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Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

Keating Five, Eagles Zero

March 30th, 2015 - 2:25 pm

Over the weekend late at night, I watched the 27-hour long History of the Eagles documentary on Netflix. (I may be exaggerating the length slightly. But not by much.) I never followed the band in the ‘70s, because at the time, my motto when it came to rock was that if it’s not British, it’s crrrrrapppp, to paraphrase Mike Myers. (Ex-pats such as Jimi Hendrix and Chrissie Hynde were the exceptions that proved the rule.) So I didn’t know what specifically ended the group. I had no idea this trivial spat was the coke straw that broke the band:

On July 31, 1980, in Long Beach, California, tempers boiled over into what has been described as the “Long Night at Wrong Beach.” The animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over before the show began, when Felder said, “You’re welcome – I guess” to California Senator Alan Cranston’s wife as the politician was thanking the band backstage for performing a benefit for his reelection. Frey and Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer backstage. “Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal”, Frey recalls Felder telling him near the end of the band’s set. Felder recalls Frey telling him during “Best of My Love”, “I’m gonna kick your ass when we get off the stage.”

Cranston looked a bit like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons. Beyond being a boilerplate malaise-era Dem, just a reminder of who he was:

Cranston was reprimanded by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics for “improper conduct” on November 20, 1991 after Lincoln Savings head Charles Keating’s companies contributed $850,000 to voter registration groups closely affiliated with the senator. Keating had wanted federal regulators to stop “hounding” his savings and loan association. Although the committee found that “no evidence was presented to the Committee that Senator Cranston ever agreed to help Mr. Keating in return for a contribution,” the committee deemed Cranston’s misconduct the worst among the Keating Five.

So let me get this straight: throughout the documentary, a running leitmotif is that the band was desperate to add some decent rock under their soaring harmony vocals. The band fires British superstar engineer-producer Glyn Johns (whose previous resume included the Stones, the Who, the Beatles, and Led Zeppelin’s first album) because he emphasized their harmonies and country sound. In response, they bring in Joe Walsh to rock out. And finally, when their other guitarist does something that’s actually rock and roll and utters a punk rock-style sneer to corrupt power, the entire band implodes?


Clinton Versus Clinton

March 30th, 2015 - 11:50 am



  I just don’t understand how someone could support a presidential candidate whose husband signed such a monstrous law. Speaking of which:

And I look forward to ESPN weighing in this:

All of which is why:

Or as Glenn Reynolds Insta-writes, “Here’s the deal: (1) Indiana has gone from a swing state to a red state, so it’s fair game; and (2) Dems need something to agitate the base so it doesn’t pay attention to Iranian nukes, trashed email servers, and an overall culture of corruption. Those who join in are willing enablers.” Indeed. Read the whole thing.™

The Burning Johnson

March 29th, 2015 - 7:37 pm

Everything you ever wanted to know about LBJ’s shower habits — and far, far more:

LBJ, well, he comes off as a monster. He harassed residence staff for years to construct him a specialized shower to replicate the one he had at his private Washington home, with “water charging out of multiple nozzles in every direction with needlelike intensity and a hugely powerful force.”

“One nozzle was pointed directly at the president’s penis, which he nicknamed ‘Jumbo.’ Another shot right up his rear,” Brower writes. Johnson, who traveled with his own special shower nozzle, wanted the water pressure at the White House to be “the equivalent of a fire hose, and he wanted a simple switch to change the temperature from hot to cold immediately. Never warm.”

Johnson harangued the staff when they explained to him that they would have to lay new pipe, install multiple new pumps and increase the size of the water lines to the White House to create this shower contraption.

“If I can move 10,000 troops in a day, you can certainly fix the bathroom any way I want it!” Johnson yelled at the staff, according to Brower.

Reds Arrington, the plumbing foreman at the White House, spent five years trying to perfect the project, and at one point was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. The staff went through five different replacement shower models. LBJ eventually got something like what he wanted, sort of. The water temperature was so hot that the steam it emitted “regularly set off the fire alarm,” Brower writes.

Near the end of his presidency, LBJ told Arrington that the shower was his “delight.”

Not long after, Nixon took over the White House. He took one look at LBJ’s elaborate shower setup and muttered, “Get rid of this stuff.”

Heh. And don’t get Johnson started on the topic of trousers, either:

(Found via Mark Hemingway, who tweets, “Every time I think I can’t be surprised by learning more about LBJ…”)

“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.

Smart power, smart president. “Obama Calls Afghan President Ghani by the Name of His Corrupt Predecessor,” as spotted by Brendan Bordelon at the Corner:

[Obama] noted the need to keep soldiers and advisers in the Central Asian nation “in part, so that President Karzai — who has taken on the mantle of commander-in-chief in a way that we have not seen in the past from an Afghan president — can do a serious review.”

