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Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

Unsafe At Any Speed

April 1st, 2014 - 11:32 pm

Does the Obama administration bear any responsibility in the recently announced recall of GM cars, after a series of fatalities? Let’s flashback a few years:

On Monday morning, President Obama announced that the Treasury Department would back the warranties of new General Motors and Chrysler vehicles.

“If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always,” President Obama said during a speech from the White House. “Your warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been, because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.”

That’s from a March 30, 2009 New York Times article titled “Understanding Obama’s Auto Warranty Plan,” back when the Obama administration still had that new hopenchange smell, was starting from zero, and all things seemed possible — and the craziest leftwing rhetoric and corporatist fantasies seemed believable. You can see the full passage quoted in the National Archives and Records Administration’s Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States at Google Books, and in the above news clip, excerpted from a Silicon Graffiti video I shot back then.

Flash-forward today; Jim Geraghty links to a CBS-Connecticut article titled, “Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal Urges People to Stop Driving GM,” in which Obama’s fellow Democrat urges his state’s voters to eschew the products of his president’s bailout:

General Motors Co. said it is recalling 1.5 million vehicles worldwide, because the electronic power-steering assist can suddenly stop working, making them harder to steer. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is among those calling for GM to make a stronger statement and tell owners to stop driving their cars immediately. Blumenthal believes GM made a decision to hide the defect of ignition switches.  Blumenthal along with Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey is introducing legislation aimed at better auto safety reporting.

* * * * * *

In response to the panel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a statement Sunday saying it had “reviewed data from a number of sources in 2007, but the data we had available at the time did not warrant a formal investigation.”

The cars were recalled by GM due to a flaw which causes ignition switches to move from the “run” to the “accessory” or “off” position, which causes the car to stall and disables the air bags and power steering. The recall includes the Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky from the 2003-2011 model years.

Geraghty adds:

Considering the risk from the switches, Blumenthal’s advice isn’t the most outlandish conclusion in the world. If an owner of one of the recalled cars wants to drive it at all, he should remove everything from the key chain and drive the car to the dealer, very carefully, over the smoothest roads possible, and get the car checked out.

The problem is that we’ve been told for five years that General Motors was a national institution that had to be saved at all costs, including billions of taxpayer dollars. Now Democratic lawmakers are really, really eager to drop the hammer on GM for hiding the danger these cars presented to the public. That may be (and increasingly appears to be) completely justified, except the same crowd told us five years ago that all of us had to chip in to save this company, so they could keep making these cars that Blumenthal wants everyone to stop driving.

Note that according to CBS-Connecticut, the recall covers cars built during the 2003 through 2011 model years. That would cover the 2009 period during which Mr. Obama promised the American people that “If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors…starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.” In much the same way that, as Mr. Obama was also saying back then, if you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance. But then, Duffman says a lot of things.

Exit quote:

I hope someone in the Obama administration will get out the handcuffs, the SWAT teams, or the U.S. army if need be, march into GM headquarters in downtown Detroit and haul away anyone who is there who had anything to do with this. And if they already left town, hunt them down and bring them in to face justice.

Given what Mr. Obama promised the American people in 2009 and his role as de facto CEO of Government Motors, did Michael Moore inadvertently threaten the president today?

Update: As I added in the comments, of course Obama wasn’t aware of problems with GM cars during his watch as wannabe-CEO. But if you’re going to pretend to be in charge when it’s all upside (via the taxpayers’ money), then he must accept the consequences when disaster strikes.

Mr. Obama is Commander in Chief of the left’s War Against the American People, after all.

More: From Ace on “the media’s complete lack of mention of Steve Rattner, Obama’s ‘car czar,’” and the MSM’s “unexpected” reluctance to ask “any questions about President’s Auto Industry Task Force, just how thorough their review of GM was, and how they managed to miss so many consequential lurking safety issues.”

‘The Media Hate Republicans’

April 1st, 2014 - 4:07 pm

“Why do organizations like CNN let Democrats’ arrested for felonies slip through the cracks?”, Glenn Reynolds asks in his latest USA Today column:

CNN, home (also until last week) of Piers Morgan, whom Yee had praised for his anti-gun activism, didn’t report the story at all. When prodded by viewers, the network snarked that it doesn’t do state senators. Which is odd, because searching the name of my own state senator, Stacey Campfield, turns up a page of results, involving criticisms of him for saying something “extreme”. Meanwhile, CNN found time to bash Wisconsin state senator and supporter of Gov. Scott Walker, Randy Hopper over marital problems.

But there’s a difference. They’re Republicans. When Republicans do things that embarrass their party, the national media are happy to take note, even if they’re mere state senators. But when Democrats like Yee get busted for actual felonies, and pretty dramatic ones at that, the press suddenly isn’t interested.

We’ve seen this before, of course: Washington Post reporter Sarah Kliff dismissed the horrific Kermit Gosnell trial as a “local crime story”, even as the press was going crazy covering another equally local crime story, the George Zimmerman trial. Likewise, another state senator, Texas’ Wendy Davis, got national attention when she filibustered an abortion bill, a story that fit conveniently with the “war on women” theme used by Democrats.

It’s almost as if “what’s news” is just a synonym for “what advances the narrative chosen by the Democratic Party.” The question that “news” operations like CNN may want to ask is, how many people are really interested in getting their news from party organs.

“Almost?”

Related: Of course, there’s “a whole lotta Democrat corruption going on,” even beyond Leland Yee’s alleged arms trafficking, as Michelle Malkin wrote in her column last week, running down the latest interfaces between the DNC and various police blotters:

Has Nancy Pelosi seen a newspaper lately? (Pro tip, hon: Like the Obamacare monstrosity, you have to read it to find out what’s in it.) I’d love to see her face in the wake of the veritable epidemic of Democratic corruption now sweeping the country. Pelosi’s blink count must be off the charts.

I’m going to make it easy on Pelosi and put all of the latest cases in one handy rogue’s gallery reference list. But let’s not be naive. It’s clear to me that the Barack Obama/Eric Holder DOJ is clearing the decks before the midterms. Prediction: The FBI’s GOP corruption shoe will drop right before the elections for maximum distraction and damage.

