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Ed Driscoll

Newspeak Dictionary Applet Now Available for Google’s Chrome Browser

February 26th, 2015 - 10:55 am


Huh — I remember that it wasn’t all that long ago when Christian Websites were pilloried over such things by the Washington Post:

The American Family Association obviously didn’t foresee the problems that might arise with its strict policy to always replace the word “gay” with “homosexual” on the Web site of its Christian news outlet, OneNewsNow. The group’s automated system for changing the forbidden word wound up publishing a story about a world-class sprinter named “Tyson Homosexual” who qualified this week for the Beijing Olympics.

The problem: Tyson’s real last name is Gay. Therefore, OneNewsNow’s reliable software changed the Associated Press story about Tyson Gay’s amazing Olympic qualifying trial to read this way:

Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Homosexual said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

You might think it’s a joke, until you read the original AP story, which begins this way:

Tyson Gay was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Gay qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Gay said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

Read the whole thing, in which the Post had loads of fun in 2008 with Christian Websites inventing the brilliant Olympic athlete “Tyson Homosexual,” without pondering how quickly the left would create their own applets to replace words that they find “problematic” causing “trigger warnings” among their own sensitive souls. (Can we use that phrase? Perhaps “Sensitive chakras” is more appropriate.)

I can’t wait to read a Post article denouncing the Chrome extension using similar language — or is this another case of, as Kathy Shaidle likes to describe the left’s motto, “It’s different when we do it!”

In any case, I’m old enough to remember a time before such applets were available:

Update: Eveleth is also eager to create applets that limit fashion choices as well; recall she was the “science” writer who hit the fainting couch over the shirt worn by the man who landed an unmamanned spacecraft on a comet. (Via the readers of the Insta-man.)

“MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry said during an address at Cornell University this week that she hopes 17-year-old Trayvon Martin ‘whooped the s–t’ out of gunman George Zimmerman during their fatal encounter in 2012,” the Washington Examiner reports:

Harris-Perry’s address, which was captured and uploaded to YouTube by the university’s conservative group, the Cornell Review, continued: “And I hope he whooped the s–t out of George Zimmerman. And it’s not disreputable because he encountered a stranger who was prepared to kill him, and you know how I know? Because he killed him.”

Neither Harris-Perry nor a spokesperson for MSNBC responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

As Ace responds, “I think you’ve long known that, as every witness said he did, and Zimmerman’s head showed injuries consistent with having one’s head punched repeatedly into the concrete:”

The seething “Let’s get Justice for Travyon” types usually don’t admit that Martin was pounding Zimmerman, but, and this is key, they usually don’t spend much time denying that salient fact either. They just sort of handwave it away, as if that’s just a trivial detail and not very important to their Big Picture legal analysis.

And on that point I think they’re being honest– they don’t see this as important in their legal analysis. Zimmerman deserved what he was getting for the crime of Disrespecting a Black Man, and he broke the Rules by putting a stop to his chastisement.

Whether he feared for his life or not, so what? Racial Justice demands that he take his Justice, as Trayvon determined it should be meted out.

By the way, MHP:

If Zimmerman just wanted to shoot Martin, he could have done so while still on his feet. It is “Stand Your Ground,” after all, not “Get Taken to the Ground, Then Get Your Head Dribbled on the Cement for Five Minutes, Then Get Out Your Gun.”

If Zimmerman just wanted to plug Martin, he sure was slow on the draw.

Arguably far more than other “news” organizations — and that’s saying something — NBC has had a vendetta against Zimmerman right from the start, from falsely editing his 9/11 call to make Zimmerman appear to be a racist, right up until MHP’s speech on Monday. That’s some operation you’re running there, Comcast.

Last week, a source at MSNBC told the (left-leaning) Daily Beast that the network cancelled its low-rated shows hosted by Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid as part of a “move away from left-wing TV.” A decade after moving to the left itself, the Atlantic asks, “So what would it actually mean for MSNBC to make a break with ‘left-wing TV’?”

Publicly, it’s worth noting, MSNBC is distancing itself from the “left-wing” quote, emphasizing that a liberal slant is part of not just the network’s past, but its future. As an MSNBC spokesperson told me in an email, “We have a great brand,” and “we will be staying true to our progressive voice while broadening out the issues we cover through that lens.” Those within the network, though, according to the Daily Beast report, see things differently: “Everybody in the food chain from top to bottom,” its source says, “understands that the Olbermann era is over.”

That’s nice. When is the Jim Crow era over at MSNBC?

God and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM at Wesleyan University

February 25th, 2015 - 1:54 pm

See if you can spot the angry three letter word in the middle of the above headline. There, that didn’t long, did it?

Slippery slope, anyone?

