Sunday, 23 February 2020

Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Cowboy Kent Rollins is an authentic cowboy cook. His videos are both informative and entertaining, and here's his take on a traditional favorite, old fashioned chicken and dumplings (video below in comments):


Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

4 (about 7 oz) boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
½ stick butter, softened
1 quart heavy cream
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons oil
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cold water

In a pot add enough water to generously cover the chicken breasts. Add the salt. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Return the chicken to the pot along with 6 cups of the chicken stock. Add the butter and the cream to the broth. Cook over medium heat cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple minutes. Stir in the chicken. Cook over for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl add the flour and baking powder, stir well Add the oil and buttermilk and begin stirring until it forms a soft dough (like the consistency of pie dough). Knead over about 4 - 5 times. Pinch off into balls (any size you prefer) and drop into the broth.  

Let the dumplings cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and stir into the broth. Continue stirring the soup until it thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Season, to taste. Serve warm.

Count the martyrs: UK to review funds for Palestinian schools whose books incite


UK HAS GIVEN $427 MILLION IN AID TO UNRWA IN PAST FIVE YEARS
 

London says it’ll look at tens of millions given to UN refugee agency; one physics book discusses use of slingshots against IDF soldiers, others praise terrorists

By TOI Staff. 22 Feburary 2020 

www.timesofisrael.com/uk-to-review-funds-for-palestinian-schools-using-textbooks-encouraging-violence/

An image said to be from a Palestinian school textbook covering physics which shows a Palestinian boy shooting a slingshot at Israeli soldiers. The caption, according to the Daily Mail, reads: 'What is the relationship between the elongation of the slingshot's rubber and the tensile strength affecting it? What are the forces that influence the stone after its release from the slingshot?' (Courtesy)
An image said to be from a Palestinian school textbook covering physics which shows a Palestinian boy shooting a slingshot at Israeli soldiers. The caption, according to the Daily Mail, reads: 'What is the relationship between the elongation of the slingshot's rubber and the tensile strength affecting it? What are the forces that influence the stone after its release from the slingshot?' (Courtesy)


British officials have pledged to urgently review the tens of millions of dollars in aid the UK provides to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, after an investigative report found that a majority of the funds have been going to schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip which use textbooks that incite violence against Israelis.
According to a Friday report in the UK-based Daily Mail, the Department for International Development and its secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, vowed to raise the issue with the Palestinian Authority, adding that London was working to carry out an independent review of the Palestinian textbooks.
“The UK Government has a zero tolerance approach toward incitement to violence,” a spokesman for the department told the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail report included several examples of alleged incitement uncovered in textbooks used at schools funded by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). In one math textbook for nine-year-olds, students are asked to add up the number of martyrs from Palestinian uprisings, accompanied with images of their funerals. In another, 11-year-olds are taught Newton’s Second Law of Physics with a depiction of a boy pointing a slingshot at Israeli soldiers.
Other photos showed Palestinians using slingshots against Israeli forces and quizzed students on their potential use and effectiveness, as well as precautions to employ while using them.
An image said to be from a Palestinian school textbook shows Palestinians using various weapons against Israeli soldiers. The caption, according to the Daily Mail, reads: ‘During the Palestinian Stone Uprising of 1987, the youth of Palestine used a slingshot or the ‘shu’ba’ to confront the bullets of the Occupation army soldiers who were breaking into Palestinian towns. The Palestinians had no other means of defending themselves. Answer the questions: 1. Have you seen a slingshot in your environment? What are its uses? 2. What is its usefulness for shooting stones? How does it work? 3. Examine the forms of energy transformations of the stone, from the moment it is set in the slingshot position until its launch toward the target. 4. Formerly, bows and arrows were used as a means of self-defense. Explain the principle of how it [the bow] works in launching an arrow toward the goal and compare it with the principle of how slingshots worked in the Palestinian stone uprising. 5. What safety precautions should be taken into account when using the slingshot?’
Textbooks were found to praise Palestinian “martyrs,” including Dalal al-Mughrabi, who led the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre during which Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 38 Israelis.
The materials revealed by the Daily Mail appeared to have been provided to the paper by the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based right-wing think tank that was quoted in the article and which has released a report of its own calling for funding to UNRWA to be reconsidered.
The UK has given some $427 million in aid to UNRWA over the past five years with another $84 million pledged for the coming year. Roughly 62 percent of that funding goes to schools in the Palestinian territories, which could be using such textbooks.
Responding to the Daily Mail report, UNRWA said in a statement that it “cannot alter host government curriculum as this is a matter of national sovereignty, but it does have robust systems in place to ensure education delivered in its schools reflects UN values.”
An image said to be from a Palestinian school textbook praises Palestinian terrorist Dalal al-Mughrabi, who took part in the 1978 massacre of 38 Israelis (Courtesy)
Last May, the European Union announced that it would conduct an examination of new Palestinian school textbooks following a study that found them to be more radical than in the past and containing incitement and rejection of peace with Israel.
The development came after the European Parliament in April 2018 passed legislation geared to prevent hateful content in Palestinian textbooks. In October of that year the parliament’s budgetary committee recommended freezing more than $17 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority over incitement against Israel in its textbooks.
The EU hands the PA 360 million euros ($404 million) per year, with most earmarked for its education ministry. In addition, the European body donates $178 million to UNRWA, much of which goes to its schools that teach the PA curriculum.

