It was reported earlier today that two more Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) will be deployed to the Korean peninsula / Sea of Japan in addition to the USS Carl Vinson CSG already underway. However, OfTwoMinds brought up a very curious point when it comes to the relationship between North Korea and China:
Imagine if the roles were reversed and China had to send its fleet to the Caribbean to deal with a rogue client state of America’s, that America could not control or contain. The loss of face is immense.
So, seeing the Chinese proximity to North Korea, and the nation’s belligerence, why hasn’t the Chinese government “handled” the problem of constant North Korean nuclear belligerence?
Recently, Free Market Shooter published a “cost-benefit” battle damage assessment (BDA), detailing whether or not the cruise missile strike was actually worth it. However, the article itself didn’t incorporate an actual BDA, instead relying on estimates based on both US and Russian reports.
Notably, the Russians reported that the US attack “inefficient”, claiming that only 23 of the 59 missiles hit the Shayrat Air Base in Syria:
Only 23 missiles flew to the Syrian air base and just 6 MiG-23s were destroyed there along with a radar station, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said at a briefing. Where the remaining 36 cruise missiles have landed is “unknown,” he said.
However, a quick glance over commercially available satellite imagery shows that the Konashenkov has been caught red-handed peddling some serious fiction with his statement.
For those who have been living under a rock for the past week, the United States on Thursday night (Friday AM local time in Syria) launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian air base in Ash Shayrat, near the besieged city of Homs. According to the DoD, only one missile failed out of an attempted 60, but according to the Russian military, only 23 of the 59 missiles reached the Shayrat air base.
There has been an uproar across the internet, with many claiming that this strike did a great job of sending a message, with many others criticizing President Trump for going against his campaign promises, and involving the US in yet another unwinnable war in the Middle East. In addition to the he-said/she-said out of the US and Russian defense departments, it leaves you rather confused as to what the attack actually accomplished, and whether or not it was really worth it in the end.
So, in the end, was it worth it? It depends on who you ask… but let’s attempt to look at the attack’s efficacy from a tactical perspective. To determine that, you need to first sort through all the chatter and misinformation, and see what the attack’s price tag was, and what it accomplished.
On February 12th, singer Joy Villa wore a “Make America Great Again” dress to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Conservative news fawned over Villa’s actions, and a Breitbart article was demonstrative of that fact:
Villa confirmed to this reporter that she is a Trump supporter and that she voted for the president.
Asked why she decided to essentially troll the Grammys, Villa explained that she was “tired” of Hollywood’s treatment of Trump supporters.
“I was tired of the bullying,” she said in a phone interview. “I was tired of being pushed down so that I couldn’t say my beliefs. And being fearful of losing sales. Losing fans. Losing bookings. Losing contracts and sponsorship. You know, that’s my day to day. And a lot of my friends have the same thing. And we live in Hollywood, which is supposed to be the most open viewpoint city. But the truth is there was a lot of hate and a lot of negativity and I wanted to change the storyline to love and support and unity as an American.”
If she was truly “fearful of losing sales” by wearing the dress, it appears her fears were grossly misplaced, as her album sales vaulted to the top of Amazon’s paid albums list:
Yesterday, it was reported that Susan Rice, a national security advisor and close confidant of former President Obama, had requested that President Trump’s transition team be “unmasked” as it pertained to “incidental” surveillance on the President-elect and the team. Bloomberg covered the story, but only after it was broken by “fake news” journalist Mike Cernovich, who himself had been attacked a week earlier on a CBS’s “60 Minutes” segment on “fake news”:
Cernovich pointed out, as revealed in an article by Circa, that President Obama began loosening the rules regarding “incidental intercepts” starting in 2011 – making it easier for the US Government to spy on individuals who are not the primary target(s) of a surveillance operation.
