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Ed Driscoll

Obama: ‘We Tortured Some Folks’

August 1st, 2014 - 1:22 pm

“This has long been Obama’s position, and a position of the left generally — that the three terrorists= leaders (aka ‘some folks’) we waterboarded were unjustly and cruelly ‘tortured,’” Ace writes. “It’s not entirely surprising, then, that he should say this, but the offhanded flippancy of it does surprise:”

Listening to Brand and Obama, I had a realization.

People on the right often claim that people on the left are guilty of something called “moral relativism.” Which, I believe, is defined as excusing/minimizing acts of cruelty, murder, and violence by looking at the “context” of those acts, and the “desperation” of the monsters perpetrating those acts, and judging that, in the scheme of things, they are either justified, or at least their culpability is mitigated — “They had little choice.” “These were the only weapons available to them.”

But that’s not quite right, I realized.

The left does indeed engage in moral relativism– selectively.

For the enemies of America or Israel, or for the enemy of civilized, orderly society (say, the common street-murderer), the left does indeed engage in this analysis of moral relativism.

But what about for America itself, or Israel, or the family murdered by a “desperate” and poor lifelong criminal?

Does the left ever engage in the same moral relativistic thinking and say, of America, Israel, or a community outraged by murder, “Well, these people were scared. They felt as if they had no choice. Their anger can be excused and understood, and justified to some extent, because of the grievances they felt they had against their enemies.”

No– they do not. This moral relativism, the excusing and justifying of evil acts, is a one-way street only, only serving to apologize for people who kill Americans (or Westerners; the Israelis in this case are taken to be White Westerners).

This same “let’s look at their grievances and how they felt justified” excuse is never, ever applied to America, Israel, or law-abiding folks outraged that a serious crime has occurred in their community.

In those cases, an absolutely sacrosanct and invariable ethic is applied — and America, Israel, and law-abiding folks are found guilty of having violated it.

Read the whole thing.

Related:


But Obama’s speechwriters have gotten him into plenty of trouble as well, often because he doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, when they’ve gone off the rails.

Update:

Moreover, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Republicans had reportedly been warning the State Department to prepare American facilities overseas for the release of the enhanced interrogations report. They warned that even the cautiously worded findings could go off like a bomb in the Arab World, and American diplomatic personnel should be prepared for any resulting fallout.

“On several occasions, the White House and the State Department have told the Committee, both verbally and in writing, that a series of security steps will be needed to safeguard the lives of U.S. personnel overseas and the facilities in which they work,” the senators wrote.

If the report, which apparently did not use the term “torture,” might have inflamed sentiment in the Muslim World, Obama’s blunt declaration that the United States engaged in torture will surely have a more significant impact.

Obama’s statement is a momentous development, and it is likely to have far-reaching implications. And by the way, no one is talking about the CIA spying on the Senate anymore. Funny how that worked out.

For Obama, it’s all about winning the weekly news cycle, even if it means trashing America, your predecessor in the White House, the memory of September 11th and its aftermath in the process, and inflaming the Middle East. Read: especially, where I wrote “even.”

“Citizens in tony Oldtown, Virginia – an upscale, predominantly liberal area of Alexandria directly across the bridge from Washington, D.C. – were put on the spot by MRC TV’s Dan Joseph and asked to host some of the illegal immigrant children who have flooded across the nation’s southern border,” BizPac Review notes. “Joseph asked passers-by if they would be willing to sign a petition calling for some unaccompanied children to be brought to Alexandria. If they agreed, he then asked them to sign a second petition, consenting to house one or two.”

Two guesses as to what happened next — which was entirely predictable to anyone who’s familiar with Saul Alinsky’s Rule Four, “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

And shades of James O’Keefe’s many stings, including asking gun control-obsessed leftwing journalists if they’d like a “This Home is Proudly Gun Free” sign on their front lawn.

(Perhaps Dan Joseph should try petitioning the same Democrat operatives with bylines as O’Keefe did, and see how many would like an illegal alien living in their gun-free home…)

Sharpton Versus de Blasio

August 1st, 2014 - 12:22 pm

di_blasio_bane_batman_1-2-14-3

“There was an astonishing visual display of the battle for the future of New York yesterday in a round-table discussion at City Hall,” John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post, describing a face-off between William Bratton, New York’s police commissioner, Bill de Blasio, the city’s newly minted far left mayor, who took office sounding like Bane from the last Batman movie, and as Podhoretz writes, “Al Sharpton, the longtime anti-cop rabble-rouser (and slanderer) who rose to fame and fortune in the 1980s in part by attacking the legitimacy of the Police Department Bratton ran from 1994 to 1995 and runs again now:”

Sharpton said he would not be satisfied with “window-dressing.” Here was his stark warning to the mayor: “If we’re going to just play spin games, I’ll be your worst enemy.”

