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Obama Disses Art History Majors

April 1st, 2015 - 12:42 pm

Virginia Postrel talks with Glenn Reynolds on the Community Organizer in Chief’s slur on his fellow college-indoctrinated leftists and the future of higher education. But then, as Ashe Schow recently asked in the Washington Examiner: what happens when today’s victim mentality-obsessed students — the self-described “survivor class” (!) starts entering the workplace?

RIP; getting caught up in the swirl of Beatlemania and being married to an admittedly-abusive husband led to a difficult life for the original Mrs. Lennon:

Cynthia Lennon, then Cynthia Powell, met John Lennon in the early ’60s in college. In 1962, the two married when she became pregnant with Julian Lennon. They eventually divorced in 1968. Cynthia Lennon remarried several times.

John Lennon memorably went on to marry Yoko Ono, and Ono remained his wife until he was murdered by a crazed fan in 1980.

Julian Lennon told FOX411 last year, ahead of the Beatles’ 50th anniversary, that he grew up living with his mom as his father traveled the world as a member of the Fab Four.

“Anyone must remember that dad left when I was 3 years old,” Julian Lennon said. “Mom and I lived out of the limelight. We lived a totally different life.”

In her autobiography, Cynthia Lennon described being mistreated by her famous ex at times. But in a 2005 interview with “Good Morning America” she recalled his charisma as well.

“You couldn’t resist being around him,” she said. “You couldn’t resist watching what he was up to. I mean, he was a total rebel. Everybody was amazed by him.”

In other news from pop culture, Joni Mitchell’s Website posted yesterday evening that the 71-year old singer-songwriter “was found unconscious in her home this afternoon. She regained consciousness on the ambulance ride to an L.A. area hospital” after a 911 call. This news shouldn’t be much of a shock to those who read articles on Mitchell’s difficult health issues and fraught mental state last fall:

‘Morgellons is constantly morphing. There are times when it’s directly attacking the nervous system, as if you’re being bitten by fleas and lice. It’s all in the tissue and it’s not a hallucination. It was eating me alive, sucking the juices out. I’ve been sick all my life’.

Mitchell broke off friendships feeling she was wasting her time with some people she calls ‘deadwood’.

She lost her drive and doesn’t follow projects through to conclusion. She’s forgetful and can’t remember what she just said, Marom writes.

If she’s out walking and has a thought she wants to remember but no notebook, she won’t remember when she gets home.

‘There’s a lot of lethargy with my illness. I’m fatigued’, she laments. And the medicines she was taking gave her brain fog, adding: ‘My creative energy went into survival and into furnishing the interior of the house [in British Columbia]‘.

While “currently in intensive care undergoing tests,” fortunately, the New York Times reported early this morning that “Mitchell is  and is awake and in good spirits.”

Kathy Shaidle spots the comment of the day regarding her treatment:

 

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We’ll get to Trevor Noah and Salon’s 180-degree pivot on him in just a moment, but first some context. Since the days of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, to first Vietnam and then the Iraq War, all the way to 2008 when Hillary was a “big f***ing whore” and her supporters racists to 2015, when Hillary is the left’s savior, self-described “Progressives” have been known for their remarkable ability to cast-off their current morals and perform dramatic slashing Tony Hawk-style mid-air 180 degree pivots whenever it’s politically expedient (see also: Oceania versus East Asia/Eurasia). But they rarely happen as quickly as Salon’s 24-hour inversion on Trevor Noah, Viacom’s designated replacement for corporate spokesman Jon Stewart (nee Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz). It was learned — apparently after he landed the gig — that Noah has or had a remarkable tendency to drop lurid anti-Semitic “jokes” on Twitter. The result being the leftwing mob waking itself into action last night on Twitter, and Salon’s flip-flop illustrated above. As Ace of Spades co-blogger Jeff tweets, “Seriously, this is the most beautiful two-day juxtaposition ever.”

At NRO, Kevin D. Williamson charts “Mr. Noah and the Flood.” Beyond Salon being “always offended about something,” (Salon and the New York Times have daily completions to see who can hit the fainting couch first and hardest) “Why didn’t Comedy Central apply strict scrutiny here? There are a few answers to that question that are obvious — but not if you are inside the progressive cultural bubble. Those being:”

1. Comedy Central knows that Jon Stewart’s viewers are cheap dates. They are not very bright, and they are not very interested in the world around them. The function of The Daily Show is to flatter the prejudices of a certain segment of largely white and middle-aged metropolitan liberals. Daily Show viewers are not interested in original insight — indeed, the utterance of an original thought or the indulgence of an unpredictable angle of analysis would undermine the entire structure of the program. Daily Show viewers tune in so that they can be made to feel clever for continuing to believe the things they already believe. There is no reason to believe that Noah is going to fail to deliver those exceedingly modest goods.