As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats
And guess who had authorization to unmask individuals who were ‘incidentally’ surveilled? Former CIA Director John Brennan, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Obama’s National Security advisor Susan Rice. Also of note is the claim that New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman has been sitting on the Susan Rice story for at least two days:
Twitter user James Brower (who follows Free Market Shooter on Twitter) noted that CNN didn’t run a story at all about the Susan Rice news:
According to The Hill, under the traditional rules of confirmation of Supreme Court Justices, Judge Neil Gorsuch has enough “no” votes to force the Senate to change the rules of nomination if they want Gorusch to sit on the SCOTUS bench:
Senate Democrats have clinched enough support to block Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, setting up a “nuclear” showdown over Senate rules later this week.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced on Monday that he will oppose President Trump’s pick on a procedural vote where he will need the support of eight Democrats to cross a 60-vote threshold to end debate on Gorsuch. Coons is the 41st Democrat to back the filibuster.
“Throughout this process, I have kept an open mind. … I have decided that I will not support Judge Grouch’s nomination in the Judiciary Committee meeting today,” Coons said.
“I am not ready to end debate on this issue. So I will be voting against cloture,” Coons said, absent a deal to avoid the nuclear option.
Unless one of the 41 Democrats changes their vote, the filibuster of Gorsuch will be sustained in a vote later this week.
If you take a look at the credentials of Judge Gorsuch, historical precedent, and recent history, the opposition to the Gorsuch nomination is beyond laughable – it is downright obstructionist. And it seems they are only standing in opposition because President Trump nominated the man instead of President Cruz, or Bush, or Obama, or even Clinton.
Yesterday, 60 Minutes aired a segment on “fake news,” which featured correspondent Scott Pelley interviewing several guests as per their typical style. Regarding the guests, it was shocking to see Mike Cernovich of Danger & Play invited to be a part of the segment… and that he accepted. He clearly knew 60 Minutes would not paint him in a fair light with their editing, but it was shocking to see 60 Minutes air a portion of the interview near the end of the segment where he said as much:
Michael Cernovich: I’m a skeptical person. And I know that there’s a lotta people gunnin’ for me. So I’m not gonna be reckless.
Scott Pelley: Who’s gunning for you?
Michael Cernovich: You are! I’m on 60 Minutes! Right?
Scott Pelley: What do you mean we’re gunning for you?
Michael Cernovich: Do I really think that you guys are gonna tell the story that I would like to have told? No. Your story’s gonna be, “Here’s a guy, spreads fake news, uses social media and these social media people better,” I know the story you guys are doing before you do it.
It was hardly the only one-sided story told in the segment. The segment began with the story of a nutcase who tried to barge into Comet Pizza, owned by James Alefantis, in response to the “Pizzagate” story that was trending at the time. Predictably, CBS painted the story as “fake news”:
Over three years ago, The Daily Mail reported a story about a 16-year-old boy who died at a border crossing. Allegedly, the boy was trying to pass off liquid methamphetamine as “apple juice” and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers asked him to prove it was indeed apple juice:
Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of San Ysidro reported that the boy appeared nervous and their suspicions grew when they found he was carrying two small containers of an amber-colored liquid that he claimed was juice.
The officers took the teen to an inspection area, where he drank some of the liquid, said San Diego police Lt. Mike Hastings.
Free Market Shooter was recently presented with an article from Vogue detailing the steps Google’s Yasmin Green is taking to become a “slayer” of internet trolls. A few notable excerpts are below:
“We have that geopolitical lens,” Green tells me. “We have the mandate to think ahead, rather than respond to what’s happening at the moment. To think prophetically.”
“Our job is to get more and better information in the hands of vulnerable people,” she says.
“How can we illustrate this?” asks Green. How, in other words, can the threat be explained so that you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley programmer to understand it?
Does this sound at all to you like a simple reprogramming of search algorithms? Because it sure reads a lot more like McCarthy-ist censorship. And a closer look at Google’s strategy reveals that is exactly what Google intends to do, with right-wing news as the target.
Yesterday, Jeff Bezos’s blog, The Washington Post, posted an article with the headline “Immigrants Are Going Hungry So Trump Won’t Deport Them”. An excerpt is below:
In the two months since President Trump’s inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noted a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP — and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program.
Their fear, advocates say, is that participation could draw the eye of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or hurt their chances of attaining citizenship. Without federal nutrition benefits, many are resorting to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed themselves and their children.
The evidence is still anecdotal — and The Washington Post was unable to speak directly with immigrants who chose to cancel their SNAP benefits.
But all it took was one astute Twitter user to show the world that the headline they posted wasn’t the original one.