Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

A Canadian convert to Islam is the suspect in today’s Ottawa terrorist attack according to Reuters, Allahpundit writes at Hot Air. Move along, nothing to see here:

That’s all Reuters has right now, apart from his name: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. One reporter notes, though, that that name appears several times in Montreal’s court database on drug charges. Martin Couture-Rouleau, the suspect in the other recent attack on Canadian soldiers and a convert to Islam himself, also lived in Quebec. Might be just a coincidence but the first thing police will be investigating is whether these two knew each other. The timing of the attacks suggests that there was some copycatting happening at least.

Another interesting detail: A Twitter account linked to ISIS apparently tweeted a photo this afternoon of a man whom they claimed is Zehaf-Bibeau, holding a gun with a keffiyeh covering his mouth. Where they got that photo is unclear. Could be they simply googled him, found a social media account somewhere, and lifted the pic. If not, if they had it archived for some reason, this investigation’s going to get much hotter. Oh, and according to Heavy.com, that same ISIS account was supposedly followed by Couture-Rouleau. Another coincidence?

His origins and purpose, still a total mystery:

 

Regarding Ben Bradlee, “David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker and a reporter for the Washington Post from the early 1980s until the early 1990s, wrote in a Tuesday online story that ‘the most overstated notion’ about the late WaPo executive editor Ben Bradlee ‘was the idea that he was an ideological man. This was a cartoon.’”

Well a photo-realistic graphic novel, perhaps. Here’s John Dickerson in Slate, which was owned by the Post for years until being spun off when the disastrously mismanaged Washington Post was acquired last year for pocket change money by Jeff Bezos:

There is a quote from Ben Bradlee’s book Conversations With Kennedy that I always thought about when I thought of him:

This record is sprinkled with what some will consider vulgarity. They may be shocked. Others, like Kennedy and like myself, whose vocabularies were formed in the crucible of life in the World War II Navy in the Pacific Ocean, will understand instinctively. There is nothing inherently vulgar in the legendary soldier’s description of a broken-down Jeep. “The fucking fucker’s fucked.” Surely, there is no more succinct, or even graceful, four-word description of that particular state of affairs.

Here’s why I liked that quote. First of all, it’s true on the specific matter of when and how to deploy expletives. It also captures the cadence and voice of a particular period of writing. It’s a little self-indulgent and has the feeling of a tumbler of something by the typewriter. William Manchester uses this voice in The Glory and the Dream. It makes me think that the writer would be good company until he had too many drinks. He’d probably flirt with your wife if you sat her next to him, but you wouldn’t be bored at dinner.

But the real reason I liked that quote is that it demonstrates the way in which Bradlee was straddling two worlds, playing the role of both reporter and friend. It would be great if every presidency had at least one reporter who worked that territory.

So Bradlee was buddies with JFK, cheerfully covered up his myriad excesses and peccadilloes, and his paper did everything it could to destroy Nixon (and later, fortunately unsuccessfully, Reagan). But heaven forefend we think of him or his newspaper as ideological. Gotcha.

Exit quote:

For the sake of ideological diversity, that’s an exceedingly good thing.

The Hunter Biden Chronicles

October 22nd, 2014 - 1:57 pm

“Everything you need to know about Beltway nepotism, corporate cronyism and corruption can be found in the biography of Robert Hunter Biden,” Michelle Malkin writes today in her syndicated column. “Where are the Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousers and enemies of elitist privilege when you need them? Straining their neck muscles to look the other way:”

Continually failing upward, Hunter snagged a seat on the board of directors of taxpayer-subsidized, stimulus-inflated Amtrak, where he pretended not to be a lobbyist, but rather an “effective advocate” for the government railroad system serving the 1 percenters’ D.C.-NYC corridor.

So, where does a coke-abusing influence peddler go after raking in gobs of Daddy-enabled dough and abusing the U.S. Navy’s ill-considered generosity? Back to Cronyland! Hunter joined Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings — owned by a powerful Russian government sympathizer who fled to Russia in February — this spring. The hypocritical lobbyist-bashers at the White House deny he will be lobbying and deny any conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, Just Like You Joe was whipping up class envy in South Carolina last week. “Corporate profits have soared,” he railed, thanks to “these guys running hedge funds in New York,” who are to blame for “income inequality.” You know, like his son and brother and their Beltway back-scratching patrons.

Corporate profits have surged thanks to Wall Street manipulators? Man, wait’ll President Goldman-Sachs hears about that – just watch the kabuki hit the fan then.

“A new poll from Pew Research breaks down conservatism and leftism in the media – and comes up with a number of interesting results. As it turns out, leftists are far less tolerant that conservatives and implicitly trust government sources,” Ben Shapiro writes at Big Journalism:

Fox News Has a More Balanced Audience Than MSNBC. The poll shows that 55 percent of those who watch Fox News are either mixed in political viewpoint or leftist; 52 percent of those who watch MSNBC are either mixed or conservative. The most balanced outlet: The Wall Street Journal, although surprisingly, those who are consistently conservative read the paper the least of all ideological groups (13 percent of the audience is consistently conservative).

