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So Much for ‘The Reality-Based Community’

November 16th, 2014 - 9:52 pm

Because really, why bother with unvarnished reality, when you can mold it, Lysenko-style, to match your politics — and then when that fails, simply toss it down the Memory Hole?

MSNBC: Dems Didn’t Tout Obama’s Successes

November 3rd, 2014 - 5:02 pm

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Oh, Ronan:

The liberals on MSNBC have already begun to pre-spin the reasons behind a possible Democratic disaster in Tuesday’s midterms: It’s because the party didn’t tout Barack Obama’s “accomplishments.” Host Ronan Farrow on Monday complained: “But, if these Democratic candidates are just flouting the President and at a time when he faces a tough environment on the hill already, sort of adding to his woes, do they risk alienating Democratic voters with that kind of divisiveness?”

Former Obama campaign press secretary Bill Burton appeared on Farrow’s show to scold, “…Maybe if we can go back in time and think about how Democrats were going to position themselves around the country, they could have done things to help elevate what good things were happening in Washington.”

As VDH wrote yesterday, “On almost every issue in this election that they should be running on, they simply cannot. And on those that they are running on, they probably should not be:”

No Democratic congressman would wish to campaign on, “Obama made government work for you — just look at the new and dynamic IRS, VA, ICE, GSA, NSA, and Secret Service.” “Not a smidgen of corruption” is not a viable campaign theme. No candidate even tried that.

Why don’t Sens. Landrieu, Pryor, and Udall play up their support for the Obama economy?

We did not see a candidate commercial like the following: “I was instrumental in keeping interest rates at zero percent for six years. I made sure that we borrowed another $7 trillion and oversaw the $1 trillion stimulus. We kept GDP above 1% and unemployment below 7%.” Apparently avoiding a depression is not felt to be an economic renaissance, and thus not a winning message.

How about Democratic ads trumpeting new big-ticket government initiatives?

Do any local, state, or national Democrats barnstorm on, “Soon Obamacare really will lower costs, expand coverage, and reduce our deficits in 2015 — just wait and see”? Or  how about, “We almost had cap and trade in 2009; I’ll make sure Obama finishes the job and gets it passed in 2015”? Or perhaps,  “Thanks to my efforts, we stopped all new fracking leases on federal lands”? Bragging on record oil and gas production despite, not because of, Obama is not a rallying cry either.

Hey, there’s always abortion to fall back on — until there isn’t:

Then, finally, came the only reference to policy in [Mark] Udall’s speech. “And by the way, I’m proud to stand with Colorado’s women,” he said, almost as an aside. “I’m proud to stand for reproductive freedom.”

An angry voice from the crowd jeered: “That’s not the only thing you stand for! J[****] C[*****]!”

Udall turned to a short, dark man on his left. The senator look genuinely stunned. “I’m sorry?”

“That’s not the only thing you stand for!” The heckler was Leo Beserra, a 73-year-old who made millions on Wall Street and, since the early 1990s, has shared a generous slice of that wealth with Colorado Democrats.

There’s always redistricting to fall back on, until there isn’t:

When pressed on why Davis was going to lose and lose badly, Winstead – who has thoughtfully abandoned humor and now fancies herself a “reproductive rights advocate” – groped unconvincingly for an excuse. “I think, part of it is redistricting is redistricting,” she added. “And Texas, I think, can turn blue. I mean, let’s not forget that 20 years ago Texas had a female governor, who was an admitted alcoholic and a divorcee who was a progressive.”

There is a universe of ignorance reflected in these statements.

First, you cannot redistrict a state. Full stop. Reapportionment refers to the decennial process by which state governments redraw their congressional and legislative districts in order to accurately reflect population movements, demographic shifts, etc. One cannot “redistrict” a state unless one was to “redirect” away the rivers and mountains which form its borders. That, or states can engage negotiations or even low intensity conflict with their neighbors (as did Michigan and Ohio when they fought, ill-advisedly, over which state would control the city of Toledo) in order to reshape their borders. Winstead is using the term “redistricting” in his case as a synonym for “things I don’t like,” which is not its preferred usage.

Or as David Harsanyi writes at the Federalist, “With Defeat Looming, Democrats Retreat Into Fantasy:”

What’s most depressing about this election? There is no vision for governing, says The New York Times.