2. Comedy Central was probably counting on the usual double standard, which is, generally, a safe bet. When a couple of nobody RNC staffers ran up a $2,000 bill at a lesbian-bondage-themed strip club — it is a big tent, after all! — that was a national story, with Jon Stewart providing a Muppet reenactment. (Really.) Bill Clinton parties with Jeff Epstein on Pedophile Island? A strange quiet falls upon the land. If Rush Limbaugh had joked about running over Jewish children with his German car, there would be a presidential speech on the matter in the works.

Will Noah survive? Of course he will. And that’s not a bad thing, actually:

 


Not to mention, what Viacom’s hiring decision implies regarding their current forecast for after 2016 as well.

Update: Brilliant headline on the Comedy Central kerfuffle from Mark Steyn: “There’s Noah Business Like Shoah Business:”

Anyway, passing through Britain only a few days ago, I got back after dinner and thought I’d watch ten minutes of TV before turning in. Unfortunately, it was the BBC’s annual “Comic Relief” fundraiser, a long night of leaden jests and forced jollity, in the midst of which up popped Mr Noah:

[Click over for video -- Ed]

He talked about a recent flight from South Africa to the United States, where immigration officials asked him whether he’d come into contact with Ebola – notwithstanding that South Africa is nowhere near Ebola-stricken West Africa. As Mr Noah joked:

I don’t really blame them – ’cause look, the truth is most Americans don’t know much about South Africa…

Well, they don’t know much about Africa as a whole…

Well, most of them don’t know much about anything…

Whether that’s true of Americans it’s certainly true of the “Daily Show” audience. I suspect once this awkward little sizeist-Jew thing is smoothed over that he’ll confine himself to the old reliables — the stupidity of Palin, the stupidity of Cruz, the stupidity of [Your Republican Here] — that will keep Jon Stewart liberals splitting their sides for the next half-decade.

Clapter really is the best medicine.

“I give you Harry Reid, Proud ‘McCarthyite,’ as CNN’s Dana Bash explicitly framed it,” Ed Morrissey writes:

REID: I don’t regret that at all. The Koch brothers — no one would help me. They were afraid the Koch brothers would go after them. So I did it on my own.

BASH: So no regrets about Mitt Romney, about the Koch Brothers. Some people have even called it McCarthyite.

REID: Well… [shrug] … they can call it whatever they want. Um … Romney didn’t win, did he?

As Ed responds, “Hey, so I smeared Romney. It worked, didn’t it?

Despicable. The Senate will likely throw him a celebration on his way out; they should be censuring him instead, especially with that arrogant admission. Reid embodies the worst of American politics, and no amount of fluffery over the next two years will disperse the stench that should attach itself to his name as long as it’s remembered at all.

Reid’s admission is “The soul of the 21st century Democratic Party laid bare,” Glenn Reynolds adds at Instapundit. “This kind of thing is surprising only if you haven’t been paying attention. And it’s not as if Reid is an outlier here, except in terms of his honesty.”

And if you haven’t been paying attention, “The End of Tolerance And Enforced Morality” by Ben Domenech of the Federalist will quickly bring you up to speed, particularly in regards to how the new strain of liberal fascism, to coin a phrase, is working against the people of Indiana. Exit quote: “When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.”

Update: When I was prepping this post for the PJM homepage, I came across this AP file photo of Reid from the beginning of March. While the Democrat operatives with bylines at AP apparently can’t be bothered to investigate how Reid’s face was really rearranged, reading between the lines of their caption, it sounds like even they’re not buying his cover story:

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. talks about his future and the agenda of the Democrats who are now in the minority, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, during an interview with The Associated Press in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reid, 75, is wearing special glasses as part of his recovery from injuries suffered in a violent exercise accident in January. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gotta watch out for those eye-injuring, face-bruising, jaw-swelling encounters with, err, violent exercise bands.

Great Satan Takes Holiday in Hell

March 31st, 2015 - 10:47 am

Andrew Stiles visits Iran on “A Free Beacon journey to the birthplace of Valerie Jarrett.” In 1982, P.J. O’Rourke filed his classic travelogue in which he accompanied a group of wealthy Nation magazine limousine leftists on a river cruise up the Volga. O’Rourke summed up those pathetic losers perfectly in a sentence:

“These were people who believed everything about the Soviet Union was perfect, but they were bringing their own toilet paper.”

Stiles is off on a similar jaunt with equally awful American leftists in search of the 21st century equivalent of the Soviet Union and/or an exotic paradise of income and sexual equality:

This particular Persian excursion, after all, is sponsored by none other than the New York Times, the esteemed paper of record that, in case you hadn’t noticed, is quickly transforming itself into a travel agency of some renown, offering an array of exhilarating (and expensive) cultural journeys for the sophisticated traveller.Looking for a “people to people experience” in communist Cuba? The Times has you covered. Eager to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Ditto. Keen to “retrace the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest explorers” in Antarctica? There’s a trip for that. It’s not clear whose footsteps you’ll be retracing aboard the “297-foot luxury expedition yacht” the Times has commissioned, but why quibble? Rates start at $15,695. Carlos Slim must be loving this.

