PowerLine – Thoughts from the ammo line

PowerLine – Thoughts from the ammo line

PowerLine Daily digest - Old Guard Audio.com

PowerLine Daily digest – Old Guard Audio.com

Daily Digest


Poll: MP Murder Not Swaying British Voters

Posted: 17 Jun 2016 04:25 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)I wrote here about the British Left’s disgraceful effort to make political hay out of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a mentally ill man. Pro-EU forces are trying to somehow tie the murder to the “Brexit” side of the EU debate. While I considered the attempt contemptible, I wasn’t at all sure that it wouldn’t work.(The parallels to similar issues in the U.S. are obvious.)

But if this survey is right, the Left’s effort may be failing:

British support for remaining in the European Union has weakened in the wake of the murder of the pro-EU politician Jo Cox, according to an online research company Friday.

Qriously, a London-based technology start-up that gathers data and intelligence about consumers through mobile phone apps, found that backing among likely voters for Britain’s EU membership has dropped to 32% from 40% before her death.

The poll was based on 1,992 British adults surveyed on June 13-16, and then 1,002 on June 17 — the day after Cox was shot and killed in northern England. …

Qriously found that 52% will vote to leave the bloc in a national referendum on June 23. The figure is unchanged from before the parliamentarian’s death. The weakening support for remaining in the EU coincided with a large move toward “Don’t know,” which leaped to 16% from 9% before Cox’s assassination.

In recent weeks, momentum has shifted toward the Brexit side. If this poll is reliable, it suggests that such movement continues, and the tragic murder of Ms. Cox has not changed how Britons think about remaining in the EU. Nor, of course, should it.

Hitler Learns the Journal of American Greatness Has Shut Down

Posted: 17 Jun 2016 10:54 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Our friends at the Journal of American Greatness (or “JAG” as I call them for short), who offered the most serious defense of Trumpism, if not necessarily Trump himself, have decided to fold up the site. They credit Power Line with giving them their first major boost in traffic, after which they acquired still more high profile attention, and started quite a few fights.

So naturally, there’s only one thing to do at this point:

To Brexit or not to Brexit

Posted: 17 Jun 2016 04:53 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)To Brexit or not to Brexit, that is the question addressed by Douglas Murray in “Exit Britain?” (National Review) and by Christopher Caldwell in “See you, EU?” (Weekly Standard). What is Brexit? Brexit is shorthand for the question whether Britain should leave the European Union, the question submitted to the British electorate by referendum on June 23.

Don’t stop reading yet!

The question raises issues that concern us every bit as much Great Britain. These engrossing articles do a great job laying them out in a most entertaining manner. Among these issues are the administrative state and national transformation (i.e., immigration). With respect to the current immigration crisis, for example, Murray notes:

A migrant flow had persisted across the Mediterranean for years, but it now became a flood. By the German government’s own private figures, in 2015 alone around 1.5 million migrants, in addition to those visiting workers who had already been expected, entered Germany. That is around 2 percent of the German population. Similar numbers entered Sweden and other countries. Experts expect a similar flow this year, and the summer rush has already begun. In anticipation, Merkel arranged billions of dollars in bribes from the EU to the Turkish government to stem the flow through Turkish territory. Along with the European Commission, she also agreed that, to keep out several million refugees this year, the EU would award visa-free travel inside the EU to Turkish citizens, who number 75 million.

Murray also takes a look at the Remain campaign:

In the campaign to date, the prime minister has informed the British public that the vote he has offered, should it go the “wrong” way, will lead to global recession, a simultaneous rise in mortgage payments and slump in housing prices, the invasion of Europe by Vladimir Putin, the end of peace on the Continent, and the arrival of at least three out of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Murray is British. Indeed, he is an associate editor of the Spectator (UK). Caldwell, by contrast, is American, with a special interest in the issue of immigration in Europe. He is the author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. Caldwell does a good job of situating Brexit issues in an American context. The Brexit referendum arises from a commitment made by Prime Minister David Cameron to prevent the leeching of conservative voters to UKIP. Here Caldwell draws on American analogies:

The Tory party under Cameron has become what the Republican party would have become had anybody followed the recommendations laid out by the RNC elders who convened the “Growth and Opportunity Project” after Mitt Romney’s drubbing in the 2012 election. Cameron came of age in the Tory wilderness decades that began with the rise of Tony Blair’s “New Labour” in the mid-1990s. Redemption through wussification is his motto. He has learned to talk about global warming and quality of life. Although something of a Euroskeptic in his youth, he is now on a positive crusade against Little Englandism and xenophobia, and has convinced himself that the Brexit campaign is a symptom of both.