Leftists Think Humor Is News. Leftists trust The Colbert Report and The Daily Show as news. We knew this already from polls of young people who cite these shows as some of their top news sources, but it underscores the point that leftists simply do not take politics seriously – they’re happy to take their cues from people who began their careers making fart jokes. It is worth noting that the audience for The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and The Huffington Post are virtually identical in ideological composition. The Daily Show’s audience does not exist on the political right, with just 7 percent of its viewers identified as conservative in any way.

Nobody Trusts BuzzFeed. The least-trusted news source is BuzzFeed. It is not trusted by consistent liberals, mostly liberals, mixed political viewpoints, mostly conservatives, or consistent conservatives. At least consistent conservatives trust The Rush Limbaugh Show and consistent leftists trust The Ed Schultz Show. Nobody trusts BuzzFeed.

And note this Twitter exchange on the poll last night:


The irony is that Time magazine was founded by Henry Luce in the 1920s to appeal to a center-right audience — and did so quite well, until Luce relinquished control of the magazine in the mid-1960s, before passing away in 1967. Three years later, and Time was doing their best Pauline Kael impersonation and trying to figure out who on earth were these strange pro-American Nixon voters who still wanted America to win in Vietnam?

Time magazine is a classic example of former National Review editor John O’Sullivan’s First Law of Politics in action: “Any institution that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing over time.”

And actually, so is Pew:

Unexpectedly!

October 22nd, 2014 - 11:47 am

bloomberg_unexpectedly_10-22-14-1

Ahh, Bloomberg, home of the “unexpected” bad economic news since, oh, about January of 2009, don’t ever change. Normally Bloomberg only applies the “unexpected” adjective to economic news that’s bad for the rest of us, but from the point of view of the president is good news: after all, he tore up the American healthcare system, openly called for bankrupting energy companies; his first “energy” “czar” demanded skyrocketing “European-style” energy prices, and numerous others of their leftwing ideological bent have demanded higher costs on energy and consumer goods, from Tom Brokaw to hapless wannabe Obama advisor Fareed Zakaria to this poor sod-ette in the UK Guardian:

Clothes and food should cost much more than they do in Britain to reflect their true impact on the environment, Vivienne Westwood said on Wednesday night. Speaking at a Guardian Live event at Chelsea Old Town Hall hosted by columnist Deborah Orr, the controversial fashion designer said: “Clothes should cost a lot more than they do – they are so subsidised. Food should cost more too – you know something is wrong when you can buy a cooked chicken for £2.”

Westwood also declared that capitalism was over.

So, all in all, good news, Mr. President?

Quote of the Day

October 21st, 2014 - 8:09 pm

The Kennedys’ penchant for wiretapping has lately been documented by more official bodies. The Rockefeller Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, for example, reported that a newsman had been Wiretapped by the CIA in 1962 — with no authority in law — “apparently with the knowledge and consent of Attorney General Kennedy.” The Kennedy mythmakers said nothing about the revelation. And these were the same people who called for or helped fashion an article of impeachment when it was revealed that Nixon had approved the wiretapping of newsmen.

And talk about sleaziness! In conversations with Benjamin C. Bradlee, President Kennedy would sound out his journalist friend on the possibility of obtaining and publishing information damaging to JFK’s political adversaries — Bradlee who as executive editor of the Washington Post, which claims to have had  much to do with saving the Constitution from Richard Nixon’s depredations, apparently was not overly concerned· about such matters when they involved his presidential buddy.

For, as Bradlee discloses with little disapproval, wiretapping, prying into tax returns, election fraud, misuse of federal agencies — all of these, he admits in effect, were practiced and/or discussed in his presence by President Kennedy. Occasionally Kennedy had FBI Director Hoover over for lunch, and a little dirt for dessert. “Boy, the dirt he has on those Senators,” the President once said, shaking his head. And what apparently amused Kennedy more than anything else were Hoover’s revelations about which whores his former Senate colleagues were then patronizing. On one occasion the director showed JFK a photograph of a German girl who had been involved with Bobby Baker — “a really beautiful woman,” sighed the President.

There was another reason for the President’s buttering up of Hoover. As he undoubtedly suspected, the director had also been keeping a file on him going back to his days as a young World War II naval intelligence officer, at which time he had been carrying on with a comely foreigner suspected of having pro-Nazi sympathies. Which apparently was one of the reasons, if not the main one, why JFK on his election resisted strong liberal pressure to oust the director. Not even a President could know what was in a file kept under lock and key in. Hoover’s private office.

Thanks to Bradlee, too, we have now learned that Kennedy’s private conversation was most uninhibited. His scatological references made Nixon’s sound like a Boy Scout’s. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for history, “Benjy” — as the President liked to call his buddy — was there to record the just-between-us-boys observations of a Chief Executive who, thanks to his speechwriters (and they were among the best), has gone down in history as an elegant, witty phrasemaker.