Could we live in a world without rules?

February 20, 2020 6.54am GMT
By Nick Chater
theconversation.com/could-we-live-in-a-world-without-rules-128664


 Image result for Could we live in a world without rules?

I’m in my late twenties and I’m feeling more and more constrained by rules. From the endless signs that tell me to “stand on the right” on escalators or “skateboarding forbidden” in public places to all those unwritten societal rules such as the expectation that I should settle down, buy a house and have a family. Do we really need all these rules, why should I follow them and what would happen if we all ignored them? Will, 28, London
We all feel the oppressive presence of rules, both written and unwritten – it’s practically a rule of life. Public spaces, organisations, dinner parties, even relationships and casual conversations are rife with regulations and red tape that seemingly are there to dictate our every move. We rail against rules being an affront to our freedom, and argue that they’re “there to be broken”.
But as a behavioural scientist I believe that it is not really rules, norms and customs in general that are the problem – but the unjustified ones. The tricky and important bit, perhaps, is establishing the difference between the two.
A good place to start is to imagine life in a world without rules. Apart from our bodies following some very strict and complex biological laws, without which we’d all be doomed, the very words I’m writing now follow the rules of English. In Byronic moments of artistic individualism, I might dreamily think of liberating myself from them. But would this new linguistic freedom really do me any good or set my thoughts free?

Some – Lewis Carroll in his poem Jabberwocky, for example – have made a success of a degree of literary anarchy. But on the whole, breaking away from the rules of my language makes me not so much unchained as incoherent.
Byron was a notorious rule breaker in his personal life, but he was also a stickler for rhyme and meter. In his poem, When We Two Parted, for example, Byron writes about forbidden love, a love that broke the rules, but does do so by precisely following some well-established poetic laws. And many would argue it is all the more powerful for it:
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?–
With silence and tears.
Consider, too, how rules are the essence of sport, games and puzzles – even when their entire purpose is supposedly fun. The rules of chess, say, can trigger a tantrum if I want to “castle” to get out of check, but find that they say I can’t; or if I find your pawn getting to my side of the board and turning into a queen, rook, knight or bishop. Similarly, find me a football fan who hasn’t at least once raged against the offside rule.
But chess or football without rules wouldn’t be chess or football – they would be entirely formless and meaningless activities. Indeed, a game with no rules is no game at all.
Lots of the norms of everyday life perform precisely the same function as the rules of games – telling us what “moves” we can, and can’t, make. The conventions of “pleases” and “thank yous” that seem so irksome to young children are indeed arbitrary – but the fact that we have some such conventions, and perhaps critically that we agree what they are, is part of what makes our social interactions run smoothly.
There are no games without rules. Shutterstock
And rules about driving on the left or the right, stopping at red lights, queuing, not littering, picking up our dog’s deposits and so on fall into the same category. They are the building blocks of a harmonious society.

