Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

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

● “Univision anchor: No government should be in the business of deporting children.”

—Headline, Hot Air.com, yesterday.

“‘No business should ever have to turn away customers’: Nathan Fielder reveals how liquor stores can sell alcohol to minors LEGALLY.”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today, linking to a Comedy Central skit.

Obviously, one of these headlines is a cable TV star playing a TV anchor befuddled by reality as the rest of the world knows it — the other is a headline that was sponsored by Comedy Central.

In any case, the advice proffered by future Senator John Blutarsky seems highly apropos right now given the state of the country and its media overlords.

“It’s a genuine pleasure to watch Trey Gowdy work,” Jim Treacher writes. “Why should he bother to hide his contempt for someone who holds such obvious contempt for the truth, and for United States taxpayers?”

Meanwhile,  Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings — who doesn’t know the names of the Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee –  “calls for end to ‘public harassment’ of IRS chief John Koskinen,” Glenn Reynolds notes, adding that “Naming and shaming is all we’ve got, when the machinery of government has been totally politicized.”

Yesterday’s flight ban to Israel by the FAA (read: the Obama administration) “was the most destructive action that the US has taken towards Israel since the Truman administration imposed an arms embargo during the War of Independence. It encourages Hamas to keep firing rockets when the Obama administration supposedly is working for a ceasefire,” David P. Goldman writes in his Spengler column at PJM today.

David quotes Eugene Kontorovich of Commentary, who adds, “Whatever the intent, the administration has cornered Israel in a booby-trapped tunnel, with Hamas on one side, and economic perdition on the other,” along with Israel officials who “denounced the decision as a ‘prize for Hamas’ and completely unjustified.”

Responding to Goldman, Michael Walsh, with video assists from Brando’s Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now and Sean Connery’s tough Irish cop in The Untouchables asks, “Can Israel Finish the Job Now?”

Filed under: Uncategorized

david_gregory_brandishes_illegal_gun_clip_6-23-13

Is the beleaguered scofflaw David Gregory finally running out of ammo?  “Gregory’s time is nearly up at Meet the Press, sources told [the New York Post's "Page Six column"], and he could be replaced as moderator of the nation’s longest-running TV show soon after the November midterm elections:”

While NBC News President Deborah Turness has publicly supported the embattled Gregory, there are serious concerns about the losing battle to turn around the show’s sinking ratings.

Viewership is down a whopping 43 percent compared to when Gregory ascended to the moderator’s chair in December 2008, after the death of Tim Russert. The show finished in third place behind CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” in the second quarter of 2014.

An NBC source said, “The discussion is whether to make a change before or after the midterm elections. Just after the midterms would give the new moderator time to settle in.”

According to insiders, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is the rightful heir to Gregory, but he has not been officially offered the job.

P.J. Gladnick of NewsBusters is understandably not very confident about Gregory’s possible replacements:

Chuck Todd is every bit as predictably liberal as Gregory who recently sounded like he was auditioning for Jay Carney’s old spot as White House flack. A laughable example of Todd’s liberalism was him wondering aloud if there were any real victims of the IRS scandal.

And if Todd is unavailable, not to worry. NBC is chock full of liberals who are unreluctant to display their bias who could also be tapped for the Meet The Press slot. One of them is Savannah Gutherie:

Other names said to be in the frame include “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie, who comes from a political background but is unlikely to be released from the flagship morning show where she’s hugely popular.

Guthrie  is so reliably liberal that she recently blamed Congress but not Obama for the immigration crises at the border.

So all those liberals out there need not worry. An utterly predictable liberal Meet The Press host is sure to be replaced by another predictable Meet The Press host. No matter how much that show’s ratings continue to tumble, that losing formula will be strictly adhered to by NBC no matter the cost.

Really, any NBC “news” program should be properly titled “Meet the Democrat Operatives.”

Quote of the Day

July 22nd, 2014 - 3:53 pm

The real issue when it comes to immigration is not simply what particular immigration policy America should have, but whether America can have any immigration policy at all.