Now, it turns out, there was a different Kennedy hidden from public view — one whose ”excesses of language,” as Bradlee concedes, were “generally protected” by the press. In other words, the readers of Newsweek, of which Bradlee was then Washington bureau chief, were never made privy to the kind of language JFK generally used in normal, private conversation. Years later though, Newsweek – like that other weekly publication — relished Nixon’s expletives, even those he sought to delete.

It Didn’t Start with Watergate, Victor Lasky, 1977.

Update:

More: Oh Those Democrat Operatives with Bylines, Part Deux.

What, Coolidge, Hoover or Reagan weren’t available as candidates to live rent-free in Pierce’s mind years after they left office?

CHRIS HAYES, host: There’s some scary stuff out there. ISIS, monstrous and scary. Ebola, scary, doing horrible things to people in West Africa. Killed someone here. It’s understandable. These are genuinely scary things, but the magnitude with which they are interpreted makes me think there is something about the American political consciousness that’s looking for something to fear at all times.

CHARLES PIERCE, Esquire: I think that that’s part of the conditioned reflex that was placed into the American public and into our political culture by the last administration. In which, you know, you had 9/11, then you had anthrax, then you had the snipers, then you had every bit of the government dedicated to scaring you about nuclear bombs from Iraq. You had three years of being blindsided by enormously terrible events, and then when that was done, you had a hurricane in New Orleans that the government’s response to was awful, and the entire economic system collapsed what seemed like overnight.

So the ground had already been prepared by fake threats and then you got real catastrophes for which we weren’t prepared, and all of that adds up to the kind of thing you’re seeing now.

HAYES: Charlie Pierce, thank you.

But as DNC co-chairwoman Donna Brazile finally admitted last year at CNN, “Bush came through on Katrina.” Besides, I’m not at all sure why Pierce is that suddenly now concerned with people drowning in waterborne disasters:

If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.

Charles Pierce writing the Boston Globe MagazineJanuary 5, 2003, on his way to an easy win as the Media Research Center’s “Quote of the Year,” capping off their annual DisHonors Awards, “Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2003.”

Gee, wait’ll they discover how Obamacare was passed against the will of the American people…

* Not to mention the “It’s Different When We Do It” card.

Update: “Turns out history for the left didn’t begin on January 20, 2009 but rather in April 2010 or thereabouts,” Allahpundit writes:

In fact, the ObamaCare omission here is so egregious, it reminds me in an odd way of those creepy liberal revisionist histories in which JFK somehow ends up dead at the hands of the right-wing city of Dallas while his left-wing assassin is conveniently airbrushed into oblivion. They used reconciliation to pass what’s arguably the most momentous piece of domestic policy of the past 50 years, and now, the instant Republicans use it for anything, the tactic will be deemed de facto cheating — despite endless leftist screeching since 2009 that we should probably go ahead and jettison the archaic 60-vote threshold for cloture entirely. You keep smiling, guys.

Which dovetails nicely with Sonny Bunch’s observation today in the Washington Free Beacon that “#GamerGate Makes the Left Uncomfortable Because Gamer Gaters Have Adopted the Left’s Tactics:”

Because when I look at #GamerGate, I don’t really see the Tea Party (just as I’m sure Jessica Hunter—a gay, liberal, female Canadian #GamerGater—doesn’t really see the Tea Party). No, I see the tactics of the modern reactionary left. Consider: The movement’s biggest accomplishment thus far has been to get Intel to pull advertising from video game blog Polygon Gamasutra after they flooded the company with complaints. We’ve seen this a ton over the last few years, but not from the Tea Party.

No, we’ve seen it from the anti-Prop 8 campaigners, who used their combined efforts to get Scott Eckern, the artistic director of the California Musical Theater, fired for donating to the anti-gay-marriage ballot initiative. We’ve seen it from astroturfed anti-gun groups trying to pressure Kroger into banning people from carrying guns. We’ve seen it in Black Twitter’s efforts to get Paula Deen dropped after she admitted to using racist language following an armed robbery. I could go on and on: the freakout over Grantland’s Dr. V. story; the effort to #CancelColbert; Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars; etc.

At the risk of engaging in some questionable psychoanalysis, allow me to suggest that one of the reasons the left is so disturbed by the rise of #GamerGate is that this is the first time in many years that these self-proclaimed Social Justice Warriors have met any sort of organized pushback. And they find it doubly infuriating to see the tools they have used so successfully—the Twitter mob, the email campaign, the claims of grievance—turned against them.

In their frequent use of brutal scorched earth Alinksy-style tactics to advance their goals and silence their enemies, the far left have increasingly opened up Pandora’s Box — did they think they’d get to keep all of its secrets to themselves?

Tina Brown: That Was Then, This Is Now

October 20th, 2014 - 10:29 am

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Here’s Tina Brown on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, today. As Glenn Reynolds paraphrases at Instapundit, Tina told viewers that “Women Feel ‘Unsafe’ With Obama,” a statement that would be spun as dog whistle racism straight up just two years ago at that same channel:

“Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they’re feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody.”

