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Ed Driscoll

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM’s Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly Standard.com, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.

Talk About Burying the Lede

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Teachers unions have their panties in a bunch over the new issue of Time magazine, the Daily Caller reports:

The feud between unionized teachers and Time magazine is continuing, with the country’s second-largest teachers union planning a demonstration outside the publication’s New York City headquarters on Thursday afternoon.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which has about 1.5 million members, launched a petition effort against Time last week over a cover reading “Rotten Apples: It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher. Some tech millionaires may have found a way to change that.”

The cover was paired with a lead story focused on efforts by education reformers, funded by wealthy businessmen, to weaken teacher tenure and otherwise make it easier to fire inept educators. The AFT claims the cover “cast[s] teachers as ‘rotten apples’ needing to be smashed by Silicon Valley millionaires with no experience in education.” The petition, which demands that Time apologize, has collected some 90,000 signatures already and may soon pass 100,000.

To send its message home, AFT president Randi Weingarten will be leading a protest on Thursday afternoon at Time’s headquarters. Accompanied by Michael Mulgrew, the head of New York City’s teachers union, and a collection of other teachers and parents, Weingarten will be dropping off tens of thousands of petitions at TIME’s Midtown office at 3 p.m.

In an effort to shame the news magazine, AFT has also been organizing a collective social media protest using the hashtag #TIMEtoApologize, which will be promoted at the same time Weingarten’s multitude delivers the petitions.

Talk about burying the lede. Isn’t the real news here that seemingly for the first time since Republican founder Henry Luce permanently left the Time-Life building in 1967, Time magazine — until recently a subsidiary of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO — has (a) actually committed journalism and (b) wrote damaging news about a key constituency of the left? Presumably though, the shrieking freakout response from the teachers unions will be enough to cause Time into going another half century resuming their role as de facto Democrat operatives with bylines.

Posted at 7:13 pm on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Obama’s Frat-House Statecraft

“The silliness of President Mom Jeans calling an Israeli special forces veteran ‘chickens–t’ was what first dominated the reactions of the Obama administration’s frat-house taunts directed at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Seth Mandel writes at Commentary:

But the larger strategic impact of the insult, as passed through what Matthew Continetti has termed the “secretarial” press, this time via Jeffrey Goldberg, soon became apparent. And it has now been confirmed by a major story in the Wall Street Journal.

* * * * * * * * *

The Obama administration, then, has been carrying out its preferred policy: aligning with Iran in the Middle East. Now, this isn’t exactly surprising, since the administration has more or less telegraphed its pitches. Obama has also long been a doormat for the world’s tyrants, so adding Iran to the list that already includes states like Russia and Turkey adds a certain cohesiveness to White House policy.

Obama’s infamous and towering ignorance of world affairs, especially in the Middle East, has always made this latest faceplant somewhat predictable. The Looney-Tunes outburst at Netanyahu was not, but it teaches us two important things about Obama.

First, those who wanted to support Obama but had no real case for him in 2008 went with the idea that he had a “presidential temperament.” Those folks now look quite foolish–though that’s nothing new. Obama has a temperament ill suited for any activity not readily found on frat row.

Which also neatly describes his speechwriters and his cabinet members as well:

Mr. Kerry is vocal and forceful in internal debates, officials said, but he frequently gets out of sync with the White House in his public statements. White House officials joke that he is like the astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the movie “Gravity,” somersaulting through space, untethered to the White House.

Aides to Mr. Kerry reject that portrait, saying he dials into White House meetings from the road and is heavily involved in the policy process. A long memo he wrote on the Islamic State, they said, has become the administration’s playbook for combating the group.

Yeah, that’s working out swimmingly. As far as Kerry as an astronaut, I just can’t see it myself:

 

Related: “In retrospect Romney’s foreign-policy chops from 2012 are looking spot-on, while Obama’s are looking kinda . . . chickenshit.” Hey, America rejected having grown-ups at the helm in both 2008 and 2012. What did they think was going to happen as a result?

Update:

Posted at 4:19 pm on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Populism’s Hard When You Don’t Like the People

The leftwing New Republic on sexist Massachusetts leftists:

Finally, there’s the nasty matter of sexism. Historically, Massachusetts doesn’t like female candidates. And, for all the plaudits showered on the Commonwealth’s voters for overcoming their seeming misogyny by sending Elizabeth Warren to the Senate two years ago, the fact is that Warren is a political superstar. We’ll know Massachusetts has reached true gender equality when its female hacks stand as good a chance as its male ones.

