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Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

“Bank Of America Reaches Record Settlement Over Mortgage Meltdown,” NPR reports. (Link safe, goes to the Brothers Judd blog):

The settlement “addresses allegations that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Countrywide each engaged in pervasive schemes to defraud financial institutions and other investors in structured financial products known as residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

The securities typically included a high percentage of subprime mortgages and the sellers misrepresented to investors the degree of risk involved, Justice alleges. When the housing market collapsed, many of the RMBS became worthless.

Holder said the subprime mortgages bundled into the securities “contained material underwriting defects; they were secured by properties with inflated appraisals; they failed to comply with federal, state, and local laws; and they were insufficiently collateralized.”

Even so, he said, “these financial institutions knowingly, routinely, falsely, and fraudulently marked and sold these loans as sound and reliable investments. Worse still, on multiple occasions — when confronted with concerns about their reckless practices — bankers at these institutions continued to mislead investors about their own standards and to securitize loans with fundamental credit, compliance, and legal defects.”

As one of the Brothers Judd’s commenters notes:

Holder’s statement is ahistorical. BofA bought Countrywide (who no doubt did defraud) and Merrill (much less clear on fraud) at the virtual demand of the US Government.

Perhaps Eric should have asked his pals Jamie Gorelick. Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Rahm Emanuel, and Andrew Cuomo about mortgage standards and fraud. Or he could have checked with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Maxine Waters.

Exactly. Who pushed banks to the high-risk low-income housing market in the first place? But hey, government is just another word for the things we do together to wreck economies:

It’s Probably a Coincidence

August 21st, 2014 - 10:51 am

“Jewish Student ‘Punched’ by Pro-Palestinian Student at Temple University” in Philadelphia, Paul Miller writes at Breitbart.com’s Big Peace:

First reported by Franklin Center for Government & Integrity contributor Daniel Mael on Truthrevolt.org, Daniel Vessal was “punched in the face by a violent member of the anti-Israel organization SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine). “

Vessal claims he approached the SJP table to “see what angle they were coming from,” and began a dialogue. He told his fellow students working the booth, “You shouldn’t be protesting Israel; if anything, protest the terrorists.”

“This one girl sitting at the end of the table was just laughing and laughing at me,” Vessal explained,  “and people at the table were calling me a ‘baby killer.’” He responded that when they were done laughing, “maybe we could have a genuinely peaceful conversation.”

He continued, “And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can. My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened. I couldn’t believe this kid actually hit me.”

Eyewitnesses Josh Josephs and Alex Winokur told Mael:

“Daniel went up to talk with them and have an educated conversation and try to rationalize their opinions,” said Josephs. “The conversation shortly escalated to the Palestine group being very arrogant and irrational. The people behind the table starting attacking Daniel, calling him a ‘Zionist, racist, baby killer.’”

When Temple University security appeared on the scene, Vessal began explaining what occurred. According to multiple witnesses, the SJP students were shouting at him, “Zionist pig!” Witnesses also told Mael they heard the SJP students yelling “Kike” at Vessal as he lay on the ground.

Temple University, you say? Go figure:

Or as Roger L. Simon recently noted, “Welcome to the 1930s.”

welcome_back_carter_t-shirt-4-3-11

And the bad 1979-era flashbacks just keep on coming: “U.S. military attempted secret rescue operation for James Foley this summer,” claims a report from ABC, the House of Stephanopoulos (link safe, goes to Hot Air):

U.S. special operations forces early this summer launched a secret, major rescue operation in Syria to save James Foley and a number of Americans held by the extremist group ISIS, but the mission failed because the hostages weren’t there, senior administration officials told ABC News today.

President Obama authorized the “substantial and complex” rescue operation after the officials said a “broad collection of intelligence” led the U.S. to believe the hostages were being held in a specific location in the embattled Middle Eastern nation.

When “several dozen” U.S. special operation members landed in Syria, however, they were met with gunfire and “while on site, it became apparent the hostages were not there,” one of the officials said. The special operators engaged in a firefight in which ISIS suffered “a good number” casualties, the official said, while the American forces suffered only a single minor injury.

The American forces were able to get back on helicopters and escape.

Gee, that story rings a bell, doesn’t it? (Not to mention its source at ABC, which turned the Iranian Hostage Crisis into a relentless drumbeat against their fellow Democrat in the White House, via the innovative late night news program, Nightline.)