Back on November 5th, 2008 though at the Daily Beast, Tina was singing a far different tune. Obama was “Magic,” her headline that day screamed; unfortunately, that headline was an abbreviation for “Magical Thinking:”

This has been an election full of magic. White Magic that only the black man from everywhere and nowhere could perform. Even his adored grandmother dying on the eve of the victory had a mythic feeling of completion to it in a candidacy full of signs and symbols. Remember the three-point basketball shot when he played with the soldiers in Kuwait? It’s as if Obama is the prince who lifts the curse in a fairy story, a curse that began eight years ago with an election wrenched away from the rightful winner and begetting as a consequence the wrathful visitation of tragedy and wars and hurricanes and economic collapse.

* * * * * * * *

His subtle guiding intelligence married to that uncanny connection to the fine-tuning of the zeitgeist made his campaign an unstoppable force before which everything fell away. The entertainment world saw it coming. This morning in the BBC Green Room, Richard Schiff, who played Toby Zeigler, the White House Communications Director on The West Wing, told me that in the 2004 series, Democratic candidate Matt Santos was based on Barack Obama. And, of course, Dennis Haysbert, who played the first President Palmer on FOX’s 24 further imagined for American audiences a black leader of the free world. Then the rest of the country caught up. You could almost feel the world spinning faster and faster in the last year, before it came to a stop in Chicago on November 4, 2008. As a new American, I pulled the lever for the first time and felt how lucky it was that it was this election I got to vote in. As I left the booth in the Catholic high school on East 56th street I felt as joyful and emotional as any Iraqi with a purple forefinger.

In retrospect, that last sentence was quite a nice touch, and an unintentional homage to what the man who preceded Obama in the White House had accomplished in spite of monolithic opposition from Tina and everyone else in the MSM, and how much his successor would be willing to discard in order to advance the leftwing narrative.

The Toxic President

October 19th, 2014 - 5:55 pm

“Chalk it up to karma, fate or bad luck. Whatever you call it, the Ebola scare is proof that Bad Things Happen to Bad Presidents,” Michael Goodwin writes in the New York Post today:

Credibility is like a reservoir or a bank account. You make deposits in good times so you can make withdrawals when you need them.

Obama never made the deposits. It’s been all downhill since Day One. He blames others for failures, and when cornered or ambitious, reaches for a lie. Routinely.

The claim that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” is a defining example, but hardly the only one. Don’t forget “shovel-ready jobs” to justify a trillion-dollar boondoggle. Or there’s “not a smidgen” of corruption at the IRS. And Benghazi was caused by an anti-Muslim video.

His lies are legion and now he’s like the boy who cried wolf. When he makes a national appeal on Ebola, the trust tank is empty.

Just as a reminder, it was a year ago this month when the disastrous Obamacare rollout permanently sullied the semi-retired president’s reputation, even among his true-believers in the MSM. (Headlines on this day a year ago today include the San Francisco-based Health Care Blog Website asking: “Should the Obamacare Exchanges Be Shut Down?”, and the left-leaning Website Mediaite noting, “CNN’s Don Lemon Savages ‘Terrible’ Obamacare Rollout: Makes Good Case for the GOP.”

And of course, as Goodwin noted above, last year it became clear that Mr. Obama repeatedly told the American people what is arguably the biggest lie ever spoken by a US president:

Which is why today, even the rank and file former true believers aren’t sticking around to hear what the president has to say, in what could be quite a metaphor for his party next month:


Exactly:

How was Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son fast-tracked for a naval commission at age 43(!) before allegedly testing positive for cocaine? The Weekly Standard’s Philip Terzian notes that the military have long been willing to take in the sons and friends of politicians:

The irony, of course, is that minor political scandals have erupted in the past over such questions. In 2000, the circumstances of George W. Bush’s service as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard became a campaign issue. So did the promotion, in 1940, of President Franklin Roosevelt’s son Elliott to captain in the Army Air Corps. Abraham Lincoln’s eldest son Robert was criticized for his non-combatant status as a staff officer during the Civil War.

A more instructive parallel, however, might be to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, of all people. When one of McCarthy’s Senate aides, G. David Schine, was drafted into the Army and sent to basic training at Ft. Monmouth, N.J., Roy Cohn, another McCarthy aide and reputedly Schine’s lover, intervened persistently to obtain an officer’s commission for Schine. When the Army protested about repeated threats and interference from the senator’s office, McCarthy charged that the Army was attempting to retaliate against his investigations into communist subversion in the armed forces. The televised hearings that were held during April-June 1954 to investigate the matter — the famous Army-McCarthy hearings — not only revealed that McCarthy and his staff had repeatedly wielded their influence on behalf of Schine, but had done so despite Schine’s complete lack of qualifications for an officer’s commission.

The differences between Joseph McCarthy and Joseph Biden are self-evident, of course. But just as the effort to make G. David Schine an Army officer taught the country something about Senator McCarthy, so the brief, inglorious naval career of Hunter Biden tells us something about Vice President Biden — and the culture of entitlement in political Washington that has tarnished the Navy.

