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Clearly Barack’s Sycophants

April 13th, 2014 - 6:35 pm

mussolini_obama_lerner_forward_6-13-13-1

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

● “Attkisson: CBSNEWS producers don’t want to deal with ‘headache’ of covering Obama controversies…”

—Headline, the Drudge Report today.

● “CBS’s Bob Schieffer Interviews Dem. Elijah Cummings, Ignores His Relationship With Lois Lerner.”

—Headline, Newsbusters today.

Good thing CBS News doesn’t have a half century history of being wildly partisan towards the left, while continually feigning objectivity…

Related: Meanwhile, at NBC, “Andrea Mitchell Fails to Ask Kathleen Sebelius Obvious (HuffPost) Question About ‘Resignation.’”

Unexpectedly.

Jay Carney Comes Full Circle

April 11th, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Hey, give Carney credit for pro-Communist consistency.

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

“In towns like Pushkino (pop. 90,000), many Russians view the tumult sweeping Moscow with more anxiety and skepticism than do their big-city compatriots…they wonder if the destruction of Soviet communism will bring them anything more than uncertainty and hardship.”

—Jay Carney, cub reporter at Time magazine, September 9, 1991.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his family are featured in a worshipful profile in this month’s Washingtonian magazine.

It’s the sort of adoring journalistic exercise reserved for only the most handsome of the power elite. In it you can find out details about the Carney dog (a cousin to presidential pooch Sonny!), and how much the press secretary’s tie costs ($135).

But keen observers may notice the kitchen decor in the photo: Soviet propaganda posters. They really are the perfect pop of color whether you are the dour and sincere Nikita Khrushchev or the cheeky press-wrangler for a president who is constantly accused of being a socialist himself.

“Obama’s press secretary decorates home with Soviet propaganda,” The Week, today.

And do not miss Noah Rothman at Mediaite, who spots the Washingtonian doing some sort of Photoshopping on the books on Carney’s bookshelves: “Carney is surrounded by shelves and shelves of the same books. The photo-shopping was so hurried, in fact, that Carney’s son’s finger was never removed:”

And the same photo “updated with more duplicated books.”

Not surprisingly, Twitter is having a field day with the Washingtonian’s Photoshop meltdown.

My Back Pages

April 9th, 2014 - 1:47 pm

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

The individuals in the Tea Party may come from very different walks of life, but most of them have a few things in common…Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with “people who do not cherish America the way we do” is that “they did not read the Federalist Papers.”)

Rolling Stone, “The Truth About the Tea Party,” September 28, 2010.

Flash-forward to today:

rolling_stone_julia_dreyfus_john_hancock_constitution_4-9-14

“Rolling Stone Mistakenly Plants John Hancock on Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Back,” Josh Encinias, at the NRO Corner today. As Justin Green of the Washington Examiner tweets, “Pro tip: John Hancock didn’t sign the Constitution.”

But it’s a nice bit of karmic blowback against a magazine, which in addition to despising anyone to the right of Pete Seeger, last year thought Boston bomber Dzohkar Tsarnaev was so totally cool and early Jim Morrison dreamy that he was worth featuring on their cover. In his terrific new book Not Cool, Greg Gutfeld describes that gesture as the end product of a sclerotic leftwing magazine on life support, asking, “If the Rolling Stone offices had been the target of bombing, would they have put such an adoring photo on their cover?”

Actually, maybe they would. Think back to Robert Fisk, the leftwing British journalist and namesake of the popular Blogosphere technique of fisking, who famously wrote after being attacked while covering the war in Afghanistan in late 2001, “My Beating is a Symbol of this Filthy War.” Fisk added, “In fact, if I were the Afghan refugees of Kila Abdullah, close to the Afghan-Pakistan border, I would have done just the same to Robert Fisk. Or any other Westerner I could find.” In other words, In other words, ‘I totally had it coming.’

Or as Gutfeld himself quips, “If only bin Laden had been younger and hotter. If only he’d had abs. Then Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone, who put the Boston Bomber on the cover of his rag, might have done him first.”

America’s Broken Legal System

March 20th, 2014 - 12:11 pm

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

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: Upon evidence that a crime has been committed — Professor Plum, found dead in the conservatory with a lead pipe on the floor next to him, say — the police commence an investigation. When they have probable cause to believe that someone is guilty, the case is taken to a prosecutor, who (in the federal system, and many states) puts it before a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees that there’s probable cause, it indicts. The case goes to trial, where a jury of 12 ordinary citizens hears the evidence. If they judge the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they convict. If they think the accused not guilty — or even simply believe that a conviction would be unjust — they acquit.

Here’s how things all-too-often work today: Law enforcement decides that a person is suspicious (or, possibly, just a political enemy). Upon investigation into every aspect of his/her life, they find possible violations of the law, often involving obscure, technical statutes that no one really knows. They then file a “kitchen-sink” indictment involving dozens, or even hundreds of charges, which the grand jury rubber stamps. The accused then must choose between a plea bargain, or the risk of a trial in which a jury might convict on one or two felony counts simply on a “where there’s smoke there must be fire” theory even if the evidence seems less than compelling.

“Our criminal justice system has become a crime,” Glenn Reynolds, USA Today.

Ken White at Popehat concedes that “the system is broken“. After a year and a half ensnared by poisonous fecal tendrils in the unpumped toxic septic tank of DC “justice”, I don’t think “broken” quite covers it. To any non-American, this system is utterly repulsive. In England, trial by jury replaced trial by ordeal. Somehow America has managed to turn trial by jury into a mere postscript to trial by ordeal. I think it ought to be possible to litigate a 270-word blog post in under 270 weeks. So let’s get on with it.