A country that does not control its own borders does not have any immigration policy. There may be laws on the books, but such laws are just meaningless words if people from other countries can cross the borders whenever they choose.

—Thomas Sowell, “Bordering on Madness.” Read the whole thing.

Related: “If governments shouldn’t be in the business of deporting children, Mexico should go ahead and amnestize all the Central American kids currently waiting near its northern border to cross into Texas, right?”

“My secret lust for right-wing women” is explored by self-described “liberal-lefty-pro-feminist” Cosmo Landesman in the UK Spectator:

I have slept with women who write for the New Statesman and women who write for the Daily Telegraph and I can’t honestly claim that one lot is better than the other. But there are certain post-coital benefits that come with women of the right. They never subject a man to the music of Nick Drake or Nina Simone. As good libertarians, they don’t mind if you smoke in bed or pick up a newspaper or roll over and go to sleep — come to think of it, that’s what they are more likely to do. Nor do you ever have to lie in bed and watch some mawkish film about Nelson Mandela or one made by Michael Moore. (They don’t think you’re demented because you’d rather watch Die Hard.) And right-wing women never think that leaving the toilet seat up is a passive-aggressive act of patriarchy.

Sorry, comrades, but when it comes to the bedroom I’ll have to vote Tory.

Fair enough — but didn’t Landesman’s fellow Brit (well, expatriate Brit) John Derbyshire explore this exact theme for National Review in early 2001?

Though the Derb’s column was much more devoted to aesthetics than Landesman. Derbyshire wrote:

Still, I think I could make an objective case for the general proposition. Just line them up, for goodness’ sake. On the Left: Janet Reno, Donna Shalala, Hillary Clinton (you can take her before or after the style crash, far as I’m concerned), Madeleine Albright, Barbra Streisand, Rosie O’Donnell, Katie Couric, Anna Quindlen, Andrea Dworkin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nina Khrushchev, Mao Tse-tung’s last wife … On the Right: Margaret Thatcher, Condoleeza Rice (pity about that forename — what were her parents thinking of?), Linda Chavez, Katherine Harris, Laura Bush (a cutie, in my book, though I wish she’d get the squint fixed), Suzanna Gratia Hupp, Heather Nauert (oh God), Paula Zahn, Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan, Grace Coolidge, Elizabeth the First, the last Tsarina, Eva Peron … I rest my case.

There are a few necessary qualifications, but I don’t think they blunt my argument. They may actually strengthen it. Madeleine Albright, for example, is said to have been a babe when younger. Well, water will find its level, physical states return to equilibrium sooner or later, and all lefty women, whatever attributes they may have started out with, revert to type at last. Margaret Thatcher at 60 could still drive men crazy — I would have given my all for one favoring glance. Those Young Conservative girls I used to know, who are now Middle-Aged Conservatives in tweeds, manage to look good in tweeds. (There is, in fact, a great deal to be said for women in tweeds. There will be a future column on this topic.) But Hillary Clinton at 60?

* * * * * * *

When Arthur Koestler was a communist in Weimar Germany, he used to have secret meetings with comrades in open public places where a police “tail” would be easy to spot. Once he met with a female comrade in a Berlin park. While discussing necessary business, the woman lost her attention and began staring at the surrounding trees. “Why is it,” she suddenly blurted out, “that the leaves die wherever we go?”

Perhaps because, as Landesman writes this month:

I recently had sex with a woman who writes for the Guardian and in the heat of the moment I said, ‘I love you — you filthy slut!’ I meant it as a compliment! Honest! She stopped the proceedings and gave me a long lecture about how the ‘verbal demeaning of women’ was totally unacceptable. I had a similar experience with a woman of the right. (I won’t repeat what I said because it’s too embarrassing.) But she just laughed and said, ‘Oh, you do say the sweetest things to a girl!’

Women of the right will not tolerate sexism; but nor do they have that tendency of some left-wing women always to play the victim of sexism. They have a robust, get-on-with-it attitude to life that makes them less prone to the neurotic, whiney, oh-poor-me melodrama that has infected so much thinking of left-leaning feminists.