We already noted earlier today the New York Times‘ “Mush from the Wimp”-styled headline — “Obama, Outraged Over Beheading, Vows to Stay on Course” — right to the 18th hole of the country club. It’s deja Jimmy all over again; somewhere, a Killer Rabbit licks his chops in glee.

Update: A blog commenter at Hot Air wonders if the Underwear Gnomes at the White House are hard at work:

Loving the progression here…

1. Foley murdered.

2. White House knew it was going to happen.

3. Report comes out..”We really tried to save him!!”

4. ???

Meanwhile, the headline writers at the otherwise reliably supine-left Associated Press are also feeling a little salty this week.

Related: Of course: Obama’s fellow Democrat operatives at the New York Times fix embarrassing golf-related headline. More mush from the wimp’s wusses.

The News Anchors Who Didn’t Bark

August 20th, 2014 - 3:44 pm

“MSNBC Wouldn’t Be This Calm If Tea Party Protesters Threw Rocks at Their Hosts,” Larry O’Connor writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

So, imagine if you will: The scene is a small town in Missouri and the tea party is holding a protest against high taxes, illegal immigration and Obamacare. Chris Hayes is reporting on the scene and conservatives wearing masks start throwing rocks at him and screaming at him to “tell the real story.”

Would Hayes’ response be “People are angry, man”?

Of course not. Why? Because Chris Hayes agrees with the rioter in Ferguson but not the tea party protester? I think there’s more to it than that. I think maybe it’s also because in Chris Hayes’ own arrogant, intellectually self-satisfied superiority, he actually expects less from the rock-throwers Monday night than he does other members of society. And that’s the real problem with progressivism.

But we don’t need a hypothetical like this to tell us how MSNBC would react to this scenario. In 2012, an MSNBC producer physically assaulted a person at the RNC convention merely for heckling Chris Matthews over his famous “thrill up his leg” comment. No rocks involved in that incident, just good, old-fashioned free speech.

As I mentioned yesterday, why should an MSNBC anchor be upset at a rock thrown at him, while covering a protest ginned up by his fellow MSNBC anchor?

We can see a similar dynamic at work at CNN, which has been fanning the flames of race hatred at Ferguson almost as badly as MSNBC, even without having Al Sharpton on their payroll.

Compare and contrast: as Jim Treacher notes today at the Daily Caller, “I’m not sure if [CNN's Anderson Cooper] thought bringing the diminutive racist and former filmmaker [Spike Lee] on the air would help him in his nightly battle with MSNBC for second place in the ratings, but at least Spike said some really stupid crap.” In 2012, as Treacher notes:

The last time America’s race-baiters and their helpful idiots worked themselves into a frenzy over someone shooting a violent criminal in self-defense, Spike Lee gave out the home address of an elderly couple who had nothing to do with it. If you think he’s learned anything from that experience, you don’t know much about Spike Lee.

Flash-forward to last night, when Lee ranted to Cooper:

“When people get to a point, [unintelligible] that tipping point, they can’t take it anymore. And I’m not saying that people should burn down stuff, riot, and loot. And I don’t even want to use the work ‘riot.’ I’m gonna use the word ‘uprising.’ But this is not the first time we’ve seen this. And I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”

As Treacher notes, “And Cooper just lets all that go. He wouldn’t want to question Lee’s judgment and ongoing public advocacy of mob rule, because then somebody might say, ‘Hey, Anderson, you’re a racist!’”

Compare that 2009, when CNN Democrat operatives with bylines field reporters were insulting Tea Party members to their faces, and Democrat operative with a byline CNN anchor Anderson Cooper played along with self-hating homophobic “tea-bagging” jokes himself.

Don’t get me wrong — part of me is quite happy that the MSM dropped the mask at some point in the last ten years, and we know precisely what their biases are, even if they’re not always honest about them. But perhaps, given that the leftwing MSM consists, on TV, of CNNCBSNBCABCMSNBCPBS and more, and right-leaning media to be Fox News, perhaps instead of income inequality, it’s time to start discussing media inequality instead.

Related: “What if the Rioters Were White?”, Walter Hudson asks at the PJ Tatler. “If Ted Nugent talked about white empowerment, would it be tolerated like Al Sharpton talking about black empowerment?”

Update: “Fox’s Kurtz: CNN’s Jake Tapper ‘Grandstanding’ in Ferguson.”  Oh sure, next you’ll be telling me there’s gambling going on in Rick’s place in Casablanca.

Blog Comment of the Day

August 20th, 2014 - 3:28 pm

“Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source,” according to Fox News. Glenn Reynolds adds that “The Narrative Seems to Be Breaking Down.” His first blog commenter outlines exactly what the narrative du jour is:

There seems to be a pattern: 1) unarmed young black guy is shot, 2) there is a vast media outcry over the young “honor student’s” death, 3) family provides photos of the dead guy taken when he was 11 years old, well before he had opted for the ghetto thug look, 4) it comes out that the “honor student” has been committing felonies, 5) witnesses say the honor student was beating the hell out of the person who shot him, 6) Democrat politicians call for the shooter’s conviction, and 7) prosecutors, fearing rioting, black voters, or what have you, prosecute the shooter anyway.

Have I missed anything?

And as another blog commenter writes, expect things to get worse as a result:

We will soon see an almost complete lack of Policing in inner cities following the lynching of this officer. Why on Earth would a cop risk jail for enforcing the law? Of course the people that will suffer the most are the citizens of Ferguson and similar areas. They will soon degenerate into Jungles; the biggest and most aggressive will run rampant, and rob, and beat, and kill, without fear of the law.

See also: Detroit, a quarter of a century ago.

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Click to enlarge.

The most recent copy of the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual I own is dated 1998; I scanned the relevant page and highlighted the text in question. I also own a copy from my college days with a 1977 copyright on it. They both have the same guidelines for referring to someone as a “youth:”

youth Applicable to boys and girls from age 13 until 18th birthday. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.

“AP violating own style guidelines to refer to Michael Brown as ‘teenager’?”, Allahpundit asks at Hot Air. “Question mark in the headline because the AP Stylebook’s not available online, so I can’t confirm that it’s true. But I’m going to trust Eddie Scarry” of Mediaite:

The Associated Press Stylebook states that in reports referring to a person’s age, the figure for the age number should be used. It also states that reports should “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.”

Why, then, are AP reports on the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown solely referring to him as a “teen” and “teenager”?

“Don’t know’ if Missouri teen shot with hands up,” reads one AP headline from Monday. “County autopsy: Unarmed teen shot 6 to 8 times,” reads another.

And an excerpt from yet another AP story, emphasis added: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew but ordered the National Guard to step in to help restore order. Holder over the weekend ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on the teenager, Michael Brown.”

Unless the rules have changed at AP after 1998, then yes, they violated their Style Guide. But hey, that narrative doesn’t write itself, you know.

Update: “AP Violated Stylebook at least 11 times with at least 7 reporters,” frequent PJM contributor Tom Blumer writes.

Was It Good For You?

August 18th, 2014 - 1:40 pm

“Is the U.S. economic recovery almost over — already?”, James Pethokoukis asks at The Week:

Half of America still thinks the Great Recession never ended. That, even though the U.S. economy continues to grow and add jobs.

It’s an understandable view, of course. Median family incomes are 3 percent lower today than five years ago, new jobs pay a fifth less than those lost during the downturn, and the share of adults with a job remains well below pre-recession levels. For most workers — particularly those who aren’t software engineers at Google — the Not-So-Great Recovery has been a bust.

That’s not even the worst of it. If history is any guide, we’re overdue for another recession. The average length of a post-WWII upturn after a downturn is 58 months. The current recovery, which began in July 2009, has been plugging along for 62 months. But because this recovery has been so weak, even a mild downturn, like the one after the internet stock bubble popped, could conceivably push the jobless rate back over 8 percent.

The good news? Recoveries don’t have a built-in expiration date. They simply don’t die of old age. Something bad has to happen. Often that bad thing is the Federal Reserve jacking up interest rates to keep inflation in check. But just because upturns tend to last less than five years doesn’t mean this one will.

But what could go wrong? Well, a lot.

Well, that’s comforting. In the summer of 2006 — aka, America’s good ol’ days — one economic blogger quipped, “Americans Hate Their Fabulous Economy,” two years before before the Clinton-approved Housing Bubble and the Pelosi Premium on gas prices blew up the economy in the waning days of the Bush administration. If the Obama economy slows visibly enough for even the MSM to “unexpectedly” notice, how will that play for Hillary’s presidential bid?

