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Ed Driscoll

Anthony Weiner, CNN Butterfield Themselves On Air

September 22nd, 2014 - 3:04 pm

God, that sounds filthy. But not as filthy as this:

(Via SDA.)

“White House fence jumper had ammunition, machete in car, prosecutors said,” the Washington Post’s headline screams. As always during modern-day politically-related crime stories where weapons are involved, the ideology of the suspect is investigated by the MSM. If the suspect was a man of the right, those details would be in the lede of the article, or in the headline.*

If he’s a man of the left? Well, it’s likely no coincidence that you have dig down eleven paragraphs into the Post’s story for this detail:

According to an affidavit signed by Secret Service officer David Hochman, Gonzalez after his arrest told Agent Lee Smart that he was concerned that the “atmosphere was collapsing” and that he needed to inform the president to get the word out to the people.

However, neither prosecutors nor Gonzalez’s assigned defense attorneys invoked his mental competency as an issue for now. Assistant Federal Public Defender David Bos said Gonzalez understands the proceeding against him.

Yes, if the Post’s reporting is accurate concerning Gonzalez, anyone who believes “the atmosphere is collapsing” is some brand of nutter, and nutters can be found on both sides of the aisle.

But.

Our previous post on Terry Gilliam noted that he called those who disagree with his far left environmentalist worldview “a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them.” As I wrote, we live in a media world in which Sarah Palin was tied into the Gabrielle Giffords shooting over clip-art and ABC’s Brian Ross immediately smeared a Tea Party member with the the same name as the Aurora Colorado lunatic who shot up a Batman premiere, ideology trumps insanity in the eyes of the media. Or as Ace of Spades wrote in December of 2012 after the New York Times began politicizing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT from the left only a few hours after castigating the pro-Constitution side of the aisle for doing the same from their worldview:

Incidentally, the gun-rights people “politicizing” this are doing so pre-emptively, because they’ve seen this play six hundred times before and they know what happens in the Second Act.

I mean, it’s not like we’re as stupid as you claim. We are able to remember things that happened more than a week ago.

This is also why we now immediately search for a gunman’s political affiliation– because we know that’s the first thing you do.

This is the cynical world the media created, in service to their Democrat allies. Once again, the MSM should read Gabriel Malor’s “Tweetable Guide To Media Myths And Left-wing Violence.”

* Of course, by mentioning “ammunition and a machete,” which side of the aisle is the Post implying in its headline?

Related: “Undocumented Visitor Comes Out of Shadows, Jumps White House Fence,” Rush Limbaugh quips. “I thought we were supposed to welcome people that jump fences.  I thought we’re supposed to welcome people who crash our borders.”

Especially, when they share the same eco-apocalyptic doomsday worldview as our recently-retired former president:

Terry Gilliam’s Eliminationist Rhetoric

September 22nd, 2014 - 12:21 pm

At the conclusion of his interview with pop culture Website Collider.com promoting his new film The Zero Theorem, the only American member of Monty Python drops the mask and reveals his inner liberal fascist:

It’s interesting that we look to that as sort of permission to go with that philosophy since I doubt any human being will be around anyway at that point.  We should maybe be looking at our own mortality as the signpost for that.  

GILLIAM: Your Republican will do that, yes.  Your Republican thinks like that.  I remember when Reagan was president, the secretary of the interior was a guy who was an Armageddonist who actually believed the end of days were not too far in the distant future.  He was put in charge of the environment and his approach was of course, not to protect it, but let’s get as much money as we can before Jesus comes back.  And I despise that.  We’re here and we’ve got to do whatever we can to keep the place running.  We think in terms of quarterly statements and we should be thinking a little bit further in advance of that.  At least the communists had ten year plans.  We don’t have that anymore.

A lot of times that kind of thought absolves people of responsibility.  I think a lot of times they go with it because it’s the most convenient thing and it makes the most sense for those quarterly reports. 

GILLIAM: Yeah, I know.  It’s about how you are inside and there will always be those people and there will be all the others that worry about every single thing we do that might cause damage to the planet.  I’m somewhere leaning more towards the damage to the planet side, much more towards that.  This is the problem, it’s like if you happen to be a Presbyterian, which I was as a kid, there’s a thing called predestination that creates the same situation.  You’re going to heaven or hell no matter what you do in life, because you’ve been predestined, so your job is to lead an ethical, moral, and hardworking life while you’re here, but you’re going to go to hell anyway [laughs].  But it’s what you do while you’re here, and what you should be doing is living hopefully and trying to balance your needs and the needs of the world and the planet, and don’t fuck the place up.  So that’s the problem with the idea that it’s all going to go to rat shit eventually so let’s make as much money as possible.  Those people will always be a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them frankly, but that’s something else [laughs].

As I’ve joked before, when Al Gore titled one of his environmentalist tomes The Assault on Reason, he wasn’t kidding, was he?

Just as a reminder, when Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, a Bush #41-appointed judge, and a dozen other victims were shot in Arizona in early 2011, Sarah Palin was crucified by much of old media over bulls-eye clip art. The following year, when an insane gunman in Aurora Colorado shot up his local movie theater during the premiere of the last Batman movie, ABC’s Brian Ross immediately smeared a Tea Party member by the same name. Here we have a socialist Hollywood film director who declares those he disagrees as non-human (“fungus”) and advocates shooting them.