Is Landesman kidding? In any case, does it matter? I’m sure his column is already receiving the following stern rebuke from the left

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

Related: “A Guardian columnist looks at the subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine,” as spotted by James Lileks. Entirely predictable archleftist Brit-scolding of an venerable and universally beloved kiddie show ensues. As Lileks quips:

Every parent does this: analyzes their kids’ shows to death for fun, because you’re stuck at home watching something inane. Everyone has that “hmm: this is a show about slavery, in a way.” It also lacks class consciousness:

Inevitably, the trains get in a fight with or pick on one another (or generally mess up whatever job they are supposed to be doing) until Hatt has to scold one of them about being a “really useful engine”, because their sole utility in life is their ability to satisfy his whims. Yeah, because I want to teach my kid to admire a controlling autocrat.

Well, it’s Guardian writer, so yes, she does, but the proper kind.

Heh, indeed.™

Update: Naturally, the smoke from Thomas’s engine is racist — it’s white smoke, get it?!  — but then, isn’t everything?

You Stay Classy, Politico

July 22nd, 2014 - 2:05 pm

politico_roger_simon_nat_guard_smear_7-22-14

“Chief Politico Columnist: Perry Sending National Guard Troops to Border So They Can Shoot Small Children,” Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall, adding, “First off, lets just mark this under most asinine statement of the day. Second, funny how Simon conveniently ignores why Perry is sending the troops: to stop cartels and gang members who actually shoot and murder small children from entering the United States.”

I thought the far left got all of their “the military are baby killers!!!!1!!!!!” rants out of their system during the LBJ and Nixon era. I can only assume that the Politico’s Roger Simon just wanted to crank up his Marshall stack and let his Jimi Hendrix-era freak flag fly one last time. Shine on, you crazy old sclerotic diamond!

(As always, the Politico’s perpetually snarling and reactionary Roger Simon is not to be confused with own kind and beneficent Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus, who is charting “John and Ban’s Not-So-Excellent Cairo Adventure” today, with a little Photoshop help from yours truly.)

Update: When it comes to Politico, Moe Lane writes that “The real question is: why on Earth would Politico expect that any candidate involved with the National Guard should trust that particular media organization to deal with them fairly?  I mean, their people are apparently singularly unrepentant in their insults towards our men and women in uniform. Seriously, I would counsel, say, Scott Brown or Joni Ernst to immediately deny access to any and all Politico reporters until this has been clarified.  Politics aren’t beanbag, but having your military honor questioned is more than a few steps beyond the line.”

Note that this isn’t the first time a pundit using his connection with Politico has issued apocalyptic statements regarding midwestern Republicans; recall professional eco-crank Mark Hertsgaard’s infamous  2011 ambush interview with Republican Senator Jim Inhofe. Inhofe swatted away Hertsgaard’s eco-apocalypse now attacks so effortlessly that his office put the exchange up on YouTube, and Hertsgaard was quickly terminated by the Politico for hijacking their brand. Will Politico similarly admonish Simon for his slander as well?

It’s Deja Socialism All Over Again

July 21st, 2014 - 7:26 pm

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

“Elizabeth Warren Would Be the Most Liberal Democratic Nominee Since 1972.”

– Headline, FiveThirtyEight, today.

“Study: Obama most liberal senator last year — A new study suggests Obama had the most liberal voting record in 2007.”

– Headline and lede at CNN, January 31st, 2008.

In both cases, the headline writers spelled Leftist wrong — and in both cases, the far left senators had nightmarish theme songs to kick off what seemed at the time like longshot presidential bids. And in both cases — well, if I was Hillary’s campaign advisor, I’d be more than a little worried right now.

Minor language and sanity warnings apply:

The Bear Is Loose

July 21st, 2014 - 2:51 pm

Former President Barack Obama’s* penchant for fundraising during world crises is explored by Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon:

“The bear is loose!” President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.” Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear—intimidating, wild, untamed, roving—escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.

