The Iran War Powers Act, and what it (doesn’t) mean

Qasem Soleimani, Commander of Quds Forces during National AGIR commanders conference, from Wikipedia

There is much to-do about President Trump’s veto (that was not overridden) of the Iran war powers resolution. On its face, a bill that says President Trump can’t just declare war on Iran seems to be a good thing, given the crazy number of places we have committed our Armed Forces to so far. I was curious what the bill actually said, so I did a bit of digging. At first, it was difficult to get the right bill because there have been multiple bills introduced by various members trying to restrict war with Iran. The one that was recently vetoed was S.J. Res. 68. You can read the PDF version here.

It’s a pretty short bill, so let’s dive into it! We’ll skip the fancy header stuff and get into the meat of it:

Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Congress has the sole power to declare war under article I,
section 8, clause 11 of the United States Constitution.

Well, no issue there. In case you only read the amendments to the Constitution, this is squarely in Article I.

(2) The President has a constitutional responsibility to take actions to defend the United States, its territories, possessions, citizens, service members, and diplomats from attack.

Sounds about right.

(3) Congress has not yet declared war upon, nor enacted a specific statutory authorization for use of military force against, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) do not serve as a specific statutory authorization for the use of force against Iran.

Sure… but how does this apply if you’re a terrorist funded by Iran? Iran is running a proxy war against the United States, and the U.S. has responded in kind. Both nations are fighting each other in the shadows, but hesitating to attack each other directly, although there have been the occasional assassination attempt. Essentially, this says you can’t use these two pieces of legislation to justify war with Iran.

(4) The conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran constitutes, within the meaning of section 4(a) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1543(a)), either hostilities or a situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances into which United States Armed Forces have been introduced.

That is correct, see the USC text here. Then again, you could say this applies every time we conduct a Freedom of Navigation transit. It’s pretty vague. A U.S. Carrier Strike Group would be always “equipped for combat,” so anytime it goes anywhere its meeting this criteria.

(5) Members of the United States Armed Forces and intelligence community, and all those involved in the planning of the January 2, 2020, strike on Qasem Soleimani, including President Donald J. Trump, should be commended for their efforts in a successful mission.

Yay, I guess? Did they just give a shout-out to the President? Who snuck that in?

Even Democrats give me credit!

(6) Section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(c)) states that “at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs”.

True, but missing a section. The previous portion, 5(b), allows the President to essentially deploy the military for up to 60 days before he has to remove them. Kind of important. Should read the whole text, available here.

(7) More than 100 members of the United States Armed Forces sustained traumatic brain injuries in the Iranian retaliatory attack on the Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq despite initial reports that no casualties were sustained in the attack.

And initial reports are normally wrong, so the point here is what? Iran shot a bunch of missiles at us and nobody died? Some people get a Purple Heart and a VA disability bump? Sure, its just a statement of fact, but to what end?

I’m not downplaying the damage here, it sucks that people got injured. My bigger point is that it doesn’t matter to this bill in the slightest.

(8) Section 8(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1547(c)) defines the introduction of the United States Armed Forces to include “the assignment of members of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged in, hostilities”.

100% true.

(9) The United States Armed Forces have been introduced into hostilities, as defined by the War Powers Resolution, against Iran.

Introduced? Against Iran? Here’s where you can lawyer-away. The troops were in IRAQ. They were attacked in IRAQ. President Trump authorized a strike on General Soleimani in IRAQ. Not Iranian soil, Iraqi soil. He even notified the Iraqis. The troops in Iraq are in no way sufficient to invade Iran. We’re not even shooting across the border…General Soleimani was killed in Baghdad, which is over 200 km from the Iranian border.

Maybe I’m wrong, but this simply sentence seems like its reaching a bit. Troops that were already there (not introduced) and are helping Iraq (not fighting Iran) are somehow now engaged in hostilities against Iran? Please, if a lawyer wants to drop a comment to explain this, I’m all ears. I just don’t see it.