Gilliam’s dystopian 1985 film Brazil ends with Jonathan Pryce’s protagonist being brutally tortured by Michael Palin’s Speer or Eichmann-esque coolly technocratic statist character. Presumably, Pryce’s character dies at the end of the film or shortly afterwards.

Who knew until now Gilliam meant it to be a happy ending and the whole film a how-to guide for big government?

Exit question:

 

Roll Over Alinsky, and Tell Glenn Thrush the News

September 22nd, 2014 - 11:38 am

John Nolte of Big Journalism coined the phrase “BenSmithing” to describe the tactics of the former Politico turned BuzzFeed scribe and member of the JournoList, that self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, which as its founder Ezra Klein explained, was only open to his fellow leftists. As the Urban Dictionary notes, BenSmithing is “a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.”

Smith’s former colleague Glenn Thrush, still with the Politico, is also quite prepared to do a little BenSmithing to aid his fellow Democrats in higher places: whenever a scandal engulfs them, Thrush affects an attitude of boredom. Hey, no big deal — Evel Knievel totally meant to crash the motorcycle on the landing ramp. All part of the act; happens all the time, you guys.

It’s a curious tone though, for someone who holds himself out as a journalist, and not as a Democrat operative with a byline. Those of us who have the privilege of observing the Hieronymus Bosch meets Koyaanisqatsi landscape of the world of the 21st century and then reporting on the wreckage around us are usually horrified at how dysfunctional the modern world and its political players are and eager to share the details with our readers. But for Thrush, it’s all pretty boring. At least when bad things happen to his fellow leftists.

Last November, during the disastrous Obamacare rollout, whenever everything that could go wrong did — and then some — permanently destroying any hope its namesake had of a legacy of technocratic competence, Thrush sniffed:

thrush_bored_obamacare_11-17-13

No of course not, despite the millions more words to come of what a debacle Mr. Obama’s administration was making of the healthcare industry and the pain it was inflicting upon those who relied on it.

This weekend, Thrush is back to his old trick of feigning ignorance and boredom:

At the Corner, Stanley Kurtz explains, for the benefit of Thrush and others BenSmithing the story, “Why Hillary’s Alinsky Letters Matter:”

Glenn Reynolds links to a tweet in response to the Goodman story by Politico’s Glenn Thrush: “Remind me again why liking Saul Alinsky is unacceptable.” Alright Glenn, and the rest of a Democratic-leaning media that will do everything in its power to play this revelation down, I’ll remind you.

Alinsky was a democratic socialist. He worked closely for years with Chicago’s Communist party and did everything in his power to advance its program. Most of his innovations were patterned on Communist-party organizing tactics.  Alinsky was smart enough never to join the party, however. From the start, he understood the dangers of ideological openness. He was a pragmatist, but a pragmatist of the far left.  (See Chapter Four of Spreading the Wealth for details.)

Hillary Clinton understood all of this.  As she noted at the conclusion of her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky, “If the ideals Alinsky espouses were actualized, the result would be social revolution.”  In her letter to Alinsky, Hillary says, “I have just had my one-thousandth conversation” about Reveille for Radicals (Alinsky’s first book). Nowadays, people focus on Alinsky’s more famous follow-up, Rules for Radicals. But Reveille, which Hillary knew inside-out, is the more ideologically revelatory work.

Here’s how Alinsky defined his favored politics in Reveille for Radicals:

Radicals want to advance from the jungle of laissez-faire capitalism to a world worthy of the name of human civilization. They hope for a future where the means of economic production will be owned by all of the people instead of the comparative handful.

So Alinsky supported the central Marxist tenet of public ownership of the means of production. Unlike the New Left, however, Alinsky had no expectation of reaching that end through swift or violent revolution. He meant to approach the ultimate goal slowly, piecemeal, perhaps over generations, through patient organizing efforts at the local level.

Read the whole thing. As Kurtz concludes, “A Hillary presidency is destined to be Obama’s third term. Two Alinskyite presidents in a row? Hillary said it best: ‘the result would be a social revolution.’”

Imagine how boring Glenn Thrush will find it all.

Update: Much more from Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist. Linking to the same tweet from Gabriel Malor we included above capturing the ho-hum reactions of Thrush and Maeve Reston of the L.A. Times, Hemingway writes:

Yeah, I can’t put my finger on why people were talking about Alinsky ever… SAYS A POLITICAL REPORTER. I mean, seriously. I get if you’re a normal person who lives a happy life unencumbered by discussions of politicians. But if you’re a political reporter, how can you cover the manufactured War on Women without knowing from which its tactics spring? How can you cover any political race without knowing how basic strategies of political change are employed by people on up to, oh I don’t know, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? I’m sorry for shouting, but you see how it’s kind of frustrating, no? Look at these 13 (or 24, depending on how you look at it) rules from Alinsky and you tell me whether the phrase “Oh that’s why Harry Reid and other Democratic operatives are constantly invoking the specific names of the Koch brothers” doesn’t immediately spring word-for-word from your lips when you get to the end.

I’m not even saying that you should agree with conservative or moderate critiques of Alinsky but you should at least know who he is.

When Politico’s Ben White admitted to not knowing much about Alinsky, fellow Politico Magazine White House reporter Glenn Thrush assured him it was OK to not know much about him. Deputy editor for Politico Magazine Blake Hounsell helpfully noted that “He had some interesting organizing ideas.” White said, “that’s what Wikipedia taught me, yeah.” Later, White said, “The first rule of Twitter is never admit you don’t know something. The second is to be outraged by everything. Those are the only rules.”

