doesn’t put a further crimp in Iranian plans and the government could just wait for a Democrat to be elected before they start killing Americans again.

Option 2: Tat Tat Tat for Tit

Because the President promised a disproportionate response to any attack instead of laughing at the Iranians he could take several options that are damaging but not mega lethal. This would be within his MO because he doesn’t seem to want to respond to a non-lethal attack with a lethal one. He could take out several oil rigs, blow up some parked jets or even hit a refinery although that would likely risk civilian lives.

He could even seize an Iranian flagged ship, capture the crew paddle and release them (fun but risky).

All of these things have the advantage of being bigger than the attack, particularly in terms of how it would hurt Iran without being lethal and it would once again put Iran on the spot forcing them to either publicly submit which they really don’t want to do or go to a non asymmetrical war which they want to do even less.

The bad side of course is keeps the risk of a larger war on the table that he doesn’t want and of course it’s a half measure which tends to increase uncertainty. While uncertainly in Iran is to our advantage, uncertainty at home is less so, plus we don’t know how Europe or our enemies will react.

Option 3 52 putdown

This option is to treat this as a full fledged attack and to respond with the promised overwhelming force, destroy their navy, destroy their airforce, destroy their refineries and generally leave the country a wreck.

If the Iranians had managed an actual attack that killed someone this would in fact be the only option on the table.

The advantage of course is to clean up the trash that should have been cleaned up four decades ago and crush the power of the terror state to the point where revolution will almost certainly succeed. Frankly this should have been done in 1979 and if it had been a lot of the problems of the last 40 years would not be. Furthermore the lack of Iranian support would crumble terror networks all over the world and would put a lot of bad guys on notice that from this day on, none of them is safe.

While those a big rewards this option also comes with the biggest risks.

  1. If Iran falls we don’t know what will actually replace it. It could become a Persian Libya.
  2. Such a move would almost certainly cause attacks from any sleepers they have here (which might actually be good in the sense better to root them out when they’re not ready vs letting them plan) and cause some terror attacks in the middle east and possibly Europe.
  3. Russia & China with Iran neutralized will have to find a new proxy to counter us which could get really interesting.
  4. While we don’t need Iranian oil the flow stopping will make Europe more dependent on Russian energy
  5. Once the threat of Iran is gone the incentive for the Arabs who were scared of them to make nice with us and Israel goes with it
  6. It’s the equivalent of blowing up your neighbor’s building for trying to step on your toe and missing.
  7. The MSM will blow out of proportion the small amount of naval & air casualties that such a move would cost.

Biggest risks, biggest rewards


Given what we’ve seen from the deep state I hesitate to give a lot of credit to the Government however I do presume they know more about this than me and from what I’ve seen from Donald Trump I trust him to make the right choice from this list (or a different one that I haven’t thought of) based on what he considers in the best interest for the country given the realities on the ground.

The only think we really know for sure is that whatever the President does the Media will denounce him for it as either a failure, a coward, a warmonger or a butcher under the overriding principle of Orange man bad.

That’s why they can be safely ignored.

Update: Always trust the opinions of an Elder who has experience:

Still, at this time, it looks like Trump let Iran know that they can no longer assume that they can act with impunity in the Middle East, and Iran blinked – hard.

The honor/shame culture is what runs the Middle East. To Muslims in the region, appearances are more important than facts. It appears that at least some people in this much-derided administration understood that and the response was calibrated to allow Iran to maintain its honor.

All the while, in the reality based world, the US has won this skirmish hands-down. Iran’s major architect of terror is gone and Iran is backing down. The US has shown the Iranian leaders that direct conflict would be a very, very foolhardy move.

Again keeping in mind that it is too early to say for sure, but so far it looks like the “experts” and fearmongers have been wrong, and the White House has achieved an unqualified victory that not only hurt Iran because of their loss of Soleimani, but also has forced them to re-think all of their offensive moves in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

No Alamo at San Antonio de Benghazi or Rhineland Sequel

Eight years ago, just before an election our embassy was attacked in Benghazi and i wrote the following post on the subject:

Picture that night for a moment, In the end attackers lost 30-60% of their force but for the sake of argument let’s say only 25% of that was in the first wave. You’re attacking the compound, you’ve been attacking for hours and seen people fall all around you. You’ve been beaten back once and don’t actually know how many men are inside, what do you think would have happened if they heard the sound of a single helicopter gunship? A single plane? a single drone dropping a bomb on the force already bloodied at a rate that would cause most Western countries to declare the mission a disaster?

