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Nuclear North Korea: #HotTakes

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With North Korea continuing down the same path of nuclear weapons advancements, Americans have mixed feelings about how to proceed. Unlike many issues that have very clear conservative and/or Federalist perspectives for a unified voice, the complexity of the the North Korea situation delivers the most diverse set of foreign policy perspectives we’ve seen from any issue since the Iraq War.

As Facebook used to say, “It’s complicated.”

Here are some of the right-leaning hot takes on the topic int he last 24 hours:

Senator Ben Sasse issues decisive statement on North Korea

Susan Wright, RedState

They may be forced to call him “Dear Leader,” but we can see by the way they’re forced to live that he’s not a leader, but a dictator, and he is rabid.

Keep in prayer over this situation. Pray for our leadership, that God give them wisdom. Pray for our allies to come together in this moment. And pray for peace.

White House warns U.S. will use its ‘nuclear capability’ if North Korea attacks an ally

Kyle Feldscher, Washington Examiner

The White House said North Korea’s test of a nuclear weapon would not drive the allies apart.

“The two leaders condemned North Korea’s continued destabilizing and provocative actions, confirmed the two countries’ ironclad mutual defense commitments, and pledged to continue close cooperation,” the statement read.

Hostile and Dangerous: President Trump responds to North Korean nuclear test

Emily Zanotti, DailyWire

Trump has convened his national security team, as well as tapped his Treasury Secetary, Steve Mnuchin, for ideas. According to sources close to the White House, Mnuchin is tasked with putting together a comprehensive economic sanctions plan that will outline harsher punishments for North Korea. But it’s hard to get much harsher than what North Korea already faces: an almost complete blockade of trade with most Western nations.

Mattis warns U.S. could bring “total annihilation” to North Korea

John T. Bennett, Roll Call

“We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan, from any attack,” Mattis said of the U.S. military. “And our commitment among the allies is ironclad: Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.

“Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice — all members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous on their commitment to the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said, then concluding the prepared statement with what sounded like a threat of an armed conflict unless Kim changes his behavior in a major way.

Cruz: U.S. response requires greater missile defense

Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico

“Missile interception technology has increased dramatically, and the next arena where this is going to play out is in space,” Cruz said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We need to do the investment now, so that in years to come we have that intercept capability,” added the Texas Republican, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

North Korea responds to Trump’s “fire and fury” threat with a hydrogen bomb

Bruce Klingner, National Interest

Pyongyang last night conducted its first test of a hydrogen (thermonuclear) bomb. The device was ten times more powerful than any of those detonated in North Korea’s five earlier atomic (fission) nuclear tests, signifying yet another surprise breakthrough in the regime’s nuclear program.

This is the first nuclear test during President Trump’s tenure, and the world will be watching to see how he responds. One thing is certain: this test will further roil the already unsettled dynamics in northeast Asia.

Mattis warns North Korea of ‘massive military response’ if it threatens US, allies

Julia Manchester, The Hill

Mattis’s aggressive, holiday-weekend statement comes hours after North Korean state media announced the country had successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb capable of fitting on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The only certainty is that the situation is volatile. The entire world is watching how the leader of the most powerful nation on earth will respond to threats from arguably the most dangerous leader on earth.

News

Mastermind behind Iranian parade attack allegedly killed

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Mastermind behind Iranian parade attack allegedly killed

Iranian state television is reporting the mastermind behind last months’ terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran. 25 people were killed, including a dozen members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

An alleged member of the Islamic State, Abu Zaha, was killed by Iran along with four other militants in Diyala province in Iraq. They gave no indication of how the operation was carried out. Though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, many believe it was the Ahwaz National Resistance, an Iranian separatist group that also claimed responsibility.

Iran Claims It Has Killed Mastermind of Deadly Attack on Parade

https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/10/16/iran-claims-it-has-killed-mastermind-of-deadly-attack-on-parade/The Sunni Muslim Islamic State group, in decline in Iraq and Syria, considers the majority Shi’ite Muslims of Iran to be heretics.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said those responsible for the parade attack were paid by Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that Iran will “severely punish” those behind the violence.