As a footnote to the above, Schine was something of a Zelig figure in his post-McCarthy days, as blogger Tom McMahon noted in 2008:

G. David Schine: Assistant to Senator Joseph McCarthy, Executive Producer of The French Connection, Part Owner of the Ambassador Hotel Where RFK Was Shot, Married to Miss Universe 1955, Purveyor of Bubble Gum Music, and Had A Cameo On the Batman TV Show.

I hope Hunter Biden goes on to have as varied and interesting a career.

Exit question: If Biden’s son was kicked out the military in February, why are we only hearing about it now?

The Banality of Justifying Evil

October 19th, 2014 - 3:13 pm

In “Stalin, Sane,” National Review Online’s Andrew Stuttaford links to Anne Applebaum’s review of a new biography of Joseph Stalin:

Writing in The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum reviews the first volume of what looks like an interesting new biography of Stalin (it takes the story up until 1928). Critically, its author, Stephen Kotkin, appears to dispense with glib ‘psychological’ alibi (tough childhood and so on) for what Stalin became, replacing it with the more sinister explanation that his actions were, in one sense, perfectly rational:

 His violence was not the product of his subconscious but of the Bolshevik engagement with Marxist-Leninist ideology. This ideology offered Stalin a deep sense of certainty in the face of political and economic setbacks. If policies designed to produce prosperity created poverty instead, an explanation could always be found: the theory had been incorrectly interpreted, the forces were not correctly aligned, the officials had blundered. If Soviet policies were unpopular, even among workers, that too could be explained: antagonism was rising because the class struggle was intensifying.

And if you think that that sounds a lot like a true believer trying to square the teachings of his faith with perennially inconvenient reality you would be right. The frontier between avowedly atheistic communism, a “political religion” (as it has often been described) and more conventional religious belief is not as clearly defined as is so often imagined. Trying to understand why Stalin was attracted to such a creed thus raises unsettling questions—over what we want to believe, and why— that go far beyond the motivation of a series of communist fanatics.

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, “Communists are just Nazis with better PR”; those engaging in PR spin to defend Stalin and his crimes go far beyond the Russians themselves to include numerous academics in both the US and England (including venerated British historian Eric Eric Hobsbawm, a true believer to the very end), crazed filmmakers such as Oliver Stone, and more than a few journalists in places such as the New York Times. But note how similar the “Stalin was a hideously deformed monster” theories dovetail with those who wish to whitewash their nation of the crimes of another murderous tyrant. Or as Ron Rosenbaum, the author of Explaining Hitler wrote in 2006:

As I tried to point out in Explaining Hitler, so called “psycho-historical” theories of Hitler have long been justly discredited, but still attract those who find some kitschy thrill in contemplating the sexual and personal perversities of Nazis.

Psycho-historical theories have been discredited both for lack of credible evidence and for flawed notions of causation. Here, for instance, it sounds like the director has blindly accepted the dubious, contradicted hearsay that Hitler’s father beat him, promoted strenuously without corroboration by psychoanalyst Alice Miller (who, again without corroboration “explains” Hitler’s anti-semitism by claiming Hitler’s father beat him because the father was upset that he, the father, might have “Jewish blood”–a concatenation of unproven, unprovable old wives tales). Even if it were true that Hitler’s father beat him this does not support the notion that therefore Hitler became a mass murderer because he resented Daddy. All too many children are beaten by their fathers, true, but only Hitler became Hitler because his exterminationist impulses had the enthusiastic support of hundreds of thousands of “ordinary” Germans and other Europeans.

Second, the focus on Hitler’s alleged personal peculiarities, de-historicizes the causes of the Holocaust; making it some kind of outgrowth of personal revenge and perversion rather the culmination of centuries of murderous anti-semitic hatred in Europe carried out by hundreds of thousands of non bed-wetting accomplices to Hitler. It de-politicizes the genocidal hatred in an utterly trivializing way. The Holocaust was not the product of one man’s personal peccadilloes, but of a powerful historical, theological and racial ideology that a juvenile comic focus on “bed-wetting” utterly obscures and in effect denies.

In his recent article “Arendt, Banality, and Benhabib: A Final Rejoinder,” Richard Wolin of the Jewish Review of Books writes:

In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt viewed Nazism as a manifestation of “radical evil,” insofar as, as she explains in her preface, its crimes could “no longer be deduced from humanly comprehensible motives.”

Actually, the motives of Nazism and Bolshevism, those twin “heresies of socialism,” as Richard Pipes has dubbed them, flow logically and inexorably from the rhetoric of those whom Martin Marty dubbed “The Bearded God Killers” of the 19th century, and the “Progressives” such as H.G. Wells and Margaret Sanger who followed them in the early 20th century.  And they certainly can be deduced from humanly comprehensible motives.

At least by those who wish to make the effort.