Oh right — she and the MSM will simply blame it all on Bush. Sorry for temporarily forgetting.

Update: To borrow from my “good ol’ days” line above, here’s a scary thought.

Oceania Comes Full Circle

August 18th, 2014 - 12:00 am

“It’s hard to fathom how the president who started with the press fluffing his pillows has ended up trying to suffocate the press with those pillows.” Perhaps still coming down from overdosing on a mile high chronic-infused chocolate bar, Maureen Dowd has an all-too-rare moment of clarity:

How can he use the Espionage Act to throw reporters and whistle-blowers in jail even as he defends the intelligence operatives who “tortured some folks,” and coddles his C.I.A. chief, John Brennan, who spied on the Senate and then lied to the senators he spied on about it?

“It’s hypocritical,” Risen said. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

Risen points to recent stories about the administration pressing an unprecedented initiative known as the Insider Threat Program, which McClatchy described as “a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.”

Risen may be trapped in Ibsen, but Obama is channeling Orwell.

Which seems only fair, as that’s how his presidential bid began in early 2007, as Obama (through his campaign surrogate who created the video) compared Hillary Clinton to Big Brother from 1984. I’m certainly OK with the comparison of the woman who brought us Hillarycare, “It Takes a Village,” and the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy as Orwellian, but in retrospect, perhaps the man who would use Orwell’s 1984 — and the anti First Amendment policies of Woodrow Wilson, America’s pioneering fascist — as his toolbox might not have been the best person to deliver the message.

But then again, neither is a representative of the New York Times.

Wired Magazine calls for Birth Panels

August 17th, 2014 - 7:50 pm

Europe really is determined to party like it’s 1939, aren’t they? In France, shops of Jewish merchants are having the windows smashed. Meanwhile, Wired.com’s UK site is exploring another topic that was much in vogue in post-Weimar Germany right around the same time as kristallnacht. “It’s time to consider restricting human breeding”:

Given the number of children that starve each day, dwindling planetary resources and the coming transhumanist era, it might be time to consider restricting human breeding, argues futurist Zoltan Istvan in this guest post.

A few years ago, I was at a doctor party, the kind where tired residents drop by in their scrubs, everyone drinks red wine, and discussion centres around medical industry gripes. I wandered over to a group of obstetricians and listened in. One tall blonde woman said something that caught my attention: with 10,000 kids dying everyday around the world from starvation, you’d think we’d put birth control in the water.

The controversial idea to restrict or control human breeding is not new. In 1980, Hugh LaFollette, Ethics professor at the University of South Florida, wrote a seminal essay on the topic titled Licensing Parents. Since then, philosophers and even some politicians have considered the idea, especially in light of China, the most populated country in the world, implementing a one-child policy that is in effect today.

For most people in the 21st Century, however, the idea of restricting the right to have offspring for any reason whatsoever seems blatantly authoritarian.

Fancy that. Of course, the idea is much older than 1980; Zero Population Growth — often shortened to “ZPG” — was quite the buzz phrase for far left enviro-cranks in the early 1970s on both sides of the Atlantic; there was even a truly bad British movie by that name released in 1972, starring otherwise A-list British stars Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin and Diane Cilento, then married to Sean Connery:

And it goes back even further than that. Just ask Margaret Sanger, pioneering eugenicist, Klan and Nazi aficionado, seen here being interviewed by Pathe News of England, shortly after World War II. By then, Sanger was using the last name of Slee, after her second husband:

As I noted back in April, talk about disastrous timing: The above clip dates from 1947. Just two years prior, a minor event, the aforementioned World War II, had been concluded, which Wikipedia notes killed 60 million people – while Wikipedia often plays fast and loose with facts, I think we can run with that estimate for the purposes of this blog post. And Margaret Sanger is calling for “no more babies” for a decade.

Madness. Or “Progressivism.” But I repeat myself.

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‘Cigars, But Not Close’

August 15th, 2014 - 4:54 pm

Mark Steyn writes, “The ‘narrative’ of Ferguson, Missouri changed somewhat today. But, amid the confusion, the blundering stupidity of the city’s police department remains consistent.”

As for the cigars themselves, Bryan Preston makes a compelling case at the PJ Tatler that “Swisher Sweets Theft May be Key Detail in Brown Shooting Case.” But the alleged robbery and assault on a convenience store clerk who looks to be at least a hundred pounds smaller in weight and about a foot shorter in height than the “aspiring rapper,” doesn’t excuse the militarized nature of Ferguson’s local police department:

It’s important, when something goes wrong, to be clear about what it is that’s at issue. Talking up Michael Brown as this season’s Trayvonesque angel of peace and scholarship was foolish, and looting stores in his saintly memory even worse. But this week’s pictures from Ferguson, such as the one above, ought to be profoundly disquieting to those Americans of a non-looting bent.

The most basic problem is that we will never know for certain what happened. Why? Because the Ferguson cruiser did not have a camera recording the incident. That’s simply not credible. “Law” “enforcement” in Ferguson apparently has at its disposal tear gas, riot gear, armored vehicles and machine guns …but not a dashcam. That’s ridiculous. I remember a few years ago when my one-man police department in New Hampshire purchased a camera for its cruiser. It’s about as cheap and basic a police expense as there is.

Last year, my meek mild-mannered mumsy office manager was pulled over by an angry small-town cop in breach of her Fourth Amendment rights. The state lost in court because the officer’s artful narrative and the usual faked-up-after-the-fact incident report did not match the dashcam footage. Three years ago, I was pulled over by an unmarked vehicle in Vermont and (to put it mildly) erroneously ticketed. In court, I was withering about the department’s policy of no dashcams for unmarked cars, and traffic cops driving around pretending to be James Bond but without the super-secret spy camera. The judge loathed me (as judges tend to), but I won that case. In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn’t have a camera, it’s a conscious choice. And it should be regarded as such.

Read the whole thing.

“But Soledad O’Brien, How Can You Take Money From A Patron of Islamists?” Jeff Dunetz of Truth Revolt sums up Hugh Hewitt’s eye-opening interview with the former MSNBC and CNN newsreader who is now sharing time producing and appearing on shows that air on the National Geographic channel, CNN, its sister network HBO — and Qatar-owned Al Jazeera:

Appearing on The Hugh Hewitt Radio Show to promote her upcoming special on CNN, Soledad O’Brien was asked how she could do freelance work for Al Jazeera, which is owned by Qatar, patron of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and ISIS. O’Brien obfuscated, first suggesting the U.S. was funding terrorism: “I think you could look at similar issues of what is funded in the United States,” followed by, “it’s not as straightforward as that.”​

According to O’Brien, since Al Jazeera’s journalism is solid, it doesn’t matter that the country which owns the network is a financier of terrorism.

* * * * * * * * * *

Hewitt: ”Businessweek” today has a story on Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, and the headline calls Qatar a patron of Islamists. It says that Qatar funds and arms Islamists fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad and bankrolling Hamas in the Gaza Strip. So here’s an honest question. How can you take money from them?

O’Brien: You know, I think that there is a couple of different issues there, and I think you could look at similar issues of what is funded in the United States. To me, at the end of the day, we take a look at the journalism that is done. To me, I look at what the opportunities are and what is happening at Al Jazeera America, and the kinds of stories that they want to tell, and I don’t think anybody has said anything about their journalism at all. In fact, they’ve gotten incredibly high marks for their reporting. And thank God, I was not involved in that.

Hewitt: Well, I’m not raising that. It’s just that Qatar owns it and on CNN tonight, they’re running this helicopter footage which is, so you know, the people that Qatar funds are engaged in genocide against these Kurdistan, against the Yazidis. And I know that the journalism can be good, but if the funding for the journalism comes from a regime that is funding ISIS, does it creep you out?

O’Brien: Well, you know, I think again, at the end of the day, the thing that I think about is the journalism. And I think those are very complicated issues. They’re not as straightforward as that.

Hewitt: Is there anything that would cause you to say if Qatar was shown to be funding ISIS, would you quit Al Jazeera?

O’Brien: No, very rarely do I operate in hypotheticals. I certainly would take it under considerations, absolutely, as I take anything under consideration.