File it away; come the fall, expect plenty of gonzo October Surprises from DNC-ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN-PBS.

Two Michael Moores in One!

April 1st, 2014 - 12:03 pm

He is large, he contains many politically expedient multitudes:

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested and made to pay for their pre-meditated decision to take human lives for a lousy ten bucks.

* * * * * * * *

I hope someone in the Obama administration will get out the handcuffs, the SWAT teams, or the U.S. army if need be, march into GM headquarters in downtown Detroit and haul away anyone who is there who had anything to do with this. And if they already left town, hunt them down and bring them in to face justice.

—”Michael Moore: Hunt Down and Execute GM Officials Behind Ignition-Related Deaths,” Big Hollywood today, quoting from Moore’s Facebook page.

Michael Moore, filmmaker and unabashed right-wing-basher, also took to Twitter to post: “When Palin put crosshairs on a map w/ Rep. Giffords & 19 other Dem congressmen/women, she urged followers to “reload” & “aim” for Democrats.”

“Sarah Palin ‘Targeting’ Blamed for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Tucson Shootings,” Yahoo, January 8th, 2011.

“If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the w/crosshairs 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he b sitting right now? Just asking,” Moore also tweeted that day.

Possibly on the Democratic National Committee, who also used plenty of target clip art and rhetoric, since it’s standard for all political campaigns. But having ranted about civility, clip art, and gun language in 2011, Moore makes it very easy to point out the left’s hypocrisy when they quickly resumed their own use at hyperbole so quickly after calling for an era of new civility.

Oh and speaking of which, at least as of today:

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Or to put it another way: “Because narrative.”

“Bob Kerrey Calls Obama a Delusional Liar; Renders Himself MSM Nonperson,” P.J. Gladnick writes at Newsbusters:

Imagine if a former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. senator had called a current Republican president a delusional liar whose programs are wasteful. Would the mainstream media not be all over the story? Such a person would be interviewed at length by Wolf Blitzer on CNN as well as made the rounds of the morning talk shows and the Sunday news programs as well. The media buzz would be red hot on this topic for days extending into weeks.

Well, there is such a person but because he is a Democrat saying these things about President Obama, we can expect him to become an MSM nonperson. Such seems to already be the fate of former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey. It is no surprise that his extended criticisms of Obama appeared in a Daily Mail article in Britain, not in America where the shunning seems to have already begun. Here is what Kerrey has to say about Obama which you most likely won’t see in any major liberal news outlet in America:

The Nebraskan straight-talker told MailOnline in an exclusive interview that Obama isn’t up to the job of bringing liberals and conservatives to the table to rescue America’s slowly choking entitlement programs.

And Obama, he said Wednesday in his Manhattan office, knew full well he was lying when he promised that the Affordable Care Act would allow Americans to keep insurance plans they liked.

‘He had to know he was misleading the audience,’ Kerrey said quietly, recalling the newly minted president’s countless promises as Congress and the public debated his signature health insurance overhaul.

‘On the other hand, he may have said it so many times,’ he added, ‘that the spell-checker wasn’t in the room – the spell-checker, the fact-checker – somebody who says, “Excuse me, Mr. President, but I hope you know this…”‘

Obama’s infamous four-Pinocchio pledges, Kerrey explained, never stood a chance of being fulfilled because there were ‘a million people out there with policies that, for one reason or another, run short of the minimum standard. I mean, they bought something cheaper!’

Read the whole thing; Kerrey is just getting started.

But no wonder Kerrey has dematerialized; the socialized medical scheme crafted by the president has mysteriously vanished as well.

Perhaps in addition to covering the missing Flight #370, CNN will look into the disappearance of both Kerrey and Obamacare — along with another Democrat who’s recently mysteriously vanished.

But they won’t of course — even as the network wonders why its ratings have vanished as well.

“Hassan stabbed her at least 14 times then called triple-0 and told the operator ‘There’s a problem with my wife.’”

—Tim Blair explores “Local Sharia” in the aforementioned Sydney, Australia.

Hassan? What an odd coincidence that the suspect shares a similar sounding name as that Muzzammil Hassan chap in New York State. If only there was some other connection, as well. Oh well, move along, nothing to see here.

The Narrative That Didn’t Bark

March 27th, 2014 - 3:50 pm

After numerous politicians from one party appeared on the police blotter both yesterday and in the past week, it’s no surprise that “President Romney [is] Hounded by Media After String of High-Profile Republican Arrests,” as John Hayward of Big Journalism writes — from the Mirror Universe, where Spock as a goatee, and America’s MSM does its job objectively:

President Mitt Romney wanted to talk about his meeting with the Pope today, but instead he was besieged by a swarm of reporters shouting questions about the remarkable string of high-profile Republicans arrested by the FBI, or resigning under federal investigation, over the last few days.

“President Romney, several prominent Republicans were arrested yesterday, including the mayor of one of the nation’s largest cities, on charges ranging from corruption to purchasing weapons from international terrorists,” a reporter shouted from the crowd. “Does your Party have a problem?”

Since in real life, our existing MSM will only ask those sorts of questions to one of America’s two chief political parties, Michael Walsh takes up the slack in his latest column at PJM: ““Time to Break Out the RICO Statute and Break Up the Democrats.”

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That’s the question that John Hinderaker of Power Line is asking in the latest update to, as he writes, his ongoing dismantling of the Post’s attempt “to advance Democratic Party talking points by falsely linking Koch Industries to the Keystone Pipeline:”

The facts, very briefly, are these: Koch Industries has no interest in the Keystone Pipeline; it has not lobbied in favor of the pipeline; if the pipeline is built, Koch will make no use of it to ship oil from Alberta or anywhere else; and construction of Keystone would actually damage Koch’s economic interests by raising the price of midwestern oil that flows to Koch’s Pine Bend refinery. The reporters who wrote the Post article that tried to portray Koch as the driving force behind the Keystone pipeline, Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, did not dispute any of these facts.After my first post appeared, Eilperin and Mufson tried halfheartedly to respond to it. They posed the question, why did they write the article, given all of the facts that Power Line pointed out? Their answer was: “[I]ssues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.” So their intention in writing the article was explicitly political.