No Times Journey, as they’re called, is as popular as “Tales from Persia.” Ours is the inaugural voyage, but there’s been so much interest that they’ve already had to increase the number of offerings this year from three to five, all of which are sold out. At the end of the day, no one—not even the ayatollah—is going to f—k with the Times. That’s what you’re counting on, anyway. Although the Gray Lady has certainly gone to great lengths to ensure her release from liability:

Without limitation, we are not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to personal property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, weather, force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities or the threat thereof…

But even if it comes to that—getting yanked into a windowless room upon arrival at Imam Khomeini International Airport—you’ve settled on a failsafe strategy: blame everything on the Jews. Before you know it, your Qatar Airways flight to Tehran (connecting through Doha, site of the 2022 World Cup final) is preparing for takeoff. There’s a large compass displayed on a big screen at the front of the cabin. One arrow points towards Mecca, the holiest of Muslim holy sites, and another (for some reason) towards Gaithersburg, Md.

Fortunately, unlike the ayatollah and the average New York Times reader, the Iranians themselves are pretty cool about Americans — and even more curious about them than the average Times subscriber:

Americans in Iran are generally regarded with a degree of skepticism, but not for the reason you might think. Iranians want to know what you’re doing in Iran, not because they suspect you of plotting a coup, but because they know American passport holders could spend their vacations anywhere else on earth (give or take a few tin-pot communist police states), and feel sorry for you. They are almost always friendly and eager to tell you there are no hard feelings. “Ninety percent of Iranians love America,” is a widely cited statistic, though it’s not clear if this is based on actual data. Eventually, this becomes rather eerie, as if everyone is reading off the same approved script.

Nazri, a student studying computer animation, offered the boldest riff on the “We love America” line, leaning in close to whisper “and Israel,” though I am not convinced this is a 90-10 issue. Moments later, a mullah in a black turban strolled by and leered in our direction. “Very dangerous,” Nazri said after he passed. “I f—king hate them.” Also, can I get him a job in California?

Time to up your game California — we’ve at last found a region of the world with less freedom than San Francisco.

Found via Moe Lane, who adds, “It’s a strange, confusing dictatorship that they have over there, but it’s very real.”

Iran, that is.

Eric Clapton Turns 70

March 30th, 2015 - 6:33 pm

Monster guitarist; at times problematic life driven by a few monstrous demons. Given his transformation from blues guitarist to pop and country-twinged singer by the mid-1970s, it may be difficult for younger readers to fathom how influential a guitar player he was at the start of his career, when a then-unknown New York-based musician named Jimi Hendrix, enticed to launch his solo career in London, asked in reply if he’d get to meet Clapton in the process.

Keating Five, Eagles Zero

March 30th, 2015 - 2:25 pm

Over the weekend late at night, I watched the 27-hour long History of the Eagles documentary on Netflix. (I may be exaggerating the length slightly. But not by much.) I never followed the band in the ‘70s, because at the time, my motto when it came to rock was that if it’s not British, it’s crrrrrapppp, to paraphrase Mike Myers. (Ex-pats such as Jimi Hendrix and Chrissie Hynde were the exceptions that proved the rule.) So I didn’t know what specifically ended the group. I had no idea this trivial spat was the coke straw that broke the band:

On July 31, 1980, in Long Beach, California, tempers boiled over into what has been described as the “Long Night at Wrong Beach.” The animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over before the show began, when Felder said, “You’re welcome – I guess” to California Senator Alan Cranston’s wife as the politician was thanking the band backstage for performing a benefit for his reelection. Frey and Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer backstage. “Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal”, Frey recalls Felder telling him near the end of the band’s set. Felder recalls Frey telling him during “Best of My Love”, “I’m gonna kick your ass when we get off the stage.”

Cranston looked a bit like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons. Beyond being a boilerplate malaise-era Dem, just a reminder of who he was:

Cranston was reprimanded by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics for “improper conduct” on November 20, 1991 after Lincoln Savings head Charles Keating’s companies contributed $850,000 to voter registration groups closely affiliated with the senator. Keating had wanted federal regulators to stop “hounding” his savings and loan association. Although the committee found that “no evidence was presented to the Committee that Senator Cranston ever agreed to help Mr. Keating in return for a contribution,” the committee deemed Cranston’s misconduct the worst among the Keating Five.

So let me get this straight: throughout the documentary, a running leitmotif is that the band was desperate to add some decent rock under their soaring harmony vocals. The band fires British superstar engineer-producer Glyn Johns (whose previous resume included the Stones, the Who, the Beatles, and Led Zeppelin’s first album) because he emphasized their harmonies and country sound. In response, they bring in Joe Walsh to rock out. And finally, when their other guitarist does something that’s actually rock and roll and utters a punk rock-style sneer to corrupt power, the entire band implodes?

Perfect.