They would have run.

Instead there was no Helicopter gunship, there was no relieving force, there wasn’t even a single remote control bomb in those seven hours after all there is a fundraiser in Vegas to worry about.

The actions of the Obama administration in general and the President and Secretary of State Clinton in particular were a national disgrace, but fully in keeping with the philosophy that American interests in general and Americans lives in particular are not worth fighting for.

Fast forward seven plus years. Suddenly the Iranians are hitting our compound in Iraq. The media is in a frenzy ready to call this Trump’s Benghazi, celebs who support them are practically giddy with excitement at the prospect of embarrassment to President Trump in an election year

But while the media was looking for a Benghazi sequel, the Iranians were looking for a different sequel, they were looking for a Rhineland sequel.

You don’t know about the Rhineland business in 1936? Well in March of 1936 the Germans under a fellow by the name of Adolph Hitler moved their army into the Rhineland in direct opposition to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it was an aggressive move, a provocative move and a move that was completely dependent on the French not reacting, as one German officer put it:

“I can tell you that for five days and five nights not one of us closed an eye. We knew that if the French marched, we were done. We had no fortifications, and no army to match the French. If the French had even mobilized, we should have been compelled to retire.”

In fact one officer went so far as to suggest that if the French had intervened there in March of 1936 Hitler would have fallen.

By an odd coincidence the Iranians are having trouble at home and things are a tad shaky The Iranians could sure use a win and according to the international press, America is under the control of an incompetent leader who is in danger of being forced from office, so what better time to push the envelope against a paper power run by an incompetent leader unwilling or unable to fight back.

Alas for the Iranians the source of the reports of Donald Trump’s weakness and incompetence are a unreliable and unfortunately for them along with celebs like Ms. Midler and the media whose reports they rely on President Trump isn’t Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton:

and those choppers didn’t come alone, they came with US Marines:

Do you know what happens when you send Apache Helicopters and US Marines to an embassy that Iranians are attacking? One guess:

All members of paramilitary groups and their supporters who have been protesting against US air strikes in Iraq have withdrawn from the perimeter of the US Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, the Iraqi military said.”All protesters have withdrawn, tents dismantled, and other forms of demonstrating that accompanied these protests have ended and the Iraqi security forces have completely secured the embassy perimeter,” it said in a statement.

Or as it was put

And the president weighed in personally:

So instead the Iranians have run, their leaders, like Kim in North Korea are making threats and dismissing the president but actions speak louder than words and right now they know that they aren’t dealing with the pretend version of a president that the MSM has painted for them.

Trump took action and the Iranians are running and the ambassador remains unharmed and the US remains ready to protect our own.

For Iran that’s a disaster, and for the media and Democrats it’s a disaster too.

I’m old enough to remember when wouldn’t be able to say that about the press or Democrats.

Review: The Two Popes

By John Ruberry

“I’m not familiar with this part of the garden,” Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) tells Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) as they enter an area overrun by brush and deadwood in The Two Popes. Benedict then asks the Argentinian, “Which way?”

That garden, at the Vatican’s Palace of Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome, could rightly be called Benedict’s garden, as he was the Pope. Yet Benedict asks the man who ends up as his successor, Bergoglio, who became Pope Francis in 2013, for direction. Oops, I mean directions.

Clearly the scriptwriters and the director of The Two Popes favor the liberal leadership under Francis–the garden scene neatly ties up that sentiment in a bow.

Later, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio decries inequality, repeated images of ugly walls are shown.

The Two Popes is largely fictionalized story centered on the theological divide between the 265th and the 266th pontiffs. After a limited theatrical release, including a showing at the Chicago International Film Festival, which was sold out, preventing Mrs. Marathon Pundit from seeing it, the film debuted Friday on Netflix. The Two Popes is worth seeing, whether you are a Catholic or not, or a believer or not. The Welshmen in the lead roles, Hopkins and Pryce, provide superb performances. Of course Hopkins’ career has been justifiably rewarded, including gaining four Academy Award nominations, and winning the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Amazingly, despite stellar work in such movies as Something Wicked This Way Comes, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Pryce has never been honored with an Academy Award nomination. He deserves it for his performance as Francis, but my guess is that the Academy will overlook Pryce again.

The interplay–and the arguing–is what keeps The Two Popes going.