As Professor Steven Hayward cleverly points out in his “50 Shades of Gay” post at Power Line (great headline, by the way), Wesleyan University is now making sure every sexual fetish, whim, kink, orientation, impulse and desire – plus the kitchen sink – gets its own capital letter in the ever-growing acronym of the formerly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community.

Wesleyan University’s residential life division’s “Open House” at 154 Church Street boasts, according to the university’s website: “a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf**k, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.”

And no, the asterisks weren’t included in the original text, but who says college isn’t educational? And as Jim Treacher writes:

Note the placement of “flexual, asexual, genderf***,” in that order. This creates an acronym that is, to use the parlance of the day, problematic. I find myself triggered by this othering language, and I can only conclude that it’s intended as a microaggression.

Why doesn’t Wesleyan care about the PWDNTBMCIOTFADDR community?

*People Who Don’t Need To Be Micro-Categorized In Order To Find A Damn Dorm Room

Heh. I just abbreviate that down to the G.O.P. community. It’s much easier to spell.

Update: As with much of the gender insanity that can be found on today’s Kafkaesque college campuses, Stacy McCain was way out in front of this story, first linking to it on Saturday. He described Wesleyan as going “Maximum Acronym” — though like double-dog-daring Evel Knievel, I’m not sure if I’d want to goad the crazed university into topping itself.

‘NBC Trapped in Kafkaesque Nightmare!’

February 25th, 2015 - 1:42 pm

That’s what a Kausfiles headline screams today — could you narrow it down a bit, Mickey? Because NBC is currently trapped in all sorts of Kafkaesque nightmares, most of which are of the network’s own making: If NBC drops legendary anchorman Al Sharpton, I hope they have the mother of all disparagement clauses in his contract, because the only reason the network employs Sharpton is as a protection racket to prevent him from devouring their colleagues. (See: Imus, Don.) What to do about Brian Williams, now that Lester Holt is keeping the ratings steady among the network’s elderly viewers? And what to do about far left muckraker David Corn, who’s dying to come on MSNBC — where he’s employed as a commentator — and blast Bill O’Reilly. But does Phil Griffin really want O’Reilly thrashing away at his network for the next two weeks while he’s trying to decide what it will be when it finally grows up? (Or buy time by negotiating a truce with viewer-hating Keith Olbermann.)

But actually, what Kaus is referring to is this:

The Latest Fad — Mindlessness: NBC Nightly News managed to devote almost two minutes of tonight’s opening segment to the standoff over Department of Homeland Security funding — after another, initial two minutes on the terrorist threat to the Mall of America. In that time NBC never says what the DHS funding fight is about, namely Obama’s executive action giving work permits and deportation protection to millions of illegal immigrants. (You can watch the astonishing newscast here.) The word “immigration” isn’t even uttered. Viewers tuning in would have absolutely no idea why the “big fight” — with 200,000 workers facing no paychecks, a possible “security risk,” and the “clock ticking”– is happening. Is it a budget dispute, with Republicans trying to lower federal spending and Democrats trying to raise it? An argument over long TSA lines? Insufficient leg room in coach? A union dispute? Mindless partisan animosity? The NBC story doesn’t even blame Republicans. A Democratic propaganda segment would at least have had a coherent story line.

I can see several possible explanations:

Normally, I consider Mickey to be one of the most astute observers of the national scene — but since when is mindlessness the latest fad at NBC? It seems to be well in place there since at least the Fred Silverman days.

kfc_edible_cup_2-25-15-1

Good news! “KFC Now Has A Coffee Cup You Can Eat,” reports BuzzFeed (who better to break this story?) Bad news — it’s only available in England right now:

This edible coffee cup was invented in a partnership with food scientists at The Robin Collective to coincide with the launch of KFC’s Seattle’s Best Coffee across its UK branches. The cup itself is made of biscuit, which has been wrapped in sugar paper and then lined with a layer of white chocolate, which melts over time, softening the biscuit enough to melt in your mouth.

On top of that delicious blend, a spokesperson for The Robin Collective told the Telegraph that the cups are also infused with a selection of “mood improving aromas,” like ‘coconut sun cream,’ ‘freshly cut grass’ and ‘wild flowers,’ which “evoke the positive memories we associate with warm weather, sunshine and summer holidays.”

Of course it does. The only charitable explanation given the involvement of companies with the names Kentucky Fried Chicken and Seattle’s Best Coffee is that perhaps they’re merely working out the product’s kinks out of town before it debuts in America. I will be charitable and assume that’s the case.

Because America is waiting, as David Byrne and Brian Eno would say.