Not to be confused with Democrats in Pennsylvania, who in 2008 were declared racist by their fellow leftists at the Huffington Post:

But now there are two and we’re facing Pennsylvania and whom are we kidding? This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

And don’t get would-be Texas Governor Wendy Davis started on those rubes in her home state:

Jon Stewart tossed the softest of softballs at her. He played up anti-voter ID propaganda as if it’s fact, but hey, he had his clown nose on when he was telling that lie.

The trained audience booed at the mere mention of Greg Abbott’s name. Unluckily for Davis, none of them actually get to vote in Texas.*

Davis mocks the state that she wants to make her its governor at the end of this clip. Stewart notes that a college ID is not a valid form of ID for voting, but a gun permit is.

Davis laughs. “Welcome to Texas!” she fires back in scorn.

And that should be that for the Texas election. Wendy Davis really has just been on an MSNBC audition tour all this time.

As Ricochet’s Troy Senik has noted, “Populism’s Hard When You Don’t Like the People.”

Think of the New Republic quote at the start of this post as a coming attractions teaser, and get ready for two years — possibly followed by four to eight years! — of leftists who spent the last six years telling you’re racist for not supporting Barack Obama telling you you’re sexist for not supporting Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren.

Very likely the same leftists. Forward!

Related: Michelle Malkin on “Up in Flames: The spectacular self-immolation of the Wendy R. Davis gubernatorial campaign.”

Posted at 2:56 pm on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘The NARAL Cory Gardner Ad, in Full’

“Forget the Wendy Davis wheelchair ad. NARAL, an extreme pro-abortion group, just nominated its own entry for worst campaign ad of 2014,” the Federalist notes:

The new NARAL ad in Colorado suggests that Cory Gardner wants to ban condoms. Not just the pill, but condoms. Because nothing says “I want to ban birth control” like wanting to make birth control…available over-the-counter without a prescription.

According to NARAL, wanting to make birth control over-the-counter is the same as banning it, and that will cause condoms, which are also available over-the-counter, to disappear entirely from stores. Or something.

* * * * * * * * *

In all seriousness, congratulations to NARAL for airing what might be the dumbest ad of 2014. According to the Real Clear Politics poll average in Colorado, Gardner leads Democratic Sen. Mark Udall by 3 percentage points.

At the NRO Corner, Charles C. W. Cooke has an exclusive Iowahawk-style satiric transcript of the extended rough cut version of the ad; the following is merely a small sample:

With Colorado’s airwaves packed in the final days of the state’s Senate race, NARAL had to cut down its last-ditch anti-Cory Gardner advertisement for length. The full version, as obtained by National Review:

Woman: Did you try Whole Foods?

Man: Of course.

Woman: Grocery store?

Man: Sold out.

Woman: Farmer’s market?

Man: Come on.

Woman: So everyone’s sold out of ramen noodles? How did this happen?

Man: With that personhood decree, Cory Gardner banned anything that could hurt an unborn child. And now, we’re starving. Alcohol was just the start. Raw meat? Cory banned it. Seafood? Gone. No more pâté, fruit, Caesar dressing, sushi . . .

Woman: That one hurts the most.

Man: . . . eggs, Tiramisu, coffee. After food stamps were abolished. I had to eat those old Pell Grant applications just to stay alive. Sometimes I envy Barack Obama. At least they feed him on Elba.

So Colorado leftists fear that Gardner will turn Colorado into a cross between California and New York! Rocky Mountain hipsters — who presumably have lurking within them the deep-seated nanny state urge to “ban everything and then ban it again” that manifests itself once they become elected officials should love the guy — or at least the fantasy hologram they’ve built of him.

Posted at 1:21 pm on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Debunking The MSM’s Myth of Michael Brown, Gentle Giant (Video)

“Ben Shapiro exposes the truth behind the media-created myth of Gentle Giant Michael Brown, the unarmed teen gunned down in cold blood by a white racist cop for the crime of walking while black. Except that every part of that story is a lie,” Breitbart TV notes.

Haven’t we seen this playbook in action before from the media-industrial-Obama complex? Why, yes we have:

And yes, all of the above would be described by those who’ve manufactured the myths of Brown and Martin as “Hate Facts,” to borrow from Greg Gutfeld’s brilliant description of the MSM’s Orwellian overculture.

Posted at 1:02 pm on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

What Could Go Wrong?

