The F-35

I haven’t been following the fiasco that closely, but Richard Fernandez has some thoughts:

The reality of modern day information combat is that China can win a war without killing a single person or disrupting a single reality TV show. What if America could lose World War 3 and not even know it, especially if it relies on its politicians to tell it an attack has occurred.

Sadly true.

New Lerner Emails

Provide evidence that the IRS tried to cover up its war on conservative groups:

According to the new emails, Ms. Lerner and her colleagues were aware of the growing outcry among nonprofit groups that they were being delayed.

In one Nov. 3, 2011, exchange between Ms. Lerner and Cindy Thomas, a program manager in the Cincinnati office that was handling the cases and was involved in a back-and-forth with Washington, the IRS admitted to having hundreds of cases stacked up and awaiting action.

Afraid of congressional pressure, Ms. Thomas ordered one of the inquiry letters to be sent, just to prevent one of the organizations being held up from complaining.

“Just today, I instructed one of my managers to get an additional information letter out to one of these organizations — if nothing else to buy time so he didn’t contact his Congressional Office,” she wrote in the email released by Judicial Watch.

Ms. Thomas said she feared a judge would get involved soon and order the IRS to move the applications more quickly.

That email exchange did confirm that IRS employees in Washington were deeply involved in making decisions about the nonprofit groups’ cases.

You don’t say.

What’s Happening In The States That Are Paying Attention

is encouraging:

New Hampshire voters, like Iowans, can’t stand Hillary, and really, really dislike Trump.

It is reasonable to assume that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are typical of swing state voters, except that they are taking the election more seriously so far. If that is correct, these numbers suggest that Republicans shouldn’t be too discouraged about the bizarre headlines that have seemed to dominate the race in its very early stages.

The problem is that the Republicans have to handle Trump with kid gloves, because his threat of running third party is very real. On the other hand, the degree of that threat will be a function of how strong the Republican candidate is. I think he’d be likely to pull a lot of Democrat votes, too, as Perot did.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Yes, the Republican leadership is driving its base into the arms of Donald Trump.

Also, related: The attempted coup of the Republican leadership begins. Both Republican leadership and Democrats hate the Tea Party, because they hate the constraints of the Constitution.

[Early-afternoon update]

More thoughts on the meaning of Trump:

let’s leave Bush to one side—if only we could!—and return to the clown in mufti, Donald Trump. What only a few commentators have cottoned on to is that Trump has touched a nerve. His popularity may be fragile, may even be illusory. But he has, in his semi-articulate jabbering, reminded people that there is a world outside the beltway. It’s partly a matter of substance, partly style. People in many parts of the country are appalled by the flood of illegal immigrants that is changing the character of this country. Trump speaks to that. He also, quite obviously, eschews the focus groups. He doesn’t care about donors because he could himself pay for his own campaign several times over. He says what he thinks. It would be nice, perhaps, if the path between his cerebellum and his mouth were a bit longer and more circumspect, but his bluntness plays to the masses. He delights in tweaking the politically correct establishment.

…I don’t think Donald Trump will be the GOP candidate in 2016, and I don’t think he would win if he were. But he has raised some issues that the high and mighty dispensers of conventional wisdom would do well to ponder. Moreover, he has done it in a way that, though terribly, terribly vulgar, is catapulting Trump to first place in the polls. What does that tell us? That the people are stupid and need to be guided by the suits in Washington? If you believe that, I submit, you are going to be profoundly disappointed come November 2016.

Let’s hope.

[Update a few minutes later]

Link to Roger Kimball piece was wrong. Fixed now, sorry.

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