(10) The question of whether United States forces should be engaged in hostilities against Iran should be answered following a full briefing to Congress and the American public of the issues at stake, a public debate in Congress, and a congressional vote as contemplated by the Constitution.

Sure, couldn’t agree more. Congress hasn’t lost the ability to declare war or turn off the military funding tap, neither of which it has decided to do. And, to be fair, President Trump hasn’t put military forces in Iran, nor is he massing troops on the border to do so.

(11) Section 1013 of the Department of State Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1984 and 1985 (50 U.S.C. 1546a) provides that any joint resolution or bill to require the removal of United States Armed Forces engaged in hostilities without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization shall be considered in accordance with the expedited procedures of section 601(b) of the International Security and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

Yup, but again, the soldiers involved were all already in IRAQ, and there to help the Iraqi Army.

SEC. 2. TERMINATION OF THE USE OF UNITED STATES FORCES FOR HOSTILITIES AGAINST THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN.

(a) Termination.–Pursuant to section 1013 of the Department of State Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1984 and 1985 (50 U.S.C. 1546a),
and in accordance with the provisions of section 601(b) of the
International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976,
Congress hereby directs the President to terminate the use of United
States Armed Forces for hostilities against the Islamic Republic of
Iran or any part of its government or military, unless explicitly
authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of
military force against Iran.

OK. So, pray tell, what hostilities? Did we shoot missiles into Iran? Did we invade some piece of Iranian territory? I’d like to know.

(b) Rule of Construction.–Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the United States from defending itself from
imminent attack.

Well that’s good to know!

So I’m not seeing the big deal with this bill, besides that its a bunch of grandstanding. It’s a lot of fluff and it’s accusing the President of conducting operations against Iran, without saying WHAT operations he’s engaging in. It also is attempting to link soldiers that are already in IRAQ as somehow having something to do with IRAN. I get it, the countries are only one letter apart…but seriously.

How this piece of legislation feels

I’ve had a few people quote President Trump’s tweets about “raining fire down on Iran” if they attack our Navy vessels. OK, I’ll bite. For starters, imminent attack and self defense are still protected, so President Trump threatening to use them is a giant nothing-burger. Did he threaten to invade Qeshm Island? If so, I’d be all onboard saying that’s a really bad idea without a war declaration.

That’s not what is happening. Essentially, we have a President that is totally fine making bombastic claims when another country threatens him. It’s his personal style and likely part of his negotiating strategy. We can argue about whether this is effective, and I think there is plenty of room for debate on that. I personally think it isn’t always the best strategy to use with our allies, for example. I’m not the President, so I don’t get to make those choices, and for people that really don’t like that style, there is the voting box come November.

To accuse President Trump of engaging in hostile acts directly against Iran, but then not being able to name them, and trying to disguise it as an attempt to reign in a President that is trampling on Congressional rights is nothing more than stupid grand standing. We continue to be promised World War III with President Trump, and it continues to not happen.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Don’t Think We Ain’t Keepin’ Score

Prince of the Blessed Side-Eye Memory

Somebody has to

by baldilocks

This is pretty much a continuation of my last post on the fear-mongering goals of Big Media.

ABC

The Pentagon says a supposed intelligence report cited by ABC News on an emerging COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t exist.

ABC said the report was issued in November by the National Center for Medical Intelligence, an arm of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). It supposedly warned of a pandemic of what would be later named COVID-19.

Relying on sources who said they saw the report, ABC News said the warning was briefed “multiple times” to the DIA, the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Trump White House. (…)

Col. R. Shane Day, a physician who heads the medical intelligence unit, issued a flat denial.

“As a matter of practice, the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters,” Col. Day said. “However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.”

CBS

CBS News said an “an editing mistake” led to the network airing footage of an Italian hospital during a segment on New York’s coronavirus crisis in a statement to the Daily Caller on Monday.

“CBS This Morning” discussed Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allegation that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) only gave the state 400 ventilators when they needed 30,000 on March 25. The network aired footage of a crowded Italian hospital room that was reported by Sky News on March 22 during a segment on hospitals in the country.