Now, I certainly don’t want reporters to pretend they know stuff they don’t and I also don’t want to get outraged about the knowledge base of the Politico staff but is there room here for me to suggest all y’all should start a book club or something? I didn’t even get a degree in political science and I was forced to read and write a paper on Rules for Radicals by some lefty political science professor of mine (hard to distinguish them — I went to the University of Colorado) who thought we were living in The Jungle 24/7. You know what The Jungle is, right? Upton Sinclair? How about Shakespeare?

Keep reading; Mollie’s just getting started.

Related: Not surprisingly, Politico is almost as happy to airbrush history for Lois Lerner as they are for Hillary.

Here’s Robert Kennedy in a 1968 campaign ad that, as I wrote in 2011, shows how quickly the rot seeped into the post-JFK left. Compare RFK’s rhetoric as he tells a classroom of young kids that they are doomed to spend their adult lives trapped in a Soylent Green-style eco-apocalypse, with the can-do optimism of his brother, and it was clear that the end of the New Frontier was well in sight.

That was from my post titled “Welcome Back My Friends, to the Malaise that Never Ends,” which tracked the left’s increasing sense of lethargy from their disillusionment when it became obvious that the Great Society would fail, to their freakout over the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, to the Jimmy Carter “Malaise” speech of 1979, to Occupy Wall Street.

And the malaise goes on today! Here’s RFK Jr. revealing his “climate rage,” as our YouTube caption writer neatly described his freakout, when PJTV’s Michelle Fields asked him if he would give up his cell phone and other electrically powered devices made from a petroleum derivative (plastic) in order to lead by example. His rambling statements about the Koch brothers running the entire country from dog catcher to Congress and the cognitive dissonance that allows him to recommend “free market solutions” to the environment — which consist of all but banning automobiles — is a sight to behold:

Tom Wolfe popularized the phrase “the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” Similarly, the enviro-apocalpyse has been continuously been this close to descending upon the world, but as the above clips featuring RFK and RFK Jr. 46 years apart illustrate, despite a half century of Chicken Littles predicting the world will come to an end, the sky never quite seems to fall.

Perhaps it’s time for the left to update its century-old playbook on agitating the masses and enter the 21st century along with the rest of us, especially as so many examples of their not-so-final countdowns keep piling up.

Related: Mark Steyn spots “The Barbra Streisand Effect on Steroids.”

[Candidate Obama] shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make.

—Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2008.

[President Obama's] essential problem is that he has very poor judgment.

—Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, yesterday.

As juxtaposed by the Hot Air commenters last night.

The Beltway and Park Ave. chattering classes gave us Barack Obama because he flattered them first, and in the case of formerly stalwart GOP types such as Noonan and Christopher Buckley, and the Axis of Davids (RINOs Gergen, Brooks and Frum), because they didn’t want to lose their place at the endless cocktail party when it was obvious by mid-October of 2008 that Obama would be the likely winner thanks to McCain’s disastrous “suspending his campaign” tactic late in the previous month. It will be fascinating to watch their prognostications going forward into 2016.

This is Why California Can’t Have Nice Things

September 21st, 2014 - 9:37 am

“Castro Valley Winery to Government: Crush Grapes, Not Vintners,” Debra Saunders writes at Townhall:

“You’ll never meet anyone who says, ‘I want to be a millionaire. I think I’ll start a winery,’” owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.

Now, thanks to heavy-handed California regulators, he’s selling off his ports and boutique wines and turning his winery back into a home.

In July, California Department of Industrial Relations officials showed up at Westover Vineyards and slapped Smyth with $115,550 in fines, back wages and penalties. His bad: Like many other East Bay wineries, Westover benefits from the labor of volunteers to help with winemaking and pouring. Smyth offers a free course in winemaking; he says participants are free to help out or not. He has a legal form for volunteers. It reads: “I am donating my labor free by choice.”

We’re not talking about teens being pressed into grueling labor in hot fields. As one who enjoys the fruit and neighborhood feel of Livermore Valley wineries, I’ve met both volunteers and employees who started as volunteers. They tend to be middle-aged professionals who want a piece of the oenology dream.

California entrepreneurs pride themselves on the can-do spirit that allowed Hewlett and Packard and Jobs and Woz start their businesses in their garages — and then consistently vote for socialists who would make a kid’s lemonade stand illegal, let alone a winery or home business. And then they wonder why the state, with its gorgeous weather (at least near the coast) and tremendous natural resources has a net outflow of citizens. As the Manhattan Institute noted in 2012, “For the past two decades, California has been sending more people to other American states than it receives from them. Since 1990, the state has lost nearly 3.4 million residents through this migration.”

Related: Meanwhile, in Illinois, “I hate to see the Democratic Party continually demonize Americans that are successful. What? Should we all be failures?”

Margaret Sanger: The War Years

September 20th, 2014 - 8:15 pm

While Hitler, Tojo, Stalin and Mussolini were inflicting their various flavors of totalitarian socialist nihilism upon the rest of the world, Margaret Sanger,  pioneering eugenicist, Klan and Nazi aficionado, and founder of Planned Parenthood was doing her bit as well to undermine civilization here in America. Or as blogger “Dalrock” grimly quips, “No hiatus for solipsism during World War II.”