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who served for almost a decade before stepping down in September 2014, was plagued by corruption scandals and often served as a thorn in the side of American security forces in the country.

No wonder Obama displays a vestigial sympathy towards him.

And speaking of smart power, “Arab states are watching in horror as the U.S. increasingly openly switches sides from supporting them to supporting their (and our) worst enemy in the region,” Iran.

It will be cold comfort indeed if a man who ran for the presidency in 2008 under the guise of restoring America’s status with our foreign allies ends up with only one “ally” left — this one:

As Mark Steyn wrote last month:

I’m growing rather weary of the cheap comparisons of Obama with Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister got the biggest issue of the day wrong. But no one ever doubted that he loved his country. That’s why, after his eviction from Downing Street, Churchill kept him on in his ministry as Lord President of the Council, and indeed made Chamberlain part of the five-man war cabinet and had him chair it during his frequent absences. When he died of cancer in October 1940, Churchill wept over his coffin.

So please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain by comparing him to Obama. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

On the other hand, get a load of this crazy, jingoistic radical: “Imagine a president who stands up and says we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name.”

Wow, that’s some wild-eyed pie-in-the-sky stuff right there. You may say I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Fake magazines created as background props for Ridley Scott’s epochal 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner, set in 2019:

Real magazine available on newsstands in 2015:

So how far behind are Pris, Zora, and Rachel?

Springtime for Hillary

March 20th, 2015 - 10:56 am

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

CARL REINER: I’d like you to meet the German representative from Nartzi? Narzi? Narzi! From the Narzi Film Company, Herr Adolph Hartler.   Good afternoon, Herr Hartler!

MEL BROOKS: Heil Hartler, how are you?!

* * * * * *

REINER: Sir, you’re wearing your bathing suit, I noticed. And as you scratched your head, I noticed a little “SS” tattooed under your arm. What does that mean?

BROOKS:  Oh, uh, uh, well, wait — oh, that’s the “Simon Says!”

REINER: The what?! The what?!

BROOKS: “Simon Says.” We play that on the beach. I’m the captain of the Simon Says Team und that’s vhere ve get SS from!

REINER: You think it’s worth tattooing on your arm, just to be a Simon Says leader?

BROOKS: Oh, vell, I’m serious about the game, I love it, and so I had myself tattooed Simon Says!

REINER: How did you feel about Stanley Kramer’s motion picture, Judgment at Nuremberg?

BROOKS: Unfair!

REINER: Why did you consider it unfair?

BROOKS: Well, because he didn’t tell the whole truth. Vhat vas the picture about? Really about? A misunderstanding really, wasn’t it? I mean, look: you send people to camp don’t you, in the summer?  We sent a few people to camp! I don’t know what the whole…fuss is about!  Send some nice people to camp. Mostly in the summer!

—From the comedy album Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks at the Cannes Film Festival, 1962.

Hillary Clinton wants to send all Americans back to camp because they are not having enough fun.

In another paid speech, Clinton addressed a group of camp counselors Thursday. She lauded the camp experience for teaching important life skills and fostering personal growth.

“As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults,” Clinton said.

The former Secretary of State lectured the audience, telling them that Americans need more fun.

“I think we have a huge fun deficit in America,” Clinton said.

Clinton did not explain why she felt Americans were not having fun but it is not difficult to understand her reasoning after going through Clinton’s list of hobbies.

“Her favorite fitness activity, according to her MySpace page, is speed walking. Her hobbies include crossword puzzles, Scrabble and gardening. Organizing her closets is stress relief. Sleeping in until 7 a.m. is her idea of being naughty.”*

“Hillary Clinton Says to Fix The ‘Fun-Deficit’ in America, ‘We Really Need Camps for Adults,’” the Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.

As a normal, sane, red-blooded American, I am, of course, dreading the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency, just as a super-majority of Americans previously were in 2007. As a blogger, journalist, and editor, assuming I don’t wind up in one of Hillary’s reeducation fun camps, I am positively thrilled about covering the insanity that will emerge. The amount of crazy schemes and cover-ups to emerge from Team Hillary will dwarf the Blogosphere, especially since the MSM will be too in the tank to cover most of it.

Update: In case anyone is surprised by Hillary’s latest brainstorm, recall her past attempts at totalitarian spitballing:

Orwell’s was a daddy-dystopia, where the state is abusive and bullying, maintaining its authority through a permanent climate of war and the manufacture of convenient enemies. Huxley’s is a maternal misery, where man is smothered with care, not cruelty. But for all our talk these days about manliness, individualism, and even the ‘nanny state,’ we still don’t have the vocabulary to fight off nice totalitarianism, liberal fascism.