CNN


There are dozen — hundreds — of examples which long precede the headline dominance of the Wuhan Plague. But ADD is much a more virulent virus, if not as deadly. Usually.

Many of you are still oblivious to this pattern, but now you have a lot more time to pay attention. Seize that time.

Just trying to assist you for the next Big Media “mistake.”

Happy Passover and Happy Resurrection Day!

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.

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For lack of all things, the Navy

From military.com

I wrote about the CAPT Crozier/SECNAV Modly affair last week, and couldn’t have been more wrong. I was disgusted to get information from others that pointed to a lack of a plan and a lack of care by many in the chain of command for the well being of the Sailors aboard THEODORE ROOSEVELT. What should have been a good news story of the Navy tackling the COVID-19 virus turned into a complete shit show, resulting in Acting SECNAV Modly resigning, a lot of hurt feelings on all sides, and a huge loss in confidence in senior Navy leadership. The only good thing we got out of it was no more “Vector” emails. Despite tons of good news stories for the Navy right now, especially the USNS COMFORT and USNS MERCY, the Navy headlines will be more bad than good.

So yes, I got it wrong. I was fooled by a good media performance early on, then watched everything descend into chaos. I do hope, if CAPT Crozier is found innocent, they put him back in charge.

Going forward, our Navy is in trouble in terms of leadership. To start with the situation, we have a Navy too small for what we ask of it. We’ve killed the Navy’s one saving point, mobility, by demanding presence per a Global Force Management schedule that doesn’t take ship maintenance into account. Yet we pay an astronomical amount of money for the Navy we have, mainly because our shipyards can’t produce a ship on budget or on time. Worse still, while the Army and Air Force had free reign of Overseas Contingency money, and a chance to recapitalize hardware, Navy still has old ships that are increasing in maintenance cost.

We need a strong SECNAV to get the Navy bureaucracy back on track, and yet to Congress, the Navy is somewhere on the bottom tier right now. Nobody cares enough to approve the President’s SECNAV choice, or to suggest someone else. Nobody cares enough to either build more ships or demand we scale back our overseas commitments. So this puts us lacking equipment and leadership.

But soon it’ll be worse, because we’ll be lacking people. When we put the Blended Retirement System in place, it was to make the system more “fair,” which for Congress means “cost less money.” The negative effect is that we’ll need more recruiting more often, because more people will leave earlier. Since it started in 2018, you’ll start seeing drastic changes in 2023 as Sailors that entered in 2018 leave in greater-than-anticipated numbers. For officers, who already have large incentives to leave after their 5 year initial contract, we’ll either have to throw huge bonuses at them to stay or live with gaps, keeping in mind in many cases, we’re already maxing out bonuses in many cases. If you’re an O-3 in 2023, would you stay in a Navy full of old ships, a declining retirement system and leaders that set poor standards, or would you jump ship for a civilian job?

The Navy’s approaching a crisis point. We’ll soon be lacking in equipment, leadership and people. Without some drastic rudder, the Navy will struggle to weather the upcoming storms.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

They Tell No Tales

Not suspicious at all

by baldilocks

A mystery has taken hold of me.

Phil Haney was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security – an agency that investigated him nine times and found nothing untoward. And this very same agency scrubbed its own records that Haney had been using to investigate Islamist terror networks in the United States.

Vaguely, I remember his name from my early days of blogging. He’s back in the news again; unfortunately for being dead.

From Carmine Sabia:

A man who had already exposed President Obama once and was about to do it again has been found shot to death in California.

Police originally labeled the death a suicide but now say that the initial reports were “misinformation” and the case is still open.

Haney blew the whistle on the Obama Administration for, he said, asking him to scrub the records of potential radical Islamists that the Department of Homeland Security was investigating prior to Obama’s election.

Last Friday he was found dead in his car less than three miles from his home from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The initial reported said Haney “appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound” and “a firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle,” Fox News reported.

A new press release from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office now says that the death was not a suicide and that the investigation is “active and ongoing.”