‘Rahm-a-Lama-Ding-Dong’

February 25th, 2015 - 11:49 am

Rahm Emanuel, “Ex-Obama Aide Forced into Chicago Runoff,” John Fund reports. Couldn’t happen to a nicer party hack:

Illinois, the nation’s fiscal basket case, has been full of political surprises lately. Yesterday, Chicago, the home of the political machine that nurtured Barack Obama’s career, saw Mayor Rahm Emanuel forced into an April runoff against Councilman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Emanuel, Obama’s first White House chief of staff, had every advantage in the race: $7 million in TV ads, a personal visit from his former boss, and the backing of a business community that’s been able to make special side deals with “da Mayor.” But Garcia showed the muscle of two powerful forces in the city’s politics: its growing Hispanic population and the Chicago Teachers Union, furious at Emanuel’s closing of 50 public schools. Two years ago, Emanuel retreated after a brief teacher’s strike and signed a new, generous contract with the union hoping to buy peace. That never works, and now the union is out to get him.

At Bloomberg, Dave Weigel explains why his fellow ‘Progressives’ “Celebrate Rahm Emanuel’s Surprise Setback in Chicago:”

Why did progressives–why do progressives–want to humble Emanuel? The answer’s been blaring from magazines like In These Times and Rolling Stone and the Nation for months. In the election-month cover story of In These Times, for example, progressive historian Rick Perlstein explained why the deal Emanuel cut with a company to remake the city’s transit cards never stopped hurting him.

The transit cards can double as debit cards, you see, promoted as a boon for Chicago’s un- and under-banked. But dig the customer fees hidden in the 1,000-page contract the city signed with Cubic: $1.50 every time customers withdraw cash from an ATM, $2.95 every time they add money to their online debit account with a personal credit card, $2 for every call with a service representative and an “account research fee” of $10 an hour for further inquiries, $2 for a paper copy of their account information, and, if you decide you’ve had enough, a $6 “balance refund fee.” [Gee, wait'll they discover ObamaCare -- Ed] This all makes mincemeat of the pro-privatization argument that “the marketplace” is more transparent than a government bureaucracy. The city might have been able to anticipate this before inking the deal had they paid attention to the fact that Money Network, the payment processing company partnering with Cubic, had received the lowest possible grade from the Better Business Bureau, and that another partner, MetaBank, was fined $5.2 million by federal regulators for a scheme to issue debit cards funded by tax refund loans at interest rates of up to 650 percent.

Emanuel was elected in the nadir of the first Obama term. While the White House adapted to Democratic politics, and while economic progressives took back a leading intellectual role in the party, Emanuel governed as a neoliberal. He’s still got plenty of advantages over Garcia, but he’s the first Chicago mayor to be forced into a runoff since the runoff system was created. Progressives wanted not just to humble Emanuel but to make a point about what sort of politics could no longer define the Democratic Party. And they’ve done that.

So Rahm has been transformed into the local government equivalent of Joe Lieberman, whom the Kos Kiddies hung out to dry as a loyalty test in 2006? That was also Hillary’s fate in 2007 — and possibly yet again if Elizabeth Warren is serious about running.

It’s a mindset that’s catching on the other side of the aisle: at Red State today, Leon Wolf has some thoughts “On the Value of Shooting Cowards.”

(Headline via NRO’s Twitter account. Note the photo atop it, which will get loads of play should Emanuel lose his runoff against Garcia.)

Big Dave, come on up here. Stay right here. Here’s Big Dave. He is doing a great job.

They love you, Big Dave. They love you.

He is doing a great job.

Now, in the last day here, Dave only has one thing on his mind. He wakes up with this thought, he goes to sleep with this thought, he eats and lives and breathes and dreams about getting you to the polls tomorrow. That’s all he is thinking about.

More specifically, getting you to the polls to vote for me. That’s what he’s thinking about.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s his job, get you to the polls, vote for Obama. My job is to help him do his job. So I am going to try to be so persuasive in the 20 minutes or so that I speak that by the time this is over, a light will shine down from somewhere.

It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, I have to vote for Barack. I have to do it.

And if you make that decision, if that moment happens, then it would be great — even though it’s just one day to go — for you to fill out one of these supporter cards before you leave, because that way we’ll know, you know, who, in fact, is going to be voting. Make sure that you are getting to the right precinct. It will be very heful to Dave in doing his job.

CNN Transcript of Obama during the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, January 7th, 2008.

Related: To be fair, Obama was able to convince one class of particularly gullible followers that they experienced an epiphany and a light upon them.

The judge has sentenced Eddie Ray Routh to life in prison without parole; Routh can appeal the decision, the Blaze reports:

After over two hours of deliberation, a jury in Stephenville, Texas, found Eddie Ray Routh, 27, guilty of capital murder in the killings of legendary Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. The jury, made up of 10 women and two men, rejected the Routh’s insanity defense following the nearly two-week murder trial.

The verdict was unanimous. Routh now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Katie Pavlich adds that “the trial revealed Routh’s drug use, not mental illness or PTSD, played a part in the murders.” On Friday, the Dallas Morning News reported, “Expert testifies ‘American Sniper’ killer faked paranoia, schizophrenia to avoid jail time”:

The combination of drug and alcohol use with the mood disorder likely caused Routh to seem erratic.

