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It’s Friday, January 29th, 2016…but first, felicitations…followed by a questions.  Congratulations go out to Stilton Jarlsberg, the genuine genius behind Hope n’ Change, and his wife on the occasion of their 33rd wedding anniversary.  As Quint might have observed…

…particularly given our nation’s prevailing social mores.

Now the question: riddle us this, Caped Crusader: WTF is WRONG with the our Fleet, and WTF is running it?!?

The Admiral in Charge of Navy Intelligence Has Not Been Allowed to See Military Secrets for Years

 

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“Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy’s director of intelligence operations.

More than 800 days later, neither Branch nor Loveless has been charged. But neither has been cleared, either. Their access to classified information remains blocked.

Although the Navy transferred Loveless to a slightly less sensitive post, it kept Branch in charge of its intelligence division. That has resulted in an awkward arrangement, akin to sending a warship into battle with its skipper stuck onshore…”

And if that isn’t bad enough, as The Daily Caller reports…

Second Navy Combat Ship Goes Down Because Someone Forgot To Check The Oil

 

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“The USS Fort Worth, a Navy littoral combat ship, has suffered extensive gear damage while docked at a port in Singapore. The Navy is blaming the incident on a crew error.

According to reports, the crew failed to use sufficient lube oil, leading to excessively high temperatures on the gears. Debris also found its way into the lubrication system, which also contributed to failure, Defense News reports. The crew did not follow standard operating procedures.

Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, a spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet, told Defense News. “USS Fort Worth has been a model of reliability for more than one year while deployed in the US 7th Fleet…”

Holy dipstick, Batman: imagine the state of disrepair on the 7th Fleet boats which aren’t models “of reliability”…not to mention how the failure to perform the required periodic maintenance will impact the Fort Worth‘s manufacturer’s warranty!  Forget SOP; this ship, along with a significant portion of her senior officers, are SOL!

But this couldn’t have anything to do with the fact the U.S. Navy, rather than focusing on combat readiness and force projection in defense and support of U.S. interests around the globe…such as contesting China’s claim to the areas around its artificial islands…under the premeditated misguidance of…

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…Nit and Wit(less), aka, Iran’s Bestest Buddy and Mabus the Moron, has its attention focused on ferreting out gender-discriminative terms like “Seaman“, “Corpsman” and…GASP!!!…”MIDSHIPMAN“!!!  No word yet on when Mabus intends to attempt the termination of the term “human“.

Given the opportunity, we’d have these two arrested, tried, convicted and shot for treason…all in the same day, schedule permitting.

And this just in:

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Now, here’s The Gouge!

We lead off the last edition of January with James Taranto’s thoughts on why Trump beat what seems to some a hasty retreat:

Donald Ducks

It takes a real showman to stage a showy no-show.

 

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“…A willingness to walk away from the table rather than yield to an unacceptable demand is usually a sign of strength, not weakness. During the Iran negotiations, conservatives rightly recognized that reaching a bad deal is worse than failing to reach a deal.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin ponders all this and reaches more or less the right conclusion:

The best we can surmise is that this is a classic power move, putting himself in a class by himself while the candidates behind him squabble among themselves. He’s bigger than Fox! Bigger than debates! At the very least, most of the news cycle will be taken up by discussion over why he is not showing up. Moderators will be compelled to ask other candidates about him even if he is not there. In a Trumpian election, it sort of makes sense. He is in control.

To put it another way, Trump calculated that he had more to gain from making a stand than from participating in yet another debate. One way of understanding this is as an application of Saul Alinsky’s seventh rule: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”…”

Though we happen to agree with Taranto’s calculation, were we Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, the following would quickly be the subject of ads running in Iowa, New Hampshire…

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and South Carolina.

In a related item, NRO‘s Charles W. Cooke suggests that…

Trump Supporters: Shut Up about Class and Argue the Point

 

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“If one were to judge American politics solely by the contents of my inbox, one would have no choice but to conclude that free thought is a fiction. As I have learned over these past six months, to criticize Donald Trump online is to be treated not to calm rebuttal and tailored explanation, but to an unyielding stream of melodramatic accusation, none of which has much to do with whatever point was originally being advanced. (A disagreeable experience we’ve shared.)