Robinson, too, is sad over the GOP’s lack of a “plan for America.” Because if only Republicans had more ideas to offer, liberal pundits and the press would be giving them an honest chewing over. (You remember how seriously Paul Ryan’s budget was treated?) Robinson says liberals crave a robust opposition party, if only because it will help sharpen their own thinking.

We’ve heard this bit of concern trolling often: where are worthy partisan foes, the Reagans and Buckleys, so we can volley ideas to-and-fro before reaching some reasonable consensus.

Of course, back in the day, Buckley and Reagan were routinely crucified by the MSM (particularly Reagan) until after their passing, they because useful as totems for the MSM to compare to modern-day Republicans.

If the GOP does win a Senate majority tomorrow (or after all the dust and lawsuits settle), there’s always voter fraud for the left to fall back on as an excuse, right?

Heh.™

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‘A Job to Die For’

November 1st, 2014 - 8:47 pm

 

Say, if ISIS is shelling out the big bucks for new talent, could they spring for a decent graphic designer, the Islamofascist equivalent of Saul Bass or Raymond Loewy? Because whenever I have to put a thumbnail on a new story for the PJM homepage on ISIS, their flag doesn’t give me much to work as a starting point in Photoshop:

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Mark Steyn has dubbed ISIS “fast-track Nazis,” but you’d think a bloodthirsty eighth century-based organization with a penchant for using cutting edge Web-based social media to distribute their snuff films would have a much better sense of graphic design. Say what you will about the original Nazis, Mussolini, Stalin, Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein, but at least they had descent production designers to illustrate their nightmarish visions. Somewhere in Hell, Leni Riefenstahl and Albert Speer are rolling their eyes and laughing it up over ISIS’ pathetic flag featuring black blobs on a white amoeba on a black background.

Perhaps they took their design cue from a black and white version of Mel Brooks’ early short film, “The Critic:”

“A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case,” the New York Times reports tonight:

The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days. A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control to confirm the initial test.

While officials have said they expected isolated cases of the disease to arrive in New York eventually, and had been preparing for this moment for months, the first case highlighted the challenges surrounding containment of the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis.

Even as the authorities worked to confirm that Mr. Spencer was infected with Ebola, it emerged that he traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley and then took a taxi home.

Earlier today, Commentary’s John Podhoretz tweeted:

Off to the races.

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‘Ebola May Have Come to Harlem’

October 23rd, 2014 - 1:08 pm

“Doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea rushed to Bellevue Hospital with fever,” the New York Daily News reports:

Ebola may have come to Harlem.

A 33-year-old doctor who recently returned from the disease-wracked West African country of Guinea was rushed Thursday to Bellevue Hospital with symptoms of the deadly disease.

Preliminary results of tests done on the doctor, identified by sources as Craig Spencer, are expected later Thursday, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.

Spencer, who was one of the medics working in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, had been back for 10 days and quarantined himself after developing nausea and a high fever, sources said.

“While Spencer was placed in quarantine at Bellevue, city health workers were trying to track down anybody he might have been in contact with since returning home from Africa,” the Daily News adds.

Assuming Spencer flew back from Guinea, does that include the passengers on his flight?

Update: “Ebola + New York City Media & Self-Obsession = Terrible Combination for Obama,” Ace writes:

You know, of course, that if a tornado kills eight people in Oklahoma, the New York City-based media can barely stifle its yawns, but if a taxi runs over a dog in New York City, it’s huge news for a week?

Well Ebola might have come to New York City.

In the past, the New York media might be willing to self-quarantine (pun intended) a story if they thought it aided The One. With his sinking poll numbers, and their eagerness to push the “Obama is incompetent, that’s why we need Hillary!!! to replace him in 2016″ narrative, I wonder if his party’s operatives with bylines will be as eager to tamp down this one?

 

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Quote of the Day

October 19th, 2014 - 6:53 pm

“Candy, we should be less concerned about giving the public the feeling that the government is on top of this and more concerned about the government actually being on top of it.”

“Ted Cruz Schools Candy Crowley on Travel Ban From Hot Zone Ebola Countries,” NewsBusters, today.

Earlier: Crowley “awarded” first runner-up Walter Duranty Prize by PJM’s Claudia Rossett earlier this year “for her extraordinary performance during the 2012 presidential race as moderator of the second debate between the Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama, and the Republican contender, Governor Mitt Romney.”