“His feelings were scattered and moved around and that’s more common with a mood disorder” than a severe mental disorder, Arambula said.

On the day of the slayings, Routh was likely suffering from marijuana-induced psychosis, said Randall Price, a forensic psychologist. And despite that psychotic state, Routh still knew that his actions were illegal.

“He did know what he was doing was wrong, and he did it anyway,” Price said.

Price met with Routh twice at the Erath County Jail. He said he believes Routh was faking symptoms of schizophrenia and often lied about his state of mind in the days leading up to the day he killed Kyle and Littlefield.

Or to put it another way, “Crazy don’t run.”

Eddie Ray Routh,  J. Warren St. John

Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh, right, enters the court behind defense attorney J. Warren St. John during Routh’s capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Stephenville, Texas. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero,Pool)

 

Filed under: War And Anti-War

Gaia and Man at the UN

February 24th, 2015 - 4:11 pm

Shot:

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist.He was at some environmental forum, and he said, “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” Nothing. Again: “Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Not a stir. Simon then said, “Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.”

I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.

—Jay Nordlinger, National Review Online, 2002, as quoted here in 2011, in a post titled “Episcopal Church Replaces God with Gaia on Good Friday.”

Chaser:

The head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change panel Rajendra Pachauri, 74, has resigned amid charges that he sexually harassed a 29-year-old woman working in his office in Delhi. In his resignation letter to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, Pachauri wrote,

“For me, the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems, is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

I know nothing of the charges against Pachauri, whose tenure has not been without controversy. In 2007 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and other IPCC scientists. In 2010, he withstood criticism after the IPCC had to change its fourth climate assessment’s over-hyped findings about glacial melt in the Himalayas.

“Top climate scientist says global warming is his religion,” Debra Saunders, the San Francisco Chronicle, today.

Much more from Mark Steyn on Pachauri and his allegedly “Wandering Hockey Stick.”

wapo_condi_rice_white_whale_2-24-15

You stay classy, Washington press corps.  Nice photo, too — “unexpectedly.”

Meanwhile, Twitter users ponder what the headline implies the Washington Post thinks of Condi’s political opposition.

Update: Since we’re using literary metaphors, I wonder if by tomorrow we’ll all be able to spot the dog that didn’t bark, when MSNBC refuses to condemn the WaPo’s rhetoric.

You can hear the whole thing, or read the transcript at Hugh’s Website.

Fascinating though that Brian Williams was introduced to the world by NBC in 2004 as the spokesman for “NASCAR nation” and has now been cast in the role of a lefty by Corn in his efforts at payback for his (possibly permanent) timeout by NBC.

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly has moved on to tussle with some unknown hack at the New York Times. “As for the rest of us?”, Jim Treacher writes, “I don’t know about you, but I’m content to sit back and watch them hiss and claw at each other. This is the mainstream media in America, 2015. Enjoy the show.”

To Ask the Question is to Answer It

February 24th, 2015 - 12:03 pm

FROM: RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Time for 2016 Democrats to Answer

A review of news coverage from the last week using the TVEyes media monitoring database reveals that the controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donations, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s plot to paint President Obama as anti-Semitic and anti-woman, and Vice President Biden’s Somali cab driver gaffe have generated just over 1,300 TV and radio hits combined.

* * * * * * * * *

This is all just par for the course. A Republican former office holder says something, and they think every Republican must answer for it. A current Democrat party leader does and says something, and it’s no one else’s problem.

Likewise, if a conservative commentator says something controversial, the media say it’s a reflection of the Republican Party. When Al Sharpton or Chris Matthews says something offensive or jaw-dropping, they draw no link to the Democrat Party.

Yet another example: Columba Bush was dragged into the media spotlight this week with a hit piece from the Washington Post, which consisted of old news from years past. Yet there was hardly a single headline over Bill Clinton’s travels with Jeffrey Epstein, something we learned about only recently.  Where are the articles on Clinton’s spending habits?

There’s a pattern here, and it’s time to treat the parties equally. I look forward to Hillary Clinton and other potential 2016 Democrat contenders to have to answer for the actions of their fellow Democrats. (Then of course, Hillary hasn’t held a press conference or done an interview in over 200 days, and her “spokesman” responds to every question with the same answer: “No comment.”)

Why doesn’t the MSM treat candidates from both parties in the same fashion? To ask the question is to answer it.

Howard Dean, Scott Walker Truther

February 23rd, 2015 - 7:26 pm

“How unhinged has Howard Dean become?”

So bad that an MSNBC host had to gently walk him back off the ledge.

On Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show tonight, Dean claimed that Scott Walker says Barack Obama was “born in Kenya.”  It took Hayes two attempts to break through Dean’s blather, but eventually he was able to politely point out: “I should note, you mention the Kenya thing, he has not been asked that.”