“On February 22, 2020 the Amador County Sheriff’s Office released initial details regarding Philip Haney being found deceased in our jurisdiction. Mr. Haney was located in a park and ride open area immediately adjacent to State Highway 16 near State Highway 124. Highway 16 is a busy state highway and used as a main travel route to and from Sacramento. The location is less than 3 miles from where he was living.

According to other reports I’ve read, Haney was a committed, active Christian. A widower, he was planning to remarry this year. Not exactly a prime candidate for suicide; I guess that’s why that angle was dropped.

I’m reading his book See Something, Say Nothing, published in 2016. It is an indictment of the Obama Administration as lackeys of global jihad and I’m look forward to reading about the San Bernardino and Orlando Islamist attacks, which could have been prevented, according to Haney.

Seems that a lot of highly placed people might benefit greatly by sending Mr. Haney into the next world.

I’m also planning to read Haney’s essay Green Tide Rising; suffice it to say that it’s not about climate change.

I’m a nobody, so it should be easy to explore this without becoming dead myself. But we’ll see.

By the way, I’m “reading” the book via Audible. It seems that dead-tree versions of it are unavailable — at least on Amazon.

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.

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House Democrats are Trying to Californicate the Country

Cassandras and Dead Canaries. You figure it out.

by baldilocks

As I indicated here, I had been lazy about the leftward descent of California and it took the outrage of California Assembly Bill 5 to get me up off my duff, so to speak.

It began yesterday when I attended a rally in West LA to repeal the bill. It was sparsely attended but the two hours went by very quickly due to several eloquent, fiery and informative speakers like Kira Davis and freelance writer and novelist Kirsten Mortenson. Kira says that the rally had only been planned a few days before it happened.

And, in addition to advising us to contact Gavin Newsom’s office, along with our state senators and assembly critters, one of the speakers provided us with some hair-raising information, which Kira talked about a week ago at Red State:

By now you’ve probably heard at least a little something about California’s shocking new “freelancer” bill that went into effect January 1, 2020. Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) is sweeping and vague but basically it redefines the relationship between employers and employees, effectively ending independent contract work and killing the “gig economy”.  The bill – sponsored by a defiant Lorena Gonzalez (D-80) – was aimed at getting to Uber and Lyft, essentially forcing them to unionize. It is no accident well over 35% of Gonzalez’ (reported) campaign donations come from California unions. With a Democrat supermajority in Sacramento and a feckless state GOP, there was almost no opposition. The bill sailed through and against the hopes of independent workers across the state Governor Newsom signed it into law. (…)

Independent contractors across the nation could soon be suffering the same fate as their California counterparts. A federal version has passed through committee and now sits in the House of Representatives waiting for a floor vote. This is not a drill. This is real. (…)

Somewhere between September of 2019 and December of 2019 someone added an amendment to [H.R. 2474] that was a simple copy and paste of California’s AB5. In fact, it is so awkwardly jammed into the text that it can be nothing other than a literal copy and paste.

We should have known that the U.S. House of Representatives wasn’t just playing Impeachment Inquiry Games during the time in question.

Interesting thing about the rally: there were several entertainment freelancers there who I am almost certain are not conservatives and are definitely not fans of the president.

Did that matter? Of course not. And if there’s anything that can bring left, right and middle together, it’s politicians overreaching directly into pockets. But they are doing more than that.

They aim to hinder free and lawful capitalism. Think about what that will do for the economy should H.R. 2474 see daylight.

Kira:

SURPRISE!

A letter from sponsoring Democrats has already been signed and is sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk right now. The date? January 9, 2020. This bill is on your doorstep and no one has said a word. [JAO: See letter at link above.]

If they can cripple the Trump economy, they will do so by any means necessary and as fast as they can.

People from other states heap a lot of scorn on us California conservatives for what we let happen to our state over the decades. But this – and Virginia, and, no doubt, countless other forms of tyranny are happening in your state and our country while you laugh at us.

You better wake up and smell the tyranny. We here in California will fight our version of it; yes, belatedly. But what good will our push-back do if the whole flocking country is AB5’d?

Yeah, the U.S Senate will probably kick it down, but the question remains …

What are your sweet and pristine state legislators up to?