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To add a little Texas lingo to this post, Glenn Thrush of Politico is bored, y’all:

But then, he’s often bored. It’s his favorite tactic, when one of his fellow leftists is in heap big trouble (to keep the Texisisms going), or there’s a topic that reflects negatively on the left he doesn’t want to discuss:

And again last year, when both sides of the aisle were stunned by the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, Glenn was posing as suffering from a massive case of journalistic narcolepsy:

This past September,  Thrush tweeted the above feigned ignorance of Saul Alinsky, whose tactics inspired numerous prominent leftists such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (to the point where Alinsky’s son openly praised Obama in the Boston Globe in August of 2008, gushing, “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

As I wrote last month in response, John Nolte of Big Journalism coined the phrase “BenSmithing” to describe the tactics of the former Politico turned BuzzFeed scribe and member of the JournoList, that self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, which as its founder Ezra Klein explained, was only open to his fellow leftists. As the Urban Dictionary notes, BenSmithing is “a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.”

Smith’s former colleague Glenn Thrush, still with the Politico, is also quite prepared to do a little BenSmithing to aid his fellow Democrats in higher places: whenever a scandal engulfs them, Thrush affects an attitude of boredom. Hey, no big deal — Evel Knievel totally meant to crash the motorcycle on the landing ramp. All part of the act; happens all the time, you guys.

It’s a curious tone though, for someone who holds himself out as a journalist, and not as a Democrat operative with a byline. Those of us who have the privilege of observing the Hieronymus Bosch meets Koyaanisqatsi landscape of the world of the 21st century and then reporting on the wreckage around us are usually horrified at how dysfunctional the modern world and its political players are and eager to share the details with our readers. But for Thrush, it’s all pretty boring. At least when bad things happen to his fellow leftists.

Thrush’s response to the above post? He simply BenSmithed being called on his frequent BenSmithing:

Tom Wolfe has said that the first rule of journalism is don’t bore the reader — and if you’re bored as a journalist, just imagine how your audience will suffer in response. If Thrush finds American politics so dull, perhaps he might want to locate another topic to write about. But then, that would assume that journalism is actually his primary job. Or as Glenn Reynolds would say, just think of Thrush, Weigel and Smith as Democratic operatives with bylines and it all makes sense.

The era of media that former President Obama nostalgically longs for.

Bill Clinton understandably believes his fellow Democrats with bylines “are de facto allies,” as the Washington Post put it in 2006. So when a Democrat starts crying media bias, you know he’s in big trouble. Al Gore at least waited until after the 2002 midterms to blame the media for his party’s woes at the ballot box. Ditto Frank Rich, then still with the New York Times, in December of 2010. Yesterday, the growing disconnect between former President Obama’s mouth and brain caused him to get a couple of months ahead of the curve in that department, while fundraising in upstate New York in between golf games and late-night bull sessions with actors and musicians:

President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”

“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y.

But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.

Acknowledging “the barbarity” of Islamist militants and Russia “reasserting the notion that might means right,” Obama, though, dismissed the notion that he was facing unprecedented challenges.

“The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

As my colleague Rick Moran quips, “Hear that, you twitterers? You’ve already ruined our president’s vacation. Now you want to go and scare people half to death by reporting on events around the world? Shame on you!”

This isn’t the first time the man who wafted into the Oval Office in 2008 based on a tissue-paper thin resume and massive amounts of help from social media — and big media as well — has lashed out at social media. Obama’s words yesterday confirm an initially surprising admission from Chuck Todd (no stranger to propping up Democrat election campaigns himself) on NBC’s Meet the Press in April of last year, the day after the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner:

CHUCK TODD: What I wonder how many people realized at the end [of Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner] when he did his, you know, there’s always this part at the end where they get serious for a minute. And it’s usually the part where presidents say, “You know, I think the press has a good job to do and I understand what they have to do.” He didn’t say that. He wasn’t very complimentary of the press. You know, we all can do better.

It did seem, I thought his pot shots joke wise and then the serious stuff about the internet, the rise of the internet media and social media and all that stuff — he hates it. Okay? He hates this part of the media. He really thinks that the sort of the buzzification — this isn’t just about Buzzfeed or Politico and all this stuff – he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was trying to make that clear last night.

“He hates it. And I think he was trying to make that clear last night,” Todd would go on to say.