Since he declared his candidacy, I have proposed variously that Trump is an opportunistic charlatan playing cynically upon legitimate fears, that he has no moral or political compass, that his support for border reform is paper thin, that he is a loud and proud know-nothing, and that, ultimately, he is as thin-skinned and narcissistic as those whom he likes to accuse of having given in to “political correctness.” In almost every case, my interlocutors’ response has been simple: “You are an elite and a snob — an out-of-touch, upper-middle–class egghead who hates and scorns real Americans and is interested only in his own political advancement,” they say. “If you genuinely cared about ‘we the people,’ you’d get aboard the Trump bandwagon and stop degrading the base.”

This, I need not observe, is a lazy and manipulative way of advancing one’s interests, akin in intellectual dishonesty to the manner in which progressives attack dissenting minorities. Because he disagrees politically with the majority of Hispanic voters, Ted Cruz is held by the Left to have “abandoned” his “Latino roots”; because she skews right on most economic matters, Mia Love is deemed to be no better than a “House Negro”; because she is pro-life, Carly Fiorina must “hate women.” In all of these cases, the presumption is clear: Namely, that if a particular group tends to favor a particular policy or politician, one “insults” that group when one refuses to fall in line.

Thus do many progressives interpret conservative opposition to immigration reform as hatred toward Hispanics. Thus do many progressives regard conservative opposition to affirmative action as “racism.” Thus do many progressives explain that, by lambasting President Obama — who remains popular among black voters — conservatives are disparaging not just the president himself, but those who like him. And thus, apparently, do many Republican primary voters take harsh criticism of Donald Trump personally.

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Just as my political dislike of President Obama does not reflect animus toward African-Americans in general, so my distaste for the traveling circus act that Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are staging has no meaningful bearing on my feelings toward their supporters. I do not dislike Chuck Schumer because he has an unusually large Jewish constituency; I dislike him because I believe him to be a dishonest man whose policy prescriptions are wrong for America. Likewise, I do not dislike Nancy Pelosi because she is elected by the people of California; I dislike her because she is highly destructive to the causes in which I believe. Ideas, not opprobrium, are the animating variable here, and to suggest that they are not is absurd and self-indulgent.

When drawing this distinction it is customary for the aggrieved to argue that, at one level at least, it is impossible to call a man a “charlatan” without implying that those who support him have been duped. This, of course, is true. But again, that has no inevitable group or class implications, nor does it suggest any form of “hatred” or “condescension” toward the misled. My doctor is a staunch supporter of Barack Obama, and believes that he has been a “great” president. When, occasionally, we talk politics, he defends Obama passionately, and explains that he would vote him in for a third term if he could. Naturally, I disagree. Over the past four years I have contended that Obama is a feckless, arrogant, cult-inspiring authoritarian who has damaged the country’s crucial constitutional structure, and, in the name of transient victories, has willfully driven Americans apart. What, I wonder, should my doctor think of my words? Should he conclude that I “hate” him, and believe he is a stupid man? Should he conclude that I am opposed to all doctors? Should he conclude that I “look down” on Hispanics, on single women, on blacks, and on the young because they have supported the president in overwhelming numbers? I should certainly hope not. I’d like him to conclude that I think support for Obama is wrongheaded, and that, at worst, I believe he and like-minded individuals have been taken for a ride — which, it should be said, is exactly what they believe about me.

And so they should, for the alternative is too ugly to contemplate. If we cannot criticize those whom we believe to be politically undesirable without being accused of impeaching whole swathes of the voting public, we will quickly descend into precisely the sort of destructive, faction-based politics that are such an odious product of the hard Left. If this column — and others like it — come to inspire no more refined response than, “well you would say that because you belong to your group,” then reasoned argument will be buried, never to be heard from again. And, if we permit ambitious politicians to convince us that their interests and ours are utterly inextricable, we will sacrifice our individuality upon the altar of the mob. I don’t like Donald Trump: I think he’s a dangerous, boorish, calculating conman. You, on the other hand, I’ll take case by case.

Except of course for anyone who voted for The Obamao; most especially those who demonstrated the lack of intellect and/or ignorance to have done it twice!