In fact, New Yorkers benefited unambiguously when City Hall treated Sharpton as though it were his worst enemy. They may smile together now on occasion, but Bratton certainly wasn’t smiling back in 1995 at City Hall, when he stood beside his then-boss, Rudy Giuliani, as Giuliani effectively accused Sharpton of responsibility for a 1994 shooting spree and fire that left seven dead (eight, if you count the murderer).

Sharpton had led a long-standing protest against the owner of Freddy’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, whom he called a “white interloper.”

His inflammatory conduct and that of his deputy Morris Powell certainly helped rile up Roland J. Smith, who shot and killed four people inside the store before setting the fire that killed three more.

The outright contempt with which Giuliani and Bratton (and the commissioners who followed him under Rudy) showed Sharpton were part and parcel of the strong message they were sending about their support for law enforcement and their unwillingness to kowtow to cop-haters and those who profit from social decay and disorder.

Bill de Blasio was with Sharpton then. Will he surrender his mayoralty to Sharpton now?

Mike Bloomberg knew that whatever social tinkering he wanted to do — and he did enormous amounts, to NYC’s detriment — if he watered down the anti-crime policies Giuliani and Bratton pioneered and New York returned to its Death Wish/Panic in Needle Park era, he’d be out of a job. How important is de Blasio’s radical chic ideological affiliation with Comcast/NBC spokesman Al Sharpton, versus getting re-elected?

“Bill Clinton, September 10, 2001: I could have killed Bin Laden once but called it off because of civilian casualties,” Allahpundit paraphrases:

A time capsule from Australia via MSNBC, captured for posterity at what would have been around 11 p.m. New York time. The hijackers may have been ritually shaving themselves as he said it. Previewing the audio, the host says Clinton “almost brags” about his decision. Of course he does; at the time, it would have been a no-brainer for a politician to congratulate himself for sparing a terrorist in the name of also sparing dozens (or, if you believe Clinton, hundreds) of civilians, even if that terrorist was responsible for the U.S.S. Cole attack. Twenty-four hours later, I guarantee you he wasn’t bragging anymore. In fact, you can draw a straight line from this audio to America’s drone policy today. These 20 seconds or so are precisely why Obama ended up pulling the trigger on Anwar al-Awlaki and why he continues to pull the trigger on Al Qaeda’s bigger fish even if it means incinerating civilians in Waziristan or Yemen in the process. He’s never going to let a statement like this come back to haunt him.

Obligatory Allahpundit-style exit question: MSNBC rarely actually breaks news, and almost never goes after any of its fellow leftists. Are they bringing this up now to get it out of the way early, so that if Hillary’s opposition raises it, Hillary’s spox can shrug and say, “Hey, old news. This made the rounds in 2014. 9/11 was a wake up call for everyone. How dare you politicize it!” Or is this another effort to push Hillary aside for Elizabeth Warren, MSNBC’s preferred socialist presidential candidate?

Oh and one more: Say ABC, how’s that DVD edition of The Path to 9/11 coming?

“Call Us When an Israel-Hamas Cease-fire Lasts Longer Than a Peter Jackson Movie,” quips Jim Geraghty:

Forget these 72-hour cease-fire proposals, guys. Try a 72-minute one, see how that works out.

Because we could just run “Cease-fire Broken” headlines in an endless loop for the foreseeable future. Here’s how it went down:

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said that government forces were moving to destroy a tunnel, as the terms of the cease-fire allowed for, when several militants came out of the ground.

Colonel Lerner said the militants included at least one suicide attacker, that there was an exchange of fire on the ground and that initial indications were that a soldier was apparently dragged back into the tunnel. He was unable to offer details about the soldier’s condition or whether others were killed in the attack. He said the episode began at around 9.30 a.m., about 90 minutes after the 72-hour cease-fire came into effect.

As Geraghty grimly concludes, “Is everybody who voted for [John Kerry] in 2004 proud now? Or did they have more faith in his running mate?”

● “Belgian doctor refuses treatment to Jewish patient.”

—Headline, Jerusalem Post, today.

● “‘How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite?’ Adolf Hitler asked his party members in 1920. No one thought it an odd question.”

—As quoted at Small Dead Animals today.

Oh, and bonus anti-Semitism: Mika Brzezinski seems determined to live up to that previous quote: “Keep it Right Here on Morning Jew.”

Update: Mika’s Freudian slip occurred yesterday; her “conservative” co-host seems determined to keep up theme, though: Joe Scarborough Turns On Israel: These Attacks are ‘Asinine,’ ‘Indiscriminate.’

MSNBC: We Are All Al Sharpton Now.

Just ask the channel’s president: In 2011, MSNBC’s Phil Griffin told NPR, “I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. he’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.” And how.

More: Breaking News from 1938: “German Jews Warned: Hide Your Jewishness ‘The Risk Of Being Target Of An Attack Is Too Large.’”

Whatever Gets You Through the News Cycle

July 31st, 2014 - 12:43 pm


“When CIA Director John Brennan — then the White House counterterrorism adviser — laid out the Obama administration’s new approach to fighting Islamist terrorism on June 29, 2011, he mocked conservatives who suggested that Islamist extremists were plotting to re-establish a caliphate across the Middle East,” the Washington Examiner reminded its readers last month. Back then, Brennan was saying:

Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics. I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen.

