» Muggeridge’s Law

Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

Breaking News from 2007

April 24th, 2015 - 12:04 pm


Failed presidential run followed by botched tenure as Secretary of State? Earning lots of wealth outside of the free market? Lots of botox? Speaking in Orwellian doublethink?

As Twitchy asks, rounding up response to the usual JuiceVox socialist sophistry, “Is Hillary Clinton cementing herself into the pantheon of rich liberal windsurfing hobbyists? If so, Vox declares it a good thing.” It looks like you’re going to need a much more limber, not to mention waterproof and gyroscopically balanced exoskeleton if Hillary will be hitting the high seas.

Another area though, where both archleftists are similar, is in their cold and aloof hauteur. In his column today, asking “Will the Clinton-Cash Scandal Doom Hillary’s White House Bid?”, Jonah Goldberg describes Hillary as a “Tudor of the Ozarks:”

Sure, the Clintons like money. That’s obvious. But the money is incidental to what’s really behind all of this: a mixture of entitlement and machine politics.

The Clintons are like the Tudors of the Ozarks. They believe they are royalty, but they also understand that even monarchs need friends. The Clinton Foundation is the perfect vehicle for their ambition. Like the medieval Catholic Church, it blurs the lines between ideals and interests. On the one hand, it does yeoman’s work in the Church of Liberal Dogoodery, but it also provides a conduit for business interests, foreign governments, academics, activists, and journalists to gain access to the imperial court-in-waiting.

Even if Hillary hadn’t conveniently wiped her servers clean, I suspect there wouldn’t be a lot of e-mails about quid-pro-quos. Such transactions aren’t made in the language of the bazaar, but in the lingua franca of loyalty, friendship, and noblesse oblige. Yes, Clinton Inc. needs money, but the money is likely seen more as tribute than bribery, a bit of coin offered up as a sign of loyalty to the coming Ozarkian Restoration — a restoration that may just have to wait for Chelsea.

There is one big difference though between Hillary and the British monarchy. “The House of Windsor is certainly more transparent” than the House of Clinton, Mark Steyn told Hugh Hewitt yesterday:

MS: Hugh, there is no ‘Clinton Foundation’… The only purpose of this foundation is to enable this family to lead the lifestyle of a head of state after it has ceased to be head of state. They spent $70 million dollars on travel at the Clinton Foundation. By comparison, the entire Royal Family, to fly between their various realms – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, that’s a lot of air miles – the entire Royal Family in one year spent $7 million dollars. So in other words, the Clintons have ten times the airplane costs of the Royal Family, who are heads of state of dozens of bits of real estate around the world. The Clinton Foundation is a hollow shell foundation playing the usual shell game with U.S. taxation. There’s no need for a Clinton Foundation except for them to rake in money from Kazakhs and Ukrainians and Iranians and Saudis and everybody else…HH: Well, let me ask you. There are two questions. Which is more transparent – the Windsor or the Clinton family? And which is less tacky – the Windsors or the Clintons?

MS: Well, one can make arguments about the last point, but the House of Windsor is certainly, the House of Windsor is certainly more transparent. You can go to I think it’s Royalty.gov.uk, and the Lord Chamberlain who runs the Queen’s Household posts every itemized bit of travel. So if you were to ask the Queen, if you happened to be meeting the Queen and you happened to say why did Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, spend $700 dollars getting from Calgary to Bermuda in 2009, she’ll give you a straight answer. Whereas if you ask a similar question to Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’ll say ‘Oh, well, these are just more distractions from the right-wing Koch-funded media, and I’m just here to talk to everyday Americans as long as they’ve undergone a background check and have been pre-screened so that it’s safe for me to pretend to interact with them…’

If Hillary acts like she has much to hide, it may be because she has much to hide. Mitt Romney, a very different Massachusetts Brahmin than Kerry, was succinct yesterday while speaking with Hugh:

“You know, I’ve got to tell you, I was stunned by it. I mean, it looks like bribery. I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20% of America’s uranium production to Russia, and then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails. And you know, I presume we might know for sure whether there was or was not bribery if she hadn’t wiped out thousands of emails. But this is a very, very serious series of facts, and it looks like bribery.”

Exit quote: “This time it wasn’t about logos or burritos, but rather uranium, foreign affairs and serious corruption. The New York Times published an exposé on ties between the Clintons and a sketchy deal which left Putin in control of a significant portion of America’s uranium; uranium it can now sell to Iran and other bad actors in the world.”

As Always, Life Imitates the Onion

April 23rd, 2015 - 10:26 am

“Alzheimer’s Disease Causing Baby Boomers To Misremember 1960s Even More.”

—Headline, the Onion, February 4th, 2010.

“Marijuana users may have ‘false memories’: Brain scans reveal how cannabis smokers can live in their own reality.”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today.

As for the latter story, Barack Obama could not be reached for comment.


…By continuing to reduce the noxious emissions of state government:

No seriously — if you’re going to make the environmentalist catch-22 argument as Democrats John Kerry and Claire McCaskill have, that a shrinking economy is good for the environment because of less carbon emissions, then you have to agree that the same holds true for shrinking the government as well. Radical environmentalism isn’t my religion, but the Book of Saul demands that its practitioners stay faithful to their own tenets.

“Contra Mother Jones, though: I don’t think that Scott Walker deliberately set out to lay off those folks on Earth Day itself,” Moe Lane posits.

“Instead, I simply think that Scott Walker doesn’t give a flying leap about Earth Day one way, or the other. Which is, frankly, more entertaining.” As Jonthan Chait’s bete noire would say, heh, indeed.™

Certainly, Walker’s doing more for the environment than this plutocratic carbon-destroying One Percenter.



That level of carbon waste is so bad, Hollywood director Joss Whedon is pondering if he would withhold penicillin from the president should, Gaia forbid, he become ill. Particularly since Mr. Obama has been jetting away on “Earth Day” since the very start of his administration:

Update: I don’t think I need to remind most regular Ed Driscoll.com readers of this factoid, but for those newly tuning in:


Gavin McInnes: All You Eds Look Alike to Me

April 22nd, 2015 - 12:18 pm

Click screencap to watch.

Ed Morrissey, Ed Schultz, Ed Driscoll — I guess all of us Eds look alike to Gavin McInnes of The Rebel.media, the founder of Vice.com, and a frequent guest at Fox’s Red Eye (and who sports an amazing hipster beard, unlike us Eds*), who makes an amusing gaffe about 30 seconds into his latest video, as screencapped above.

Don’t sweat it, Gavin — it happens a lot. I always like to tell people that while I’ve actually been blogging longer than Ed Morrissey**, I’m still a civilian, unlike Capt. Ed of Hot Air.com.

As for Ed Schultz — well, we Eds don’t like to talk about what happened to that side of our family…

* Maybe I should regrow my old beard, as seen in this 1998 photo, taken with the mighty Les Paul? It can definitely reach or exceed hipster proportions.

** Readers can confuse both Blogospheric Eds in person at Bullets and Bourbon in December.

Donna Brazile, attempting to praise Hillary, commits a Kinsley-esque gaffe that inadvertently winds up describing two centuries of artistic “progress” instead:

It’s low-key and voter-focused — solid, but not exciting. And according to Democrats close to Clinton and her team, that was more or less the point for phase one. Excitement can wait, they said in interviews last week, so long as she proves — as her campaign aides have repeated again and again — that this time, she is taking “nothing for granted.”

“There’s a rhythm. She’s starting off like Beethoven, with melodies and chords that people understand. But she’s got to end up like Beyoncé,” said Donna Brazile, the Democratic strategist who worked on both of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

As Andrew Stiles asks at the Washington Free Beacon, “What does this even mean?”

Beethoven is the boring simpleton that everyone can relate to, and Beyoncé’s expertly packaged quadruple-bylined pop hits are the sophisticated catalog of musical elites? And that’s a good thing? Who knows? A much better analogy for Hillary’s efforts to interact with everyday Americans and prove she’s one of them would be Beethoven performing in front of a stadium full of Beyoncé fans, or perhaps Hillary herself trying to learn to choreography to “Crazy in Love.”

Beyond the backwards “progress” of commercial music from Beethoven to Beyoncé, there’s the candidate herself. In 2007 and 2008, Obama was comparatively young, fresh, new, and undefined, a self-described “blank screen,” an “exotic who says nothing” as one Democrat operative with a byline wrote to bolster the kickoff of his presidential run. The rock star comparisons could work and helped to explain away his domestic political inexperience, and as we now know, his unpreparedness to be a world leader. In sharp contrast, comparing Hillary to an energetic 33-year old musician-dancer is, well, quite a stretch, unless top scientists can make remarkable progress with titanium exoskeleton systems in the next six months.

But in any case, is the typical rock star, having guzzled a half-gallon of scotch or cognac and a multitude of white powdery substances really who you want in charge of the federal government, let alone answering the phone at 3:00 in the morning?  (And we all know how well Hillary actually did during that moment.)

Donald Trump is berrrry berrrry angry with Jonah Goldberg for some reason. Perhaps violating Garry Trudeau’s self-imposed rule for criticism, Jonah is punching down — far down — when he writes back:

Still, that was four years ago and my most recent comment about Trump was four months ago. A bit tongue-in-cheek, I called him the “bane of humanity” and chastised the media, including some of my colleagues at Fox News, for taking him so seriously.

I guess Trump’s Olympian self-regard can lead him to never forget a slight, harbor grudges against critics for a very long time, and drive him to engage in childish name-calling late into the night, which are obviously some of the attributes we all look for in a presidential candidate. A huge ego and a penchant for spite is totally the kind of guy we should entrust the nuclear football to.

Still, I take this all very seriously. First of all, I love National Review. And while it seems like Mr. Trump is under the impression that I am somehow running the magazine, maybe he knows something I don’t. After all, any man who could bankrupt a casino knows more about bankruptcy than I could ever learn.

Trump also knows more about self-promotion than almost anybody alive, Lady Gaga included. So he must have some kind of plan here. And if his goal is to get people talking about him — and that’s always one of his goals — it’s already succeeded. But the overwhelming reaction on Twitter has been very negative (thanks for the support folks). And if the real aim is a run for the GOP nomination, I’m not sure I understand why he wants to arouse the animosity of not just me and Steve, but Michelle Malkin, George Will, and Bret Baier (while praising MSNBC’s Ed Schultz):

* * * * * *

Again, if Trump is a tenth as brilliant as he says he is, there’s a really clever scheme hiding amidst all of this juvenile whining, like a shiny pony obscured by piles of manure. The thing is, I’m too dumb to see it. All I see is a guy who’s been preening for attention with bogus talk about running for president for years who’s deeply offended that nobody believes him or cares anymore.

If you followed politics in the 1980s and early 1990s, you invariably saw third or fourth (or fifth) down on the quadrennial presidential ballot, the name “Harold Stassen,” whom Wikipedia describes thusly:

Harold Edward Stassen (April 13, 1907 – March 4, 2001) was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943. After service in World War II, he was president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1953. In popular culture, his name has become most identified with his fame as a perennial candidate for other offices, most notably and frequently President of the United States.

* * * * * *

Stassen was later best known for being a perennial candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States, seeking it 10 times between 1940 and 2000 (1940, 1944, 1948, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992). He never won the Republican nomination, much less the presidency; in fact, after 1952, he never even came close, but continued to campaign actively and seriously for President until just a year before his death.

And in later years, Stassen’s thinning hair was covered by an increasingly hirsute otter renting space atop his cranium, which made the products produced by Morrie’s Wig Shop in Goodfellas look subtle and realistic. Coincidence?


“Hillary Clinton admitted today that she was ‘surprised’ to learn that the people who told her small businesses have struggled in recent years were actually correct,” Joel Gehrke writes at NRO:

Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”

The struggles of small businesses during President Obama’s administration are hardly a new subject on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney raised the issue throughout the 2012 presidential election.

“Small businesses lack the confidence they need to expand and hire new workers, and the President’s looming tax hikes are threatening to destroy another 700,000 jobs,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in September of 2012, for instance.

In a statement, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus mocked Clinton for expressing such surprise, pointing to reports of the cost increases Obamacare has imposed on small businesses.

”At every turn, Hillary Clinton has supported top-down Washington-driven policies that have stacked the deck against small businesses,” Priebus said. “Hillary Clinton can’t possibly be a champion for everyday Americans when she doesn’t understand their most basic economic concerns and was ‘surprised’ to learn that small businesses are struggling.”

Not that Hillary actually cares; last year she blurted out this pathetic Elizabeth Warren meets Obama “You didn’t build that” imitation:

“Don’t let anyone tell that, ah, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” Hillary Clinton proclaimed to loud applause at a political rally in Boston on October 24.

“You know that old theory — trickle-down economics,” she continued. “That has been tried. That has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

I agree; trickling-down money from DC to failed corporatist ventures like Solyndra has been a disaster, but her previous boss wanted to “spread the wealth around,” to coin a phrase. Another “risky tax scheme,” as Al Gore would say, inasmuch as taxpayers were on the hook when it went bust, was forcing banks to trickle-down mortgages to credit risks who should have never owned homes in the first place; that was her largely her husband’s idea, a ticking fiscal time-bomb that blew up spectacularly in the fall of 2008:

Exit quote, from the late Tony Snow in 1999:

When told [in 1994, that Hillarycare, the prototype for Obamacare] could bankrupt small businesses, Mrs. Clinton sighed, “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.” When a woman complained that she didn’t want to get shoved into a plan not of her choosing, the first lady lectured, “It’s time to put the common good, the national interest, ahead of individuals.”

Hey, that last sentence sounds even better in the original German: “Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz.”


“Hilarious: Clown de Blasio in Secret Bid to be Dems’ 2016 Nominee,” the Jammie Wearing Fools blog notes, begging, “Please, please, please make this happen:”

Despite repeated claims to the contrary, Mayor de Blasio is positioning himself to be the leftist “progressive” alternative to Wall Street-friendly Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president, a national party operative told The Post.

The progressive alternative to the far left Granny Clinton? How can you go any further left? Are they telling us she’s moderate or something? Well, how would anyone know when we don’t know her positions, she’s avoiding interviews like the plague and now on Day 8 of her campaign she hasn’t taken a question from the media.

De Blasio’s hope, the operative said, is a “draft de Blasio’’ movement will develop among progressive activists over the next several months that will lead to the mayor being able to defeat Clinton in the primary elections next year in much the same way leftist Sen. George McGovern successfully challenged the initially front-running establishment Democratic candidate, Sen. Edmund Muskie, more than 40 years ago.

And that worked out swimmingly, with McGovern winning one state.

Though as JWF writes, “Dude really needs to put down the bong. Well, we’ll give him this: He’d probably be willing to sit down for an interview instead of running from the media.” (And this week, Hillary has even more reasons to run from the media.)

C’mon Bane, steal the keys to Hillary’s Scooby Do Mystery Machine and make a run for it — the fire rises, my friend!

How bad was Hillary’s campaign rollout? So bad that even the Politico’s Glenn Thrush is forced to write this as his lede today:

When I asked one top staffer on Hillary Clinton’s campaign to pick the high point of her overwhelmingly understated 2016 campaign kickoff in Iowa, the person paused for a moment, then shot back – “The Aaron Hernandez verdict!”

The former New England Patriot’s conviction on murder charges punted Clinton’s two-day pastoral tour of the critical caucus state off of cable news, a blessing to a campaign that craved the softest of soft launches. Wednesday’s legal drama, coupled with the Monday media blitz by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who wanted to soak up the spotlight Clinton preferred to avoid — were welcome diversions for a team premiering not just a candidate but an updated approach to the oldest Clinton problem of all: dealing with people like me.

Democrat lackeys armed with steno pads who describe Hillary’s illegal email server as “badass”? That’s setting the bar rather low. Thrush is perhaps the ultimate example of what Glenn Reynolds would call a Democrat operative with a byline. In November of 2013, he feigned boredom during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, and last year pretended, “I don’t get the furor over the [Wendy] Davis ad,” in which the would-be governor of Texas, flailing badly in the polls, mocked her opponent’s wheelchair. He admitted in his article today, “full disclosure: I attended both of the pre-launch off-the-record sessions Clinton’s team held with reporters.”

Which may be why Thrush eventually reverts to vintage form:

One week in, the campaign’s day-to-day discipline mirrors Palmieri’s personal style. In 2008, there was a wholesale ban on “process” stories –- the behind-the-scenes anecdote-crammed tales that are the lifeblood of political reporting in POLITICO and elsewhere – but Palmieri has instructed her staff to cooperate whenever practical. Her goal isn’t necessarily to reveal the inner workings of the campaign but to “demystify” them a bit, according to an aide, so that reporters don’t interpret every move Clinton makes as part of some vast behind-closed-doors conspiracy.

There’s also a conscious attempt to humanize Clinton’s staff to counter perceptions, promoted in the conservative and mainstream media, that she surrounds herself with sharp-elbowed political mercenaries enlisted in a dark quest for power. “She is surrounding herself with scrappy, battle-tested operatives and advisers who work hard and run campaigns like they’re 10 points behind, even if they aren’t,” read one of the campaign-generated memos issued to Clinton’s media surrogates, sent to me by a senior Democrat.

I love that line about countering perceptions “in the conservative and mainstream media” — instead of writing “near-universal perception” regarding Hillary’s paranoid staffers or something similar. Who doesn’t believe that — the far left, the folks who view MSNBC and the New York Times as being too conservative, and the sort of folks who in past days would go on Nation magazine Soviet Union river cruises aren’t exactly enamored of Hillary either.

More from Thrush:

Reporters weren’t told about her van trek until it had already started, and when the press pack arrived Clinton waved off tough questions about her recent conversion to the cause of gay marriage. Then her campaign released a carefully edited video of a voter thanking her for backing same-sex marriage at a Council Bluffs roundtable that had been closed to the media.

When NBC’s Andrea Mitchell confronted Palmieri about the candidate’s unwillingness to answer reporters’ questions about gay marriage in Iowa, the communications director gave little ground — telling Mitchell pointedly Clinton had “answered that question the day before” — prompting some reporters to remark how little things had changed since the last campaign.

Veteran public speaker Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, once advised clients in his profession, “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to promote, until you get good. Otherwise you just speed up the rate at which the world finds out you’re no good.”

But at age 67, with a lifetime at the center of Democrat power politics, six years to analyze what went wrong in 2007 and 2008, and knowing she has grudging, if near universal support from the palace guard MSM, shouldn’t Hillary — and her campaign — be good at this stuff?

Trigger Warning

April 19th, 2015 - 10:59 am

“Granny Get Your Gun,” shouts Maureen Dowd in her latest column — two guesses as to the identity of the granny she’s referring to.

I await the condemnations from CNN, the National Journal and MSNBC for the violent eliminationist rhetoric contained within MoDo’s headline.

And I can’t wait to read Paul Krugman rail against such language appearing in his own newspaper.

(Oh right — for Democrats, the party motto is always, “it’s different when we do it.”)

Related: Speaking of flashbacks to the left’s McCarthy-meets-Orwell wilding phase in early 2011, “Will there be a National Conversation after environmentalist shoots energy worker?”


“Pitiful: Al Sharpton can’t even get a hunger strike right,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

It is perfectly appropriate that those who are cheapening the moral authority of the hunger strike by invoking it in order to force the Senate to move forward with Loretta Lynch’s stalled nomination are also failing to even commit fully to the practice.

MSNBC host, political agitator, and noted tax evader Rev. Al Sharpton is organizing a hunger strike, “along with female civil rights leaders,” to compel the U.S. Senate to confirm Lynch as the next attorney general. They’re calling it the “Confirm Loretta Lynch Fast.”

“[T]he new tactic is designed in the mold of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez, organizers said,” a Politico report read. And that’s true, with one tiny exception: Those civil rights leaders actually starved themselves in a display of civil disobedience. Fortunately for them, modern day civil rights activists are not held to such a rigorous and inconvenient standard. According to Politico, “fasters will alternate days abstaining from food until Lynch is confirmed to replace Eric Holder at the Justice Department.”

It’s the return of the rolling hunger strike! We’ve seen this goofy tactic before, haven’t we? On the Fourth of July in 2006, then-Democrat mascot Cindy Sheehan (remember her?) staged an anti-Bush protest involving a few equally preening Hollywood friends, as Agence France-Presse reported at the time:

Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a ‘rolling” fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.

As I wrote in response, I was so moved by their efforts, “I’m going on my own personal thrice-daily rolling hunger strike. That’s right: rather than just one random hunger strike once a year, I’ll eschew all solid foods from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. And from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. And then just to really stick it to the war-mongering imperialists, I’ll fast from 6:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following day.”

And I’m prepared to do the same every day once again, no matter what happens to the would-be attorney general. Fight the power, err, in this case, for the power, man!

Update: “I would be remiss, by the way, if I did not note that there’s a simple way to get Lynch’s nomination to go forward,” Moe Lane writes in response to Sharpton’s “hunger” “strike:”

Democrats can stop filibustering that anti-human trafficking bill that they’ve been blocking. Once that happens, business can continue. Of course, doing that may mean that fewer minority babies end up being aborted, but the Democratic party leadership can’t have everything that they want.

Meanwhile, Twitchy looks for synergy: “Imagine the weight loss if these hunger strikers would join forces with Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign!”

Perhaps Weight Watchers and/or Gwyneth Paltrow should also get onboard. Or maybe Jamba Juice.

The ultimate Kinsley-esque gaffe — as spotted by the Weasel Zippers in a screenshot of Hillary’s announcement that her campaign is stating that she’s “fought children And families all her career.” It’s both “Hillary Comedy Gold,” as the Zippers write, and one of her rare moments of truthfulness. Margaret Sanger couldn’t have said it better herself.

And as the London Daily Mail notes in their headline, “‘Everyday Americans need a champion’: Wealthy Hillary Clinton finally enters formal race to be president with video telling middle class voters ‘the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top’ of the economy.”

Stacked just like the young women Bill enjoys as part of his own unique brand of “intimate campaigning,” and stacked just like the heels on a fine pair of Gucci calf leather pumps, Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner:

With those carefully-chosen regions and the voting groups they represent — Appalachia for working-class whites, the Delta for blacks, Rio Grande for Hispanics — Clinton took care to associate herself with opportunity for those parts of the American electorate struggling the most to get ahead, or just to maintain their place, in today’s economy.

All of which made another part of the Clinton rollout — a new photo spread in the trendy fashion magazine ELLE featuring Chelsea Clinton modeling high-priced clothing, jewelry and shoes while discussing equal opportunity — all of that made for a discordant note in ClintonWorld’s big week.

One photo in the ELLE article featured this caption:

Chelsea Clinton in a Gucci dress, Mateo New York bracelet, Cartier bracelet, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring.

Another photo featured this caption:

Derek Lam blouse, Stella McCartney trousers, Bulgari necklace, Tiffany & Co. bracelets, Trollbeads bangle, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring, Brian Atwood pumps.

Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari — they are some of the most expensive names in the fashion business, and in this case they are the background to Chelsea Clinton’s thoughts on equality of opportunity, especially for women. “One of our core values in this country is that we are the land of equal opportunity,” Clinton told the magazine, “but when equal hasn’t yet included gender, there is a fundamental challenge there that, I believe, having our first woman president — whenever that is — will help resolve.”

Oh the fun we’re all going to have for the next year and a half, my friends.