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Quote of the Day

August 23rd, 2014 - 5:42 pm

Graphic design can be powerful stuff — but as any advertising man will tell you, it’s all for naught if the finished product doesn’t live up to the slick packaging. Back in 2009, Bill Whittle explored “The Power & Danger of Iconography” in an early edition of Afterburner at PJTV:

Related: “If liberals felt compelled to protect a peanut farmer from Georgia, what must they feel for an Ivy League-trained exotic from Hyde Park,” Noemie Emery asks at the Weekly Standard. Especially when he’s “a man of the world and messiah, a speaker and writer, but never a doer; themselves, in short, to the ultimate power; themselves as they dreamed they could be? And that is the problem: If he fails, then they fail, and that cannot happen. So the fault is in the stars, in the cards, in unfair expectations—anywhere but where it should be.”

Harry Reid’s Latest Racist Gaffe

August 22nd, 2014 - 2:04 pm

“Sen. Harry Reid Launches Racist Jokes Before Asian Audience,” as spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler:

The Daily Caller has a story on this remarkable video of Sen. Harry Reid speaking before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. In it, Sen. Reid engages in ethnic humor. First he jokes about Asians being smarter than everyone else — a racial stereotype, albeit a positive one. Later, he jokes that he “can’t keep his Wongs straight.” That joke has a bit more bite. Would Reid joke to a white audience that he can’t keep his Smiths straight? Is he suggesting that all Asians look alike?

I’m asking as the husband of a Japanese woman…

Sen. Reid has a history of making racial remarks, as when he noted that Barack Obama was a viable black presidential candidate because he is “clean and articulate.” He had to apologize directly to Obama for that one.

The Senator’s efforts did not help his chosen candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor. He sought the Asian Chamber’s endorsement for Democrat Lucy Flores. But the Chamber backed Republican Mark Hutchison instead.

Hey, it’s not like Harry Reid routinely holds whole masses of people in contempt, right?

Yes, of course he does:

Hey, it’s not like Harry Reid has a long history of saying a variety of vile things and putting his Florsheim in his mouth on a regular basis, right?

Again, of course he does:

Democrat house organ the New York Times has already entered into “addition through subtraction” mode that of course it would be great for Hillary if Republicans controlled both houses of Congress next year. Harry Reid, already risking a bruising 2016 reelection bid as a result of his punitive leftwing anger at pretty much the entire world may have just made their job easier. The GOP now has a way to nationalize this fall’s elections: Give us back the Senate, and move unrepentant racist Harry Reid to the back bench where he can do as little harm as possible.

Yesterday’s flight ban to Israel by the FAA (read: the Obama administration) “was the most destructive action that the US has taken towards Israel since the Truman administration imposed an arms embargo during the War of Independence. It encourages Hamas to keep firing rockets when the Obama administration supposedly is working for a ceasefire,” David P. Goldman writes in his Spengler column at PJM today.

David quotes Eugene Kontorovich of Commentary, who adds, “Whatever the intent, the administration has cornered Israel in a booby-trapped tunnel, with Hamas on one side, and economic perdition on the other,” along with Israel officials who “denounced the decision as a ‘prize for Hamas’ and completely unjustified.”

Responding to Goldman, Michael Walsh, with video assists from Brando’s Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now and Sean Connery’s tough Irish cop in The Untouchables asks, “Can Israel Finish the Job Now?”

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VDH: How We Got Here

July 9th, 2014 - 3:07 pm

“Often, crazy things seem normal for a time because logical catastrophes do not immediately follow,” Victor Davis Hanson writes. “Suddenly the bills for Obama’s six years of folly are coming due for the American people:”

The American public hardly noticed when Obama recklessly withdrew every peacekeeper from Iraq. Did he not boast of “ending the Iraq War”? It did not mind when the U.S. posted dates for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trashing all the Bush–Cheney anti-terrorism protocols, from Guantanamo to renditions, did not make much sense, when such policies had worked and, in fact, were of use to Obama himself. But again, most Americans took no note. Apparently the terrorists did, however, and they regrouped even as the president declared them “on the run.”

Lecturing Israel while praising Islamist Turkey was likewise ignored. America snoozed as its president insidiously redefined its role in the Middle East as secondary to the supposed pivot to Asia. Each new correction in and of itself was comparatively minor; but in aggregate they began to unravel the U.S.-inspired postwar global order.