I realize that the left has been quite unhinged about Walker since 2011 — and Dean has been quite unhinged since, well, “Yeaaaargh!!!” But attempting to smear Walker as a Birther seems a particularly loopy tactic. But then, as Wisconsinite Ann Althouse notes, “Those of you who think that he’s a neophyte, that he hasn’t yet learned how to step up to answering a question. You don’t get it. You are a neophyte. You haven’t yet learned how to step up to understanding Scott Walker. . . . Implicit in that is: That’s not Wisconsin style. Get used to it, coasties.”

“Scott Walker Is a Threat to the Existing Social Order,” Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist, as reactionary leftists with and without bylines are becoming well aware.

On the other hand, while I’m not sure if Walker would go on the record and agree, I’m fully prepared to say that in my heart of hearts, I do believe that Obama is a Keynesian. And I know I’m not alone in my knowledge of the president’s shocking secret:

 

“Giuliani, Walker, and the Media’s Pro-Obama McCarthyism,” as charted by John Nolte of Big Journalism:

Because Walker didn’t vouch for Obama’s Christianity and patriotism, the coordinated and effective media attacks are coming from all sides: 1) He’s not ready for primetime. 2) He’s racist. 3) He’s extreme 4) He’s a bumbler.

Sorry, but “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to both questions.

If you had asked me 5 years ago if Obama was a patriotic Christian, I would have answered in the affirmative on both accounts. A lot has happened since. Obama’s deeds — apologizing for America, the dishonest and unnecessary example of the Crusades, using his Christian faith to lie about and hide his support for same sex marriage, etc. — have given me doubts.

Under oath, if asked today if Obama is a patriotic Christian, I would have to answer, “I don’t know.”

But “I don’t know” isn’t the answer the media wants. The media wants a “yes,” and if members of the GOP refuse to vouch for Obama’s faith and patriotism, the media is determined to see them destroyed.

If Walker were running around attacking Obama’s patriotism and faith, that would be reprehensible. He is not doing that, though. He’s not doing anything. He’s not saying anything. He’s not volunteering anything. He wishes to remain silent on the meaningless subject of Obama’s faith and patriotism.

Nevertheless, silence is not good enough for the media.

“To grasp just how farcical this game is, one needs only to run an eye across the list of those who are now feigning high dudgeon,” Charles C.W. Cooke adds at NRO:

 Yesterday, on CBS’s Face the Nation, Obama’s former adviser David Axelrod pretended to be surprised at Walker’s remarks: “I don’t know why there is confusion,” Axelrod proclaimed, indignantly. Really? At present, Axelrod is running around the country promoting a book in which he confesses bluntly that Obama’s well-documented objections to gay marriage were nothing more than opportunistic lies. In 2008, Axelrod recalls in one chapter, “opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church.” In consequence, he adds, Obama “accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union.’” Elsewhere, Obama would tell audiences that, being “a Christian, . . . my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman”; and that, “as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian . . . God’s in the mix.” Axelrod’s admission that this was baloney will sell him a lot of books.

Such suspicions are routinely expressed on the Left. At various points during Obama’s tenure, public figures such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Maher have openly suggested that President Obama is either an atheist or an agnostic, and that he is merely pretending to be a Christian to placate the rubes in the middle of the country. “You know who’s a liar about [his faith],” Maher suggested last year, “is Obama. He’s a drop-dead atheist, absolutely.” “Our new president,” Christopher Hitchens told France 24 in 2009, “I’m practically sure he is not a believer.” Richard Dawkins, meanwhile, has noted correctly that this theory is popular among progressives. “Like many people,” he averred in 2014, “I’m sure that Obama is an atheist.” These statements lacked the modesty of Scott Walker’s effective “dunno.” In fact, they were far, far harsher. And yet they were met with relative indifference. Are we to conclude that the bien pensant class considers it to be more honorable for a person to suggest that the president of the United States is lying than to say that he does not know and does not care?

Evidently, the media never thought the bill would come due for its sophistry, which has been going for almost a decade now.

Oh and while, as Nolte writes, the MSM is busy “blackmailing Walker with threat of harsh coverage if he doesn’t vouch for Obama’s patriotic Christianity,” crickets in the MSM over the chairwoman of the Democratic Party allegedly prepared to blackmail Obama as “being sexist, anti-semitic if she lost her DNC job,” as Allahpundit writes today.

The DNC’s operatives with bylines will report no bad news concerning the home office, ever.

On the other hand, check this out:

But it was the Democrats who weaponized Hillary Clinton — and her supporters — in 2008 by throwing every smear at her imaginable to pave the way for Obama’s coronation. Just wait ’til all of that source material is repurposed in the run-up to 2016.

Update: “Thank The Left For Presidential Candidate Scott Walker,”  Brandon Finnigan adds at the Federalist, with a look back at how Walker won what were in essence near annual re-election bids in Wisconsin thanks to the crazed leftists and government unions there:

Had the Democrats not targeted Walker with a recall, that massive fundraiser network, the national profile, the party unity, and his highly developed get-out-the-vote team almost certainly wouldn’t exist. He may have still won re-election, but he would be just another Midwestern Republican governor who enacted reforms and faced push-back, not the conservative folk hero of a party longing for a win. He would most likely resemble Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a reformer but hardly a man with a cult following. There would still be plenty of new problems with the governor his opposition could cite, instead of leaving him mostly vetted for 2016.

They shot the king and missed, making a balding, sleepy-eyed executive into a god among a growing horde of followers. That’s bad enough for the Progressive set. In the unlikely event he wins the Republican nomination and the presidency? They struck the match that ignited their own national hell.

And we’ve seen over the past week, the leftwing media still can’t put an end to their own pyromania.


Yes, you never know when a once-trusted financial advisor can turn a investment or insurance plan you thought was running on autopilot into dust, all the while promising you repeatedly…

Much more at Twitchy; presumably, this is a set-up for further shakedowns from the trial lawyers, one of the semi-retired president’s favorite constituencies, or for additional regulations. Or both.

“The first two minutes of this should be played at the beginning of every Oscars ever,” Tom Nichols tweets. And the stone-faced glare of Shirley MacLaine to Chayefsky’s response to Vanessa Redgrave’s infamous “Zionist Hoodlums” Oscars rant seems fascinating in retrospect.

But then, I doubt Chayefsky realized that when he wrote the screenplay for Network, he was basically crafting a how-to guide for the 21st century legacy media and its myriad grievance obsessions.

But then, as John Nolte writes at Big Hollywood, “Unpopular titles mixed with no stars to stargaze at is a recipe for low ratings and irrelevance,” especially when combined with the toxic blend of leftwing grievance politics. “Bottom line: 34.6 million for Hollywood’s biggest night; 115 million for the NFL’s biggest night. One institution speaks to the people and celebrates greatness, the other  celebrates its elite, provincial, narcissistic self.”

Bill Nye, the Nihilism Guy

February 23rd, 2015 - 10:38 am

As Ace writes, paraphrasing Nye’s bizarre statements on Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, “Man Those Jews Might Not Have to Flee From One Country to Another If They Would Just Get To Actually Know Their ‘Neighbors:’”

I’m not exactly certain that’s the right way to take his statement. But I have trouble seeing any other interpretation.

Bill Nye doesn’t think the Jews of Europe should flee to Israel.

So what’s his proposed alternative?

Well they should just start getting to know their neighbors instead of, I suppose, being all clannish and Jew-y.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey has the transcript of Nye’s nihilism:

MAHER: Yeah, I mean, Netanyahu is asking European Jews to come to Israel and …

NYE (wryly): Come home to Israel — that’s what he said, right?

MAHER: Well, I mean, he is the …

NYE (interrupting again): But you never, the people have never been there. They live, grew up in whatever, in Germany or France.

MAHER: It’s a shame that they should have to move, uh …

NYE: Well, they probably won’t either, ’cause it’s not their home, you know.

REINER: But you can understand it. There were German Jews that lived in Germany during the Second World War and that was their home. And, you know, at a certain point, you know, if your live is in danger, you want to go to someplace where you’re going to be protected.

NYE: So, what do you do about it? I think you get to know your neighbors. And it’s gonna take, what, does it take a century, something like that?

“There are multiple layers of irony in this conversation,” Ed Morrissey adds:

Is Nye’s response anti-Semitic, blaming the victim? Your mileage may vary, but at the very least it’s a Summer of Love cliché that ignores centuries of attempted integration by Jews in Europe, with sometimes disastrous results. In one breath Nye says that Europe is the only home they know, and in the next suggests that they aren’t really part of Europe at all. Furthermore, the problem of insularity isn’t so much a Jewish problem as it is with the Muslims who only recently began emigrating in large numbers to Europe — perhaps especially so in France and Germany. Oh, if only those silly Jews would be more friendly with their neighbors, Nye’s argument goes, then no one would have an irrational hatred for them — which suggests that anti-Semitism is the Jews’ fault, and that it’s their responsibility to crack the insularity of whatever communities are generating it.

There’s another level of irony: Like Al Gore, Andrea Mitchell, Tom Steyer, and CBS anchorman Scott Pelley, Nye is one of those persons of the left who casually flings the expression “climate denier” at those who disagree with him. (As Climate Depot reported a few years ago, when asked why he didn’t have someone on to argue against his global warming riffs, Pelley responded, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”) Perhaps Nye should cease using such a loaded phrase, which if not outright Holocaust denial itself, is rhetoric that certainly cheapens that unique historical bloodbath, if this is his inch-deep knowledge of postwar European Judaism.