BuzzFeed Accidently Gives MSM Game Away

October 17th, 2014 - 4:27 pm

“GOP rep: What if terrorists self-infect and bring Ebola into the U.S.?”, as spotted by Allahpundit at Hot Air, who notes:

This is posted at BuzzFeed without comment apart from a transcript, a classic way to imply “this is preposterous to a newsworthy degree” without actually having to explain why. Here’s Jonathan Last putting some meat on the bones of the idea Joe Wilson is expressing:

What’s to stop a jihadist from going to Liberia, getting himself infected, and then flying to New York and riding the subway until he keels over? This is just the biological warfare version of a suicide bomb. Can you imagine the consequences if someone with Ebola vomited in a New York City subway car? A flight from Roberts International in Monrovia to JFK in New York is less than $2,000, meaning that the planning and infrastructure needed for such an attack is relatively trivial. This scenario may be highly unlikely. But so were the September 11 attacks and the Richard Reid attempted shoe bombing, both of which resulted in the creation of a permanent security apparatus around airports. We take drastic precautions all the time, if the potential losses are serious enough, so long as officials are paying attention to the threat.

BuzzFeed’s point here, I guess, is that it’s bad form for a congressman to articulate this possibility even if plenty of Americans are already worried about it because that would be fearmongering, quite unlike what Democrats do routinely with climate change, the “war on women,” horsesh*t like this, etc etc. It’s one thing for the rank-and-file boobs on the right to see terrorists under every rock, it’s another for a man in power who’s, um, almost certainly going to be reelected anyway to broach the subject. But never mind that. What’s the actual argument for why Last’s point is stupid?

After 9/11, when he wasn’t accused of orchestrating the event himself by at least a third of Democrats, GWB was routinely crucified by the left for not being better prepared for a terrorist attack  on the World Trade Center. (As I think James Lileks noted years ago in one of his columns, plunging a 747 into the WTC is what just about everybody tries as a goof at least once soon after purchasing Microsoft’s “Flight Simulator” computer game.) But if Bush had been making speeches, starting from say, first running for national office in 1999 until September 10th, 2001 suggesting that the WTC was vulnerable to another terrorist attack, particularly an attack using multiple hijacked airliners by Jihadis on suicide missions, he’d have been looked at by the left, not the least of which their operatives with bylines, as a fear-mongering Strangelove-esque crank and anti-Muslim “racist,” in exactly the same way as GOP Rep. Wilson is being attacked today.

Pages: 1 2 | 24 Comments bullet bullet

Question Asked and Answered

October 17th, 2014 - 1:59 pm

“Who Do They Think We Are?”, asks Peggy Noonan, adding that “The administration’s Ebola evasions reveal its disdain for the American people:”

The language of government now is word-spew.

Dr. Frieden did not explain his or the government’s thinking on the reasons for opposition to a travel ban. On the other hand, he noted that the government will consider all options in stopping the virus from spreading here, so perhaps that marks the beginning of a possible concession.

It is one thing that Dr. Frieden, and those who are presumably making the big decisions, have been so far incapable of making a believable and compelling case for not instituting a ban. A separate issue is how poor a decision it is. To call it childish would be unfair to children. In fact, if you had a group of 11-year-olds, they would surely have a superior answer to the question: “Sick people are coming through the door of the house, and we are not sure how to make them well. Meanwhile they are starting to make us sick, too. What is the first thing to do?”

The children would reply: “Close the door.” One would add: “Just for a while, while you figure out how to treat everyone getting sick.” Another might say: “And keep going outside the door in protective clothing with medical help.” Eleven-year-olds would get this one right without a lot of struggle.

If we don’t momentarily close the door to citizens of the affected nations, it is certain that more cases will come into the U.S. It is hard to see how that helps anyone. Closing the door would be no guarantee of safety—nothing is guaranteed, and the world is porous. But it would reduce risk and likelihood, which itself is worthwhile.

Africa, by the way, seems to understand this. The Associated Press on Thursday reported the continent’s health-care officials had limited the threat to only five countries with the help of border controls, travel restrictions, and aggressive and sophisticated tracking.

All of which returns me to my thoughts the past few weeks. Back then I’d hear the official wordage that doesn’t amount to a logical thought, and the unspoken air of “We don’t want to panic you savages,” and I’d look at various public officials and muse: “Who do you think you are?”

Now I think, “Who do they think we are?”

“The ones we’ve been waiting for” as the man leading the con game said to his rubes. And speaking of one of the biggest of those rubes, if only Peggy had asked her question in the fall of 2008.

Incidentally, note that her column was written last night, before Obama appointed a Democrat hack and political fixer as his Ebola czar — or in reality, his new Ebola czar, as the previous one has been memory holed by the administration.

Great Moments in Media Bias

October 17th, 2014 - 1:30 pm

Update: “The sad part of it all is that Dr. Paul is more qualified to talk about ebola than the administration’s ebola czar.” Heh, indeed.™

Our Source was the New York Times

October 16th, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Shot:

Experts who study public psychology say the next few weeks will be crucial to containing mounting anxiety. “Officials will have to be very, very careful,” said Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research, a nonprofit that studies public health and perceptions of threat. “Once trust starts to erode, the next time they tell you not to worry — you worry.”

“Experts Offer Steps for Avoiding Public Hysteria, a Different Contagious Threat,” the New York Times, today.

