US soldiers and Peshmerga forces have freed 70 hostages in the Kurdish region of North Iraq.. The Pentagon says they were being held by Daesh in a village near the city of Hawija. A spokesman says at least 20 Daesh(isis) militants were killed in the raid. One US soldier also died. It was the first American combat death since the US’ withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.
Jim Geraghty writes:
…Obviously, it is good news for the GOP in that it makes it less likely that Trump will run third party or independent. Those of us with long memories will observe that politicians have broken loudly-proclaimed pledges like this before….(read more)
FBI’s Intelligence bulletin reported nine derailers stolen
Jason A. Ryan reports: Nine derailers, a piece of railroad equipment used to derail train cars for safety purposes in railyards have been stolen recently, sources said, citing the FBI’s weekly intelligence bulletin.
“The theft of these items is strange since they are of little use outside of the rail industry, according to the bulletin.”
Railroads have been targeted in the past by terrorists, the bulletin said.
It specifically mentioned the Oct. 1995 derailment of an Amtrak train in Hyder, Ariz. In that incident, one person was killed and 78 were injured when parts of the track were sabotaged. The FBI located a derail 50 miles from Hyder…(read more)
Game Change and Double Down co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann held a focus group with loyal Clinton supporters in New Hampshire. The results? Like Janeane Garofalo in a nylon pantsuit, moist and squirmy.
Hot Air‘s Noah Rothman writes:
…On Wednesday, it was discovered that the substandard security protocols applied to Clinton’s personal email system were so poor that it was vulnerable to “spoofing.” Meaning that a foreign intelligence service could easily have hijacked her email system and impersonated Clinton in electronic communications with her aides or associates inside the American diplomatic community.
Clinton will one day have to answer for all these charges. When she does, she will have to explain in granular detail why she behaved as callously as she has. If the press doesn’t force her into it, a Republican on a debate stage in October of 2016 will. And while the Beltway looks at the polls and shrugs, Clinton’s grassroots supporters are apparently far more disturbed by her behavior and its implications.
Recently, Game Change and Double Down co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, in partnership with the polling firm Purple Strategies, traveled to New Hampshire where they held a focus group with loyal Clinton supporters. Read the rest of this entry »
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) October 10, 2014
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) July 29, 2014
Maybe I’m perverse, but this made me laugh out loud. It’s so true. Over at The Corner, Jim Geraghty, observing that the time has never been better for a limited-government candidate, writes:
“…This is not to say electing a Republican candidate, pledging to limit and reduce the size, scope, cost, and reach of government is going to be easy, of course. For starters, no matter who the 2016 Republican candidate is, that person is going to face some variation of this:
All of the celebrities of Hollywood and the music industry will come out to rally and endorse the Democratic candidate — Ms. Perry and her latex dresses, Bruce Springsteen, Eva Longoria, the Black Eyed Peas, Ben Affleck, and all the other usual suspects. This reflects their reflexive insistence that the Democratic president candidate is the “cool” one. Most of these figures insisted John Kerry was the cool one in 2004 and that Al Gore was the cool choice in 2000. Ahem.
The 2004 experience ought to reassure us that Democrat-friendly celebrities cannot, by themselves, convince the public that the Democratic nominee is cooler and thus a better choice for president.
The 2016 Republican nominee is also certain to face some variation of this:
In some senses relating to the campaign, it does not matter whether Republicans nominate Jeb Bush, or Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Bobby Jindal, or Chris Christie, or Scott Walker, or Rick Perry, or any other GOP rising star. The 2016 Republican nominee will be attacked for being insufficiently “cool” and attacked for being “not one of us.” Read the rest of this entry »
[Also see Jim’s latest commentary Hillary’s Mush]
Who says conservatives don’t have a sense of humor? Jim Gerahty’s new book, The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits is available from Amazon.com
From NRO: “Soaring levels of government waste, fraud, and abuse leave many of us wondering whether we live in an alternate reality. We shake our heads in despair and wonder when the absurdity will stop. Jim Geraghty goes one step further and, in his just-released “mock history” — The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits — embraces the madness for madcap effect. He sat down to discuss the book — is it fact or fiction? — with NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez…(read more)
Progressives’ vision of government requires it to be the gatekeeper to the good life.
For National Review Online, Jim Geraghty writes: Tuesday the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell examined Americans’ faith in the wisdom of investing in real estate — particularly their own houses — and offered a heretical thought: “If nothing else, the recent financial crisis should have taught us that it’s not in the country’s best interest to enable every aspiring homeowner to buy.”
Rampell’s seemingly commonsense statement offers dramatic ramifications for the role of the federal government. If, because of the huge unintended consequences that attend it, it’s not in the country’s best interest to enable every aspiring American to buy a home . . . how many other areas of modern American life feature the government “enabling” people — read, distributing money — to pursue dreams that are not, in fact, in the country’s best interest?
Is it really in the country’s best interest to enable every aspiring college student to attend college? Right now the federal government is in the business of loaning money to young people to attend college, only to watch significant numbers — 600,000 or so last year — fail to pay the money back. College students are defaulting on federal loans at the highest rate in nearly two decades, with one in ten defaulting on their loans in the first two years. This is not merely one late check; to meet the Department of Education’s definition of default, a borrower’s loan must be delinquent for 270 days — nine months. Read the rest of this entry »
Jim Geraghty writes: In recent weeks, we examined the Obama administration’s willingness to reverse positions that it had once proudly proclaimed — on whether an individual mandate is necessary, whether the individual mandate is a tax, whether it is important that you can keep your plan or doctor, whether lobbyists should work in a president’s administration, whether a donor should be appointed U.S. ambassador, and so on. Then we noted environmentalists who said they would not criticize or attack lawmakers who supported the Keystone Pipeline, as long as they were Democrats.
“What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people?”
Last week, we expanded the discussion to progressives’ wide-ranging willingness to contradict their own professed principles: gun-control proponents who travel with armed bodyguards, voucher opponents who send their kids to private schools, and minimum-wage-hike advocates who pay their staff less than the minimum wage, among others.
So what do progressives really want? If, as I suspect, the currency of progressivism isn’t policies or results, but emotions, what does that approach build? What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people?
From my inbox, NRO‘s Jim Geraghty writes: Readers, you may have noticed commercials for MSNBC‘s Morning Joe program, hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, touting the program as a Morning Jolt.™ That branding effort was, in fact, an early promotion for MSNBC and NBCUniversal‘s effort to diversify its morning news assets. Last night that effort took a dramatic step forward — with an additional bit of leaning forward — as NBCUniversal finalized its purchase of the Morning Jolt™ newsletter from National Review, Inc.
In exchange, National Review, Inc. received an undisclosed sum, as well as a second round draft pick in this year’s National Media Pundit Draft, held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City….
74-year-old Senate Majority Leader Apparently Unaware of Internet
…It All Comes Back to How Evil You Are for Disagreeing with Them
“The junior senator from Wyoming has come to the floor recently, talking about examples that he and other Republicans have given, dealing with Obamacare, examples that they think are bad, I have called lies; Mr. President, it is simply untrue, I never come to the floor, to my recollection, and said a word about the examples Republicans were giving regarding Obamacare and how it’s not very good.”
… roughly a month after he said, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, that stories of “the lives [Obamacare] is ruining” were “tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies…”
Watch the video:
In his second appearance, Reid said,
“I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, and never said a word about any of the examples Republicans have given, and how it’s not very good.”
Now, there are two possibilities here. The first is that Reid is lying through his teeth. (Quite a bit of evidence to support that assessment.) But the second is that Reid is telling the truth, and that he genuinely doesn’t recall saying anything like that, even though he did say it, to a quite vocal reaction, standing in the exact same spot roughly a month earlier…
Rules for Radicals are Different than Rules for You and Me
Jim Geraghty writes: Shortly after Barack Obama rose to the presidency, the Right became fascinated by Saul Alinsky, and in particular by the philosopher and community organizer’s “Rules for Radicals.” Many on the right focused their attention on Alinsky’s Fourth Rule: “Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
The strategy of “making them live up to their own book of rules” is frequently mentioned and discussed these days at Breitbart.com, Instapundit, Ace of Spades, and just about every other conservative website and blog.
James O’Keefe, the activist and journalist behind the famous ACORN videos, articulated the approach directly: “The Left doesn’t care about the laws or the rules. They are hypocrites, and the only way to win is to make them live up to their book of rules. I have found that the only thing they care about is racism, sexism and exploitation.”
“…not that many liberals care whether their brethren are following their own book of rules. They’ve demonstrated a remarkable acceptance for one another’s hypocrisy.”
Not to take away from O’Keefe’s work, which generates must-watch videos and scandal-inspired resignations with metronomic regularity, but there may be a flaw in this strategy. Ultimately, not that many liberals care whether their brethren are following their own book of rules. They’ve demonstrated a remarkable acceptance for one another’s hypocrisy.
Tom Jensen of the Democrat-campaign affiliated polling firm, Public Policy Polling: “We did a poll last weekend in Colorado Senate District 3 and found that voters intended to recall Angela Giron by a 12 point margin, 54/42. In a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll. It turns out we should have had more faith in our numbers becaue [sic] she was indeed recalled by 12 points.” It’s a free country, and if PPP doesn’t want to release a result, they’re free to eat the costs and keep a survey result to themselves. But the rest of us are free to wonder just how “rare” it is for PPP to not release a poll, and what other results they’ve withheld from public release. Read the rest of this entry »