The call of chaos

Of course, there has long been an appetite among some people for a less formalised society, a society without government, a world where individual freedom takes precedence: an anarchy.
The trouble with anarchy, though, is that it is inherently unstable – humans continually, and spontaneously, generate new rules governing behaviour, communication and economic exchange, and they do so as rapidly as old rules are dismantled.
A few decades ago, the generic pronoun in written language was widely assumed to be male: he/him/his. That rule has, quite rightly, largely been overturned. Yet it has also been replaced – not by an absence of rules, but by a different and broader set of rules governing our use of pronouns.
Or let’s return to the case of sport. A game may start by kicking a pig’s bladder from one end of a village to another, with ill-defined teams, and potentially riotous violence. But it ends up, after a few centuries, with a hugely complex rule book dictating every detail of the game. We even create international governing bodies to oversee them.
The political economist Elinor Ostrom (who shared the Noble Prize for economics in 2009) observed the same phenomenon of spontaneous rule construction when people had collectively to manage common resources such as common land, fisheries, or water for irrigation.
She found that people collectively construct rules about, say, how many cattle a person can graze, where, and when; who gets how much water, and what should be done when the resource is limited; who monitors whom, and which rules resolve disputes. These rules aren’t just invented by rulers and imposed from the top down – instead, they often arise, unbidden, from the needs of mutually agreeable social and economic interactions.
The urge to overturn stifling, unjust or simply downright pointless rules is entirely justified. But without some rules – and some tendency for us to stick to them – society would slide rapidly into pandemonium. Indeed, many social scientists would see our tendency to create, stick to, and enforce rules as the very foundation of social and economic life.
Our relationship with rules does seem to be unique to humans. Of course, many animals behave in highly ritualistic ways – for example, the bizarre and complex courtship dances of different species of bird of paradise – but these patterns are wired into their genes, not invented by past generations of birds. And, while humans establish and maintain rules by punishing rule violations, chimpanzees – our closest relatives – do not. Chimps may retaliate when their food is stolen but, crucially, they don’t punish food stealing in general – even if the victim is a close relative.
In humans, rules also take hold early. Experiments show that children, by the age of three, can be taught entirely arbitrary rules for playing a game. Not only that, when a “puppet” (controlled by an experimenter) arrives on the scene and begins to violate the rules, children will criticise the puppet, protesting with comments such as “You are doing that wrong!” They will even attempt to teach the puppet to do better.
Some rules help keep things running smoothly… and us safe. Shutterstock
Indeed, despite our protests to the contrary, rules seem hardwired into our DNA. In fact, our species’ ability to latch onto, and enforce, arbitrary rules is crucial to our success as a species. If each of us had to justify each rule from scratch (why we drive on the left in some countries, and on the right in others; why we say please and thank you), our minds would grind to a halt. Instead, we are able to learn the hugely complex systems of linguistic and social norms without asking too many questions – we simply absorb “the way we do things round here”.

Instruments of tyranny

But we must be careful – for this way tyranny also lies. Humans have a powerful sense of wanting to enforce, sometimes oppressive, patterns of behaviour – correct spelling, no stranded prepositions, no split infinitives, hats off in church, standing for the national anthem – irrespective of their justification. And while the shift from “This is what we all do” to “This is what we all ought to do” is a well-known ethical fallacy, it is deeply embedded in human psychology.
One danger is that rules can develop their own momentum: people can become so fervent about arbitrary rules of dress, dietary restrictions or the proper treatment of the sacred that they may exact the most extreme punishments to maintain them.
Political ideologues and religious fanatics often mete out such retribution – but so do repressive states, bullying bosses and coercive partners: the rules must be obeyed, just because they are the rules.
Not only that, but criticising rules or failing to enforce them (not to draw attention to a person wearing inappropriate dress, for example) becomes a transgression requiring punishment itself.
And then there’s “rule-creep”: rules just keep being added and extended, so that our individual liberty is increasingly curtailed. Planning restrictions, safety regulations and risk assessments can seem to accumulate endlessly and may extend their reach far beyond any initial intention.
Restrictions on renovating ancient buildings can be so stringent that no renovation is feasible and the buildings collapse; environmental assessments for new woodlands can be so severe that tree planting becomes almost impossible; regulations on drug discovery can be so arduous that a potentially valuable medicine is abandoned. The road to hell is not merely paved with good intentions, but edged with rules enforcing those good intentions, whatever the consequences.
Individuals, and societies, face a continual battle over rules – and we must be cautious about their purpose. So, yes, “standing on the right” on an escalator may speed up everyone’s commute to work – but be careful of conventions that have no obvious benefit to all, and especially those that discriminate, punish and condemn. The latter can become the instruments of tyranny
Rules, like good policing, should rely on our consent. So perhaps the best advice is mostly to follow rules, but always to ask why.




Saturday, 22 February 2020

Recipes - Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegetable Barley Soup   

Thick and filling winter soup.

All you need to turn this soup into a meal is some fresh bread


By Pascale Perez-Rubin of  Pascale's Kitchen:
The Jerusalem Post , Thursday February 20, 2020
https://www.jpost.com/israeli%20Food%20and%20Jewish%20Recipes/Recipes-Thick-and-filling-winter-soups-618202




VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP
Makes 6-8 servings.

Ingredients
1 large onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 light green zucchini, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 sweet potato, peeled
1 potato, peeled
3 stalks of celery with leaves
¼ celery root
6 sprigs of parsley 
6 sprigs of cilantro
½ level tsp. turmeric
½ level tsp. sweet paprika
½ tsp. spicy paprika
2 Tbsp. salt
½ tsp. black or white pepper
1 heaping Tbsp. onion soup mix
12 cups boiling water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
1¾ cups barley, well rinsed

Directions
Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in a large pot with olive oil until onion becomes translucent. 

Cut the zucchini, carrot, sweet potato, potato and celery stalks and root into small chunks. Add vegetables to soup and sauté. Chop the parsley and cilantro and add to pot.

Add the spices, soup powder and boiling water. Mix well and bring to a boil. 

Lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the barley and cook for another 40 minutes over a medium flame until barley has softened. 

The soup will continue to thicken after you take it off the flame, so you’re welcome to add another cup of water if you want. Bring to boil again and then taste and adjust seasoning.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 30-60 minutes.
Status: Meat or vegetarian, depending on which soup stock you use. 




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US Politics 📺📻 - Socialism Makes People Do Strange Things

Socialism Makes People Do Strange Things


What does the most troubling political phenomenon of postwar America portend for November and beyond?

 
Bruce Thornton, Front Page Magazine 

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


Apart from the bizarrerie of Trumpophobia, the wide-spread Democrat  attraction to socialism is the strangest political phenomenon of postwar America. In 2016, the ascent of Bernie Sanders, the inconsequential senator from Vermont, bespoke a more limited audience comprising mainly millennials for whom politics is a marker of personal identity. Now we’re seeing a slate of primary candidates who all embrace socialist policies far to the left of Barack Obama’s public persona. What does this phenomenon portend for November and beyond?
Certainly the mainstream Democrats who rigged the 2016 primary on behalf of Hillary Clinton are nervous. Old Clinton wrangler James Carville is alarmed: He called Sanders’ supporters a “cult,” and prophesied that if Sanders runs against Trump, it would bring on “the end of days.” Sanders responded by calling Carville a “political hack,” a moniker Carville embraced as superior to being a political amateur and a “communist.”
For other Democrats, Sanders vs. Trump would reprise storied Democrat wipeouts like 1972 and 1980. Nor do polls suggest that socialism’s appeal has increased: 53% of those recently polled by Gallup said they would not support a “generally well-qualified socialist” for president, whereas 90% would support a black, Catholic, Hispanic, female, or Jewish one. The U.S.’s historical, and exceptional, resistance to socialism still seems to hold.
Moreover, the policies being bruited by the primary candidates are preposterously utopian and simply unaffordable. The bill just for the Green New Deal, forgiving $1.5 trillion in student debt, and Medicare For All tops $100 trillion. No proposal for financing the cost has passed the laugh test. Most are variations of the “make the rich pay their fair share” cliché, meaning various tax-hikes that would stop the current record-setting economic boom in its tracks. The reality is, the top 10% of earners just don’t have enough money. We could confiscate outright all the wealth of America’s 707 billionaires, $3 trillion, and still not be able even to fund the federal government’s FY 2020 budget estimate of $4.7 trillion.
Nor can those evil corporations that create jobs and wealth be tapped for more funds. The Fortune 500 wealthiest companies are worth $22.6 trillion, just about enough to cover the fed’s total debt of $22.7 trillion rising as we speak. And of course, then the economy would implode. Nor can raising the corporate tax rate generate the money socialists need to fund their proposals. After all, Trump’s reduction of corporate rates has contributed to economic growth, more jobs, higher tax revenues, and wage-gains for workers. Why would voters want to throw that all away to achieve some vague idea of “social justice”?
The only way to begin to cover the new socialists’ extravagant policies would require taxing more people than just the top half of earners, as we do now, and throwing in a regressive consumption tax at a rate comparable to the average European VAT tax rate of 23%. And it’s questionable even those Draconian, growth-killing levels of taxation could fund even a fraction of the current socialist proposals.
These policies, then, are obviously not the product of reason or mathematics or even common sense. They are instead a narcotic for those in thrall to the doctrine of income egalitarianism, an imagined paradise on earth of the sort found in millenarian cults, an ersatz faith, and a fashion accessory for the badly educated and angst-ridden. That’s why the historical record of socialism’s bloody failures cuts no ice with the true believers. Even if we set aside the most destructive manifestations of collectivist ideologies like Soviet and Maoist communism, the progressive version of socialism that has developed in the U.S. over the last century offers no evidence that supports expanding progressive policies even further.
Indeed, as historian Amity Shlaes has documented in two books, progressivism’s biggest political successes, FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, have been real-world failures. It’s not just the moral hazard of getting citizens hooked on benefits funded by redistributing wealth from the productive, memorably expressed in Kipling’s line “All men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.” Worse, these programs are on track to bankrupt the country. Along with interest on the debt, for the time being serviced at atypically low interest rates, these programs are eating up more than two-thirds of the annual budget. An aging population that is living longer and taking the lion’s share of health-care spending guarantees that without reform current spending is unsustainable. It is the height of irrationalism, or a sign of political duplicity, that all the current Democrat primary candidates are proposing policies that will worsen this fiscal disaster.
Just as revealing of irrationalism or simple incoherence is the hypocrisy of millionaire candidates like Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, beneficiaries of free-market capitalism who bite the hand that feeds them. It doesn’t matter if they’re sincere but just poorly educated, or lacking in self-awareness, or fully aware of their hypocrisy and willing to promise anything to get power. The effect on the rest of us if one of them wins in November will still be devastating.
But establishment Democrats who are terrified of Bernie Sanders have ratcheted up the irrationalism by turning to billionaire Michael Bloomberg. They have already changed rules for participating in debates to accommodate him, and there are rumors that the DNC is attempting to fix the race as it did in 2016 to benefit Hillary Clinton. Their “moderates” Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren having faltered, the goal now is to prevent an unapologetic, Soviet Union honeymooning, serial commie thug admirer, and in-your-face avowed socialist from sending Trump back to the White House.
This is an issue not of principle but of expediency. Smarter Democrats like James Carville know the nationwide antipathy to socialism requires a leader like Barack Obama who can lie smoothly on the campaign trail, and then once elected pursue a Fabian strategy of incremental change, just as Obamacare was the first step towards the full-blown government-run health care now being touted by the Democrat primary candidates.
