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Ed Driscoll

Liberal Fascism

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We’ll get to Trevor Noah and Salon’s 180-degree pivot on him in just a moment, but first some context. Since the days of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, to first Vietnam and then the Iraq War, all the way to 2008 when Hillary was a “big f***ing whore” and her supporters racists to 2015, when Hillary is the left’s savior, self-described “Progressives” have been known for their remarkable ability to cast-off their current morals and perform dramatic slashing Tony Hawk-style mid-air 180 degree pivots whenever it’s politically expedient (see also: Oceania versus East Asia/Eurasia). But they rarely happen as quickly as Salon’s 24-hour inversion on Trevor Noah, Viacom’s designated replacement for corporate spokesman Jon Stewart (nee Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz). It was learned — apparently after he landed the gig — that Noah has or had a remarkable tendency to drop lurid anti-Semitic “jokes” on Twitter. The result being the leftwing mob waking itself into action last night on Twitter, and Salon’s flip-flop illustrated above. As Ace of Spades co-blogger Jeff tweets, “Seriously, this is the most beautiful two-day juxtaposition ever.”

At NRO, Kevin D. Williamson charts “Mr. Noah and the Flood.” Beyond Salon being “always offended about something,” (Salon and the New York Times have daily completions to see who can hit the fainting couch first and hardest) “Why didn’t Comedy Central apply strict scrutiny here? There are a few answers to that question that are obvious — but not if you are inside the progressive cultural bubble. Those being:”

1. Comedy Central knows that Jon Stewart’s viewers are cheap dates. They are not very bright, and they are not very interested in the world around them. The function of The Daily Show is to flatter the prejudices of a certain segment of largely white and middle-aged metropolitan liberals. Daily Show viewers are not interested in original insight — indeed, the utterance of an original thought or the indulgence of an unpredictable angle of analysis would undermine the entire structure of the program. Daily Show viewers tune in so that they can be made to feel clever for continuing to believe the things they already believe. There is no reason to believe that Noah is going to fail to deliver those exceedingly modest goods.

2. Comedy Central was probably counting on the usual double standard, which is, generally, a safe bet. When a couple of nobody RNC staffers ran up a $2,000 bill at a lesbian-bondage-themed strip club — it is a big tent, after all! — that was a national story, with Jon Stewart providing a Muppet reenactment. (Really.) Bill Clinton parties with Jeff Epstein on Pedophile Island? A strange quiet falls upon the land. If Rush Limbaugh had joked about running over Jewish children with his German car, there would be a presidential speech on the matter in the works.

Will Noah survive? Of course he will. And that’s not a bad thing, actually:

 


Not to mention, what Viacom’s hiring decision implies regarding their current forecast for after 2016 as well.

“I give you Harry Reid, Proud ‘McCarthyite,’ as CNN’s Dana Bash explicitly framed it,” Ed Morrissey writes:

REID: I don’t regret that at all. The Koch brothers — no one would help me. They were afraid the Koch brothers would go after them. So I did it on my own.

BASH: So no regrets about Mitt Romney, about the Koch Brothers. Some people have even called it McCarthyite.

REID: Well… [shrug] … they can call it whatever they want. Um … Romney didn’t win, did he?

As Ed responds, “Hey, so I smeared Romney. It worked, didn’t it?

Despicable. The Senate will likely throw him a celebration on his way out; they should be censuring him instead, especially with that arrogant admission. Reid embodies the worst of American politics, and no amount of fluffery over the next two years will disperse the stench that should attach itself to his name as long as it’s remembered at all.

Reid’s admission is “The soul of the 21st century Democratic Party laid bare,” Glenn Reynolds adds at Instapundit. “This kind of thing is surprising only if you haven’t been paying attention. And it’s not as if Reid is an outlier here, except in terms of his honesty.”

And if you haven’t been paying attention, “The End of Tolerance And Enforced Morality” by Ben Domenech of the Federalist will quickly bring you up to speed, particularly in regards to how the new strain of liberal fascism, to coin a phrase, is working against the people of Indiana. Exit quote: “When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.”

Great Satan Takes Holiday in Hell

March 31st, 2015 - 10:47 am

Andrew Stiles visits Iran on “A Free Beacon journey to the birthplace of Valerie Jarrett.” In 1982, P.J. O’Rourke filed his classic travelogue in which he accompanied a group of wealthy Nation magazine limousine leftists on a river cruise up the Volga. O’Rourke summed up those pathetic losers perfectly in a sentence:

“These were people who believed everything about the Soviet Union was perfect, but they were bringing their own toilet paper.”

Stiles is off on a similar jaunt with equally awful American leftists in search of the 21st century equivalent of the Soviet Union and/or an exotic paradise of income and sexual equality:

This particular Persian excursion, after all, is sponsored by none other than the New York Times, the esteemed paper of record that, in case you hadn’t noticed, is quickly transforming itself into a travel agency of some renown, offering an array of exhilarating (and expensive) cultural journeys for the sophisticated traveller.Looking for a “people to people experience” in communist Cuba? The Times has you covered. Eager to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Ditto. Keen to “retrace the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest explorers” in Antarctica? There’s a trip for that. It’s not clear whose footsteps you’ll be retracing aboard the “297-foot luxury expedition yacht” the Times has commissioned, but why quibble? Rates start at $15,695. Carlos Slim must be loving this.