If I were you, I’d find out. Don’t wait around like we did.

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.

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America’s Greatest Enemy is Not a Physical One

But I repeat myself

by baldilocks

David Solway

Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left. Intellectually speaking, I had thought I was pole-vaulting; instead, I was doing the limbo. Almost every statement I’d read about American treachery, Israeli apartheid, the “religion of peace,” feminist grievance, global warming, right-wing extremism, the ironhanded Patriarchy, oppression of minorities, and the rest was an outright lie and functioned as aspects of what Quentin Skinner in From Humanism to Hobbes called “the potentially ruinous impact of rhetorical redescription,” that is, reframing something that is not the case as emphatically and undeniably the case. (…)

I finally began to understand that what I’d taken for history was nothing but ideology and what I’d thought was truth was an order-of-magnitude lie. And that my political and cultural preceptors were, to a man and a woman, professional liars.

Everything I’ve learned since I began paying attention has only served to confirm my conviction that we are living in unique times, an era in which lies come so thick and fast it seems like one is dodging bullets. It makes no difference where we turn, the lie is there. And we have credulously absorbed it as indisputable fact.

We Christians are familiar—some only passingly familiar–with Jesus’ assertion that the Devil is the Father of Lies. That is, he is the progenitor of everything that is false. Let’s stipulate that and go further: he is the architect and builder of Lies.

God is building His kingdom, and so the Adversary is building his.

This adversary does deal in simple falsehoods, but those aren’t his most lethal weapons. He is an imitator of his enemy, God, and therefore, his deceptions are high, wide, deep, broad, complex — and, long-term.

These types of deceptions are four-dimensional at the very least; they are his weapons of mass destruction.

I’ve pointed this out before.

Solway again.

Nearly all the political news we get is Fake News, disseminated by a media conglomerate that constitutes the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party in the U.S. and the Liberal Party in my own country. The media are proof positive that the political and cultural left has completed its long march through the institutions.

I kept reading to see if Solway came to the same conclusion that I did.

Pay-dirt:

We need to recognize that these “kings” have built a world of lies so massive and infusorial that we have been unwittingly conscripted into its dominion. We must somehow expose this bogus world and return to the real one, we must be wakeful rather than woke, though I’m afraid the struggle may now be Sisyphean. (…)

As M. Scott Peck reminds us in People of the Lie, “the only power that Satan has is through human belief in its [Satan’s] lies,” a belief consistent with lack of empathy, the failure of introspection and the inability to distrust oneself. This leads to the further question of whether evil lives in the human spirit or is a factor in the objective world. As Peck remarks, “Perhaps it will forever be impossible to totally discern exactly where the human Shadow leaves off and the Prince of Darkness begins.”

You’ll want to read Solway’s entire essay … and the late M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie.

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.

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My Offer to the Outraged Senator Duckworth

Senator Tammy Duckworth took exception at the house Rep Jones statement declaring that the Democrats were “in love with terrorists” over their actions this week concerning Iran.

Duckworth loudly declared that she left parts of her body in Iraq fighting against terrorists, and this is in fact very true but not in my opinion much of an argument to anyone who knows history. Consider Benedict Arnold. He took Ticonderoga providing the cannon for the fall of Boston, led the attack on Quebec, commanded the fleet at Valcour Island that delayed the British advance by a year which led to victory at Saratoga where he took a ball in the leg took a nasty wound that left him gimpy (in fact there is a monument to that leg on the battlefield).

As a person who honors her service I concede that one can be wrong on Iran without being on the other side (see Mike Lee, Tulsi Gabbard & Rand Paul) which means voting one way doesn’t mean you’re a fan of Iran. However my training was in engineering which is data driven so having made that concession I’ll make a deal with the Honorable Senator Duckworth.