“PBS To Bring Pages Of The Atlantic To TV,” Betsy Rothstein writes at the Daily Caller:

Everyone is “thrilled” and “excited.”

“We’re excited to see our stories brought to broadcast, and honored to be working with the NewsHour to make it happen,” says James Bennet, The Atlantic’s President and Editor-in-Chief. “No one in the business cares more about journalistic integrity and depth.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with The Atlantic, leaders in thought-provoking journalism. We share a commitment to finding fascinating stories about our world and giving them the time and the space to tell them well, on air, online and in print,” says Sara Just, Executive Producer of PBS NewsHour, who has just joined the program in this capacity.

The shows write themselves, don’t they? Will PBS and the Atlantic team up to go spelunking in Sarah Palin’s uterus one last time? Will Charlie Rose and Jeffrey Goldberg co-host a broadcast to egg each other on to describe which is man is more clueless about Barack Obama’s foreign policy and worldview? Who will host the show which explores how “unexpectedly” Venezuela went down the tubes under socialist Hugo Chavez? In any case, the boilerplate PBS fundraiser should certainly make for much more interesting viewer when combined with a half-hour star-studded plug for Scientology.

PBS and the Atlantic — it’s a match made in PC purgatory.

Posted at 12:38 pm on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Gray Lady Seeks Fainting Couch After Meeting Flyover Country ‘Bumpkins’

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“The NYT has had enough of you bumpkins deciding elections,” Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air on Mark Leibovitch’s “Bumpkinification of the Midterm Elections,” which, as we mentioned yesterday, reveals far more about the worldview of the author and his publication than the GOP candidates such as Joni Ernst and Mike McFadden that he profiles. As Jazz writes:

Leon Wolf, writing at Redstate, has a fairly effective takedown of these attacks, identifying the fact that what these elite culture warriors truly hate more than anything else is having to live on a patch of land which is attached to the flyover states where the annoying, unwashed masses reside. But more to the point, it should be noted that these campaign messages are effective for a reason, and it’s not a negative one. These “bumpkins” which Leibovitch so casually dismisses as being unworthy of participating in a modern democracy are, in fact, representative of a large swath of the nation. There are still people who actually live in farm country and maintain the values he so cheerily derides. There are people working in factories and mills – at least those few who can still find jobs – and get up every day worrying about problems which probably seem quaint, if not fictional, to those who spend their lives living in Manhattan, D.C. or Hollywood.

If Joni Ernst does pull this off and win on Tuesday, the commentariat may have learned a valuable lesson. Advertisements featuring people working on farms, castrating hogs, emptying trash cans or nailing shingles on the roofs of homes actually do work, and not because the viewers are stupid bumpkins. It’s because real people would prefer to be represented in Congress by someone who understands and can relate to their own lives.

Sorry, not holding my breath on that one, Jazz. As somebody said on Twitter the other day, Republicans are Charlie Brown, Democrats are Lucy; and they’re not going to stop pulling back the football at the last second no matter how much it alienates everyone else. The coastal elite Democrats’  hatred of flyover country is a cultural divide that transcends political parties and goes back decades — just ask Lyndon Johnson.

Posted at 11:40 am on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘The Emotional Equivalent of Song-Dynasty Foot-Binding’

Kevin Williamson pens a devastating profile of actress Lena Dunham:

“I think I may be the voice of my generation.” So says Lena Dunham in the role of her alter ego, Hannah Horvath, in the first episode of Girls, the HBO series she has been writing and starring in since 2012. The scene is classic Dunham, if we can use “classic” to describe a phenomenon of such recent vintage. The basic sentiment is there in plain English, but it must be qualified, run through the irony dicer until it is practically a Cubist representation of the original, and held at a comfortable distance. Dunham very clearly does want to be considered the voice of her generation, as her recently published memoir — Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” — makes unmistakably clear; in fact, she has been hailed as precisely that by Time, Glamour, Today, and others. But she cannot say that herself — not with a straight face, not in Brooklyn. Instead, the line is assigned to her alter ego, who is at the time of the utterance high as a Georgia pine on opium tea and trying to convince her parents to keep supporting her financially. Having delivered the line, Hannah retreats into uncomfortable self-awareness, adding: “Or a voice of a generation.” As a literary stratagem — laying down a marker in the popular culture without making herself vulnerable to accusations that she might be taking herself too seriously — the maneuver is transparent. It is far more troubling that she uses the same technique in real life, for matters much more serious than the plot of Girls: Specifically, she uses it in her memoir to accuse a man of rape without having to take responsibility for the accusation.