But it may have been even more political, and more nakedly partisan, than we suspected. Today Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman wrote a letter to David Robertson, President and COO of Koch Industries. The Democrats’ letter was premised almost entirely on the Washington Post’s discredited article; it repeatedly footnoted that article and the IFG report on which the Post story was based. The two Democrats concluded by requesting that Koch answer questions and produce a long series of documents relating in various ways to the Keystone pipeline.

The Democrats’ letter raises an obvious question: did the Washington Post publish its article attempting to link Koch to Keystone at the request of Whitehouse and/or Waxman, or at the request of other Democrats who were coordinating with Whitehouse and Waxman? Given the blatantly political purpose to which the Post’s article has now been put, it is reasonable to inquire into its genesis: was it a Democratic Party plant from the start?

Read the whole thing, as Glenn Reynolds would say. And as one of Glenn’s readers adds, “I don’t understand why Whitehouse and Waxman are even writing the letter to Koch Industries in the first place. Even if the Post article had been true, it didn’t allege any law-breaking or wrong-doing, did it? Isn’t this just blatant harassment on their part? And with the crushing debunking of the article by Powerline already public knowledge, what is the purpose?”

Possibly, the letter was ready to go even as the Post hit piece was being published, and crossed in the streams with Power Line’s unexpected (in the real, not Bloomberg.com sense of the word) debunking.

Over to you, Mr. Bezos.

“Think of the Democratic Party as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party,” my friend and fellow PJM columnist Michael Walsh wrote in 2009 in the guise of his leftwing alter-ego, David Kahane.

Certainly, at a minimum it’s safe to say that Democrats were rather active on the nation’s police blotters today. Since this is one narrative the MSM will never assemble (as they’re in on the fun), it’s up to the Blogosphere — so here we go.

First up, the password is Swordfish Shrimp Boy:

“BREAKING: Anti-Gun CA Senator Leland Yee Charged With Gun Running,” reports The Truth About Guns:

It what would surely place his likeness prominently on the Mt. Rushmore of hypocrisy if the allegations are proven in a court of law, famously anti-gun California state Senator Leland Yee has been charged with, in addition to bribery and public corruption…yes…gun running. Specifically conspiring with known organized crime lord Kwok Cheung “Shrimp Boy” Chow to illegally import firearms and sell them without a license . . .

The affidavit charges that the $2 million worth of weapons to have been secreted into the country from the Philippines included rocket launchers and machine guns, some of which Yee himself had fired while on Mindanao. A portion of the weapons Yee conspired to bring into the U.S. through New Jersey were to have been forwarded on to North Africa via Sicily.

At NRO’s Corner, Tim Cavanaugh adds, “California State Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat representing San Francisco, was arrested Wednesday by the Justice Department in an apparent sting that involves a famous Chinatown criminal, local media report“:

Yee is the third Democrat in the California state senate facing criminal charges. The other two are in Los Angeles County. Rod Wright of Inglewood is taking a leave of absence after being convicted of perjury and voter fraud related to charges that he lied about his residence when running for office in 2008. Monetebello’s Ron Calderon is also on leave while fighting 24 felony counts related to bribery in exchange for steering legislation.

The Democratic Party has 28 out of 40 seats in the state senate. Wright’s and Calderon’s absences have already left the Democrats without the two-thirds supermajority they often claim to need, presumably so they can stand up to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the Democratic-controlled State Assembly, and the Democrats who hold all statewide elected offices.

Like the Truth About Guns Website, Rush Limbaugh is also having a schadenfreude overdose:

The reason that I stopped everything to take your call — and clearly, folks, he didn’t call for this reason — is Leland Yee is the California politician who attempted to get me fired and disbarred and dismembered and dis-whatever else’d after I impersonated the ChiCom premier. The ChiCom premier was here and having a joint press conference with Obama.

I did an interpretation of the ChiCom premier speaking Chinese. (interruption) Yeah, it was one of my best shows. Leland Yee and these people had an absolute fit! They thought, “This is exactly the kind of racism and the bigotry and the insensitivity and what else” that I, El Rushbo, am known for.  And that’s why I took the call. So here this guy who wanted me thrown off the air for racism and bigotry is now having his offices raided by the “feebs” because of possible corruption while in office.  I just love it!

CALLER: (chuckling)

RUSH: These guys, they sit up there all majestically in their royalty, and they try to eliminate their opposition.  All the while their hands are in the till and they’re engaging in corruption I couldn’t even dream of.  So I’m actually glad, Chris, that you called, and I’m actually glad that you got through. ‘Cause otherwise Leland Yee’s name probably would not have come up today.

Beyond Yee, as I said, today was quite a day for Democrats and the police blotter. Democrat Charlotte NC Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned today after less than six months in office, “just hours after he was arrested and accused of taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do work with North Carolina’s largest city,” the Blaze reports:

Cannon submitted his resignation letter to city manager Ron Carlee and city attorney Bob Hagemann, Charlotte spokesman Keith Richardson said in an email. The 47-year-old Cannon is charged with bribery and public corruption. The Democrat took cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes and solicited more than $1 million more, according to a criminal complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Cannon said in his resignation letter that the pending charges “will create too much of a distraction” for the business of the city to go forward. He said it was effective immediately.

Keith Farnham, 66, a Democrat Illinois state rep, resigned today. In an article dated Monday, but updated to reflect Farnham’s resignation today, the Chicago Tribune reported:

Reports that federal agents were looking for evidence of child pornography when they seized computers from the Elgin district office of former state Rep. Keith Farnham shocked local officials who said the lawmaker was well-liked and active in the community.

“I couldn’t even fathom it. I was stunned,” said former Elgin Mayor Ed Schock, adding that Farnham always worked on the city’s behalf.