Chaser:

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about
this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office?
Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?

OBAMA: Now let me write this down.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I’ve got…

QUESTION: Surprised, troubled…

OBAMA: I’ve got — what was the first one?

QUESTION: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised. QUESTION: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

QUESTION: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?

QUESTION: Humbled. Thank you, sir.

—Question asked by Jeff Zeleney, White House correspondent of the New York Times, at one of now-retired President Obama’s exceedingly rare press conferences, May 29th, 2009.

Related: Andrew Klavan: Helping the Pro-Obama Media Learn From the Past:

And don’t miss Rich Lowry on “The God That Failed,” which somehow made it over the transom with the Obama logo stuck onto it above the Politico’s front door: “Most of the magical powers once attributed to President Obama have proven illusory. Doing more than any other one person to revive the Republican Party, though, is a genuinely impressive feat.”

Who knew Obama’s slogan in 2008 was: We are the kleptocratic socialists we have been waiting for!

Stop the War on Women by Democrats and their operatives with bylines! The London Daily Mail reports:

Matt Lauer accused of ‘inhuman treatment and physically endangering the well-being of his wife so much that it was unsafe for her to live with him’ in 2006 divorce papers

  • In divorce papers filed by Annette Lauer in 2006, Matt Lauer is described as ‘extremely controlling’ and accused of ‘cruel and inhuman treatment.’
  • The papers also say that the popular host of Today valued his job more than his two children and wife.
  • They also state that Matt’s behavior ‘endangers the physical and mental well-being’ of Annette.
  • The papers were ultimately withdrawn three weeks after they were filed, and the couple just celebrated their 16-year wedding anniversary. 

The Daily Mail goes on to add, “The papers, obtained by The National Enquirer, also say that, ‘The conduct of [Matt] so endangers the physical and mental well-being of [Annette] so as to render it unsafe and improper for plaintiff to cohabit with defendant.’”

If the Enquirer is wrong on this story, Lauer should helicopter himself a.s.a.p. over to a veteran trial attorney and sue. Perhaps John Edwards will take the case

In other news from NBC’s War on Women, “Maid fired because her brother worked at soup restaurant that NBC chief medical correspondent visited in violation of Ebola quarantine.”

Quarantines are for the little people — NBC’s on-air talent must not be denied their soup, Ebola be damned!

The ‘Bam Who Fell To Earth

October 15th, 2014 - 10:42 pm
obama_ny_daily_news_2008_and_10-15-14-1-sml-2

Click to enlarge.

If only the New York Daily News had taken its own advice in 2008.

Embedding a large photo of the screaming “For God’s Sake, Get a Grip” headline on the front page of the Daily News tomorrow on President Ebola (sorry), Glenn Reynolds writes “It’s Come to This.” But it helps to flash back to the covers the Daily News ran during election week of 2008, to place Thursday’s cover into context. And to get a better sense of how absolutely all-in the center-left tabloid (as opposed to the increasingly zany and cult-like New York Times of the Pinch Sulzberger-era at least) went for Obama, to the point where its wealthy publisher claimed he wrote at least one speech for Barry.

The 2008 covers above, just a small example of the daily hagiography pumped out by the MSM back then, reflect a very different, but similarly self-destructive contagion that rapidly enveloped the MSM starting in early 2007. The virus began to subside around mid-2009, when it slowly became obvious that the MSM had sacrificed their credibility to elect a false messiah. But as a dangerous aftereffect to Obama fever, the MSM quickly turned viciously on its readers, in the form of their unceasing racialist attacks on the Tea Party and anyone who dared oppose The One. (There was a taste of this in 2008, when Bill and Hillary Clinton, once and future Democrat stalwarts, were similarly tarred as racists by the Democrat operatives with bylines.)

However the current story plays out, it’s far too late for Obama himself to get a grip on Ebola; he was never an executive, merely a socialist true believer, failed community organizer, and good teleprompter reader decked out with expensive taxpayer-funded bespoke suits. But he spoke the same language as the MSM, and like them, he had a (D) after his name, and that’s all that mattered.

After November, it will be fascinating to watch the MSM similarly go all-in to aid Hillary, and act as if 2008 never happened, and pretend that they had no role to play whatsoever in electing a president about to go as deep into the memory hole as Woodrow Wilson, and for similar reasons. It isn’t just that the MSM got things so wrong, it’s that they permanently shattered their credibility to make it happen. Don’t let them forget what they’d like the world to forget.

Related: With the headline, “Could It Possibly Get Any Worse?”, Roger L. Simon proves that he sure loves to tempt fate.

‘Obama’s Great Big Ebola Error’

October 15th, 2014 - 1:38 pm

The recently retired president’s administration and its lackeys have made lots of errors regarding their handling of the Ebola crisis, of course. But at the National Interest, James Jay Carafano spots what he considers to be the big one:

The White House has declared Ebola to be a top national-security concern. That ought to worry Americans. The last time a president tried to make a disease a national-security issue, he helped trigger a global pandemic that killed 50 million people.