Sanger gave a radio speech in which she described a young mother she had recently met who was jealous and bemoaning the fact that her husband, drafted into American military service, got to experience the “excitement” and exotic lands of World War II (aka, blood-caked and landmine strewn battlefields), while was she stuck home with the baby and the house. (In the comments to his link to the post, one of Glenn Reynolds’ readers notes that the GI was obviously trying to cheer up his young wife by downplaying the hellish risks he was facing on a daily basis.) I don’t want to block-quote Sanger’s speech here, because I don’t want to steal too much of Dalrock’s post without sending you over to read it, but Dalrock does question its timing:

The date of the program was July 19, 1944.  This was just a little over a month after D Day and before the Normandy breakout.  World War II was very much still raging in Europe, and American men were still fighting and dying there.  Yet at this very time we had (if we believe the story), a woman complaining to strangers on a train about the exciting adventures her husband was enjoying in the European theater (most likely as a result of being drafted).  Moreover, this was a story Sanger felt perfectly comfortable sharing on the radio at home to the wives and mothers of US servicemen, as those men continued to fight and die overseas.

Of course, immediately after World War II, Sanger, here being interviewed by England’s Pathé newsreel service under her married name of Margaret Slee, was some piece of work as well:

As I noted in April, when Pathé uploaded this clip as part of a  huge cache of their archives to YouTube, as with her D-Day speech, Sanger’s timing is astonishing. The above clip dates from 1947. Just two years prior, a minor event, the aforementioned World War II had been concluded, which Wikipedia notes killed 60 million people.

And it had been immediately preceded by the Soviet terror famine, the Depression, and World War I.

And Margaret Sanger is calling for “no more babies” for a decade.

To paraphrase Dalrock’s headline, solipsism, nihilism, and Malthusianism never sleep.

As journalist Bill McGowen noted in Gray Lady Down, his excellent history of the Times in the Pinch Sulzberger era, under Sulzberger’s watch, mirroring the worldview of its publisher, his newspaper has descended into intertwining obsessions with the trivialities of pop culture, with political correctness, and the often toxic brew of leftwing identity politics.  Pinch’s own take on his paper was summed up when he was quoted in New York magazine in 1992 as saying that “alienating older white male readers means ‘we’re doing something right.’”

As with Spinal Tap and their increasingly “selective” audience, these days, the Times’ efforts at alienation are expanding in scope; it’s a blue on blue circular firing squad today, as the Huffington Post explores “How The Internet Reacted To The NY Times Calling Shonda Rhimes An ‘Angry Black Woman:’”

Note that the HuffPo flatters its own readers with the assumption in the headline that they should know who Shonda Rhimes is, without mentioning her profession in the headline. In today’s increasingly fractured media culture, that’s a rather unwarranted hypothesis. Then there’s the assumption in the headline that “the Times” itself called Rhimes an “Angry Black Woman,” and not a specific journalist there. But considering that the Times prides itself on its layers and layers of fact checkers and editors, that’s a somewhat more reasonable take:

Allesandra Stanley’s article from Thursday takes a stab at Rhimes’ new series “How To Get Away With Murder,” opening her piece with: “When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’” Ouch. Stanley goes on to discuss Rhimes’ supposed “set of heroines who flout ingrained television conventions and preconceived notions about the depiction of diversity” and other black women on TV.

Let’s just say, Rhimes wasn’t too pleased with it and shared some of her thoughts over Twitter:

Click over the inevitable venting of spleens in 140-character bursts from Rhimes (a prominent Democrat operative, like many at the HuffPo and the Times) and her co-workers. As the HuffPo goes on to note:

Willa Paskin over at Slate quickly jumped to defend Rhimes’ many achievements when it comes to television and black female characters. “Rhimes is no more the ‘angry black woman’ than her characters,” Paskin writes, “who are angry the way that a bird is bipedal: It’s not false, but it’s not to the point.” The critic went on break down Rhimes’ female characters and praise how the creator has “re-framed the stereotype of the ‘angry black woman’” by carving out a space for black females on TV.

At Vox, Alex Abad-Santos calls to light that Stanley constantly refers to Rhimes when discussing “HTGAWM” in her essay — Rhimes isn’t even the creator of the new series, she’s one of the executive producers. Abad-Santos writes, “the piece refers to Rhimes 19 times and has only one mention of [Pete] Nowalk,” creator of “HTGAWM.”

The London Daily Mail adds that Stanley is no stranger to controversy — but she and history may not be on the best of terms:

The paper in 2009 had to issue a correction for six different items in a piece Stanley wrote about Walter Cronkite’s career — including the day that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.She also once mistakenly wrote that the Iraq War began in 2002 and that the sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ — at the time a hugely popular series — was called ‘All About Raymond,’ according to Gawker.

In 2009, former PJM editor Gerard Van der Leun dubbed her “Error slut Alessandra Stanley.” Gerard quoted a CJR writer who noted that Stanley was quite the one-woman correction industry during the naughts:

Stanley has been responsible for nine corrections so far this year. By my count in Nexis, she had fourteen corrections in 2008, twelve in 2007, and fifteen in 2006. Averaging just over a correction a month is not something to be proud of. But that’s still better than before she attracted so much attention. Stanley had twenty-three corrections in 2005, the year everyone noticed her predilection for error, and twenty-six in 2004. Perhaps the decline in corrections between 2005 and 2006 was in part due to the attention focused on her.