Clinton Versus Clinton

March 30th, 2015 - 11:50 am

Shot:

Chaser:

  I just don’t understand how someone could support a presidential candidate whose husband signed such a monstrous law. Speaking of which:

And I look forward to ESPN weighing in this:

All of which is why:

Or as Glenn Reynolds Insta-writes, “Here’s the deal: (1) Indiana has gone from a swing state to a red state, so it’s fair game; and (2) Dems need something to agitate the base so it doesn’t pay attention to Iranian nukes, trashed email servers, and an overall culture of corruption. Those who join in are willing enablers.” Indeed. Read the whole thing.™

Ted Cruz Destroys CNN Hack!

March 30th, 2015 - 11:38 am

“This is the most hilarious interview with Ted Cruz I’ve seen thus far. Thank you CNN, for delivering this epic bit of blowback,” Michael van der Galien writes at Tatler; hence my BuzzFeed/Jon Stewart-style over-the-top headline. But this is a fun clip:

[CNN's Dana Bash] tried to smack Cruz around by comparing him to Obama (funny, she didn’t have a problem with the current president having no executive or much political experience when he ran for the White House in 2008), hoping it would silence and embarrass the senator from Texas.

She got a healthy dose of “you’ve got to be kidding” me instead.

Can Cruz win? It’s early, and a strong, crowded GOP field. But unlike the even-more-accomplished Scott Walker, who’s been somewhat tentative in dealing with media, Cruz does appear to understand that before he can have a shot at the Democrat nominee, he’s got to deal with that party’s operatives with bylines — and so far, seems prepared to do battle.

This has to be yet another troll by the Troller-in-Chief, right? In addition to paying back Teddy, who helped launch Obama’s presidential bid by declaring him 2008′s second coming of JFK*:

President Barack Obama paid tribute to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy at the dedication of his political institute in Boston on Monday, praising the Democratic lawmaker’s legacy and that of his brother as “alive as ever.”

“No one made the Senate come alive like Ted Kennedy,” Obama told a crowd of Massachusetts dignitaries. “It was one of the great pleasures of my life to hear Ted Kennedy deliver one of his stemwinders on the floor.”

“What if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy? What if we worked to follow his example a little bit harder?” Obama asked.

“Carried ourselves” like Ted Kennedy? Say what you will about the man, but one of Obama’s virtues is that he doesn’t appear to make half-gallons of Chivas Regal disappear in a single gulp. But as far as Obama and working the senate, this is of course the man who typically voted “present” in the Illinois state legislature, and who made “less than a quarter of Senate votes” in 2007, as CNN reported, before perfecting the art of using Air Force One to commute to the links.

Since her name isn’t mentioned in the above Politico article, it’s always worth flashing back to the infamous 2003 passage from Charles Pierce, now with Esquire, on Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne:

“If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”

—Charles Pierce in a January 5, 2003 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy’s submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.

(Kennedy himself was said to enjoy Kopechne jokes in his dotage.) And speaking of Kennedy’s relationship with women after her:

* There’s one in every Democrat presidential crowd. This year’s nominee? Martin O’Malley. Funny  though, with the arguable exception of Bill Clinton (and only after he had a GOP Congress), they never govern like JFK if they actually win.

The Burning Johnson

March 29th, 2015 - 7:37 pm

Everything you ever wanted to know about LBJ’s shower habits — and far, far more:

LBJ, well, he comes off as a monster. He harassed residence staff for years to construct him a specialized shower to replicate the one he had at his private Washington home, with “water charging out of multiple nozzles in every direction with needlelike intensity and a hugely powerful force.”

“One nozzle was pointed directly at the president’s penis, which he nicknamed ‘Jumbo.’ Another shot right up his rear,” Brower writes. Johnson, who traveled with his own special shower nozzle, wanted the water pressure at the White House to be “the equivalent of a fire hose, and he wanted a simple switch to change the temperature from hot to cold immediately. Never warm.”

Johnson harangued the staff when they explained to him that they would have to lay new pipe, install multiple new pumps and increase the size of the water lines to the White House to create this shower contraption.

“If I can move 10,000 troops in a day, you can certainly fix the bathroom any way I want it!” Johnson yelled at the staff, according to Brower.

Reds Arrington, the plumbing foreman at the White House, spent five years trying to perfect the project, and at one point was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. The staff went through five different replacement shower models. LBJ eventually got something like what he wanted, sort of. The water temperature was so hot that the steam it emitted “regularly set off the fire alarm,” Brower writes.

Near the end of his presidency, LBJ told Arrington that the shower was his “delight.”

Not long after, Nixon took over the White House. He took one look at LBJ’s elaborate shower setup and muttered, “Get rid of this stuff.”

Heh. And don’t get Johnson started on the topic of trousers, either:

(Found via Mark Hemingway, who tweets, “Every time I think I can’t be surprised by learning more about LBJ…”)

Quotes of the Day

March 28th, 2015 - 5:01 pm

A friend of mine was in Las Vegas a week or two ago. He talked to a number of people there about Reid’s accident, and didn’t find anyone who believed the elastic exercise band story. The common assumption was that the incident resulted, in some fashion, from Reid’s relationship with organized crime. The principal rumor my friend heard was that Reid had promised to obtain some benefit for a group of mobsters. He met with them on New Year’s Day, and broke the bad news that he hadn’t been able to deliver what he promised. When the mobsters complained, Reid (according to the rumor) made a comment that they considered disrespectful, and one of them beat him up.