Farnham has not been accused of any crime.Federal agents were searching for documents “pertaining to the possession, receipt or distribution of child pornography” as well as computer files, copies and negatives of child pornography or any documents that depicted minors “engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a search warrant released Friday.

And the hits just keep on coming.

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Civilisation and its Discontents

March 25th, 2014 - 7:21 pm

The London Telegraph asks, should the BBC remake its landmark 1969 TV series Civilization?

On the face of it, the idea of remaking Civilisation, Kenneth Clark’s television series of 1969, needs some justifying. The original hasn’t gone away, or been wiped from the tapes. In fact, the BBC repeated the whole thing on HD TV in 2011.

The subject of the series – the visual arts, architecture and philosophy of the past 1,000 years or so – might be thought not to have changed very much. Kenneth Clark was a highly intelligent and incisive man, and the book of the series, consisting of the scripts with illustrations, is still in print in 2014.

We don’t feel the need to remake a great novel after a few decades. So what has changed so radically, since 1969, to justify a remake? And what chance is there that a remake will come anywhere near the quality of the original?

As I wrote last year in a post on Civilisation, the cultural chasm between when the show was produced and today makes looking at Clark’s series the equivalent of “Notes from Atlantis:”

Another influential British documentary series from that era, which may well have influenced the style and quality of The World at War, would also have a very different tone were it made today. In fact, it probably couldn’t be made today. To help promote the BBC’s embrace of color television, in 1968 the network commissioned a 13-part documentary series titled Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark — or simply Civilisation, as it’s almost universally called.

Civilisation debuted on February 23, 1969; to further advance the acceptance of color TV, each episode featured luscious cinema-quality photography of globe-hoping historical locations and numerous key pieces of art and sculpture, with all sorts of stately camera moves, all shot on 35mm film, rather than the cheaper-looking 16mm format or videotape.  (Many, perhaps all of the episodes, are currently available in full-length form at YouTube, but the series is available on Blu-Ray, and in terms of cinematography, it’s worth it.)

It’s fascinating, in 2013, witnessing the ongoing collapse of our own culture — and in particular, the complete collapse, decades ago, of what was once called “middlebrow culture” – to watch a show titled Civilisation  – that itself is from a civilization that effectively no longer exists. At the very least, the network that created the series no longer exists in the same form (QED).

And QEDX2: “Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals” read the headline yesterday — also in the London Telegraph – which in six words perfectly sums up what has happened to British “Civilisation” over the last 40 years. The rest is commentary, as Hillel would say, and for that, a perusal of Peter Hitchen’s equally devastating book, The Abolition of Britain will provide the backstory of how postwar Britain went deeply off the rails.

Barack to the Future

March 24th, 2014 - 1:36 pm

“White House pushes ‘wooden skyscrapers’ as a solution to global warming,” Michael Bastasch writes at the Daily Caller:

The White House launched a new campaign to sell its global warming agenda to rural America: “sustainable” buildings, including skyscrapers, made out of wood to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

The Agriculture Department (USDA) announced it was launching a new $1 million program to promote wood as a “green” building material to boost rural economies, as well as a $1 million competition “to demonstrate the architectural and commercial viability of using sustainable wood products in high-rise construction,” according to Department.

“Wood may be one of the world’s oldest building materials, but it is now also one of the most advanced,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Building stronger markets for innovative new wood products supports sustainable forestry, helps buffer reduce [sic] greenhouse gas emissions, and puts rural America at the forefront of an emerging industry.”

The project is combines parts of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the administration’s push to win over rural America using green jobs. The USDA hopes to spur the use of wood technologies in industrial building projects like “tall buildings and skyscrapers, as well as other projects,” claiming that such buildings would produce be more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.

“By some industry estimates, a 3-5 story building made from emerging wood technologies has the same emissions control as taking up to 550 cars of the road for one year,” according to USDA. “Wood-based designs have also been demonstrated to improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling.”

Emphasis mine. I’m not sure how Vilsack or whoever wrote his press release gets from three to five story buildings to “skyscrapers.” But in any case, it’s not as if his boss made his political bones in a city whose rich 20th century architectural tradition was spurred on by a calamity caused by a devastating late 19th century conflagration made all the more intense due to a concentrated massing of wooden structures, right?

The fire’s spread was aided by the city’s use of wood as the predominant building material, a drought prior to the fire, and strong winds from the southwest that carried flying embers toward the heart of the city. More than ⅔ of the structures in Chicago at the time of the fire were made entirely of wood. Most houses and buildings were topped with highly flammable tar or shingle roofs. All the city’s sidewalks and many roads were also made of wood. Compounding this problem, Chicago had only received an inch of rain from July 4 to October 9 causing severe drought conditions.

Don’t worry — I’m sure it will be different the next time.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

“The current administration has suffered from a historic lack of private-sector experience, from Obama on down. There’s almost no one on the White House payroll who’s actually ever had to meet a payroll,” Ed Carson of Investor’s Business Daily wrote in 2010. Similarly, it seems safe to guesstimate that comparatively few journalists on the left have been self-employed in other professions before entering their current field. That can lead to confusion as to how small business and taxation works.

Or as Twitter user Chuck Peters writes today, “So basically Obama & Huff were geared up to make fun of Matt Drudge & then they realized they were wrong halfway through their propaganda.”

On Friday, Matthew Boyle wrote at Big Government, a section of the sprawling Website founded by the late Andrew Breitbart, who began his career in journalism as an associate of Drudge, “‘Liberty Tax’: White House, Media Attack After Drudge Pays Obamacare Opt-Out Penalty”:

A White House aide set off a stampede of liberal media criticism for Internet news pioneer Matt Drudge over Obamacare – but his critics don’t seem to understand how small businesses pay taxes.

The brouhaha started when Drudge tweeted, “Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’… I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX.”

Jesse Lee, the Director of Progressive Media at Barack Obama’s White House, responded that that was a “Flat lie, no fee for previous year,” adding, “Scary how much influence he once had.”

