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Ed Driscoll

As reported in the New York Observer this past Wednesday, heretofore rarely a hotbed of anti-Obama sentiment:

In perhaps the most stunning documentation yet of abuses by Eric Holder’s Justice Department, two former Assistant United States Attorneys spoke to defense attorneys and revealed appalling deceit and corruption of justice. This latest litigation time bomb has exploded from multi-million dollar litigation originally brought by the Department of Justice against Sierra Pacific based on allegations that the lumber company and related defendants were responsible for a wildfire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California.

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Sierra Pacific Industries and other defendants were compelled to pay $55 million to the United States over a period of five years and transfer 22,500 acres of land to settle massive litigation brought against them by the United States alleging that they caused a 2007 fire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California. Sierra Pacific has always maintained that the fire started elsewhere and that the state and federal investigators and Department attorneys lied. Now that settlement may go up in smoke because of the new evidence of outrageous misconduct by the federal prosecutors and the investigators from state and federal offices, as well as findings earlier this year by a state judge.

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The Sacramento Bee reported on the Defendant’s filing. Indeed, the Defendants’ motion informs us that a former Assistant United States Attorney came forward and disclosed that he believes that he was removed from the original prosecution by “his boss, David Shelledy, chief of the civil division in the United States Attorney’s office,” because he “rebuffed” pressure to “engage in unethical conduct as a lawyer.” Of course, like other former prosecutors who were unethical, Mr. Shelledy is to receive Attorney General Holder’s highest award for excellence—this week.The defendants also reveal that another former federal prosecutor, Eric Overby, left the Moonlight Fire prosecution team also, stating: “It’s called the Department of Justice. It’s not called the Department of Revenue.” According to the motion, Mr. Overby told defense counsel that in his entire career, “I’ve never seen anything like this. Never.”

Well, sadly we have, and we’ve been reporting on it as fast as we can. This is part of a disturbing and rapidly increasing pattern of abuses by this Department of Justice to line government coffers or redistribute the wealth to its political allies—using its overwhelming litigation might and federal agencies as a tool of extortion and wealth redistribution.

The entire original prosecution against Sierra Pacific appears to have been driven by the Department of Justice’s interest in hitting a “deep pocket” for millions of dollars of revenue. The Defendants’ motion to set aside the settlement reveals a series of fraudulent acts by federal and state authorities that defiles our system of justice.

The news about the shakedown of Sierra Pacific comes on the heels of this report from a year ago on Lumber Liquidators being raided:

Although details were initially sketchy, Lumber Liquidators’ (LL) stock price plunged as much as 10% early Friday after a reported raid by federal investigators on its headquarters related to a probe of illegal imports.

In a statement, the top flooring retailer with more than 300 stores nationwide, said it would provide to investigators information and documents related to the import of certain products.

The Department of Homeland Security, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Justice conducted the raid, acting under a sealed court-issued warrant.

Lumber Liquidators said it gets products from more than 110 U.S. and international mills globally, and has more than 60 people who monitor imports.

“The company takes its sourcing very seriously, and is cooperating with authorities to provide them with requested information,” the company said in a statement.

Specific details on what the Department of Homeland Security agents were searching for were not immediately available, and the company and government officials declined to comment beyond the initial statements.

Federal agents conducted the search of Lumber Liquidators headquarters in Toano, Va., and at one of its stores in Richmond, Va.

The unannounced search was reminiscent of earlier raids on Gibson Guitar facilities.

Indeed. What is it with the Obama administration and lumber-based businesses?

(I know: as opposed to coal-based businesses, oil-based businesses, businesses with GOP or Christian CEOs, small business in general, and pretty much every other business except Comcast, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO and Goldman-Sachs, apparently.)

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

 

 

Of all the weekends to cancel the obligatory Saturday golf game, this would have been a good one, not the least of which because his administration and its steno pool inside the New York Times worked to craft what is effectively a press release on Obama “seething” over how he and his administration have botched the Ebola crisis — one year after the disastrous rollout of his signature socialized medicine bill. (Fun fact: On this date a year ago, the otherwise Obama-friendly Huffington Post ran the headline, “Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans.”

Glenn Reynolds rounds up Bobby Jindal’s complete four-step plan for how the increasingly semi-retired president acts during one of his administration’s many clusterfarks; apparently interim steps 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 can be summed as: Fore!