Huh. O’Brien certainly doesn’t mind using hypotheticals and “some says” when she’s grilling her guests, particularly those on the right-hand side of the aisle. Or in other words — how dare you commit journalism, Hewitt, and ask me a serious question about my ethics!

Which are certainly questionable. In 2008, O’Brien declared Obama mentor Rev. Wright’s racist speech to the NAACP “a home run,” while Wright gave cheerful shout-outs to both O’Brien and then fellow CNN talking head, the ascot-clad Roland Martin, in that same speech. In March of 2012, O’Brien presided over a CNN panel that attempted to portray then-Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak as a racist for his pushback against far left “Critical Race Theory,” which blew up badly in her face:

“CNN beclowns itself painting Breitbart editor-in-chief as racist.” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:

Soledad O’Brien and her CNN panel manage to stumble into Contessa Brewer territory in this appearance by attempting to paint Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak as a racist for making a point about Barack Obama’s support for a proponent of “critical race theory” during his days at Harvard Law School. Joel ends up in an argument with a woefully unprepared O’Brien on the theory itself, but the actual facepalm moment goes to one of her panelists, who asks Joel why he’s so afraid of black people:

Only one problem, as Bryan Preston writes at the Tatler. “Joel Pollak’s wife is black. She’s from South Africa, actually, and her mother was a political appointee of none other than Nelson Mandela. Here she is, in video made when Pollak ran for Congress.”

In August of 2012, O’Brien was busted using a blog post from the far left Talking Points Memo on-air to attack a GOP defender of Paul Ryan’s budget plan.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Chris Matthews [of MSNBC] won’t be working alone.  Back in November, the Hardball host said it was his job to make Barack Obama’s presidency a success.  Today, another TV journalist expressed a similar sentiment. Tavis Smiley has declared that “we’re all working for Barack Obama” and that “we have to help make Obama a great president.” [H/t reader dronetek.]

The host of Tavis Smiley on PBS was a guest on [MSNBC's] Morning Joe.  Reacting to Harry Reid’s claim last week that he doesn’t work for Barack Obama, Smiley said Reid should “put down the crack pipe.”  Smiley added “we’re all working for Barack Obama.” It soon became clear that was no passing quip, but a literal description of how he sees his role.

—As spotted by Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters, January 9th, 2009.

Rep. Peter King ridiculed MSNBC host Thomas Roberts’ for his “incredibly absurd” claim that an increased U.S. presence to combat terrorists in Iraq — despite public opposition — would represent “a dictatorship like what these people are trying to fight against.”

The New York Republican appeared on “Morning Joe” Tuesday to push for broader action by President Obama against fighters from the Islamic State (IS), who have killed thousands of innocent civilians and threatened hundreds of thousands more during their assault on America’s Kurdish allies in northern Iraq.

Roberts claimed that Obama’s cautious approach involving limited airstrikes is “exactly what the American people want. Do not get us back in.”

“Well, leadership is not necessarily doing what people want,” King replied. “If Winston Churchill had done that in the 1930s he wouldn’t have warned about Nazi aggression and he would’ve given into Chamberlain.”

“So the president should just do what you want?” Roberts said aggressively.

“No, the president should do what’s right,” King said, adding that many people in the intelligence and military communities agree that stronger action against IS will eventually be required.

“But you’re elected by the American people, you serve the American people,” Roberts protested. “You can’t just go around being a dictatorship, like what these people are trying to fight against in these countries that you’re trying to say that we’re saving them from.”

—”‘Incredibly Absurd’: Peter King Scoffs At MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts’ Strange Iraq Logic,” Brendan Bordelon, the Daily Caller, today.

MSNBC reads Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism as if it were a how-to guide, so it’s only a matter of time before they return to cheering on Obama acting dictatorially once again. But then, they much prefer him to be waging war domestically, than anywhere overseas.

“There is a great deal of advertising that’s better than the product. When that happens, all that the good advertising will do is put you out of business faster. There have been cases where the product had to come up to the advertising but when the product fails to do that, the advertiser will eventually run into a lot of trouble,” ad man (and Mad Men series advisor) Jerry Della Femina wrote over 40 years ago in his classic book on advertising, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War.

For example, there’s this over-enthusiastic, what can we do to get you into this fine low-mileage Oldsmobile today sales pitch.

In 2008, Mr. Obama promised, “You give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving my self to you.”

The reality that followed turned out to be rather different:

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Related: “W renounced golf in August, 2003, saying, ‘I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf . . . I feel I owe it to the families to be as — to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.’”

Of course, as with leaving office with a stabilized Iraq, I’m sure the far left believes that W quit golf just to spite Obama, because, racism.

Update: The opening quote from Della Femina applies just as much — actually more so — to this brutal juxtaposition as well

I Question the Premise

August 11th, 2014 - 12:48 pm

“The whole country of Iraq is seemingly falling apart right now. This was not the way it was supposed to be after President Obama announced that all U.S. forces would be leaving.”

Are you sure about that, Wolf Blitzer? Really sure?

Because I’m pretty sure that was exactly what was supposed to happen, as we’ve all seen this movie before. Some of us though, view it as a warning; others as a how-to guide:

(Via Steve Green.)

Update: “Barack Obama deliberately set out to lose the war in Iraq, and he did,” David Horowitz writes, and he’s just getting started. “He defied the advice of his joint chiefs of staff to secure America’s formidable military presence and keep 20,000 troops in country, and left Iraq to its own devices and the tender mercies of Iran. In doing so, he betrayed every American and Iraqi who gave his life to create a free Iraq and keep it out of the clutches of the terrorists.”

Then:

Now:

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Err, Eurasia. Err, Eastasia…

Funny How This Keeps Happening to CNN

August 8th, 2014 - 11:36 am

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

Our crew explored Tehran and Isfahan, eating some spectacularly delicious and sophisticated food. We were welcomed with open arms at every restaurant we visited. (The proprietors of our hotel in downtown Tehran must have found out from our visas that it was my producer’s birthday, because they invited us all down to the office, where they surprised us with a cake.) It was at one of these long lunches where I met The Washington Post’s correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi. They were well-known and liked in Tehran and were referred by mutual friends who knew that experienced English-speakers — with a unique perspective from straddling both worlds — would be helpful to our production.

A few weeks later, they were mysteriously arrested and detained. Based on what they told me, I cannot possibly understand why.

—”These people I interviewed in Iran clearly loved the country. So why did it put them in jail?”, Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” series, in the Washington Post on Tuesday, (found via our friendly neighborhood Vodkapundit and bon vivant, Steve Green.)

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990′s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers.

We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

“The News We Kept To Ourselves,” then-CNN president Eason Jordan’s mea culpa in the New York Times for his network serving as shills for Saddam Hussein for well over a decade, April 11, 2003.

But CNN will continue to back kleptocratic totalitarians, religious fundamentalist headchoppers, and radical chic terrorists — it’s in the very lifeblood of the channel’s corporate history.

More Lost Obama Emails?

August 7th, 2014 - 3:52 pm

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“Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost or Destroyed’ E-mails After House Launched Probes,” Joel Gehrke writes at the Corner:

The revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.

“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner’s lost e-mails.

“It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails,” he continued. “Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from ten months ago. Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s e-mail history. Yet again, we discover that this administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.”

And if they’re this cavalier with their own documents, imagine what a hash they’re making of your own healthcare information.

Sure, it will be fun to see Issa pounding the table over this, and a few beads of sweat on the leftwing bureaucrats that Trey Gowdy chooses to grill. But as with the IRS scandal, will there be any consequences over this latest example of lawlessness from the Obama administration?

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

“Let’s Give Up on the Constitution”

—Headline at the New York Times, December 30th, 2012.

“Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?”

—Headline at the New York Times, today.

And note the photo choice for the Times’ story. Is that a subliminal crosshair above Rand Paul’s forehead? Coming the same day that the Daily Beast (formerly Newsweek) put Sen. Paul in a red bull’s eye?

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Click to enlarge. Note possible crosshairs in image.

Coincidence…?

Yes, of course. But considering the Times wasted 800 words in September of 2000 maniacally looking for imagined “DemoRats,” in GOP video freeze-frames, and destroyed Sarah Palin in 2011 over their fever swamp elimination rhetoric fantasies for using run-of-the-mill, bipartisan-approved political targeting clip art, they should be on particularly high alert for even accidentally using similar tactics themselves.

Besides — the ghost of Saul Alinksy and his Rules #4 and #5 requires us to point these things out. (And it’s not the first time since 2011 the Gray Lady has employed eliminationist imagery against conservatives.)

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Dear Mr. Fantasy

August 7th, 2014 - 10:52 am

“With the usual fanfare and self-regard we have come to expect from the New York Times editorial board, the prestigious paper has changed its mind about pot,” Jonah Goldberg recently noted:

It is a significant milestone, but not altogether in the way the Times would like. For starters, the Times is pulling a bit of a Ferris Bueller here. It is leaping out in front of a parade and acting as if it’s been leading it all along. It’s worth noting that the Times is 18 years behind National Review magazine and my old boss, the late William F. Buckley, and at least 40 years behind Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman, who wrote in Newsweek in 1972 that President Nixon’s War on Drugs should be called off even before it started.

In-between being a joker, a smoker, a midnight toker, and reporting on the pompitous of love, the Gray Lady has also finally, tentatively discovered something that the rest of us knew in 2007, as the Permanent Press blog notes in this short, Insta-linked post:

“But as Mr. Obama’s second term nears an end, some experts say the president’s words were a fantasy.”

…says The New York Times in discussing the failure of the Obama Administration to deliver on it’s promises of high speed rail.

I think this would apply to a lot of things he said.

Meanwhile, Ace notes another fable-like aspect of the retired president’s rhetoric, his “Soft Words on Terrorism and Genocide:”

Ron Fournier and Charles Krauthammer are stunned that Obama uses such passion-less passive-constructions and weak language to describe the outrages of Hamas, and barely speaks at all about ISIS.

But it makes perfect political sense for Obama to do so.

He does not wish to stir the public, because he does not wish to do anything about these things. Ergo, it makes sense for him to use the most soporific language possible in speaking about Hamas and ISIS.

Watching the press conference yesterday, I noticed how dreamy and sleepy the president’s words were.

But this I think is no accident. He wants the public to go to sleep. He does not want them to rise at the sound of alarm; he wants them to hit the snooze button and drift back into peaceful dreams.

A foreign policy crisis is only a political crisis for the president if the public is actually aware of the crisis and actively thinking about it.

If the American public is not so aware and actively engaged in a real foreign policy crisis, then it is no political crisis at all to the American president. In this case at least, a tree which falls in the forest with no one to hear it does not make any sound, nor any impression in Gallup’s tracking polls.

But then, the former president has always had far more important things on his mind:

 

‘Obama’s Monsters Ball’

August 6th, 2014 - 6:11 pm

“Obama’s monsters ball: How the White House opened its doors to some of Africa’s most evil dictators and homophobes and turned blind eye to their human rights record,” screams a London Daily Mail headline today. That tone carries over to the article itself:

President Barack Obama drew the diplomatic line somewhere at the first ever U.S-Africa summit at the White House this week by not inviting Zimbabwe’s brutal dictator Robert Mugabe.

But the guest list still included several other African leaders with only slightly better human rights records.

The White House promoted the summit as the largest-ever gathering of African leaders in the United States, with more than 50 countries represented.

The red carpet was rolled out for Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who shot or jailed virtually all his political opponents, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh, who threatened to ‘cut off the head’ of any homosexuals in the country and for Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has the dubious honor of ranking 19th on author David Wallechinsky’s 2006 list of the world’s 20 worst living dictators.

The President’s opening speech avoided the prickly issues of homophobia and torture and instead sought out similarities between the two continents.

He opened with: ‘I stand before you as the president of the United States, a proud American. I also stand before you as the son of a man from Africa’.

Before going on to say: ‘Our faith traditions remind us of the inherent dignity of every human being and that our work as nations must be rooted in empathy and compassion for each other, as brothers and as sisters.’

Here we run the rule over nine of the most controversial leaders who enjoyed the lavish affair.

Pretty strong red meat there, and a damning portrait of the moral relativism of a president who cavorts with such venal, bloodthirsty types. But why I am I reading material with this tone in a British newspaper, instead of say, the Washington Post or the New York Times?

Oh right — sorry, I forgot.

Update: In contrast to the MSM’s Democrat operatives with bylines, including CNN, where as John Nolte noted yesterday at Big Journalism, the Time-Warner-owned network treats Hamas savages “with more respect than they ever have the Tea Party or GOP,” Matt Drudge, linking to the above Daily Mail article, at least knows a great story when he sees one:

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(Bumped to top.)