At first, who cared whether Iran serially violated every Obama deadline on halting nuclear enrichment? Did we worry that Libya, where Obama was proud of having led from behind, was descending into Somalia? Few Americans were all that bothered over Obama’s empty order to Syrian president Bashar Assad to step down, or over Obama’s later vacuous red-line threats that bombs would follow any use by Assad of chemical weapons.

Few noted that Obama lied to the nation that a video had caused the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, that Obama had known who the real terrorist perpetrators were but had ordered no immediate action to kill or capture them, and that Americans had been engaged in mysterious and still unexplained covert activities in Benghazi. After all that, we still shrugged when the president traded five top terrorist leaders for an alleged American deserter.

Trashing George W. Bush’s policy toward Vladimir Putin while promising a new reset approach (illustrated with a plastic red button) to an aggressive dictator raised few eyebrows at the time. Nor did many Americans worry that our Pacific allies were upset over Chinese and North Korean aggression that seemed to ignore traditional U.S. deterrence.

Obama was a brilliant campaigner, and his rhetoric deeply impressed the chattering classes, who similarly make their living with words back up by very little accountability to the truth. (And these days like Obama himself, very little knowledge of history.) But as Ed Klein notes in Blood Feud, brilliant rhetoric does not an executive make. “How could such a talented and successful political campaigner turn out to be so woefully inept in the arts of governance?”, Klein asks of The Won:

One answer to that question was provided many years ago by the political scientist Richard E. Neustadt in his 1960 landmark study, Presidential Power. “The Presidency is no place for amateurs,” wrote Neustadt. “[ The office of the president needs] experienced politicians of extraordinary temperament. . . . That sort of expertise can hardly be acquired without deep experience in political office . The Presidency is a place for men of politics. But by no means is it a place for every politician.” It was no place for Barack Obama.

How badly has Obama augured himself into the ground? This badly:


“When even MSNBC displays chyrons calling Obama out for his Gone Fishin’ style of presidentin’, the Prog King may be in some trouble.”

Hey, the American people were warned long in advance of what they were getting:

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Another Expiration Date Bests Obama

June 19th, 2014 - 3:28 pm

“Obama admits today what was true all along: he didn’t end the Iraq War, Iraq just refused to let the troops stay,” Trevor Timm, UK Guardian contributor tweets, linking to this article in the Washington Post, which notes that “President Obama took credit in 2012 for withdrawing all troops from Iraq. Today he said something different:”

“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. ”That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

On Thursday, Obama addressed reporters in the White House Briefing Room about Iraq’s latest crisis. “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” a reporter asked. “Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me,” Obama said. “That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”

In that same foreign policy debate, Obama scolded Romney — for failing to state his position in a way voters could understand. “Here’s one thing … I’ve learned as commander in chief,” Obama said. “You’ve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean.”

Huh. His pre-postmodern predecessor knew that before he became commander in chief. As Mark Steyn warned when Dubya bid the world vaya con dios, “George W. Bush is who he is, and he never pretended to be anything but. Do you know how rare that is? If you don’t, you surely will after six months of Barack Obama’s enigmatic cool.”

And speaking of postmodernism, with the London Telegraph reporting, “Isis jihadists ‘seize Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpile,’” now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

● “Where Are Saddam’s WMD?”

— Headline, Time magazine, September 26, 2003.

● “Iraq Militants Seize Old Chemical Weapons Facility.”

— Headline, Time magazine, today.

As one Ricochet contributor asks today, “What the heck is a WMD?”

I thought it was a weapon that killed a bunch of people at once.

Like a chemical weapon or a nuclear bomb .

If Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of chemical weapons, how does  everybody justify the “they lied about WMD” trope?

Don’t worry, “The weapons that remain are probably useless,” Time assures us today. These aren’t the WMDs you were looking for; they can go about their business, no matter who has control over them — or wherever they ultimately end up.

Update: Speaking of headlines from 2002 and 2003 getting a fresh new spin, is the president seeking regime change in Iraq? Everything old is new again!

(Yes, the headline was written in the passive tense, which journalists are increasingly using to describe a president being overcome by events occurring on his watch.)