Progressives like to expropriate the label of national security to help drive their agendas. Statist, centrally managed, with top-down direction, the national-security model is the perfect vehicle for any policy “crusade,” be it fighting global warming or raising taxes. Thus, for example, when the administration got the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to label the “debt the biggest threat to national security,” it had all the cover needed to press for cutting defense and raising taxes—two cornerstones of President Obama’s progressive political agenda.

But playing “national security” progressive politics with public health can bring outright disaster. When the United States entered World War I, Woodrow Wilson played the national-security card early and often. The war effort became an excuse for everything from jailing political opponents to spying on everyday Americans. But, when the president used a global war as an excuse to preempt sound public-health policy, he reaped a global catastrophe.

In a post titled “Ebola and the great forgetting: the best of times, the worst of times,” Neo-Neocon quotes from a PBS documentary on how the Spanish flu ravaged America during this period:

Narrator: In 31 shocking days, the flu would kill over 195,000 Americans. It was the deadliest month in this nation’s history. Coffins were in such demand that they were often stolen. Undertakers had to place armed guards around their prized boxes. The orderly life of America began to break down. All over the country, farms and factories shut down — schools and churches closed. Homeless children wandered the streets, their parents vanished…

Dr. Alfred Crosby, author, America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The epidemic killed, at a very, very conservative estimate, 550,000 Americans in 10 months, that’s more Americans than died in combat in all the wars of this century, and the epidemic killed at least 30 million in the world and infected the majority of the human species.

Narrator: As soon as the dying stopped, the forgetting began.

Dr. Alfred Crosby, author, America’s Forgotten Pandemic: It is in the individual memory of a great many of us, but it’s not in our collective memory. That for me is the greatest mystery: how we could have forgotten anything so horrendous, so massively horrendous, as this, this epidemic which killed so many of us, killed us so fast and our reaction was to forget it.

It’s no surprise that someone being quoted on an NPR show can’t understand why this period of American history is so little known today. The left have been writing American history since the days of FDR, and have managed to airbrush virtually all of Woodrow Wilson’s sins out of American history, as they would reflect rather badly on the notion of “Progressive” or “liberal” government. Indeed, historian Fred Siegel writes that the American left stole the word “liberal” from traditional laissez-faire classical liberals in the early 1920s in order to cast off the taint of being associated with the disastrously “Progressive” Wilson administration.

After quoting from Carafano’s article, Moe Lane writes:

As the article notes, the eventual death toll for that was 50 million.  How many dead can actually be directly laid at Wilson’s feet is arguable – goodness knows that era did not lack for fools and knaves – but you can certainly tie his actions to the American soldiers and workers and patriots who died because they were at an event that was deliberately put on despite a quarantine.  Not that there’s any rush to do that; the whitewashing that they’ve done for Barack Obama pales in comparison to the cleanup that academia and the media have done on Woodrow Wilson’s reputation…

Prefacing an excerpt from his-then new book Liberal Fascism in the February 2008 issue of the Christian Science Monitor, Jonah Goldberg wrote, “You want a more ‘progressive’ America? Be careful what you wish for…”

And with the Ebola crisis risking expansion, future historians may well need to do Wilson-level airbrush work erasing Obama’s actual presidential record out of the history books.

I’m sure the New York Times will be ever-eager to do their part, of course.

Weapons of Midterm Destruction, Then and Now

October 14th, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Shot:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, joined Congressman Peter Hoekstra, (R-MI-2), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today to make a major announcement regarding the release of newly declassified information that proves the existence of chemical munitions in Iraq since 2003. The information was released by the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, and contained an unclassified summary of analysis conducted by the National Ground Intelligence Center. In March, Senator Santorum began advocating for the release of these documents to the American public.“The information released today proves that weapons of mass destruction are, in fact, in Iraq,” said Senator Santorum. “It is essential for the American people to understand that these weapons are in Iraq. I will continue to advocate for the complete declassification of this report so we can more fully understand the complete WMD picture inside Iraq.”

The following are the six key points contained in the unclassified overview:

• Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

• Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.

• Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.

• The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.

• The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.

• It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.

—Press release issued on June 21st, 2006 by Republican Rick Santorum, as part of his (ultimately doomed) reelection bid, and widely ridiculed by virtually all Democrat operatives with bylines to aid their party’s ultimately successful recapture of both houses of Congress.

Chaser:

I THOUGHT IRAQI CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE A BUSHITLER/CHENEY FANTASY: New York Times: The Secret U.S. Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons. “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs.”

Instapundit.com, earlier tonight.

As Glenn Reynolds’ commenters note,”Actually, we knew about it. We screamed about it. And people who believed the NYT called us liars,” and “There’s not a word in that article about Hussein transporting WMDs to eastern Syria just prior to the invasion. They just spun that story to be as anti-W as they could.”

Plus as anoter Insta-commenter adds, assuming my fellow PJM colleagues Roger Kimball and Roger Simon are co-hosting another Walter Duranty prize next year, their speeches have just written themselves.

Update:

 

Much more at Twitchy.