So how are things working out in the Middle East these days? As the Washington Examiner noted last month in its headline, “Lack of intelligence: What CIA chief said is ‘never going to happen’ is happening in Iraq and Syria.” And that was before Hamas launched its latest attacks on Israel. Between ISIS in Iraq, and Hamas’s attacks on Israel, as Jeff Dunetz, the self-described “Yid with Lid” notes today, “The Only Difference Between Hamas and ISIS Violent Goals Are Their Names.”

This Hamas goal was outlined by Fathi Hammad Minister of Interior and National Security for  the Hamas government in Gaza who said in November 2013:

 We look forward to future victories, in which, Allah willing, we will liberate our land, our Jerusalem, our Al-Aqsa [Mosque], our cities and our villages, Allah willing, all this in preparation for establishing the next Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are at the brink of a period of global Islamic culture, whose fuel is Gaza, whose spearhead is Gaza, its Jihad fighters (Mujahideen) and commanders are Gaza, Allah willing…

And as the leftwing UK Guardian reported last month, “Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria.”

To be fair to Brennan, no doubt, his words sounded good at the time, and it got the administration through another news cycle, which is ultimately all it cares about anyhow. But to paraphrase Bill Clinton, he might want to put a little ISIS on his ego, as his reputation — and that of the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a whole — are badly in tatters.

Oh and speaking of foreign policy reputations in tatters, as John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post, John Kerry and his staffers “have taken to whining — not sure there’s a nicer word — over how unfairly he’s being written and talked about in Israel:”

John Kerry fought in Vietnam, threw his medals away, served decades in the Senate, ran for president, did some windsurfing and then became secretary of state of the most powerful country on Earth.

He’s a big boy. But there are those who seem to feel otherwise, that Kerry is a fragile and tender reed in need of delicate care — people who work for and with him. Not to mention Kerry himself.

Over the course of the past year, on several occasions, Kerry and other staffers have taken to whining — not sure there’s a nicer word — over how unfairly he’s being written and talked about in Israel.

In January, after Israel’s defense minister was twice quoted speaking disparagingly about Kerry’s peace-process efforts and his nuclear diplomacy with Iran, Kerry actually called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to complain.

This was an odd thing, given the relative power of Kerry and the relatively minor position of Moshe Ya’alon. Kerry could have brushed Yaalon’s words off as a giant brushes off a fly.

But it was so hurtful to Kerry that he made sure the world knew about it. His spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said at a public briefing that Ya’alon’s “comments were not constructive.

Perhaps Iowahawk has the best explanation for Kerry & Co’s kvetch fest:

 

Say there (former) Madam IRS Commissioner, do you let your ideology influence your job and whom you choose as your next victims? And as Glenn Reynolds wrote yesterday, “As bad as the emails that have been released are, the ones they’re hiding must be just dreadful.” But how bad is the above sample? So bad, Noah Rothman notes at Hot Air today, that even Democrat operatives with bylines and microphones are grudgingly forced to admit Lerner’s insanely obvious bias:

While most of the major news networks have not yet made note of the latest emails, CBS This Morning did bring its audience up to speed on the latest controversy. After asking if the latest emails represent a “smoking gun,” CBS quoted Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) who told reporters that the Lerner had evidenced “a political bias against conservatives.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts made a startling admission when tackling the issue of the latest emails. While the panel’s Republicans were animated about these newest developments, the majority of the program’s liberals were silent. Only NBC News personality Willie Geist offered his thoughts on the newest revelations.

“If the question is, ‘was there political, ideological bias inside the IRS?’ Geist asked, “It’s hard to argue ‘no.’”

CNN’s New Day politics panel offered a similar take on the latest emails. Asked if the latest correspondences could create a critical mass which might force the administration to surrender control of the IRS investigation to an independent investigator, Associated Press White House reporter Julie Pace said she did not think so. She did, however, concede that it appears the former IRS official accused of discriminating against conservatives “had a real axe to grind” with conservatives.

National Journal Editorial Director Ron Fournier was more succinct. “To borrow the president’s phrase, there’s at least a smidgen of bias in the IRS,” he said.

And while the IRS is busy being weaponized against its citizens, the CIA confesses, “Yeah, we hacked the Senate’s computers,” as also spotted by Rothman today:

The outrage over the CIA’s claimed abuse of authority was bipartisan. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the allegations against the spy agency “dangerous to a democracy.”

“Heads should roll, people should go to jail, if it’s true,” Graham said at the time. “I’m going to get briefed on it. If it is, the legislative branch should declare war on the CIA, if it’s true.”

War, it would seem, is imminent.

On Thursday, the CIA admitted to secretly and improperly hacking Senate staffers’ computers linked to the internal review of the agency’s tactics under George W. Bush.