Look, we understand the issue; as Laura Ingraham so eloquently explains…

But we as Conservatives cannot allow these feelings (as in “What LIBERALS are ruled by”) of anger/disappointment/disgust to cloud our judgment…particularly when it comes to nominating a candidate who may well represent America’s best…and last…chance.

Which brings us to yet another insightful bit of analysis from Andrew McCarthy, also writing at NRO:

Donald Trump: Thin-Skinned Tyrant

 

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“…In sum, there was no offense but, rather, a proper line of questioning that was unflattering to Trump because it accurately reported obnoxious public statements he’d made — the same sort of thing every politician should expect to be called on and that every Republican politician is guaranteed to be called on. Trump parried it capably, perhaps even turning it to his advantage. That should have been the end of it, yet Trump could not help but flash the unsavory parts of his personality. He is so self-absorbed that he had to turn the exchange into a personal battle with the journalist; and he is on such a hair-trigger that he went DEFCON 5 over what, essentially, was no offense at all, much less a vicious attack.

Mix in his signature instability: He would never stop treating Kelly nicely, until — turning on a dimehe did . . . just like Carly Fiorina was unattractive until she was “beautiful . . . and Jeb Bush was a great guy until he was a loser . . . and Ted Cruz was a friend until he was a nasty” guy that no one would have for a friend . . . and ISIS was Putin’s problem until we needed to obliterate them . . . and he was going to roll over all the “stupid” people on Capitol Hill who’ve screwed everything up until he was going to make deals with his old friends Pelosi, Reid, and Schumer . . . and he was going to round up and kick out 12 million illegal aliens but then bring most of them right back into the country.

How can Trump fans think, based on what he’s saying at the moment, that they know what a President Trump would do a year from now? The truth is: No one knows whether what he just said is what he’ll be saying five minutes from now.

And that is because Trump is a calculating showman. What he says in the moment is based on expedience, not rooted ideas. That’s why, if you stick around long enough, he will get around to saying everything: advocating abortion on demand and, eventually, the sanctity of life; professing admiration for Bill de Blasio and, eventually, Clarence Thomas; gushing praise for Megyn Kelly and, eventually, savaging Megyn Kelly.

Irrational, mercurial, draconian, solipsist — all wrapped up in a neat little persecution complex. I wouldn’t put him in the Oval Office, but he has the makings of a fine Saudi sheikh.

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Sorry Donald, but like so much else about you, the photo’s a fake!

Turning now to the Entertainment Section, courtesy again of NRO, Stephen Miller wonders…

If the Oscars Are So Liberal, Why Are the #OscarsSoWhite?

 

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“…“The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry and then the industry reflects America,” Smith, a two-time Oscar nominee, told ABC news late last week. “There is a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony, and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind.”

But whether or not Smith is correct in his diagnosis of Hollywood’s slide towards “racial and religious disharmony,” one thing is certain: Hollywood’s sins are the fault of the progressive Left; no conservatives had a hand in any of it.

Hollywood is welcome to examine its own perceived racist and sexist biases — sins that apparently run rampant in an industry that was promoting and voting for Hope and Change just seven years ago. But kindly leave us out of it.

And where, pray tell, do it end?!?  Besides, it’s not like us avid firearmaholics can’t understand where Jada and Spike be comin’ from:

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Speaking of an unreasoned aversion to guns, Steven Crowder accurately defines the term “automatic” as applies to weapons, assesses their actual availability and offers the truth behind the mythical “gun show loophole”:

Rarely is anything these people write, say or think even remotely true; and their constant misrepresentation of the facts surrounding the characteristics, sale and ownership of firearms is no exception.

On The Lighter Side

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Since we’re on the subject of recovering from natural disasters, here’s a photo following the recent blizzard forwarded by G. Trevor:

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Finally, we’ll call it a month with a brief administrative note: we’re leaving early Saturday morning for Puebla, Mexico on an 8-day missions trip with our church.  Given the nature of the work (relatively strenuous manual labor), hours, altitude and historic internet connectivity, this will likely be our last transmission until Monday, February 8th.

So until then…

Terminator

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Magoo