I’ll stop saying that Democrats aren’t anti-war but just on the other side when their voters , media and members of congress…

  • stop cheering when enemies attack our embassy hoping it becomes’s Trump’s Benghazi
  • Stop lionizing terrorists who have spent years killing Americans
  • Stop having American Hostage takers on the air to hit us unchallenged
  • Stop tweeting out the Iranian flag while they’re shooting missiles at our bases
  • Stop blaming America for the deaths on planes that Iranians shoot down in panic

In other words I’ll stop saying Democrats aren’t any war just on the other side when they stop acting like it is the case.

Oh and Senator when you are at least as outraged over these things as you are over the congressman’s statement call me. Until then you’ll pardon me if, your meritorious service not withstanding, I don’t take your current outrage seriously.

Inconvenient Guests, attacks, voters, numbers and signs under the fedora.

Saw a tweet by old friend Erick Erickson that jumped out at me

Nothing is more inconvenient for leftists on television that a person who critiques Donald Trump regularly but still intends to vote for him.


A close second are regular attacks on jews in NY by Blacks who do not support Donald Trump in any way shape or form

The fact that black people are responsible for this “dramatic increase” cannot be denied, but as Ace of Spades points out, the media keep trying to blame Trump for these crimes committed in Democrat-controlled cities by people who certainly don’t seem like MAGA-hat types.

Consider this “argument” by Jay Michaelson at The Daily Beast:

“New York is reeling from a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and speaking as a Jewish parent who lives in Brooklyn, I can tell you that it’s terrifying.
It is also confusing. The vast majority of anti-Semitic attacks in this country are carried out by right-wing white supremacists. But most of the recent New York-area attacks have been carried out by people of color expressing very different grievances, or none at all. So is this the same phenomenon, or a different one? Hate, yes, but what kind of hate?
The answer is not simple. The recent street violence and acts of terror are based, in part, on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories similar to those on the Right. And yet, it is dangerous and misleading to see this as the same phenomenon, because the social contexts, the dynamics of race, and the relationships to power are all quite different. . . .

See? Michaelson is a liberal, and therefore “the dynamics of race” must be considered, as if a machete-wielding black psycho in New York deserves sympathy in a way that, say, Dylan Roof does not. In fact, he claims, “it is dangerous and misleading” not to employ a double standard:

Perhaps the left will shortly argue that these attackers while black opponents of Donald Trump define themselves as White Supremacists? That argument is a lot more convenient that dealing the with reality on the ground.


A while back I wrote about the anti-anti’s who tended to side against America’s enemies because they hated the anti-communists more than they hated communists. Victor Davis Hanson has found an inconvenient version of this meme just in time for election 2020:

Many who voted for Trump were quite aware that Trump’s rhetoric often bothered them. They now weigh that discomfort against his achievements and the shrill Democratic alternative — and find the latter far scarier. Few on the left ever contemplate the effect on the general public of the 24/7, 360-degree pure hatred of Trump on network and cable news, public TV and radio, and late-night TV talk shows, as well as print media. The silent disdain many people have for the progressive media nexus is especially potent when the haters so often fit a stereotypical profile in the public mind: counterfeit elite as defined by education, zip codes, careers, or supposed cultural influence; smug in their parrot-like group-speak and accustomed to deference.

This paradox was brought home to me not long ago when I asked an unlikely Trump minority supporter why in the world he would vote against his family’s and community’s political heritage. He answered at once, with simply, “I hate the people who hate him.”

Translated, I think that means we often are missing a cultural element to Trump Agonistes, exacerbated by the latest toxic impeachment episode.

That’s got to be very inconvenient for the left come November.


Speaking of inconvenient facts for the media there are few things more inconvenient to the media’s narrative than this one.

13 hours vs 13 minutes, talk about an inconvenient number.


Finally one of the problems with making predictions and decisions about the future based on iffy data is that when they don’t come true you might be left with some inconvenient signs:

The centerpiece of the visitor center at St. Mary near the east boundary is a large three-dimensional diorama showing lights going out as the glaciers disappear. Visitors press a button to see the diorama lit up like a Christmas tree in 1850, then showing fewer and fewer lights until the diorama goes completely dark. As recently as September 2018 the diorama displayed a sign saying GNP’s glaciers were expected to disappear completely by 2020.