“CIA Director John Brennan has determined that employees ‘acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding’ brokered between the CIA and its Senate overseers, according to agency spokesman Dean Boyd,” National Journal reported. In the statement, Boyd apologized to the committee chair and vice chair who were misled by Brennan.

Barack Obama promised fundamental transformation; a grimly amusing cartoon at Small Dead Animals sums up how the “Progressive” alphabet soup created by successive prior Democrat administrations has been corrupted and weaponized during BHO’s administration.

And as Charles Murray notes on Twitter, there’s bipartisan room for change:

But don’t worry — the left and the RNC will cheerfully go back to sleep and resume the status quo until the taxpayer money runs out.

Obama: Promises Made, Promises Kept

July 31st, 2014 - 10:48 am

Shot:

chris_hayes_forgets_obamas_war_on_coal_7-31-14

Chaser:

Or as Jon Gabriel of Ricochet tweets in reply to Hayes, “Your #WarOnCoal is working. Glad you looked in the eyes of your victims.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that an MSNBC newsreader forgot about the ramifications of the anti-energy policies they’re forced to defend.

Breaking News from 2013

July 30th, 2014 - 7:36 pm

“The Republican Occupation of Detroit,” as charted by Sally Kohn in — where else? — the Daily Beast:

Detroit is no longer a city. Sure, it looks like a city. But that’s a façade. The oldest city in the Midwest—home of the first traffic light in America and the first urban freeway, the birthplace of Motown and the automobile and the ice cream soda—is now a ghost. Detroit, the place, is recovering—even thriving in some ways. But Detroit, the political entity, is dead.

In 2011, Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act 4, which gave the state the power to place cash-strapped cities and school districts under the control of state-appointed emergency managers. In 2012, Michigan voters overturned that law. But in 2013, Snyder signed a barely revised version of the emergency manager law—and then used it to take over Detroit.

So in the fall of 2013, Detroit voters went to the polls to elect a new mayor and City Council, but it didn’t matter. The powers of the mayor and City Council have effectively been suspended. Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, appointed by Snyder, has all the power and then some. A Democratic city that elected Democratic leaders is now controlled by the appointee of a Republican governor.

Kohn skips about a two-thirds of a century worth of history in her conclusion:

In the early 1900s, African Americans moved to Detroit to escape the inequality and injustice that persisted in the South. Much of the Detroit as we celebrate it in our national lore sprang from black political self-determination, economic leadership, and cultural expression. Plenty of dynamics conspired to dismantle Detroit’s greatness. But even bankrupt, struggling, falling apart, Detroit could still cling to its identity as a city—whatever price that meant in the past, whatever hope it held for the future. Now because of Snyder, even that is gone.

But the “Detroit as we celebrate it in our national lore [that] sprang from black political self-determination, economic leadership, and cultural expression” arose in the late-1960s after the city’s riots of 1967, prior to which, as Thomas Sowell wrote, “Detroit’s black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent.”

After the riots, the result was a generation of leadership under Mayor Coleman Young, who used racial grievance politics to maintain his power base, even as he was driving the city into the ground. (Today, Detroit’s unemployment rate is a whopping 23 percent.) Zev Chafets’ brilliant 1990 book Devil’s Night and its portrait of Young’s massive damage to the city reads as if it could be written yesterday. Dresden, Hiroshima and Berlin were all rebuilt in just a few years of their bombings. In contrast, Young mercifully left office in 1994, and yet time stands still in that particular war zone.

And note the mirror images on display in these quotes. In his 1990 book, Chafets quoted Arthur Johnson (1925-2011), then the president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP and a vice-president at Wayne State University:

“Detroit has helped nurture a new black mentality,” Johnson said, pounding his desk for emphasis. “More than any other city, blacks here make an issue of where you live. If you’re with us, you’ll find a place in the city.”

Whites often say, in their own defense, that many middle-class blacks also leave the city at the first opportunity. I mentioned this to Johnson, but he waved it away. “The majority of the black middle class is here. We are engaged in the most determined, feverish effort to save Detroit. Why? Because Detroit is special. It’s the first major city in the United States to have taken on the symbols of a black city. It has elected a strong, powerful black mayor, powerful in both his personality and his office. Detroit, more than anywhere else, has gathered power and put it in black hands.”

In her new article, Kohn writes:

Detroit—a majority African-American city—is now controlled by a governor elected by a majority of white voters in the state. It really doesn’t matter that Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager, is black, nor that Mike Duggan, Detroit’s mayor, is white. What matters is that half of the state’s black population lives in Detroit. So through the state takeover, “half of black Michiganders have essentially lost the right to vote,” says Ife Kilimanjaro, co-director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council.