But Michael Bloomberg? The guy who thinks the worst presidential candidate ever should be considered for his vice president? The eighth richest man in the U.S.? How well will that sit with the “woke” socialist class-warriors? Not even their skills at cognitive dissonance can rationalize that level of hypocrisy. This is the party that, with “maverick” John McCain’s help, passed the McCain-Feingold bill that violated the First Amendment by restricting donations to candidates, a bill that fortunately was overturned in the Citizens United case. Since then undoing that decision has been a staple of Democrat campaign rhetoric, ostensibly to keep plutocratic money from corrupting our elections.
Now some are turning to a plutocrat worth $62 billion who can literally buy if not the election, at least the candidacy. It’s no coincidence that eight mayors who have endorsed Bloomberg run cities that have received grants from Bloomberg philanthropies. And it doesn’t hurt that Bloomberg has been generous to Democrats, spending $110 million in 2019 on Democrat Congressional candidates. And that’s just a sample of his politicized charity––$2.3 billion in 2018 alone–– documented by the New York Times, which concludes that his philanthropy “has also secured the allegiance or cooperation of powerful institutions and leaders within the Democratic Party who might take issue with parts of his record were they not so reliant on his largess.” And don’t forget, with his $60 billion, Bloomberg can also afford to run slews of campaign ads night and day, like his $11 million Superbowl ad supporting gun control with a misleading statistic, or his latest calling out Bernie Sanders for his supporters’ thuggish tweets that threaten violence against the Berne’s opponents.
And it’s not as though Bloomberg is so eminently qualified to do anything other than make a whole bunch of money. As mayor of New York he was the beneficiary of Rudy Guliani’s policing tactics like stop-and-frisk that reduced violent crime and rescued the city from its Death Wish and Taxi Driver dystopian squalor. Bloomberg looks good only when he is compared to current mayor Bill de Blasio, he of the reverse Midas touch who is not smart or principled enough to stick with a policy that reduces murders of the mostly black and Latinos he claims to champion.
But that policy success, no matter how much a consequence of not squandering a political inheritance, has been repudiated by Bloomberg himself as “racist” during a groveling, cringe-inducing apology before well-heeled black “leaders.” He’s also had to disavow some crude and exaggerated, yet essentially true, statements about black crime and its black victims he made in a speech, and insulted black and Latino men by saying they “don’t know how to behave in the workplace.” Such displays of contrition are patently a tactic for attracting black votes, and bespeak a lack of integrity. If Bloomberg sincerely believed a policy that has saved thousands of black lives was “racist,” we would have heard about it long before he decided to run for president.
Instead, it has been Exhibit A in his res gestae that supposedly qualify him to be president. Without it, what else does he have? Regulating the size of soda portions? Hectoring citizens about their salt intake? Threatening to gut the Second Amendment? The “woke” base will like these technocratic intrusions on our freedom, and won’t be troubled by Bloomberg’s praise for China’s autocrat Xi Jinping, or his claim that Xi is “not a dictator” but is accountable to his people. But while their class envy might give a pass to a mere millionaire like Bernie, an entitled, multi-billionaire, ex-Republican, and obvious opportunist is beyond the pale.
Moreover, Bloomberg is now feeling the ire of “woke” women after the Washington Post last week published an exposé of his history of crude sexual jokes––so many that an employee put together and circulated a 34-page booklet including some of them–– and allegations of discrimination against women that has created a “hostile environment, artifacts of a workplace employees said was saturated with degrading comments,” the Times writes, and “a culture of sexual harassment and degradation.” He also told a female employee to “kill it” after learning she was pregnant. And yes, evangelical pro-abortion Dems will not be deterred by the hypocrisy of condemning Bloomberg for honestly saying what they have enthusiastically supported doing for years. If Bloomberg gains enough traction to threaten Bernie, will we see the Salemite MeToo# packs––whom Bloomberg has criticized in public–– swarm him as they did Brett Kavanaugh? Elizabeth Warren has already called on Bloomberg to release two women from non-disclosure agreements so she can learn the lurid details they are hiding.
It is a flashing neon sign of how irrational the Democrats have become that some are pinning their hopes on a billionaire with a long record of opportunism and crude, misogynist behavior that they’ve spent more than three years condemning Trump for. But the specter of a President Sanders frightens them with visions of just how much more socialism will be hated after it is inflicted on Americans, half of whom already despise progressivism, socialism lite.
But the really troubling issue is the continuing allure of a politico-economic system that fails on both counts: growing the economy and protecting individual freedom.  We can relish the discomfort of the Democrats who are being squeezed between a radical, noisy base and a more Fabian “moderate” strategy of inflicting socialism on us by the political equivalent of slowly raising the temperature of a pot of water with a frog in it.
Right now, no Democrat in the race poses a realistic challenge to Donald Trump. But anything can happen in this crazy political world, as Trump’s improbable election in 2016 proved. We shouldn’t let overconfidence fueled by the progressives’ egregious hypocrisy and buffoonery abet the party of socialism in duplicating that political earthquake.

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