My Take

It behooves Iran to get their justice from the Islamic State rather than Ahwaz National Resistance. ISIS is an easy operator to blame for the attacks whether they did it or not. It’s believable and presents an enemy that isn’t as close to home as Ahwaz National Resistance. It also allows them to maintain their narrative that ISIS is funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

We’ll likely never know if Zaha was really the mastermind behind the attack. If similar attacks happen in the coming months, it’s likely that Ahwaz National Resistance is behind them, not ISIS.

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Conspiracy Theory

If Keith Ellison wins his election, #MeToo has officially jumped the shark

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If Keith Ellison wins his election MeToo has officially jumped the shark

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) should be a prime target for the #MeToo movement. He’s a powerful man who allegedly abused his ex-girlfriend. She has corroboration and evidence to back her claims. She’s a fellow Democrat, so she’s not a political plant by his opposition. She’s a woman with a story of abuse that, by #MeToo movement standards, should be believed.

The problem is Ellison is a powerful Democrat, a Muslim, a minority, and is in the middle of a tight election. Therefore, he’s protected from the people who would have sunk Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite no evidence or corroboration.

The hypocrisy of it all is stunning. The message being sent by the #MeToo movement based on their unwillingness to confront Ellison and call for his removal from offices, current and future, is that women are to be believed if they’re accusing the right people. Keith Ellison isn’t the right person. He’s an ally to the #MeToo movement because he’s a Democrat, a Muslim, a minority, and someone who’s in the middle of an important election in Minnesota.

Despite the #MeToo movement looking away, it seems that voters in Minnesota are starting to look closer.

Domestic abuse charges diminishing Ellison’s lead

https://onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2018/10/16/domestic-abuse-charges-diminishing-ellisons-leadRep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) lead in the polls – to become Minnesota’s newest attorney general in the midterm elections – has continued to vanish after his ex-girlfriend’s domestic abuse allegations.

Before the Karen Monahan’s charges were made public, the Democratic Muslim candidate was believed to be a shoe-in in the contest to become the deep-blue state’s top cop, but since then, polls show that his once long-shot Republican competitor, Doug Wardlow, has closed in on him – big time.

Misogyny and abuse of power are real problems in America. This is why the initial iteration of the #MeToo movement was so powerful. It worked. That cannot be denied. But what it has become is a shadow of its original self.

The highest ranking law enforcement official n the state of Minnesota may be a many accused by his ex-girlfriend of physical and mental abuse. Unfortunately, #MeToo doesn’t believe her.

#MeToo will only go after people like Keith Ellison if there’s incontrovertible evidence against them. They’ll go after Brett Kavanaugh no matter what. #MeToo is not the women’s empowerment movement they claim to be. It’s a political activist front.

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Democrats

How Beto O’Rourke is losing more than his race for the Democrats

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How Beto ORourke is losing more than his race for the Democrats

Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke was billed by many magazines and news outlets as the next coming of Kennedy (John or Robert, depending on which fluff piece you read). As his star began to rise in the beginning of the year, excitement was high among Democrats who believed they could strike at the heart of the Republican base in deep red Texas.

Polls continue to show O’Rourke’s and the Democrats’ hopes fading. Texans are coming to their senses and realizing that O’Rourke hasn’t done anything of substance since getting into politics. He has a tainted history that includes misogyny, intolerance, crime, and lies about all three. Oh, and he’s not Hispanic despite clever attempts to fool Latino voters into thinking he was.

But O’Rourke’s failures aren’t just killing his chances in Texas. They’re also hurting the Democratic Party as a whole, making it more difficult for others to win their races. Here are four reasons this is the case:

Funds to him are funds that didn’t go elsewhere

There has been tons of buzz in mainstream media about the incredible $38.1 million his campaign raised last quarter. In fact, it’s given him more attention than anything he could possible buy with that much money. It’s so much that some Democrats have suggested he share his spoils.

Nope.