“Fresh off the heels of Chris Matthews’ recent rant against the “piggish” neo-cons using ads to drive Americans into needless wars, Joe Scarborough unleashed a similar conspiratorial tirade while recapping a story regarding Afghan forces firing on NATO troops,” Bryan Ballas writes at NewsBusters:

“Young Americans are going to be shot and killed over there. And that’s why when it is so easy for somebody in a think tank or somebody on Capitol Hill to sit there and say, ‘we need to stick it out.’” So Scarborough dragged out the old screed that war-supporting members of Congress and people at the Heritage Foundation need to send their own children to war.

Huh. Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s token Republican (actually, I think we can almost safely say NBC’s token Republican at this late date), morphed into Charlie Rangel so slowly, I hardly even noticed.

“Russian Paper Removes Article About Soldier Wounded In Ukraine,” Radio Free Europe reports. Did the Russians use Photoshop, or go old school, Stalin-style, and breakout the airbrushes? No — they used a far cruder technique: scissors. On 50,000 newspapers:

Journalists at a Siberian newspaper say they spent three days using scissors to cut an article about a Russian soldier who was wounded fighting alongside pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine out of 50,000 copies of the publication.

Tank crewman Dorzhi Batonmukuyev’s accounts of fighting in eastern Ukraine have added to what Kyiv and NATO say are incontrovertible evidence of direct Russian military support for the rebels in a conflict with government forces that has killed more than 6,000 people since April 2014.

Russia denies it has sent troops or weapons into Ukraine.

The chief editor of Novaya Buryatia (New Buryatia), Timur Dugarzhapov, told RFE/RL on April 7 that staffers in recent days cut an article about Batonmukuyev out of the newspaper’s entire April 3 print run by hand and deleted it from the website.

No word yet if Dorzhi Batonmukuyev will be replaced in later editions of New Buryatia will replace crewman Batonmukuyev with Pvt. Ogilvy, or if the choice of names will vary for the Eastasia and Eurasia editions of the newspaper.

That’s Hot Air’s paraphrase of a New York magazine story’s headline, which asks, “Is Hillary Clinton Any Good At Running For President? And how much does it matter, anyway?” Here’s more from New York:

Academics partial to this analysis will grant that, say, Obama could rally a crowd better than Mitt Romney, or that Bill Clinton could at least appear to feel a person’s pain more than either Bob Dole or George H.W. Bush. But every nominated candidate for president since 1972, when Democrats lost their collective minds and put up George McGovern, has been highly competent (and each winner has had deficiencies that would likely have been more memorable had he lost). “No one thinks John Kerry or Mitt Romney were good candidates,” says Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan, “but they both came very close to winning the presidency.” This is a testament to the elites in both the Democratic and Republican parties, who are always partial to nominees that are capable and electable. “They’re not going to put up someone just because they like and trust them,” says David Karol, a University of Maryland political scientist and co-author of The Party Decides. “There’s a baseline they have to clear. They have to be able to win.” It may take countless debates; the winnowing process of the primary may be torture; but, with rare exceptions, the loons always lose. “Ask Howard Dean” — the antiwar Vermont governor who briefly set the Democratic rank and file’s hearts afire in 2004 before the party elites smacked him down — “if electability concerns matter,” says Nyhan.

So is this a head fake from New York magazine to lull the GOP into a sense of complacency? I don’t think so. Compare the comment above from Nyhan that “No one thinks John Kerry or Mitt Romney were good candidates,” with what Evan Thomas, then-assistant managing editor of the then-Washington Post-owned Newsweek was saying in July of 2004 was saying about his fellow Democrats with bylines — and note the insanely-biased propaganda being churned out at the time:

On Inside Washington, a weekend discussion show taped at and run by the Gannett-owned CBS affiliate in Washington, DC, WUSA-TV, and carried by many PBS stations across the country, Thomas pointed out the boost to the Kerry/Edwards ticket provided by the press corps:

“There’s one other base here: the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but — they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.” The week’s Newsweek, dated July 19, certainly backs up Thomas’ contention. Over a smiling picture on the cover of Kerry and Edwards, Newsweek ever hopefully asks: “The Sunshine Boys?”

* * * * * * *

Newsweek’s competitor, Time, also gushed about the Democratic ticket, dubbing them, in the headline over their story, “The Gleam Team.”

No, I’d say this is a case of New York magazine sending up the smoke signals that decode as “Run, Elizabeth, Run!”

And of course, whatever signals New York has been sending to the Hillary campaign, you can be sure someone else is reading them as well:

“The name Clinton right on the email handle meant this was not a difficult find,” Schindler said. “We should assume Russians, Chinese and others were seeing this.”

That’s from Investor’s Business Daily, which notes that “Hillary Clinton’s Private Server A Foreign Spy Magnet.”

To be fair though, she was Secretary of State of a team that promised to be “the most transparent administration, ever….”

So just to confirm, the left have had a near-lock on Big Journalism since the days when Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr smeared Barry Goldwater as a crypto-Nazi on the air at CBS in 1964. And journalists such as Janet Cooke of the Washington Post, Jayson Blair of the New York Times, and ahem, Stephen Glass of the New Republic have all been caught pulling false stories out of their Smith-Coronas. But of course for 24-year old Elizabeth S. Bruenig, that’s all the right’s fault:


Gee, wait’ll she discovers Upton Sinclair.

I’m not sure when blowing up innocent individuals became a “right wing tactic” — after all, in 2013, TNR was urging Obama to roll in the tanks and blow up Congress itself to end the budget sequester:

In a 2013 column in the Wall Street Journal, Marty Paretz, who kept TNR relatively sane under his ownership, bemoaned how badly his publication had fallen since he left…

Like many readers of the New Republic, I didn’t at first recognize the most recent issue of the magazine. The stark white cover was unlike anything the New Republic ran during my 35 years as the owner. Having read the cover story, I still don’t recognize the magazine that I sold in 2012 to the Facebook zillionaire Chris Hughes.

“Original Sin,” by Sam Tanenhaus, purported to explain “Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people.” The provocative theme would not have been unthinkable in the magazine’s 99-year history, but the essay’s reliance on insinuations of GOP racism (“the inimical ‘they’ were being targeted by a spurious campaign to pass voter-identification laws, a throwback to Jim Crow”) and gross oversimplifications hardly reflected the intellectual traditions of a journal of ideas. What made the “Original Sin” issue unrecognizable to this former owner is that it established as fact what had only been suggested by the magazine in the early days of its new administration: The New Republic has abandoned its liberal but heterodox tradition and embraced a leftist outlook as predictable as that of Mother Jones or the Nation.

…And that was before last December’s bloodletting, resulting in the current brainless Vox-BuzzFeed-like iteration of TNR.

Speaking of which, I’m looking forward to Bruenig explaining how that’s all the fault of the right as well.

“Sneak peek inside Hillary Clinton 2016: There’s no ‘I’ in campaign,” screams this latest in-kind contribution to her campaign from CNN. Unlike 2008, where they deliberately memory-holed Obama’s past in some of the most blatantly Orwellian journalism ever displayed by the MSM, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO is definitely  “Ready for Hillary.” So much so that they’re running this:

No ‘I’ in Clinton 2016

But Clinton has told her advisers that she intends to aggressively campaign as though she has a primary opponent, aides say, by listening to concerns of voters and taking great pains to avoid the appearance of a coronation.

One approach is to avoid blatant suggestions of the historic nature of her candidacy, hoping to fight impressions that Clinton’s presidential aspirations are all about her.

That was one of the key findings of research already conducted through focus groups in Iowa and New Hampshire. Those conversations, coupled with the searing lessons from 2008, have led aides to impress upon Clinton and her loyal circle of admirers that, far more than her own political ambitions, this race must be about what voters want.

While it seems basic, the fresh crop of advisers cringe at how she announced her last presidential campaign, with a video message and a statement on her website that declared: “I’m in. And I’m in to win.”

This first-person mantra, which flourished repeatedly throughout her statement back on Jan. 20, 2007, will be all but stripped from her vocabulary, aides say. In its place will be a pledge to carry the causes of Americans who feel left behind in the economic recovery and the growing divide among classes.

As I said, the story itself is headlined, “Sneak peek inside Hillary Clinton 2016: There’s no ‘I’ in campaign.”

Umm, but there is an (i) in Clinton, and as Yahoo’s Matt Bai notes:

This is the sort of trivial gaffe that the media would have used to hang Sarah Palin (to borrow from some of Keith Olbermann’s eliminationist rhetoric that year) — or Hillary herself, in order to clear a path for the anointed Barry O. Instead, it not only is ignored by CNN, they write an equally silly puff piece around it.

As my friend John Nolte of Big Journalism likes to say, “Democrats sure got it good.”

Spielberg’s List

April 3rd, 2015 - 4:00 pm

In Tablet magazine, journalist David Samuels begins his interview with Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men (whose final run debuts this Sunday) by asking him, “You’re one of those Los Angeles Jews, right?” Weiner proceeds to explore growing up in 1980s-era L.A. about which he tells Samuels, “I lived in a world of the white power elite of Los Angeles where there was a lot of sexism and anti-Semitism, and I was in their homes, observing,” and would later form the basis of much of Mad Men’s office politics. At the end of the article, Samuels says to Weiner, “So, here’s my story about L.A. Jews. I promise you’re going to like it.”

As usual with an interview, Samuels, who had been asking the questions up until this point is in bold, and Weiner, the subject of the interview is formatted in plain text. But here’s where things get weird, when Samuels tells Weiner, “Twenty years ago, I was staying at a friend’s house and her dad was a personage of whatever note among California architects, and he had a dinner party, and the person sitting to my right was John Milius, who wrote Apocalypse Now, and—”

I know John!

Right. I was like this is so cool, right? John Milius!!

Yeah, John’s the coolest.

He was so cool. And so he told me a cool story. At some point he was like, “You’re from New York, are you Jewish?” I was like, “Yeah I’m Jewish.” He’s like, “I got a good story for you. You know that I went to film school with Steven Spielberg, right? We’re friends.” I was like, “All right.”

He says, “So, one day I got a call.” This is sometime in the late ’80s, 1990s, something like that. So he got a call and it’s Spielberg, and he says “John, you’ve got to come over right away.”

You should ask John about being an L.A. Jew. He’s another one, he grew up in Bel Air. Anyway, go ahead. He says, “You gotta come over.”

He said, “ ‘You gotta come over right away.’ I said, ‘Is something wrong?’ He said, ‘Just come over, come over.’ And so I said, ‘OK.’ So, I get in my car and I drive up to the Spielberg mansion and I’m going through the gate, I parked the car, Steven comes to the door himself, and he’s like, ‘Come in here, John. I’ve got to show you something.’ And so I got in with Steven and we go in his living room and there are books all over the living room, dozens of books, like Time-Life books, open to these photographs of the ghettos and the gas chambers and whatever else. And he says, ‘John, did you know that they killed 6 MILLION Jews during the Second World War?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Did you know that they had gas chambers where they gassed Jews to DEATH.’ And I said, ‘Yes, Steven. I knew that.’ ”

I was so stunned, for a moment, and then I was like, “No, that’s bullshit.” And Milius said, “No, no, no, that really happened. Steven discovered the Holocaust when he was in his late 30s. He had no idea it happened.”

That is a great story. And I take your point. Meanwhile, his mother owns a kosher restaurant in Los Angeles, so it definitely must have come up.

His parents knew about it, for sure. But he was a suburban prodigy. Then he was doing Jaws, he was doing Close Encounters, E.T., he didn’t have time for much history until he was older. Plus it was California in the ’70s and ’80s. So it does make sense.

You know what, that’s amazing.

So, is that a story about Los Angeles Jews?

He’s from Arizona, he went to college in California but he’s not a Los Angeles Jew. So it’s not that. It’s hard to explain it, but it’s missing a little bit of the spiciness. I honestly think that we blend a little bit better, for better or worse. We pass a little bit better because it’s so casual out there.

As Peter Biskind wrote in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Spielberg was notorious amongst his fellow young Turks of the 1970s for his comparative naivete when compared to a crowd that fancied themselves the second coming of Orson Welles and  Francois Truffaut. On the flip-side, that naivete is also what led to his superstardom and fortune: they wanted to  make Art to appeal to their fellow self-styled elites, he was making popcorn movies for the masses. And while Milius is a hugely expansive raconteur and teller of tall tales (his bio movie on Netflix is loads of fun and highly recommended), I don’t think he’d lie about this — besides, who would make it up?

So as John Podhoretz asks on Twitter, is it possible this is true? That when Spielberg was directing Raiders of the Lost Ark and its hordes of cartoon Nazis, he didn’t know about the Holocaust? That someone who went to high school in the early 1960s wouldn’t know about the Holocaust?!

If so, chalk it up once again to Malcolm Muggeridge’s Law: there’s no way a satirist can improve upon real life for its pure absurdity.

“Executives in the newsroom at NBC were left red-faced after scrambling their news teams to report on the story of a naked man abseiling down from Buckingham Palace — without realising it was a clip from their own show,” The Royals, starring Elizabeth Hurley, which airs on E!, owned by NBC-Universal:

And as part of the filming, producers staged what was made to look like a man escaping from a Buckingham Palace window. The shaky mobile phone footage was uploaded onto YouTube and quickly went viral. News reporters from NBC News were then asked to call Buckingham Palace press office and ask whether the footage was genuine.

The cleverly-edited clip, entitled “Crazy Buckingham Palace naked man video!!!”, has been watched over 1.7 million times.

“It was a genius press campaign and it tricked even NBC News,” said a staff member on The Royals.

Which seems appropriate from a karma perspective, considering the lengths NBC will go to trick its own audience.

(Unless the whole thing is a ginned-up publicity stunt to get the show’s brand name out into social media, of course.)

Once, This Used To Be Accepted Wisdom

April 2nd, 2015 - 1:48 pm


● “It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.”

—Dr. William Osler, as quoted on Tuesday by Maggie’s Farm.


● WELL, THIS WAS AN UNFORTUNATE ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES: Troubled Ga. teen who received controversial heart transplant dead after crime spree ends in fatal wreck.

Instapundit, yesterday.