No Times Journey, as they’re called, is as popular as “Tales from Persia.” Ours is the inaugural voyage, but there’s been so much interest that they’ve already had to increase the number of offerings this year from three to five, all of which are sold out. At the end of the day, no one—not even the ayatollah—is going to f—k with the Times. That’s what you’re counting on, anyway. Although the Gray Lady has certainly gone to great lengths to ensure her release from liability:

Without limitation, we are not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to personal property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, weather, force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities or the threat thereof…

But even if it comes to that—getting yanked into a windowless room upon arrival at Imam Khomeini International Airport—you’ve settled on a failsafe strategy: blame everything on the Jews. Before you know it, your Qatar Airways flight to Tehran (connecting through Doha, site of the 2022 World Cup final) is preparing for takeoff. There’s a large compass displayed on a big screen at the front of the cabin. One arrow points towards Mecca, the holiest of Muslim holy sites, and another (for some reason) towards Gaithersburg, Md.

Fortunately, unlike the ayatollah and the average New York Times reader, the Iranians themselves are pretty cool about Americans — and even more curious about them than the average Times subscriber:

Americans in Iran are generally regarded with a degree of skepticism, but not for the reason you might think. Iranians want to know what you’re doing in Iran, not because they suspect you of plotting a coup, but because they know American passport holders could spend their vacations anywhere else on earth (give or take a few tin-pot communist police states), and feel sorry for you. They are almost always friendly and eager to tell you there are no hard feelings. “Ninety percent of Iranians love America,” is a widely cited statistic, though it’s not clear if this is based on actual data. Eventually, this becomes rather eerie, as if everyone is reading off the same approved script.

Nazri, a student studying computer animation, offered the boldest riff on the “We love America” line, leaning in close to whisper “and Israel,” though I am not convinced this is a 90-10 issue. Moments later, a mullah in a black turban strolled by and leered in our direction. “Very dangerous,” Nazri said after he passed. “I f—king hate them.” Also, can I get him a job in California?

Time to up your game California — we’ve at last found a region of the world with less freedom than San Francisco.

Found via Moe Lane, who adds, “It’s a strange, confusing dictatorship that they have over there, but it’s very real.”

Iran, that is.

Ted Cruz Destroys CNN Hack!

March 30th, 2015 - 11:38 am

“This is the most hilarious interview with Ted Cruz I’ve seen thus far. Thank you CNN, for delivering this epic bit of blowback,” Michael van der Galien writes at Tatler; hence my BuzzFeed/Jon Stewart-style over-the-top headline. But this is a fun clip:

[CNN's Dana Bash] tried to smack Cruz around by comparing him to Obama (funny, she didn’t have a problem with the current president having no executive or much political experience when he ran for the White House in 2008), hoping it would silence and embarrass the senator from Texas.

She got a healthy dose of “you’ve got to be kidding” me instead.

Can Cruz win? It’s early, and a strong, crowded GOP field. But unlike the even-more-accomplished Scott Walker, who’s been somewhat tentative in dealing with media, Cruz does appear to understand that before he can have a shot at the Democrat nominee, he’s got to deal with that party’s operatives with bylines — and so far, seems prepared to do battle.

This has to be yet another troll by the Troller-in-Chief, right? In addition to paying back Teddy, who helped launch Obama’s presidential bid by declaring him 2008′s second coming of JFK*:

President Barack Obama paid tribute to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy at the dedication of his political institute in Boston on Monday, praising the Democratic lawmaker’s legacy and that of his brother as “alive as ever.”

“No one made the Senate come alive like Ted Kennedy,” Obama told a crowd of Massachusetts dignitaries. “It was one of the great pleasures of my life to hear Ted Kennedy deliver one of his stemwinders on the floor.”

“What if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy? What if we worked to follow his example a little bit harder?” Obama asked.

“Carried ourselves” like Ted Kennedy? Say what you will about the man, but one of Obama’s virtues is that he doesn’t appear to make half-gallons of Chivas Regal disappear in a single gulp. But as far as Obama and working the senate, this is of course the man who typically voted “present” in the Illinois state legislature, and who made “less than a quarter of Senate votes” in 2007, as CNN reported, before perfecting the art of using Air Force One to commute to the links.

Since her name isn’t mentioned in the above Politico article, it’s always worth flashing back to the infamous 2003 passage from Charles Pierce, now with Esquire, on Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne:

“If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”

—Charles Pierce in a January 5, 2003 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy’s submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.

(Kennedy himself was said to enjoy Kopechne jokes in his dotage.) And speaking of Kennedy’s relationship with women after her:

* There’s one in every Democrat presidential crowd. This year’s nominee? Martin O’Malley. Funny  though, with the arguable exception of Bill Clinton (and only after he had a GOP Congress), they never govern like JFK if they actually win.

Quotes of the Day

March 28th, 2015 - 5:01 pm

A friend of mine was in Las Vegas a week or two ago. He talked to a number of people there about Reid’s accident, and didn’t find anyone who believed the elastic exercise band story. The common assumption was that the incident resulted, in some fashion, from Reid’s relationship with organized crime. The principal rumor my friend heard was that Reid had promised to obtain some benefit for a group of mobsters. He met with them on New Year’s Day, and broke the bad news that he hadn’t been able to deliver what he promised. When the mobsters complained, Reid (according to the rumor) made a comment that they considered disrespectful, and one of them beat him up.