Kohn is, knowingly or unknowingly, continuing in the tradition of racial demonization that Young used to build his career. Beyond the subtext of her politely calling Orr, the emergency manager of Detroit’s exhausted city government an Uncle Tom, it’s not as if the rest of her column is breaking any new ground here. Kohn is following in the footsteps of MSNBC newsreaders last year during Detroit’s announcement that it was declaring bankruptcy, such as Art Melber, who blurted out that “Detroit is fast becoming the most libertarian city in the United States.” Not to mention Ed Schultz and the network’s veteran race-baiter, Melissa Harris-Parry:

Detroit’s fiscal ruin and subsequent bankruptcy was actually the result of the city being pretty much a “conservative utopia,” Ed Schultz informed us. It’s what happens when “government is small enough to drown in your bathtub” and “exactly the kind of thing many Republicans would impose on us,” insisted Melissa Harris-Parry.

A few months ago, Kohn explained “What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News” to the Christian Science Monitor:

My time at Fox News was marked by meeting and working with some of the kindest, smartest, and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in life. As I said in my TED talk, Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet – and even now that I’ve parted ways with Fox, he remains a good friend and mentor.

For a radical progressive who once harbored negative stereotypes about folks on the right, it was a turning point for me to meet people such as Mr. Hannity, Karl Rove, Monica Crowley, Sarah Palin, and so many others, and see that – though we certainly disagree profoundly on political issues – they’re personable and kind and human. Just like me.

It’s strange to suggest that a seemingly simple realization such as that is in fact a profound revelation, but in our hyperpartisan era, when we often vilify the other side as being less-than-human, it is.

That was back in April. Either Kohn has forgotten it all in the months since, or she didn’t believe her epiphany in the first place.

Blue Falcon

July 30th, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Bryan Preston proffers his take on Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against the widow of the American war hero and American Sniper author Chris Kyle:

Jesse Ventura is a clown, was a terrible governor, and is a full-blown 9-11 Truther. He also sued the widow of America’s most successful military sniper.

Nothing can restore a reputation that Ventura himself ripped to shreds years ago.

Mrs. Kyle is considering appealing the jury’s non-unanimous verdict against her late husband.

When even Anderson Cooper can figure this one out (as seen in the above Tweet), you know you’ve really [insert your favorite NC-17-rated euphemism for making a dreadful mistake here].

For my interviews last year with Chris Kyle’s widow Taya, and American Sniper co-author Jim DeFelice, click here.

Breaking News From 2006

July 30th, 2014 - 3:51 pm

“The authenticity problem: It’s becoming harder for red-state Dems to say what they really believe,” Josh Kraushaar writes at the National Journal. (Link safe; goes to Hot Air): 

But the details in it illustrate the dilemma for Democrats running in conservative states, whose true beliefs probably run counter to a majority of their constituents. That’s been a running theme this election with first-time Senate candidates, such as Nunn and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, who have assiduously avoided offering policy specifics in favor of bland generalities. Staying on message is akin to lacking any type of message.

When Grimes struggles repeatedly to articulate her views on border security, it’s clear she’s caught between exciting the Democratic base, the source for her impressive fundraising, and winning over moderate voters in Kentucky. When Nunn says she would have voted against Obama’s health care law but avoids talking about any changes she’d make to it, it’s easy to assume she’s trying to do everything she can to have it both ways. Unless Democrats have a clear record otherwise (see: Manchin, Joe), it’s going to be hard for voters to find them believable.

Yes, having lied through their teeth to pose and “conservative” “Blue Dog” Democrats in order to win back the Senate and House in 2006 only to become — as Kevin McCullough of Townhall accurately predicted at the time — “Nancy Pelosi’s crash test dummies,” why would any voter trust a Democrat who says he or she is against the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid?

For example, Natalie Tennant, running in West Virginia for Jay Rockefeller’s soon-to-be-former seat, pretends to “stand up for coal jobs,” but why should anyone trust when it’s far more likely that if elected to office, she’ll cheerfully vote for the anti-energy policies of fellow Democrats Pelosi, Reid, Obama, or if she’s elected in 2016, Hillary?

Oh, and regarding the Joe Manchin reference above…

mccarthy_obama_impeachment_cover_5-19-14-2

The Washington Times reported on Tuesday that:

Talk of impeachment was cooked up by a White House desperate for something to rally Democrats ahead of November’s elections, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday, flatly ruling out any action on the controversial suggestion.

“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Mr. Beohner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”

But PJM’s own Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, has a very different take, both in terms of Mr. Obama, and of the general concept of impeachment itself.

During our interview, Andrew will discuss his latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment. Andrew tells me, “As Madison put it, impeachment was indispensable in the minds of the framers, as a mechanism for Congress to be able to prevent one of the things that they were extremely worried about during the drafting of the Constitution. Which was the possibility that this incredibly powerful new office that they were creating, the President of the United States, where all of the executive power would be reposed in one official. [The founders worried] that that official could become like a monarch; could become basically what the Revolution had fought against in the first place.”

And there’s little doubt that President Obama thinks of himself of having king-like powers, far removed from the controls of Congress.

During our interview, Andrew will discuss:

● How the Founding Fathers thought of impeachment.
● Is he worried about Democrats fundraising off his new book?
● What does McCarthy think of John Boehner’s plan to sue Obama?
● His thoughts on Congress’s investigations of Benghazi and the IRS scandal.
● If McCarthy was drafting the articles of impeachment for Barack Obama, what would they include?