* * * * * * * * * *

She did not get this way by accident; she got this way because the series of economic and intellectual cloisters in which she has lived her life have functioned as the emotional equivalent of Song-dynasty foot-binding: Intended to bring her nearer to perfection, they have instead left her disfigured and disabled. Her ambition is palpable, but fashion dictates that she forswear ambition: She describes her memoir as her answer to Helen Gurley Brown’s Having It All: Love, Success, Sex, Money Even if You’re Starting with Nothing, which of course Dunham purchased ironically from the inevitable “dusty shelf” of a hipster-haunted thrift shop, where it sat next to a copy of Miss Piggy’s autobiography. But Helen Gurley Brown of Green Forest, Ark., who lost her father at ten to an elevator accident and a sister to polio a few years later, did in fact start with something close to nothing, and laboriously rose to a position of cultural prominence (from which she inflicted a tremendous amount of damage). The self-made Helen Gurley Brown, another voice of a generation of women, was in many ways the genuine version of what Lena Dunham pretends to be — at least, the woman she pretends to be on television. Brown emerged from her chrysalis at the age of 40; Dunham is busily building an ever-thicker cocoon of fantasy, prescription drugs, and weaponized celebrity, manipulating reality to her own specifications. If she is emblematic of her generation, it is in that her life, in her own telling, is a reminder that being ruined by comfort and privilege is as easy as (perhaps easier than) being crippled by privation and abuse.

Charles Murray likes to say that the left’s problem is that it can’t preach what it practice — that coastal elite leftists lead lives of sober integrity, but refuse to teach these virtues to others. As Williamson’s profile (quoting extensively from Dunham’s autobiography) makes plain, that’s not at all true in her case, leading to his conclusion quoted above.

Incidentally, can Time-Warner-CNN-HBO pick ‘em, or what?

Posted at 11:10 am on October 29th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Quotes of the Day

 

 

More fall-out from the smarted, most ethical, most wonderful administration in American history, whose geopolitical motto is “don’t do stupid sh**.”

Posted at 6:29 pm on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Video: Unmanned NASA Rocket Explodes Spectacularly Upon Launch

Insert midterm-themed metaphor of your choice here.

Update: Huh — I’m old enough to remember a NASA that not only bested the Russians, it didn’t rely on their technology. But as investment information entrepreneur Eric Scott Hunsader tweets, “Elon Musk nailed it about Antares rocket 2 years ago in Wired.” Musk told Wired, “One of our competitors, Orbital Sciences, has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the ’60s. I don’t mean their design is from the ’60s—I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the ’60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere.”

What could go wrong?

Posted at 4:08 pm on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Coming Soon to a Hardware Store Near You: Robot Uprising Versus the Attack of the Luddites

“Welcome to the rise of the machines,” Kemberlee Kaye writes at Legal Insurrection, a natural outgrowth when demands to raise the minimum wage in a sluggish no jobs economy backfires. As she notes, McDonald’s is testing touchscreen ordering systems to reduce the number of employees at its franchises, and other industries will soon incorporate additional automation as well into their retail outlets.

“As the Wall Street Journal and many others have pointed out, entry level burger-flipping jobs are not intended to be long-term, family-supporting endeavors,” Kaye adds. “Yet the Raise the Wagers love to use low-wage earners as political pawns to target those with successful careers and businesses:”

Even more problematic for the “Raise the Wage” crowd is that the automation trend is not limited to fast food chains.

Lowe’s hardware store has developed a fleet of robots to assist customers.

Meet the OSHbot.  OSHbot isn’t quite as cute as WALL-E, but we’ll forgive it for that.

The OSHbot is designed to assist customers locate items they need. Looking for hammers? OSHbot will take you there. Need a particular nail? Place the nail in front of OSHbot’s viewfinder and it will show you where you can find it. No hablas Inglés? No problema! OSHbot is also multilingual.

OSHbot will go live at an Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose, California in the near future.

The video that Kaye links to provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of retail chains:

So which union group will be the first to go back to the future, and smash up their new robot overlords?

The Luddite movement emerged during the harsh economic climate of the Napoleonic Wars, which saw a rise in difficult working conditions in the new textile factories. The movement began in Nottingham on 11 March 1811 and spread rapidly throughout England over the following two years. Handloom weavers burned mills and pieces of factory machinery.