Is that what really happened? I have no idea, but it is a more likely story than the elastic exercise band yarn.

“What Really Happened to Harry Reid? Part 2,” John Hinderaker, Power Line, today.

“As Harry Reid leaves government, we wish him good health and long life. It will give him the opportunity to reflect on his career in politics and, perhaps, to find a way to atone for it.”

“The Pugilist at Rest,” National Review.com, yesterday.

The Two Minutes Hate at Lincoln Center

March 28th, 2015 - 12:01 pm

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Thursday night, “the New York Philharmonic premiered a work by John Adams. Adams is probably the most famous and important composer in the world (classical composer). His new work is Scheherazade.2, a ‘dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra,’” Jay Nordlinger, who attended the performance writes at the Corner. But first, Adams took time out to instruct his audience to insult an AM radio host:

Before the performance, Adams himself took a microphone and spoke to the audience about the work. He described how it came about. He had seen an exhibition in Paris about Scheherazade. Then he read Arabian Nights, and was appalled by the “casual brutality toward women” depicted therein. At the same time, he was reading of brutality toward women around the world: in Egypt, Afghanistan, and India, for example.

But we were not to think we Americans were exempt from this brutality. For example, you can “find it on Rush Limbaugh.” (Rush equals the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood, you see.)

To this remark, the audience responded with sustained and robust applause. In 1984, Orwell writes of the two-minute hate. The applause in Avery Fisher Hall did not last for two minutes, but it went on long enough.

Obviously, John Adams knows nothing about Rush Limbaugh. It’s a good bet he has never listened to Rush’s show or read an article by him. The same must be true of the audience members who applauded. But Rush is a hate figure on the left, a bogeyman. His name has almost magical power. And Adams must have known that if he invoked it, in the way he did, he would get agreement and applause from a New York audience.

This is a sick and twisted culture. It features that toxic combination of ignorance and hate.

Rush himself is amused at becoming “the official bogey man of the left:”

[Nordlinger and I] had a little back-and-forth exchange today, and I told him, I said, “No, this stuff? I long ago ceased being bothered by this.  In fact, I’ve had to learn how to take this as a measure and sign of success,” and it clearly is.  So, anyway, that’s what I was talking about at the open of the program as being the one who inspires the most hate among people on the left who are already engaged in hate.

One of his listeners, who attended the performance estimates that there was about a thousand people in the audience:

CALLER:  It was packed and the majority of people clapping were in the front and whooping it up.  I don’t believe that Jay heard me, but I was outraged.  It ruined my entire evening.

RUSH:  I think you and –

CALLER:  I was just stunned. I’m sorry to interrupt you.  I was just so stunned, and I’m still very upset about it.  It was completely inappropriate and completely out of context.

RUSH:  Well, I appreciate your sentiments.  I really do.  You and Jay must have been the only two people in there.

CALLER:  Well, my friend Trish was with me, and she absolutely was outraged as well.  The reason that I called you is I just wanted to let you know that someone in addition to Jay and my friend Trish in Manhattan, in the land of leftist loons, has your back.

RUSH:  Well, I appreciate that more than you know.  I really… I don’t know how to thank you for that, because there’s no way I can tell people how much that means.  It’s just no way I can convey that to people.

CALLER:  Rush, I heard you come and speak in New York City.  I’m a huge fan and a huge listener, and you are right on, everything you say and everything that you do for us conservatives.  You can be anything in New York City.  You can be a murderer, a thief, a liar, but don’t you dare be a conservative.

As Rush responds:

My name epitomizes and encapsulates all of their hatred for conservatism.  But, see, the point is this guy’s standing up there, and he realizes what he’s doing.  He’s telling people that his inspiration… He has been inspired to write this piece on the basis he was so appalled at the way women are treated in various parts of the world.

But then, as a good liberal, he had to say something to let everybody know that America’s no better.  So he says, “And, by the way, you can find it here on Rush Limbaugh,” and that’s when the audience started their nearly two-minute applause.  None of ‘em listen to the program like you, Melanie.  None of them have the slightest idea what happens here.  It doesn’t matter.  They know what happens here because they watch The Daily Show or because they ready Media Matters or basically whatever sewer on Twitter they happen to visit. That’s how they know what happens on this program.  They wouldn’t dare tune in here like you do.

As we noted a week and a half ago, during Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz’s heavy-handed attempt to pour a toxic blend of racialism into his company’s products, Nordlinger has noted in several posts and articles over the years since Mr. Obama came to power, the number of politics-free “safe zones” is continually shrinking in America. Classical music used to be one such zone, but as with Germany in the first half of the 20th century, apparently that’s no longer the case.

Breaking News from 1976

March 27th, 2015 - 6:44 pm

“Is California Gov. Jerry Brown becoming the Jerry Falwell of the left?” asks Claremont’s Jack Pitney at the Christian Science Monitor:

As you may recall, the late Reverend Falwell was one of the founders of the contemporary religious right. In 1979, with conservative activist Paul Weyrich, he created the Moral Majority, an organization that mobilized religious people on issues such as abortion and school prayer. Falwell quickly became notorious for proclaiming certain issue positions as Christian and suggesting that those with other viewpoints were immoral or un-Christian.