With that distinction in mind, let us revisit It Takes a Village. On page after page, Clinton extols the idea that just about everything is a health issue. Divorce should be treated like a “public health issue” because it creates stress in children. The very basics of parenting are health issues because “how infants are held, touched, fed, spoken to, and gazed at”determines whether our brains can be “hijacked”by our emotions, potentially making us murderously violent. Mrs. Clinton tells us that Janet Reno issued a report which found that gang violence and gun use are the products of people with badly imprinted brains who become “emotionally hijacked”with little provocation. Quoting doctors, friendly activists, social workers, and random real Americans, in chapter after chapter she argues for interventions on behalf of children from literally the moment they are born. Children need “[g]entle, intimate, consistent contact” to reduce stress, which can “create feelings of helplessness that lead to later developmental problems.”Even well-to-do parents need help because after all everyone feels stress, and “we know that babies sense the stress.” It’s fair to say that a state empowered to eliminate parental stress is a state with a Huxleyan mandate. And a state with an extreme mandate must logically go to extremes.

Hence Clinton argues for the diffusion of parental training into every nook and cranny of public life. Here’s one such suggestion: “Videos with scenes of common-sense baby care—how to burp an infant, what to do when soap gets in his eyes, how to make a baby with an earache comfortable—could be running continuously in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any place where people gather and have to wait.” Imagine if these sorts of ideas were fully implemented at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the passport office, and other places “where people gather and have to wait.”Giant flat screens at the airport pumping breast-feeding advice? The JumboTron at football games? At what point would the Brave New World seem to be heading down the pike?

And in-between Madison Avenue letting its inner Socialist Justice Warrior out to run amok during the commercials of the most recent Super Bowl, and Starbucks unleashing its own crusading socialist evangelism, the off-ramp for Brave New World certainly appears well within sight.

Exit question: Has Hillary nailed down the name for her camps yet? Why not go with a proven winner, such as “Strength Through Joy”?

* Huh — so Hillary’s just a babe in the woods when it comes to knowing about her husband’s ideas of “being naughty,” I guess. And how does “sleeping in until 7:00 am” fit in with promising to be on the job and ready to swing into action when the phone rings at 3:00 AM?

Jonah Goldberg writes that it’s “Hillary All the Way Down,” as she’s getting the old band back together to fight her battles once again:

One of my favorite movie clichés is the bit where the old pros — and maybe one eager rookie — get together for one last job. I’m thinking of movies like The Magnificent Seven, or The Return of the Magnificent Seven, or the first five minutes of the under-appreciated Extreme Prejudice.  The collection of experts at the beginning of The Andromeda Strain is a great variant of the genre and so is the whole “There’s an Animal in Trouble” theme song from the Wonderpets and the first half of The Blues Brothers. But perhaps more apt would be the hunt for, or reuniting of, veteran grifters for a long con, like in The Sting or the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Anyway, the ChappaDataQuitIt or E-PotDome story (okay, we’re still looking for a better nickname) reminds me of those kinds of movies. The silent whistle has been blown. The sleepers activated. The old timers have been notified. I like to imagine Lanny Davis right in the middle of a meeting with an African dictator when, suddenly, his assistant hands him a note. All it reads is “Cankles Is Down.” Lanny abruptly terminates the meeting, pushes back a briefcase full of krugerrands, and races to some hellish Third World airport, telling his aide, “Let the Redskins know they’re on their own. The Clintons need me.”

Flash to a canoe on the banks of the bayou. James Carville has just caught a catfish with his bare hands and proceeds to tear apart the wriggling fish, Gollum-like. He eats the entrails first. Then, suddenly, a flare goes off above the tree line. That’s the signal. He throws the bulk of the carcass into the river, where gators churn the water to grab it now that the apex predator has departed. He makes his way to the shoulder of a dirt road where a limousine is waiting to get him to an MSNBC studio as fast as possible. His suit and tie, neatly pressed, are waiting for him along with as many hot towels as he may need to remove the fish viscera.

David Brock slinks out of his leather onesie and races to his command center, bustling with Dorito-dust frosted 20-somethings at computer terminals. “This is a level-one-alpha scenario. Cancel all leave. Turn off all X-boxes . . .”

Sidney Blumenthal, consciously dressed like that French guy in The Matrix, leaves his table-for-one, and heads home to sacrifice some creatures to Baal in preparation.

They’re all coming home.

Save for one. Poor Geraldo Rivera, locked in a reinforced steel cage deep in the bowels of News Corp, is pacing his cell like a  vampire’s familiar ordered to return to his master but unable to. The sounds of his howling, can be heard, ever so faintly, in the background during the O’Reilly Factor. Poor Greg Gutfeld has been tasked with keeping him locked up and is using his cattle prod a bit more than necessary . . .

And scene.

The fact that Team Clinton is relying on the old rat squad once again is vastly more significant than most commentators have suggested. Yes, yes, it’s bad politics. A candidate looking to offer a fresh face forward, figuratively speaking, has no choice but to keep his or her own face (John Kerry notwithstanding). But she surely has plenty of options for who she picks to represent her in public. Mrs. Clinton has millions and millions of dollars at her disposal. She has people placed at the highest reaches of the government and the media. There are over 200 people working, formally or informally, for her as policy advisors already. And yet she chooses to get the old band back together instead.

Why? There are many possible answers, but the only plausible one is that a Clinton only trusts Clinton loyalists. This fits everything we know about the Clintons. And it speaks volumes about the thickness of her bubble.

It’s Hillary All the Way Down

But it also speaks even louder about what kind of president she would be. If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.

And some old hands in the media are more than willing to volunteer for one last round-up:

“Obama blasted Hillary’s secrecy in 2007,” the Weekly Standard reminds readers this week:

As the White House claims that it was caught off-guard by the Clinton email scandal, or that President Obama didn’t realize that his emails to hdr22@clintonemail.com weren’t landing on State Department servers, it would be good to remind them: you told us so.

Because in 2007, then-Senator Obama loudly criticized then-Senator Clinton for her failure to turn over government documents — not State Department emails, but thousands of pages of White House documents held by the Clinton Presidential Library and National Archives, for which President Clinton had instructed archivists not to release to documents until 2012.

The Clintons released the documents eventually, but only after a protracted delay. In the meantime, Hillary’s responses to criticism then sounded all too much like her responses to criticism today: she blamed the delay on government bureaucracy; she disclaimed any ability to expedite the process; and she said that she really wanted those slow bureaucrats to disclose the documents soon.

Today, President Obama is doing all he can to avoid the issue. But in October 2007, he was practically jumping at the chance to shine a spotlight on it. So much so that when Tim Russert raised the issue at a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, Obama raised his hand and eagerly criticized not just that specific controversy but also the broader problems that the controversy portended.

Hillary’s intense need for secrecy does sound pretty darn Orwellian, doesn’t it, Barry? A reminder that when it comes to Hillary, we should “vote different,” if given the chance:

Update: And speaking of fun flashbacks!


I wonder if Podesta had a vodka bottle or two thrown at him this week.

Of Mucus Daggers and Snail Sex

March 13th, 2015 - 2:56 pm

“Being Stabbed with a Mucus Dagger Is Not Even the Worst Part of Snail Sex,” Discover magazine reports, going deep inside the hot and heavy world of copulating gastropods:

A love dart is a sharp dagger that a snail builds in its body out of calcium carbonate. Before mating, the snail thrusts this dart out of itself and straight into its partner’s flesh. A love dart is not related to a penis (each snail has one of those, too) and doesn’t carry sperm. It’s pure weaponry. You might see a fired dart still jutting from a snail’s neck while it copulates, as in the right-hand snail below:

Love darts are coated in mucus, like poison-tipped arrows. In some species, scientists have discovered that this mucus acts on the female organs inside the snail receiving the dart. It seems to encourage the female parts to store the sperm they’re about to receive. This means love darts may help potential snail fathers edge out the sperm from all the other snails their partners have mated with.

So stabbing one’s mate with a love dart is in the best interest of the sperm donor, but not necessarily the sperm recipient. It give the sperm donor a paternity boost instead of letting the recipient pick and choose which sperm it stores. It’s also quite violent. “In species bearing a relatively large dart, snails retract [their bodies] rapidly when they are stabbed, suggesting strong pain,” says Kazuki Kimura. A researcher at Japan’s Tohoku University, Kimura wanted to find out whether love darts truly hurt their recipients—not just in the moment, but over the rest of their lives.

Sounds kinky! I can’t wait to see the video version of this article. Except that I already have, decades ago:

Filed under: Muggeridge's Law

The Undersea World of Wernher Von Braun

March 13th, 2015 - 10:50 am

“Y2Kyoto: Great Moments In Rocket Surgery,” as spotted by Kate of Small Dead Animals:

“In your judgment, what is the core mission of NASA?” Cruz asked.

“Our core mission from the very beginning has been to investigate, explore space and the Earth environment, and to help us make this place a better place,” Bolden said. NASA studies everything from the depths of the oceans to the solar energy coming into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Cruz pushed back against the “Earth” part of NASA’s mission. “Almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space,” he said. “That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country.”

“I am concerned that NASA in the current environment has lost its full focus on that core mission.”

Bolden defended spending more money on Earth science activities, saying he is “proud” of it since it’s led to a greater understanding of the planet.

“We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater and we don’t know it — and that’s understanding our environment,” Bolden said, in a clear reference to global warming-related sea level rise.

Damn budget cutbacks; I remember when NASA used to receive better telemetry from their rockets. I’d like to think in the old days, if a Saturn V or Space Shuttle suddenly went underwater, NASA would know about it. Perhaps it’s finally time to disband the sclerotic, elderly agency and put it out of its misery and ours. Wouldn’t that also help reduce global warming?

Besides, isn’t all of NASA’s “global warming” “research” all for naught these days, anyhow? As Steve Goddard noted on January 10, 2013:

On January 17, 2009 – NASA’s James Hansen told us that Obama had only four years to save the planet. The clock is ticking, as Obama only has seven days remaining to rescue the Earth.

Of course, Goddard made his observation the same week that Al Gore declared Mission Accomplished on the decades old global warming project anyhow, by cashing in his chips to the oil rich, terrorist-funding state of Qatar.

NBC Anchorwoman: Leave Hillary Alone!

March 11th, 2015 - 1:32 pm

“Maddow: Media idiots don’t ‘know how to talk about’ the Clintons,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

“There are some analogs for the rest of us in mortal life* in terms of thinking about Hillary Clinton,” Maddow said after noting that, just like Hillary, MSNBC made her carry two devices in 2009 in order to be able to access her work and personal email accounts. “But the political truth of it is that there is no analog in mortal life to Hillary Clinton as a political being.”

* * * * * * *

“Seeing the scrum this week, and a lot of the stupidity in the coverage around this issue, I worry about whether we’re going to be well-served by a Beltway press corps that doesn’t know how to talk about either Bill or Hillary Clinton without treading into real nonsense,” she closed.

You hear that, members of the political press? Even after more than two decades, you don’t know how to talk about the Clintons without sounding like conspiratorial fools. Rachel Maddow would like to provide some tips for you so that you can more effectively do your jobs in her eyes.

Maybe Maddow failed to recall that she indulged in some bizarre theorizing of her own when she suggested that Christie ordered the GWB lane closures due to an arcane fight with the legislature over Supreme Court nominees. Perhaps she forgot that even Bill Maher admonished her for being admittedly “unapologetically” “obsessed” with the bridge scandal that went precisely nowhere.

Wow, at least Al Gore waited until after the Democrats lost before springing the conservative media bias spin, which is what Maddow’s bizarre dissembling strongly resembles. (And given that she’s described herself as “someone who’s roughly to the left of Mao.” she’s very likely one of those people who thinks the New York Times and NPR lean so far to the right they’re anarchic libertarians.)

Plus I like the references to “the rest of us in mortal life.” So Hillary is God? I thought Obama was God — and I don’t recall Obama or his immediate circle treating Hillary so worshipfully in 2007 and 2008:

And that first salvo from the Obama campaign treated Hillary with kid gloves compared to how she was described a year later in Obama’s Chicago church:

Father Pfleger’s May 2008 rant in Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, “the Obama family church,” as the Chicago Sun-Times noted (until — poof!it wasn’t) and Maddow’s worshipful praise of Hillary are reminders that, “There Is No Such Thing as a Secular Politics,” as Seth Mandel writes at Commentary, “Liberalism, especially in the age of Obama, is a deeply religious movement.”

Bill Clinton could seem like a Southern televangelist (in more ways than one…) with his “I feel your pain” Elmer Gantry routine. Obama could make a similar shtick work on the pulpit in 2008; Hillary is a deeply flawed retail front woman for a party that treats politics like a religion.

Of course, there’s always feminism for Hillary to fall back on. And speaking of which, as Charles Hurt asks in the Washington Times, “Are we ready for 10 more years of wrath from the eternal Woman Scorned?”

Update: Maddow’s use of the word “analog” and Hillary does seam appropriate though:

Democrat Champions French Anti-Semite

March 11th, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Give Politico credit — the Democrat house organ actually named that party right in the lede:

Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney shared her latest comedy recommendation with Facebook and Twitter followers last night. The Georgia Democrat, who was the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominee, compared French comedian Dieudonné to outgoing Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

“If you love Jon Stewart, you should like Dieudonné!”* McKinney posted. “Give a listen here,” she said, providing a link to a 16-minute YouTube video.

Dieudonné, who was detained by police in January after posting a comment that seemed to support the Charlie Hebdo gunmen, has a history of making anti-Semitic jokes and remarks. His website, Quenel+, is a play on the French TV channel Canal+ as well as the quenelle, a gesture he created that many have equated to a Nazi salute.

In one routine, Dieudonné said that when he thought of a particular Jewish journalist, the gas chamber came to mind.

Exit question:

* Apparently, she actually said that. As person responded on Twitter, “Cindy, that’s equivalent to If you love Chris Rock, you should like this video by a member of the KKK.”

Update: My sincerest apologies for the deeply problematic nature of that last quoted sentence.

Hillary in the Bunker

March 11th, 2015 - 11:14 am

Hugh Hewitt overcomes the PTSD elements of Hillary’s press conference and asks “Did this help or hurt her impending candidacy?”

The fact of the matter is this is not about sex, which many people think is inconsequential, this is about matters of national policy and security.  This scandal, unlike Bill’s scandal, is consequential to the nation not just personal.  Not to mention it comes with Benghazi in the background, and with issues surrounding the Clinton Foundation very much active at the moment.  This has to matter.

At the moment, media on both sides of the aisle seem to be piling on.  That is a measure of how consequential this, in fact, is.  But this will also be ancient history by the time the campaign actually gets rolling.

Sean Trende notes that the biggest political problem for Hillary here is that it has revealed that her game has not improved since 2008.  If anything, I think it has worsened.  Said Trende, “There were signals that she was putting together the sort of larger-than-life, untouchable campaign that Obama put together in 2008 (and to a lesser extent, 2012).”  Now, rather than a bad imitation of Bill, she is a bad imitation of Obama, and the public is just confused.

Put simply, managing scandal requires a candidate, or president, that is larger than life in some fashion.  Bill Clinton’s sexual conquests are a part of his mystique, at least for enough voters to win.  Obama’s imperial nature is likewise part of an aura of inevitability about the man that many people buy into.  But that kind of stuff does not rub off.  Hillary is a larger-than-life media/political presence, but it is derived.  None of us would have a clue who she is if Bill had not been elected POTUS.  Unless she can find her own larger-than-life political magic, which she did not find in this presser, something is going to eventually catch up with her.

This did not help her candidacy.

Mark Steyn adds:

Hillary announced today that she’d deleted everything other than the 55,000 pages of emails she handed over to the government. And, while 55,000 sounds like a lot, it boils down to fewer than 38 a day for a four-year term. The average person in work has over 120 business-related emails a day. So Hillary’s 55,000 sounds a little on the low side. Happily for her, she handed them over to the feds as print copies only, so Trey Gowdy is going to have to wait until some State Dept minion has scanned them all in in a searchable form before he can enter search terms like “Benghazi”.

The risibilty of these defenses is the point. To reprise one of my favorite Theodore Dalrymple quotes:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.

That’s why all this stuff is coming out now. If Hillary can get away with something so obviously and uniquely and intentionally wrong, and that compromises national security to boot, and for which she offers nothing but the most laughable explanations, then she will have set the rules for the next 18 months. If she can make the court eunuchs of the media and the Democrats’ own base complicit in this absurd and unconvincing lie, they’re hardly in a position to complain about all the others in the months ahead.

But that was written before this shoe dropped: “The Associated Press sues the State Department over Hillary’s emails,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

The Department of Justice might just want to revive its practice of monitoring the communications of Associated Press journalists after today. On Wednesday morning, the AP filed a lawsuit against the State Department for failing to provide access to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s electronic communications records and related emails under the Freedom of Information Act.

The international news organization filed suit Wednesday morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.

The requests target materials related to the potential presidential candidate’s public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.

“After careful deliberation and exhausting our other options, the Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time,” said the AP’s general counsel in a statement provided to The Hill.

To borrow from Steyn’s quote of Dalrymple, it will be fascinating to watch the Orwellian doublethink in which an AP — which exists to reflexively craft mythological PR copy for its fellow Democrats — praise the campaign efforts of Hillary against those eeeeeevil Rethuglicans, even while they’re effectively suing her and admitting that her campaign has much to hide.

And finally, the New York Post’s headline editor certainly earned his pay today:

As Podhoretz writes in his article, “Hillary acts stupid when she plays dumb:”

Smart Hillary Clinton would know that people don’t delete their most personal emails: That’s the point of ­email, that it’s a wondrous passively organized file cabinet of your personal communications.

It’s the junk you delete, not the ­emails about your daughter’s wedding. Those are the kinds of things most people actually want to keep.

But not Dumb Hillary Clinton, who said she’d done just that.

Smart Hillary Clinton seems to have invented Dumb Hillary Clinton to protect her from herself. But Smart Hillary isn’t doing herself any favors.

Mrs. Clinton is going to have to transform herself, to get rid of Dumb Hillary and find a new persona to cope with troubled times, because the person who made so horrendous an accounting of herself yesterday has no future other than ignominious defeat.

Wow John, cut the woman some slack — she and her husband are new at political campaigning and holding press conferences on the world stage; they’ll get the bugs ironed out eventually.

Building a Bridge to the 1990s

March 10th, 2015 - 1:59 pm


Hillary’s Checkers Speech

March 10th, 2015 - 1:25 pm

“Hillary trainwreck: It was ‘inconvenient’ to carry two devices for two e-mail accounts. Also, I destroyed tons of e-mails,” as summarized by Hot Air’s Allahpundit, who also has a video of Hillary on a Silicon Valley panel two weeks ago noting that she carries around two devices:

You’ll have to trust her. Even though she’s one of the least trustworthy people in American political life and gave you zero reason today to adjust that opinion. In fact, the first question she took was from a Turkish reporter who asked her, surreally, whether a similar fuss would be made over her e-mails if she was a man. That may have been the honest moment at the presser: It was so nakedly a planted question, designed to reinforce her opening pander about celebrating women’s rights to the UN — code to progressives watching that they should cut the First! Woman! President! some slack on this — that it didn’t even qualify as subterfuge. It was just Hillary and her sympathizers playing cynical games to distract from the fact of her own corruption.

Meanwhile, Larry O’Connor at IJReview explores “How Hillary Turned In 55,000 Emails Has Some Wondering If She Violated Even More Federal Regulations:”

In an effort to highlight transparency and willingness to comply with government regulations, Hillary Clinton has been touting the fact that she turned over “55,00 pages of emails” to the State Department.

It turns out that instead of handing over a digital download of the emails from her private servers, Clinton directed her staff to physically print out every single page as a hardcopy.

The New York Times revealed the fact last Friday:

“In December, dozens of boxes filled with 50,000 pages of printed emails from Mrs. Clinton’s personal account were delivered to the State Department. Those documents were then examined by department lawyers, who found roughly 900 pages pertaining to the Benghazi attacks.”

Slow-walking an investigation is a key component of the Clinton playbook, as Jonah Goldberg wrote last night in the L.A. Times:

Perhaps because the first advice lawyers give their clients is to clam up, one of Clinton’s preferred tactics is to slow-walk her response to investigators. To pick just the most famous example, in 1994, special counsel Robert Fiske subpoenaed all papers related to an allegedly shady land deal, to be delivered within 30 days. The Clintons claimed the billing records from her law firm were lost. Almost two years later, they magically appeared in the White House residence.

Just because she’s served as her own lawyer doesn’t mean Clinton has a fool for a client. Her passive-aggressive approach to politics often serves her well. By waiting long stretches of time, she encourages her political enemies to get ever more shrill or conspiratorial, even as the mainstream media grow weary of the story, particularly if it lends aid and comfort to GOP critics.

When she finally talks to a congressional committee, special prosecutor or friendly interviewer, she deftly turns herself into the brave woman standing up to her (allegedly sexist) tormentors. When she blurted out to Sen. Ron Johnson, “What difference does it make?” during the Senate’s Benghazi hearings, her fans loved it on emotional grounds, even though on the merits it was a pretty ridiculous reply.

As Jonah asks, “Is this how she would run her presidency? Do we want a president whose first response to trouble is to retreat to her bunker?”

After her press conference today, Allah deadpans, “If Democrats can’t field a primary challenger to her after this disaster, they deserve her,” ; the legendary conservative Eeyore is “now moving the 2016 election from ‘likely Democratic’ to ‘toss-up.’ At least Bill is a good liar.”

Headline via:

Update: Good boy, Politico! Here’s your Liversnap!

More: Building a Bridge to the 1990s. A pair of astonishing video juxtapositions.

Apocalypse Newark

March 9th, 2015 - 8:26 pm

By the late 1960s, an America that had been governed primarily by “liberal” politicians for much of the century seemed to be on the verge of collapse. Kennedy was assassinated in the Cold War. LBJ scaled FDR’s New Deal up to Texas-sized proportions, only to discover, the hard way, that a government that tries to do everything ends up doing everything very badly. Urban riots seemed to be omnipresent, Myron Magnet wrote in City Journal: 

In 1965, riots raged for six days in Los Angeles’s Watts ghetto, leaving over 30 dead and whole blocks in ashes; in 1967, over 40 died in the Detroit ghetto riots before the National Guard, with army reinforcements, restored order; and over 25 died in the Newark riots, in which the looters, shooters, and arsonists left $10 million of property in ruins. A year later, after Martin Luther King’s assassination, rioting raged in black neighborhoods for days in over 100 cities. Meanwhile, black radicals—most notably, the weapons-toting, cop-killing Black Panthers—were calling for armed revolution.

The riots resulted in wide swatches of “white flight” from these urban areas and decades of economic collapse. RFK and MLK were assassinated. The New Left rioted in protest of the Old Left at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. And New York went from the Mad Men swank of the early 1960s to the Death Wish/Taxi Driver/Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 nadir of the ’70s.

New Yorkers knew how badly the rot was setting in, and how Mayor John Lindsay contributed to it; as City Journal’s Fred Siegel wrote in 2010, assessing his legacy:

Lindsay’s entitlement liberalism doubled the city’s welfare rolls at a time when black male unemployment was 4 percent, so that when the economic downturn hit in 1969 and 1970, his policies—a bank tax, an income tax, a commuter tax, a stock-transfer tax, and higher real-estate taxes—made a bad situation far worse. By 1970, notes Josh Freeman, one of the contributors to the Roberts book, “Lindsay’s government employed more people than the garment, banking, and longshore industries put together.” In Lindsay’s second term, the city, reeling from rising costs and crime, bled 257,000 jobs.

It was Lindsay’s hubris and the hype that surrounded him that made his mayoralty special. Wisdom was sorely lacking. In 1972, journalist Steven Weisman, a contributor to the Roberts book, wrote that “the mayor has never been able to stop the city’s downward spiral. Services have continued to decline, division has deepened among races and economic classes, and there have been unending crises. . . . the quality of life in New York City has never seemed more bleak, its government never more sluggish, wasteful, and finally even helpless.” In 1970s New York, where just asking for a cup of coffee could get you a fat lip, the growth in crime and welfare and the decline in employment cut a generation of African-Americans off from the larger promise of American life, producing what would come to be called the underclass.

In the end, the city was worse off in 1974 than it had been when Lindsay took over in 1966. Not all the problems were of his making, of course. In fact, most predated his tenure. They worsened after he left office and were common to most other large northern cities of the period. But Lindsay, his minions in the press insisted, was supposed to be exceptional. He was elected to stop the city’s decline and rejuvenate life in New York. Instead, in the words of journalist Murray Kempton, he was a “splendid flop. . . . Failures can have their splendors and above and beyond all the variously unsuccessful Mayoralties that have been New York’s ration for the last 40 years, John Vliet Lindsay’s is the only shining failure.”

But when you’ve got a reelection on the line, how do you convince the electorate to let your administration keep their phoney-baloney jobs?

Scare the hell of the voters!

New York’s WNET-13, under the appropriately sardonic title of “Fun City Revisited,” has several minutes worth of John Lindsay 1969 campaign ads; the above two clips are my favorite. The first astonishing clip tells the voters that as bad as things are, they could always be worse — so  very, very worse that you almost expect to hear Dr. Egon Spengler telling the voters to “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light” under the images, which look like they were filmed on the rubble-strewn Hue City set of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

The second clip is better known; last week on Twitter, Dave Weigel of Bloomberg described it as “the classic 1969 ‘I suck’ ad,” and compared it to a new campaign ad by a more recent flailing big city “Progressive” attempting to hang on to his own phoney-baloney job, Rahm Emanuel:

Could Chicago get any worse with or without Rahm? I’ll bet plenty of New Yorkers in 1969 thought the worst was over as well.

Update: And speaking of Rahm, pass the popcorn: “Jesse Jackson backs Garcia over Emanuel for Chicago mayor.”


“Put CCTV in EVERY home: Householders should help us trap burglars, says Scotland Yard chief,” according to the London Daily Mail:

Homeowners should consider fitting CCTV to trap burglars, the country’s most senior police officer declared yesterday.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said police forces needed more crime scene footage to match against their 12million images of suspects and offenders.

And he called on families and businesses to install cameras at eye level – to exploit advances in facial recognition technology.

But privacy campaigners condemned the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s suggestion.

‘The proposals on increasing the amount of privately owned CCTV cameras are quite frankly Orwellian and risk turning members of the public into an extension of the police,’ said Renate Samson of Big Brother Watch.

Still though, it ought to be an excellent method to help England get back into better shape.

If only there was some other method available to defend one’s home…

Don’t Ever Change, Newsweek

March 9th, 2015 - 2:08 pm

No matter who’s running the show, whether it’s the Washington Post, Tina Brown, or these days, the International Business Times, (quite an interesting venture in and of itself) Newsweek remains a bedrock of continual insanity in this ever-changing world in which we live in, to coin a phrase:

Gosh, what could go wrong?

Triumph of the Phil

March 9th, 2015 - 10:47 am

After reading Andrew Nagorski’s review of historian Jonathan Petropoulos’ recent book Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany, I downloaded it yesterday for the Kindle. I’m about a third of the way through the book, but I did skip ahead to read what Petropoulos had to say about Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect and later armaments minister, whose patrician style and self-serving speech charmed the judges sufficiently to escape the gallows at the Nuremberg trial. This passage is a riot:

In an interview with critic Robert Hughes in the 1970s, not long removed from a twenty-year stint in an Allied jail cell, and by that time a best-selling author, Albert Speer ruminated on present-day architects whom he admired. The first name he uttered was Philip Johnson — one of the titans of modernism. Johnson himself had been sympathetic to Fascism in the 1930s. He had been dazzled by the Nuremberg Party Rally of 1938 and had been invited by the Reich Propaganda Ministry to witness the German invasion of Poland in 1939, where he commented that the Wehrmacht soldiers in their “green uniforms made the place look gay and happy.” Yet this was not the reason for Speer’s admiration for his American peer. The Nazi architect asked Hughes “to send the compliments of the Masterbuilder to the Formgiver,” and he inscribed a book on his architecture to Johnson; he added that he thought that Johnson’s recent AT &T building “was more in the spirit of his own work than anything he had seen by an American architect since 1945.”

Petropoulos doesn’t elaborate on how he took the news, but deep down, Philip must have been orgasmic. But then, as Marga Barr, the wife of Alfred Barr, the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art told Hilton Kramer of the New York Times and the New Criterion magazine in 1987, “I feel about Philip today the way I would feel about a beloved son who had gone into a life of crime.”