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It’s Friday, May 27th, 2016…but before we begin, on the occasion of her birthday, May 26th, we remember our dear departed Mom, the very embodiment of Christian love and virtue:

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Gone…

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…but not hardly forgotten!

Now, here’s The Gouge!

First up, as Katie Pavlich records at Townhall.com, the spirit of Dan Rather continues to haunt the halls and influence the reporting of the MSM:

Katie Couric Deceptively Edited Video in New ‘Documentary’ to Smear Gun Owners

 

We report, you decide: here’s a clip from the “documentary”:

Now, here’s the actual, unedited audio from the same segment:

Frankly, were we one of the panelists, the first words out of our mouth would have been… 

…as the question Couric posed is a classic red herring; to the best of our knowledge, there is no state, county or city in the country where a licensed firearms dealer or gun show vendor can legally sell a weapon to a customer without a background check.

When faced with their subterfuge, Couric’s producer offered this typical Leftist “apology”:

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Note we said, “there is no state, county or city in the country where a licensed firearms dealer or gun show vendor can legally sell a weapon to a customer without a background check.  But if you’re the President of the United States or his Attorney General, the two top law enforcement agents in America, you can sell or just give ’em away to whoever the hell you please, and the consequences be damned…along with a multitude of Mexicans!

Documents: Mexican Cartels Used Fast and Furious Guns For Mass Killings

 

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LOTS of ’em!

New documents obtained by the government watchdog Judicial Watch prove, again, that guns sold through the Obama Justice Department’s Fast and Furious Operation have been used by Mexican cartels for mass murder south of the border.

“According to the new records, over the past three years, a total of 94 Fast and Furious firearms have been recovered in Mexico City and 12 Mexican states, with the majority being seized in Sonora, Chihuahua and Sinaloa.  Of the weapons recovered, 82 were rifles and 12 were pistols identified as having been part of the Fast and Furious program.  Reports suggest the Fast and Furious guns are tied to at least 69 killings,” Judicial Watch reports. “The documents show 94 Fast and Furious firearms were seized, 20 were identified as being involved in ‘violent recoveries.’  The ‘violent recoveries’ involved several mass killings.

Keep in mind these stats only relate to 94 Fast and Furious guns, most of them being AK-47s and .50 caliber rifles, that have been recovered. The Department of Justice, with help from ATF, trafficked more than 2500 of them right into the hands of violent Mexican cartels members. Fast and Furious guns are only recoverable and traceable when they are left at crime scenes, which doesn’t account for the number of times they were used in previous crimes.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder admitted during congressional testimony years ago that guns trafficked by the DOJ would be used to carry out violent crimes. In 2011, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told reporters, citing Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales, hundreds of Mexican citizens had been murdered as a result of the operation. Since then, a number of guns from the operation have been found at crime scenes in the U.S.

“These documents show President Obama’s legacy includes one of gunrunning and violence in Fast and Furious,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.  “As the production of documents from the ATF continues, we expect to see even further confirmation of Obama’s disgraced former Attorney General Eric Holder’s prediction that Fast and Furious guns will be used in crimes for years to come.”…”

As the late, great Jimmy Malone once so eloquently observed, this town stinks like a whorehouse at low tide.  And the stench grows ever more malodorous the closer a Dimocrat is to the White House.

Since we’re on the subject of Progressive politicians whose foul reek reaches the heavens, writing at NRO, Rich Lowry examines…

The Default Candidate

 

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“…Hillary is hated without being interesting. Yes, the Republicans nominated a radioactive candidate, but only after a great upheaval forged by a highly entertaining figure who upset all prior conventions and norms. The Democrats are nominating an equally radioactive presidential candidate as the “safe” alternative of their establishment.

If Donald Trump is the next president of the United States, a key reason will be that the best and brightest of the Democratic party fully bought into the Clinton Ascendancy. It left them with no viable alternative to a deeply flawed candidate who, on top of her other weaknesses, is under FBI investigation.

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Clinton has managed to beat back the Sanders challenge — if not fully vanquish him — in her trademark grind-it-out, thoroughly uninspiring manner. Just imagine if Sanders had the media skills of a Donald Trump, or if the Democratic establishment had been less unified against him, or if he were a plausible general-election candidate.

They say of talented fielders in baseball that they “make it look easy”; Clinton makes most everything in politics, even defeating a manifestly unsuited rival like Sanders, look difficult.

She has been running for president on and off since 2007, and still has a proverbial “Roger Mudd problem” (the CBS journalist who famously stumped Ted Kennedy when he asked him why he was running for president). What is Hillary’s elevator pitch? She doesn’t have one. Her latest version of a signature line is “Stronger Together,” albeit with the caveat that “slogans come and go and all the rest of it.”

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The truth is that Hillary is running to become president by default. She hopes that her campaign — assisted by associated Democratic groups and a sympathetic media — will make Trump so unacceptable by the fall that the public will have no option but to turn to someone it doesn’t particularly like or trust as the only alternative. She will win the unpopularity contest by losing it a little less badly than Trump.

This is far from a crazy bet, although it is fundamentally a defensive posture. All signs are that Trump will dominate the conversation in the general election just as he did in the Republican primaries. By always painting with bold colors, he made the other 16 candidates look small and weak, and could do the same with her. Trump at least has some chance of capturing people’s imaginations and changing the rules of the game.

Hillary will paint by numbers, and be formidable only to the extent voters consider not being Donald Trump a recommendation for high office.

Though given the IG’s report…

Inspector General Finds Hillary Clinton Violated Federal Records Act By Deleting Emails

 

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…things have to be looking up in Trumpland.  Particularly when one considers, as the WSJ‘s Kimberly Strassel notes, The Donald’s mission is the political equivalent of the voyages of the starship Enterprise:

Trump Rakes the Clinton Muck

The Clintons have never run into a foe willing to go where this one goes—gleefully.

 

And don’t believe the spin…

The Spin

…cuz’ here’s the reality:

The Reality

Colin Powell used a private email account; he did NOT set it up on a private, improper and utterly unsecured server…let alone one located in a bathtub in Denver!

Most important, as even a Politico report clearly concludes, Hillary’s private email arrangement (a) was created to keep her private emails from public view, and (b) constituted, at best, gross negligence on her part, which meets the standard required to put her… 

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where she belongs, the WaPo’s stunning obsequiousness notwithstanding!  How far that organization has fallen since the days of Watergate.  The Post‘s editors would have you believe Hillary’s email activities, which are unquestionably criminal in nature on at least three fronts (national security, destruction of evidence and bribery/corruption) is akin to Bill fluffing his lie while lying five but claiming three.

Here’s hoping long-time Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe…

Under Federal Investigation, Clintonite McAuliffe’s Story Falls Apart

 

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This is my sphincter in prison!

…is right there behind her.  For once the lid on this cesspool of corruption is cracked, the whole rotten structure will collapse.

Then there’s what we consider the flip-side of the Hillary coin, courtesy of Charles Murray writing at NRO, who relates…

Why ‘Hillary Is Even Worse’ Doesn’t Cut It

 

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“…Barring a startling turn of events, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican presidential nominee. There are good reasons to question his fitness to occupy the presidency, because of both his policy positions and for reasons of character. The standard response among the Establishmentarians who have announced they will vote for Trump is that “Hillary is even worse.” That’s acceptable for people whose only obligation is to cast a vote. Having to choose the lesser of two evils is common in American voting booths. But that shouldn’t be good enough for Establishmentarians.

If we’re going to presume to lecture others about public policy and good governance — as all of us have made a career of doing in one way or another — we need to put our views about Donald Trump on the table now, before the nomination and election. That’s especially true of the False Priests and the Closet #NeverTrumpers — labels that I owe to Jonah Goldberg.

The False Priests are the columnists, media pundits, public intellectuals, and politicians who have presented themselves as principled conservatives or libertarians but now have announced they will vote for a man who, by multiple measures, represents the opposite of the beliefs they have been espousing throughout their careers. We’ve already heard you say “Hillary is even worse.” Tell us, please, without using the words “Hillary Clinton” even once, your assessment of Donald Trump, using as a template your published or broadcast positions about right policy and requisite character for a president of the United States. Put yourself on the record: Are you voting for a man whom your principles require you to despise, or have you modified your principles? In what ways were you wrong before? We require explanation beyond “Hillary is even worse.”

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The Closet #NeverTrumpers are drawn from the Establishmentarians who can easily avoid publicly revealing their views of Trump. They include policy analysts like me who don’t have a history of writing about current politics, political strategists, senior Hill staffers, and potential appointees to high office in a Trump administration. Many of them now privately tell people like Jonah and me that they agree with the us, the #NeverTrumpers, 100 percent. Great. But I suspect that many of these private opinions will get deep-sixed if Trump is elected. That’s not acceptable. You shouldn’t be able to cozy up to the new administration without having previously acknowledged your real opinion of the man you will then be willing to work for.

We Establishmentarians, therefore, should all go on the record about our view of Donald Trump. That includes me. I have done so in 140-character tweets, but it’s time to elaborate. Apart from that, I have a specific need to go on the record: While I am already on record with my sympathy for the grievances that energize many of Trump’s supporters, I am thinking about writing a book that is even more explicitly sympathetic with those grievances. I want to forestall any suspicion — especially if Trump is elected — that writing in sympathy with some of the content of Trumpism indicates any form of sucking up to Trump the man.

Here goes: In my view, Donald Trump is unfit to be president in ways that apply to no other candidate of the two major political parties throughout American history.

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…But for conveying the essence of why I think Trump is unfit outside normal parameters, I cannot write anything nearly as concise and expressive as David Brooks wrote a few months ago:

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa…He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12.

Since Brooks wrote those words, Trump has become the presumptive Republican nominee, and he now does have advisors. He has had ten additional weeks to demonstrate his capacity to learn; to show that he is taking national policy more seriously than buying a sofa; to persuade us that underneath the showman exterior is presidential seriousness. My view is that he has not and cannot. What you see is what you get…”

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: unlike Murray…or Murray as he represents his position today…come November, if it’s Hillary versus The Donald, we’ll vote for the lesser of two maggots…er,…weevils…we mean evils!  But it will take a dramatic course change once he’s in office for us to alter our conviction Trump’s a cure which may well be worse than the disease.

In the meantime, we’re with Peter Wehner…

“Mr. Trump’s candidacy is putting more stress on more friendships than any other political development in my experience. Precisely because of the antipathy I have for Mr. Trump, I need to try doubly hard to resist the temptation to assume the worst of his supporters even as my worries about him mount. Absent compelling evidence to the contrary, I need to grant to them the same good faith I hope others would grant to me.(Though such forbearance is not extended to anyone who voted for The Dear Misleader once, let alone twice!)

…James Taranto…

“…Last week Jonah Goldberg offered this “dark confession”:

During a panel Q&A, a passenger on the [National Review] cruise made a strong case for voting Trump. He ably argued that we know Hillary will be terrible, while we can only suspect Trump will be. Trump will probably do some things conservatives will like—Supreme Court appointments, etc.—while we know for a fact Hillary will not.

And here’s what I said: I agree. If the election were a perfect tie, and the vote fell to me and me alone, I’d probably vote for none other than Donald Trump for precisely these reasons.

Goldberg hastens to add that he still won’t vote for Trump, because his vote won’t be deciding and Trump is the lesser of two very evil evils, analogous to “being shredded to death by a giant cheese-grater“ as opposed to “fed to a pack of half-starved wolverines.”

Well, OK, but what if you think the difference is somewhat greaterthat electing Trump is like being bitten by a thousand chiggers, which would be unpleasant as hell but still vastly preferable to being consumed by wolverines?

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Is there really a great matter of principle at stake here?…”

and Dan Henninger:

We await the alternative.”

Speaking of poxes upon the Republic, also courtesy of NRO, Kevin Williamson encourages Americans to…

Liberate the Commanding Heights

The TSA is only part of the stranglehold.

 

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“…The madness isn’t that our employees attempt to extort more money from us. The madness is that we permit it.

The catalogue of the TSA’s sins reads like the diary of the Marquis de Sade, from the sexual abuse of children to the production of child pornography, beside which such workaday offenses as looting travelers’ property and smuggling drugs seem quaint. This is not a few bad apples — this is a crime syndicate pretending to be a federal agency.

Of course, there is always a way to make things worse, and in the case of the TSA passengers who are groped, inconvenienced, bullied, condescended to, and stolen from, most suffer that while knowing, if they read the newspapers at all, that this theater of cruelty is performed for no particular reason at all: The TSA’s record for providing actual security is practically nonexistent; security testers sneaking mock explosives and weapons past TSA screeners achieved an astonishing success rate of 95 percent.

bureaucracy

TSA complains that it just cannot keep up with the traffic at American airports. This is unpersuasive. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport processes more passengers than does New York’s JFK, and its security process, including something like an El Al pre-board interview in which a well-trained security officer gives passengers the hairy Dutch eyeball, generally takes only a few minutes, whereas traversing JFK can take hours. There is, of course, a combination of factors at work here, and it is not as though U.S. airport authorities are simply unable to do the job. Las Vegas’s McCarran airport handles more passengers than does Houston’s Bush — about 1.5 million more per year — but tourism-dependent Sin City generally has its act together, whereas Houston, to put it gently, does not.

Dynamic societies are almost by definition ones in which people are literally on the move. For all of that hopeful late-1990s talk about virtual presence and telecommuting, a great deal of business is done face-to-face. But it is increasingly difficult to move around in these United States. I myself left Manhattan at the dawn of the de Blasio era when my eleven-minute hop-skip on the No. 6 train routinely became a 40-minute commute — from City Hall to 32nd Street, a distance of only 2.8 miles. That’s another public-sector monopoly, one that holds its customers in complete contempt. In libertarian circles, every joke has the same punchline: “But who will build the roads?” Spend a week or two navigating rush-hour traffic in Houston, Washington, or Atlanta, and you’ll ask precisely the same question. Our transit infrastructure also is under the monopolistic management of the public sector, which, if the evidence is to be believed, simply hates us — mere negligence and stupidity cannot explain the state of our freeways.

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The great parasitic class in the United States isn’t the people receiving welfare checks but the people writing them, the vast array of desk-occupiers, time-servers, and pornography enthusiasts who consume the public payroll. They have an unsurpassed talent for insinuating themselves into the critical junctures of life in such a way as to stand between people and their ends. You can drive a car — with their permission, on their terms, and after they get paid. You can take the train, so long as a ticket-puncher on the Metro North railroad, whose job could be done (and in many places is done) by a simple scanner, gets a six-figure compensation package. True, you may sit for an hour as the best and brightest transportation minds on the southern edge of New England figure out that it snows in the winter in Connecticut, but you will at least have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary, learning what a pantograph is when the one on the train breaks…”

In all seriousness, America: wake up and smell the bureaucracy!  To borrow a phrase from the enlightened Inspector Harry Callahan:

And remember, Liberals are never satisfied with half a loaf.

On The Lighter Side

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Then there’s these two beauties from John Berry:

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Finally, we’ll call it a week with the Educated Idiots segment, brought to us today by TheWeek.com and the delicate little flowers at Oberlin College:

Oberlin students want to abolish midterms and any grades below C

 

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Students at Oberlin College are asking the school to put academics on the back burner so they can better turn their attention to activism. More than 1,300 students at the Midwestern liberal arts college have now signed a petition asking that the college get rid of any grade below a C for the semester, and some students are requesting alternatives to the standard written midterm examination, such as a conversation with a professor in lieu of an essay.

The students say that between their activism work and their heavy course load, finding success within the usual grading parameters is increasingly difficult. “A lot of us worked alongside community members in Cleveland who were protesting,” Megan Bautista, a co-liaison in Oberlin’s student government, said, referring to the protests surrounding the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a police officer in 2014. “But we needed to organize on campus as well — it wasn’t sustainable to keep driving 40 minutes away. A lot of us started suffering academically.”..”

Your suffering started long before you got to Oberlin, you delicate little douche pump!  Forgive us if we don’t choose to suffer with you.

Magoo