As Steve Green writes, “That might be the single most devastatingly accurate paragraph I’ve ever read about Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom, but you’ll want to read the whole thing.” An earlier president knew who the bear was, and take him seriously — and was ultimately rewarded for his efforts:

*Hey, if Obama has decided to check himself out of the day to day process of what was once called “running of the federal government,” he should be titled accordingly…

RIP, James Garner

July 21st, 2014 - 1:27 pm

As Mark Steyn writes, “James Garner was one of those actors who was watchable in almost anything, even commercials:”

He had great sexual chemistry, which is why his leading ladies loved working with him. For my money, when it comes to Sixties sex comedies, he was better with Doris Day than Rock Hudson was, and not just for the obvious reason. In Move Over, Darling, Doris and Polly Bergen crank it up a tad too much too soon, and it’s Garner dialing it back and reeling it in who keeps the picture’s contrivances from getting too much. Over a third of a century, he made three movies with Julie Andrews, and made her seem desirable, which is a trick not every leading man could pull off. And, of course, he and Mariette Hartley turned those Seventies/Eighties Polaroid commercials into such mini-masterpieces of effortless charm that most viewers assumed the relationship had to be real. The chemistry was so good Miss Hartley began going around in a T-shirt proclaiming “I am NOT Mrs James Garner.”

He was also one of the few Hollywood leading men of the 1960s to survive and prosper in the awful decade that followed, in which American coastal elites in New York, Washington, and Hollywood all lost their way, producing horrid results for the rest of us. (Talk about déjà vu.) Somehow though, with the Rockford Files, as John Nolte writes in “A Tribute to The Mighty James Garner” at Big Hollywood, Garner, producer Roy Huggins, writer Stephen J. Cannell. and Universal TV managed to capture “lightening in a bottle,” and in an odd way, the 1970s middle American zeitgeist as well.

While he had nothing in common with the character he played, my dad loved James Garner on Rockford, and it’s easy to see why. During that period, when Hollywood was still in its post-Easy Rider “youth phase,” the cool leading men of the 1950s and ‘60s were in short supply: Cary Grant had retired, Sean Connery seemed to vanish in his early post-Bond years, and Steve McQueen’s career was in that fallow period that had begun with the dark grotesqueries of Papillon, and arguably never recovered. You respected Charles Bronson’s characters for their macho toughness and steely brass balls, but no guy really wanted to be Charles Bronson. Which left Garner, who made looking cool easy, unlike McQueen and Paul Newman, each with an ice cold veneer which masked an venomous anger just under the surface. (Arguably in real life, as well.)

As John Nolte – who once featured Rockford’s business card  on his Twitter homepage — adds, “Amiable, broad-shouldered, and handsome, Garner spent a half-century easily moving back and forth between television and film roles, a feat very few lead actors have successfully pulled off. Garner was the rare leading man who could spend countless hours in our living rooms without losing the quality that made him a movie star.”

In a phrase that’s applicable less and less to those in show business, James Garner was truly a class act. RIP.

Update: In his obit for Garner, Andrew Klavan writes that no men like the beach bum private eye characters portrayed in the mid-’70s by both Garner and David Janssen in ABC’s then-concurrent Harry O series exist on TV these days. “I don’t say that out of nostalgic grumpiness but as a matter of fact. You cannot pitch a private eye show to the networks. I’ve tried it. You can’t even get in the door.”

“I began by saying that the Obama presidency is unraveling, and that it was a creation of the culture,” Drew adds. “Part of what the culture did to help create this disaster was to lose its faith in the man alone, and put its trust in princes and principalities.”

Offstage, Garner was a cast-in-the-mold Hollywood liberal seeking — whether he knew it consciously or not — authoritarianism, collectivism, and big government. But he was smart enough to portray characters who fought against that authoritarianism, sometimes won along the way, and retained their heart and individuality in the process. And compared to today’s smarmy and chestless Hollywood actors, that was more than enough.

The Sleeping Policeman

July 21st, 2014 - 12:28 pm

Greg Gutfeld writes that when America had executive leadership, we used to understand “that small matters when confronted, as a group, can prevent bigger matters. Now we see everything as ‘not our business,’ without taking the next step and asking, ‘Then whose business is it?’

So what should be done here about that field of horror in Ukraine? What should the leader of the free world do?

That field is no longer a war zone. It is an international crime scene, and we must lead the way, immediately, to secure it. And save the evidence, and seek justice. If Putin sees this as troubling, then it is up to him to make the “hard choices,” lend a hand—or back off and vote “present.”

Here’s a plan: 12 nations had victims on that plane. Those nations must be assembled together into a force of investigators, by the United States, who are pretty good at this kind of thing. That crew must go to the site, asap.

Of course, we must demand a cease fire, and all “bystanders” currently in control (or rather, standing in the way), must go. It’s not up to Russia; it’s up to the Dutch, the Malaysians, the US, Australia, etc. The sooner we stop the movement of wreckage, evidence and bodies, the better. We must comb the area and track down all witnesses, if they haven’t already been terrified into silence.

We need those black boxes and must fly their manufacturers in to determine whether they’ve been tampered with (once we retrieve them). If the boxes are gone, then an investigation must determine where they went. And if they’re in Moscow, those boxes must come back—or become the costliest of Putin’s possessions. According to the latest reports, the rebels claim they’ll be handing these boxes over, but it would be foolish at this point to believe it.

Oh please, let’s see the Obama administration forcefully demand the black box from the plane be recovered in a condition where the data can be retrieved. In the areas of record keeping and data recovery, the Obama administration is absolutely unimpeachable….

As for America being a sleeping policeman, hey, its attorney general is forever vigilant when it comes to “homegrown violent extremists” — whom he defines as anybody who disagrees in the slightest with whatever the Obama administration’s worldview is on any given day.

‘All The News Hamas Sees Fit to Print’

July 21st, 2014 - 12:02 pm

“Something important is missing from the New York Times‘s coverage of the war in Gaza,” Noah Pollak writes at the Weekly Standard:

It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.

A review of the Times‘s photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.

The concept of Pallywood doesn’t just refer to the Palestinians faking the news, but influencing willing dupes in the MSM to slant their coverage to make it as favorable to their side as possible:

Oh and speaking of Pallywood, like the fortunately late Yasser Arafat, a Washington Post “reporter” has developed the same ability say one thing to one audience, and a deliver a very different message to another, as spotted by Tim Graham of NewsBusters:

The lead reporter on Monday’s Washington Post story on Palestinian protests is Britain Eakin, whose Twitter bio reads “Graduate Student Extraordinaire in Journalism and Middle East Studies at UA, Tucson.”

Eakin is in no way a neutral observer of the Israel-Palestine conflict. As she’s reporting “objectively” for the Post, she’s tweeting out an editorial she’d written defending the Palestians against “Israel’s disproportionate war on Gaza”  for al-Jazeera America[.]

As Moe Lane commented last week when the Post ran an ugly cartoon showing Benjamin Netanyahu punching a Palestinian infant(!), “I was unaware that @amazon’s Jeff Bezos hates Jews.” Like GE funding first MSNBC and now Ezra Klein’s equally far left JuiceVox Mafia, Bezos will have to ponder how much he wants to let his news and opinion organization spiral out of control, lest it harm the reputation the cash cow that allowed him to purchase it.

Related: Of course, the crony socialism has paid off bigtime for GE: “Governor Andrew Cuomo just bet $135 million of New York taxpayer dollars on backing GE’s silicon carbide manufacturing efforts and IBM’s gallium nitride efforts:”

Which raises the question: if this technology is so terrific, why can’t the private sector do the research and development on it without extra funding from taxpayers? Part of the answer may be that the productivity gains from the technology are incremental rather than exponential. A GE report on silicon carbide touts that the material “could” improve the efficiency of wind and solar farms “by more than one percent.”

The other part of the answer is that the companies are able to find politicians, like President Obama and Governor Cuomo, who are willing to put public funds on the line. For the politicians, the danger is that the investment will result in a well-publicized failure, like the Obama administration’s investment in Solyndra, the solar energy company that went bankrupt. But in a lot of cases, the politicians will be out of office and on to other things before success or failure becomes obvious.

I await Vox’s explanation of why using tax payer funds to enrich behemoth corporations is an unalloyed public good.

The O By Numbers

July 21st, 2014 - 10:55 am

As Twitchy notes, “Obama by the numbers puts things in devastating perspective.” They link to the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog which notes:

According to author Brendan J. Doherty, from 2008 to 2012 Obama went to 321 events, compared to just 80 for Ronald Reagan.  And, as the chart below shows, he’s done 72 events in his second term – 34 this year alone. So far, he’s ahead of  the pace of George W. Bush, who had been to 30 events at this point in 2006. In his two presidential terms combined, Bush hosted 318 fundraisers. Obama has already smashed that number with 393 events to date.

Talk about the law of diminishing returns — and expectations.

Audio Interview: Ed Klein on Blood Feud

July 20th, 2014 - 11:26 pm

blood_feud_cover_7-18-14-1

Much to the chagrin of the Washington Post, Ed Klein’s Blood Feud is outselling Hillary Clinton’s new memoirs.  Naturally, Klein is elated. “It is a terrific thrill to knock Hillary off the top of the [best-seller] list, I have to tell you. She helped me a lot, because she put out a committee-written book that has absolutely nothing new in it.”

In contrast, Klein’s Blood Feud is loaded with juicy details, and dramatic scenes of five of the most powerful people on the planet scheming against each other.

Five? In addition to his portraits of the Clintons and the Obamas, Klein’s Blood Feud sheds new light on one of the most mysterious members of Barack and Michelle’s inner circle, Valerie Jarrett. As Klein describes Jarrett, she’s the distaff equivalent of Tom Hagen, the dangerous consigliere pulling the strings behind the scenes of The Godfather.

During our 18-minute long interview, Klein will discuss:

● What roles did Jarrett and Hillary play in the Benghazi debacle starting on September 11, 2012?

● What was the key promise that the Obamas made to Bill and Hillary, that the president would later renege on?

● Obama’s political skills versus his performance on the job he’s landed with them.

● How will Hillary perform on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016 and, if she wins, as president?

● What are the health issues plaguing Bill and Hillary, and how serious a threat are they?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes, 50 seconds long; 17.2 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.38 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

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

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 | 9 Comments»

detroit_joe_louis_fist_10-6-13

“Liberals are increasingly religious about their own liberalism, treating it like a comprehensive view of reality and the human good,” Damon Linker writes at The Week:

From the dawn of the modern age, religious thinkers have warned that, strictly speaking, secular politics is impossible — that without the transcendent foundation of Judeo-Christian monotheism to limit the political sphere, ostensibly secular citizens would begin to invest political ideas and ideologies with transcendent, theological meaning.

Put somewhat differently: Human beings will be religious one way or another. Either they will be religious about religious things, or they will be religious about political things.

With traditional faith in rapid retreat over the past decade, liberals have begun to grow increasingly religious about their own liberalism, which they are treating as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good.

But liberalism’s leading theoreticians (Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Madison, Tocqueville, Mill) never intended it to serve as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. On the contrary, liberalism was supposed to act as a narrowly political strategy for living peacefully in a world of inexorably clashing comprehensive views of reality and the human good.

The key to the strategy was the promulgation of the pluralistic principle of toleration.

Which is why the proper response to the distinctive dogmatism of our time is to urge liberals to return to their tolerant roots. That’s what I’ve been trying to do in my own writing, and my efforts will continue until more liberals come to their senses and begin recalling their comrades to a robust defense of their own pluralistic principles.

Two comments: First, this is all old news to anyone who read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism six year ago. And second, a return to liberalism’s “tolerant roots?” Good luck with that, champ.

(Photo at top of page of the Joe Louis fist memorial in Detroit, placed there in 1986, during the disastrous and racist 20 year reign of Democrat Mayor Coleman Young. Photo by James Marvin Phelps, Shutterstock.com.)