Lee’s response to Drudge set off a firestorm in the liberal media, with many mainstream media and left-wing reporters countering him on Twitter and in their own articles to claim he does not have to pay Obamacare’s Individual Mandate tax until next year. The individual mandate went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, and most people paying their taxes right now are paying taxes for 2013.

“Dude, there’s no penalty until next yr,” Sahil Kapur of the leftwing Talking Points Memo tweeted.

Kapur’s colleague at TPM Dylan Scott wrote a full story with a headline alleging Drudge was “probably lying.”

Welcome to the world of quarterly payments for the 1040 Schedule C Self-Employment Tax. At the Washington Times, Kellan Howell writes, “Media wrongly attack Drudge after he admits paying Obamacare penalty”:

A similar story appeared in Huffington Post, in which the author, Jeffrey Young, wrote Mr. Drudge’s tweet was “weird” and a “little head-scratching.”

What each critical tweeter and pundit failed to realize was that Mr. Drudge, as the self-employed proprietor of The Drudge Report, files taxes as a small business on a quarterly basis.

The IRS requires self-employed business owners to file annual returns and pay estimated quarterly taxes. When entrepreneurs like Mr. Drudge file their 2014 first quarter taxes, they have to pay the individual health care mandate if they are not getting Obamacare coverage.

The IRS form also allows adding the mandate to the section labeled “other taxes,” hence Mr. Drudge’s chosen name “Liberty tax.”

A Senate Budget Committee aide told Breitbart News, “It is true that thousands of small businesses will be forces to pay Obamacare taxes quarterly in 2014.”

Breitbart reported that Mr. Drudge did respond to the ill-informed critics, tweeting, “Dazed team Obama media reporters think Opt-Out tax ‘year-away’? Not for small businesses that file Qtr estimates. We’re there NOW, baby #pay.”

“Hey, WH, libs and lapdogs! Matt Drudge: This IRS form recommends paying ‘Obamacare tax NOW,” Twitchy notes, adding, “Looky here”:

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As with many on the left, Barack Obama has demonstrated his loathing of self-employment and entrepreneurship with his infamous “You didn’t build that” Kinsley-esque gaffe in the summer of 2012. In late October of last year, Democrat Jennifer Granholm lamely quipped on Meet the Press that Obama was so mad over the botched Obamacare rollout that “he himself would go down and supervise the writing of code if this is not fixed by the end of November.” Other than Granholm perhaps, no one expects the president to be writing his own computer code, but one would have expected his acolytes to have some idea of how the tax code worked. (When it’s not being used as a weapon against the president’s enemies, that is.)

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And Speaking of Sleeping with the Enemy

March 22nd, 2014 - 11:41 am

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“The Washington Post Responds To Me, and I Reply to the Post,” John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, debunking their hit piece on the latest Democrat boogeyman, Richard Mellon Scaife (sorry, having a flashback to the Post of the late 1990s) the Koch Brothers:

And yet, a still deeper level of corruption is on display here. Juliet Eilperin is a reporter for the Washington Post who covers, among other things, environmental politics. As I wrote in my prior post, she is married to Andrew Light. Light writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress, a far-left organization that has carried on a years-long vendetta against Charles and David Koch on its web site, Think Progress. Light is also a member of the Obama administration, as Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the Department of State. The Center for American Progress is headed by John Podesta, who chaired Barack Obama’s transition team and is now listed as a “special advisor” to the Obama administration. Note that Ms. Eilperin quoted Podesta, her husband’s boss, in her puff piece on Tom Steyer.

Oh, yes–one more thing. Guess who sits on the board of the Center for American Progress? Yup. Tom Steyer.

This kind of incest is common in Washington. You can’t separate the reporters from the activists from the Obama administration officials from the billionaire cronies. Often, as in this instance, the same people wear two or more of those hats simultaneously. However bad you think the corruption and cronyism in Washington are, they are worse than you imagine. And if you think the Washington Post is part of a free and independent press, think again.

Of course setting aside the incestuousness of the elite media, there’s the deeply intertwined nature of the MSM and radical environmentalism itself, as David Mastio wrote eight years ago at Real Clear Politics:

Next time you read a magazine cover story like the one Time just published (“Be Worried. Be VERY Worried. Polar Ice Caps Are Melting … More And More Land Is Being Devastated … Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities… The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame”) you should remember one little fact: U.S. media companies, including Time Warner, donate more to the environmental movement than any other industry. Companies like The New York Times, Gannett, Tribune, ABC, CBS and NBC have donated more than a half-billion worth of ad space since the 1990s to raise money for some of the nation’s most extreme environmental groups. And yes, that was billion with a B.

To put that number in perspective, America’s media companies donate more to environmental groups every year than the much-feared Olin Foundation’s spent annually in its effort to build the institutional foundation of the conservative movement.

The following year, Editor & Publisher magazine, the house organ of the establishment “liberal” MSM, made the industry’s biases plain, in an article headlined, “Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers.” Of course, as we’ve seen in the years since from their coverage of Obama, their shilling for his namesake socialized medicine scheme, and their attacks on the Constitution, particularly the Second Amendment, the MSM’s abandonment of objectivity extends far beyond environmental issues.

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Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS reporter, speaks with the network’s Philadelphia affiliate:

Responding to comments regarding a Phoenix television reporter yesterday who initially claimed that the White House pre-screens questions from reporters, Attkisson said, “I wouldn’t surprised if sometimes there is that level of cooperation with some questions. If I need something answered from the White House and they won’t tell me, I’ll call our White House Correspondent. They’re friendlier with the White House Correspondents in general. So the White House Correspondent may ask Jay Carney or one of his folks about an issue and they will be told ‘ask that at the briefing and we’ll answer it.’ They want to answer it in front of everybody. They do know it’s coming and they’ll call on you. There’s that kind of coordination sometimes. I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s sometimes more coordination. I don’t think it’s everybody on every briefing, every day. I’m pretty sure it’s not. But I think people would be surprised at the level of cooperation reporters have in general with politicians.”