Is that what really happened? I have no idea, but it is a more likely story than the elastic exercise band yarn.

“What Really Happened to Harry Reid? Part 2,” John Hinderaker, Power Line, today.

“As Harry Reid leaves government, we wish him good health and long life. It will give him the opportunity to reflect on his career in politics and, perhaps, to find a way to atone for it.”

“The Pugilist at Rest,” National Review.com, yesterday.

“The co-pilot who investigators believe crashed a passenger jet into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, worried ‘health problems’ would dash his dreams and vowed one day to do something to ‘change the whole system’, an ex-girlfriend told a German newspaper,” Agence France-Presse reports:

The 26-year-old woman, identified only as Maria W., recalled in an interview with the mass-circulation Bild daily how Andreas Lubitz told her: “One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember.”

“I never knew what he meant by that but now it makes sense,” it quoted the “shocked” flight attendant as saying.

The black box voice recorder indicates that Lubitz, 27, locked the captain out of the cockpit of the Germanwings jet and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside as the more senior pilot tried desperately to reopen the door during its eight-minute descent, French officials say.

As investigators race to build up a picture of Lubitz and any possible motives, new media reports emerged saying he had suffered from vision problems, adding to earlier reports he was severely depressed.

The London Daily Mail adds additional details:

[Lubitz] is said to have sought help over his vision as recently as March 10, amid fears his eye problems may have jeopardised his ability to continue working as a pilot.

It came as police revealed that evidence found at his home suggested he was suffering from a ‘serious psychosomatic illness’. Officers reportedly found a variety of drugs used to treat mental illness at his flat in Dusseldorf, appearing to substantiate claims he was severely depressed.

And a former partner described him as a tormented, erratic man who was a master of hiding his darkest thoughts and would wake up from nightmares screaming ‘we’re going down’.

“‘During conversations he’d suddenly throw a tantrum and scream at me,’ [Maria] said. ‘I was afraid. He even once locked me in the bathroom for a long time,” the Daily Mail chillingly reports.

The Two Minutes Hate at Lincoln Center

March 28th, 2015 - 12:01 pm

1984-not-a-users-guide

Thursday night, “the New York Philharmonic premiered a work by John Adams. Adams is probably the most famous and important composer in the world (classical composer). His new work is Scheherazade.2, a ‘dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra,’” Jay Nordlinger, who attended the performance writes at the Corner. But first, Adams took time out to instruct his audience to insult an AM radio host:

Before the performance, Adams himself took a microphone and spoke to the audience about the work. He described how it came about. He had seen an exhibition in Paris about Scheherazade. Then he read Arabian Nights, and was appalled by the “casual brutality toward women” depicted therein. At the same time, he was reading of brutality toward women around the world: in Egypt, Afghanistan, and India, for example.

But we were not to think we Americans were exempt from this brutality. For example, you can “find it on Rush Limbaugh.” (Rush equals the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood, you see.)

To this remark, the audience responded with sustained and robust applause. In 1984, Orwell writes of the two-minute hate. The applause in Avery Fisher Hall did not last for two minutes, but it went on long enough.

Obviously, John Adams knows nothing about Rush Limbaugh. It’s a good bet he has never listened to Rush’s show or read an article by him. The same must be true of the audience members who applauded. But Rush is a hate figure on the left, a bogeyman. His name has almost magical power. And Adams must have known that if he invoked it, in the way he did, he would get agreement and applause from a New York audience.

This is a sick and twisted culture. It features that toxic combination of ignorance and hate.

Rush himself is amused at becoming “the official bogey man of the left:”

[Nordlinger and I] had a little back-and-forth exchange today, and I told him, I said, “No, this stuff? I long ago ceased being bothered by this.  In fact, I’ve had to learn how to take this as a measure and sign of success,” and it clearly is.  So, anyway, that’s what I was talking about at the open of the program as being the one who inspires the most hate among people on the left who are already engaged in hate.

One of his listeners, who attended the performance estimates that there was about a thousand people in the audience:

CALLER:  It was packed and the majority of people clapping were in the front and whooping it up.  I don’t believe that Jay heard me, but I was outraged.  It ruined my entire evening.

RUSH:  I think you and –

CALLER:  I was just stunned. I’m sorry to interrupt you.  I was just so stunned, and I’m still very upset about it.  It was completely inappropriate and completely out of context.

RUSH:  Well, I appreciate your sentiments.  I really do.  You and Jay must have been the only two people in there.

CALLER:  Well, my friend Trish was with me, and she absolutely was outraged as well.  The reason that I called you is I just wanted to let you know that someone in addition to Jay and my friend Trish in Manhattan, in the land of leftist loons, has your back.

RUSH:  Well, I appreciate that more than you know.  I really… I don’t know how to thank you for that, because there’s no way I can tell people how much that means.  It’s just no way I can convey that to people.