Meanwhile, Roger L. Simon posits that administration officials will find an obscure video to blame for Ebola when they make their rounds on the Sunday talk shows tomorrow. Paraphrasing historian Robert Conquest’s Third Law of Politics, which states that “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by
assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,” Roger wonders how the ghost of Andrew Breitbart got inside the controls of the administration’s evermore wobbly machine.

obama_plus_fours_3-19-11-2

BuzzFeed Accidently Gives MSM Game Away

October 17th, 2014 - 4:27 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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Question Asked and Answered

October 17th, 2014 - 1:59 pm

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

The language of government now is word-spew.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Moments in Media Bias

October 17th, 2014 - 1:30 pm

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

‘Your Dad is Not Hitler’

October 17th, 2014 - 1:26 pm

“To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Charles Krauthammer wrote over a decade ago. Around that time, Christopher Caldwell of in the Weekly Standard explored the lament of the small-town wannabe “Progressive:”

At some point, Democrats became the party of small-town people who think they’re too big for their small towns. It is hard to say how it happened: Perhaps it is that Republicans’ primary appeal is to something small-towners take for granted (tradition), while Democrats’ is to something that small-towners are condemned for lacking (diversity). Both appeals can be effective, but it is only the latter that incites people to repudiate the culture in which they grew up. Perhaps it is that at universities–through which pass all small-town people aiming to climb to a higher social class–Democratic party affiliation is the sine qua non of being taken for a serious, non-hayseed human being.

For these people, liberalism is not a belief at all. No, it’s something more important: a badge of certain social aspirations. That is why the laments of the small-town leftists get voiced with such intemperance and desperation. As if those who voice them are fighting off the nagging thought: If the Republicans aren’t particularly evil, then maybe I’m not particularly special.

And as the great Theodore Dalrymple writes today concerning his travails in France, the original Blue State, no matter how much you may hate him for what you perceive as his moral shortcomings, “Your Dad is Not Hitler:”

A few weeks ago I noticed the following slogan painted on the walls of a supermarket in France:

Hitler, Sarko—même combat

[Hitler, Sarkosy—same battle]

* * * * * * * * * * *

My wife, who was with me when I saw the painted slogan, said immediately when she saw it that the young person who painted it (and painting slogans on walls is a young man’s game) must have been ignorant of history.

If so, it seems to me it must have been ignorance of a special kind, not just of the facts.

* * * * * * * * * * *

In other words, there is an unattractive egotism and grandiosity in the slogan. There is an envy of suffering because suffering is supposed to confer moral authority on the sufferer, which is not available to those who merely think about suffering without experience of its worst forms. The syllogism is as follows: the suffering have moral authority; I have moral authority; therefore I suffer.

* * * * * * * * * * *

There is another reason why people like to compare their current situation with the catastrophic past, however absurd or demeaning to past sufferings that comparison might be. It gives them license to behave badly within their own little compass. Why should anyone concern himself with my peccadilloes when we are in the midst of a moral catastrophe equivalent to Nazism? To do so is to display moral triviality; it is to fiddle while Rome burns. Therefore, I can behave badly and still think myself a moral man, because I concern myself with the important things, true morality being to have the right opinions about the big questions of the day and not to immerse oneself in the trivia of one’s own individual conduct.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Glenn Reynolds proffers a time and sanity-saving tip for his Insta-readers: “When students go on about social justice, the proper response is to tell them you don’t care what they think, because they don’t know enough to have an intelligent opinion yet. If universities were run on this principle, the 3% of students responsible for 98% of the idiocy would no longer have their destructive impact. Also, it’s true: They don’t know enough to have an intelligent opinion, as demonstrated by the opinions they do have.”

(H/T: 5′F)

Our Source was the New York Times

October 16th, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Shot:

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

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

Chaser:

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

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

OBAMA: Now let me write this down.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I’ve got…

QUESTION: Surprised, troubled…

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

QUESTION: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised. QUESTION: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

QUESTION: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?

QUESTION: Humbled. Thank you, sir.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nowhere to Run To, Baby, Nowhere to Hide

October 16th, 2014 - 10:47 am

 ”A Year of Living on the Brink,” as charted by the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger:

History will mark down 2014 as the year predicted 49 years ago by Martha and the Vandellas. In 1965 the group recorded a Motown classic, “Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide.” We’re there, at the brink.

Liberia, ISIS, Ukraine, Hong Kong, a hospital fighting Ebola infections in Dallas, the year’s stock-market gains obliterated, and I almost forgot—just last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned that climate change could end life as we know it.

Then this week the clouds parted and the year’s best news arrived: Led by Europe’s sinking economies, global economic growth is falling, taking stocks and bonds with it, and the world’s central bankers say they have run out of ideas on doing anything about it.

How this is good news requires explanation.

Read the whole thing; as Henninger writes, “No one should underestimate the political dangers of persisting with a Keynesian economic model that looks depleted.”

Depleted? This 80 year old economic policy wouldn’t jump-start the economy if you put four million volts through it! It’s bleedin’ demised! This is an ex-policy! Bereft of sanity, it rests in peace!

But as Henninger writes, mentioning alternatives which revitalized the economies of America in the 1980s, Canada and the post-Soviet Union satellite nations in the 1990s, and Germany in the mid-naughts, first America needs a president who will junk the left’s cargo cult of Keynes, as one former Democrat did when he was elected to the office in 1980.

In the meantime, as Roger L. Simon asked last night, “Could It Possibly Get Any Worse?”

To paraphrase the slogan of our semi-retired closeted crypto-Keynesian president, yes it can.

Comment of the Day

October 16th, 2014 - 10:18 am


Malcolm Muggeridge, call your office.

Filed under: Muggeridge's Law

The ‘Bam Who Fell To Earth

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

Click to enlarge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shot:

We now have a second Ebola case. This one is vastly worse the first one. The poor Vietnamese girl could be explained as a mistake and an isolated one. This second one is not. Worse yet, the woman was allowed on a plane and now we may have hundreds of unknown people exposed to the virus. All of this is due to the administrations unwillingness to block all flight from Ebola countries. We know why too. If the Ebola outbreak had occurred in Scandinavia or Israel, Obama would have closed the airports immediately.

Lion of the Blogosphere has an interesting question. How much is this going to cost?

One or two in one location is probably a few million. Thousands spread across the nation moves into the billions category quickly. The whole country has to stop and re-engineer public health just because President Ebola let one of his tribesmen in from Liberia.

Carter came to be defined by Iran. The public concluded that he was simply not up to the task. They could forgive a lot, but the cumulative effect of his failures eventually collapsed his presidency. Bush the Smaller was undone by Katrina. It was not fair and most people were sane enough to get that, but it still came to symbolize the problems of his presidency.

Obama, on the other hand, has made his own mess. He will be remembered as President Ebola, the man who willingly imported a plague into the United States.

“President Ebola,” the Z Blog, in a post timestamped 2:24 PM today.

Chaser:

“‘Doh!’: NPR Reporter tweets hilarious typo,” Twitchy, in a post timestamped 10:10 PM today.


Wow, Donna Brazile turned into the grumpy old “Point-Counterpoint” guy from Airplane so slowly, I hardly even noticed:

‘Obama’s Great Big Ebola Error’

October 15th, 2014 - 1:38 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weapons of Midterm Destruction, Then and Now

October 14th, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Shot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chaser:

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

Instapundit.com, earlier tonight.

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

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

Update:

 

Much more at Twitchy.

Hypocrisy Never Sleeps

October 14th, 2014 - 7:23 pm

“Neil Young: Forget ISIS, Fight Climate Change Instead,” as spotted by  Joel Pollak at Big Hollywood:

YOUNG: The things that we don’t know, you know, we can do little things to fight climate change. And yet our army and our armed forces are the biggest CO2 providers into the world, they just…it’s amazing. And yet we are fighting what? ISIS…

HOWARD STERN: What do you think about that?

YOUNG: …al-Qaeda. And we are fighting these wars against these organizations and their carbon footprint has got to be like 1% of our huge army and our navy and all of this stuff that have with all our big machines. We’re doing more damage to the earth with our wars.

If “we can do little things to fight climate change,” here’s a great place to start:

Neil has his own private P.A and a Yamaha mixer. He has a separate microphone that’s not connected to the house for each amp, and he can mix these to any level he wants. He mainly hears Deluxe, a lot of Baldwin, and very little Magnatone. Out front and on record, you can hear mostly Deluxe and Magnatone. Inside the big speaker cabinet to the audience’s right are 2 two-way Maryland Sound P.A. cabinets with 2 15s and a horn apiece. These cabinets have 2000 watts of biamped power, and gets turned excruciatingly loud. It just kills me to go out there-I just about get knocked over. And that’s what Neils hearing. This produces the feedback, and if we didn’t have that on, the sound wouldn’t be the same.

If the situation is so dire that it’s necessary to fight the weather rather than Islamofascist headchoppers, doesn’t Neil need to set the pace, retire from touring and shrink his own carbon footprint down to the smallest number possible? Perhaps order his record company to voluntarily stop printing his CDs, and withdrawing his mp3s from Amazon.com and iTunes? I would be more inclined to believe global warming is a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves, to coin an Insta-phrase.

Besides, didn’t we all see this movie before, a decade ago? “It’s a peculiar thing that as the threat of global terrorism reaches a crescendo, so apparently does the threat of global warming — at least that’s what some would have us believe…”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Wheelchair Truther?

October 14th, 2014 - 2:35 pm

To be fair, NBC was the home of SCTV for many years, where comedian Joe Flahrety played fictional station manager “Guy Caballero,” who would maneuver around his office in a wheelchair, then periodically stand up and tell viewers, “I just use this wheelchair for respect.” Not to mention the 9/11 truthers the channel has on its payroll, so it’s easy to understand why Andrea Mitchell would, as is her wont, confuse fiction with reality.

As Noemie Emery writes today in the Washington Examiner, “Todd Akin turns left:”

For two years, Republicans have been haunted by Todd Akin syndrome, in which a spectacular gaffe in an abortion-themed context becomes a costly embarrassment to a candidate’s party. And they were right. But the good news for them is that the bug is contagious. Democrats have lately been showing its symptoms, proving no one is immune.

That extends to their operatives with bylines as well.

More on Mitchell’s spectacular gaffe from Jeff Dunetz at his Yid With Lid blog.

Related: Andrea Mitchell, wheelchair truther, referred to Greg Abbott’s paralysis today as a “supposed disability.” Andrea Mitchell, wheelchair truther, referred to Greg Abbott’s paralysis today as a “supposed disability?”

Biker Gangs to Fight ISIS

October 14th, 2014 - 11:21 am

As always, with the world descending into tribal-based primitivism, there’s no way that satire can compete with reality for its pure absurdity. Three weeks ago, I tweeted this:

Reality has quickly caught up. Or at least as close to reality as Europe’s venerable Agence France-Presse news agency can get. It’s reporting today that “Netherlands says OK for biker gangs to fight Islamic State:”

The Hague (AFP) — The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.

“Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it’s no longer forbidden,” public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP.

“You just can’t join a fight against the Netherlands,” he told AFP after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting IS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq.

The head of No Surrender, Klaas Otto, told state broadcaster NOS that three members who travelled to near Mosul in northern Iraq were from Dutch cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda.

Here’s in the states, no word yet if Sonny Barger has volunteered the Hell’s Angels’ services to fight ISIS, as he did in 1965 to help LBJ fight in Vietnam, according to this account of the 1970 biker film Nam’s Angels and its inspiration.

“The End of Columbus Day is the End of America,” Daniel Greenfield writes at his the Sultan Knish blog, on the left’s annual groupthink black armband grievance freakout over yesterday’s holiday. But is the left taking a second look at the man who discovered America?

At Hot Air today, “St. Louis protesters refer to Columbus as the ‘first looter,’” Jazz Shaw writes:

One of the most interesting sentiments being expressed, however, touched on the fact that the latest protest was taking place on Columbus Day.

“This is the real definition of resistance … this thing right here that we’re doing right now is not only a symbolism of what we can do when we stick together, this is … It’s the beginning in a change in our consciousness as a people, as a human race,” Dhoruba Shakur said.

They noted the significance of it being Columbus Day, calling him “the first looter” and saying they were “reclaiming” the college campus. “I know this was a college a couple of hours ago, but as of right now this is our spot and we not going nowhere,” a protest leader said.

If Columbus is “The First Looter,” that’s good from the left’s perspective, isn’t it? After all, as a Salon columnist wrote in August at the height of the riots ginned up by Comcast-NBC-MSNBC in Ferguson:

It seems far easier to focus on the few looters who have reacted unproductively to this tragedy than to focus on the killing of Michael Brown. Perhaps looting seems like a thing we can control. I refuse. I refuse to condemn the folks engaged in these acts, because I respect black rage.

So win-win for all on Columbus Day, right? Centrist, conservative, libertarian and sensible moderate Americans can continue think of him as the man who discovered the New World and establishing a foothold that would lead to founding of the greatest nation on earth, which would go on to save Europe from socialist totalitarianism three times in a row in the 20th century. 21st century American socialist totalitarians can now consider Columbus as a man with wicked cool superfly gangsta street cred as the First Looter.

Problem solved! You’re welcome, America.

Space: The Totalitarian Frontier

October 13th, 2014 - 9:01 pm

Shot:

1. Star Trek (1966-1969). The original Star Trek takes place in a future where humanity has transcended all forms of warfare and cash transactions. The Starship Enterprise’s adventures throughout the galaxy are supposedly by the Federation’s “prime directive,” which forbids humans from intervening in the domestic affairs of the planets they visit.

And yet when he’s not engaging in zero-gravity sex with an endless procession of comely space aliens, Captain James T. Kirk is mucking around with every civilization from here to the Romulan Neutral Zone like LBJ on Viagra.

And let’s face it: The sequel series are just as rotten from a libertarian perspective.

“The 5 Most Anti-Libertarian TV Shows Ever!”, Meredith Bragg & Nick Gillespie, Reason.com, October 10, 2014.

Chaser:

Volkswagen wants people to think of its electric cars as futuristic, so it hired William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy to appear in this German language commercial. It shows a young and hardcore Trekkie getting the thrill of his life when William Shatner moves into his neighborhood.

“William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy Reunite in a Funny Volkswagen Commercial,” Neatorama.com, October 10, 2014.