Cameron has always been one of those politicians (somewhat like Hillary Clinton) who uses organization and preparation to compensate for a lack of charisma, and the campaign he is running against the referendum he himself called is something to marvel at. It is a masterpiece of political choreography. Investment banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup) and bigfoot British political donors (Lord David Sainsbury, Roland Rudd) have bankrolled a mighty organization—Britain Stronger in Europe—to campaign for Remain. It uses top politicians from both the Labour and Tory parties.

Project Fear represents the heart of the Remain campaign in which President Obama played a cameo role. Caldwell provides a glimpse of Project Fear:

Cameron has solicited foreigners, many of whom are indifferent to or ignorant of the trajectory of Europe in our time, to offer testimonials to the catastrophe that awaits Britain should it reclaim the sovereignty to which it clung so shabbily and unimpressively at Runnymede, Agincourt, Trafalgar, Waterloo, and Dunkirk. These warnings are released daily. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe warns that a vote to leave would scare off Japanese investors. Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund has predicted that the consequences of Brexit range from “pretty bad” to “very, very bad” and has helpfully scheduled a report to that effect for June 17, six days before the vote. Cameron roped together 13 U.S. secretaries of defense and state and national security advisers, led by George Shultz, who signed a letter scolding Britons for embarking on what Cameron called an “act of supreme irresponsibility.” Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, warns Britain, “We’re not particularly in the market for free-trade agreements with individual countries.” (Apparently, Britain cannot aspire to the grandeur, in Obama administration eyes, of Chile or Morocco, each of which has such an agreement.) President Obama himself said on a visit to London that, should Britain leave the EU, it would have to get to the “back of the queue” on trade deals.

On that last point, Caldwell adds: “Of course, it can come to the front of the queue the next time we need its young men to die in one of our wars.”

I highly recommend these two articles, long as they are. They entertain as they instruct on issues that matter to us as well as England and Europe.

Thoughts from the ammo line

Posted: 17 Jun 2016 03:54 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Ammo Grrrll explores MINORITY RULES:

I have written previously about what it was like to be a kid growing up in Flyover Land in the ’50s. We were a largely unsupervised horde that played rough games and lived most of our non-school hours out of doors, no matter the weather. We built snow forts in order to wage protracted snowball wars, splashed in puddles in the rain, and threw rocks or played sports until it got too dark to see the various balls.

I’m not saying that abandoning your kid in the woods for punishment is an idea whose time has come, but I am saying that it was not at all unusual for parents to have no idea where the hell we were at any given moment – woods, lake, swamp – and most of us kids survived. Back then there were huge families who could afford to lose a couple, anyway. (In comedy, that’s called exaggerating for comedic effect or KIDDING!)

We didn’t need a costly First Lady vanity program to encourage us to get off our expanding kid lard-butts and “Play 60.” In summer it was more like “Play 600.” Nobody, and I mean nobody, was obese. The few who were slightly chubby would appear scrawny today. Of course there were no Gameboys or iPads yet. Many of us didn’t even have television. We got our first one when I was 12.

Most of our amusements then are now close to illegal: Tag, Dodgeball, Crack the Whip, Red Rover, Mumblety-Peg, and the aptly-named Kill the Man with the Ball. Others are just hated by the Left: Cowboys and Indians, Soldier, any game with a gun, real or plastic.

We also policed ourselves fairly well, in games, in decisions about what to play. In disputations, we would often vote and enforce the decision with a chorus of “Majority rules!” There was some deference to the older kids, out of fear mostly, but democracy was a quaint cherished ideal to ’50s children and “Majority rules!” was a magic incantation. Of course it mattered who owned the bat and ball. One option was always to “take your ball and go home,” assuming you wanted to play alone till high school graduation.

I realize we don’t live in an actual democracy, but a republic (if we can keep it). We have enshrined important restraints on “majority rule” and massive protections for the minority. That is important as each of us is probably a minority in one way or another.

But how far can we stray from the concept of majority rule and still survive? For several years, I was the only woman on night-shift in a print shop with 80 men. If their culture was to have a couple pinups around to brighten their days, how in God’s name did that actually hurt me? But that constituted a “hostile work environment.” One woman’s right not to see scantily-clad lady bits overrules the rights of 80 other people. And I wasn’t even allowed to certify in writing that I didn’t object. Too dangerous for management and their attorney to risk.

Female persons constitute somewhere around 170 million souls in this country. Our right to restroom privacy – privacy being THE putative constitutional right that trumps even the right to life – goes out the window when stacked up against the right of a few thousand men to expose their junk in our bathrooms. Where is any kind of justice in that? How, even, could a fair-minded trangender-in-process think that was right any more than I felt it was fair for my co-workers to have to remove the Farrah Fawcett poster to accommodate me? (Speaking of that iconic poster, it certainly must have been a chilly day when the photo was taken…)

It goes on, of course, as such things will. Mr. AG attended an adult Jewish learning camp he found very inspiring a few years back, but the word went out that one person was allergic to scents and so everyone was to refrain from perfumes, scented soaps or even deodorant. Enjoy! Would not such a person consider even for a minute that maybe she should stay home rather than impose a deodorant-free week in humid upstate New York on everyone else?

Likewise, the peanut prohibitions at ballgames. Now, I understand that peanut allergy is one of the deadliest around and you don’t want to screw around with it. We lived on Peanut Butter in our house, but should our son have been allergic, should he NEVER have been allowed to go in person to the ballgame he loved? Sounds pretty harsh. Then again, to make thousands forego their bag of warm peanuts in the shell so he could attend risk-free also seems kind of selfish. Where do you draw the line? How about the revenue loss to the vendors? Do Vendors’ Lives Matter too?

Is there EVER a clear instance where the majority SHOULD rule and the minority should make other arrangements and just suck it up? I welcome, yea, solicit, your thoughts. Tricky business, this governing thing. Glad all those old white men in 1776, though imperfect products of their time, got so much right. And speaking of men in any color, Happy Father’s Day this Sunday, Daddies. Your value cannot be overstated.

Breaking: State Dept. Protests Obama Lethargy

Posted: 16 Jun 2016 09:37 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)There’s an old joke about how it would be nice if there was an American Interests desk at the State Department, since Foggy Bottom was usually more sympathetic to foreign nations than our own. The truth behind that joke is what makes so extraordinary the story the Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight about the 51 State Department employees who have signed a petition calling for a tougher military policy against the Assad regime in Syria:

BEIRUT—Dozens of State Department officials this week protested against U.S. policy in Syria, signing an internal document that calls for targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat Islamic State.

The “dissent channel cable” was signed by 51 State Department officers involved with advising on Syria policy in various capacities, according to an official familiar with the document. The Wall Street Journal reviewed a copy of the cable, which repeatedly calls for “targeted military strikes” against the Syrian government in light of the near-collapse of the ceasefire brokered earlier this year.

The views expressed by the U.S. officials in the cable amount to a scalding internal critique of a longstanding U.S. policy against taking sides in the Syrian war, a policy that has survived even though the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been repeatedly accused of violating ceasefire agreements and Russian-backed forces have attacked U.S.-trained rebels.

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t say so directly, but this represents massive internal disgust with the pusillanimity of Obama going on for several years now. That the State Department would want stronger military action is simply extraordinary. Here and there the reality of the matter breaks through:

“It’s embarrassing for the administration to have so many rank-and-file members break on Syria,” said a former State Department official who worked on Middle East policy. . . The recent letter marked a move by the heart of the bureaucracy, which is largely apolitical, to break from the White House.

In other words, this is a no-confidence vote on Obama’s Middle East policy, from a government body that is otherwise endlessly accommodating to drift and indecision.

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