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Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

‘Cigars, But Not Close’

August 15th, 2014 - 4:54 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

* * * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reality that followed turned out to be rather different:

obama_plus_fours_3-19-11-2

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

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

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

I Question the Premise

August 11th, 2014 - 12:48 pm

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

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

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

(Via Steve Green.)

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

Then:

Now:

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

Funny How This Keeps Happening to CNN

August 8th, 2014 - 11:36 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Lost Obama Emails?

August 7th, 2014 - 3:52 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

“Let’s Give Up on the Constitution”

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

“Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?”

—Headline at the New York Times, today.

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

nyt_rand_paul_crosshairs_8-7-14-1

Click to enlarge. Note possible crosshairs in image.

Coincidence…?

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

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

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Dear Mr. Fantasy

August 7th, 2014 - 10:52 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

‘Obama’s Monsters Ball’

August 6th, 2014 - 6:11 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh right — sorry, I forgot.

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

drudge_obama_dictators_homophobes_8-6-14-1

(Bumped to top.)

All the Things that MSNBC Is

August 6th, 2014 - 1:58 pm

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Government records obtained by The Associated Press indicate that Sharpton and his business entities owe nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and associated penalties.

* * * * * * *

Sharpton’s own debts include $365,558 owed in New York City income tax and $931,397 in unpaid federal income tax, according to a lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service last spring. His for-profit company, Rev. Al Communications, owes the state another $175,962 in delinquent taxes.

* * * * * * *

The 53-year-old minister has been assailed over his career for running up big tax debts and failing to abide by rules governing his charities and election committees. He is perpetually being sued for failing to pay his bills.

In December, Sharpton revealed that as many as 10 of his associates had received grand jury subpoenas. A person familiar with the investigation told the AP that the FBI and IRS are probing whether Sharpton or his organization committed tax crimes or violations related to his 2004 presidential campaign, during which he was forced to return public matching funds for breaking fundraising rules.

“Sharpton owes nearly $1.5 million in back taxes,” headline, NBC News.com(!), May 9, 2008.

“I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. he’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.”

Phil Griffin, president of NBC’s MSNBC cable channel, appearing on NPR’s All Things Considered program, September 16th, 2011.

At Hot Air, Guy Benson writes that today, “Al Sharpton and his organizations owe $4.7 million in unpaid taxes:”

Sharpton — a prominent hoax perpetrator, race riot fomenter, and alleged drug trade-enabler-turned-FBI informant — insists the actual sum he owes is “significantly less” than public records indicate, and that the debts are “being paid down.”  The MSNBC host is, naturally, an ardent advocate for raising taxes on “the rich.”  Here he is holding forth on wealthy people’s duty to “sacrifice,” and (deliciously) attacking Mitt Romney for, er, not paying enough in taxes:

I understand the Machiavellian reasons why NBC hired Sharpton as a newsreader (in the very loosest sense of the term), after he torpedoed then-MSNBC host Don Imus’s career in 2007. As the protagonist of Barack Obama’s favorite movie once said, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” While he’s on the MSNBC payroll, Sharpton won’t be blowing up anyone at NBC again. But why didn’t Griffin say, “OK, we’ll hire you, Al. But we want a rider in your contract to ensure your tax bill is being paid down.”

Oh wait — it’s NBC we’re talking about here. Laws are for the little people, and Republicans.

Related: “Go home, MSNBC. You’re drunk.”

Also Related: “Greedy Robert Redford Sues to Avoid Tax Bill,” John Nolte writes at Breitbart.com. “Instead of waiting for Congress to increase his taxes, Redford should live the change he desires and just cut a check.”

Oh, That #Waronwomen

August 5th, 2014 - 6:00 pm

“Hugh Jass Burgers: Inside the Lundergan Family Restaurant,” as spotted by the Washington Free Beacon, which asks, “Will ties to disturbing bro culture sink a Kentucky Democrat’s unlikely Senate bid?”