And much more. Click below to listen:

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(16 minutes, 41 seconds long; 15.3 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 4.78 MB lo-fi edition.)

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Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

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Yes, Next Question

July 28th, 2014 - 11:35 pm

“Is the Obama administration losing touch with reality?”, Mark Tapscott asks at the Washington Examiner. Considering that Barack Obama alternated posing next to Styrofoam Roman columns and uttering quotes such as, ”We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth,” during his in 2008 presidential bid, this administration and reality were never on very good terms to begin with. But as Tapscott writes, their relationship is much more strained these days:

There is an air of unreality about the Obama crew these days that became starkly evident last week with a letter to Congress from National Security Advisor Susan Rice seeking repeal of the 2002 authorization for the invasion of Iraq and White House press secretary Josh Earnest claiming Republicans are seriously seeking to impeach his boss.

House Speaker John Boehner and every other top GOP leader has denied it, but that didn’t stop Earnest and the Democratic fundraising machine from insisting that impeachment is “part of their agenda.”

Similarly, Rice claimed repealing the 2002 law is needed to “give Americans confidence” that U.S. “ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq” even though House GOPers were preparing to approve a resolution saying U.S. ground forces should not be sent back to Iraq.

But then seeing the Obama administration publicly weaving such fantasies isn’t really surprising, considering they’ve argued for years that one half of one-third of the federal government is responsible for all of America’s problems.

Aaron Hanscom, our lead editor and textual master of ceremonies on the PJM homepage asked me the other day if any president had checked out as dramatically from current events in my lifetime. I told that while it’s a little before my time, the closest analogy that comes to mind is the Wilson Administration, which attempted to maintain the fiction that its namesake was still running the show after Wilson’s devastating stroke in October of 1919, exhausting himself while attempting to pass the League of Nations. Wilson would linger on in office until being mercifully relieved by Republican Warren Harding in February of 1924 as a shell of a man; even Wikipedia notes:

[Post-stroke, Wilson] was insulated by his wife, who screened matters for his attention and delegating others to his cabinet heads. Eventually, Wilson resumed his attendance at cabinet meetings, but his input there was perfunctory. By February 1920 the President’s true condition was public. Nearly every major newspaper expressed qualms about Wilson’s fitness for the presidency at a time when the League fight was reaching a climax, and domestic issues such as strikes, unemployment, inflation and the threat of Communism were ablaze. Neither his wife nor his physician nor personal assistant were willing to assume authority to take upon themselves the certification required by the Constitution to declare his “inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office”. This complex case became an inducement for passage of the 25th Amendment.

It took a stroke to effectively end the Wilson presidency; it simply took Obama discovering that the world and the Beltway are mean places full of mean people who keep saying no to him — to  him! — the ‘Bam Who Would be King for Wright’s sake! — for him to take his golf ball and go home.

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Tweet of the Day

July 28th, 2014 - 7:57 pm

eliana_johnson_tweet_of_the_day_7-28-14

Boom.

In Johnson’s piece on “Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Plan,” she wrote:

Her strategists are optimistic that the media won’t prove much of an obstacle. They write that at some point her opponent, who at the time the document was written had yet to be determined, will be “shoveling research” against her. But they say they anticipate they will often have “fair warning” about negative news stories and can work to “kill or muddy” them.

That dovetails remarkably well with an observation Bill Clinton told the Washington Post in 2006:

There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.

“We’re all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the ’60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate,” Clinton said. “Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations.”

And Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution seems determined to prove both Bill and Michelle Nunn correct:


Indeed.

Parliamentary Objection

July 28th, 2014 - 7:39 pm

“Why the Left Protests Better: A History of ‘Disobedient Objects,’” is the headline of this Daily Beast article, which posits:

Walking through the show, it’s impossible to miss the trend—virtually all of the innovative, daring pieces of design and art have emerged from left-wing protest groups. The organizers insist this was never the intention, they just couldn’t find any examples from the Right. Grindon told The Daily Beast the realization surprised him, but it seems the Left is more inventive, better at protesting.

“I think, by structure, those movements on the far-right aren’t about creating solidarity, aren’t about creating new worlds. They’re often about preserving at least imagined versions of the world, so they tend [to] not radically experiment with the culture,” he said. “They tend not to have the same level of creativity.”

They tend to have actual jobs:

Not long after [Andrew Ferguson] and I met, we were driving down Pennsylvania Avenue and encountered some or another noisy pinko demonstration. “How come,” I asked Andy, “whenever something upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American flag?”

“We have jobs,” said Andy.

—P. J. O`Rourke, from the introduction to Parliament of Whores.

For my interview with P.J. earlier this year on his new book, The Baby Boom, click here.

Barack to the Future

July 28th, 2014 - 6:49 pm

“Is the Left anti-Semitic? Sadly, it is heading that way,” Brendan O’Neill writes in the London Telegraph. Of course, the obvious rejoinder is, “Heading…?”

This is a recurring theme in anti-Israel sentiment today: the idea that a powerful, sinister lobby of Israel lovers has warped our otherwise respectable leaders here in the West, basically winning control of Western foreign policy. You see it in cartoons depicting Israeli leaders as the puppet masters of politicians like William Hague and Tony Blair. You can hear it in Alexi Sayle’s much-tweeted claim that the “Western powers” kowtow to Israel because they are “frightened of it… frightened of the power that it wields”. You can see it in the arguments of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their popular book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which holds an apparently super-powerful pro-Israel lobby in the heart of Washington responsible for the Iraq War and all other kinds of disasters. The claim is often made that Israel has corrupted Western officials, commanding them to carry out its dirty work.

Sound familiar? Yes, this has terrible echoes of the old racist idea that Jewish groups controlled Western politics and frequently propelled the world into chaos – an idea that was especially popular in the early to mid-20th-century Europe. Very often, anti-Israel protesters treat Israel not just as a nation at war – like Britain, America or France, which also frequently launch wars that kill huge numbers of civilians – but also as the warper of policy and morality in the West, as a source of poison in global affairs, as the architect of instability across the globe. Indeed, a few years ago a poll of Europeans found that a majority of them view Israel as “the biggest threat to world peace”. So Israel is undoubtedly singled out by Leftists and others, and even more significantly it is singled out in a way that the Jews used to be singled out – that is, as a sinister, self-serving corrupter of nations and causer of chaos.

Much of today’s anti-Israel protesting has a conspiracy-theory feel to it, with its talk about powerful lobby groups designing wars behind closed doors in order to isolate Israel’s enemies and boost Israel’s fortunes. And this is in keeping with Left-wing politics generally, today. The Left has increasingly embraced a conspiracy-theory view of the world. It is now very common to hear Leftists talk about the “cabals of neocons” who control world affairs, or the “cult of bankers” who wreak havoc on our economies, or the Murdoch Empire that “orchestrates public life from the shadows” (to quote Labour MP Tom Watson). All seriously analytical and nuanced readings of international trends and political dynamics have been elbowed aside by contemporary Leftists, who prefer instead to argue that dark, hidden, mysterious forces are ruining politics, plotting wars, and enriching themselves at the expense of the poor. And, as history shows us, there is a thin line between railing against wicked cabals and cults and wondering out loud whether the Jews are secretly running world affairs, or at least wielding a disproportionate influence.

Meet the new left, just as same as the old left. Or as Jonah Goldberg wrote in his 2006 review of historian Jeffrey Herf’s then-new book, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust:

According to the standard Holocaust narrative, the “Final Solution” was the product of hate or racism or, often, both. Anti-Semitism became popular in the 19th century; the Nazis expanded on it, constructing a pseudo-scientific biological racism that saw the Jews as a cancer on the body politic and the Holocaust as an attempt to excise the tumor. Herf does not so much debunk this version of history as cut through it.

In “The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust,” he concedes that hatred and racism were important, but he argues that they don’t explain Germany’s unique efforts to destroy the Jews. It’s not as if no one hated the Jews until the 1930s.

The real answer isn’t hate, but fear. Poring through miles of speeches, private comments, journal entries, party memoranda and all 24,000 pages of Goebbels’ diaries, Herf concludes that the Nazis really believed that the Jews ran the world and wanted to destroy Germany. They believed that Jews controlled not only the Bolsheviks to the east but the capitalists to the west. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a mere pawn of his Jewish friends and advisers. The British Parliament, Goebbels wrote in one diary entry, was in reality a kind of Jewish stock exchange. The Jewish-plutocratic enemy was everywhere, benefiting from, and responsible for, every piece of bad news for Germany. In fact, the Nazis were sure that the Jews had declared war on Germany first, giving them no choice but to respond to the Jewish campaign to exterminate the Germans. This paranoia led the Nazis to believe that rounding up millions of Jews and gassing them was an act of self-defense.

What is so frightening is how similar this is to the sounds from the Middle East today. Ahmadinejad — dismissed by sophisticated academics as a blowhard — calls the Holocaust a myth. Indeed, there is no Jewish conspiracy theory too outlandish in the Muslim world. Huge numbers of Muslims — even 45 percent of British Muslims — believe that the Jews were behind 9/11. Theories that the Mossad is behind every bad headline, from the Indonesian tsunami to bad soccer performances, are common on the Arab street. According to Herf, this is only the second time the world has seen this sort of radical anti-Semitic paranoia. And, again, too many in the unspotless West are saying, they can’t be serious.

As Glenn Reynolds noted yesterday at Instapundit, when it comes to Europe’s latest efforts at partying like it’s 1939, “There are a few things going on here. First, there’s guilt-displacement: If Israel is bad, then the Holocaust seems a bit less so. Second, opposing Israel and Jews gives Europe diplomatic leverage in the Middle East, to the point that one European Parliament member has called it a ‘proxy war’ on America.”

That’s from Glenn’s link to Jeffrey Gedmin’s recent Weekly Standard article on “Europe’s Amazing Anti-Israel Ways,” which is also well worth your time, provided you’ve taken the proper high blood pressure medication before reading.

Update: And speaking of partying like it’s 1939, “And Now… Europe’s Kristallnacht.”

Wasting Away Again In Obamaville

July 28th, 2014 - 4:19 pm

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Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

On Tuesday, the chief human resources officers of more than 100 large corporations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging quick passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The officials represent companies with a vast array of business interests: General Electric, The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, The Wendy’s Company, Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, and many more. All want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill as well as high-skill workers, in addition to a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally.

“Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor,” Byron York, the Washington Examiner, September 11, 2013.

But where to house all those illegal immigrants flooding the border to replace American workers? The big box stores emptied out by the Obama economy, of course:

The Obama administration is reportedly looking to house illegal immigrant juveniles in empty big box stores and even airplane hangars across the nation.

According to a report in The New Republic, “in recent weeks, FEMA representatives have sent mass emails to advocacy networks throughout the country soliciting potential detention facilities and offering guidelines for acceptable spaces.” Suggestions for “workable locations” include “Office space, warehouse, big box store, shopping mall with interior concourse, event venues, hotel or dorms, aircraft hangers [sic].”

“Report: FEMA Looking to House Illegals in Empty Big Box Stores, Aircraft Hangars,” Tony Lee, Big Government, yesterday.

Strengthening the American economy: the parties intertwined in the deeply dysfunctional corporatist marriage between the left and big business just might be doing it wrong.

Update: As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “Democrats Admit Amnesty Is For Political Purposes,” which also explains why their enabling friends in big business are so eager to go along.

Truman Shrugs

July 28th, 2014 - 12:44 pm

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“Is Barack Obama John Galt?”,  John Hinderaker provocatively asked yesterday at Power Line:

Now, Barack Obama has decreed that the American Atlas should shrug. Weary of its burdens and tired of being blamed for the world’s problems, America is withdrawing from its global leadership role. And the result, as in Atlas Shrugged, is disaster. Everywhere one looks, there is turmoil and violence. Russia is resurgent; China threatens Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines; Iraq’s Christians are being wiped out; Iran’s nuclear weapons program proceeds apace; the Sunni Gulf states seek new alliances; the Taliban is retaking Afghanistan; American diplomatic personnel are withdrawn from Libya as that country descends into chaos; al Qaeda extends its influence in Africa. The list goes on and on. The United States has gone Galt–everywhere except Gaza, where we are playing a discreditable role in support of a terrorist regime–and the forces of evil and disorder are on the march.

Of course, the analogy ultimately breaks down. In Atlas Shrugged, the world’s producers go on strike in order to show that the Left is wrong. Barack Obama has withdrawn the United States from its leadership role, not in order to demonstrate that the Left’s critiques are wrong, but because he believes them to be right. Unlike the producers in Atlas Shrugged, Obama means for the U.S. to “go Galt” permanently.

It’s an interesting analogy, though perhaps not built around the right person. As John concedes, Barack “You didn’t build that” Obama is no John Galt. (And certainly no Howard Roark, to justify a rerun of the Photoshop I created in 2012.) But he can be seen in many ways to be something akin to Harry Truman. Both were machine hack Democrats, who assumed the office of the presidency deep into global struggles against anti-Semitic terror-based ideologies. Like Obama sitting in the pews of Trinity United rapturously drinking in the poisoned words of Rev. Wright, Harry Truman was raised in a crudely racialist environment:

Many who are aware of Harry Truman’s support for Israel and his desegregation of the armed forces are shocked by the anti-Semitic statements contained in his recently discovered 1947 diary. But Truman’s bigotry comes as little surprise to historians who have studied the man and his career.

Truman’s ugly comments about Jews being “very, very selfish” and, as such, not caring “how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered,” or his charge that “neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog,” are distressingly consistent with his disparaging views about other racial and ethnic minorities. As a younger man, he wrote in a 1911 letter to his wife, Bess: “I think one man is as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a n***er or a Chinaman.”

Even his reverential biographer, Merle Miller, admitted in the Truman biography “Plain Speaking” that later in life “privately Mr. Truman always said ‘n***er’; at least he always did when I talked to him.” He also often privately referred to Jews as “kikes.”

And like Obama’s Manichean demonization of his political enemies (and like his former boss, FDR), Truman was perfectly prepared to max out the Godwin meter if it suited his career, believing that the ends would justify the means and that such transgressions would largely be airbrushed out of history.

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Victor Davis Hanson knows why:

Glance about — Central America, Venezuela, China, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Turkey, etc. — and the world outside the West is mostly a nasty place.  The three common denominators in all these catastrophes are the usual demagogic leaders blaming someone else for their people’s own self-inflicted miseries, a comfortable West that shrugs that somehow all these depressing things and mean people will just go away — and a tired global enforcer whose community organizer leader went into retirement and offers “make no mistake about it” warnings between swings on the golf course.

Read the whole thing.