No word yet if Stanley knows what a Shylock is. Between Stanley’s latest gaffe, her colleague taking to Twitter earlier this week to ask if anybody was unfamiliar with the S-word, the open warfare between former editor Jill Abramson and the paper after she was fired (also over identity politics) and Maureen Dowd the butt of jokes for her ravenous cannabis and chocolate consumption, and the paper’s general descent into a far left student newspaper, it’s been quite a tumultuous period for the once-elite paper. Gray Lady Down, indeed.

Oh, Those Democrat Operatives with Bylines

September 20th, 2014 - 11:36 am

“Whistleblower cop in Scott Walker accusations paying a heavy price,” Jazz Shaw rites at Hot Air. Note this detail:

They found their guy, in the person of Michael Lutz, a decorated and disabled-in-the-line-of-duty police officer who worked with John Chisholm, first as a police officer and later in the district attorney’s office. One “journalist” at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel got rather personal in rooting out the source.

The feared retaliation was not long in coming. The Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, whose “political watchdog” column is titled “No Quarter,” appeared after dark at the source’s home on Sept. 11. Bice’s persistent door-bell ringing and heavy knocks awakened and frightened the source’s sleeping 12-year-old daughter, he said. The noise was so loud that a neighbor came out to investigate the din, he said.

When the source, a decorated and disabled-in-the-line-of-duty police officer, Michael Lutz, came to the door, he opened it a crack to hear Bice demand to know if he was the person quoted in the story. He did not deny it and speaks exclusively on the record in this story for the first time.

Lutz states that he only came forward under protection as an anonymous source because Chisholm had demonstrated what he called a “hyper-partisan” bias against Walker. Since leaving the police force he had obtained his law degree and gone into private practice. The retaliation he feared was that the influence of Chisholm and his allies could affect his new career.

Read the whole thing. As William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection adds in a post titled “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter accused of harassing “John Doe” whistleblower,” “When I first read Bice’s column, the two things struck me:”

First, Bice seemed more concerned with outing Taylor’s confidential source than exploring the alleged bias behind the Walker “John Doe” proceedings. That would be consistent with the Journal Sentinel’s cheerleading for the John Doe investigations of Walker to continue.

It’s not unheard of for reporters to try to out other reporter’s confidential sources — think of all the attempts to identify “Deep Throat” in the Washington Post’s Watergate coverage. But considering that the Journal Sentinel has relied on confidential leaks from the prosecutor’s office for its coverage of the John Doe cases, it seems more than a bit odd for the Journal Sentinel to be so heavily focused on identifying other reporter’s confidential sources.

Second, the attack on the confidential source seemed unusually personal, digging up long-ago all`ged personal problems in the source’s police career including a shooting he was involved in for which the source was exonerated of wrongdoing.

And as someone in the comments at Hot Air adds:

If you think that reporter was evil, just imagine the reaction the Praetorian Press will have if someone blew the whistle on Obama’s carefully hidden past, for example, his college transcripts, papers, etc.

A cynical person might start to believe that it’s as if many in the MSM are merely Democrat operatives with bylines or something. Too bad that so many actions today’s MSM take do little to ameliorate this suspicion. both big (see above) and (in comparison with above) small.

Update (12:14 AM PDT): “Scottish referendum: Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence,” the BBC reports; scroll to bottom of post for update.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. “Obama Personally Tweets Opposition to Scottish Independence,” Jeryl Bier of the Weekly Standard noted yesterday:

Though he didn’t say it in so many words, President Obama came out today personally opposed to Scottish independence, which is set to go to a vote tomorrow. Wednesday afternoon, the president took to Twitter with this message:

The UK is an extraordinary partner for America and a force for good in an unstable world. I hope it remains strong, robust and united. -bo

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 17, 2014

Tweets sent out on the White House Twitter account that include the president’s initials indicate that the president himself personally posted the message. The White House has previously indicated a preference that Scotland remain a part of the United Kingdom.

Bier goes on to write that White House press secretary Josh Earnest additionally said, “We certainly respect the right of individual Scots to make a decision about the — along these lines.  But as the President himself said, we have an interest in seeing the United Kingdom remain strong, robust, united and an effective partner.”

Huh. Back in March of 2009, after Mr. Obama, then-newly ensconced in the White House, churlishly returned a bust of Winston Churchill to Britain that had sat in President Bush’s Oval Office since shortly after September 11th, blogger and longtime friend of PJM Juliette Akinyi (aka “Baldilocks”) noted, “Many observers seem puzzled.  I’m not and neither is the UK press.  It’s about Kenya”:

If you recall, before Kenya became Kenya (1963) it was a British colony known as British East Africa.  Between 1952 and 1960, there was this little “difference of opinion” between the UK and the natives of British East Africa—primarily from the Kikuyu tribe.  That conflict is known as the Mau Mau Uprising.  There were tens of thousands of African civilians killed and, according to Wiki, seven to ten thousand Africans interned by the British colonial masters.  In Dreams from My Father, President Obama says that his grandfather was tortured by the British during the conflict, though he was not a Kikuyu but a Luo.  Guess which prime minister ordered the Mau Mau insurgency to be put down.

Mystery solved.  It seems that the president is seeking to humiliate the progeny of those who humiliated his ancestors.  Revenge isn’t that complicated a motive.

However, a question remains.  Is this any way for a President of the United States to behave?

Flash-forward to the present day, which sees, as is his wont on virtually every issue, former President Obama reversing course on the issue of England maintaining the empire. Of course, some see a more Machiavellian reasoning to Mr. Obama’s tweet; as Greg Pollowitz of Twitchy writes, “Hey Scotland: vote Yes bc Obama wants you to vote No.”

Others wish the former president would return to his golf game and late night bull sessions with rock stars and film directors:

Heh. And still others looks to the more mysterious to discern their take on how to vote:

loch_ness_monster_scottish_independence_9-18-14

Of course for most Americans, the question of what to think about Scottish independence all boils down to one exceedingly important issue.

Update: Realizing the immense negative power of his influence, Paul Krugman also subtly comes out in favor of Scottish independence:

Sometimes you simply have to consider your initial impulses, and then Costanza them:

Watch this palindromic ad all the way through — it’s only a matter of time before an American political consultant rips it off.

Update (12:14 AM PDT): “Scottish referendum: Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence,” the BBC reports tonight:

With 31 out of the country’s 32 council areas having declared after Thursday’s vote, the ‘No’ side has an unassailable lead of 1,914,187 votes to 1,539,920.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and the unionist parties to deliver on more powers.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and called for national unity.

Mr Cameron said the three main unionist parties at Westminster would now follow through with their pledge to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

“We will ensure that those commitments are honoured in full,” he said.

All of the UK press are reporting similar initial results, based on this lineup of tweets from their early editions rounded up by Twitchy.

This is CNN

September 18th, 2014 - 2:45 pm

After a few drams of Balvenie:

 

It’s Real, And It’s Spectacular

September 18th, 2014 - 1:21 am

Upside: Maureen Dowd has written her first column since the Lewinsky era that anyone remembers. Downside: She made the after-effects of eating a candy bar laced with grass sound like something out of a William Burroughs novel. A reminder that “Consume Responsibly” is also excellent advice for those remaining New York Times readers as well.

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

I have been in the White House on a number of occasions when military operations are launched and once the decisions are made and the orders have been issued the people in the White House from the President on down are really out of the action, at least is they are smart. And President Bush was especially good as was President Reagan of giving the military their mission, their orders and staying the hell out of the way. And not trying to micro-manage the conflicts, so you don’t have a Lyndon Johnson going down the situation room picking targets as he did in Vietnam. Bush and Reagan stayed out of the way, so when the land war started we were basically in the receive mode, just waiting for information to be past in the Presidents case from either Powell or Cheney and in our case the same way, about how things were going and the only information we really had after the beginning of the ground war was simply that it was going well and that the units had broken through the lines very fast.

– Robert Gates, then-Deputy National Security Advisor, quoted by PBS’s Frontline as part of their “Oral History of the [1990-1991] Gulf War. Flash-forward to the present day:

“The U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Obama to exert a high degree of personal control over the campaign, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential sign-off for any strike in Syrian territory,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The requirement for the Syrian strikes will be far more stringent than those in Iraq, at least at first, to assure the Syrian air campaign remains strictly limited, in an attempt to mitigate the threat that the U.S. could be dragged more deeply into the conflict, according to the U.S. officials.”

“Obama to Personally Control Strikes in Syria,” Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, yesterday.

As Moe Lane writes in the headline of his blog post linking to the above story, “Attention, whoever in the White House monitors this site. Google ‘Lyndon Johnson micromanagement Vietnam’ — Google that RIGHT NOW:”

Speaking dispassionately, you can understand – sort of – why LBJ and Richard Nixon both were very bad about trying to run the Vietnam War by themselves: it was probably the first real war we had where a President could, in something approximating real time.  And it obviously was a major temptation, given the way that both men and their staffs succumbed to it.  But also note that Presidents since have largely learned from that particular set of catastrophic mistakes and tried to keep their oversight restricted to strategic goals, not tactical ones.  Largely.  Most of the time.  Good faith efforts were made.

Alas, nobody explained any of this to Barack Obama.  Or, more likely? Somebody did, but he didn’t bother to listen, because whoever was doing the explaining wasn’t Barack Obama.

After the New York Times reported the other day that the recently retired president was offering freelance consulting advice over the transom to ISIS, Iowahawk tweeted:

And now he thinks he’s a better strategist than his generals. And speaking of whom: “Remember When Democrats Were Saying ‘Listen to the Generals?’”

Related: At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel posits, somewhat conspiratorially, “Obama Can’t Afford to Win in Iraq:”

The only reason that Obama acted at all is politics. Polls showed that midterm voters demanded a military response to ISIS’ beheading of American journalists and repeated threats to our homeland. Drones, air strikes and military advisors are merely a PR campaign to assuage moderates that their Democratic president is “doing something.”

Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.

Well, so far, the recently retired president is doing everything he can to live up to that impression.

‘It’s the Libertarian Left Behind’

September 17th, 2014 - 6:35 pm

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I read many skeptical reviews of the first Atlas Shrugged movie in 2011, went in to the theater with absolutely zero expectations, and as I wrote here on the blog, I was mildly surprised at how watchable it was. Anthony Sacramone of the Intercollegiate Review says much the same about his response to the first two Atlas movies, before running absolutely roughshod over the latest edition, asking along the way, “This Is John Galt?”

There’s a reason why Atlas Shrugged is rife with railways and natural resources and raw materials. It’s a bombastic prose poem to the original Industrial Age, when great men built a nation out of what they could pull from the earth and refine and refashion. It’s primal. It’s passionate. It’s as real as the car you drive or the building you live in.

And even though I am no Randian today, having long ago come to terms with the many contingencies and interdependencies of life, I nevertheless understand the appeal, the excitement, engendered by the author’s ideas and lust for life. And the 1949 film adaptation of The Fountainhead was pretty good, with a screenplay by Rand herself, direction by King Vidor, and performances by Patricia Neal and the one and only Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, the visionary and uncompromising architect.