As for the fiction, there is plenty of it here. There were no long meetings between Benedict and Bergoglio; the catalyst for their movie summit was an offer of resignation from the cardinal, which is harshly rejected as a challenge to Benedict’s authority. The future Pope Francis turned 75 in 2011, it is customary for archbishops to retire at that age. It can be assumed that the pair never discussed the Beatles or their Abbey Road album. And it’s quite likely that Benedict’s favorite television show is not Kommisar Rex, an Austrian detective program where a German shepherd solves crimes. This sidetrack is probably a sly reference to Cardinal Ratzinger’s long term as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican under John Paul II, where he picked up the nickname “God’s Rottweiler.”

There are numerous flashback scenes involving Francis, including his early romance, his call to the priesthood, his muddled legacy from Argentina’s “Dirty War,” his rise, then fall, and his rise again within the Argentine Catholic Church. 

In the garden walk scene, Bergoglio condemns Benedict’s handling of the pedophile crisis within the priesthood, which included confession of the guilty–he calls it “magic words.” Benedict’s retort is harsh and telling, “Magic words, is that how you describe the sacrament?”

The Two Popes gives viewers plenty to think about. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

DaTechGuy Guest Hosts the Joe Mangiacotti Show on WCRN AM 830 Sun 6 AM to 8 AM

For the last two years WQPH 89.3 FM show Your Prayer Intentions has been the only place to find DaTechGuy on DaRadio as we each week take and pray for people’s prayer intentions while playing religious interviews and talking scripture rather than secular politics.

That will change for two hours this Sunday morning as I will be guest hosting the Joe Mangiacotti show (formally Conservatively Speaking) on my old station WCRN AM 830 AM Worcester from 6 AM to 8 AM EST

Normally I would have had to decline Joe’s gracious offer to guest host but thanks to a bad shoulder break (more on that tomorrow) I am out of work as the break heals as I await the options from my doctor on treating the permanent damage to the shoulder.

Thanks to this injury while Joe’s producer Cam will be running things from the Clinton Savings Bank Studios at WCRN I will be broadcasting from the palatial DaTechGuy Studios in Fitchburg Mass. also known as my sickbed.

The topics will be impeachment, Thursday’s Dem debate and what comes next.

If you want to be a part of that conversation you can call in at 1-508-871-7000

Trump impeachment leads my list of recent legendary flops

By John Ruberry

Here’s a list of great flops in recent times. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Here we go.

Trump impeachment.
Battlefield Earth movie.
The XFL. (Yes, a revival is planned.)
Jussie Smollett’s hate crime.
Joe Walsh’s Republican primary challenge against Trump, as well as those of William Weld and Mark Sanford.
New Coke.
Cop Rock TV show.
Watermelon-flavored Oreos.
Heaven’s Gate movie.
Bernie Madoff.
Jar Jar Binks.
The Cleveland Browns firing Bill Belichick.
ESPN becoming woke.
Theresa May’s call for a snap parliamentary election in 2017.
Cheetos lip balm.
Paris Hilton.
The Big Ten conference inviting Rutgers to join.
Anything related to Anna Nicole Smith.
Mars Needs Moms movie.
Manimal TV show.
Jeremy Corbin’s term as head of the Labour Party.
Pontiac Aztek.
The San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles.
Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign, “I was born to be in it.”
Google Glass.
CNN’s decision to become the impeachment network.
Rosie O’Donnell on The View.
Michael Avenatti’s presidential run.
Enron.
Motorola Rokr phone. (I was given one of these by my employer at the time. It was truly a dreadful device.)
Heinz purple ketchup.

Now some of these debacles can also double as hoaxes, such as the “racist assault on Smollett. And of course the impeachment of Trump, which of course is stumbling along despite the lack of evidence that a crime was committed.

Witch-hunter in chief in the House, Adam Schiff, dabbles in screenplay writing. Perhaps a Schiff-scripted movie might make it on a future list.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

They Can’t Hide Stuff Anymore

No theories in these conspiracies

by baldilocks

Good stuff from Sarah Hoyt:

Look, yeah, the first amendment still protects our speech. And yes, I know the first amendment only protects our speech from the government.  But in the year of our Lord 2019 we also know for sure that if you say the wrong thing you could find yourself fired, your reputation destroyed, your family threatened, your career a thing of the past. It’s not exactly by the government — though remember that poor schmo dragged in for the movie The Innocence of Muslims whom no one had watched and which Obama decided to blame for the 9/11/12 [Benghazi] Embassy attack? — but by the Marxist Hydra which encompasses various power structures: the government bureaucracy, the media, entertainment, a lot of rich people and what’s known as the “movers and shakers.”

