Cut the Crap, Arm the Kurds

The Associated Press reports that there may finally be a movement underway to arm the Kurds after the Obama Administration has, for years, refused to sell our allies American weaponry. We refused even as we sold some of our finest equipment to the central Iraqi government — equipment that was seized and is now used by the Islamic State (ISIS).

The Kurds have been our allies for eons. They’re a brave and civilized people willing to fight and die to protect their civilians from the advancing jihadists. Kurdish volunteers have continued streaming to the front lines even as fighting against powerful ISIS forces has intensified. They want to fight. They just need the equipment to counter the crap we sold to Iraq that ISIS then stole.

It’s time to cut the crap and arm the Kurds. My position on this is essentially the same as my position on Israel: Let them fight their battles but arm them to the teeth. Their enemies tend to be our enemies. And the people who target them tend to want not only defeat but genocide. We don’t need to send in American ground forces, but we can sell the Kurds American equipment to give them a fighting chance.

Bill Gates Vacations on $330 Million Yacht

What’s remarkable here isn’t that when Bill Gates goes on vacation he goes in style. What’s remarkable is the $330 million yacht is only the third most-expensive in the world.

These days, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is more concerned with helping to save the world than creating the next big gadget. But when the world’s richest man goes on vacation, he does it like no one else.

The New York Daily News captured some photos of Gates aboard “The Serene,” a $330 million dollar yacht that Gates and his family are renting for $5 million per week.

In addition to its 12 staterooms, the 450-foot, seven deck vessel also comes equipped with its own saltwater pool, climbing wall, library, health spa, outdoor theater and even a nightclub spread out over the boat’s combined 48,000 square feet.

Holy crap. Being a software tycoon doesn’t suck, huh?

The yacht actually belongs to a Russian alcohol giant, Stolichnaya vodka distributor Yuri Scheffler. Scheffler is actually an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who tried to steal Scheffler’s wealth through nationalization.

One last note: The “Serene” has its own submarine. Because of course it does.

AP Poll: Obama Hits 40% Approval, ObamaCare Gets More Unpopular

Barack Obama’s approval rating has hit an all-time low in an Associated Press/GfK with just 40% approving and 59% disapproving of his job performance. Dissatisfaction with his foreign policy has hit particularly hard.

—42 percent say the conflict between Israel and Hamas is “very” or “extremely” important to them; 60 percent disapprove of the way Obama has handled it.

—40 percent consider the situation in Afghanistan highly important; 60 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of it.

—38 percent give high importance to the conflict in Ukraine; 57 percent disapprove of what Obama has done about that.

—38 percent find the situation in Iraq of pressing importance; 57 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of it.

It’s hard to look around the world right now, from Russia and Ukraine to Palestine and Israel, and conclude Obama’s foreign policy dealings have been anything other than disastrous. So the results shouldn’t be too surprising.

But the president’s problems don’t stop there. Not only does the poll show Americans now trusting the GOP more to handle immigration (29-25), but another poll finds support for ObamaCare at an all-time low.

Even after survey after survey has recently shown a major drop in the nation’s uninsured rate, Obamacare just had its worst month in a key health-care poll.

Kaiser Family Foundation, which has done arguably the best and most consistent polling on the health-care law in the past four-plus years, found that public opinion on the law sank to a record low in July. More people than ever (53 percent) last month said they viewed the law unfavorably, an increase of 8 percentage points since June — one of the biggest opinion swings ever.

Democrats have long counted on ObamaCare becoming the next Medicare: Costly but too politically beloved by most Americans to actually reform or ditch it. That’s simply not happening. The more Americans learn about ObamaCare, and the more it begins to affect their lives, the less they like it. It’s a political albatross for Democrats, who are already facing an uphill battle in the coming midterm.

Let’s talk tweets and endorsements because some people are complete idiots

I’ve been on Twitter for more than 3 years and really never had a problem with this until now.

Earlier today, I tweeted a link to a Talking Points Memo post — a post that stupidly compared the Russian insurgents, who shot down an airliner, to Tea Party activists:

It opens with “TPM”, the site’s acronym, and a colon to indicate that what follows is what the website is saying, roughly. Simple enough. I’m linking to what someone said. This for some reason prompted a flood of idiots to attack me. Some of the best examples:

There was another golden example accusing me of being an Obama shill, but it’s since been deleted. So I’ll let that one go.

It’s long been a Twitter convention that retweeting something does not equal an endorsement of the material. I would think opening a tweet with the author’s website and a colon, followed by a description of his post that borders on mockery, would be even clearer in that regard.

My actual followers (love you guys from the bottom of my heart) seem to understand that. I’m grateful. But to clarify for the hit-and-run imbeciles: That tweet was not an endorsement of TPM’s theory, nor is any tweet in such a format an endorsement of the author’s work.

Florida father catches man raping his son, beats him to a pulp

As would any father. The rapist has apparently already confessed to the crime, and the father is unapologetic.

To answer the inevitable concern, no — dad isn’t being charged. It’s Florida. The asshole is lucky dad didn’t use deadly force. Had he, the law almost certainly would have protected him. But regardless, no jury would convict.

Union Giant Abandons United Negro College Fund Because the Kochs Donated

Because, you see, you can’t put politics aside for five minutes for a good cause. Everything must be politicized. Everything.

WASHINGTON — One of the nation’s largest public-sector unions is severing its ties with the United Negro College Fund because the group accepted donations from the Koch brothers and its president spoke at a Koch-funded summit.

In a letter sent Tuesday, AFSCME President Lee Saunders writes that the UNCF has taken actions “deeply hostile” to public employees, which he considers a “profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement,” and that the union will end its relationship with UNCF.

The union apparently considers its own financial interests the foundation of the civil rights movement.

Saunders later described the Koch brothers as the “single most prominent funders of efforts to prevent African Americans from voting.”

Because, you see, the Kochs support stuff like voter ID. And as we know, black people don’t have a single form of identification. Only white people have driver licenses. That’s just common knowledge, you see.

“We must hold ourselves to the same standards that we promote through the Union Scholars Program,” Saunders wrote. “To practice what we preach, to fight for social justice, and to stand up for what we beleive (sic). I cannot in good conscience face these students or AFSCME’s members if I looked the other way and ignored your actions.”

A massive, politically-active union is lecturing the United Negro College Fund on civil rights because the latter decided that the education of black children is more important than the union giant’s bank account.

IRS Employee Suspended for Telling Taxpayers to Vote for Obama

No politicization problem at the Internal Revenue Service at all. No sir, hardly any in sight.

In June 2014, OSC entered into a settlement agreement with an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee who agreed to a 100-day unpaid suspension for violating the Hatch Act. The agreement resolves a formal Hatch Act complaint that OSC filed with the Board in April 2014. OSC’s complaint alleged that, when fielding taxpayers’ questions on an IRS customer service help line, the employee repeatedly urged taxpayers to reelect President Obama in 2012 by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name. In the settlement agreement resolving the complaint, the IRS employee acknowledged that he had used his authority and influence as an IRS customer service representative for a political purpose and did so while at work

The employee apparently wasn’t high-level enough to enjoy a convenient computer crash that would wipe out all incriminating records of his illegal actions.

Question: Why isn’t this a firing offense? Why just a suspension?

You know what’s a terrible idea? Impeachment

Two presidents in the history of the American Republic have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both would later be acquitted by the Senate. A third, Richard Nixon, would face impeachment charges but resign instead. No president has ever been removed from office through impeachment proceedings.

So what makes anyone think Barack Obama will be the first?

The most recent talk of impeachment, and one presumes subsequent conviction, seems to have started when Sarah Palin called for action in a Breitbart column. She writes, in part:

President Obama’s rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, is the foundational problem here. It’s not going to get better, and in fact irreparable harm can be done in this lame-duck term as he continues to make up his own laws as he goes along, and, mark my words, will next meddle in the U.S. Court System with appointments that will forever change the basic interpretation of our Constitution’s role in protecting our rights.

It’s not that her diagnosis is wrong. It’s not. The Obama Administration ignores federal law when convenient. The Supreme Court has repeatedly and unanimously rejected the administration’s actions as unconstitutional. There’s little doubt the Constitution is used as anything other than toilet paper in this White House.

Rather, it’s Palin’s suggested course of action that’s so off-base:

It’s time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.

The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is.

Then no one is. Because Barack Obama is not going to be impeached; not in the legal sense of mere indictment nor in the broader sense of actual removal from office. It’s not going to happen. Barring some Watergate-like revelation where both parties concede he has to go, it’s out of the question.

First of all, even if Republican leadership passed articles of impeachment, Democrats control the United States Senate. Even if Republicans win the chamber in November, conviction requires two-thirds majority. Find me 67 Senators to remove Barack Obama from office in a chamber controlled by his own party, or even just barely controlled by the opposition.

So impeaching him is a futile endeavor. You’re not going to remove the man from office.

What you may very well end up doing, however, is scaring low-information voters and progressive activists into turning out in November. Democrats will warn that Republicans will use a Senate majority to remove America’s first black president, and his supporters will turn out to protect him. At the very least you end up alienating moderate voters who might otherwise support the Republican challenger.

Can we not? Can we not give Democrats a driving purpose to turn out in a midterm election year? Can we not turn off moderate and independent voters who might otherwise support our guy? Can we not risk remaining in the Senate minority in pursuit of a futile endeavor? Can we be smart politically for once? Here’s the end result of an impeachment push: Barack Obama is still president and Harry Reid remains Senate Majority Leader. What a victory.

Not convinced yet? Here’s food for thought: President Biden. There’s a concept that should scare even Mrs. Biden.

Finally: Justin Bieber Criminally Charged

Justin Bieber has been criminally charged in a vandalism case involving the egging of his neighbor’s house. He will be formally charged arraigned today on a charge of misdemeanor vandalism.

There’s a joke to be made about the criminal nature of his music, but on a serious note Bieber has been getting away with violent behavior for a while. Finally he’ll face charges.

Unfortunately, we all know how this ends. He pleads, gets a small fine and maybe some community service, and he brags to his friends that he beat the system. Nothing more than a speed bump, no lesson learned.

Video: Harry Reid Thinks Clarence Thomas is White

There’s no way Harry Reid actually thinks Clarence Thomas is white. Harry Reid does, however, aim these lines at riling-up the low-information voters in a mid-term year. He counts on them not actually knowing who sits on the Supreme Court, and that’s probably a safe assumption.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) vowed on Tuesday to take action this month to try to combat the recent “Hobby Lobby” ruling from the Supreme Court. In his remarks he referred to the decision and decried the “five white men” who rendered it.

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determine by virtue of five white men,” Reid said. “This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous and we are going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote.

Funny story: 3 of the 4 liberal justices who dissented are also white. The other justice is a white Hispanic. Thomas, a conservative, is the only black justice on the court.