CALLER:  Rush, I heard you come and speak in New York City.  I’m a huge fan and a huge listener, and you are right on, everything you say and everything that you do for us conservatives.  You can be anything in New York City.  You can be a murderer, a thief, a liar, but don’t you dare be a conservative.

As Rush responds:

My name epitomizes and encapsulates all of their hatred for conservatism.  But, see, the point is this guy’s standing up there, and he realizes what he’s doing.  He’s telling people that his inspiration… He has been inspired to write this piece on the basis he was so appalled at the way women are treated in various parts of the world.

But then, as a good liberal, he had to say something to let everybody know that America’s no better.  So he says, “And, by the way, you can find it here on Rush Limbaugh,” and that’s when the audience started their nearly two-minute applause.  None of ‘em listen to the program like you, Melanie.  None of them have the slightest idea what happens here.  It doesn’t matter.  They know what happens here because they watch The Daily Show or because they ready Media Matters or basically whatever sewer on Twitter they happen to visit. That’s how they know what happens on this program.  They wouldn’t dare tune in here like you do.

As we noted a week and a half ago, during Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz’s heavy-handed attempt to pour a toxic blend of racialism into his company’s products, Nordlinger has noted in several posts and articles over the years since Mr. Obama came to power, the number of politics-free “safe zones” is continually shrinking in America. Classical music used to be one such zone, but as with Germany in the first half of the 20th century, apparently that’s no longer the case.

Breaking News from 1976

March 27th, 2015 - 6:44 pm

“Is California Gov. Jerry Brown becoming the Jerry Falwell of the left?” asks Claremont’s Jack Pitney at the Christian Science Monitor:

As you may recall, the late Reverend Falwell was one of the founders of the contemporary religious right. In 1979, with conservative activist Paul Weyrich, he created the Moral Majority, an organization that mobilized religious people on issues such as abortion and school prayer. Falwell quickly became notorious for proclaiming certain issue positions as Christian and suggesting that those with other viewpoints were immoral or un-Christian.

Lately, Governor Brown has been doing the same thing. During a visit to Washington, he said that GOP opposition to President Obama’s immigration actions is “at best is troglodyte and at worst is un-Christian.” He used similar language to condemn Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s fight against carbon pollution regulations. “President Obama is taking some important steps,” Brown said on “Meet the Press.” “And to fight that, it borders on immoral.” On the same program, he said that Sen. Ted Cruz’s stance on climate change renders him “absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

“Before keeping up the insults, the governor might ponder what happened to the reverend,” who eventually “even alienated conservative Republicans,” Pitney adds.

While Brown may have gotten nastier and even more useless in the ensuing decades, the underlying premise of Pitney’s thesis regarding Brown’s streak of religious fundamentalism is nothing new. Under the subhead “The Holy Roll” of his ’70s-defining New York magazine essay “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening” from 1976, Tom Wolfe placed Brown into context with another Democrat who was paying lip service to the born-again Christianity so popular in the 1970s:

The two most popular new figures in the 1976 campaign, Jimmy Carter and Jerry Brown, are men who rose up from state politics . . . absolutely aglow with mystical religious streaks. Carter turned out to be an evangelical Baptist who had recently been “born again” and “saved,” who had “accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior”—i.e., he was of the Missionary lectern-pounding amen ten-finger C-major-chord Sister-Martha-at-the-Yamaha-keyboard loblolly piny-woods Baptist faith in which the members of the congregation stand up and “give witness” and “share it. Brother” and “share it, Sister” and “Praise God!” during the service.* Jerry Brown turned out to be the Zen Jesuit, a former Jesuit seminarian who went about like a hair-shirt Catholic monk, but one who happened to believe also in the Gautama Buddha, and who got off koans in an offhand but confident manner, even on political issues, as to how it is not the right answer that matters but the right question, and so forth.

Newspaper columnists and newsmagazine writers continually referred to the two men’s “enigmatic appeal.” Which is to say, they couldn’t explain it. Nevertheless, they tried. They theorized that the war in Vietnam, Watergate, the FBI and CIA scandals, had left the electorate shell-shocked and disillusioned and that in their despair the citizens were groping no longer for specific remedies but for sheer faith, something, anything (even holy rolling), to believe in. This was in keeping with the current fashion of interpreting all new political phenomena in terms of recent disasters, frustration, protest, the decline of civilization . . . the Grim Slide. But when the New York Times and CBS employed a polling organization to try to find out just what great gusher of “frustration” and “protest” Carter had hit, the results were baffling. A Harvard political scientist, William Schneider, concluded for the L.A. Times that “the Carter protest” was a new kind of protest, “a protest of good feelings.” That was a new kind, sure enough—a protest that wasn’t a protest.

In fact, both Carter and Brown had stumbled upon a fabulous terrain for which there are no words in current political language. A couple of politicians had finally wandered into the Me Decade.