Read the whole thing.

Related: “Kentucky Democrat Race-Baits McConnell’s Wife; Deletes ‘Asian’ Tweets.”

As the Washington Times noted last week, “a joint statement from spokesmen for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton reportedly blasts authors Ed Klein, Daniel Halper and Ronald Kessler as ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors concocting trashy nonsense for a quick buck:’”

The statement singles out Mr. Klein’s “Blood Feud,” Mr. Halper’s “Clinton, Inc.” and Mr. Kessler’s soon-to-be-released “The First Family Detail,” Politico reported.

The books, which paint the Clintons in a less-than-desirable light, are “an insult to readers [and] authors, and should be reserved for the fiction bin, if not the trash,” a joint statement from spokesmen for the Clintons read, Politico reported.

“With Klein, Halper and [author Ronald] Kessler, we now have a Hat Trick of despicable actors concocting trashy nonsense for a quick buck, at the expense of anything even remotely resembling the truth,” the statement reportedly said.

“Their behavior should neither be allowed nor enabled, and legitimate media outlets who know with every fiber of their being that this is complete crap should know not to get down in the gutter with them and spread their lies.”

Huh. The “allowed” is the tell here. In the past, liberal fascists such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Richard Nixon, and Barack Obama waited until they were in office before they began to trample on the First Amendment. It’s a rare, refreshingly honest moment from Hillary Clinton to admit her presidential intentions upfront.

Obama Promise Meets Expiration Date

August 2nd, 2014 - 12:22 pm

“Of course: 2014 Obama’s position on [the Export Import Bank] is the opposite of 2008 Obama’s,” Mary Katharine Ham writes at Hot Air, as can be seen in the above video, edited together by the Washington Free Beacon. The WFB’s video also serves as useful how-to guide for watching tennis at Wimbledon, given how robotically 2008-era Obama scans his stereo teleprompters to stay on his script.

The script is different these days, of course. As MKH writes, “In the words of my friend Jim Geraghty of National Review, every single Obama statement has an expiration date,” adding:

I’m genuinely curious about something like this. There are so very many incidents like this—shameless, complete 180s, most of which completely disregard the fact he ever held another position. And, now such declarations are separated by so much more time. Do you think he remembers saying this in 2008? Or, was it just one of the thousand reasonable sounding positions Favs wrote down in a giant list for him, ready to be called forth flanked by a phalanx of straw men at any moment. Do you think he has any idea what his own position on Ex-Im Bank is beyond position-that-plausibly-allows-mockery-of-slim-majority-of-Republicans-on-national-stage?

Yet another example of President Obama’s chief existential dilemma: nobody loves big totalitarian corporatist 1930s-era government more than he does — but he’s just not very good at both managing the Leviathan and as he’s admitted, explaining how it works to the voters. It’s enough to make a lazy sort of fella begin to just accept the trappings of the job, and the paycheck that somehow magically appears each week, and Obamaphone in everything else.

Whatever Gets You Through the News Cycle

July 31st, 2014 - 12:43 pm


“When CIA Director John Brennan — then the White House counterterrorism adviser — laid out the Obama administration’s new approach to fighting Islamist terrorism on June 29, 2011, he mocked conservatives who suggested that Islamist extremists were plotting to re-establish a caliphate across the Middle East,” the Washington Examiner reminded its readers last month. Back then, Brennan was saying:

Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics. I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen.

So how are things working out in the Middle East these days? As the Washington Examiner noted last month in its headline, “Lack of intelligence: What CIA chief said is ‘never going to happen’ is happening in Iraq and Syria.” And that was before Hamas launched its latest attacks on Israel. Between ISIS in Iraq, and Hamas’s attacks on Israel, as Jeff Dunetz, the self-described “Yid with Lid” notes today, “The Only Difference Between Hamas and ISIS Violent Goals Are Their Names.”

This Hamas goal was outlined by Fathi Hammad Minister of Interior and National Security for  the Hamas government in Gaza who said in November 2013:

 We look forward to future victories, in which, Allah willing, we will liberate our land, our Jerusalem, our Al-Aqsa [Mosque], our cities and our villages, Allah willing, all this in preparation for establishing the next Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are at the brink of a period of global Islamic culture, whose fuel is Gaza, whose spearhead is Gaza, its Jihad fighters (Mujahideen) and commanders are Gaza, Allah willing…

And as the leftwing UK Guardian reported last month, “Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria.”

To be fair to Brennan, no doubt, his words sounded good at the time, and it got the administration through another news cycle, which is ultimately all it cares about anyhow. But to paraphrase Bill Clinton, he might want to put a little ISIS on his ego, as his reputation — and that of the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a whole — are badly in tatters.

Oh and speaking of foreign policy reputations in tatters, as John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post, John Kerry and his staffers “have taken to whining — not sure there’s a nicer word — over how unfairly he’s being written and talked about in Israel:”

John Kerry fought in Vietnam, threw his medals away, served decades in the Senate, ran for president, did some windsurfing and then became secretary of state of the most powerful country on Earth.

He’s a big boy. But there are those who seem to feel otherwise, that Kerry is a fragile and tender reed in need of delicate care — people who work for and with him. Not to mention Kerry himself.

Over the course of the past year, on several occasions, Kerry and other staffers have taken to whining — not sure there’s a nicer word — over how unfairly he’s being written and talked about in Israel.

In January, after Israel’s defense minister was twice quoted speaking disparagingly about Kerry’s peace-process efforts and his nuclear diplomacy with Iran, Kerry actually called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to complain.

This was an odd thing, given the relative power of Kerry and the relatively minor position of Moshe Ya’alon. Kerry could have brushed Yaalon’s words off as a giant brushes off a fly.

But it was so hurtful to Kerry that he made sure the world knew about it. His spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said at a public briefing that Ya’alon’s “comments were not constructive.

Perhaps Iowahawk has the best explanation for Kerry & Co’s kvetch fest:

 

Say there (former) Madam IRS Commissioner, do you let your ideology influence your job and whom you choose as your next victims? And as Glenn Reynolds wrote yesterday, “As bad as the emails that have been released are, the ones they’re hiding must be just dreadful.” But how bad is the above sample? So bad, Noah Rothman notes at Hot Air today, that even Democrat operatives with bylines and microphones are grudgingly forced to admit Lerner’s insanely obvious bias:

While most of the major news networks have not yet made note of the latest emails, CBS This Morning did bring its audience up to speed on the latest controversy. After asking if the latest emails represent a “smoking gun,” CBS quoted Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) who told reporters that the Lerner had evidenced “a political bias against conservatives.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts made a startling admission when tackling the issue of the latest emails. While the panel’s Republicans were animated about these newest developments, the majority of the program’s liberals were silent. Only NBC News personality Willie Geist offered his thoughts on the newest revelations.

“If the question is, ‘was there political, ideological bias inside the IRS?’ Geist asked, “It’s hard to argue ‘no.’”

CNN’s New Day politics panel offered a similar take on the latest emails. Asked if the latest correspondences could create a critical mass which might force the administration to surrender control of the IRS investigation to an independent investigator, Associated Press White House reporter Julie Pace said she did not think so. She did, however, concede that it appears the former IRS official accused of discriminating against conservatives “had a real axe to grind” with conservatives.

National Journal Editorial Director Ron Fournier was more succinct. “To borrow the president’s phrase, there’s at least a smidgen of bias in the IRS,” he said.

And while the IRS is busy being weaponized against its citizens, the CIA confesses, “Yeah, we hacked the Senate’s computers,” as also spotted by Rothman today:

The outrage over the CIA’s claimed abuse of authority was bipartisan. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the allegations against the spy agency “dangerous to a democracy.”

“Heads should roll, people should go to jail, if it’s true,” Graham said at the time. “I’m going to get briefed on it. If it is, the legislative branch should declare war on the CIA, if it’s true.”

War, it would seem, is imminent.

On Thursday, the CIA admitted to secretly and improperly hacking Senate staffers’ computers linked to the internal review of the agency’s tactics under George W. Bush.

“CIA Director John Brennan has determined that employees ‘acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding’ brokered between the CIA and its Senate overseers, according to agency spokesman Dean Boyd,” National Journal reported. In the statement, Boyd apologized to the committee chair and vice chair who were misled by Brennan.

Barack Obama promised fundamental transformation; a grimly amusing cartoon at Small Dead Animals sums up how the “Progressive” alphabet soup created by successive prior Democrat administrations has been corrupted and weaponized during BHO’s administration.

And as Charles Murray notes on Twitter, there’s bipartisan room for change:

But don’t worry — the left and the RNC will cheerfully go back to sleep and resume the status quo until the taxpayer money runs out.

Obama: Promises Made, Promises Kept

July 31st, 2014 - 10:48 am

Shot:

chris_hayes_forgets_obamas_war_on_coal_7-31-14

Chaser:

Or as Jon Gabriel of Ricochet tweets in reply to Hayes, “Your #WarOnCoal is working. Glad you looked in the eyes of your victims.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that an MSNBC newsreader forgot about the ramifications of the anti-energy policies they’re forced to defend.

Breaking News From 2006

July 30th, 2014 - 3:51 pm

“The authenticity problem: It’s becoming harder for red-state Dems to say what they really believe,” Josh Kraushaar writes at the National Journal. (Link safe; goes to Hot Air): 

But the details in it illustrate the dilemma for Democrats running in conservative states, whose true beliefs probably run counter to a majority of their constituents. That’s been a running theme this election with first-time Senate candidates, such as Nunn and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, who have assiduously avoided offering policy specifics in favor of bland generalities. Staying on message is akin to lacking any type of message.

When Grimes struggles repeatedly to articulate her views on border security, it’s clear she’s caught between exciting the Democratic base, the source for her impressive fundraising, and winning over moderate voters in Kentucky. When Nunn says she would have voted against Obama’s health care law but avoids talking about any changes she’d make to it, it’s easy to assume she’s trying to do everything she can to have it both ways. Unless Democrats have a clear record otherwise (see: Manchin, Joe), it’s going to be hard for voters to find them believable.

Yes, having lied through their teeth to pose and “conservative” “Blue Dog” Democrats in order to win back the Senate and House in 2006 only to become — as Kevin McCullough of Townhall accurately predicted at the time — “Nancy Pelosi’s crash test dummies,” why would any voter trust a Democrat who says he or she is against the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid?

For example, Natalie Tennant, running in West Virginia for Jay Rockefeller’s soon-to-be-former seat, pretends to “stand up for coal jobs,” but why should anyone trust when it’s far more likely that if elected to office, she’ll cheerfully vote for the anti-energy policies of fellow Democrats Pelosi, Reid, Obama, or if she’s elected in 2016, Hillary?

Oh, and regarding the Joe Manchin reference above…

Tweet of the Day

July 28th, 2014 - 7:57 pm

eliana_johnson_tweet_of_the_day_7-28-14

Boom.

In Johnson’s piece on “Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Plan,” she wrote:

Her strategists are optimistic that the media won’t prove much of an obstacle. They write that at some point her opponent, who at the time the document was written had yet to be determined, will be “shoveling research” against her. But they say they anticipate they will often have “fair warning” about negative news stories and can work to “kill or muddy” them.

That dovetails remarkably well with an observation Bill Clinton told the Washington Post in 2006:

There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.

“We’re all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the ’60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate,” Clinton said. “Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations.”

And Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution seems determined to prove both Bill and Michelle Nunn correct:


Indeed.