Lately, Governor Brown has been doing the same thing. During a visit to Washington, he said that GOP opposition to President Obama’s immigration actions is “at best is troglodyte and at worst is un-Christian.” He used similar language to condemn Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s fight against carbon pollution regulations. “President Obama is taking some important steps,” Brown said on “Meet the Press.” “And to fight that, it borders on immoral.” On the same program, he said that Sen. Ted Cruz’s stance on climate change renders him “absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

“Before keeping up the insults, the governor might ponder what happened to the reverend,” who eventually “even alienated conservative Republicans,” Pitney adds.

While Brown may have gotten nastier and even more useless in the ensuing decades, the underlying premise of Pitney’s thesis regarding Brown’s streak of religious fundamentalism is nothing new. Under the subhead “The Holy Roll” of his ’70s-defining New York magazine essay “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening” from 1976, Tom Wolfe placed Brown into context with another Democrat who was paying lip service to the born-again Christianity so popular in the 1970s:

The two most popular new figures in the 1976 campaign, Jimmy Carter and Jerry Brown, are men who rose up from state politics . . . absolutely aglow with mystical religious streaks. Carter turned out to be an evangelical Baptist who had recently been “born again” and “saved,” who had “accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior”—i.e., he was of the Missionary lectern-pounding amen ten-finger C-major-chord Sister-Martha-at-the-Yamaha-keyboard loblolly piny-woods Baptist faith in which the members of the congregation stand up and “give witness” and “share it. Brother” and “share it, Sister” and “Praise God!” during the service.* Jerry Brown turned out to be the Zen Jesuit, a former Jesuit seminarian who went about like a hair-shirt Catholic monk, but one who happened to believe also in the Gautama Buddha, and who got off koans in an offhand but confident manner, even on political issues, as to how it is not the right answer that matters but the right question, and so forth.

Newspaper columnists and newsmagazine writers continually referred to the two men’s “enigmatic appeal.” Which is to say, they couldn’t explain it. Nevertheless, they tried. They theorized that the war in Vietnam, Watergate, the FBI and CIA scandals, had left the electorate shell-shocked and disillusioned and that in their despair the citizens were groping no longer for specific remedies but for sheer faith, something, anything (even holy rolling), to believe in. This was in keeping with the current fashion of interpreting all new political phenomena in terms of recent disasters, frustration, protest, the decline of civilization . . . the Grim Slide. But when the New York Times and CBS employed a polling organization to try to find out just what great gusher of “frustration” and “protest” Carter had hit, the results were baffling. A Harvard political scientist, William Schneider, concluded for the L.A. Times that “the Carter protest” was a new kind of protest, “a protest of good feelings.” That was a new kind, sure enough—a protest that wasn’t a protest.

In fact, both Carter and Brown had stumbled upon a fabulous terrain for which there are no words in current political language. A couple of politicians had finally wandered into the Me Decade.

And of course, Carter would go on to define the box canyon thinking of the left both then and now with his infamous malaise speech. Brown’s worldview would also never leave the 1970s; how long will the state of California as a whole remain trapped in the echo of that horrible decade?

“Barack Obama faces a slew of Middle East crises that some call the worst in a generation, as new chaos from Yemen to Iraq — along with deteriorating U.S.-Israeli relations — is confounding the president’s efforts to stabilize the region and strike a nuclear deal with Iran,” the Politico reports. That lede from the Obama house organ presupposes that he wants to stabilize the region — and of course, it doesn’t say what kind of nuclear deal Obama wants with the mullahs, but still:

“If there’s one lesson this administration has learned, from President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech through the Arab Spring, it’s that when it comes to this region, nothing happens in a linear way — and precious little is actually about us, which is a hard reality to accept,” said a senior State Department official.Not everyone is so forgiving. “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” said James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House.

For years, members of the Obama team have grappled with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring. But of late they have been repeatedly caught off-guard, raising new questions about America’s ability to manage the dangerous region.

Free fall you say? Roger L. Simon takes that metaphor to its ultimate conclusion:

Obama and his minions are huddled wherever they’re huddled, busy destroying the Western World with their bizarre policies and eagerness to make a deal with Iran that is so desperate it makes the word pathetic seem pathetic. The results of this desperation have been wretched, a fascistic new Persian Empire emerging from Libya to Yemen with Obama auditioning for the role of Cyrus the Great – or is it Ahmadinejad Junior? Whatever the case, it’s horrible  Even those same Democrats know it.  They’re embarrassed – and they should be.  But for the most part they don’t have the guts to say anything. This is the kind of administration that exchanges a creepy sociopath like Bergdahl for five Islamic homicidal maniacs and expects praise for being humanitarian.  And everyone walks away shaking their heads.

It’s hard to know why Obama is doing it all.  I know it sounds like a rude overstatement but in a way he reminds me of that crazy German pilot flying that plane into that alpine cliff, only the plane is us (America and the West).  Does he hate us all that much – or is it just Netanyahu?  Whatever the explanation, it’s mighty peculiar.  At this point almost no one  in the Congress appears to be backing him up – and yet he continues.  Who knows what will happen next?

How bad has it gotten? This Iowahawk tweet sums up the hash Mr. Obama and company have made of the region:

And it gets worse:

What a sad joke has been inflicted upon the American people. And in the Middle East, Israel will have to single-handedly deal with the fallout — which apparently unlike those in the Obama administration, I hope remains purely metaphoric.

Dog Bites Manischewitz

March 27th, 2015 - 12:33 pm

“I find it inconceivable that The New Yorker would have run this piece if it didn’t have Lena Dunham or some other bold-face-name in the byline. Titled, ‘Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?’ it’s a pop-quiz for the reader to guess whether she’s talking about her dog or, that’s right, her Jewish boyfriend,” Jonah Goldberg writes:

The folks at Truth Revolt are in high dudgeon about its anti-Semitism. And it’s true that Jew/dog comparisons are often best avoided. I mean did she need to make jokes about how Jews and/or dogs don’t tip? Get it? Jews are famously cheap and dogs don’t use currency for goods and services! Ha! Also male Jews and/or dogs are hairy. Drop the mic on that one, girl.Still, I don’t think she was going for anti-Semitism, though she’ll happily pocket the edginess that accusation brings. Rather, like so much of what Dunham does, it reeks of self-indulgence. She clearly think it’s very clever. But as a piece of writing it’s remarkably un-clever. It’s not terrible. It’s more like a solid B in a college-writing seminar.

It’s also, as the follower of Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon commented on Twitter, a rip-off, unintentional or not of a Big Bang Theory skit:

As Tony Roberts’ character said in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, “Homage? No, we just stole the idea outright!”

Update: “Is Lena Dunham upset that the only Jewish men ever attracted to her might have had glaucoma?” Heh.

Harry Reid to Retire in 2016

March 27th, 2015 - 10:00 am

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Ed Morrissey does not mince words:

The worst part of the next eighteen months or so will be the valedictions offered to Reid for his service. By any objective measure, Reid has been a blight on the Senate and on Congress. He declared the Iraq war “lost” while Americans were still fighting there, and he derailed a budget process that had worked well before his ascent into leadership. He stripped the Senate of one of its debate functions after sabotaging the amendment process, [See nuclear Harry above -- Ed] and nearly destroyed regular order. On top of that, Reid used his post to commit McCarthyite character assassination of Mitt Romney, claiming to have inside knowledge that Romney hadn’t paid taxes in ten years, a smear that turned out to be utterly false. He has been a malevolent force for years in American politics, and nothing he did in Washington will improve the place as much as his leaving it.

Goodbye, Harry, and good riddance.

Amen. Joe Cunningham of Red State has some fun with the soon to-be-former senator “recently-turned-blues-musician…Seriously. Those sunglasses. You can catch Reid in a Vegas piano bar working for tips after his retirement:”

The really interesting thing here is that Reid is a representative of the Democratic Party politicians as a whole right now: older, white, male, and if they aren’t rich when they get into office, they get rich through questionable means. What happens next determines the party’s success in the next couple of years. Do they seek younger representation, and maybe some more diversity? Or do they stick to the wealthy, white folks who suffer so much white guilt that they are completely fixated on diversity issues instead of good governance?

Moe Lane adds, “Nevada just shot up the rankings on the Big Board: and if Governor Brian Sandoval decides to run for Senate, it pretty much goes off of the Big Board completely.” And as Glenn Reynolds notes, given Reid and his fellow Democrats’ craven love of pure fascistic power for its own sake, “It doesn’t suggest huge enthusiasm for 2016.”

Update:


Wow. I wonder if we’ll ever know the real story on how his “exercise equipment” rearranged his face?

And just as a reminder, as CNN reported, prior to his nomination in 2008, Reid referred to Barack Obama, his then fellow Democrat senator as “a light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’” and later in 2008 had equally kind words for the voters at large:

The Survivor Class, Then and Now

March 26th, 2015 - 12:32 pm

“The average of soldiers in the Allied divisions poised to cross the Channel” and storm the beaches on D-Day “was 25,” according to this book.

Flash-forward 70 years — to what Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner ironically calls “The survivor class.” What happens when they graduate from the brutal front lines of college and enter the workforce?

In another recent example, New York Times opinion writer Judith Shulevitz described a special “safe space” at Brown University, a room with “cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.”

Why is such infantilization of grown college students necessary? Because the students couldn’t handle hearing the opinions of writer Wendy McElroy, who was speaking on campus and criticizing the concept of “rape culture.” (McElroy’s views are not that far off from those of feminist former judge Nancy Gertner, I might add.)

The problem here is that these students are so unable to handle other views or adversity that they must be babied, whether that means mandatory hand-shaking or drawing with crayons.

* * * * * * *

This Survivor Class will be bringing their special brand of anxiety and demands into the workplace. One might joke that those likely outraged by things reasonable people would find mundane are also those most likely to major in Women’s Studies, but one cannot assume.

But first the Survivor Class will have prepare themselves for their job interviews. In 1953, British novelist L.P. Hartley wrote “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” But even he had no idea how radically a culture could transform itself in just a few decades. Trigger warning; James Lileks spots a highly problematic “Pathé doc on the means by which oily beatniks were scrubbed down and converted into civilized women again” from 1963. “Amusing comment on the YouTube page: ‘We’re the beatniks looked down upon?’ It’s as if people think that ‘counterculture’” was admired and revered in its time. No:”

This video would be considered a hate crime in today’s culture on both sides of the Atlantic. (Or perhaps not; after all, the Guardian is deeply concerned that “straight women who wear less-than-feminine clothing are ‘appropriating’ lesbian culture and making it too hard for lesbians to tell who the other lesbians are.”) Though given that in her formative state the girl in the video looks a bit like she’s auditing classes in the Chrissie Hynde school of grooming, it brings to mind this great headline found at Kathy Shaidle’s blog: ‘Punk Scientists Discover Fourth Chord.’

Serious question though: The TV series Mad Men gave us a look (albeit one that was flawed and often inaccurate) at what goes through the minds of 1960s Madison Avenue ad executives. American Sniper took us inside the mind of a crack 21st soldier. Between trigger warnings, privilege checking, jazz hands, uptwinkles, the Bletchley Park-level detections of racism, sexism, gender-ism, -ism, -ism, -ism everywhere, and a hundred other densely packed layers of carbonized horsesh*t, is there a book that takes us inside the worldview of contemporary college students and how they acquired their bizarre and often self-destructive worldview?

Update: And to bring this post full-circle:

“As its long downward ratings spiral accelerates, MSNBC is facing another problem that has plagued the news network for years: cleaning up after a highly incendiary comment by its on-air talent,” Eddie Scarry of the Washington Examiner notes:

The Lean Forward network’s rapid response Wednesday to an attack on country music by Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux suggests MSNBC would like to dial back some of the full-bore leftism that has consistently failed to find an audience.

During an appearance on the talk show “Now,” Lemieux reacted to a statement by presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who recently said his appreciation for country grew after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music,” said Lemieux, who was sitting on the MSNBC panel as a guest.

In a change from previous incidents, which saw MSNBC respond only after furious reactions from other media, guest host Ari Melber, substituting for Alex Wagner, frowned at Lemieux and quickly defended the popular musical genre. Shortly afterward, Melber disavowed Lemieux’s comment on behalf of the network.

“A few minutes ago on this program, a guest made a comment about country music that was not appropriate,” Melber said on the air, “and we want to be clear this network does not condone it.”

That’s nice. Why should we believe you?

Entirely unrelated: “Chris Hayes Scores Worst Ratings In Decade, Still Beats CNN” — it’s a Red Queen’s Race to the bottom.

Ride the Left-Wing ISIS Mobius Loop!

March 25th, 2015 - 6:20 pm

“My ISIS is the police,” Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers said during a hearing on Friday, Ashe Schow reports at the Washington Examiner. Chambers “added that if he carried a weapon, he’d use it on a cop:”

“I wouldn’t go to Syria, I wouldn’t go to Iraq, I wouldn’t go to Afghanistan, I wouldn’t go to Yemen, I wouldn’t go to Tunisia, I wouldn’t go to Lebanon, I wouldn’t go to Jordan, I would do it right here,” he added. “Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do us daily.”

Nebraska Watchdog recorded the lawmaker’s statements and uploaded the audio to their website.

Chambers wasn’t done ranting at that point. He added that if he carried a firearm, he would shoot a cop.

“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it wouldn’t be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police,” Chambers said. “And if I carried a gun I’d want to shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do.”

But to the dean of Cornell, ISIS are lovable pussycats whom he’d welcome on campus, the New York Post reports:

This guy is either the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault — for welcoming offers to bring ISIS and Hamas to Cornell University.

A video sting operation shows Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, agreeing to everything suggested by an undercover muckraker posing as a Moroccan student.

Scaffido casually endorses inviting an ISIS “freedom fighter’’ to conduct a “training camp” for students at the upstate Ithaca campus — bizarrely likening the activity to a sports camp.

Is it OK to bring a humanitarian pro-“Islamic State Iraq and Syria” group on campus, the undercover for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas asks.

Sure, Scaffido says in the recorded March 16 meeting.

Scaffido doesn’t even blink an eye when the undercover asks about providing material support for terrorists — “care packages, whether it be food, water, electronics.”

Click over for O’Keefe’s video, although the sadly at this point, the underlying story isn’t all surprising; to paraphrase William F. Buckley, recall the stories of God and Taliban man at Yale, summarized in 2006 by Linda Chavez at Townhall:

I thought I’d lost the ability to be shocked by anything that happened on an American university campus — that is until I read the New York Times magazine this weekend.

In an article entitled, simply, “The Freshman,” author Chip Brown describes a charming tale of a young man come to study at one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the country. He might more aptly have titled his piece “God, Country, and Yale.” Only in this telling, God is the vengeful Allah of Islamist fanatics, and the country to which this student once pledged his allegiance is the Taliban’s Afghanistan, for the first-year Yalie profiled is none other than the former “ambassador-at-large” of the Taliban regime, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi.

Yes, Yale has decided to welcome into its fold a man whose previous visit to the New Haven, Conn., campus in March 2001 was as an official apologist for the misogynistic government that had just blown up the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan, the giant 1,500-year-old statues long considered among the most important ancient sculptures in the world.

This might be just another tale of multiculturalism run amok on campus were it not for the 3,000 dead Americans buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and the more than 200 Americans who died fighting to liberate Afghanistan from Rahmatullah’s former paymasters. As it is, this story raises serious questions not just about what’s happening on America’s campuses but whether the student visa program that gave us Mohammed Atta and his murderous accomplices continues to pose threats to American security.

Mark Steyn ran into a spot of bother from the Australian equivalent of Media Matters in 2005 for writing that “With hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta’s jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier,” but Mark was certainly onto something. “Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world’s largest crop-duster. A novel idea:”

The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn’t get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant’s throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington – the White House, the Pentagon et al – and asked: “How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?”

Fortunately, Bryant’s been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. “I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from,” she recalled. “I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could.”

15 years later, as the clueless multiculti-meets-PC-meets-elitist-bureaucracy mindset that drives such encounters continues to roll on, Bryant is, alas, far from alone.

Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

March 25th, 2015 - 11:36 am

“American soldier and former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion for allegedly walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, Bergdahl’s attorney told ABC News today,” Yahoo reports:

President Obama called it a “good day” when Bergdahl was freed, but critics, including some high-ranking Republicans, loudly denounced the deal, likening it to negotiating with terrorists. Also, lawmakers complained that Congress had not been consulted about the exchange, as they said the law requires.

After Bergdahl’s dramatic return to the U.S., the Army launched an investigation into whether the soldier willfully left his post in Afghanistan before he was taken by the Taliban in 2009, as some Afghan war veterans alleged.

As we noted back at the time, the MSM performed quite a hatchet job on Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers when they came forward with details of his alleged desertion, reverting to Vietnam-era smear-the-troops form. In the Washington Examiner, Byron York wrote that all of these leftwing attacks could have been avoided, if the Obama White House had simply been straight with the American public for once:

So why did the White House send National Security Adviser Susan Rice to the Sunday shows to claim that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction”?

It wasn’t necessary. Rice, speaking for the White House, could have said something to the effect that “Bowe Bergdahl is a troubled young man who made a terrible mistake. Nevertheless, he is an American soldier, and the United States wants him back. The president had a difficult decision to make in balancing the release of the Taliban detainees with this country’s longstanding policy of not leaving U.S. forces behind in a war zone, no matter the circumstances.”

That would not have quieted the controversy over the Taliban trade; critics would still maintain it was a terrible precedent and will increase the danger to America and its allies around the world. And it would not have quieted the controversy over the administration’s decision not to inform Congress about the Taliban release, as specifically required by law. Lawmakers — including some in the president’s party — would still complain about that.

But it would have denied the administration’s critics a devastatingly effective argument. First, President Obama himself appeared with Bergdahl’s parents in rare Saturday remarks in the White House Rose Garden. And then Rice — who had been asked specifically about the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance — said, “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

In another Sunday appearance, on CNN, Rice suggested Bergdahl had been “captured … on the battlefield” — a claim backed up by none of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers with him the night he disappeared. The military fully investigated the Bergdahl case in the months after he disappeared in 2009. The investigation reportedly concluded that he had willfully abandoned his post.

And today’s news appears to very strongly confirm those allegations.

By the way, at the risk of playing the “I question the timing” game, the right shouldn’t let the reappearance of Bergdahl in the headlines allow them to take their eyes off of more current news at the intersection of the Obama White House and the Middle East, specifically, the collapse of Yemen and the looming horrific “deal” with Iran.

Update: As Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “The deeper point of the Bergdahl swap, as Sean Davis reminds us, was to create a pretext for starting to empty Gitmo:”

Anyway, exit question: What are the odds that Obama will pardon Bergdahl? Seems hard to believe he’d take even more heat over this fiasco by letting him go free after he’s been credibly accused by so many soldiers not only of deserting but of indirectly costing several troops their lives during the ensuing search. But then, we already know that O’s in the “WGAF” phase of his presidency; letting Bergdahl go will anger people, but he can spin it with some nonsense about how poor Bowe’s suffered enough, how it’s time to move on, etc. Which, for the White House, it is. The sooner they can put this clusterfark behind them and move on to the next clusterfark, the better.

And with an administration insane enough to “negotiate” with Iran, there will be loads more of those to come.

Ron Fournier’s Racialist Rhetoric

March 25th, 2015 - 10:54 am

“Ron Fournier is a columnist for National Journal and a cable news mainstay who served as the Associated Press’ Washington bureau chief for years. In his new opinion-based role, he’s worked to carve out a niche as a ‘pox on both houses’ purveyor of common sense, a detector of BS, a practitioner of intellectual honesty, and Chief of the Civility Police,” Guy Benson writes at Townhall. Except when he’s not. “The Civility Police have an uneven concept of justice, it seems. Or perhaps Fournier simply has a soft spot for vicious insults that reference segregation:”

Would Fournier have thrown up his hands and recommended that opponents of, say, the Fugitive Slave Act abandon their convictions? Fournier didn’t take kindly to such questions, berating his inquisitors for “comparing” Obamacare to an issue like slavery. That’s not what they were doing, of course. They were proving the point that not all laws must be automatically accepted and embraced once they’ve been passed. Obamacare happens to be a law that has never enjoyed the consent of the governed, has violated almost every core pledge made in its marketing campaign, and that continues to harm far more people than it’s helped.  When Sean Davis, a writer for The Federalist, jumped into the discussion with a provocatively-worded rebuttal, an exasperated Fournier went straight for the jugular:

See tweet at top of post. As Benson writes:

Davis, a thirty-something conservative who was born long after this country’s worst racial days, has never breathed a word remotely in support of the rank immorality of racial segregation.  But because he’s on the Right, and segregation is (note the present tense) the Right’s “gig” (never mind the Democrats’ sordid racial history), clubbing Davis with this conversation-ending slander was apparently fair game in Fournier’s mind.

It’s certainly not the first time Ron’s dropped the mask and played the race card.

And note that the day after Fournier dropped his race bomb, a much younger National Journal contributor smeared a scientist as a de facto Holocaust denier and wallowed in a nasty case of Koch Derangement Syndrome. Obviously the newbies there know they can get away with rhetorical murder based on the low behavior of the old pros there, but they’re both disgusting outbursts from representatives of a publication that went all in on the new civility bandwagon in 2011.

Update: Of course, Fournier is far from the only racialist working on the MSM:

 

The Orwellian Obama Presidency

March 25th, 2015 - 12:00 am

obama_mirror_upside_down_3-24-15-1

“There is an upside-down quality to this president’s world view,” Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal:

His administration is now on better terms with Iran—whose Houthi proxies, with the slogan “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, damn the Jews, power to Islam,” just deposed Yemen’s legitimate president—than it is with Israel. He claims we are winning the war against Islamic State even as the group continues to extend its reach into Libya, Yemen and Nigeria.

He treats Republicans in the Senate as an enemy when it comes to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, while treating the Russian foreign ministry as a diplomatic partner. He favors the moral legitimacy of the United Nations Security Council to that of the U.S. Congress. He is facilitating Bashar Assad’s war on his own people by targeting ISIS so the Syrian dictator can train his fire on our ostensible allies in the Free Syrian Army.

He was prepared to embrace a Muslim Brother as president of Egypt but maintains an arm’s-length relationship with his popular pro-American successor. He has no problem keeping company with Al Sharpton and tagging an American police department as comprehensively racist but is nothing if not adamant that the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” must on no account ever be conjoined. The deeper that Russian forces advance into Ukraine, the more they violate cease-fires, the weaker the Kiev government becomes, the more insistent he is that his response to Russia is working.

To adapt George Orwell’s motto for Oceania: Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory.

He’s certainly met his match and come full circle with Iran — or to paraphrase Mr. Obama’s solipsistic campaign slogan, we are the obfuscators we have been waiting for:

“Obama Scores as Exotic Who Says Nothing,”  Froma Harrop, Real Clear Politics, the December 26, 2006.

“In Nuclear Talks, Iran Seeks to Avoid Specifics,” the New York Times, today.

And speaking of turning things upside down, all of the above is why “Cotton’s Iran Letter Turns Tables on Obama,” Salena Zito writes this week in Real Clear Politics:

If you think the White House wasn’t set back, consider the coordinated appearances by its surrogates and liberal elites on all media platforms, using words like “unprecedented,” “outrageous” and — best of all — “treasonous.”

As they say in the South, a hit dog hollers.

The genius of Cotton is that he met Obama in his own arena, with his own tactic.

He did not say there would be no deal with Iran. He did, however, plainly lay out a U.S. civics lesson in five short paragraphs: Any nuclear agreement with Obama that isn’t approved by Congress can be revoked “with the stroke of a pen” by the next president or changed by Congress itself.

Cheeky move? Probably.

It’s also probably not the last time we will hear from this Army vet of the Iraq war and Harvard-educated scholar, who sees a dangerous world in front of him and believes part of his job is to keep America not only secure but less vulnerable.

I remember when we used to have a president who thought that was his job as well. But nevermind what George W. Bush must think about Obama; right now, I’ll bet Jimmy Carter is watching Obama attempt to negotiate an arms deal with Iran and shaking his head in bewilderment.

“Let’s talk. Let’s chat. The conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think?”

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a trailblazing campaign for the White House on Saturday, a former first lady turned political powerhouse intent on becoming the first female president. “I’m in, and I’m in to win,” she said.

In a videotaped message posted on her Web site, Clinton said she was eager to start a dialogue with voters about challenges she hoped to tackle as president — affordable health care, deficit reduction and bringing the “right” end to the Iraq war.

“I’m not just starting a campaign, though, I’m beginning a conversation with you, with America,” she said. “Let’s talk. Let’s chat. The conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think?”

—AP report on launch of Hillary’s first presidential bid, January 21st, 2007.

In a speech in front of a crowd full of journalists at Syracuse University on Monday, Hillary Clinton declared that she had a new hairstyle and would have a new, open relationship with the press along with it — and then didn’t take questions afterwards.

“With a room full of political reporters, I thought to myself, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’” Clinton joked, apparently considering the press busting her for illegal e-mail practices that may have put national security at risk to be something to joke about.

“But I am all about new beginnings,” she added. “A new grandchild, another new hairstyle, a new e-mail account. Why not a new relationship with the press? So here it goes: No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do for me?”

“Hillary Doesn’t Take Questions After Speech Promising Open Relationship with Press,”  Katherine Timpf, NRO, today.

Vote different, to coin a phrase; imagine a candidate who isn’t an Orwellian cypher:

Update: Naturally, Hillary’s stenographers gave her a standing-O (for Orwell) after she refused to answer their questions.

Quotes of the Day

March 24th, 2015 - 5:01 pm

Shot:

 

Chaser:

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Click to enlarge.

Hangover:

(H/T: Ed Morrissey.)