And of course, Carter would go on to define the box canyon thinking of the left both then and now with his infamous malaise speech. Brown’s worldview would also never leave the 1970s; how long will the state of California as a whole remain trapped in the echo of that horrible decade?

“Barack Obama faces a slew of Middle East crises that some call the worst in a generation, as new chaos from Yemen to Iraq — along with deteriorating U.S.-Israeli relations — is confounding the president’s efforts to stabilize the region and strike a nuclear deal with Iran,” the Politico reports. That lede from the Obama house organ presupposes that he wants to stabilize the region — and of course, it doesn’t say what kind of nuclear deal Obama wants with the mullahs, but still:

“If there’s one lesson this administration has learned, from President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech through the Arab Spring, it’s that when it comes to this region, nothing happens in a linear way — and precious little is actually about us, which is a hard reality to accept,” said a senior State Department official.Not everyone is so forgiving. “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” said James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House.

For years, members of the Obama team have grappled with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring. But of late they have been repeatedly caught off-guard, raising new questions about America’s ability to manage the dangerous region.

Free fall you say? Roger L. Simon takes that metaphor to its ultimate conclusion:

Obama and his minions are huddled wherever they’re huddled, busy destroying the Western World with their bizarre policies and eagerness to make a deal with Iran that is so desperate it makes the word pathetic seem pathetic. The results of this desperation have been wretched, a fascistic new Persian Empire emerging from Libya to Yemen with Obama auditioning for the role of Cyrus the Great – or is it Ahmadinejad Junior? Whatever the case, it’s horrible  Even those same Democrats know it.  They’re embarrassed – and they should be.  But for the most part they don’t have the guts to say anything. This is the kind of administration that exchanges a creepy sociopath like Bergdahl for five Islamic homicidal maniacs and expects praise for being humanitarian.  And everyone walks away shaking their heads.

It’s hard to know why Obama is doing it all.  I know it sounds like a rude overstatement but in a way he reminds me of that crazy German pilot flying that plane into that alpine cliff, only the plane is us (America and the West).  Does he hate us all that much – or is it just Netanyahu?  Whatever the explanation, it’s mighty peculiar.  At this point almost no one  in the Congress appears to be backing him up – and yet he continues.  Who knows what will happen next?

How bad has it gotten? This Iowahawk tweet sums up the hash Mr. Obama and company have made of the region:

And it gets worse:

What a sad joke has been inflicted upon the American people. And in the Middle East, Israel will have to single-handedly deal with the fallout — which apparently unlike those in the Obama administration, I hope remains purely metaphoric.

Peggy Noonan, Then and Now

March 27th, 2015 - 1:08 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Mr. Cruz knows his reputation as the angry, surly face of the dark side of conservatism. He’s the government-shutdown artist*, the living answer to the question “What if Joe McCarthy went to Harvard Law?” He says it’s a caricature.**

He once noted to me in conversation that when people on TV call him angry and snarling, they never show video to illustrate the point. He says there is no angry, snarling video because he isn’t angry and doesn’t snarl. He never throws mud, he says, and won’t. He sees himself as a happy warrior.

I don’t think the snarling image thing is his main problem. He has two others.

One is much remarked upon. He is 44 and a first-term senator. He entered the national stage less than three years ago, though it seems like longer because he made himself so famous so fast. He talks about Reagan, but Reagan in 1980 had been a union president, two-term governor of a huge state, candidate for the GOP nomination in 1976, and longtime leader of modern conservatism. He had been an executive; he had run things; his accomplishments could be measured.

Mr. Cruz here is not like Reagan. He’s like a first-term senator named Barack Obama, 45 when he announced.

This prompts a major 2016 question: Did Mr. Obama permanently lower the bar? Did his winning and holding the presidency with such limited experience, and his governing in many eyes so unsuccessfully, leave a whole generation of politicians thinking “I can do that!” and “Even I can do better than that!” Or, after Mr. Obama, will there be among Republicans voters a hunger for deeper biography? Is the country in the mood for more on-the-job presidential training?

I don’t know — some Washington insiders see first-term senators engaging in seemingly quixotic presidential bids as awfully inspirational, even in-spite of the on-the-job presidential training they might eventually require:

He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make. We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice.

“The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes,” Peggy Noonan, October 31, 2008.

Oh and by the way, “Nearly two-thirds of Iowa Republican insiders believe Cruz can win the caucuses,” Politico’s James Hohmann writes, after first declaring Cruz “unelectable.” As NewsBusters’ P.J. Gladnick quips, “After you switch to a more highly caffeinated coffee to make you aware of what you later write, Hohmann, you might want to hit a highly fortified bottle of bourbon to make yourself forget how laughably you completely contradict yourself.”

*Yeah, that government shutdown sure worked out terribly for the GOP.

** But one that Noonan herself is willing to pander to. That’s really a cheap shot from someone who once held herself out as a conservative.