No one should be “surprised at the level of cooperation reporters have in general with politicians,” considering Attkisson’s former place of employment, which was born of original sin — this is the network where producer Don Hewitt gave both makeup tips and favorable camera angles to JFK in the 1960 debate. Where Walter Cronkite volunteered a helicopter on CBS’s dime to transport Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-ME) to an anti-Vietnam war rally in 1969. The previous year, according to his biographer Douglas Brinkley, Cronkite begged Bobby Kennedy to run for the White House. Where of course, in 2004, Dan Rather blew himself up in an abortive effort to advance John Kerry over the top. (And — shocker! — after departing CBS, Rather, the television anchorman who banged the loudest on his high chair that he was “objective,” began to turn up at far left Nation magazine fundraisers.) And where in late 2009, Katie Couric read Christmas-themed poetry to advance ObamaCare:

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Don’t Know Much About History

March 21st, 2014 - 12:05 pm

“Democrats ‘get clobbered’ in midterms, whines Obama,” Jim Treacher writes:

The economy stinks, Obamacare is a disaster, Putin’s smirking at us while he does whatever he wants… and the most powerful man in the free world is mewling like a fussy baby. Why is everybody so mean?

Justin Sink, The Hill:

President Obama complained Thursday that Democrats “get clobbered” in midterm elections, blaming a “toxic” atmosphere in Washington for suppressing key Democratic constituencies.

“The challenge is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith,” Obama told a group of top Democratic donors gathered at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. “They say, ‘Y’know what, it doesn’t matter, I’m not that interested, I’m not gonna vote.’ And that’s especially true during the midterms…”

“…In midterms, we get clobbered, either because we don’t think it’s important or because we get so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

Ahh, return with us now to the 2006 midterms, in which Rahm Emanuel, then chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, assembled what Kevin McCullough of Townhall dubbed Nancy Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies. As McCullough wrote immediately after the 2006 midterms, when Republicans lost both the House and Senate:

Nancy Pelosi will bring San Fran values to the Beltway debate, and Kennedy, Kerry, and Clinton will clamor to be first in line.

But how did she get there? In many instances – by taking advantage of terrible Republicans – and their own criminal wrong doing. But the main strategy was to convince a needed one-fourth of the electorate that the Democrat option on the ballot was not much different than the Republican option. Winning enough of the seats to take control of both houses, Pelosi is free to assign every committee chairmanship in the House, as is Reid in the Senate – to the most disgusting and vile liberal creatures imaginable.

The strategy was so sound it was as though they had taken the ideas right out of my book: MuscleHead Revolution: Overturning Liberalism with Commonsense Thinking or at the very least from the scrap notes of Karl Rove.

Look at how the candidates described themselves: “pro-marriage”, “pro-life”, “pro-gun”, “born-again Christian”, “pro-business”, “anti-tax,” and in one case “former member of the Reagan administration.”

And understand this clearly, it wasn’t important that any of them demonstrate these beliefs – merely campaign on them. And in doing so,they campaigned only enough to make the point that in pulling the lever for them – the “common sense” voter wouldn’t lose on certain, and vitally important “values” issues.

They invoked Jesus, God, the Bible, marriage, and faith in decibel and volume that would have earned Soros-sized scorn, and Kos-site mockery — were the party to actually let them demonstrate any of it.

But in doing so, they tricked the masses into believing that their positions on such matters would stand as strong as the true-believers that some of them displaced.

That last sentence was particularly prophetic, as Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies paved the way for both Obama’s governing majority in 2009 and 2010, when Obama had control over both houses of Congress, and most significantly, for Obamacare to be passed in 2010 on a hardline one party vote. Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies were then slaughtered in the 2010 midterms after their deceptive “moderate” stance was proven to be uniformly false.

Because leftwing criticism is reserved solely for tactics and tone, never for the underlying strategy, immediately after the 2010 midterms, as MSNBC talking head Richard Wolffe wrote in the Daily Beast, Team Obama blamed Rahm for their defeat:

As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rahm Emanuel built a Democratic majority in the House. As President Obama’s chief of staff, he devised White House strategy toward Capitol Hill. So when the Democrats were going down in flames Tuesday night, where was Obama’s chief political architect? Half a continent away, campaigning for himself.

Half a continent away, campaigning for himself in the most pro-Obama place on the planet, largely sheltered from the Republican rubble crashing down on his party all across the country.

And his old colleagues in Washington aren’t too happy about it. Some of them shake their heads in disbelief that Emanuel would bolt at precisely the juncture when the Democrats needed to shape their strategy and message during the homestretch of what everyone knew would be the toughest election cycle in years.

“It was Rahm who always said, ‘We’ve just got to put points on the board,’ and that’s why we have a transactional presidency,” said one former colleague. “The only problem is that Obama is not a transactional politician. It was Rahm’s strategy and then he leaves a month before the election for his own personal political career. It’s extraordinary.”

There’s only so many times you can lie to the American people before they catch on — and Rahm and Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies did just that in 2006 — both to centrist voters, and even to the Democrat hard left base.

Yesterday’s statement from Mr. Obama is yet another curious ahistorical gaffe from the man once touted by his backers in the media as the smartest in politics — maybe in the history of the universe, ever, — akin to his earlier brain fart in 2011 that “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, you know, for historic reasons,” which would certainly be news to Lyndon Johnson, John Connally, and Ann Richards.

But then, one reason why Texas has gone red is that, as Democrats have moved progressively (pardon the pun) further and further to the left — both in tone and in tactics — achieving traction in a state is rather difficult when voters know, as Moe Lane has written about how effete coastal Democrats loathe Texas, that you despise them as bitter clingers.

In any case, as Treacher concludes, “It’s only March, and the Dems are already panicking about November. Good.”

“A CBS reporter from Arizona reveals that President Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, receives questions from the press in advance of his daily press briefing. In fact, she says, the reporters often receive the answers in advance of the briefing, too,” Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard, linking to the above video featuring an excerpt of Catherine Anaya of KPHO, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix.

Money quote:

“And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask — the correspondents — they are provided to him in advance. So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.”

In the London Daily Mail, Carney responds by calling Anaya a liar:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is denying a television news reporter’s claim that reporters often ‘provide the questions to him in advance,’ before his daily briefings, and that he sometimes provides answers on paper before taking the podium.

‘If only this were true,’ Carney told MailOnline Thursday morning.

He was responding to a claim from KPHO-TV5 anchor Catherine Anaya, who reported Wednesday night on what she called an ‘off the record’ meeting yesterday morning between Carney and a handful of local TV reporters hand-picked to interview President Barack Obama.

For what it’s worth, Jake Tapper of CNN, and Ed Henry of Fox News each deny on Twitter ever submitting questions ahead of time. But certainly, from Mr. Obama’s heavy reliance on teleprompters, to musicians miming to prerecorded backing tracks at both of Obama’s presidential inaugurations, to CNN, CBS and ABC all shilling for Obamacare, and MSNBC reading corrections from the Obama White House on the air in real time, there’s been an enormous amount of coordination from the White House and the supine MSM. (And quite a war from the White House against Fox News, Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, and anyone in the media who refuses to toe the Democrat party line.) Would anybody be surprised at this late if what Anaya is reporting is true?

Related: “Obama taps local TV anchors,” Real Clear Politics notes, to generate happy Obamacare talk.

Update: Matt Drudge links to Halper’s article, along with several related items that appear to lend credence to Anaya’s comments:

More: “Don’t misunderstand.  This reporter is just ignorant enough to be trusted,” Rush Limbaugh claims. Read the whole thing.

Update (4:15 PM Pacific): In order to salvage her career and/or avoid having the IRS sicced on her, Anaya furiously backpedals. “‘My mistake and I own up to it’: Phoenix reporter reverses course, says White House Press Secretary Jay Carney DOESN’T get daily briefing questions in advance,” the London Daily Mail reports — except when he does, as the Drudge Report examples above would seem to illustrate. Or as Jim Treacher quips, “By the standard imposed by liberals and the media (PTR), I’m ruling this story False, But Also True Because I Want It to Be True.”

Heh.™  Jim Geraghty also adds further evidence weighing against Anaya’s original take:

Oh and, “unexpectedly,” the Drudge-lanched video of Anaya’s original report was memory holed; however, we downloaded a copy before it vanished, and now that its disappearance is newsworthy, we’ve replaced that clip with our copy above.

(Bumped to top.)

Rounding up a few of the seemingly endless conspiracy theories over Malaysia Airlines’ Flight 370, Matt Lewis, writing in The Week, asks, “Why do we obsess this way? Is there a primal reason we are drawn to such stories and, yes, to conspiracy theories explaining them?”

[S]ince JFK’s death, many of us live in a state of somewhat constant apprehension over similar tragedies striking.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 taps into similar primal fears, exposing a shocking naïveté about the amount of control you and I really have over the world. Many of us like to think, when we’re speeding through the sky in a metal tube, that some technician is sitting in front of a computer somewhere on the ground, following our progress with a pointed finger tracking a blinking green dot across a radar screen.

This is just not so.

It’s hard to believe that in 2014 we cannot find a missing airplane. This goes against everything we’ve been led to believe about our shrinking world, about Big Brother’s ability to track us every second of the day (they may invade our privacy, but at least they keep us safe!), and about a culture that believes we are all, to some degree or another, protected.

“We almost sort of have this idea that every square foot of the planet is under some level of observation,” observed Chuck Klosterman on The BS Report podcast, before noting that something like a measly 6 percent of the ocean floor has been explored.

Despite all of our technological advances, despite the many debates about the surveillance state, despite decades-old fears about the 1984-ization of our world, the huge bulk of our planet and our lives on it remain a mystery. The light of modernity shines only so far. The rest is a dark unknown.

Conspiracy theories also allow for a redistributive balance between the enormity of an event and its cause. The left couldn’t process both the asymmetry of 9/11, and its implications to its multicultural worldview, hence, Osama, Mohamed Atta, and Al-Qaeda were replaced with an all-knowing, all-powerful and infallible US government led by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney blowing up the WTC and the Pentagon. Similarly, regarding the Kennedy assassination, as blogger Frank Martin wrote:

In regards to conspiracy theories, William Manchester once said that people want a certain symmetry to exist in the affairs of the world; they see 6 million Jews on one side of the scale, balanced by the criminals called the Nazis on the other side and they see the symmetry of a measure of good counterbalanced by the certainty of evil. When they see John Kennedy on one side of the scale balanced with the hopeless waif of Oswald, they don’t see symmetry, so they try to add a conspiracy to help return that sense of symmetry.

Of course, given who benefits, perhaps comedian Albert Brooks as the most logical explanation yet for Flight 370′s disappearance…

Update: “Malaysia 370: A Tragic Accident (and Nothing More),” Retired airline captain Rob Schapiro posits at the American Thinker.

Gotta Demonize Something

March 18th, 2014 - 3:25 pm

“White House pastry chef resigns: ‘I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,’” as spotted by Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller:

White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses is resigning after First Lady Michelle Obama fundamentally changed his job duties to focus on healthier food.

Yosses is leaving the White House in June to work on a new project focusing on “food literacy” and The New York Times says Michelle is “partly to blame.” The openly gay chef was hired by Laura Bush in 2007 to make his trademark cookie plates and sugar sculptures. Mrs. Obama took over in 2009 and ordered Yosses to make healthier plates in smaller portions.

Yosses began replacing butter with fruit puree and sugar with honey and agave. But Yosses was never fully committed to the new policy.

“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses said, noting that his departure from the White House is a “bittersweet decision.”

Wouldn’t the list of what this administration hasn’t demonized be a much easier to compile at this point? Speaking of our food-obsessed First Lady, “Oh Boy: Big Decline In Childhood Obesity, Lauded By Michelle Obama As Proof of Efficacy of Let’s Move Campaign, May Have Just Been… A Statistical Error.”