‘Schrödinger’s Crime’

July 20th, 2014 - 3:04 pm

“FedEx Indicted For Failing To Look Into Its Packages To See If Any Online Pharmacies Were Sending Drugs,” TechDirt reports:

Back in March of last year, we were somewhat disturbed by UPS agreeing to forfeit $40 million to the US government for shipping drugs from “illegal internet pharmacies.” Not that such drugs or pharmacies should be legal (that’s a whole different discussion), but it’s insane to pin the blame for the shipments on the shipping company, whose sole job is to get packages from point A to point B. In fact, we don’t want shipping companies to be liable for what’s in packages, because then they have not just the incentive, but the mandate to snoop through all our packages.

Apparently, FedEx was unwilling to fall on its sword and cough up a similar amount to the US government, so the DEA and DOJ have announced they’ve gotten a grand jury to indict the company for delivering drugs associated with internet pharmacies. You can read the full indictment, which tries to spin a variety of stories into evidence that somehow FedEx “knew” what was in those packages.

As several of Instapundit’s commenters note, FedEx is but the latest non-union company to be shaken down by the Obama administration. “Unexpectedly.”

(Headline via Twitter user “The Hired Mind.”)

Hell of a Pinpoint Gaffe, John Kerry

July 20th, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Reason number 1,327,922 why the left hates Fox News: the MSM only catches Republicans on hot mics and call them on their rhetoric; leftist icons such as Kerry and his boss are always given a pass for their gaffes:

Fox News Sunday reports on a hot mic that caught John Kerry mocking Israel’s “pinpoint operation” against Hamas in Gaza:

“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry was recorded as saying, in the middle of network interviews. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

“We’ve got to get over there. Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.”

Because if there’s anybody that the Israeli government will listen to — especially when he lurches leans on them in person, it’s John Kerry, who in recent months has called Israel an “apartheid state” during its Holocaust Remembrance Day, and reminded them — as if anyone could ever forget — that he’s served in Vietnam, where he was “attacked before by people using real bullets, not words, and I am not going to be intimidated.”

When John Podhoretz called Kerry on his apartheid slur in the New York Post, he quipped, “What are you going to do about it, tough guy? Windsurf over me?”

Oh, and speaking of pinpoint gaffes, “US Under Secretary of State apologizes after tweeting ‘United For Gaza’ hashtag.”

Micheal Kinsley, call your office.

Tweet of the Day

July 19th, 2014 - 3:24 pm

I hope they’re both put out of their misery, the latter merely rhetorically, of course.

CNN Reporter: Israelis Are ‘Scum’

July 18th, 2014 - 12:17 pm

diana_magnay_cnn_israelis_scum_7-17-14-1

This is CNN:

CNN International correspondent Diana Magnay referred to a group of Israelis as “scum” after she claimed that they were standing on a hill near the town of Sderot cheering as bombs landed in Gaza, according to a screen-shot of the comment captured by National Review.

“Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #Gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum,” Magnay tweeted and then quickly deleted, though it was retweeted nearly 250 times before being taken down.

Magnay has been removed from covering the conflict and CNN issued an apology for her tweet.

Which they do on a regular basis when their correspondents express their true feelings regarding the Middle East. Right around this time in 2010, I wrote:

I must confess that as one of the vast majority of Americans who no longer watches CNN unless trapped in an airport, I hadn’t heard of Octavia Nasr, CNN’s senior editor of Mideast affairs, until I stumbled over a YouTube clip of her discussing the Gaza flotilla for today’s “Cold Civil War” video.  But, she’s now the latest CNN journalist to let the mask slip on her biases via Twitter. Or as as the URL of Daniel Helper’s post at the Weekly Standard describes succinctly, “cnn-editor-mourns-loss-terrorist:”

How did CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr celebrate July 4? By mourning the passing of Hezbollah’s Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Here’s what the CNN editor posted on her Twitter account:

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..#Lebanon

I grabbed a screen shot of Nasr’s Twitter, both to illustrate this post, and because Tweets from leftwing old media figures occasionally seem to disappear from time to time.* “Oddly enough,” as Reuters, a news agency with a similar worldview as CNN, might say.

After Nasr was pushed out of CNN, I wrote:

Hey, Nasr was just carrying on where former CNN propagandist reporter Peter Arnett, soon-to-be departed Christiane Amanpour, and former head honcho Eason Jordan all left off. (Not to mention founder Ted Turner.) Unfortunately, much like Jordan himself when he preposterously declared at Davos in 2005 that US troops in Iraq were deliberately targeting journalists (after admitting that he was perfectly cool working for a former Iraqi dictator who was busy targeting US troops), Nasr also dropped the mask, and eliminated any shred of “objectivity.”

She eventually wound-up at MBC — the Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center. Perhaps MBC considers CNN their farm team.

Pages: 1 2 | 32 Comments»

Jim Geraghty on our asleep-at-the-wheel administration:

Russian president Vladimir Putin didn’t order the separatists to shoot down the airliner. But his intelligence agencies and military have provided all kinds of support to these separatists. To borrow P.J. O’Rourke’s metaphor, Putin gave whiskey and car keys – and powerful explosives – to teenage boys. The disastrous consequences were not hard to foresee. You can see it in the absurd, nonsensical, instant justification by one of the speakers that if the plane is labeled, ‘Malaysia Airlines,’ it must be a disguise for a spy plane. Putin didn’t commit murder; just reckless endangerment.

There will be a lot of debates and discussions about what the United States can or should do in response to this reckless, deadly decision. But let’s begin by asking, if we had the opportunity to reach out and strike 23 Russian separatists involved in the decision to launch this missile, would we do it? I’d like to think so. Fighting a war is not inherently evil, nor is stupidity, but the combination of the two is a fertile ground for evil. These guys need to be taught a lesson, and it’s not clear who can teach them.

Commercial airliners fly – usually quite highly – over dangerous or not-so-friendly parts of the world all the time. Right now commercial jets are avoiding Eastern Ukraine. Should they avoid Syria, too? Iran? Iraq? Afghanistan? If so, you’ve just cut off India and a big chunk of Asia from Europe.

These guys need to pay – and Putin needs to see consequences of his reckless support of these dumb, brutal goons.

Moe Lane: “I never thought that I’d see the day that the US government would just shrug off a no-fooling war crime committed against our citizens.”

Well, we know that the State Department has far more important things to do — such as tweeting out fashion tips.

And the president has far more important things to do — such as expressing his love of guacamole.

Perhaps they’re simply waiting for one of the FLOTUS’ talking shopping carts to provide instructions, HAL 9000-style.

Fortunately though, Mr. Obama’s would-be successor is pouncing at the opportunity to set a much more focused example of what she would do if in office. Nahh, just kidding:

No, Obama’s caution is another example of the president refusing to address crises in a timely fashion due to what he probably believes is an attachment to the doctrinal fantasy that the United States is overextended in the world. Hillary Clinton confirmed that when she told Charlie Rose on Thursday night that this whole plane mess is really Europe’s problem.

“As you know, the Europeans have tried to figure out the best way forward,” she said when asked how the United States should respond to clear evidence that pro-Russian separatists using Russian hardware killed nearly 300 foreign civilians. “From my perspective — and I have the benefit of not being in the government — if there is evidence linking Russia to this, that should inspire the Europeans to do much more.”

After noting that the world should put “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin on notice” and not “stand idly by,” Clinton reassured Rose that the United States would stand idly by.

“So Europeans have to be the ones to take the lead on this,” said the former secretary. “It was a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over European territory. There should be outrage in European capitals.”

That sucking sound you hear is the rapid formation of a power vacuum in Europe as the United States signals its noninterest in matters of regional and global security.

Hey, after World War II, Europe was happy to hand over their defense to America, so that they could spend all of their taxpayers’ money on expanding their socialist welfare states. And they loathed America’s past “Cowboy Presidents” and their lack of nuance and politesse.

I guess European leaders never counted on their defense winding up in the hands of wannabe Europeans. But then, to be fair, neither did most Americans.