Dog Bites Manischewitz

March 27th, 2015 - 12:33 pm

“I find it inconceivable that The New Yorker would have run this piece if it didn’t have Lena Dunham or some other bold-face-name in the byline. Titled, ‘Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?’ it’s a pop-quiz for the reader to guess whether she’s talking about her dog or, that’s right, her Jewish boyfriend,” Jonah Goldberg writes:

The folks at Truth Revolt are in high dudgeon about its anti-Semitism. And it’s true that Jew/dog comparisons are often best avoided. I mean did she need to make jokes about how Jews and/or dogs don’t tip? Get it? Jews are famously cheap and dogs don’t use currency for goods and services! Ha! Also male Jews and/or dogs are hairy. Drop the mic on that one, girl.Still, I don’t think she was going for anti-Semitism, though she’ll happily pocket the edginess that accusation brings. Rather, like so much of what Dunham does, it reeks of self-indulgence. She clearly think it’s very clever. But as a piece of writing it’s remarkably un-clever. It’s not terrible. It’s more like a solid B in a college-writing seminar.

It’s also, as the follower of Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon commented on Twitter, a rip-off, unintentional or not of a Big Bang Theory skit:

As Tony Roberts’ character said in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, “Homage? No, we just stole the idea outright!”

Update: “Is Lena Dunham upset that the only Jewish men ever attracted to her might have had glaucoma?” Heh.

“The captain of the doomed Germanwings plane reportedly used an axe to break down the cockpit door in the final moments before his co-pilot ‘intentionally’ descended the plane, German media has suggested,” according to the London Independent:

Evidence from the cockpit voice recorder suggested the captain of the Airbus A320, who The Independent understands is named Patrick Sondenheimer, left the flightdeck mid-journey, presumably to go to the toilet. Prosecutors say he returned to find his co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had barricaded himself inside and had sent the plane into descent over the French Alps.

French investigators said the captain can be heard asking “several times” for access after identifying himself, but received no response. He then banged on the door before trying to forcefully gain entry, with one investigator telling The New York Times: “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

Meanwhile, CBS reports that Lubitz “appears to have hidden evidence of an illness from his employers:”

Prosecutors in the western city of Duesseldorf said they seized medical documents from the home of Andreas Lubitz that indicate “an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment.”

Prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck said in a statement Friday that torn-up sick notes for the day of the crash “support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues.”

He said the search of Lubitz’s home revealed no suicide note or evidence of any political or religious motivation for his actions.

The prosecutor did not elaborate on what type of illness they believe Lubitz was hiding, but reports in the German press suggested the young man could have suffered a “serious depressive episode” during his training.

And finally, from our own Roger L. Simon, the Lubitz-inspired metaphor of the week, given the highly questionable dealings with the Iranian mullahs of America’s pilot in chief: “Obama the Crazy Pilot.”

Update: “Networks Air Ridiculous Animations of Pilot Knocking.” I can’t wait to see the Jack Torrance-style animations of the pilot taking an axe to the cockpit door.

Harry Reid to Retire in 2016

March 27th, 2015 - 10:00 am

harry_reid_nuclear_big_10-6-11

Ed Morrissey does not mince words:

The worst part of the next eighteen months or so will be the valedictions offered to Reid for his service. By any objective measure, Reid has been a blight on the Senate and on Congress. He declared the Iraq war “lost” while Americans were still fighting there, and he derailed a budget process that had worked well before his ascent into leadership. He stripped the Senate of one of its debate functions after sabotaging the amendment process, [See nuclear Harry above -- Ed] and nearly destroyed regular order. On top of that, Reid used his post to commit McCarthyite character assassination of Mitt Romney, claiming to have inside knowledge that Romney hadn’t paid taxes in ten years, a smear that turned out to be utterly false. He has been a malevolent force for years in American politics, and nothing he did in Washington will improve the place as much as his leaving it.

Goodbye, Harry, and good riddance.

Amen. Joe Cunningham of Red State has some fun with the soon to-be-former senator “recently-turned-blues-musician…Seriously. Those sunglasses. You can catch Reid in a Vegas piano bar working for tips after his retirement:”

The really interesting thing here is that Reid is a representative of the Democratic Party politicians as a whole right now: older, white, male, and if they aren’t rich when they get into office, they get rich through questionable means. What happens next determines the party’s success in the next couple of years. Do they seek younger representation, and maybe some more diversity? Or do they stick to the wealthy, white folks who suffer so much white guilt that they are completely fixated on diversity issues instead of good governance?

Moe Lane adds, “Nevada just shot up the rankings on the Big Board: and if Governor Brian Sandoval decides to run for Senate, it pretty much goes off of the Big Board completely.” And as Glenn Reynolds notes, given Reid and his fellow Democrats’ craven love of pure fascistic power for its own sake, “It doesn’t suggest huge enthusiasm for 2016.”

Update:


Wow. I wonder if we’ll ever know the real story on how his “exercise equipment” rearranged his face?

And just as a reminder, as CNN reported, prior to his nomination in 2008, Reid referred to Barack Obama, his then fellow Democrat senator as “a light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’” and later in 2008 had equally kind words for the voters at large: