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Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

God and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM at Wesleyan University

February 25th, 2015 - 1:54 pm

See if you can spot the angry three letter word in the middle of the above headline. There, that didn’t long, did it?

Slippery slope, anyone?

As Professor Steven Hayward cleverly points out in his “50 Shades of Gay” post at Power Line (great headline, by the way), Wesleyan University is now making sure every sexual fetish, whim, kink, orientation, impulse and desire – plus the kitchen sink – gets its own capital letter in the ever-growing acronym of the formerly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community.

Wesleyan University’s residential life division’s “Open House” at 154 Church Street boasts, according to the university’s website: “a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf**k, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.”

And no, the asterisks weren’t included in the original text, but who says college isn’t educational? And as Jim Treacher writes:

Note the placement of “flexual, asexual, genderf***,” in that order. This creates an acronym that is, to use the parlance of the day, problematic. I find myself triggered by this othering language, and I can only conclude that it’s intended as a microaggression.

Why doesn’t Wesleyan care about the PWDNTBMCIOTFADDR community?

*People Who Don’t Need To Be Micro-Categorized In Order To Find A Damn Dorm Room

Heh. I just abbreviate that down to the G.O.P. community. It’s much easier to spell.

Update: As with much of the gender insanity that can be found on today’s Kafkaesque college campuses, Stacy McCain was way out in front of this story, first linking to it on Saturday. He described Wesleyan as going “Maximum Acronym” — though like double-dog-daring Evel Knievel, I’m not sure if I’d want to goad the crazed university into topping itself.

‘NBC Trapped in Kafkaesque Nightmare!’

February 25th, 2015 - 1:42 pm

That’s what a Kausfiles headline screams today — could you narrow it down a bit, Mickey? Because NBC is currently trapped in all sorts of Kafkaesque nightmares, most of which are of the network’s own making: If NBC drops legendary anchorman Al Sharpton, I hope they have the mother of all disparagement clauses in his contract, because the only reason the network employs Sharpton is as a protection racket to prevent him from devouring their colleagues. (See: Imus, Don.) What to do about Brian Williams, now that Lester Holt is keeping the ratings steady among the network’s elderly viewers? And what to do about far left muckraker David Corn, who’s dying to come on MSNBC — where he’s employed as a commentator — and blast Bill O’Reilly. But does Phil Griffin really want O’Reilly thrashing away at his network for the next two weeks while he’s trying to decide what it will be when it finally grows up? (Or buy time by negotiating a truce with viewer-hating Keith Olbermann.)

But actually, what Kaus is referring to is this:

The Latest Fad — Mindlessness: NBC Nightly News managed to devote almost two minutes of tonight’s opening segment to the standoff over Department of Homeland Security funding — after another, initial two minutes on the terrorist threat to the Mall of America. In that time NBC never says what the DHS funding fight is about, namely Obama’s executive action giving work permits and deportation protection to millions of illegal immigrants. (You can watch the astonishing newscast here.) The word “immigration” isn’t even uttered. Viewers tuning in would have absolutely no idea why the “big fight” — with 200,000 workers facing no paychecks, a possible “security risk,” and the “clock ticking”– is happening. Is it a budget dispute, with Republicans trying to lower federal spending and Democrats trying to raise it? An argument over long TSA lines? Insufficient leg room in coach? A union dispute? Mindless partisan animosity? The NBC story doesn’t even blame Republicans. A Democratic propaganda segment would at least have had a coherent story line.

I can see several possible explanations:

Normally, I consider Mickey to be one of the most astute observers of the national scene — but since when is mindlessness the latest fad at NBC? It seems to be well in place there since at least the Fred Silverman days.


Good news! “KFC Now Has A Coffee Cup You Can Eat,” reports BuzzFeed (who better to break this story?) Bad news — it’s only available in England right now:

This edible coffee cup was invented in a partnership with food scientists at The Robin Collective to coincide with the launch of KFC’s Seattle’s Best Coffee across its UK branches. The cup itself is made of biscuit, which has been wrapped in sugar paper and then lined with a layer of white chocolate, which melts over time, softening the biscuit enough to melt in your mouth.

On top of that delicious blend, a spokesperson for The Robin Collective told the Telegraph that the cups are also infused with a selection of “mood improving aromas,” like ‘coconut sun cream,’ ‘freshly cut grass’ and ‘wild flowers,’ which “evoke the positive memories we associate with warm weather, sunshine and summer holidays.”

Of course it does. The only charitable explanation given the involvement of companies with the names Kentucky Fried Chicken and Seattle’s Best Coffee is that perhaps they’re merely working out the product’s kinks out of town before it debuts in America. I will be charitable and assume that’s the case.

Because America is waiting, as David Byrne and Brian Eno would say.

Big Dave, come on up here. Stay right here. Here’s Big Dave. He is doing a great job.

They love you, Big Dave. They love you.

He is doing a great job.

Now, in the last day here, Dave only has one thing on his mind. He wakes up with this thought, he goes to sleep with this thought, he eats and lives and breathes and dreams about getting you to the polls tomorrow. That’s all he is thinking about.

More specifically, getting you to the polls to vote for me. That’s what he’s thinking about.


That’s his job, get you to the polls, vote for Obama. My job is to help him do his job. So I am going to try to be so persuasive in the 20 minutes or so that I speak that by the time this is over, a light will shine down from somewhere.

It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, I have to vote for Barack. I have to do it.

And if you make that decision, if that moment happens, then it would be great — even though it’s just one day to go — for you to fill out one of these supporter cards before you leave, because that way we’ll know, you know, who, in fact, is going to be voting. Make sure that you are getting to the right precinct. It will be very heful to Dave in doing his job.

CNN Transcript of Obama during the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, January 7th, 2008.

Related: To be fair, Obama was able to convince one class of particularly gullible followers that they experienced an epiphany and a light upon them.

Howard Dean, Scott Walker Truther

February 23rd, 2015 - 7:26 pm

“How unhinged has Howard Dean become?”

So bad that an MSNBC host had to gently walk him back off the ledge.

On Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show tonight, Dean claimed that Scott Walker says Barack Obama was “born in Kenya.”  It took Hayes two attempts to break through Dean’s blather, but eventually he was able to politely point out: “I should note, you mention the Kenya thing, he has not been asked that.”

I realize that the left has been quite unhinged about Walker since 2011 — and Dean has been quite unhinged since, well, “Yeaaaargh!!!” But attempting to smear Walker as a Birther seems a particularly loopy tactic. But then, as Wisconsinite Ann Althouse notes, “Those of you who think that he’s a neophyte, that he hasn’t yet learned how to step up to answering a question. You don’t get it. You are a neophyte. You haven’t yet learned how to step up to understanding Scott Walker. . . . Implicit in that is: That’s not Wisconsin style. Get used to it, coasties.”

“Scott Walker Is a Threat to the Existing Social Order,” Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist, as reactionary leftists with and without bylines are becoming well aware.

On the other hand, while I’m not sure if Walker would go on the record and agree, I’m fully prepared to say that in my heart of hearts, I do believe that Obama is a Keynesian. And I know I’m not alone in my knowledge of the president’s shocking secret:


Yes, you never know when a once-trusted financial advisor can turn a investment or insurance plan you thought was running on autopilot into dust, all the while promising you repeatedly…

Much more at Twitchy; presumably, this is a set-up for further shakedowns from the trial lawyers, one of the semi-retired president’s favorite constituencies, or for additional regulations. Or both.

Fox Butterfield, Is That You?

February 20th, 2015 - 3:59 pm

“Getting a gun legally in Europe may be hard, but terrorists have little trouble,” insists a Washington Post headline.

Fox Butterfield could not be reached to comment. As for the first half of that headline’s equation, Europe has pretty much forgotten everything from 1933 through 1945, haven’t they?

When Truthers Collide!

February 20th, 2015 - 1:28 pm

NBC: “Some Seattle players believe decision to throw was made to get Russell Wilson Super Bowl MVP:”

Former Seahawks receiver Ben Obomanu joined Brian Abker of Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle on Wednesday and said he’s heard from current players on the team that believe the decision to throw on second-and-goal at the 1-yard line was rooted in a desire by the coaching staff to make Russell Wilson the MVP instead of running back Marshawn Lynch.

“I’ve heard a couple people express that sentiment,” said Obomanu, who played for Seattle from 2008-12. “A couple players, current players, have expressed that sentiment and I can give them some leeway because I know it’s hard to process and when you take a step back and you take a couple weeks post-game, post the emotions running, you start trying to find questions to ask yourself and when you get back with your parents, your friends, your buddies, all these kind of ideas creeping in. I think though some guys have expressed that same concept of actually believing that the organization in some kind of way was trying to allow Russell Wilson to be the star.

“With the whole thing with Marshawn and interviews and not giving interviews and the MVP conversation and cars and all those things that happen on the field, the guys have expressed ideas of it being easier to handle Russell Wilson accepting those kind of things and having that kind of thrust upon him as opposed to the possibilities that are unknown with Marshawn. I don’t know if guys actually believe it. I don’t know if they’re hearing it from family and friends but that’s one, I don’t know if you guys have heard it, but that’s one of the craziest kind of things that I’ve heard in my conversations with guys trying to process this whole thing.”

As NBC notes, “the thought the coaches were trying to do anything outside of winning the game seems pretty ridiculous for many reasons,” but, “no matter how silly they may sound, there is something about believing in nefarious circumstances in an otherwise simple situation that captures the imagination.”

Just ask Pete Carroll, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, who now has to deal with conspiracy theories undermining his team’s moral. Couldn’t happen to a nicer truther.

“The White House’s Summit on ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ may be on day two, but some left-of-center personalities think the ongoing response from the Obama administration is nothing more than a charade,” Al Weaver writes at the Daily Caller:

On her Wednesday show, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell called the White House’s summit on terrorism “a dog and pony show” due to the lack of high level officials from foreign nations.

“Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have foreign ministers, we’ll be speaking to the Egyptian foreign minister shortly, who will be participating,” Mitchell said. “But there hasn’t been a whole lot of support from Europe or the Middle East at a very high level for what the president is setting out here.”

“It seems to be more of a dog and pony show,” Mitchell added.

Nom, nom, nom! Given Mitchell’s role as a leading Democrat operative with a byline, I’m rather surprised to see her using that phrase, given its unfortunate association with her boss.

“Islamic extremism isn’t specifically named and won’t be during the three-day conference at the White House this week,” Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall. Because Crusades, y’all, apparently:

But the President touting a victory about core Al Qaeda isn’t the most bizarre part of the piece. Further down, Obama claims those engaging in violent extremism have “legitimate grievances” that must be addressed.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies.

What, exactly, does Obama mean when he says “legitimate grievances”? The grievances Al Qaeda and ISIS hold are against infidels and Muslims who don’t go far enough to wage jihad on the West. These “grievances” aren’t economic, despite what the State Department would like us to believe.

Wait, it’s not like the president still parties with Bill Ayers. He’s way past his teenage Marxist radical chic phase, right?

Well, so much for that idea. Which is one reason why Roger L. Simon, our Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus asks today, “Is Obama a Manchurian Candidate?”

I am so NOT into conspiracy theories.  For me, it was always  Oswald with the Mannlicher-Carcano in the Texas School Book Depository.  The only conspiracy I ever believed in was the Black Sox Scandal.  And yet… and yet….

No, I still don’t believe it. It’s simply not true.  Barack Obama is not the Manchurian candidate. That’s just an excuse. The only problem is…

He’s worse.  He’s far worse.  Barack Obama doesn’t have to be a Manchurian candidate.  He can and is doing more damage without being one.  A Manchurian candidate could be exposed (yes, and possibly could not).  Barack Obama doesn’t need that.  He and the media and the brainwashed public that elected him are destroying our country (and the West) all by themselves.  They don’t need any secret conspirators in the back room.  They’re all there in public view. And how.

Obamacare and the sabotaging of the immigration system were bad enough, but they are absolutely trivial compared to what is going on now.  We have the next thing to a jihadist in the White House.  From the inability to name Islamic terrorists as Islamic, to the failure to name Jews as the objects of homicidal anti-Semitism at a kosher market, to the complete omission of the word Christian when 21 Christians have their heads cut off (simultaneously!) for being Christian, we have in the Oval Office not only the worst president in the history of our country, we have the worst person to be president.

Exit question: “Will there be a Festivus Pole at the summit?”

Update: Bonus exit question, which will “unexpectedly” never be asked of the president by an MSM journalist:

Marie Harf, Spokesbarbie for the State Department, after spending yesterday typing the equivalent of “nu-uhhhhh” yesterday over and over again on Twitter, then dropped by Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show to thumb her nose at her critics and pout that, as Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, “My comment about ISIS needing jobs was ‘too nuanced’ for you boors:” 

When Wolf Blitzer observed that the poverty-breeds-terrorism theory is hopelessly flawed and that high-profile attackers like Osama bin Laden and Mohamed Atta were relatively comfortable and privileged, Harf declined to acknowledge his point. Though she issued an emphatic “absolutely” so as to convey that she was, in fact, listening to Blitzer and understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, she instead plunged into a pre-canned attempt at damage control as her response:

“If we looked around the world and say long-term we cannot kill every terrorist around the world nor should we try, how do you get at the root causes of this?” she asked. “Look, it might be too nuanced of an argument for some like I’ve seen over the past 24 hours some of the commentary out but it’s really the smart way for Democrats, for Republicans, military commanders, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

There’s really no other way to interpret that. If you don’t think that statements like “we can’t kill our way out of this war” and asserting that ISIS militants “lack opportunity for jobs” oversimplifies the crisis in the Middle East, Harf does not believe that you are her intellectual equal.

In 2006, when the future president was watching his campaign team being assembled for him, he told one of hischief operatives, “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” And now with the B-team that invariably replaces an administration in its twilight, he has finally assembled the colleagues he deserves. And ISIS permitting, two more fun-filled years to go!

Oh and speaking of CNN and nuance:

Update: “More Marie Harf: I notice people don’t talk much about Joseph Kony’s Christian terror group anymore,” Allahpundit adds. “Another reason you don’t hear much about Kony is because — ta da — Harf’s boss hasn’t had much success in catching him.”

Still though, as I’m sure FDR would have told Congress on December 8th, 1941, it’s the hashtag that counts, right?

Transcript here.

Update: Biden’s capacity for self-parody reaching astonishing new levels.

Related: I had to reach back nearly 30 years to find an SNL sketch I could repurpose to goof on Vice President Butt Buddy. As Christian Toto writes at Hollywood in Toto, “‘Saturday Night Live’ has had six years to poke fun at Vice President Joe Biden. What did viewers get in return?”

Speaking of which, according to Jimmy Fallon, the SNL Fortieth Anniversary afterparty this past weekend was the party of the century, far eclipsing the actual TV show that preceded it, thus proving the late Gene Siskel’s maximum about what makes a good movie or TV show. When reviewing Hollywood product, Siskel always asked himself, is what he just watched onscreen “more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?” SNL has been violating Siskel’s Law on a weekly basis ever since Phil Hartman left the show.

Law & Order: SVU Takes On #GamerGate

February 13th, 2015 - 6:11 pm

What could go wrong? Pretty much everything, Forbes’ Erik Kain writes:

One thing leads to another and pretty soon SVU has uncovered a Serious Terrorist Organization of some sorts, made up of gamers who can’t tell the difference between games and reality and want both women and social justice out of gaming. Yes, we hear this sort of thing on Twitter. Social Justice Warriors are the enemies of many in the so-called #GamerGate movement. This has yet to reach ISIS levels of terrorism outside of the inflammatory tweets of some industry insiders.

So these gamers kidnap a high profile female game developer, Raina Punjabi, during her game launch (for  her fictional Amazonian Warriors RPG, which is a non-violent game because of course women who play games don’t like violence!)

The Gamers are super high-tech. They use the “Darknet” to make sure everything they do is totally untraceable. Scary! And they post their awful videos to Redchanit which, I mean, come on people is this for real?

(Alas, and are already registered. Update: By NBC last October….)

Evil gamers in masks kidnap Punjabi, post videos of her being assaulted, make her confess to all sorts of horrible things—here it’s very much Gamers Are Worse Than ISIS territory—and many, many bad one-liners are uttered. It’s embarrassing and awful and wonderfully bad all at the same time. It’s the Reefer Madness of our generation.

Reefer Madness you say? Well, this is the TV series that railed against the horrors of Pepsi Madness in 2011 after all:

Davy’s Mother: Davy was 12 when he took his life. I tried to make him stop with the cola.  But he was addicted to it.
Det. Benson [slowly, with furrowed brow]: Soda made him kill himself.
Davy’s Mother: I collected all the research. High-fructose corn syrup can make you obese. And obesity can make you depressed.
Det. Benson: And depression can lead to suicide.

As I wrote back then, when Law & Order SVU seemed like the second coming of Jack Webb’s old Dragnet series from the 1960s, RC Cola is the flame, Mountain Dew is the fuse, Jolt Cola is the bomb. So don’t you try to equate marijuana with Coca-Cola, mister, not with me. And don’t even get me started on bottled water and air-conditioning, you capitalist Tea Party punk!

And don’t get ‘em started on TV chefs: As Matthew Sheffield wrote at NewsBusters in August of 2013, Law & Order: SVU aired an episode “in which a character based on Paula Deen kills a Trayvon Martin character.” And now video games. But then, the original Law & Order spent nearly 20 years depicting midtown Manhattan as a seething cauldron of Christian fundamentalism, and in its last season, a hotbed of conservative Tea Partiers.

As I wrote in an early Blogcritics post when its first DVD debuted in 2002, Law & Order was actually a fairly watchable police procedural for its first three or four seasons before it became an ever-expanding parody of itself.

Which is why I’d like to think Jerry Orbach is tuning in from somewhere in TV Heaven, shaking his head and muttering to himself, “I busted my a** for a decade saving this franchise after it was on the brink of cancellation, and this is what it’s become?

Update: Almost forgot this, after goofing on this line with my wife for the past two days:

Update (2/15/15): “The GamerGate Law & Order Episode Reveals Progressives As The New Architects of Moral Panic,” Allum Bokhari wrote yesterday at Breitbart London:

In the past, finger-wagging censoriousness tended to be driven by what was then called the “moral majority”, a large constituency of small-c social conservatives, often from strict Christian backgrounds. It was they who led boycotts of Monty Python and Kevin Smith movies, who accused Dungeons and Dragons of spreading Satanism, and who led campaigns against violent video games and music lyrics in the 1980s and 1990s. Virtually every moral panic of the late twentieth-century bore the fingerprints of the moral majority.

Today, that picture has changed dramatically. It was not conservatives, but progressive campaigners who championed the removal of Grand Theft Auto V from shelves in Australia. It was not conservatives, but progressive campaigners who banned a “corrupting” pop song on 20 campuses. And it is not conservatives, but progressive campaigners who are currently trying to whip up a boycott against Fifty Shades of Grey. 

In the world of gaming, we find the same pattern. The moral panic so starkly represented in Law & Order: SVU was not created by conservatives. Indeed, when conservatives have been involved, they have usually taken the side of gamers. Once again, it was driven almost exclusively by progressives and their cheerleaders in the media. Ordinary gamers, most of whom are moderates or liberals, now look to right-wing and libertarian media for fair coverage – an almost unimaginable position just a year ago.

Moral panic has once again returned to gaming. But, this time, it comes wearing neon hair dye, hoop earrings and plaid shirts, rather than blue rinses and Christian crosses. And people are starting to notice.

And they’re uploading their pushback…to the Dark Net!

“What a snob!  On today’s Morning Joe, Howard Dean, a product of fancy prep schools and Yale, suggested that Scott Walker was unfit to be president because his lack of a college degree rendered him ‘unknowledgeable,’” Mark Finkelstein writes at Newsbusters. And perhaps Dean is onto something. After all, how did these clowns ever get into the White House?

Fortunately, 21st century America is far too sophisticated to allow anyone of such low intellectual caliber into the White House ever again.

Long Knives Come Out at NBC for Brian Williams

February 11th, 2015 - 12:43 pm

One of these things is not like the others:

[Saturday Night Live creator/producer Lorne Michaels’ style during the early days of SNL] was epitomized to the crew by his habit of strolling around the set with a glass of white wine in his hand. The wine had been the cause of a heated row with unit-manager boss Steve Weston. Lorne felt NBC ought to pay for it since it was there to be shared with staff and guests, but Weston refused, citing as his reason an RCA policy prohibiting liquor in the building (a policy that was violated with impunity in the offices of the company’s executives). Lorne eventually got his wine, a nice Chablis Grand Cru at about $144 the case [in 1975], according to the unit manager who approved the invoices. The cost was hidden in the show’s prop budget. Members of the crew would watch Lorne walk by, holding his chilled glass properly, by the stem to avoid warming the wine, and say that this must be his way of letting people know who the producer was.

—Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, 1986. (After an early 1980s leave of absence, Michaels of course returned to produce SNL in the mid-1980s, and is now also executive producer for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Named by Business Insider as one of the “11 exclusive clubs Wall Streeters are dying to get into,” the Grand Havana Room is where power brokers and celebrities hobnob with captains of industry in one of the last places where it’s still legal to smoke in the Big Apple.

Immune as I am to the seductions of class resentment and Jacobin envy, I will admit it: I love the place. If invited, and if I could afford it, I’d join.

The one question I have is: Who’s paying for Al Sharpton’s membership?

“The Rev” is an omnipresent member of the club. After his MSNBC show, he’ll swing by for dinner and cigars amid the other Masters of the Universe. I couldn’t confirm that he repaired there after he broadcast his radio show, Keeping It Real, from Zuccotti Park to show his solidarity with the 99-percenters.

The reason I ask who’s paying for his membership is that Sharpton’s relationship with money has always been complicated. When he claimed he didn’t have the resources to pay damages in a defamation suit he lost, Sharpton was asked in a deposition how he could afford his suits. He didn’t own them, he replied, someone else did. He was merely granted “access” to the garments as needed. The same went for his TV, silverware, etc.

— “Al Sharpton, Posh Populist,” Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online, July 19, 2013. (As the Smoking Gun asks today, “So, What About Rev. Al Sharpton’s Suspension?”

The trouble doesn’t stop there for Williams, who also allegedly vied for the desk of The Tonight Show: a source told New York that NBC was also investigating his expense accounts for reasons unknown.

“NBC Reportedly Has ‘Dossier’ of Brian Williams Lies; Investigating His Expense Accounts,” Mediaite, today.

Exit quote:

And Speaking of Obama and Religion!

February 10th, 2015 - 1:57 pm

“Earnest: Not sure if Jews are terror targets, and climate change is a bigger threat anyway,” writes Noah Rothman at (appropriately enough for this topic) Hot Air: 

When asked by Karl if Obama really, truly believed that climate change is a greater threat to life and liberty than terrorism, Earnest remained composed. “I think, Jon, that the point that the president was making,” Earnest began, “was that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact – the direct impact on their lives – of climate change, or of the spread of a disease than on terrorism.”

Probed as to whether he would definitively assert that Obama thinks terrorism is not as great a cause for alarm as is the weather, Earnest did not disappoint. In a rambling response about the struggles climate change imposes on Americans, “particularly Americans living in this country,” Earnest confirmed in not so many words that the president views global warming as a valid national security challenge on par with, if not more significant than, climate change.

Further proof that belief in global warming really is an alternative religion, one with its own alternative bible.

Vox’s Obama Infomercial Goes Horribly Wrong

February 10th, 2015 - 12:41 pm

“Vox Dot Com Accidentally Breaks News, Instantly Regrets It,” Sonny Bunch quips at the Washington Free Beacon, regarding the president’s obscene “random” quote, perhaps the ultimate Kinsley-esque gaffe* in the otherwise apple-polishing infomercial Vox produced for their boss at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which hit the Internet yesterday:

As if, you know, the shooters just kind of stumbled onto that kosher deli and would’ve been happy shooting up a Moroccan joint instead if they had happened upon it first.

I find Fisher’s missive remarkably amusing for a couple of reasons. The first is his idea that this “obviously accidental micro-gaffe” isn’t itself a fascinating glimpse into Obama’s worldview. I mean, the big brains at Vox didn’t think it was a particularly big deal, since neither Ezra Klein nor Matt Yglesias appear to have asked him a follow up. But it really is: If you think that radical extremists targeting an ethnic group is nothing more than a random act of violence, you reject the whole framework of terrorism and are, frankly, not in a good position to lead an effort aimed at stopping terrorists.

Most humorously, however, is Fisher’s rather rabid insistence that there’s nothing to see here, this is an accident, a misstatement, it’s a gaffe, you’re all crazy. Because you know who seems to disagree with Fisher about this? Um, the Obama administration. Josh Earnest was given a chance to walk Obama’s idiotic statement back today, an opportunity to say the president meant “senseless” rather than “random.” Something, anything. And how did Earnest play it?

You can observe that in our earlier post, along with Jen Psaki’s equally fumbling answer. I almost feel sorry for them today having to defend their boss. (Almost.)

And speaking of Obama and religion, as Joel Pollock writes at Big Government concerning a new admission from David Axelrod that Obama lies on the campaign trail in 2008, “Obama’s Gay Marriage Lie Was a Lie About His Faith, Too:”

For example, during the Saddleback Forum in August 2008, where Obama and Republican rival Sen. John McCain appeared separately to answer questions from Pastor Rick Warren about their faith and political beliefs, Obama declared: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian–for me–for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

“Obama Misled Nation” is almost a perennial headline–it applies to nearly everything the president does. Yet it is important to be clear about the nature of this particular lie.

Obama did not just pretend to oppose a controversial position. He pretended to hold that view as a matter of his Christian faith.

He lied about his most sincere religious convictions–and much of his senior staff lied along with him.

A couple of years ago, Victor Davis Hanson described “Obama as Chaos:”

In short, whenever the president prefaces a sweeping statement with one of his many emphatics — “make no mistake about it,” “I’m not making this up,” “in point of fact,” “let me be perfectly clear” — we know that the reverse is always true. For Obama, how something is said matters far more than what is said. If he stumbles, as is his wont, through an un-teleprompted remark that on rare occasions can be mostly accurate, that is a serious lapse; if, more frequently, he mellifluously asserts a teleprompted falsehood, there is little worry. The result is not so much untruth, lies, or distortions, as virtual chaos. Is what he says untrue, contradictory of what he said or did earlier, or just nonsensical?

Or to put another of Obama’s lies into visual terms:

* For now. With a little under two years left in his administration, who knows what other craziness will emerge from our wild ‘n’ crazy YOLO POTUS?


Triumph of the Williams? Actually, just the opposite, but the punchline is a riot. (And possibly spot-on.)

Brutal takeaway line from Jack Shafer at the Politico on “All the President’s Explainers:”

In the example of Klein and Yglesias, they’re less interested in interviewing Obama than they are in explaining his policies. Again and again, they serve him softball—no, make that Nerf ball—questions and then insert infographics and footnotes that help advance White House positions. Vox has lavished such spectacular production values on the video version of the Obama interview—swirling graphics and illustrations, background music (background music!?), aggressive editing, multiple camera angles—that the clips look end up looking and sounding like extended commercials for the Obama-in-2016 campaign. I’ve seen subtler Scientology recruitment films.

Explainer journalism, as practiced by Klein, purports to break down complex policy issues into laymen-friendly packages that are issued from the realm of pure reason. But as Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry succinctly put it last summer in The Week, “Vox is really partisan commentary in question-and-answer disguise” that “often looks more like a right-wing caricature of what a partisan media outlet dressed up as an explainer site would look like.”

As a sometime partisan commenter, I venerate partisan commentary because it can cut through the protective Styrofoam cladding politicians love to wrap their messages in. But if you’re going to be partisan about your journalism, if you’re going to give the president an easy ride, you’ve got to be clean about it! You can’t pretend, as Klein did when he founded Vox, that you’re taking a neutral approach to news, and that all you’re doing is making the news “vegetables” more palatable by roasting them “perfection with a drizzle of olive oil and hint of sea salt.” Klein and Yglesias are like two Roman Curia cardinals who want us to believe their exclusive interview with the pope is on the level.

Prior to the 2008 election, Ezra Klein founded the JournoList, the self-described “Non-Official Campaign” to elect Obama, which keeps rolling on for both Ezra and Barry in the form of Vox. And whatever else his flaws, it’s increasingly obvious Jeff Bezos made at least one smart decision when he bought the Washington Post.

(Though to be fair, getting Obama to admit that he views Muslim attacks on French Jews as just another random shooting is quite the coup, but not in the apple-polishing way that Matt and Ezra intended.)

…Is about as big as the storm cloud on Jupiter. At Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin writes:

His Vox comments are, in fact, far worse than his initial reaction which was more a matter of omission than a conscious twisting of events. Here’s what the president said in response to a question about whether the media is blowing terrorist incidents out of proportion:

It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.

Let’s first note that his characterization of the assailants again omits their Islamist loyalties and the fact that religion was the motivating factor for their crime. This is consistent with administration policy that seeks to cleanse ISIS, al-Qaeda, or other Islamists of any connection with the Muslim faith. This is absurd not just because it is wrong. It also puts Obama in the position of trying to play the pope of Islam who can decide who is or is not a real Muslim, a responsibility that no American president should try to usurp.

But it is also significant that once again the president chooses to treat a deliberate targeting of a Jewish business filled with Jewish customers as something that is random rather than an overt act of anti-Semitism. Doing so once might be excused as an oversight. The second time makes it a pattern that can’t be ignored.

This is a peculiar talking point especially since the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe with violent incidents going up every year is something that even the Obama State Department has dubbed a “rising tide” of hate.

Why does the president have such a blind spot when it comes to anti-Semitism? His critics will jump to conclusions that will tell us more about their views of Obama than about his thinking. But suffice it to say that this is a president who finds it hard to focus on the siege of Jews in Europe or of the State of Israel in the Middle East. Nor can it be entirely coincidental that a president who treats Israeli self-defense and concerns for its security as a bothersome irritant to his foreign policy or seeks to blame the Jewish state’s leaders for obstructing a peace process that was actually blown up by the Palestinians would have a blind spot about anti-Semitism.

To address the spread of violent anti-Semitism in Europe would require the administration to connect the dots between slaughters such as the ones that took place at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher and the hate spread by the Islamists of Iran with whom Obama is so keen on negotiating a new détente. To put these awful events in a context that properly labels them an outbreak of violent Muslim Jew-hatred would require the administration to rethink its policies toward Israel as well as Iran. And that is something this president has no intention of doing.

As Jonah Goldberg writes at the Corner, “Obama’s a Fool For Randomness:”

There was nothing random about it, at all. There are about 310,000 Jews in the greater Paris area. Out of close to 12 million inhabitants. The odds of killing four Jews randomly are pretty daunting. But, thankfully,  you don’t have to do the math because Amedy Coulibaly said openly and proudly that he was targeting Jews. No one disputes this, except for Barack Obama. He would never describe the targeting of a black church by the Klan as simple random violence — nor should he. And we know he’s perfectly comfortable denouncing crimes committed in “in the name of Christ” no matter how ancient they may be. But crimes in the name of Allah must not be named as such — or at all.

Elsewhere in other random crime-related Parisian headlines, “Coexist graffiti artist badly beaten by Muslim ‘youths.’”  But hey, remember the Inquisition and the Crusades.

(Via Ace.)