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

June 19th, 2014 - 2:51 pm

“Liberals Longing for Saddam” was the headline on a Commentary post by Tom Wilson, this past Friday:

When the invasion of Iraq took place, many left-liberal commentators—particularly those in Britain and Europe—had a curious response. Of course they detested Saddam, they assured us, but might it not be the case that Saddam—a strong man—was the only person who could govern “a place like that”? This stunning suggestion that human rights and basic freedom might not be for everyone, that some human beings are just better off under despotism, was shocking then and its shocking to consider now. But for the most part these arguments faded from discussion as a jittery democratic reality got off the ground in Iraq. What good liberal would want to consign the Iraqi people back to the dark days of Saddam? Besides, one got the impression that most of these voices weren’t actually that favorable toward the Baathist regime, they just hated the thought of the use of Western power far more.

Now, however, with Iraq descending into chaos once again—arguably as much the result of the strength of Islamism as the weakness of democracy—these “liberals” are dusting off those old arguments and wheeling them back out in another attempt to bamboozle a public they’ve already spent over a decade misleading. Yet, one voice has gone much further. Chris Maume, an editor at the UK Independent, who by all accounts spent much time in Iraq during the glory days of Saddam, not only takes this opportunity to sow doubts about the wisdom of the war in Iraq, but even does so by mounting the most astonishing defense of life under Saddam.

Whitewashing the poverty suffered by most Iraqis compared to the obscene wealth enjoyed by the Saddam’s ruling clan, Maume reflects, “Baghdad was noisy and mucky and full of building sites, but it was bustling and thriving. There wasn’t a huge amount in the shops, but people had all they needed to get by.” Perhaps they did, but you can’t imagine writers for the Independent ever insisting that the underprivileged in Western countries have long “had all they needed to get by.”

Chris Maume of the UK Independent is joined by another, much more famous voice today:

To paraphrase an old riff by James Lileks, perhaps Brooks admires Saddam because — at least until rival studio heads forced him out of production — the man had the final cut, and he knew what he wanted to do with it.

The leftwing desire to embrace murderous tyrants — if only there were books on that topic both relatively new, and long in print.

Two CNNs In One!

April 15th, 2014 - 5:09 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.

“Unsettling video shows large al Qaeda meeting in Yemen,” CNN, today.

Are “right-wing” extremists more dangerous than Al-Qaeda terrorists? According to CNN’s National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, they are. In a CNN commentary posted yesterday Bergen wrote, “U.S. right wing extremists [are] more deadly than jihadists.” He also also happens to be a director for the George Soros-funded liberal New America Foundation. What a coincidence.

 Bergen claimed that “white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.” He cited a New America study which counted 34 people killed by right-wing extremist acts and just 23 people killed by Al Qaeda-linked terrorism, after 9/11. Why start there? Wouldn’t the 2,977 people killed that day by jihadists skew those findings somewhat?

The count included “hate crimes” in the tally of “political reasons.” Which is funny considering that Bergen cited the Southern Poverty Law Center in his article. The SPLC could be accused of a “hate crime” itself for inciting the shooting at the Family Research Council in 2012. Floyd Lee Corkins admitted that he targeted the conservative organization after the SLPC listed the FRC as a “hate group” for it’s “anti-gay” stance on marriage.

The study’s tally seemed suspect as well, considering that they counted domestic disputes where police officers are killed as “hate crimes” influenced by “political reasons.” For example, they included a 2009 shootout in a Pittsburgh home where Robert Poplawski  killed three police officers after his mother called the police during an argument. Later it was revealed that Poplawski had anti-Semitic views and was an alleged skinhead.

—”On Boston Bombing Anniversary, CNN Analyst Says U.S. Right-Wing Extremists Kill More Than Jihadists,” Newsbusters, today. At Big Journalism, John Nolte adds:

Bergen just happens to be a research assistant at the New America Foundation and apparently his colleagues chose to overlook cop killer Chris Dorner and the left-wing manifesto he left behind that expressed some real affection … for CNN employees.

Today, April 15, just so happens to be the one-year anniversary of Bergen using CNN’s airwaves to speculate that right-wing groups might be behind the Boston Marathon bombing. Bergen is apparently using today’s hysterical piece of selective, anti-science analysis to balm that embarrassment.

By publishing this junk, CNN is merely doing what CNN has been doing all throughout the failed Zucker-era: trolling the bottom of the barrel for attention.

“The media literally has the same storyline one year later,” Ace writes in response to the second link. “Nothing is ever learned; nothing ever changes.”

Except that the viewers have tuned out — knowing that Time-Warner-CNN-HBO is essentially accusing half their potential audience of being worse than Islamic terrorists — when they aren’t accusing them of being Islamophobes. As Ricochet’s Troy Senik has noted, “Populism’s Hard When You Don’t Like the People.”

“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”:

drudge_obamacare_self_employment_tax_3-23-14

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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Boeing 777 Crashes While Landing at SFO

July 6th, 2013 - 12:19 pm

An Asiana Airlines flight from South Korea to San Francisco International Airport ended in tragedy an hour ago. “According to a witness, around 11:20 a.m. the plane was just about to land — its landing gear had come down — when the tail of the plane came off,” Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU reports. More as it comes in.

Update: Numerous photos of crash and its aftermath at Twitchy.

This update, apparently from a survivor of the crash, has gotten nearly 9500 retweets:

sfo_777_crash_tweet_7-6-13

Click here for a larger version of the image. Drudge is reporting 291 aboard; the Tweet above by David Eun, an executive with Samsung, reported that “most everyone seems fine. His later tweets add, “Fire and rescue people all over the place. They’re evacuating the injured. Haven’t felt this way since 9/11.” Along with, “Most people are totally calm and trying to let the fire and rescue do their jobs. Just like during 9/11, most people are great and try to be helpful in crisis.”

Newsbreaker adds a close-up shot of the crippled plane:

 

Newsbreaker is also reporting that “All flights cancelled at San Francisco airport following major plane crash.”

Update (2:14 PM PDT): KTVU is now reporting “At least two dead, 61 injured” in crash.

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KGO-7, San Francisco’s ABC affiliate reports, “San Francisco firefighters are responding to a possible hazardous materials situation at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, a fire department spokeswoman said:”

The incident was reported at 11:38 a.m. today at the hospital, located at 900 Hyde St. between Pine and Bush streets.

A post office near the hospital, at 1400 Pine Street, has been closed. Two employees were taken to the hospital.

Fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said crews are “testing a substance on somebody’s clothing” at the hospital.

No other information about the incident was immediately available.

More as it comes in.

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CBS-Houston reports that “Houston authorities say a man shot himself at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport Thursday afternoon:”

KHOU-TV reports the man walked into the airport’s Terminal B, fired at least two shots into the air with an AR-15 rifle and then shot himself in the head with a pistol.

Houston police spokesman John Cannon tells The Associated Press a call came in at 1:35 p.m. on Thursday that there had been a “discharge of firearms” near the ticket counter at Terminal B

Cannon says one armed man has been transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

KHOU reports that an air marshal fired at the shooter before he shot himself. No one else was injured in the shooting.

The terminal has been shut down.

Developing, as they say.

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Explosion Near Waco, Texas

April 17th, 2013 - 8:10 pm

As if there wasn’t enough news for one day, “Emergency crews in Texas are responding to two large explosions at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, near Waco,” Fox News reports:

Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety in Waco, told television station KWTX that DPS troopers have been transporting the injured to hospitals in their patrol cars. She says six helicopters were also en route.

The blast at West Fertilizer plant, reported shortly before 8 p.m. CT, was confirmed by Waco police dispatch operators. First responders are dealing with numerous injuries and major damage to structures and vehicles, Scarbrough said.

Several buildings, some in residential areas,  were reported to be burning, others destroyed, and a nearby nursing home was damaged, according to a report from KWTX

Initial reports say people are trapped in a nearby nursing home and an apartment building.

A local school football field is being setup as a staging area.

More at Twitchy, including photos from Twitter users in the area. And dramatic video of the explosion embedded above, from Waco’s KWKT-TV.

“West EMS Director Dr. George Smith says as many as 60 or 70 people died and hundreds were injured Wednesday night in a fertilizer plant explosion in West,” KWTX, another area TV station, ominously reports. “A rescuer earlier said he knew of five deaths.”

Though as we saw on Monday in Boston, early counts of injuries and casualties can vary widely from final reports.

Update: Judging by the sounds of the people in the car, I believe this is the same footage KWKT used, but from the raw cell phone camera, and not recomposited for a horizontal video format. But the sound of the blast and (presumbably) the son of the man shooting it from the window of his SUV shouting “Please get out of here! Please get out of here!” is more than a little disturbing:

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