“Oh, Won’t You Stay-ay-ay Just a Little Bit Longer?”, Mark Steyn at SteynOnline.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

[A] phalanx of progressive reformers saw the home as the front line in the war to transform men into compliant social organs. Often the answer was to get children out of the home as quickly as possible. An archipelago of agencies, commissions, and bureaus sprang up overnight to take the place of the anti-organic, contra-evolutionary influences of the family. The home could no longer be seen as an island, separate and sovereign from the rest of society. John Dewey helped create kindergartens in America for precisely this purpose—to shape the apples before they fell from the tree—while at the other end of the educational process stood reformers like [Woodrow] Wilson, who summarized the progressive attitude perfectly when, as president of Princeton, he told an audience, “Our problem is not merely to help the students to adjust themselves to world life…[but] to make them as unlike their fathers as we can.”

— From Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book, Liberal Fascism.

“Suddenly everyone stood – began to applaud – to cheer – and to smile. The children waved. In a box to the right – smiling and applauding the audience – as well as the artists on the stage – stood the great Stalin. I remember the tears began to quietly flow. and I too smiled and waved. Here was clearly a man who seemed to embrace all. So kindly – I can never forget that warm feeling of kindliness and also a feeling of sureness. Here was one who was wise and good – the world and especially the socialist world was fortunate indeed to have his daily guidance. I lifted high my son Pauli to wave to this world leader, and his leader. For Paul, Jr. had entered school in Moscow, in the land of the Soviets… In all spheres of modern life the influence of Stalin reaches wide and deep. From his last simply written but vastly discerning and comprehensive document, back through the years, his contributions to the science of our world society remain invaluable. One reverently speaks of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin – the shapers of humanity’s richest present and future. Yes, through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage. Most importantly – he has charted the direction of our present and future struggles. He has pointed the way to peace – to friendly co-existence – to the exchange of mutual scientific and cultural contributions – to the end of war and destruction. How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief. But, as he well knew, the struggle continues. So, inspired by his noble example, let us lift our heads slowly but proudly high and march forward in the fight for peace – for a rich and rewarding life for all.”

Paul Robeson in 1953, losing himself in the hallucinogenic reverie of a full Stalingasm.

Flash-forward to today:

Sorry, mom jeans do not a dad make. But Think Progress’s cult worship causes Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon to juxtapose with this:

And as Iowahawk asks, “If they’re my parents, how come I’m the one paying their allowance?”

And if they really are America’s parents, when will they ask their kids to hike up their pants and turn their damn boom boxes off?

Related: Woodrow Wilson, “Schoolmaster to the World,” in which Christopher Caldwell deconstructs the original president who thought it was necessary to destroy America in order to save it. And note how well this quote…

“I shall not be a constitutional governor,” he said, “because there is one thing that a man has to obey over and above the State constitution, and that is his own constitution.”

…Dovetails with Mr. Obama being asked in 2004 by a religion reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times, “what is sin?”, and replying, “Being out of alignment with my values.”

We are the solipsists we’ve been waiting for!

Since at least 1913, come to think of it:

The Obama Administration Declares War

February 28th, 2014 - 5:04 pm


Against Vladimir Putin? Don’t be silly. But the Obama administration is fully prepared to wage maximum war against the enemy within, as Peggy Noonan writes in her latest column:

We are suffering in great part from the politicization of everything and the spread of government not in a useful way but a destructive one. Everyone wants to help the poor, the old and the sick; the safety net exists because we want it. But voters and taxpayers feel bullied, burdened and jerked around, which again is not new but feels more intense every day. Common sense and native wit tell them America is losing the most vital part of itself in the continuing shift of power from private to public. Rules, regulations, many of them stupid, from all the agencies—local, state, federal—on the building of a house, or the starting of a business. You can only employ so many before the new insurance rules kick in so don’t employ too many, don’t take a chance! Which means: Don’t grow. It takes the utmost commitment to start a school or improve an existing one because you’ll come up against the unions, which own the politicians.

It’s all part of the malaise, the sclerosis. So is the eroding end of the idea that religious scruples and beliefs have a high place that must culturally and politically be respected. The political-media complex is bravely coming down on florists with unfashionable views. On Twitter Thursday the freedom-fighter who tweets as @FriedrichHayek asked: “Can the government compel a Jewish baker to deliver a wedding cake on a Saturday? If not why not.” Why not indeed. Because the truly tolerant give each other a little space? On an optimistic note, the Little Sisters of the Poor haven’t been put out of business and patiently await their day in court.

I think a lot of people right now, certainly Republicans and conservatives, feel like a guy in a batting cage taking ball after ball from an automatic pitching machine. He’s hitting the ball and keeping up and suddenly the machine starts going berserk. It’s firing five balls a second, then 10. At first he tries to hit a few. Then he’s just trying to duck, trying not to get hurt.

That’s how people feel about the demands and dictates. The balls keep coming at them politically, locally, culturally. Republicans and conservatives comprise at least half the country. That’s a lot of people.

But they’re the wrong kind of people from the left’s perspective — and as Bertolt Brecht suggested 60 years ago, “would it not be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?”

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Iraq Hussein Obama

February 17th, 2014 - 3:05 pm

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

“John Kerry Calls Climate Change a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction.’”

— ABC News, yesterday.

“Barone Podcast: ‘Obamacare Is Obama’s Iraq War.’”

—Michael Graham, the Weekly Standard, today.

Update: “‘If Democrats are being forced to spend resources in February attacking Obamacare, then this is a very grim foreshadowing of what November will bring,’” said Andrea Bozek, the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.”

And the Gore Effect hits Kerry’s hometown: “snow has fallen on 9 of the first 16 days this month, accumulating up to 20 inches in Boston already with still a ways to go,” CBS-Boston reports.

More: As Jim Geraghty notes on Twitter, “Carbon output of air travel for Kerry’s climate change trip: 12 tons. Average American in one year: about 19 tons.” By Kerry’s own “reasoning,” he’s a WMD himself, as Jefferey D. Dickson tweets.

(Illustration created for Roger L. Simon’s new post today: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love ‘Climate Change.’”)

When Exactly Does the ‘Scramble’ Begin?

February 13th, 2014 - 1:48 pm

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

“MSNBC Scrambles Behind the Scenes to Change Its Vitriolic Culture.”

— Headline, Big Journalism, Sunday.

● “Ed Schultz Slimes Grover Norquist: May Be ‘Race Baiting’ With Anti-Obama Union Ads.”

— Headline, Newsbusters, today.

If there’s anybody race baiting here, it’s of course, Ed Schultz. (Last seen declaring the burned out husk his fellow Democrats  made of Detroit a “conservative utopia.”)  But then, what anchors at MSNBC aren’t engaging in this practice?

So, when exactly does the “scramble” to clean up MSNBC’s racialist culture actually begin?  But then, if MSNBC actually abandoned its efforts at broadcasting Jim Crow TV, what would they have left?Of course, that question could also be asked of the all-racialism-all-the-time Democrats far beyond the walls of the NBC broadcasting studios, as well. Or as John Hinderaker asked at Power Line at the start of the month, “Why is this effort so insistent? Why are we constantly bombarded with allegations of racism, at the very time when actual racism has dwindled to insignificance?”

The motive, it seems obvious, is political. The Democratic Party desperately needs to keep African-American voters on its plantation if it is to have any hope of maintaining power. (Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by 20 points among white voters in 2012, according to some estimates.) Because Americans in their daily lives rarely see evidence of racism, but are often reminded of the ubiquity of affirmative action, liberals in the news media must keep up a constant stream of tales about purported racism in order to create an alternative reality. Sowing racial division is a core strategy of the Democratic Party, and newspapers and magazines are its agents in executing that strategy.

If headlines like this are still popping up in the summer and fall of 2014, expect MSNBC to crank up the racialism to far beyond the  #11 marker on their Marshall stacks.

The Daily Ransom Note Show

February 5th, 2014 - 7:05 pm

“Peter Schiff Slams Daily Show for Dishonest ‘Hit Job,’” Matt Hadro writes at Newsbusters of the Viacom-owned show:

Schiff claimed that the interview was four hours long and that the Daily Show dug up bits and pieces of his answers “to piece together a meticulously edited segment that would portray me in the worst possible light.”

And although the show promised that no answer of his would be edited out of context, Schiff claims they did just that: “In one case, fragments from several unrelated sentences were pieced together to form what seemed to be a continuous statement that I never actually spoke. Statements, made hours apart, were juxtaposed to create the false impression that they were related.”

It’s not the first time the Daily Show has been accused of selective editing. Mollie Hemingway of Ricochet listed grievances voiced by multiple of the show’s interviewees, quite similar to the complaints made by Schiff.

Much more from Noah Rothman of Mediaite, to whom Schiff, a libertarian/conservative financial writer spoke with personally after being sucker-punched by the Daily Show.  And note this:

Along with written assurances from a producer that he would not be taking out of context, Schiff alleges that he was given repeated verbal assurances to that effect over the course of that interview as well.

His hopes were further reinforced when he read a blog post authored by his ideological counterpart in that segment, Barry Ritholtz. The equities analyst revealed on his blog that he was afforded the opportunity by Bee and producers to do multiple takes in order to perfect what he was trying to say.

“All of the answers were recorded following each question in one continuous segment,” Ritholtz wrote. “When I screwed up or ruined a shot, they had to go back to ask the question again, with the response immediately following in the same shot.”

And if that doesn’t work, to sooth the frayed nerves of a friendly leftwing guest, I suppose the Daily Show could always employ the technique that MSNBC appeared to do when it had DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on back in November: Pre-program the desired quote into a teleprompter, the likely cause of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s infamous “Myzled” gaffe.

As for any guests to the right of Barack Obama who appear on the show, be prepared that what goes out on the air may not be what you told the interviewer. Stacy McCain once described the “ransom note editing” technique as “Selective quotation used by political correctoids to dehumanize conservative critics of multicultural groupthink.” It’s a breeze to do so with a text quote, but as NBC has demonstrated on numerous occasions, and now Viacom, it’s certainly easy enough to do so as well with audio and video. This 2012 video from PJTV shows how readily such techniques can be applied by a skilled technician working for a duplicitous employer to produce virtually any result desired:

Of course, there’s a simple solution to conservative guests: contractually demand that you be allowed to bring a video recorder of your own, compare notes afterwards, and publish your results if there’s any discrepancies between what’s on your tape, and theirs.

Update: Welcome readers tuning in from Steyn Online.com — you can help Mark first for the First Amendment by clicking here.

Now is the time when we employ doubleplus crimethink juxtaposition, Animals, Small Dead-style:

As a group of students begins studying for a calculus exam, a white student turns to an Asian peer and says, “Hey, would you mind helping me solve this problem? It’s really difficult, but you can probably do it.” The Asian student agrees to help, but for some reason feels uncomfortable with the way the question was asked.

Is the Asian student being oversensitive? Was the white student subtly and subconsciously displaying racial prejudice against Asians? Could both be true?

According to Dr. Derald Sue, a professor of psychology at Columbia University, the Asian student may have been the victim of a microaggression — an “everyday slight, putdown, indignity, or invalidation unintentionally directed toward a marginalized group.”

Sue has been researching microaggression since 2007 and has written two books on the subject. According to him, the person delivering the microaggression often does not know he’s doing it and might even think he is complimenting the other individual.

“When you try to bring the issue of microaggressions to the attention of people who are completely unaware that they have delivered a microaggression, they get defensive and deny it and tend to say that you’re being paranoid or you’re being oversensitive,” Sue tells me. “Many microaggressions are so subtle that neither target nor perpetrator may entirely understand what is going on.”

According to Sue, there are many types of microaggressions, based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other factor that can make a group “socially marginalized.” These microaggressions can be expressed verbally (as with the white and Asian students), nonverbally (as with a woman clutching her purse when a black man walks by), and environmentally (as with an educational curriculum containing few books by female authors).

“Microaggression — Never heard of it? You may be guilty of it,” Alec Torres, NRO, today.

Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed — would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper — the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

* * * * * * * * *

His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully-constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them; to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy; to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the world ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.

* * * * * * * * *

‘What are the stars?’ said O’Brien indifferently. ‘They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.’

Winston made another convulsive movement. This time he did not say anything. O’Brien continued as though answering a spoken objection:

‘For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?’

— Orwell, George, 1984, written in 1949.

Fortunately, several doors offering multiple exit paths from the Ministry of Love do exist — and the doors will swing wider even further as this form macro-socialist-insanity continues to implode upon itself.

Update: While I quoted from Orwell’s 1984, it occurred to me afterwards this passage from Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism also juxtaposes well the concept of “microagression:”

This is not to say that there are no racist conservatives. But at the philosophical level, liberalism is battling a straw man. This is why liberals must constantly assert that conservatives use code words—because there’s nothing obviously racist about conservatism per se. Indeed, the constant manipulation of the language to keep conservatives—and other non-liberals—on the defensive is a necessary tactic for liberal politics. The Washington, D.C., bureaucrat who was fired for using the word “niggardly” correctly in a sentence is a case in point. The ground must be constantly shifted to maintain a climate of grievance. Fascists famously ruled by terror. Political correctness isn’t literally terroristic, but it does govern through fear. No serious person can deny that the grievance politics of the American left keeps decent people in a constant state of fright—they are afraid to say the wrong word, utter the wrong thought, offend the wrong constituency.

Which I had quoted back in 2012, when another lefty academician had her own form of microagression — by noting that the lunch you packed for your kid’s noontime cafeteria break could also be racist.

Or depending upon your preferences, RINO squishes attack the New York Times, as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, the media’s favorite centrist Republicans, go off on the Gray Lady:

On Thursday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham issued a scathing rebuke of The New York Times and a December article in that paper about the attack in Benghazi, following the release of a Senate report this week that found that the attacks were preventable.

“To my friends at The New York Times: Journalism has died at this paper,” Graham said on the Senate floor Thursday.

The contested article ran in December, the culmination of “Months of investigation,” and it concluded that there was “no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.” Rather, the New York Times concluded: “The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

“Do you really believe this wasn’t a pre-planned terrorist attack with al-Qaida affiliates in charge?” Graham blasted.

“All I can tell you is there is no mystery about who planned this,” Graham said. “It was an al-Qaida affiliate in Libya. And August 16. a cable is sent back from Chris Stevens to Washington at the State Department saying, ‘we can’t defend the consulate because al-Qaida; ten training camps of al-Qaida exist in Benghazi. The al-Qaida flag is flying. And, oh, by the way, the Red Cross had left Benghazi, the British had left Benghazi because of attacks by terrorist groups. This was long before September 11.”

“So don’t tell me don’t know,” Graham continued. “We do know. It was terrorists.”

Sen. John McCain also lit into the New York Times in a floor speech, referring to the paper as “the surrogate of the Obama administration.”

“As Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts.’ The facts are stubborn things. In reality, what the Times report does is propagate myths.”

McCain called the New York Times article a “false narrative,” that conveniently “happens to align with the Obama administration’s account of things.”

Gee, If McCain would have only figured that out six years ago, he wouldn’t be uttering the words “the Obama administration” today.

Related: “National Propaganda Radio: Subject of NPR O-care success story is Dem cheerleader.” Plus now is the time that Ace juxtaposes:

Judy Woodruff to Gates: Doesn’t Your Tell-All Decrease Troop Morale?
Matt Lauer to Gates: Doesn’t Your Tell-All Represent a Dishonorable Betrayal?
Katie Couric to Gates: Aren’t You a Dick?

Why, it’s as if the media coordinate to move in lockstep or something.

Noah Cross Could Not Be Reached For Comment

January 10th, 2014 - 10:47 am

“L.A. Faces Spate of Public Corruption Resignations,” Breitbart News reports:

A spate of public corruption resignations has hit Los Angeles, with longtime county sheriff Lee Baca stepping down amidst accusations regarding jail brutality, hiring of personal friends, and inclusion in the sheriff’s department of criminal rejects from other departments. Eighteen of Baca’s deputies have been charged federally. Baca may remain with the Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff, despite the fact that he is 71 years old.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power general manager Ron Nichols announced his own resignation on Thursday after failing to show how two nonprofit trusts created with the DWP’s biggest union blew $40 million dollars over the last decade. Nichols has not explained where the money went, even though he oversaw the nonprofit slush funds. Nichols also was in charge of a $162 million computerized billions system, which sent tens of thousands of inaccurate bills to customers, and grabbed cash from people’s bank accounts erroneously.

Imagine how much more we’d be hearing about stories such as these if Los Angeles had a hometown newspaper dedicated to smaller and less crony-corporatist government?

Related: “There’s Already 17 Times More Coverage on Christie Scandal Than in Last Six Months of IRS.”

And from Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler, “There’s a Scandal Brewing in Colorado, But It Involves a Democrat, So It’ll Die Quickly.”

Update: Now is the time when Small Dead Animals juxtaposes.

Antediluvian Obamacare

January 9th, 2014 - 11:38 am

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

The Berkeley- and Princeton-educated professor, for example, turned grammar lessons on the intricacies of the German language into claims that universal healthcare, or “allgemeine Gesundheitsversorgung” (a phrase Benjamin took many opportunities to write on the board), as the savior of the American public. According to the professor, Obamacare will insure and take care of the poor, viewed by Benjamin as a group of people utterly neglected in America.

One day, when he was in one of his particularly brazen and jaded moods, Benjamin went so far as to have students raise their hands if they planned on signing up for the exchange – adding that students’ answers will not impact their grades.

When the room was left with idle, stationary hands, Benjamin appeared shocked and a bit speechless. He told us: “You might want to take a little longer and examine the great benefits of Obamacare before you make decisions. That’s all I have to say.”

When our instructor wasn’t writing out unnecessarily long German words on the blackboard, or taking an unorthodox classroom survey, he espoused his views on Europe’s “superior” healthcare system, saying it’s fantastic because it’s “free.”

Benjamin went on to explain that once the “few errors” are worked out with the healthcare.gov website, Obamacare should be a well-oiled, beneficial machine.

Lest you think he made such remarks with a smirk, be assured – all of his lines were delivered with a hawkish seriousness. Sometimes in English, often in German – always deadpan.

“My German Professor Made Verbal Love To Obamacare,” Emma Colton, the College Fix, Tuesday.

Simply put, the digitization of social interaction, economic transaction, the political process and everything in between is decentralizing the world, moving it in the opposite direction of the massive centralization of Obamacare. But nobody needs a federal bureaucrat to tell him what health insurance to buy when anybody with an Internet connection can simultaneously solicit bids from dozens of competing providers, pay the winner via electronic fund transfer, manage the claims process with a laptop, consult with physicians and other medical specialists via email, and even be operated on remotely by surgeons on the other side of the globe. Rather than imposing a top-down, command-economy, welfare-state health care model with roots in Otto von Bismarck‘s Germany of 1881, a 21st century government would ask what is needed to apply to health care access the Internet’s boundless capacity to empower individual choice.

— “Obamacare is a 19th-century answer to a 21st-century question,” Washington Examiner editorial, July 19, 2013, in a post of ours titled, “Breathe Deep, the Spenglerian Doom.”

This popularization of German philosophy in the United States is of peculiar interest to me because I have watched it occur during my own intellectual lifetime, and I feel a little like someone who knew Napoleon when he was six. I have seen value relativism and its concomitants grow greater in the land than anyone imagined. Who in 1920 would have believed that Max Weber’s technical sociological terminology would someday be the everyday language of the United States, the land of the Philistines, itself in the meantime become the most powerful nation in the world? The self-understanding of hippies, yippies, yuppies, panthers, prelates and presidents has unconsciously been formed by German thought of a half-century earlier; Herbert Marcuse’s accent has been turned into a Middle Western twang; the echt Deutsch label has been replaced by a Made in America label; and the new American life-style has become a Disneyland version of the Weimar Republic for the whole family.

The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students, Allan Bloom, 1987.

The Ultimate Surrender

December 27th, 2013 - 11:19 am

obamacare_pajamas_boy_as_che_12-22-13-3

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

So-called liberals of the so-called progressive variety are now the status quo. They’re the reactionaries, clinging to their outmoded economic theories, their debunked social models, their blinkered opinions, and their unaffordable entitlements. They’re the ones who have sown resentment, envy and division, and made ambition and advancement dirty words. They want you to live for everyone but yourself. If that is the life you choose, so be it; but to force that preference on others is not compassion, it’s tyranny.

Young people once looked forward to the day they would escape the family home and forge their own path through life. Holding down a job, managing their finances and taking responsibility for their actions were what defined them as adults. And a society of such people, working together, was the cornerstone of Western civilisation. But for the past few decades, the Left has sold us a different dream. They have promised to look after the boring admin of life, so we might set off on its great adventure, like Georgian gentlemen embarking on Grand Tours. Even if this vision had not soured to a living nightmare, it would have still been profoundly dehumanising. Coping with the vagaries of life is life. It’s how we express our individuality and become more mature, rounded human beings. By seeking to liberate us from life’s challenges, the Left has turned us into a nation of children, trapped in a shabby, impoverished society, the primary function of which is to subsidise its least productive members.

—Russell Taylor, “We Are the Radicals Now,” the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, yesterday.

“I am a Liberal Fuck,” Krupp wrote in one post. “A Liberal Fuck is not a Democrat, but rather someone who combines political data and theory, extreme leftist views and sarcasm to win any argument while make the opponents feel terrible about themselves. I won every argument but one.”

Krupp then detailed the only political argument he claimed her ever lost, a drunken encounter he had with a “conservative gay prick.”

“I sat in a pizza joint, chomping on meat-heavy pizza and slamming whisky sours with gay guys on Pride Parade day in Columbus, Ohio; My gay roommate and friends loved to ironically ‘bro-out.’ I love gays because they are all liberal fucks too,” Krupp wrote.

“Someone mentions politics and everyone perks up, distracted from the whisky. Equal rights get first dibs, followed by education and then sassy comments about closeted Republicans. Feeding off the energy, I introduce abortion: ‘Old men controlling women’s bodies.’ The guy who’s stayed silent, Chip, joins the conversation,” Krupp wrote.

Krupp claimed that he at first told Chip, a conservative on the abortion issue, that his “ignorant views come from his biological disregard toward pregnancy,” prompting Chip to explain a procedure by which fetuses can be removed from the womb, grown elsewhere, then given up for adoption.

“The whisky yelled at Chip for being a terrible gay man. Chip smirked, knowing full well he won the argument,” Krupp wrote. “To this day, I haven’t fact checked Chip’s scientific report. Beyond the women’s rights implications, I’m afraid it would be the ultimate surrender if I knew the truth. No matter, the liberal fuck lost to the conservative gay prick that day; one rode off into the sunset, the other ordered another whisky.”

Krupp’s parents, an accountant and an attorney, are “Chicago Machine Democrats,” according to a source.

“Obamacare’s Pajama Boy: ‘I am a liberal f***’”, Patrick Howley, the Daily Caller, today.

“It’s funny when stereotypes self-confirm,” the Insta-professor adds, linking to the above article, and noting that Krupp’s “Most self-revelatory remark” was admitting, “I’m afraid it would be the ultimate surrender if I knew the truth.”

Which sounds very much like what an Obamacare aficionado who was shocked to discover that she was losing her better health plan recently told the New York Times:

“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

As Yuval Levin responded at the Corner, “Answer first, question second. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad and serious” — which also sums up the existential plight that Footie Pajamas Boy has trapped himself in as well.

(Taylor’s article found via Kathy Shaidle. Artwork at top of post originally created for Victor Davis Hanson’s new article at PJM, “Pajama Boy Nation.”)

Related: “From Duck Dynasty to F— Dynasty” — now is the time when Steve Hayward of Power Line juxtaposes Footie Pajamas Boy and Duck Dynasty’s pater familias.

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

Since the very first stirrings of the 2008 campaign, The Times has exhaustively and aggressively covered nearly every aspect of Barack Obama’s story. To suggest that we’ve pulled our punches or tilted coverage in his favor or against his opponents just is not supported by the facts.

New York Times political editor Richard Stevenson, June 1st, 2012.

Today is a red-letter day for the New York Times. For the first time, the paper has reported in its news section that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright once uttered the phrase “God damn America.” Wright’s comments were widely reported and widely discussed beginning with an ABC News report six months ago. Barack Obama even had to give a much-publicized speech because of those words, and others. But the newspaper of record has never seen fit to publish Wright’s quote in its news pages. Until today.

—Byron York, National Review Online, September 24th, 2008.

Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.

Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. [On at least 36 separate occasions -- Ed]

—The New York Times, November 1st, 2013.

And now, to the present day:

The New York Times is starting to get a bit nervous about this health care law thing.

Ginger Chapman and her husband, Doug, are sitting on the health care cliff.
The cheapest insurance plan they can find through the new federal marketplace in New Hampshire will cost their family of four about $1,000 a month, 12 percent of their annual income of around $100,000 and more than they have ever paid before.

Even more striking, for the Chapmans, is this fact: If they made just a few thousand dollars less a year — below $94,200 — their costs would be cut in half, because a family like theirs could qualify for federal subsidies.

So much so that they’re now gingerly starting to tell their readers what you and I already know: “While the act clearly[*] benefits those at the low end of the income scale — and rich people can continue to afford even the most generous plans — people like the Chapmans are caught in the uncomfortable middle: not poor enough for help, but not rich enough to be indifferent to cost.” I welcome this sudden decision by the New York Times to join us here in Reality Non-Unicorn, and hope that they enjoy their visit.  Indeed, the Old Grey Lady is more than welcome to settle here permanently.

—”New York Times *finally* tells its readers: #Obamacare is awful for the middle class,” Moe Lane, today.

Back in 2004, Daniel Okrent, then the paper’s ombudsman warned his readers, “Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? Of course it is,” but do who get their news solely from the Times have any idea how cocooned they are?

Building on the now infamous cri de coeur uttered by one of the Times’ core readers when her health insurance cancellation notice arrived in the mail, Bill Kristol writes in the latest edition of the Weekly Standard that it’s the job of the right to help end the sort of epistemic closure that the Times specializes in:

“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

Ms. Sweeney’s statement-and-question says it all. It’s the voice of liberalism in the age of Obama. She’s for Obamacare, but didn’t know what it was. Now, Ms. Sweeney realizes (sort of) that she’s been mugged by reality. But she’s not quite ready to come to grips with reality. She’s not quite ready to press charges against Obama, or against liberalism.

But at least she’s asking a reality-based question.

In 2014, it’s the job of conservatism, and of the Republican party, to answer Ms. Sweeney’s question. It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to explain the reality of Obamacare—that it’s bad for health care, bad for jobs, and bad for freedom. It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to offer escapes from Obamacare, to the extent possible (see the piece by Jeffrey H. Anderson and Spencer Cowan in this issue). It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to set forth workable alternatives to Obamacare for the future, as Paul Ryan and others intend to do early in the new year.

And it’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to press charges. It’s their job to make the case against Obamacare on the broadest possible terms, as an example—as the example—of unintended-consequences-producing, rule-of-law-undermining, freedom-denying, big-government, liberal social-engineering. Obamacare embodies liberalism’s fatal conceit. It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to make it liberalism’s fatal overreach.

So, to answer Ms. Sweeney’s question: The reality of it is that Obamacare is a disaster. And it’s a disaster because, as Margaret Thatcher put it, “The facts of life are conservative.”

But as we’ve mentioned before, Obamacare is the first time that many on the left have had their tightly-woven cocoon violated by reality. Between now and at least the end of 2016, it won’t be the last. And they’ll also have the “fun” of the incoming de Blasio administration to deal with as well…

Sign Up Now for EloiCare!

December 18th, 2013 - 1:33 pm

Looking more nearly into their features, I saw some further peculiarities in their Dresden-china type of prettiness. Their hair, which was uniformly curly, came to a sharp end at the neck and cheek; there was not the faintest suggestion of it on the face, and their ears were singularly minute. The mouths were small, with bright red, rather thin lips, and the little chins ran to a point. The eyes were large and mild; and—this may seem egotism on my part—I fancied even that there was a certain lack of the interest I might have expected in them.

—H. G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895)

In Mark Steyn’s 2010 book, After America, Steyn uses H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and his central futuristic races, the Eloi and the Morlocks, as a leitmotif for America in the 21st century. As Mark writes, while H.G. Wells pictured the Eloi and Morlocks as existing 800,000 years into the future, one need only observe America in 2013 to witness the sexless Eloi at play, “an attenuated, emaciated coastal elite nibbling arugula in Malibu and Martha’s Vineyard,” except when pressed into service for their leader to promote his health insurance plan, as you’ve undoubtedly seen by now:

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Declaring “Pajama Boy is the New Julia,” Rush Limbaugh brilliantly juxtaposes Onesie Boy along side the SpokesEloi’s two favorite, and equally sexless TV hosts:

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That could be Rachel Maddow, if you wanted it to be. It could be Chris Hayes, if you wanted it to be. It could be John Podesta, if you wanted it to be.  It couldn’t be Bill Clinton, that’s one thing.  It could not be Clint Eastwood, couldn’t be John Wayne.  It’s not Bob Beckel.  It’s not me.  Not Mr. Snerdley.  The point is, folks, this is their target for getting young people to sign up for Obamacare.

This is the target, and we will look at this and think, “Oh, my God.”  We will think, “OMG!” in all caps, exclamation point. “Oh, my God!” We’ll look at this that way, and I’m just cautioning you to remember the Julia ad because we had the same reaction, and the Julia ad was a huge score for the Regime with its target audience, women.  This could be, too.  But it’s a different era. We’ve had a year go by.

When the Julia ad came out, there was no bloom off the rose.  Obama still was The Messiah.  Nobody had lost their health insurance.  The Republicans were, it was thought, still conducting this War on Women.  Well, idiot jackals out there still believe that.  So you cannot look at that and not cringe and laugh and, “Oh, my gosh! My country, this?  Oh, no.”

So is the White House trolling conservatives with the above ad, hoping that the backlash against their backlash will work against them? Or do they really think that’s an effective image of the ideal consumer of their product?

Or to narrow it down even further — what are they thinking?

Related: “Real Question from White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl [of ABC]: “Is anybody going to buy health care because ‘Barack Obreezy’ tells them to buy it, because it’s hot?”

Update: Great minds think alike: “Grow up? Why bother? Life is so much easier when you know absolutely nothing of it,” Michael Walsh writes. “It’s enough to make you root for the Morlocks.”

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

“Someone Remake ‘Escape from New York,’ Please.”

—Film writer Gerardo Valero, Roger Ebert.com, December 5th.

“Manhattan Apartment Rents Drop for a Third Straight Month.”

— Headline at Bloomberg.com (appropriately enough), yesterday.

Meanwhile, “Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio went down to Washington, D.C. today to meet with President Barack Obama, emerging emboldened that a ‘progressive movement’ was sweeping the nation,” the New York Observer’s spinoff “Politicker” Website reports today. The backlash in response in the article’s comment section is astonishing and well worth your time perusing — but hey, Newsweek assured me the country had already gone full socialist, back in January of 2009. They were telling the truth, right?

I swear, if I thought Newsweek was lying to me, I’d flush my copy down the toilet at once!

Santa Claus Conquers the Fluorocarbons

December 10th, 2013 - 8:31 pm

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at Santa’s dilemma. “In a rather dark video by Greenpeace, Santa Claus warns children that Christmas might be canceled because of global warming,” Alec Torres writes at the Corner:

Jim Carter of Downton Abbey plays a dirty and bedraggled Santa Claus speaking directly to the camera in a dark room as lights flicker and water drips from the ceiling to puddles on the floor.

“Dear children, regrettably I bring bad tidings,” the video begins. “For some time now, melting ice here in the North Pole has made our operations and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible and there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas.”

Santa then tells the children that he has written to every world leader, including Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, and that he has put them on his naughty list because of their indifference. Santa continues, “My home in the arctic is fast disappearing, and unless we all act urgently, then I have to warn you of the possibility of an empty stocking forevermore.”

The video ends urging people to go to savesantashome.org and sign the petition to protect the Arctic. “The North Pole is only a frozen ocean and it’s melting away faster and faster,” the website says. “His warehouse is flooded. All the presents are ruined.”

Ahh, the latest of the 1,327,239 attempts to either use kids as human shields for anti-global psychodrama, or to invoke their legacy as to why Something. Must. Be. Done. Now. Because we only have [INSERT RANDOMLY CHOSEN TIME FRAME HERE] to save the world.

It’s all so rote and reactionary at this point.

What I find intriguing is the double-track thinking going on here. Perhaps Carter simply thought, “Eh, a paycheck is a paycheck,” which would be understandable on some level. But assuming he’s a true believer, how does he go from one afternoon declaring the end of the world, and then the next morning going back to the arc lights,  gasoline-powered generators, and catering trucks of the set of Downtown Abbey? And behind the camera, do the people who wrote the script for this little bit of doomsday mongering realize how crazy they sound? Particularly after their video was juxtaposed by Matt Drudge today:

COLDEST NIGHT IN 18 YEARS...

GREENPEACE: Santa Warns Christmas Will Be Canceled Due To 'Global Warming'...

And as Steve Hayward at Power Line writes, that’s on top of the “Climate Headline of the Decade,” which Drudge ran yesterday:

drudge_headline_12-9-13-1

But to follow on from the previous post, it’s awfully tough to assuage a true believer of his religious faith. As Michael Crichton observed in 2003, “I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form.”

Ready to do battle with Christmas. And yes Virginia, in sharp contrast to the New York Sun of 1897, the enviro-zealots at the Washington Post are eager to spoil your Christmas as well.

Earlier: For the first two thirds of the 20th century, there was a more-or-less shared optimism concerning the future, despite two world wars, FDR’s Depression, and the Cold War. I wonder if today’s kids realize they’re growing up in “Progressive” culture shaped by 40 years of misery and despair, if their parents have truly internalized that we have five years, ten years, or whatever timetable Big Oil Spokesman Al Gore is shilling these days, to “save the earth.”

From 2008 through the fall of this year, the legacy media sacrificed their reputations and their readership to go out in a  götterdämmerung of what they imagined to be glory, to help elect and then prop up Barack Obama, whom they saw as the next FDR — the next president to subject the country to years of a Depression almost as bad as the one that the legacy media had inflicted upon themselves.

Which is why now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style, to illustrate the challenges of Stayin’ Alive in the Hopenchange era:

Conde [Nast] laid off Julian Sanchez yesterday amid more cuts in its digital properties.  Conde is in an especially bad place with the web:  their core competency is selling beautiful, glossy ad pages that readers enjoy looking at.  This does not translate well to a digital format, and it’s hard to make your company over overnight.

A bunch of my journalist friends and I have decided that our new toast is “to 2010″.  2009 has so far been pretty disappointing for almost everyone I know, not to mention the country for which we all have great affection.

— Megan McArdle, April of 2009.

Today, with the reputation of old media shattered, how is the namesake program of the president they sacrificed their credibility to promote doing?

Here are a few things I think we can say: It’s working better now than it was two months ago; we don’t know whether that’s good enough; and the fact that the administration is choosing odd metrics, such as comparing the performance of the site to October rather than how you’d actually like it to perform, is probably not a happy omen. (As I believe Scott Adams once noted, irrelevant comparisons are a great favorite of salesmen with mediocre products. “Sure, 37 mph isn’t great for a sports car, but you have to compare that to hopping!”)

And I do think this tells us something else important: The administration has given up on success, as it might once have defined it. The object is no longer 7 million people signed up through the exchanges, with 2.7 million of them young and healthy, and the health-care cost curve bending back toward the earth. It is to keep the program alive until 2015.

— “Obamacare’s New Goal: Stay Alive Until 2015,” Megan McArdle, today.

Or perhaps 2017, as Allahpundit writes today:

Stay the course, in other words. It’ll all pay off eventually! — even if “eventually” means 2017 or later. “[V]oters will grasp that one side is trying to solve our health care problems,” insists Greg Sargent, “while the other is trying to sabotage all solutions while advancing no constructive answers of their own.” Will they, though? I usually stay away from ObamaCare/Iraq analogies, but I’m thinking a big “well, what would you do about Saddam?” campaign by the GOP in 2006 wouldn’t have done much to hold back the Democratic wave in November. If you screw up so badly that the public comes to believe you’ve made an already bad situation worse with your “fix,” blaming the other party for obstruction won’t help you. Democrats are betting, I guess, that this new PR push will help convince people that O-Care hasn’t made things worse, but if you can remember another instance of an Obama publicity campaign succeeding, let me know.

Of course, if its kludged together rat trap Website leads to you believe that Obamacare sucks now, “Wait until it actually starts ‘working,’” Michael Graham warns.

It’s Structural

November 27th, 2013 - 4:10 pm

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

It is an irony of our history that the political home of black racism in American politics is also the historical political home of white racism: the Democratic Party.

— Kevin D. Williamson, What Doomed Detroit.

Indeed:™

skip_gates_racism_structural_11-26-13

The late Coleman Young could not be reached for comment; neither could the current mayor of Monticello, NY, Gordon Jenkins. Neither could the president, come to think of it:

It’s structural.

Related: “People believe what they see.”