Which is why I think, dare I say it, that the original Atlas, for all its flaws, deserved better than this film. My libertarian friends deserved better. My eyeballs deserved better. That Native American who appeared in those anti-littering commercials back in the 1970s with a tear rolling down his cheek deserved better and I don’t even know why. He wasn’t even Native American—he was Italian.

It takes a while for Sacramone to get going, but his review is well worth your time; definitely read the whole thing. Or as Mark Hemingway tweets:

‘Democrats Turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz’

September 17th, 2014 - 4:51 pm

With a headline like that in Democrat house organ The Politico, you know DWS is in hot water with BHO and the rest of the DNC:

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most.

Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two recent public flubs: criticizing the White House’s handling of the border crisis and comparing the tea party to wife beaters.

The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.

She’s become a liability to the DNC, and even to her own prospects, critics say.

As anyone whose seen her TV performances can attest — even in scripted, DNC-friendly environments such as MSNBC — Debbie Downer has always been her own worst liability, as these juicy details spotlight:

In 2012, Wasserman Schultz attempted to get the DNC to pay for her clothing at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, multiple sources say, but was blocked by staff in the committee’s Capitol Hill headquarters and at President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago.

She asked again around Obama’s inauguration in 2013, pushing so hard that Obama senior adviser — and one-time Wasserman Schultz booster — Valerie Jarrett had to call her directly to get her to stop. (Jarrett said she does not recall that conversation.) One more time, according to independent sources with direct knowledge of the conversations, she tried again, asking for the DNC to buy clothing for the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Debbie denies the charges of course; no word yet if she told Politico that they’ve been “Myzled” regarding her. But in any case, to sum up the new article:

As Dan Riehl adds, “At this point it seems fair to speculate that she’s either going to be gone soon, or this is only going to get worse for her, as well as more ugly.”

With the midterms less than two months out, the timing of this new hit piece is fascinating. There’s plenty of talk recently about the Republicans blowing their chances to recapture the Senate in November. But the Politico hitting DWS from the left indicates a lot of disarray in the Democrats’ camp this fall.

Update: Pile on!

In the Clearing Stands Two Boxers In One

September 17th, 2014 - 3:34 pm

“Corker’s Kerry Critique Leaves Boxer ‘Shaking and Trembling,’” Breitbart TV notes, complete with (autoplay, alas) video of the far left San Francisco Democrat* in action:

Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, after Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) criticized Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was left “shaking and trembling” in shock.

Boxer said, “I think it is shocking and a sad state of affairs that we heard just now, such angry comments aimed at you, Mr. Secretary, and through you, at our president instead of at ISIS, a savage group who decapitated two Americans and have warned, and I quote, that their thirst for more American blood is right out there.”

“I think it’s shocking,” she continued. “I’m actually shaking and trembling. This is not the time to show anger at the people who are working night and day, whether you agree with them or not, to protect our people.”

Yes, we wouldn’t want to show anger at someone working day or night, whether you agree with them or not, to protect Americans from Islamic terrorism:

At the time, Boxer defended her tirade by using the phrase “speaking truth to power,” a phrase whose origins date back to a mid-’50s pamphlet written by the American Quakers as a form of moral equivalence at the height of the Cold War. As we noted at the time:

Attempting to defend her much-publicized attack on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice due to Rice’s lack of children Thursday, Barbara Boxer invoked one of the hoariest clichés in the political lexicon:

Asked if her exchange with Rice was, as some suggest, a personal attack, Boxer insisted it was not.“I spoke the truth to power,’’ she said. “Condi Rice is in the room when George Bush decides to send 20,000 more of our beautiful men and women into the middle of a civil war.

“And I’m not going to apologize for making an extremely clear point,’’ she said.

As Allahpundit writes in response:

What bugs me is the self-congratulation. If one of the most powerful pols from the most powerful state in the most powerful country on earth can assume the mantle of “speaking truth to power,” then what’s left of “power”? Is that just a synonym for “Bush” now?

Isn’t it always?

Last week, the Washington Examiner speculated that the 73-year old Boxer may be retiring in 2016. Given her increasingly frail nerves, her shaking and trembling, and Claude Rains-esque level of shock, perhaps it’s time.

Related: “Gee, if only that Obama fellow showed the concern for constitutional niceties on warmaking that George W. Bush did.”

* As Jean Kirkpatrick would say.

“Shylock & Wongs*: 3 Incidents of Democrat Bigotry In 3 Weeks — Media Mum,” as spotted by John Nolte at Big Journalism:

Wednesday, no less than Vice President Joe Biden used the widely-known Jewish slur “shylock.”

Just last week, a white male Democrat gubernatorial running against incumbent Republican Susana Martinez claimed the Hispanic Governor “does not have a Latino [sic] heart.

Only a few weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made two racist Asian “jokes” in front of a predominantly Asian crowd.

This isn’t the first time Reid and Biden have been caught expressing their bigoted, backwards views.

In 2010, Harry Reid said “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK.” In 2008, Reid said that Obama, was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”

In 2006, while campaigning for the presidency, Biden said, “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

High-ranking Democrats who have a history of bigotry just keep hurling it without paying any sort of political price in the unbiased, objective, not-at-all liberal media.

Democrats sure got it good.

Why, it’s almost as if those covering them — and covering for them — in the MSM are actually Democrat operatives with bylines themselves.

* Shylock & Wongs should not be confused with Ginsberg & Wong’s, which fused Chinese and deli food and were located in the lobbies of Hyatt House hotels, and used to have the best, greasiest, giant-sized cheddar cheese hamburgers and corned beef & pastrami sandwiches in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Perhaps ISIS needs OSHA, as a workplace accident resulted in 14 deaths and seven injuries, according to this report by India’s Business Standard yesterday:

Baghdad, Sep 16 (IANS/EFE) At least 14 members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group were killed Tuesday near Baghdad when a rocket whose warhead they were filling with chlorine gas exploded.

Iraqi security officials said seven more IS militants were injured in the incident, which occurred near the town of al-Dhuluiya, about 90 km north of Baghdad.

Al-Dhuluiya was also where four members of the Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen suffered symptoms of asphyxiation after inhaling chlorine gas released by two improvised explosive devices.

It was the first time that chlorine has been used as a weapon in Iraq, although it is not uncommon in neighbouring Syria, where the regime’s use of it has been denounced by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

At Breitbart.com’s Big Peace Website today, Frances Martel adds:

The use of chemical weapons has not been confirmed by other sources, as Dhuluyia, 90 miles north of Baghdad, is remote for many media sources. However, if confirmed, it would be the first official use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Iraq. The Islamic State has been suspected of possessing chemical weapons for months. On July 9, reports began to surface that the Islamic State had captured a chemical weapons plant northwest of Baghdad, which still contained some degraded, but nonetheless, active chemical rockets. By July 15, Kurdish Peshmerga forces began to warn that they had seen evidence of the use of chemical weapons, including “thermal missiles of USA,” by the Islamic State terrorists.

Exit quote:

Filed under: War And Anti-War

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I’m not sure which is worse, if New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro is lying that he doesn’t know what a Shylock is to protect Joe Biden — or if he really didn’t know what the term meant when he wrote above tweet. In any case, as this unsigned article at the Washington Free Beacon notes:

New York Times political reporter Michael Barbaro took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his confusion over a recent controversy in which Vice President Joe Biden employed the anti-Semitic term “shylock” in a speech.

“Raise your hand if you were not familiar with the word ‘Shylock’ before it became a controversy in past 24 hours?” Barbaro tweeted to his followers, prompting much ridicule.

Biden employed the historically offensive and anti-Semitic word in a speech Tuesday. He was forced to apologize early Wednesday after he came under criticism from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and others.

Barbaro, purportedly a trained journalist and political expert, had apparently never heard the word before or come across it in literature. Twitter users immediately ridiculed the reporter for his ignorance. “And you admit that?” tweeted author Ben Cohen.

The Beacon claims their paper mailed Barbaro a hard copy edition of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice “for his further edification.”

Assuming that Barbaro was telling the truth (which is less and less the default position with the MSM, as they are self-admitting with increasing frequency), his admission dovetails remarkably well with another recent article at his place of employment. When I wrote my post on Monday on the Times’ culpability in regards to what Barbaro’s fellow Timesman Roger Cohen dubbed America and the world’s “Great Unraveling,” I wondered if Cohen’s reference to Kipling at the end of his article would go past many New York Times readers, given how PC modern education has become. Did Barbaro, age 34 or 35, who graduated from Connecticut’s Hamden Hall Country Day School in 1998 and Yale in 2002, miss the classes on Shakespeare, or was he no longer taught in high school by the mid-1990s?

We know the Bard is being taught less and less in the 21st century, as Andrew Klavan noted at the start of the year:

City Journal’s Heather Mac Donald is one of the best reporters in the country, one of our most courageous writers and a consistently moral voice. Last year, she gave the Manhattan Institute’s prestigious Wriston Lecture and last Saturday, the Wall Street Journal published an adaptation of that lecture under the headline “The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity.” A fuller version of this brilliant piece will be in CJ’s Winter number. Get your hands on it. Read it.

Heather Mac begins by noting that the leftist academic buffoons at UCLA no longer require that the university’s English majors read Shakespeare, Chaucer or Milton. They do, however, require these students take courses in leftist theories on gender, race, ethnicity and other meaningless subjects whose names I slept through.

In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton or Shakespeare, but the department was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.”

In still other words, the people tasked with teaching our young about the past have drowned out the voices of the past with their own voices. Their own whiny, unwise, small-minded and bitter voices.

Read on for how today’s low state of American elite culture was anticipated by England’s similar cultural collapse under socialist rule after World War II. In his 1999 book The Abolition of Britain Peter Hitchens wrote, “Just as Evelyn Waugh had once suggested that the Labour government of 1945 was similar to living under foreign occupation, [novelist Kingsley Amis] suggested that the trashing of our culture and literacy were so severe that only a ruthless foreign invader could possibly make them worse:”

A real occupation would almost certainly have produced a resistance, the circulation of banned texts and the holding of secret religious services. But a country which ploughs under its own culture, without violence or open suppression, has no such resistance. The objects of the attack are unaware that they are under attack, and there are no martyrs, no persecution to bring resistance into being.

Incidentally, I like the black sunglasses that Barbaro wears in his Twitter profile — they project the requisite “I’m in the media, screw you” vibe, and simultaneously illustrate how much information is blocked before it reaches yet another exquisitely-cocooned Timesman.

Update: Scott Johnson of Power Line asks, “Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?” Heh.™