Saturday, November 21, 2015

Last Call For The Vitter End

AP has called Louisiana Governor's race for Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Looks like Sen. David Vitter will lose by about 8-10 points when all is said and done.

A good night for the blue team.

It Feels Like 2002 Again

Greg Sargent takes a look at a new Washington Post/ABC poll in the wake of last week's Paris attacks and finds America's clock has been set back to early 2002.

— By 54-43, Americans oppose taking in refugees from the conflicts in Syria and other Mideast countries even after screening them for security.

— By 52-47, Americans are not confident that the U.S. can identify and keep out possible terrorists who may be among these refugees. (One bright spot: 78 percent of Americans don’t think religion should be considered in determining whether to accept refugees.)

— By 81-18, Americans think it is likely that there will be a terrorist attack in the U.S. in the near future that will cause large numbers of lives to be lost.

— By 55-45, Americans are not confident in the ability of the U.S. government to prevent further terror attacks against Americans here.

— By 72-25, Americans say that it is more important for the government to investigate terror threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy, rather than refraining from intruding on personal privacy.

In fairness, this is pretty vague — “intruding on personal privacy” could mean a lot of different things in terms of actual policy — but it’s still pretty lopsided, perhaps another reminder that public fear sends concerns about civil liberties right out the window.

60 percent of Americans want to see an “increased use of U.S. ground forces” against ISIS, and 73 percent of Americans want to see increased air strikes.

— Americans say by 59-37 that the U.S. is “at war with radical Islam.”

So Democrats are on the minority side of a fair amount of these. Hillary Clinton has aligned herself with Obama in coming out against sending in ground troops (though Republicans have been vague on this point, too, and Clinton has called for stepped up air strikes). Clinton and virtually all Democrats have called for the program for admitting Syrian refugees to continue, while the GOP candidates and many Congressional Republicans have called for it to be “paused” or for an outright ban on their entry. There is little confidence in the current administration’s ability to keep us safe — at least right at this moment — and Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have ramped up the calls for a beefed up surveillance state.

Sargent is being kind, as both Trump and Rubio are calling for effectively suspending the US Constitution and tracking the country's Muslims, treating all of them outright as terror suspects that need to be marked.  Trump in particular wants to close down mosques and "do the unthinkable" because it may be "necessary".

Exit questions:

One, aren't you glad Obama is president right now as opposed to any of the Republicans over the last seven, eight years?

Two, if Obama really was a crypto-neocon warmonger, as I have repeatedly been assured he is by "real liberals", we'd be at war right now with tens of thousands of ground troops on the way to Syria, wouldn't we?

Three, do you believe Hillary would send ground troops like Trump, Carson, Rubio or Cruz would?

Democrats need to ask themselves and answer these questions.

Belgian (Not) Waffles

The Belgian government has put Brussels on high alert as they expect an "imminent" Paris-style assault.

A week after Paris bombings and shootings carried out by Islamic State militants, of whom one suspect from Brussels is at large, Brussels was placed on the top level "four" in the government's threat scale after a meeting of police, justice and intelligence officials.

Soldiers were on guard in parts of Brussels, a city of 1.2 million people and home to institutions of the European Union and the headquarters of NATO.

"The result of relatively precise information pointed to the risk of an attack along the lines of what took take place in Paris," Prime Minister Charles Michel told a news conference on Saturday after a meeting of the national security council. The Paris attacks left 130 people dead.

"We are talking about the threat that several individuals with arms and explosives would launch an attack perhaps in several locations at the same time," Michel said, adding people should be alert but not panic.

He declined to elaborate, but said the government would review the situation on Sunday afternoon.

The metro system is to remain closed until then, in line with recommendation of the government's crisis center. Major shopping centers and stores did open on Saturday morning, with soldiers deployed outside shops.

However, many began closing their doors from around midday.

I'm not terribly surprised by this, given the connection to Brussels by the militants who hit Paris eight days ago, the Belgian capital seemed like the obvious next target in Europe.  I'm hoping that nobody else is hurt and that Belgian police can find these guys before they strike.

Democrats Behaving Badly, Con't

Of all the political excuses to use when embroiled in scandal of your own making in 2015, "I didn't know this would go viral" borders on gross incompetence.

The mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, apologized Friday for his recent remarks comparing the current threat of terrorism in the U.S. to the national mood after Pearl Harbor, invoking the internment of Japanese-Americans in his call to block Syrian refugees.

Mayor David Bowers said in a statement released Wednesday he's "reminded" of the internment of Japanese-Americans with "the threat of harm to America from Isis [sic]" now "just as real and serious."

The remarks were met with nearly universal condemnation, with members of the community calling on the mayor to resign, and prompted TV actor George Takei to invite the mayor to a musical about internment camps.

One, assume everything can go viral.

Two, read a history book once in your life.

Three, the really bad parts of America's history?  Try to remember that they should not be repeated.
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