Don’t Hold Your Breath, Rudy

February 22nd, 2015 - 11:01 pm

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

Barack Obama’s victory should once and for all finally break the notion that race is a barrier to any goal in the United States. And those who’ve built their power from anger and racial divisiveness, like Ayers, the Panthers, and Reverend Wright should now be mocked like the small men they are. It will be up to Obama as president to transcend the figures of his past–and it’s up to the rest of us as a nation to finally put them into the rearview mirror.

“Congratulations, President Elect Obama,” Ed Driscoll.com, November 4th, 2008.

I hope and pray that President Obama can rise to the occasion and underscore America’s greatness as our history and values merit. If he does so, I will be the first to applaud him. But I can only be disheartened when I hear him claim, as he did last August, that our response to 9/11 betrayed the ideals of this country. When he interjected that “we tortured some folks,” he undermined those who managed successfully to protect us from further attack.

And to say, as the president has, that American exceptionalism is no more exceptional than the exceptionalism of any other country in the world, does not suggest a becoming and endearing modesty, but rather a stark lack of moral clarity.

Over my years as mayor of New York City and as a federal prosecutor, I earned a certain reputation for being blunt. The thoughts I express, whether clearly or ambiguously, are my own and they are my individual responsibility. But whether you agree or not with what I said last week, I hope the intention behind those words can be the basis for a real conversation about national leadership and the importance of confidence and optimism in framing America’s way forward. I hope also that our president will start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life.

—”Rudy Giuliani: My Bluntness Overshadowed My Message. Whether you agreed with me or not, I hope this can be the basis of a real conversation about national leadership,” Rudy Giuliani in the Wall Street Journal, today.

Given that our semi-retired president is clearly in the You’re Only President Once back nine phase of his time in office, I doubt anyone, least of all America’s Mayor Emeritus, is waiting for Mr. Obama to “start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life” anytime soon.

On the other hand, “Marie Harf has Turned all Democrats into Neocons,” Leon Wolf quips at Red State, as Harf, Media Matters and other leftists were all frantically quoting GWB to justify Harf’s loopy “jobs for ISIS” dissembling:

Of course, the Democrats don’t really believe this, inasmuch as they don’t believe anything of conviction with respect to foreign policy. They are merely saying it aloud because they are reflexively incapable of refusing to defend anything the Obama administration does, even though Obama is term limited and the statement in question fell out of the mouth of the Lucy and Ethel duo that have been systematically (and probably purposefully) embarrassing the State Department since their arrival. It does not matter – if Obama (or even one of Obama’s low-level flunkies) wants them to be neocons, then neocons they shall be.

And if you wanted people who were capable of a coherent view of foreign policy, you shouldn’t have voted to put Democrats in charge.

Well, yes. But then, as Glenn Reynolds writes at USA Today, “Unpatriotic voters elect unpatriotic leaders,” though I think the fault lies much more in the pundit class, who built a failed community organizer turned tyro senator with excellent trousers into the second coming of JFK, FDR and Lincoln than the voters who blindly accepted their rhetoric.

Obama is Most Certainly Made of the Wright Stuff

February 22nd, 2015 - 5:54 pm

“Are the views of Obama really so different from those of Rev. Wright?”, asks Tim Groseclose at Ricochet:

This video shows the main parts of Wright’s sermon. One aspect of the video is very remarkable, yet almost no one seems to have noticed it. This is the reaction of the parishioners. As you can see in the video, the parishioners agree with Wright. Indeed, they agree enthusiastically. Several cheer when he reaches his climax—that God should damn America. Approximately half clap or stand up during the crescendo. As best I can tell, none of the parishioners are bothered by Wright’s words.

As any reasonable person would conclude, those parishioners do not love America. Even if Obama did not attend the sermon, and even if he never became aware of it, he had to know about the anti-American attitudes of his fellow parishioners. Yet he still chose to attend the church for some two decades.

I believe Obama’s love for America is about the same as any other progressive’s—which means at best tepid, if he’s principled.

Meanwhile, at the Washington Examiner, Byron York asks, “Why are Americans confused about Obama’s religion?”

Whenever the issue pops up, Obama’s most ardent supporters are quick to blame conservative media for misperceptions about Obama’s religion. But it’s possible something in Obama’s public presentation of himself has also created confusion among a significant number of Americans about his religion. The fact is, Obama’s religious roots and development have always been a complicated story.

Made more complicated by the way some in the MSM built up Wright as if he was some sort of misunderstood but beloved cleric — and then universally embargoed Wright once they received updated talking points from the Obama campaign:

In response to Kevin D. Williamson asking, “Does Barack Obama love his country? Call me a rube for saying so, but it’s a fair question,” Glenn Reynolds wrote: “it’s one that our media folks might have done a better job exploring in 2008:”

But here’s why Democrats, and their media protectors, are so unhappy with this question with regard to Obama in particular: It turns 2008 on its head. Obama’s appeal in 2008 lay in no small part in xenophilia: We’re so open-minded, we’re not just electing a President with a Muslim-sounding name, we’re electing a President with the same name as our most recent wartime foe! It let people feel enlightened, and progressive.