Activists smashed Heathcote’s lacemaking machine in Loughborough in 1816.He and other industrialists had secret chambers constructed in their buildings that could be used as hiding places during an attack.

* * * * * * *

The British Army clashed with the Luddites on several occasions. At one time, more British soldiers were fighting the Luddites than were fighting Napoleon on the Iberian Peninsula.Three Luddites, led by George Mellor, ambushed and assassinated a mill owner named William Horsfall from Ottiwells Mill at Crosland Moor in Marsden, West Yorkshire. Horsfall had remarked that he would “Ride up to his saddle in Luddite blood.” Mellor fired the fatal shot to Horsfall’s groin, and all three men were arrested.

Of course, other questions arise as well: When will robots move into the retail clothing sector? And will Jackie Mason provide their voices?

And will Obama once again blame the Internet, ATM machines or robots on the lack of jobs, rather than his own policies, and the demands of his union and environmentalist crony socialists?

Posted at 3:00 pm on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Bad News: Skittish Gray Lady Fears ‘Bumpkinification of the Midterm Elections’

“The Dance of the Low-Sloping Foreheads” is what the New York Times’ David Carr called the Midwest on Bill Maher’s Time-Warner-CNN-HBO series back in 2011. Today, fellow Timeseunuch  Mark Leibovich piles on:

Joni Ernst, the Iowa state senator and Iraq War veteran, was standing in a barn in a purple flannel shirt and an unzipped vest. Beside her, various swine burrowed in the hog lot; two small pigs spooned; there was copious squealing. When Ernst, who grew up on a farm castrating hogs, opened her mouth to speak, she drew the inevitable connection between her upbringing and her current role as a Republican candidate for the United States Senate. “When I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork,” Ernst said, smiling. Title cards reinforced her credentials. (“Joni Ernst: Mother. Soldier. Conservative.”) “I’m Joni Ernst, and I approve this message because Washington is full of big spenders. Let’s make ‘em squeal.”

* * * * * * * *

Ernst is not the only candidate to have brought such a Capra-esque advertising strategy to this year’s midterm elections. Something Else Strategies, the media-consulting firm responsible for “Squeal,” also masterminded a widely noted spot for the Republican Mike McFadden, who is challenging Al Franken for his Senate seat in Minnesota. McFadden, a former college-football player who now coaches a youth team, recruited his players to appear in a “Bad News Bears”-style spot in which they mess up handoffs (“Washington is fumbling our future”) and clobber each other (“Obamacare needs to be sacked”) before the coach rouses them to “get out there and hit somebody.” At that point, for no particular reason, one player hits him below the belt, leaving the coach to recite the “I’m Mike McFadden, and I approve this message” bit in a high-pitched squeal — the universal signifier of a guy who has just been hit in his junk.

Critics of the McFadden ad questioned whether such a joke might fall beneath the dignity of a prospective United States senator.

Stop the presses:

After much pigeon-chested thumping against Ernst, McFadden, Ted Cruz, the Founding Fathers, and (of course) Sarah Palin, Leibovich writes:

Palin may have had a rare talent, if somewhat limited appeal, but the outsider streak of this year’s midterms comes in response to a unique and distinctly awful political landscape. Not only is President Obama’s popularity in free fall, but whatever Everyman credibility he mustered during his “Washington Outsider” candidacy in 2008 has long since been dissipated through the regal isolation of his office and the suspicion that he is aloof and presumably ill equipped at castrating hogs. He is, in other words, politically toxic. Braley was willing to abide a visit on his behalf from Michelle Obama, but he undoubtedly benefited from the fact that the first lady repeatedly mispronounced his name as “Bailey.”

The Times’ dilemma is an existential one: in 2008, they did everything they could (and more) to clear the path for the president of their dreams. He’s done everything they could have asked of him: bankrupted the nation, stoked racism across the land, screwed Iraq and Israel, and implemented socialized medicine; now the paper is angry that the rubes in flyover country get their say as well.  And they’re not at all happy about that.

As the late Kenneth Minogue wrote in the New Criterion in the summer of 2010:

My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.

We must also face up to the grim fact that journalist we don’t elect are losing patience with us as well. Let’s give them quite a hangover when they wake up on Wednesday morning.

