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Thursday, September 29, 2016

India Says It Hit Pakistan Terror Camps After Attack on Army

India said it attacked terrorist camps just across the border in Pakistan, the biggest military escalation since a standoff 17 years ago, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi retaliated for a deadly strike against Indian soldiers earlier this month.

Domestic pressure had been building on Modi to take a tough stand over rising violence in the disputed region of Kashmir, including through non-military measures such as reviewing a 1960 water-sharing treaty. The main opposition Congress Party supports the government’s actions against terrorism, leader Sonia Gandhi said in a statement. 
Heavy casualties were inflicted in surgical strikes late Wednesday on militants assembled to infiltrate India, Director General of Military Operations Ranbir Singh said in a briefing in New Delhi. The operations have ended and no more are planned, he said, without elaborating...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton is the Trevor Noah to Obama's Jon Stewart

When Donald Trump became a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, not all, but most people thought his candidacy was a publicity stunt and that he would probably drop out within a couple of months.

Obviously, most people were wrong.

Trump is a bombastic egotist and was one of the least qualified of the Republican contenders.

That didn't matter. He was able to cleverly tap into enough discontent with the establishment to become the Republican presidential nominee.

Last night, I put on The Daily Show in the background while I was doing other things, half paying attention to it. I haven't watched more than a consecutive minute or two of that program in months. It had grown tedious and unfunny for years since Jon Stewart finally stepped away from hosting it. His replacement, Trevor Noah, is even less funny than Stewart at his lowest ebb. Perpetual crankiness and snark may be the norm for college undergraduate millennials, but it gets boring fast when coming from the host of something that purports to be a comedy show. It's no surprise that the show's ratings have been taking a nose dive.

Why am I bringing up The Daily Show? Because for the dozen minutes or so I had it on last night, every single second was devoted to bashing Trump and try to imply all his supporters are idiots. Noah and an allegedly comedic faux 'correspondent' smirked at their own lame efforts at humor, falling completely flat while apparently convinced of their own cleverness. Even the laugh track seemed to have a hard time sounding enthused about them.

It was smug, and condescending towards at least half the potential viewing public. While offering nothing particularly clever or original, it assumed agreement on the part of its audience while trying to coast on its brand rather than trying to earn an audience through merit. The new Daily Show is the perfect metaphor for Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Donald Trump is the least qualified and probably the worst-informed presidential candidate a major party has ever offered. And he's still going to beat Hillary.

In Clinton, the Democrats have chosen a tiresome and tired-sounding hack who embodies the least appealing characteristics of everything that big politics represents. She's the Trevor Noah to Obama's Jon Stewart. Just as the public was growing jaded with Stewart prior to his exit, and he was replaced with someone even less talented, so the Democratic party is replacing a President with whom many Americans grew to cynical with Mrs Clinton, whom they find thoroughly distasteful.

In this election more than any other, voters will be going to the polls not to mark a ballot for the candidate they want to see as president, but to cast a vote to prevent someone they find to be deplorable from sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. However in this, there is also a big difference.

Far fewer than half of those who indicated they support Hillary Clinton have said they are very enthusiastic about casting a vote for her. But on Donald Trump's side well more than half of his supporters are keen to vote for him. Trump has more than a double digit lead in that aspect of voter support. Just as Trevor Noah's incarnation of The Daily Show has written off Trump supporters, Clinton's conceit has made it almost impossible to grow her base by gaining potential coverts, alienating them as "deplorables" and "irredeemable." So which side is more likely to turn out in greater numbers on November 8?

The answer to that could very easily translate into a Trump presidency.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Takeaways From Last Night's Presidential Debate

A surreal moment from last night's Presidential debate was the point when Hillary Clinton started giving a lecture about how she would improve America's cyber security. The same Hillary Clinton whose cavalier mishandling of classified information would have landed anyone who isn't named Clinton in jail. It was like getting a lesson in how to slim down and look sexy from Lena Dunham.

The bar was unusually low for both candidates' path to success, but for Trump, it was a hurdle that a Chihuahua could leap. All the real estate developer needed to do was to demonstrate that he wasn't insane and could behave reasonably. To accomplish that, he showed uncharacteristic restraint, disappointing the expectations of those who wanted fireworks, but for the most part, it was pulled off successfully.

Hillary's bar was something most people could manage, but for her, is something she's never been able to surmount for the last quarter-century of her public life. She had to convince people she is likable and not a pathological lair. Her smug smile and reminders about her email scandal, and her testimony to Congress after her lies about the Bengazi massacre, did nothing to convince anyone that the Hillary Clinton Americans saw last night isn't the same Hillary Clinton they've seen since Bill Clinton first ran for the presidency.

Everything Hillary said had a subliminal boomerang effect that made it come back and hurt her if anyone bothered to think about it. She criticized Trump for, while as a private citizen, expressing equivocal support for the Iraq War that she voted in favor of when she was a serving US Senator. She criticized Trump's insults of women while she was an enabler to a husband who is subject to rape accusations that are beginning to rival in numbers those of Bill Cosby.  Anyone who watched the Republican primary debates and heard what he said about his male rivals knows that Trump can at least lay claim to being an equal opportunity insulter.

With regard to insults, though Trump has a reputation as being rude and bombastic, it was Clinton who threw vicious insults at Trump, calling him a racist and sexist. Clinton claimed that Trump's 'birther' questioning of President Obama's birthplace was racist. That only makes Clinton look more dishonest, unless she's suggesting that Trump's almost identical challenge of his Republican primary rival Ted Cruz means he's racist against Canadians. And as Trump reminded viewers, it was Hillary Clinton's campaign that started much of the 'birther' controversy by sending out a picture of Obama in traditional Muslim garb and questioning his 'American roots' during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Clinton, on the other hand, will pander to every special interest laying claim to victimhood. Or she will during the election campaign. Once it's over, were she to win, she'd forget them the same way that Democrats have forgotten dilapidated Chicago neighborhoods they represent that are beset with gun violence despite being subject to some of the strictest gun control laws in the US.

Trump made some missteps during the debate, such as when he took the bait to respond in excessive detail when Clinton suggested his net worth was less than he claimed. But on the whole Trump was the more human, the more genuine, and the more commanding of the two.

Partisans on both sides are claiming victory, but what's interesting to note is that partisans on both sides are also complaining about how their candidate lost. For the most part, the consensus is that Trump and Clinton essentially tied, or if one outperformed the other, it was by a slim margin.

However this was the first of three debates, and that bodes badly for Hillary Clinton. In twenty five years of public life, she has shown little in the way of a learning curve. Trump's ability to change through the Republican primaries, the presidential campaign, and now the first debate shows that he has a strong ability to adapt when necessary.  Trump is also a showman, and in show business, you know that you need to open well, but what's most important is to end the act with a strong closing scene.

With two debates to come, Trump is more likely than Clinton to provide the big debate finish that will end the political career of his opponent.

Monday, September 26, 2016

James Taranto: Mrs. Clinton can’t believe she’s losing to this guy

If we were on Donald Trump’s debate-prep team, we would advise the GOP nominee to watch two new videos of his opponent, if for no other reason than to boost his confidence. The first is Hillary Clinton’s video-conference address to a labor union; the second, her appearance as a guest on “Between Two Ferns,” Zach Galifianakis’s FunnyOrDie.com interview show.

You might have read about Wednesday’s address to the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which was meeting in Las Vegas. From Orlando, Fla., as the Washington Post reports, Mrs. Clinton, after having “ticked off her pro-union positions,” said: “Having said all this, ‘Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?’ you might ask?”

It immediately made us think of the most famous line perhaps in the history of presidential debates, and certainly in the history of satirical ones: “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.” That was Jon Lovitz on “Saturday Night Live” as Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988, responding to the clich├ęd rambling of Dana Carvey as Vice President George Bush. (Note to our millennial readers: In the olden days, “Saturday Night Live” was funny.)...

Ditka trashes Kaepernick (and that Obama guy too...)

...“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick. He probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.

“I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now if they don’t want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. Now if you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”

The 76-year-old Ditka, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, is one of two people in NFL history to win a league title as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach. He graduated from local hero to Chicago icon during an 11-year coaching stint with the Bears that included the team’s only Super Bowl win during the 1985 season, then retired permanently after a failed comeback with the New Orleans Saints in 1999.

A well-known conservative, Ditka publicly flirted with running against Democratic candidate Barack Obama, then a state senator, for the open seat in the US Senate vacated by Illinois senator Peter Fitzgerald in 2004. No one then could have imagined how the election would ultimately propel Obama to the presidency in four years’ time.

“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” he told the Dickinson Press in 2013. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”

In March, Ditka called Obama “the worst president we’ve ever had”...

Who are the real fascists? College students who openly support Trump censored, threatened, bullied by professors and leftist students

More than a dozen incidents at college campuses across the nation in recent months illustrate how open support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is a sure invitation to be bullied, censored or attacked.

Left-leaning students and professors alike are working to shut down pro-Trump events and messages they deem unacceptable through a combination of fear, threats, ridicule, police intimidation and physical and verbal attacks.

Claiming “hate speech” or “racism,” they use the system of victimization established on campuses to claim righteous indignation and quash free speech and freedom of expression — and all during the crucial months leading up to the presidential election...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rex Murphy: Justin Trudeau’s UN address was a meaningless speech to a worthless body

 ...it was our dewy-fresh prime minister’s turn to address this esteemed body and, either out of vanity or innocence, he didn’t turn down the invitation. As to the substance of his effusion, one would need an intellectual Geiger counter to find any. The speech was described by the National Post’s John Ivison as “thin as soup made from the carcass of a starving pigeon.” And that’s being generous.

The address easily could have been passed off as a high-school valedictorian speech: it was trite, without being testy, and full of false equivalencies. It bore the now-ineluctable stamp of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s compulsion to hymn, yet again, the all-ranging virtues of diversity.
This word “diversity” has something of a clamp on Trudeau’s brain. He seems to think that merely to pronounce it out loud is to add to the sum of human insight, that its four flat syllables compress all the wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount, Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address and the best of Norman Vincent Peale into one handy little word. Yet fluffing a pillow in front of the UN delegates would have had more of an impact.

It’s a pity that, even in that forlorn venue, Trudeau was unwilling to let go of that rhetorical Linus blanket and say a few things about what is really going on in the world. He could have offered some meaningful analysis on the situation in Syria. He could have uttered some truths to those who rarely hear them. Instead, it was the usual mush about “modest Canada” and how we’re back and ready to help.
It really is time to stop bragging about how modest we are, as one cannot honestly brag about being modest...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's UN General Assembly Address