This btw has happened for a long time, at least in my field, (and in a lot of others). But it was impossible to get word out, and anyone who managed it was disbelieved.

Now, of course we know we’re not alone. We also know the limits to our speech.  And we’re of course told things like “free speech doesn’t cover hate speech” which is what is technically known as bullsh*t, since no one ever needed a right to free speech to say that butterflies are pretty and ice cream tastes delicious.  Or for that matter to echo the things the controllers of media and social media want you to say.

On the Jeffrey Epstein saga:

Back in the early two thousands I heard of Bill Clinton and flights in the Lolita Express leaving out of Mena airport in Arkansas. Dark mutterings of young girls and drug traffic. And all the time, all the time I thought “Right-wing fever swamps. I guess we have nutters too. Because if that were happening, involving someone who later became president, there’s no way it wouldn’t have come out. Everyone would know.”

Well, dear fever swamps, I want to apologize to you. You were right, I was wrong. It turns out the Lolita Express was flying and Bill Clinton was part of the party and no one NO ONE, not one man jack in the main stream media thought this news worthy? NOT ONE. The Omerta held it as silent as they held Obama’s grades or what courses he actually took in college, or how he got to be president of Harvard Law Review without ever publishing a single thing.

Now, how do you expect me to laugh when someone says all leftist politicians are lizard-beings from Ganymede? (…)

[W]e’ve seen things that just ten years ago I’d have thought were insane.

Much more great writing and great ideas at the link.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

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Under The Fedora on Monday “Moderate” Opinion, Why Dems Attack, Selling China Rice, The Church following the rules, and a Pat’s still bring fear

If you want to know why people don’t give “Moderate” Muslims the benefit of the doubt this is why

It wasn’t long ago when such a piece would be too fringe even for the Guardian.


I think this tweet is the single best political justification for the media/left’s actions on Trump that I’ve read

if you are the party out of power looking to regain it the last thing you want is for the people being “the happiest they’ve ever been” when your foes are in charge.


At the Doug Ross Journal (where I found the above tweet) I saw something that jumped out at me.

It turns out this isn’t a new story:

The U.S. can now ship rice to China for the first time ever, signaling a win for President Donald Trump in his efforts to reshape the trade relationship just after talks between the nations broke down Wednesday.
Officials from the nations finalized a protocol to allow for the first-ever American shipments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in a statement. China is the world’s biggest rice consumer, importer and producer.

That’s from 2017 and this is from Feb

While there’s no guarantee, farmers and millers are increasingly optimistic because the Chinese ban has been lifted, a handful of U.S. rice mills have been cleared for export, and China is looking to make the Trump administration happy with commodity purchases.
It was in December that China took a major step toward making that happen, changing its customs regs and officially lifting its ban on U.S. rice. Separately, China has now officially cleared seven of the 34 U.S. rice mills that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has asked China to certify under the country’s sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, U.S. industry and government officials tell Agri-Pulse. The remaining mills are still under Chinese consideration, sources say.

Oddly I don’t remember reading it before. Remember Media Bias isn’t just what gets reported, it’s what gets promoted.


Apparently a judge in Michigan believes it’s discrimination when a catholic priest decides not to enable her in a state of mortal sin to commit further mortal sin.

Judge Sara Smolenski, the chief judge of Michigan’s 63rd District Court, received a call from the priest at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, requesting she not attend communion.
“This is not about me against the priest, and it’s not really me against the church,” Smolenski told CNN. “This feels like selective discrimination. Why choose gay people, and why now?”
Smolenski, 62, said that the Rev. Scott Nolan, the priest at St. Stephen for approximately three years, called her on November 23 and told her, “‘It was good to see you in church on Sunday. Because you and Linda are married in the state of Michigan, I’d like you to respect the church and not come to communion.’”

Actually given the Pope we have the idea of a church actually enforcing the rules of the church might actually be newsworthy.


Finally thanks to my injury I was able to watch the entire Patriots game this weekend and see them one guy keeping his balance on an onside kick away from a shot at yet another miracle comeback.

It’s a testament to what Brady has done in the past that when they managed to score the 2nd of the three scores they needed for a chance that even with under a minute to go and no time outs kicking the ball that you could hear double in the voices of the announcers in a game that should have been over and feel fear in the stadium after Edelman caught that touchdown, but in reality the Texan response was classic Patriot defense by a former Pats defensive coordinator, leave the other team just enough space and just enough time to get close but still lose.