Posted at 1:58 pm on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Obama Admin Official: Netanyahu ‘a Chickensh*t’

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic writes that a “senior Obama administration official” told him about Israeli Prime Minister and former IDF member Benjamin Netanyahu. As Goldberg writes, just in time for the midterms — and possibly the rest of Obama’s lame duck administration — “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here:”

Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)  But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding. From time to time, current and former Administration officials have described Netanyahu as a national leader who acts as though he is mayor of Jerusalem, which is to say, a no-vision small-timer who worries mainly about pleasing the hardest core of his political constituency. (President Obama, in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.)

Gee, if you’re a world leader being insulted by an administration staffed by the radical chic likes of John Kerry and Obama himself, where Joe Biden almost seems like the grown-up of the bunch, you’ve got to be doing something right. More from Goldberg:

This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors, and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis. The relationship between these two administrations— dual guarantors of the putatively “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel—is now the worst it’s ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections. By next year, the Obama administration may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations, but even before that, both sides are expecting a showdown over Iran, should an agreement be reached about the future of its nuclear program.

* * * * * * *

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not Rabin, he’s not Sharon, he’s certainly no (Menachem) Begin. He’s got no guts.”

Ahem:

After graduating from high school in 1967, Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the IDF. He trained as a combat soldier and became a team leader in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal. He took part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1969–70 War of Attrition. He was involved in many other missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), and the rescue of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972 in which he was shot in the shoulder.

After his army service, Netanyahu returned to the United States in late 1972 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War for a 40-day period. While there, he fought in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, as well as leading a commando team deep into Syrian territory.

Or to put the above into visual terms alongside America’s commander-in-chief:

Incidentally, this could add quite an interesting dynamic to the presidential race to come. Or as John Podhoretz asks, “So who’s going to ask Hillary whether she agrees Bibi is chickenshit?”

Update: “So, if this administration WERE Jew-hating, what exactly would they be doing differently?

Flashback: Here’s Jeffrey Goldberg helping Obama over the finish line in October of 2008 via accusations of conspiracy theories and (what else?) racism in 2008:

Posted at 12:52 pm on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Nobody Expects the Guy Caballero Democrats!

“Texas Democrat At Wendy Davis Event Said Greg Abbott ‘Just Rolls Around’ In His Wheelchair,” as spotted by Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller:

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shared the stage at a recent campaign event with a fellow Democratic state lawmaker who mocked the disability of state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running against Davis for governor.

“And then we have this guy who kind of just rolls around thinking that he can get tort reform for himself but take it away from everybody else in the state of Texas,” said state representative Dawnna Dukes at the event which was held Saturday in Pflugerville, just east of Austin.

Dukes’ remarks were filmed and uploaded to YouTube.

On October 14th, Davis campaign media surrogate Andrea Mitchell referred to Abbott’s “supposed disability.” Today it’s another Davis campaigner. I can understand the rationale behind zany JFK and 9/11 Truthers; but nobody expects the Guy Caballero Democrats!

Posted at 12:22 pm on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Hey, Let’s Watch Charlie Rose Pretend To Be Confused About Obama Once Again

“Flummoxed Charlie Rose on Midterm Anger: ‘Why Is It They Don’t Like’ Obama?”, as spotted by Scott Whitlock at the Media Research Center:

The CBS This Morning crew on Tuesday alternated between confusion as to why Barack Obama may be driving Republicans to a big midterm victory and strident declarations that the GOP would have no mandate. Co-host Charlie Rose talked with political director John Dickerson and wondered of disenchanted voters: “So, why is it they don’t like this President so much? Is it a spillover from ObamaCare or something else?”

Talking with Rose today, Dickerson went on of course to dismiss the GOP and their voters (i.e. half of CBS’s audiences), and gives an answer similar to the late Peter Jennings’ infamous “temper tantrum” crack after the GOP won the 1994 midterms. But what else would we expect from the “CBS political director?” In early 2013 at the then-Washington Post-owned Slate, Dickerson wrote, “The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat,” which hardly makes him a neutral, unbiased political observer. (And so much for the media’s collective pledge of a new civility following the Giffords shooting in early 2011.)

But this isn’t the first time that Rose, who’s been in the MSM since the early 1970s, has feigned confusion over Mr. Obama. Right around this time in 2008, Rose and Tom Brokaw famously pretended to not know anything about the worldview of the then-likely next president of the US:

CHARLIE ROSE: I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.

TOM BROKAW: No, I don’t, either.

ROSE: I don’t know how he really sees where China is.

BROKAW: We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.

ROSE: I don’t really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?