Unexpectedly, of course. Fortunately, Michelle is off to China, where she’s poised to do to our relations with the totalitarian state…well, pretty much what the rest of the Obama administration has done to our relations with Russia, the Middle East, and the rest of the world.

brinkley_cronkite_cover_3-16-14-1

In 1974, Walter Cronkite demonstrated to his credit that he was willing to poke fun at his courtly manners and stentorian voice by appearing alongside Ted Baxter, his fictional doppelganger, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which appeared each week on CBS, the network where Cronkite had made his home since 1950.

But in retrospect, there were more than a few similarities between Ted Baxter and Walter Cronkite; both men succeeded as a result of their deep voice and trustworthy looks, rather than actual knowledge of the world. And both men were more than a little silly; Baxter deliberately so, Cronkite by embracing every fad aspect of liberalism that came down the pike.

According to Douglas Brinkley’s 2012 biography of Walter Cronkite, a year after yucking it up with Ted Baxter, the veteran CBS newsreader claimed that his favorite album of 1975 was Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, whose title was “an apt description for a wizened TV survivor like himself,” as Brinkley writes.

As with much self-deprecating humor, there’s more than a little truth in Cronkite’s claim. Brinkley’s biography is a story of a man moving further and further to the left, as his party did over the years, before collapsing into insanity.

In 1991, Christopher Hitchens wrote that “television is a megaphone for the transmission of official wisdom.” Outside of the Soviet Union, nowhere was that more true than the news shows of the original big three American networks, which by the late 1960s served essentially as the dissemination mechanism of Democrat Party talking points. In Cronkite, one of Brinkley’s worst conceits is that he repeatedly seems to imagine that his eponymous subject simply moistened his index finger and placed it into the breeze ever few years to determine what the public was clamoring for. In actuality, Cronkite simply adopted whatever was the current pose of his fellow liberals (at least as they described themselves back then) to serve as a national mouthpiece.

Books such as the first volume of Steve Hayward’s The Age of Reagan, and How We Got Here, David Frum’s look at the 1970s, do a far better job of explaining how liberals moved further and further to the left, using weapons such as poisoning American support for the Vietnam War and, shortly thereafter, radical environmentalism to increasingly sink America’s vitality.

Two Cronkites In One

While I doubt this is Brinkley’s goal, because of Cronkite’s longevity as first a reporter and then a television newsreader, Brinkley reveals numerous examples of plenty of hypocrisy from his subject, as Cronkite internalizes leftwing pose after leftwing pose. For example, in December of 1973, “the Gay Raiders,” a protest group designed to generate a more sympathetic portrayal of gays on both fictional and news TV programs, sent Mark Allan Segal and Harry Langhorne, two of its representatives. to sneak into Cronkite’s TV newsroom set in New York under false premises, to hold up a sign saying, “Gays Protest CBS Prejudice” while Cronkite was live and on the air nationwide with an audience of over 60 million viewers. While they succeeded, the CBS cameras quickly went black.

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Two Weinsteins In One!

March 8th, 2014 - 3:44 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

“There’s no reason for us not to shoot here, except when you do the numbers here and when you do the numbers in New Orleans, it is much more attractive financially,” Weinstein said in the Q&A on Saturday.

He cited the example of “Southpaw,” directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, as project that could have shot in Los Angeles were it not for the generous tax incentives in the Big Easy.

But Weinstein said that Los Angeles and California “doesn’t even have to give the same discount” to remain competitive, noting the cost and hassle of having to locate actors and other talent in New Orleans is an added expense despite their generous tax incentives.

“Please, whatever you can go with the governor,” Weinstein said to Ziffren, a friend of California Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown has not said whether he would sign proposed legislation to expand the state’s incentive program.

—”Harvey Weinstein to California: Expand Production Tax Incentives, ‘Please,’” Variety.com, Saturday.

While we are on the subject of Piers Morgan, Harvey Weinstein was on his show last night, talking about his support for President Obama and the fund-raiser he held for him at his home last week. Weinstein echoed Warren Buffett’s call for the wealthy in the country to be taxed more — and said that he considers it an investment in the country, not an unfair burden.

—”Harvey Weinstein: I’ll Gladly Pay More Taxes,” Variety.com, August 7th, 2011.

Huh — I wonder what changed his mind on the topic. In order to keep Harvey’s standing amongst his fellow limousine leftists in Hollywood, we need to help him keep his original word and ask him to simultaneously fight against tax incentives for Hollywood studios, and additionally, to help campaign to repeal the Hollywood tax cuts. Not to mention help him to keep this promise as well.

R-S-P-E-C-T

March 8th, 2014 - 2:12 pm

“Obama accidentally misspelled ‘respect’ while introducing singer Aretha Franklin during a tribute to “Women of Soul” at the White House Thursday,” Fox News reports, asking if it was Mr. Obama’s “Dan Quayle Moment:”

“When Aretha first told us what … R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her,” Obama said, pausing briefly before the audience began laughing, apparently realizing his mistake. “She had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans and women and anyone else who felt marginalized because of what they looked like, who they loved. They wanted some respect.”

Also looking for some respect is Quayle, who in 1992 was schooled by a sixth grader on how to spell potato.

Quayle was at the Munoz Rivera Elementary School spelling bee in Trenton, N.J., when he relied on a notecard provided by the school on the spelling of the word potato, a word used in the contest. The notecard incorrectly added an “e” to the end of the word, and Quayle advised the student to spell it that way.

In his 1994 autobiography, Quayle called the day “a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable.” He added, “Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.”

But Quayle — who had more years as a senator in DC before becoming vice president than Mr. Obama did before running for president — endured a baptism by nuclear fire from the monolithically leftwing media in 1988, which magnified every one of his minor gaffes into momentous character flaws. All in sharp contrast to the way the media greased the skids and downplayed every gaffe from Obama and his vice president — who’d I’d refer to as the “equally Quayle-esque” Joe Biden, except that would be an insult to Quayle himself.

(And it goes without saying that Mr. Quayle’s youthful culinary habits were far more refined than Mr. Obama’s of course.)