But all those differences that seemed so appealing can quickly flip into grounds for suspicion, especially when the object is behaving suspiciously. After all, if — like me — you believe in evolution, you might think that xenophobia, as such a well-established human trait, must have had beneficial functions: Maybe the xenos couldn’t be trusted, or even expected, to have the polity’s best interests at heart. Maybe, when people start getting worried about the polity’s future, those novel characteristics that once seemed so appealing now seem threatening. So while there’s a general reason the establishment wants to take the patriotism question off the table — patriotism is unsophisticated, and so limiting — there’s also a specific reason, which is that it’s something Obama’s vulnerable on right now, and it’s something the establishment can’t afford to cast Obama loose on, for reasons internal to its coalition.

And finally at NBC, shorter Chuck Todd: How dare Rudy Giuliani treat Obama the same way everyone at MSNBC treated George W. Bush for eight years!

Related:

 

The ‘Bam in the High Castle

February 22nd, 2015 - 3:27 pm

obama_fdr_fireside_chat_2-22-15-1

What if Obama had been president in 1939? To understand the measure of just how temperamentally unsuited Barack Obama is to the job of president, just imagine him in the role of FDR on the eve of World War II, and the language he would use to describe the Axis, which is what VDH does in his latest column at PJM, “President Franklin Delano Obama Addresses the Threat of 1930s Violent Extremism:”

“As for acts of violence in Germany itself, we must express our worry to the German government over apparent extremism, but at the same time we must not overreact. As far as these sporadic attacks on random civilians, as, for example, during the recent Kristallnacht violence, we must keep things in perspective, when, for example, some terrorists randomly targeted some folks in a store. My job is sort of like a big-city mayor, to monitor these terrorist acts that are said to be done in the name of the German people. Let us not overreact and begin to listen to radio commentators who whip us up into a frenzy as if we were on the verge of war. We must not overestimate the SS, a sort of jayvee organization that remains a manageable problem.

“Here let me just say that we must never fall into the trap of blaming the German people abroad, but especially our German community here at home. National Socialism by no means has anything to do with socialism. These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy, and all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like the SS somehow represent socialism because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative. It is true that America and Germany have a complicated history, but there is no clash of civilizations. The notion that the America would be at war with Germany is an ugly lie.

“So make no mistake about it: National Socialism has nothing to do with Germany or the German people but is rather a violent extremist organization that has perverted the culture of Germany. It is an extremist ideology that thrives on the joblessness of Germany and can be best opposed by the international community going to the root of German unemployment and economic hard times. Let us not confuse Nazism with legitimate expressions of German nationalism. Stiff-arm saluting and jack boots are legitimate tenets of Germanism, and the German Brotherhood, for example, is a largely peaceful organization.

“So we Americans must not get on our own high horse. We, too, have bullied our neighbors and invaded them. We, too, have struggled with racism and anti-Semitism, slavery and Jim Crow. And our own culture has at times treated American citizens in the same callous way as the National Socialist do Germans. Before we castigate the Nazis, let us remember the Inquisition and the Crusades.

It’s brilliant stuff; a reminder that Obama will make a great host on MSNBC in 2017, or a great Ivy League lecturer on Ferguson or income inequality or whatever the hot lefty fad du jour is, but was a disastrous choice by the left and the pundit class (but I repeat myself) to lead the nation in 2008. Get off your high horse and read the whole thing. Because the Crusades, maaaan.

Since this seems to the weekend for both revisionist history and exploring Obama’s own fantasyland worldview, also check out Kyle Smith in the New York Post, who notes that “Sure, Obama loves America — just not the America we live in:”

Even when Obama claims to support American exceptionalism, he can’t do so without a “but.”

At West Point last year he said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

That’s a strangely twisted definition: We’re only special if we stop acting as if we think we’re special?

Americans are, of course, far more skeptical of the idea that our actions must receive the blessing of international bodies. In a 2011 Pew Survey, only 45 percent of Americans said we should get UN approval before using military force. In France, Britain, Germany and Spain that number was 66 percent to 76 percent.

The reality of American exceptionalism is that it tells a story of a country very much at odds with the fantasy version preferred by Obama and other liberals, a sort of continental campus where “hate speech” is carefully controlled, everyone thinks income inequality is a big deal, government is respected or even beloved, the churches are empty and no one owns a gun.

Much to Obama’s chagrin, Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea that we’re all enrolled at the United States of Oberlin. They love America as it is.

Or to put it in graphic terms: