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Ed Driscoll

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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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From about 10:00 PM PDT until Midnight, we’ll be offline. This time around though, our stewardesses have made plenty of coffee and turbulence should be mild, so no need to panic.

Update: …And we’re back.

 

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The Dan Mutiny Court-Martial

February 8th, 2013 - 1:15 pm
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“Dan Rather on Reddit: No one proved that Bush documents were forged.” Fortunately, Dan had his webcam switched on for the chat.

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Quote of the Day

December 11th, 2012 - 4:57 pm
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“Lincoln literally fought a war to keep the Union together. Obama seems perfectly content to foment discord in order to keep unions together.”

– Duane Patterson, Hot Air, “Reaping What Obama Sows.”

Related: “Union thugs… in broad daylight, on camera. Are they stupid… or do they know something about the willingness of the authorities to enforce the law?”

(Video of PJTV alumnus Steven Crowder’s assault via Instapundit.)

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Whew!

December 11th, 2012 - 4:09 pm

“The Vatican’s top astronomer has some assurances to offer: The world won’t be ending in about two weeks, despite predictions to the contrary.”

Well, that’s a relief. Now, how do we get Al Gore to turn off his doomsday calendar?

Alexandria of the Doubleplus Undead blog is angry. You’ll like her when she’s angry:

Gentlemen: I see that you have chosen to use the horrific crime of the murder of Kasandra Perkins to express your belief that guns are the problem, not the men who wield them. I am utterly certain that you believe that you have the moral high ground on this matter. I am equally certain that such a belief is appallingly wrong, not to mention terribly misogynistic. Why do I say this? Because had your desires on gun control been in place, I would not be alive to be writing this now.

Read the whole thing.

Related: “Greg Gutfeld blasts ‘ghoulish’ Bob Costas, ‘bigot’ Jason Whitlock.” Elsewhere, the Bangor Daily News reports,  “Angry about woman, Jovan Belcher punched out window, gashed hand in 2006 UMaine incident.” And a caller to Florida talker Todd Schnitt “Claims Family Brutalized” by Belcher as a preteen.

Ride the Chicagoland Mobius Loop

November 28th, 2012 - 11:02 pm

Blogger Jammie Wearing Fool looks at the possibility of ex-con Mel Reynolds running for Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Congressional seat and writes, “This is just perfect. A guy tossed out of Congress and into prison for having sex with an underage campaign volunteer, among other crimes, is tossing his baggage into the ring in a bid to win the seat of the disgraced Jesse Jackson, Jr. His criminal history should only serve as a resume-enhancer in that district.”

Another Democrat, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, might also make a run for the seat. At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff notes that the famously racially torrent and diversity-obsessed left are terrified of “The horror, a white might win Jesse Jackson’s congressional seat.”

Calling Occupants of Interstellar Graft

November 23rd, 2012 - 10:12 am

Nancy Pelosi: Obama May Be Most Famous Person ‘In the Whole Galaxy.’

Klaatu Baracka Pelosi! But I thought Maureen Dowd had the trademark on the President Spock shtick. Personally, I believe Obama was born in Hawaii, but if Nancy and MoDo insist the president is an alien, legal or illegal, perhaps we really do need to see the birth certificate.

Quote of the Day

November 8th, 2012 - 12:28 am

Look around you. From now on, it gets worse. In ten years’ time, there will be no American Dream, any more than there’s a Greek or Portuguese Dream. In twenty, you’ll be living the American Nightmare, with large tracts of the country reduced to the favelas of Latin America, the rich fleeing for Bermuda or New Zealand or wherever on the planet they can buy a little time, and the rest trapped in the impoverished, violent, diseased ruins of utopian vanity.

– Mark Steyn, After America.

Update: “Finita La Commedia,” writes Kyle Smith.

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Quote of the Day

August 24th, 2012 - 5:02 pm

“When California Highway Patrol officers attempted to stop King for speeding that night in 1991, he made the choice to step on the gas rather than the brake.  That decision was for years the most consequential of his life.  In the end, it was the second most.”

Jack Dunphy, at Ricochet.com.

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In 2008 and 2010, Salon writers and editors sat in air conditioned office buildings and filled up valuable real estate on the hard drives in their air conditioned server rooms complaining about the horrors of air conditioning. Now it’s Washington Post-owned Slate’s turn. The article is headlined “Is Air Conditioning Bad for You?” But the article’s metatag is actually, if unintentionally more accurate:  “Politics influences beliefs about weather and comfort and air conditioning.” Or as I wrote in 2010, Mandrake, do you realize that fluoridation air conditioning is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist conservative plot we have ever had to face?

Another article at Slate suggests using magical thinking too cool things down: “August — Let’s get rid of it.”  But haven’t the left wreaked enough havoc on the Gregorian calendar already?

A recent article at Salon was titled “We need progressive religion.” Perhaps a reformation of the existing one might a long overdue project, instead.

Related: “Soros-Funded Propaganda Machine Think Progress Falsely Claims Global Warming Melted Street Lights in Oklahoma.”

Global warming: Is there nothing it can’t do?

The Circle is Now Complete

July 18th, 2012 - 4:06 pm

In the 1960s and ’70s, Gene Roddenberry liked to sell Star Trek by telling interviewers that science fiction allowed us to see mankind in a fresh new light — if we could be sympathetic to an alien from another planet, no matter how strange he looked at first glance, perhaps we could be more sympathetic to each other.

Nuts to all that humanist claptrap says Mark Hamill, the star of the big screen successor franchise to Roddenberry’s sixties-era TV show:

And if you don’t vote for Barack Obama, you’re insane,” he added. ”Cause without him, I think the middle class will completely disappear. And you look at Romney and I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I think he’s like The Thing, he only imitates human behavior. He’s not actually human himself.

Hey, nice Eliminationist Rhetoric — take two Krugmans out of petty cash. But which Thing is Hamill referring to? Benjamin J. Grimm, Marvel Comics’ loveable lug, who was transformed into a frightening-looking creature through alien forces, but retained his humanity underneath. Or perhaps Hamill is referring to Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World, a film in which the only (mid-century-style) liberal intellectual begged the soldiers he was surrounded by not to kill the movie’s eponymous subject.

As Hot Air’s Allahpundit recently wrote, when another Star Wars veteran had his own paranoid moment, believing half of his fans were racists because they don’t share his same politics:

Is there anyone among the principals of the original “Star Wars” cast who isn’t completely in the bag for the left? Lucas: Check. Carrie Fisher: Check. Harrison Ford: Check. Mark Hamill: Check. Now this guy. I’m almost afraid to ask how the stuntmen who played the robots are voting. If I find out that R2-D2 supports single-payer, my DVDs are going straight into the trash.

But hey, considering the man who catapulted Hamill to fame thinks of communist Vietnam as the good guys, (before joining the One Percent himself), we shouldn’t be surprised when his former employees express similarly malignant opinions.

“In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record,” Roll Call’s Jonathan Strong reports in an item currently being Drudge-lanched:

The wiretap applications were signed by senior DOJ officials in the department’s criminal division, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco and another official who is now deceased.

In Fast and Furious, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed assault guns bought by “straw purchasers” to “walk,” which meant ending surveillance on weapons suspected to be en route to Mexican drug cartels.

The tactic, which was intended to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes, was condemned after two guns that were part of the operation were found at U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder scene.

Straw purchasers are individuals who buy guns on behalf of criminals, obscuring who is buying the weapons.

While Issa has since said he has obtained a number of wiretap applications, the letter only refers to one, from March 15, 2010. The full application is not included in what Issa entered into the Congressional Record, and names are obscured in Issa’s letter.

In the application, ATF agents included transcripts from a wiretap intercept from a previous Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that demonstrated the suspects were part of a gun-smuggling ring.

“The wiretap affidavit details that agents were well aware that large sums of money were being used to purchase a large number of firearms, many of which were flowing across the border,” the letter says.

Could Holder go under Obama’s proverbial bus? It depends on how much the blowback directly impacts Holder’s boss, as Alana Goodman writes at Commentary:

Politically, this looks terrible. To have an attorney general held in contempt for withholding documents related to the murder of a border patrol officer is bad enough. To have a president who is seen as actively protecting this attorney general is much worse, particularly in an administration that already has a history of eschewing independent investigations.

Fortunately for Obama, the media will provide plenty of cover, at least for now.

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Kimberly Webb Joyner, 1970-2011

November 27th, 2011 - 7:07 am

Please send your thoughts and prayers to James Joyner of Outside the Beltway, whose wife passed away suddenly this morning.

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Dropping the A-Bomb on History

November 15th, 2011 - 9:51 am

I recently downloaded Counterpoints: 25 Years of The New Criterion on Culture and the Arts for my Kindle; it’s a marvelous anthology of some of the New Criterion’s most fascinating articles, beginning with Mark Steyn’s landmark “It’s the Demography, Stupid,” his dry run for what would become America Alone. The book also contains Heather McDonald’s  “Revisionist Lust” essay from 1997, written the Smithsonian’s then-recent punitive debacle regarding the Enola Gay was still fresh in everyone’s minds:

Anyone who still doubts that the madness currently possessing American universities matters to society at large should take a stroll through today’s Smithsonian. The Institution has been transformed by a wholesale embrace of the worst elements of America’s academic culture. The staples of cutting-edge academic “research”-smirking irony, cultural relativism, celebration of putative victims, facile attacks on science-are all thriving in America’s premier museum and research complex, its showcase to itself and to the world. The changes at the Smithsonian are not unique to that institution. Museums across the country have rushed headlong into what may be called the “new museologv;’ based on a mindless parroting of academic fads. But the Smithsonian’s embrace of postmodern theory and identity politics is of greatest import, because of the Institution’s contribution to America’s public identity.

What causes an ideology to completely turn its back on its culture’s past and descend into what  Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey calls “Black Armband History?”

That’s the topic that Theodore Dalrymple explores in The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism. As Dalrymple writes, Why should anyone wish to construct a national history that is nothing but crime and folly?

Limitless guilt being a form of grandiosity, the past commission of great crimes is a consolation for those who have lost power. It assures them that, notwithstanding their loss of the more immediate trappings of power, important, indeed determining, factors in the current situation of the world are traceable to them.

* * * * *

a miserabilist history is a very useful instrument in securing if not a social revolution, then at least a change or expansion of elites.

* * * * *

Bureaucracies must be created to right the wrongs of the past, the very bureaucracies that absorb the newly educated thousands and millions. Miserabilism thus combines business with pleasure.

As we’ve been discussing this week during my idyll at sea, if conservatives ever want to recapture the high ground of culture, just creating an alternative news media is nowhere near sufficient. It has to — somehow — recapture academia, where culture is ultimately created. And destroyed as well.