Beto O’Rourke won’t share his $38M with fellow Democrats

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/congress/beto-orourke-wont-share-his-38-million-with-other-democrats“No,” O’Rourke told a reporter when asked if he would commit to sharing funds with Senate Democratic candidates who are in closer races. “I’m focused on Texas. Most of our contributions have come from Texas. All of them have come from people. Not a dime from PACs.”

“Folks contributed to this race because they want us to win this race. If they want to contribute to another campaign, of course they’re welcome to do that,” O’Rourke said. “No, we’re going to spare no expense. We will bear any burden to make sure that we deliver for this state and for this country. That means a victory on the 6th of November.”

Much of the money raised by O’Rourke’s campaign came from outside of Texas. That means money that could have gone to tighter races has been funneled to his. He’s the great hope of the party, the one who can prove the runner up for the GOP nomination in 2016 couldn’t keep his own seat in Texas. Unfortunately for the Democrats, it’s money that will be shown to be totally wasted in the end.

The great deflate

One leftist commentator I read a couple of months ago said something to the effect of “Beto O’Rourke carries the entire Democratic Party on his shoulders right now. When he beats Cruz in Texas, it will mark the shift this country needs away from the backwards thinking of conservatives like Trump and his Republican enablers.” I wish I could find the piece again so I could see what the author is thinking now.

We can speculate because we’re seeing other Democrats expressing an identical sentiment. O’Rourke really was the guy who could be their champion in the Senate and the shining example that puts the nation on notice of a rising Democratic Party. Except, he’s not. He’s flawed. His campaign is very clever and modern, but it’s not necessarily effective.

When hopes are placed on one person and that person fails, it’s deflating. So much hope had been placed on O’Rourke that this particular deflation is crushing for many Democrats who thought he was destined to win.

Attention on O’Rourke means others are being ignored

Allahpundit over at Hot Air thanked CNN today.

Endgame: Cruz 52, O’Rourke 45 in new CNN poll

https://hotair.com/archives/2018/10/16/endgame-cruz-52-orourke-45-new-cnn-poll/Many thanks to CNN for producing this, the fifth poll of Texas in 11 days, instead of polling Indiana, Florida, Missouri, or Montana, all of which are much tighter races and none of which have been polled since October 2nd. There are many ways to measure Betomania! in the media but the fact that they keep polling and re-polling the Lone Star State, hoping against hope for some movement towards Team Blue, is an underrated one.

There are much closer races that should have updated polling and more media attention, but all eyes are on O’Rourke. Some of it’s out of pride; many leftist journalists put so much of their credibility on the line by backing O’Rourke that they are demanding he win whether the people vote for him or not.

We really don’t know how close it is in the other states where the races are tighter. This favors Republicans who are forced to rely on old data showing them losing. Nothing gets the vote out like a poll that shows your side is close but behind. One can argue that in swing states in 2016, the fact that President Trump was behind in most of them was enough to help him win them.

It’s very possible the Republicans are winning in these other tight races, but nobody knows because so much attention is going to O’Rourke. Republicans don’t mind that at all.

The fresh face that wasn’t fresh enough

The more people learn about O’Rourke, the more he seems like a run-of-the-mill Democrat whose only distinguishing qualities are attractive facial features and a skateboard. He’s not out there sharing inspiring ideas like Senator Bernie Sanders did in 2016. He’s not giving the leftist base socialist fodder like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

He’s Claire McCaskill. He’s Heidi Heitkamp. He’s Jon Tester. He’s a blue guy in a red state playing the leftist when talking privately to young Democrats while playing the centrist in public forums. Yes, he’s said some things in public that are definitely leftist such as banning semi-automatic rifles, but he’s not saying enough to differentiate himself from other milquetoast red state Democrats.

Arguably the only difference between O’Rourke and other Democrats is his willingness to say the F-word a lot in public. That might endear him to hipsters, but it’s not helping him win a Senate seat.

To the media and Democrats, please keep trying to help Beto O’Rourke win. Focus on him. When he loses, it will have a deeper impact on the future of the Democratic Party than all the other Democrats he helped to lose.

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