BROKAW: Yeah, it’s an interesting question.

ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational (sic) speeches.

BROKAW: Two of them! I don’t know what books he’s read.

ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?

BROKAW: There’s a lot about him we don’t know.

So just to review: Obama surging in polls in late October of 2008, Charlie pretends to know nothing about his ideology, lest he say anything that could damage his chances. Obama tanking in polls in late October of 2014, Charlie knows nothing about why his polling has cratered, lest he say something that could improve the GOP’s chances. As I’ve written before about his 2008 performance, it’s not like Rose and Brokaw head mammoth news organizations that could readily answer their queries, should they have chosen to ask them.

Ever since the days of Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr smearing Barry Goldwater as a crypto-Nazi in the early 1960s, old media has always largely been staffed by “Democratic operatives with bylines,” as Glenn Reynolds would say. But they used to appear to be (a) much better at explaining the issues and (b) a bit more subtle when it came to hiding their biases. Why should viewers watch someone who pretends to be so existentially confused about the events of the day?

Related: “The left insists election GOP is winning handily is ‘boring’ and ‘about nothing,’” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air.

But of course — Bill Clinton or JFK wins with under 50 percent of the vote? Mandate for sweeping change. Obama wins in 2008 with 53 percent of the vote? “We Are All Socialists Now.” GOP wins with clear majority? It’s always a show about nothing, according to the MSM.

Posted at 11:17 am on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘Can Obama Find Thumpin’ to Say?’

“No one knows what’s going to happen next week, never mind Nov. 4, Peggy Noonan wrote this past Friday. “But it is increasingly reasonable to believe what a grizzled journalistic veteran of the campaign trail said last week in conversation. The election will be a wave for Republicans; the only question is whether it will be a big one or a small one:”

On Nov. 5, Mr. Obama will have to say something that shows he gets it. That shows without saying that he’s humbled, that he isn’t living in a bubble.

Here’s the problem. The qualities required of such a statement—humility, self-awareness, sensitivity to the public mood—are sort of the opposite of what the president brings to the table.

His people are going to have to figure this out.

Republicans in 2006 lost the House and Senate. In a news conference just before 7 p.m. the next day, President George W. Bush said: “Look, this is a close election. If you look at race by race, it was close. The cumulative effect, however, was not too close. It was a thumpin’.” That did the trick, declaring the obvious with an air of chagrin, admitting he’d been wounded, and acknowledging that politics at bottom is combat.

Democrats in 1994 took an even worse pounding. Republicans not only won the Senate and House but did so on the Contract With America. President Clinton responded the next day with a nearly perfect statement: “We were held accountable . . . and I accept my share of responsibility in the result.” He said of the voters’ message: “I got it.” He acknowledged the election had real political meaning, saying the people “still believe government is more often the problem than the solution.” The voters backed “sweeping changes.” He then made a mistake in seeming to claim his election in 1992 was part of the change, and 1994 just a continuation of its spirit. But he backed off under questioning and reporters didn’t press the matter.

What would an Obama White House meeting on What the President Should Say sound like?

Good luck with that; Obama’s horrid and historically illiterate young speechwriters have little to show for their efforts, and as Obama himself has said, “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” But while Obama may have disdain for his inner circle, his hatred of everyone to his right, Republicans and moderate blue collar Democrats alike has been the stuff of legend since 2008.

All of which is a reminder that Republicans should work extra hard over the next week to ensure that at a barely restrained fury is on display from the semi-retired president — and Harry Reid, of course — next Wednesday.

Posted at 12:32 am on October 28th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Quote of the Day

Born into a Democratic family, he took time off from Catholic University to work on the 1984 presidential campaign of Gary Hart, who overcame 1 percent polling numbers to nearly defeat Walter Mondale for the Democratic nomination.

“He should run, not only for his own sake but I think for the party’s sake,” Mr. Hart said of Mr. O’Malley, a friend, in a telephone interview. “I don’t believe in coronations. I guess Walter Mondale was the Hillary Clinton of that time.”

“Martin O’Malley, a Hillary Clinton Loyalist, Is Now a Potential 2016 Alternative,” as DNC house organ the New York Times continues the far left’s rumbles against the party’s aging and gaffe-prone dowager.

Posted at 11:13 pm on October 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Roger & Marv

Slight Overkill: Authorities Send Armored Car and 24 Deputies to Collect Civil Judgment From 75 -Year-Old Man,” Rick Moran writes at the PJ Tatler:

I guess it always pays to be careful. Real careful. Obsessively careful. Over-the-top careful.

At least, that’s what civil authorities in the tiny town of Stettin, Wisconsin, in Marathon County believe. To enforce a civil judgment, they sent 24 deputies and the county’s pride and joy — an armored vehicle — to collect $80,000 from a 75-year-old man.

This account of the “police action” will have your jaw dropping.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

When officials in the tiny Town of Stettin in Marathon County went to collect a civil judgment from 75-year-old Roger Hoeppner this month, they sent 24 armed officers.

And an armored military vehicle.

Among other issues, the recent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., focused attention on the growing militarization of local law enforcement, particularly the use by even very small police departments of surplus armored military vehicles.

Marathon County sheriff’s officials aren’t apologizing for their tactics. Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Bean said officials expected to have to seize and remove tractors and wooden pallets to pay the judgment — hence the cadre of deputies. He also said what while Hoeppner was never considered dangerous, he was known to be argumentative.

Hoeppner said when he noticed deputies outside his house, he called his attorney, Ryan Lister of Wausau. Lister said he quickly left for Hoeppner’s house but was stopped by a roadblock that was kept up until after his client had been taken away in handcuffs. “Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice…and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment” with a show of force, Lister said.

* * * * * * * *

MARV stands for Marathon County Response Vehicle, which his department obtained in 2011. It’s the only one in the county and gets used 10 to 20 times a year, Bean said.

“People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now,” Bean said.

Of course it is. Yet another reminder that when a local law enforcement agency owns one of these

… It’s going to put it to use, even if it means deploying it to collect debts from 75 year old coots. Heckuva job there, Marathon Country.

Posted at 9:01 pm on October 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Mother Butterfield


Indeed. Mother Butterfield, is that you?

Posted at 8:45 pm on October 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

MSNBC Anchor Active in ‘Stop Rush’ Pressure Campaign

MSNBC’s Krystal Ball “secretly participated in the Stop Rush movement since becoming affiliated with MSNBC, emails reveal. But Ball did not respond to The Daily Caller’s emailed request for comment on her participation in the activist effort,” Patrick Howley writes at the Daily Caller:

“Stop Rush” is a campaign principally organized by Angelo Carusone, who is now a Media Matters executive vice president embroiled in controversy after TheDC published racist and anti-Semitic blog posts that he wrote. TheDC recently exposed the latest incarnation of the Stop Rush movement as a small group driven primarily by ten activists using technology to robotically harass Limbaugh’s advertisers on social media. (RELATED: The Conspiracy To Destroy Rush Limbaugh)

Ball was involved in trying to smoke out a suspected mole in the Stop Rush movement in the spring of 2012, months after she joined MSNBC as a contributor and shortly before she debuted as co-host of the network’s 3 p.m. talk show “The Cycle.”

“That recording only went to a few of us. So who is talking too much?” wrote liberal activist “Shoq” in a May 16, 2012 email to Stop Rush ringleaders, including Ball, which was provided to TheDC. “Even Randy didn’t know he was being recorded. Someone that one of you is talking to cannot be trusted. I am not pleased by that. At all. Please think carefully.”

Yes, let’s think carefully. Just to review, so one newsreader on MSNBC tried to force Rush off the air, and another stoked the riots in Ferguson. And the entire channel screams racism at the drop of words such as “golf” and “Chicago.” (And don’t even get ‘em started on breakfast cereal.) The channel deceptively edited George Zimmerman’s 9/11 audio in 2012 to stir racial hatred on behalf of Obamas’ reelection bid. As Ken Shepherd notes today at NewsBusters, “CNBC’s Harwood Wildly Spins for Hillary via Twitter” in response to her recent “corporations don’t create jobs” facepalm-worthy gaffe. Meanwhile, NBC’s Bob Costas serves as a pint-sized would-be social justice warrior routinely promoting whatever the current DNC talking points are during the halftime shows of NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.

Harry Shearer would go on to co-star in Spinal Tap and serve as the voice of multiple characters on The Simpsons. But early in his career, after he starred for one bruising year as a cast member on NBC’s original Saturday Night Live in 1979, he described SNL’s writing staff and production team as being  “a highly complex, highly political hierarchal organization masquerading as a college dorm.”

Today, NBC is an activist wing of the Democrat party masquerading as a news organization. Why does the GOP let them get away with it?

Posted at 7:43 pm on October 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll