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Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

Dispatches from Time-Warner-CNN-HBO-BHO-DNC

April 17th, 2014 - 1:15 pm

“Dee Dee Myers to Join Warner Bros. as Head of Communications,” Glenn Reynolds notes, describing it as “The Political-Entertainment Complex” in action:

“Dee Dee Myers, once the White House press secretary to Bill Clinton, will be joining Warner Bros. as executive vice president for worldwide corporate communications and public affairs, the studio said on Wednesday. Ms. Myers is not the first political operative to join Hollywood’s ranks. Jim Kennedy, recently named to the top communications post at News Corp. after serving in similar jobs with the Sony entertainment operations, for instance, had also served in the Clinton administration, and was once a deputy press secretary in the White House.”

Plus: “Ms. Myers’ husband, Todd Purdum, is a senior writer for Politico and was formerly a correspondent for The New York Times.”

Perhaps it’s necessary to swap journalists between Time-Warner-CNN-HBO and the Democrat Party to maintain an even balance of propaganda: Time-Warner-CNN-HBO trundles Jay Carney off to be Mr. Obama’s press secretary (and keeper of pro-totalitarian propaganda); Myers is dispatched to a division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO.

In any case, the interconnections between Time-Warner-CNN-HBO-BHO-DNC definitely puts the zero into zero sum game.

Oh and speaking of Carney:

JAY CARNEY: I remember we had some discussion during 2012 about well, is it appropriate for the president, the sitting president and candidate, to give interviews with Jon Stewart and others. And the answer was yes, again because the young voters we were trying to reach are more likely to watch The Daily Show than some other news shows. But also, I think if you look back at 2012 and the series of interviews the sitting president of the United States gave, probably the toughest interview he had was with Jon Stewart. Probably the most substantive, challenging interview Barack Obama had in the election year was with the anchor of The Daily Show. (A Conversation with Jay Carney at George Washington University, April 17, 2014)

Note that in 2004, Stewart was also likely the only talking head to ask then-presidential candidate John Kerry about Cambodia in light of the Swift Boat Vets’ ads — and as I noted back in August of 2004, even Stewart got a non-answer from the legendary leftwing flip-flopper.

I’d ask the MSM if they’re proud of themselves, but as a group made up largely of Democrat Party operatives with bylines (to coin an Insta-phrase), the answer is: of course they are.

Biden: Boston Bombing was ‘Worth It’

April 15th, 2014 - 4:38 pm


.

And to think how close we came in 2008 to having a vice president whose phrasing and sentence choices during speeches we’d have to parse and explain and justify.

Either America’s oldest living graduate of the Vic Arpeggio Hipster Speech Academy is saying that what the survivors went through during the terrorist attack last year was worth it — losing loved ones and/or being injured themselves — as some sort of catharsis, or that it was worth it for Joe himself to benefit from hearing their statements. Either way doesn’t speak well of the man.

On the other hand, this speech, and Joe’s willingness to at least be in the same room with victims of Islamofascist terrorism puts him one up on his boss.

Exit tweet, via Twitchy:

Update (4/16/14): Welcome those clicking in from:

And the PJM homepage.

Oh That Return of the Primitive

April 14th, 2014 - 3:38 pm

“US Airways tweets graphic photo of nude woman to customers, then apologizes,” the New York Daily News reports:

“Inappropriate” doesn’t begin to cover it.

A shockingly graphic tweet by U.S. Airways featuring a woman and an airplane has led to an investigation and red-faced apology by the airline.

A photo of a naked woman lying exposed on a bed with a toy plane between her legs was publicly shared by the airline late Monday afternoon while responding to disgruntled customers who were angry about a recent flight delay.

The extremely graphic image sent to one Twitter user came with the caption: “We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail it here for review and follow-up.”

Instead of a link matching that description, however, it was a link to the photo.

Twitchy of course has a round-up of reactions to US Airways’ disastrous tweet, and a blacked-out version of the photo itself. And note the airline’s gobbledygook response:

As author Kim Harrington tweets, “No matter how bad of a day at work you’re having, at least you don’t run the US Airways twitter account. That person is having a worse day.”

Update: NSFW version online at the Frisky.com. Repeat: Not. Safe. For. Work. Click at your own risk to employment and/or sanity.

Jay Carney Comes Full Circle

April 11th, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Hey, give Carney credit for pro-Communist consistency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“MSNBC panel wonders: Just what is Hillary Clinton’s unique qualification for President?”, as spotted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

No, seriously, Bill Kristol asked on Morning Joe today: What makes Hillary Clinton the most well-qualified woman for the presidency? Kristol argues that Claire McCaskill has more accomplishments in the Senate, and that can also be said for other “governors and Senators” in the Democratic Party, “that made it on their own, I would add.” The panel, which initially scoffed at Kristol’s question, cannot name any accomplishment at all, and Chuck Todd ends up talking about how much she traveled as Secretary of State.

As John Ekdahl writes at AoSHQ, “this is just a great clip all around”:

And it comes with an enormous sense of deja vu, doesn’t it? Let’s flashback to February 19th 2008, when Chris Matthews(!) asked State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-TX), an even more than unusually rabid Obama supporter among the left in early 2008, what exactly were the tyro senator’s legislative accomplishments that qualified him to be the next president of the United States?

As Jonah Goldberg once wrote, “In the movie Animal House, the Deltas are put on trial for their antics. When offered a chance to defend themselves, the best argument the fraternity’s president can come up with is, ‘But sir, Delta Tau Chi has a long tradition of existence both to its members and the community at large.’”

Hillary Clinton has a much longer tradition of existence within the Democrat party than Obama did in 2008; does that alone, coupled with household name recognition qualify her to be president? Based on Obama’s supporters in 2008 (the same Obama supporters who were busy trashing Hillary and Bill as crypto-racists that year), the answer, sadly is yes.

Unless the GOP actually decides to play to win for a change, of course.

Update: We are the Manolo Blahniks we have been waiting for! A woman protesting Hillary’s speech today in Las Vegas threw an object at the former first lady, which was reported to be a shoe.

It’s  not the first time Hillary has dodged a projectile pump, either.

My Back Pages

April 9th, 2014 - 1:47 pm

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

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

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

Flash-forward to today:

rolling_stone_julia_dreyfus_john_hancock_constitution_4-9-14

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

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

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

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

Don’t Ever Change, CBS

April 7th, 2014 - 7:34 pm

“CBS’ ’60 Minutes’ admits to faking Tesla car noise,” USA Today reports:

What is it about Tesla and its ability to make major media outlets look like fools?

The latest example came a week ago today when CBS’ 60 Minutes aired a report on Tesla and its amazing electric car. It was basically the kind of coverage that any automaker would kill to have (and must have left flummoxed General Motors executives wondering why they never got it for the plug-in Chevrolet Volt).

Just one problem: As the Associated Press reported, a CBS editor made what is being called an “audio error” in dubbing the sound of a loud traditional car engine over footage of the much quieter Tesla electric car. The Model is whisper quiet, no matter how hard you push it.

Auto website Jalopnik broke the story of the fake sound and CBS was in retreat all week.

Unlike NBC’s malicious edit of the audio of the transcript of George Zimmerman’s 911 call, this sounds like awfully small beer, other than it’s a reminder that even in a news report (or news-ish, given the editorializing that 60 Minutes is notorious for), that plenty of sound effects are added in post production. CBS’s backroom audio boffin likely watched raw footage of cars zooming past and simply reached for the nearest collection of sexy race car sound effects, forgetting that coal-powered (heh) electric-powered cars sound very different than their internal-combustion equivalents. Or often, they don’t make much of a sound at all; Glenn Reynolds recently suggested adding “a Jetsons-style bleebing sound” to offset their silent acoustic signature.

And actually, audio sweetening of TV news and documentaries dates back to the Jetsons-era of Jurassic television. If you watch the DVD collection of Thames’ World at War series from the early 1970s, you’ll hear the same squeaky sound effect pasted under numerous tanks from all of the armies as they rumble past the (silent) newsreel cameras, and many of the same gun and rifle sound effects used over and over again as well. (I believe that many, if not all of them came from the British film industry’s legendary Cinesound sound effects collection, which were also used extensively in mid’60s and early 1970s UK-based productions, including Gerry Anderson’s shows such as Capt. Scarlet and UFO, as well as the original James Bond films. I used a few of these sound effects as well in some of my later Silicon Graffiti segments as a subtle homage.)

In recent years, the backroom technicians at all of the networks have been caught making mistakes on Chryons and the like, a combination of likely poor training these days in college, better scrutiny from the Blogosphere, and the sheer amount of programming television is required to crank out to meet the ravenous demands of the 500 channel cable and satellite set-top box. But CBS, the home of Rathergate, which caused Dan Rather his job, and helped supply the original name of our humble little outpost on the Internet, has to be extra careful out there.
(more…)

Don’t Ever Change, ABC

April 7th, 2014 - 4:30 pm

Give that man an Emmy — Dan Harris, smart enough to claw his way through ABC’s corporate structure and replace Ted Koppel as host of Nightline sure knows how to play dumb when asked about ABC’s leftwing slant. As Tim Graham writes at Newsbusters, Harris appeared on the Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV, where based on the transcript, Malzberg gave Harris a pretty good grilling over ABC’s biases, before Malzberg asked him isn’t water wet don’t most journalists at ABC lean left?

HARRIS: I don’t know, liberal might be overly strong. We actually have some very, very powerful voices, and I’m not going to say who, within our building, who are conservative. Very, very powerful….

MALZBERG: On air?

HARRIS: Yes. So –

MALZBERG: Name one?

HARRIS: No. But I wouldn’t name one I thought was liberal either.* So I’m just being fair. Having said that, I’m open to the possibility – very much open to the possibility that there is absolutely a subconscious bias that manifests in just exactly the thing you’re talking about. But in my time there, I’ve never heard someone say ‘We’re gonna go get this guy because he’s a Republican.”

* Not even former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos? (And as Graham adds, “Please see our list of the five worst Dan Harris media-bias outrages. I vote for his silliness about Saddam Hussein getting 100 percent of the vote!”)

It took a few years, but with Harris’s non-denial denial, the dinosaur media troika is complete: In 2007, Andrea Mitchell appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show and much to her chagrin, was asked about bias at NBC. Mitchell’s response?

Mitchell on Chris Matthews: “I don’t think he’s a liberal thinker.”

And later: “I don’t feel there is bias in what we do at NBC News. And I don’t think there’s bias in CBS or ABC.”

In 2003, one year before Dan hit the fan at CBS, Lesley Stahl sounded virtually identical to ABC’s Dan Harris, when asked about the bias at CBS by Fox’s Cal Thomas:

[Stahl:] I’m going to attack your premise and say that I think the voices that are being heard in broadcast media today, are far more — the ones who are being heard, are far more likely to be on the right and avowedly so, and therefore, more — almost stridently so, than what you’re talking about.”

Thomas pounced: “Can you name a conservative journalist at CBS News?”

Stahl was flummoxed and denied that anyone at CBS is biased in any way: “Well I don’t know of anybody’s political bias at CBS News. I really think we try very hard to get any opinion that we have out of our stories. And most of our stories are balanced, and there are standards that say they need to be balanced. So if you have one side, you try to get the other side. And I’m not saying we don’t have opinions, but I’m saying we try to cleanse our stories of them.”

Lucy Ramirez could not be reached for comment.

Don’t Ever Change, CNN

April 7th, 2014 - 3:19 pm


CNN redlines the irony meter — if only there was a big sexy story involving politicians allegedly gun-running with mobsters just begging to be covered as a change of pace.

Meet Al Sharpton, “former paid FBI informant,” Jessica Chasmar writes at the Washington Times, linking to a report from the Smoking Gun. It’s currently the lead headline atop the Drudge Report, written in the classic Drudge all caps smashmouth style“SHARPTON WAS FBI MOB RAT:”

The report published Monday claims that Mr. Sharpton regularly interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families, specifically leaders of the Genovese family, and he secretly recorded their conversations.

Mr. Sharpton was known by the FBI as “CI-7” — short for confidential informant No. 7 — and began working for the agency in the mid-1980s, the report said.

From the report: “[The Smoking Gun’s] account of Sharpton’s secret life as ‘CI-7’ is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials to whom the activist provided assistance.

In 2011, MSNBC’s Phil Griffin told NPR, “I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. he’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.”

And how.

“Resist we much,” Sharpton would likely implore them, but the Smoking Gun itself is of course having lots of fun with its discovery:

The former mob snitch has become a regular in the White House, where he has met with the 44th president in the East Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval Office. He has also attended Obama Christmas parties, speeches, policy announcements, and even watched a Super Bowl with the First Family (an evening the man has called “one of the highlights of my life”). During these gatherings, he has mingled with cabinet members, top Obama aides, military leaders, business executives, and members of Congress. His former confederates were a decidedly dicier lot: ex-convicts, extortionists, heroin traffickers, and mob henchmen. The man’s surreptitious recordings, FBI records show, aided his government handlers in the successful targeting of powerful Mafia figures with nicknames like Benny Eggs, Chin, Fritzy, Corky, and Baldy Dom.

This is still not computing. Al Sharpton: G-Man? Next you’re going to be telling me that ultra-conservative poseur Morton Downey Jr., who hosted the show that first brought Sharpton to nation attention was secretly a Democrat who was play-acting.

Oh wait.

Invariably clad in a velor tracksuit, Sharpton and Downey, or Sharpton and a fellow guest would comes to blows by the end of seemingly every appearance.  Sharpton is on video smearing a fellow guest by bellowing, “You ain’t nothing! You a punk faggot!”, which, like much of Sharpton’s then-publicly-known past, was “unexpectedly” forgotten when he won his recent gig at NBC’s spin-off cable channel. (Perhaps he uttered the quote in character as part of his undercover work.)

All-in-all, as Kate of Small Dead Animals deadpans, “This is Awkward.” And as Larry Elder speculates:

As I was writing this post, I was wondering what J. Edgar Hoover would think about Sharpton working for the FBI. Then I started wondering, forget Hoover — what would Woody Allen say?

What Could Go Wrong?

April 6th, 2014 - 6:32 pm

“US gives Boeing green light to sell plane parts to Iran,” according to German Website Deutsche Welle:

Boeing, the world’s biggest plane manufacturer, said late Friday the US Treasury Department issued it with a license allowing the airline to do business with Iran for the first time since 1979.

A Boeing spokesman said the company would now be allowed to export certain spare parts for commercial planes that were needed to ensure older aircraft could fly safely. The license covers a limited period of time and does not allow Boeing to sell new planes to Iran.

The company will contact officials in Iran to determine which specific parts are needed. Boeing’s last delivery to Iran was a 747-100 jumbo jet in August 1979, three months before US hostages were seized at the Tehran embassy.

The Islamic Revolution that year led to US sanctions that were later broadened over a dispute from Iran’s nuclear activities.

Last year, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear operations in exchange for a temporary easing of severe economic sanctions from Britian [sic], China, France, Germany, Russia and the US. A permanent agreement is currently being negotiated.

Found via the Brothers Judd; one of their commenters adds that he’s sure the Iranians will give the aircraft parts back to us eventually, which takes the wartime phrase “never been fired and only dropped once” to spectacular new heights.

Last week I interviewed PJM contributor Andrew Bostom about his new book, ominously titled, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel. Oddly, Andrew’s thesis leaves me less than reassured by that last paragraph quoted above. How ’bout you?

Ronan Farrow Bested by the Ghosts of NBC Past

March 31st, 2014 - 12:02 pm

MSNBC-parody-10-4-10-3

Ronan Farrow Daily “has been a ratings ‘disaster’ since its premiere in February,” Jeff Dunetz writes at Ben Shapiro’s Truth Revolt Website, linking to this article in the (left-leaning) New York Daily News:

The NY Daily News is reporting that Ronan Farrow’s new MSNBC talk show is facing cancellation because of poor ratings. “He sort of stinks on TV,” said an MSNBC source. “He hasn’t turned out to be the superstar they were hoping for.”

MSNBC believed they had the makings of a television superstar on their hands, a face that might prove to be the face of the news outlet. The son of actress Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (though much speculation surrounds the possibility that Frank Sinatra might actually be his biological father) seems to have not only the genes but the intellectual and ideological makeup of the perfect MNSBC host. But as NY Daily News reports, “Ronan Farrow Daily” has been a ratings “disaster” since its premiere in February.

“Nielsen rated Wednesday’s show 708th among all programming in total viewers in the crucial 18-49 age group,” Dunetz adds. “As the Daily News notes, the show was beat out by a ‘Golden Girls’ rerun on the Hallmark Channel.”

Which makes sense, given that the Golden Girls was a product of the earlier, funnier, more competent era of NBC, when Brandon Tartikoff still ruled the roost. Not my cup of tea given the subject matter and even more sclerotic recombinant sitcom themes, but my parents loved it — and Tartikoff gets credit for noticing the graying of TV’s audience, a trend that has only accelerated as the rest of us decamped to the Internet. But the Golden Girls, which was already in its second season when Farrow was born in 1987, boasted a talented, veteran cast, a staff of professional writers, and a competent production crew, all of whom are increasingly in short supply at the beleaguered peacock network and its spin-off channels. In sharp contradistinction to the earlier days of NBC, a competent technical crew in particular has been in very short supply at MSNBC in recent years, resulting in numerous Chyron disasters throughout the MSNBC programming day, and Ronan’s stillborn series is no exception.

Update: From the photo atop his post onward, Jim Treacher really sticks the shiv in, to use language that for 30 seconds was considered non-MSNBC approved. Writing, “Young Mr. Farrow, who’s a dead ringer for his dad Woody, is taking things in stride with his trademark sense of dry humor,” Treacher links to Ronan’s tweet that he’s “Waking up to another crushing day of not being Oprah.”

“Face it, kid, you’re not even Estelle Getty,” Treacher savagely quips — although to be fair, she had much better writers than Getty. Not to mention much less of a sense that the world owed her a living simply because of her name.

Or as Drew of Ace of Spades adds, “Somewhere in the great beyond, Frank Sinatra is telling everyone there’s no chance this no-talent loser is his kid and if he were he’d smack the smirk off the kid’s face.”

“Swedish man buys army tank ‘on impulse,’” because hey, a bitchin’ ride is a bitchin’ ride, even in the land of Volvos. And kudos to mom for being pretty laid back about junior’s new purchase:

Jimmy Johansson, a 23-year-old from Borlänge in central Sweden, can now add tank to his list of possessions. But the 76,000 kronor ($11,700) purchase wasn’t something he planned.

“It was just an impulse buy from beginning… I went to look at a motor and my eyes were drawn to this instead,” he told The Local.

The PBV 401, a Soviet-built fully amphibious tank that weighs around 12 tonnes and travels at a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour, is parked out the front of his grandfather’s house while Johansson decides what to do with it.

The purchase was encouraged by Johansson’s mother.

“When I was about to buy it I called my mother and she just started laughing. She said ‘Just get it’ so I did. And because I can’t take it out on the streets we had to take it on the back of a truck to get it home… people couldn’t help but stare.”

Piers Morgan could not be reached for table-banging puritanical indignation.

(Via Maetenloch at Ace of Spades.)

“Think of the Democratic Party as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party,” my friend and fellow PJM columnist Michael Walsh wrote in 2009 in the guise of his leftwing alter-ego, David Kahane.

Certainly, at a minimum it’s safe to say that Democrats were rather active on the nation’s police blotters today. Since this is one narrative the MSM will never assemble (as they’re in on the fun), it’s up to the Blogosphere — so here we go.

First up, the password is Swordfish Shrimp Boy:

“BREAKING: Anti-Gun CA Senator Leland Yee Charged With Gun Running,” reports The Truth About Guns:

It what would surely place his likeness prominently on the Mt. Rushmore of hypocrisy if the allegations are proven in a court of law, famously anti-gun California state Senator Leland Yee has been charged with, in addition to bribery and public corruption…yes…gun running. Specifically conspiring with known organized crime lord Kwok Cheung “Shrimp Boy” Chow to illegally import firearms and sell them without a license . . .

The affidavit charges that the $2 million worth of weapons to have been secreted into the country from the Philippines included rocket launchers and machine guns, some of which Yee himself had fired while on Mindanao. A portion of the weapons Yee conspired to bring into the U.S. through New Jersey were to have been forwarded on to North Africa via Sicily.

At NRO’s Corner, Tim Cavanaugh adds, “California State Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat representing San Francisco, was arrested Wednesday by the Justice Department in an apparent sting that involves a famous Chinatown criminal, local media report“:

Yee is the third Democrat in the California state senate facing criminal charges. The other two are in Los Angeles County. Rod Wright of Inglewood is taking a leave of absence after being convicted of perjury and voter fraud related to charges that he lied about his residence when running for office in 2008. Monetebello’s Ron Calderon is also on leave while fighting 24 felony counts related to bribery in exchange for steering legislation.

The Democratic Party has 28 out of 40 seats in the state senate. Wright’s and Calderon’s absences have already left the Democrats without the two-thirds supermajority they often claim to need, presumably so they can stand up to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the Democratic-controlled State Assembly, and the Democrats who hold all statewide elected offices.

Like the Truth About Guns Website, Rush Limbaugh is also having a schadenfreude overdose:

The reason that I stopped everything to take your call — and clearly, folks, he didn’t call for this reason — is Leland Yee is the California politician who attempted to get me fired and disbarred and dismembered and dis-whatever else’d after I impersonated the ChiCom premier. The ChiCom premier was here and having a joint press conference with Obama.

I did an interpretation of the ChiCom premier speaking Chinese. (interruption) Yeah, it was one of my best shows. Leland Yee and these people had an absolute fit! They thought, “This is exactly the kind of racism and the bigotry and the insensitivity and what else” that I, El Rushbo, am known for.  And that’s why I took the call. So here this guy who wanted me thrown off the air for racism and bigotry is now having his offices raided by the “feebs” because of possible corruption while in office.  I just love it!

CALLER: (chuckling)

RUSH: These guys, they sit up there all majestically in their royalty, and they try to eliminate their opposition.  All the while their hands are in the till and they’re engaging in corruption I couldn’t even dream of.  So I’m actually glad, Chris, that you called, and I’m actually glad that you got through. ‘Cause otherwise Leland Yee’s name probably would not have come up today.

Beyond Yee, as I said, today was quite a day for Democrats and the police blotter. Democrat Charlotte NC Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned today after less than six months in office, “just hours after he was arrested and accused of taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do work with North Carolina’s largest city,” the Blaze reports:

Cannon submitted his resignation letter to city manager Ron Carlee and city attorney Bob Hagemann, Charlotte spokesman Keith Richardson said in an email. The 47-year-old Cannon is charged with bribery and public corruption. The Democrat took cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes and solicited more than $1 million more, according to a criminal complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Cannon said in his resignation letter that the pending charges “will create too much of a distraction” for the business of the city to go forward. He said it was effective immediately.

Keith Farnham, 66, a Democrat Illinois state rep, resigned today. In an article dated Monday, but updated to reflect Farnham’s resignation today, the Chicago Tribune reported:

Reports that federal agents were looking for evidence of child pornography when they seized computers from the Elgin district office of former state Rep. Keith Farnham shocked local officials who said the lawmaker was well-liked and active in the community.

“I couldn’t even fathom it. I was stunned,” said former Elgin Mayor Ed Schock, adding that Farnham always worked on the city’s behalf.

Farnham has not been accused of any crime.Federal agents were searching for documents “pertaining to the possession, receipt or distribution of child pornography” as well as computer files, copies and negatives of child pornography or any documents that depicted minors “engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a search warrant released Friday.

And the hits just keep on coming.

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Sleep Tight, New York

March 25th, 2014 - 10:50 am

“Speaking at a brief news conference in the Hague, President Obama said he’s more worried about a loose nuke being detonated in Manhattan than he is about Russia,” Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard. Click over to Halper’s post for the video; here’s the transcript:

“With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has a whole lot of challenges,” said the president.

“Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength, but out weakness.

“Ukraine has been a country which Russia had enormous influence for decades, since the break-up of the Soviet Union, and we have considerable influence on our neighbors, we generally don’t need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them. The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and laid bear these violations of international law indicates less influence not more.

“So my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is: Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan,” said Obama.

As Greg Pollowitz tweets in response, “Dear President Columbia and Harvard Law Review: a country with ICBMs, by definition, is not a ‘regional’ power.” But beyond that, two points: Interesting how Mr. Obama at this late, still feels the need to channel President Bush when it comes to American foreign policy. And nice backhanded swipe at Bill de Blasio’s efforts at keeping Manhattan safe. Though for once, the president may have a point, if several men can break into Freedom Tower at night — and as Allahpundit writes, parachute down below with impunity, bringing back footage of their descent reminiscent of the recent Batman movies: “According to one defendant, they simply stepped through a hole in the fence around the perimeter that was covered with a tarp.”

Obligatory Allahpundit-style exit quote:

 

San Jose: The ‘What, Me Worry?’ City

March 24th, 2014 - 3:39 pm

“Public pensions are eating taxpayers alive,” Jeff Jacoby writes at the Boston Globe, and nowhere is that more apparent than in my own backyard, San Jose, California:

Around the country governments are facing a tidal wave of pension obligations that they haven’t figured out how to pay for. By some estimates, the states’ long-term unfunded pension liabilities add up to more than $4 trillion. There is no way to meet such a staggering financial burden without sacrificing more and more of the basic services — public safety, education, roads, and infrastructure — that governments are formed to provide. Already some cities — from Vallejo, Calif., to Detroit to Central Falls, R.I. — have been driven into bankruptcy by the unaffordable retirement benefits they have promised public-sector workers. And there has been talk in Congress of crafting a bankruptcy option for states, a proposal that no longer seems as outlandish as it once did.

Everywhere, the writing is on the wall. In San Jose, reported The Washington Post recently, “the roads are pocked with potholes, the libraries are closed three days a week, and a slew of city recreation centers have been handed over to nonprofit groups.” Taxes have been raised, public services cut, and the number of city employees drastically reduced. Yet annual retirement payouts for public-sector workers continue to climb, thanks to lavish pensions that enrich municipal retirees with as much as 90 percent of their former salaries — and court decisions barring pension benefits for public-sector employees from being rolled back.

The result, in San Jose and across the country, is the “startling injustice” of poor and working-class taxpayers forced to make do with less and less so that the gold-plated pensions of public-sector retirees, which already gobble an outsize share of government budgets, can keep devouring more and more.

But hey dude, don’t worry, be happy — “San Jose and D.C. Tie for Highest in Economic Confidence,” Gallup reports today.

Kevin D. Williamson brilliant summed up Detroit’s collapse into bankruptcy last year as a case of the parasite having outgrown the host.” Certainly, that sums up the potential fate of DC, the home of the rapacious federal government — and quite possibly San Jose as well.

Barack to the Future

March 24th, 2014 - 1:36 pm

“White House pushes ‘wooden skyscrapers’ as a solution to global warming,” Michael Bastasch writes at the Daily Caller:

The White House launched a new campaign to sell its global warming agenda to rural America: “sustainable” buildings, including skyscrapers, made out of wood to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

The Agriculture Department (USDA) announced it was launching a new $1 million program to promote wood as a “green” building material to boost rural economies, as well as a $1 million competition “to demonstrate the architectural and commercial viability of using sustainable wood products in high-rise construction,” according to Department.

“Wood may be one of the world’s oldest building materials, but it is now also one of the most advanced,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Building stronger markets for innovative new wood products supports sustainable forestry, helps buffer reduce [sic] greenhouse gas emissions, and puts rural America at the forefront of an emerging industry.”

The project is combines parts of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the administration’s push to win over rural America using green jobs. The USDA hopes to spur the use of wood technologies in industrial building projects like “tall buildings and skyscrapers, as well as other projects,” claiming that such buildings would produce be more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.

“By some industry estimates, a 3-5 story building made from emerging wood technologies has the same emissions control as taking up to 550 cars of the road for one year,” according to USDA. “Wood-based designs have also been demonstrated to improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling.”

Emphasis mine. I’m not sure how Vilsack or whoever wrote his press release gets from three to five story buildings to “skyscrapers.” But in any case, it’s not as if his boss made his political bones in a city whose rich 20th century architectural tradition was spurred on by a calamity caused by a devastating late 19th century conflagration made all the more intense due to a concentrated massing of wooden structures, right?

The fire’s spread was aided by the city’s use of wood as the predominant building material, a drought prior to the fire, and strong winds from the southwest that carried flying embers toward the heart of the city. More than ⅔ of the structures in Chicago at the time of the fire were made entirely of wood. Most houses and buildings were topped with highly flammable tar or shingle roofs. All the city’s sidewalks and many roads were also made of wood. Compounding this problem, Chicago had only received an inch of rain from July 4 to October 9 causing severe drought conditions.

Don’t worry — I’m sure it will be different the next time.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

CNN: The Carnac News Network

March 21st, 2014 - 3:27 pm

In 1978, in addition to Johnny Carson’s recurring Carnac the Magnificent character, NBC concluded one of the funniest episodes of the original Saturday Night Live with a sketch titled “Next Week in Review,” in which Laraine Newman played “Maxine Universe,” who interviewed a trio of psychics played by that week’s host Steve Martin, along with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin. Newman began the segment thusly:

Good evening, and welcome once again to “Next Week in Review”, the show that believes any news is old news if it’s already happened, and dares to predict what’s going to happen next week. [ to her guests ] Well, psychics… you did superbly again last week. You batted 1.000 once more. Mitzi, you predicted that the Panama Canal Treaty would be approves by a 68-to-32 vote… Cocuwa, you predicted that Harry Reasoner would be leaving the ABC News because he didn’t fit in with the plans… and, Kreeg, you predicted correctly that world heavyweight boxing champion Leon Spinks would be arrested for driving without headlights and having cocaine in his hat. Um — but let’s get on to tomorrow’s headlines: What does next week look like? What’s going to be the big story?

Flash-forward 35 years, and what was satire is now “reality” — or whatever passes for reality on the Flight 370 obsessed CNN and its sister network, Headline News, which has enlisted a psychic(!) in a bid to reveal the missing Boeing 777, as Guy Benson writes at Hot Air:

I’ve gone out of my way to avoid writing about the missing airplane, even though many Americans evidently find the mystery’s allure to be irresistible. Let’s face it: CNN isn’t going wall-to-wall with the story because of its intrinsic news value. I’ll freely admit that there’s something about aviation disasters in general that is morbidly fascinating, so a bizarre case involving a massive jet with hundreds of souls aboard simply vanishing is inevitably going to attract lots of eyeballs. And yes, some of the morsels of evidence that have emerged only add to the intrigue  That being said, the media’s endless speculation about this case — in the absence of much tangible news — strikes me as profoundly unseemly.  Some of the coverage has descended into self-parody.  In a much-derided segment, CNN anchor Don Lemon asked if there was any merit to a theory that the plane was swallowed up by a black hole.  (Bravo to the guest who deadpanned that even a small black hole would have sucked in “our entire universe, so we know it’s not that”).  CNN’s sister network, HLN, took the theater of the absurd a step further, hauling a psychic on air to offer the following “insights:”

It’s mind-numbing stuff to sit through, so here are the relevant bits from the transcript:

“Naturally, I don’t have hard, concrete evidence. I think any psychic who has hard, concrete evidence can’t do their job correctly…They’ll just work off what they know. I tend to work off what I don’t know….I kept feeling as though yes, there are some people who have passed away…I do believe that it actually crashed, and I see a lot of trees. I think there is a larger organization behind this that is leading us off track with this debris.”

There’s definitely a larger organization that’s leading its viewers off track, and that’s CNN and parent company, the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO conglomerate — which understands that its credibility has long been in a black hole — why not go crazy obsessing on a story if it provides a temporary bump in ratings?

And speaking of a network that long ago discarded credibility, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd certainly gets the chutzpah award, slamming a rival leftwing network for “Another day of ‘breaking news’ based on finding nothing or in other words, ‘not breaking news.’”

It’s a valid complaint, but perhaps the spokesman for a network with a bridge to sell you isn’t necessarily the best man to be delivering it.

Don’t Know Much About History

March 21st, 2014 - 12:05 pm

“Democrats ‘get clobbered’ in midterms, whines Obama,” Jim Treacher writes:

The economy stinks, Obamacare is a disaster, Putin’s smirking at us while he does whatever he wants… and the most powerful man in the free world is mewling like a fussy baby. Why is everybody so mean?

Justin Sink, The Hill:

President Obama complained Thursday that Democrats “get clobbered” in midterm elections, blaming a “toxic” atmosphere in Washington for suppressing key Democratic constituencies.

“The challenge is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith,” Obama told a group of top Democratic donors gathered at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. “They say, ‘Y’know what, it doesn’t matter, I’m not that interested, I’m not gonna vote.’ And that’s especially true during the midterms…”

“…In midterms, we get clobbered, either because we don’t think it’s important or because we get so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

Ahh, return with us now to the 2006 midterms, in which Rahm Emanuel, then chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, assembled what Kevin McCullough of Townhall dubbed Nancy Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies. As McCullough wrote immediately after the 2006 midterms, when Republicans lost both the House and Senate:

Nancy Pelosi will bring San Fran values to the Beltway debate, and Kennedy, Kerry, and Clinton will clamor to be first in line.

But how did she get there? In many instances – by taking advantage of terrible Republicans – and their own criminal wrong doing. But the main strategy was to convince a needed one-fourth of the electorate that the Democrat option on the ballot was not much different than the Republican option. Winning enough of the seats to take control of both houses, Pelosi is free to assign every committee chairmanship in the House, as is Reid in the Senate – to the most disgusting and vile liberal creatures imaginable.

The strategy was so sound it was as though they had taken the ideas right out of my book: MuscleHead Revolution: Overturning Liberalism with Commonsense Thinking or at the very least from the scrap notes of Karl Rove.

Look at how the candidates described themselves: “pro-marriage”, “pro-life”, “pro-gun”, “born-again Christian”, “pro-business”, “anti-tax,” and in one case “former member of the Reagan administration.”

And understand this clearly, it wasn’t important that any of them demonstrate these beliefs – merely campaign on them. And in doing so,they campaigned only enough to make the point that in pulling the lever for them – the “common sense” voter wouldn’t lose on certain, and vitally important “values” issues.

They invoked Jesus, God, the Bible, marriage, and faith in decibel and volume that would have earned Soros-sized scorn, and Kos-site mockery — were the party to actually let them demonstrate any of it.

But in doing so, they tricked the masses into believing that their positions on such matters would stand as strong as the true-believers that some of them displaced.

That last sentence was particularly prophetic, as Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies paved the way for both Obama’s governing majority in 2009 and 2010, when Obama had control over both houses of Congress, and most significantly, for Obamacare to be passed in 2010 on a hardline one party vote. Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies were then slaughtered in the 2010 midterms after their deceptive “moderate” stance was proven to be uniformly false.

Because leftwing criticism is reserved solely for tactics and tone, never for the underlying strategy, immediately after the 2010 midterms, as MSNBC talking head Richard Wolffe wrote in the Daily Beast, Team Obama blamed Rahm for their defeat:

As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rahm Emanuel built a Democratic majority in the House. As President Obama’s chief of staff, he devised White House strategy toward Capitol Hill. So when the Democrats were going down in flames Tuesday night, where was Obama’s chief political architect? Half a continent away, campaigning for himself.

Half a continent away, campaigning for himself in the most pro-Obama place on the planet, largely sheltered from the Republican rubble crashing down on his party all across the country.

And his old colleagues in Washington aren’t too happy about it. Some of them shake their heads in disbelief that Emanuel would bolt at precisely the juncture when the Democrats needed to shape their strategy and message during the homestretch of what everyone knew would be the toughest election cycle in years.

“It was Rahm who always said, ‘We’ve just got to put points on the board,’ and that’s why we have a transactional presidency,” said one former colleague. “The only problem is that Obama is not a transactional politician. It was Rahm’s strategy and then he leaves a month before the election for his own personal political career. It’s extraordinary.”

There’s only so many times you can lie to the American people before they catch on — and Rahm and Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies did just that in 2006 — both to centrist voters, and even to the Democrat hard left base.

Yesterday’s statement from Mr. Obama is yet another curious ahistorical gaffe from the man once touted by his backers in the media as the smartest in politics — maybe in the history of the universe, ever, — akin to his earlier brain fart in 2011 that “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, you know, for historic reasons,” which would certainly be news to Lyndon Johnson, John Connally, and Ann Richards.

But then, one reason why Texas has gone red is that, as Democrats have moved progressively (pardon the pun) further and further to the left — both in tone and in tactics — achieving traction in a state is rather difficult when voters know, as Moe Lane has written about how effete coastal Democrats loathe Texas, that you despise them as bitter clingers.

In any case, as Treacher concludes, “It’s only March, and the Dems are already panicking about November. Good.”

“Left-Wing Darling Pacifica Radio Is Sliding Into the Abyss,” L.A. Weekly reports:

“You’re all going to be personally liable — and I’m going to enjoy your houses!” Reese shouted at them, according to former board member Sasha Futran, who backs Wilkinson.

Later Reese read for all the staff, in her deep and booming voice, from the Book of Joshua: “Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.”

“I feel like I’ve ended up in an insane asylum,” Futran told L.A. Weekly a few hours later, still in disbelief.

“I’m not leaving the building until this is resolved by either the Attorney General’s Office or the court,” Reese told the Weekly. “I don’t want these people to destroy Pacifica.”

The standoff is only the latest in a series of putsches and counter-putsches that have typified the network’s last 15 years.

It’s the equivalent of “WKRP on acid,” Iowahawk tweets. “LA Weekly’s story on dying Pacifica radio is the funniest thing you’ll read all year.” Though unlike WKRP’s underlying sweetness and anarchic fun, the real Pacifica is a mouthpiece for socialism and political correctness run amok — its collapse couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of would-be totalitarians. Enjoy the schadenfreudemania on steroids.