But at some point during this past winter (as the visitor center was closed to the public), workers replaced the diorama’s ‘gone by 2020’ engraving with a new sign indicating the glaciers will disappear in “future generations.”

As Rush Limbaugh taught Al Gore with his Goremageddon clock you don’t make predictions about the future within a time span when they can be proven false because it might turn out to be a tad inconvenient.

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.

Pelosi Plays Her Role

Who will gavel who?

Nancy Pelosi during less stressful times — at least for her.

by baldilocks

Finger pointed forever.

“He just got impeached. He’ll be impeached forever. No matter what the Senate does. He’s impeached forever because he violated our Constitution,” she said.

Trump doesn’t care about the stigma of impeachment. He knew they were planning it before the election and, once he got elected, it was on.

Some of them even said so in public on Inauguration Day.

So, after the Mueller investigation came up empty, President Trump goaded them into doing it; he was the one who made sure that the second Ukraine call got into the hands of the “whistle-blower.” I theorized about this weeks ago.

He did it so that there would be a trial and, of course, during the trial, all eyes will be watching. That’s when all the things that our government has been doing to us will come out and those things will come out of the mouth of the President of the United States.

That’s when we’ll find out the height, weight, breadth and time length of all the graft and money-laundering that has been going on in the US government at least for the last 50 years, perpetrated by all three branches of government and by both parties.

Pelosi knows this and it’s why she’s holding up progress. The House voted in favor of impeachment and then promptly departed for Christmas break without sending the articles of impeachment to the senate, as is necessary for a true impeachment to occur.

She didn’t want the impeachment at all for this very reason. But her caucus is much dumber and more vocal than she is, so she had no choice. So, now she’ll play the role of Grand Impeacher of Trump and avoid sending the articles of impeachment to the senate for as long as she can. She knows it won’t last, but she’ll play Trump-slayer — figuratively speaking — while she can.

Her caucus and her constituency will buy this because they, too, care more  about looking tough against Trump, even while barely knowing anything about how the process is supposed to go. Fun fact: many Democrats thought that the House impeachment meant that President Trump was supposed to be immediately thrown out of office.

So, Pelosi will bask in the sunlight as Anti-Trump Champion while she can because she knows it will end soon.

How could she not know what’s coming? Thomas Wictor has been pointing out for months that President Trump plans to be the lone witness for the defense during the senate trial and once you see that and listen to what the president says about it, you’ll discover that he has warned the Democrats over and over again that this is what he will do.

But they are blind and deaf to their own error.

And here’s something interesting: the State of the Union address is coming up in February. On her way out the door for Christmas break, Speaker Pelosi invited President Trump to the House to give it, as if everything is normal.

Will that be the grand collision of powers? Will President Trump decide to spill the beans then?

This SOTU address will be an all-eyes-on-Trump affair, too, and I suspect that there will be a lot of misbehavior by the audience-in-attendance during that speech. The Speaker may be setting the President up for that, but I bet his set-up for her and for the rest of the Democrats will be grander, not to mention more effective than, say, Rashida Tlaib leading a screeching chorus of “IMPEACHED MOTHERF*CKER!!” (I hope they try that. Heh.)

Speaker Pelosi is correct in observing that President Trump will have the distinction that only two other presidents have. But I bet he will also have the distinction of showing the entire world how crooked those who claim to lead us and represent us have been for decades. If he does that, he’ll be by himself in history.

I think that he’ll do it and so does Madame Speaker, as do many of the other beak-wetters, past and present.

It’s why they have hated him from the beginning.

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.

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Update DTG: Instalanche, thanks Glenn. Nice to have you here, check out my five thoughts on impeachment, plus five key quotes from the Dem debate, let Jon test your knowledge of the Bill of Rights and let RH explain why we should call out Russia.

If you’re free Sunday from 6 AM to 8 AM EST listen to me guest host the Joe Mangiacotti show on the 50,000 watt WCRM AM 830 in Worcester MA and if you have any info on shoulder surgery either if you had surgery or used therapy instead let me know here.