Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll

Speaking Truth to Sharpton

May 19th, 2015 - 11:57 pm

The other day, I mentioned the old cliche of journalism that invariably when a superstar “objective” MSM reporter or anchorman retires from his beat or unclips his lavaliere for the last time, he begins giving speeches and writing op-eds that reveal conclusively what everyone simply assumed from his story selection and tone — that he’s a flaming full-on lefty. (QED: Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather among many, many others, which is why it’s such a cliche.) Duke professor Jerry Hough is the very definition of politically correct; as Steve Hayward wrote yesterday at Power Line, in the 1980s, Hough’s anti-Reagan rhetoric was so extreme, “You wondered sometimes whether he was on the Soviets’ payroll.”

In other words, he’s MSNBC and NPR’s core demographic. Which is what makes Hough’s recent letter to the New York Times all the more powerful:

In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.

So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.

I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.

It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King [statue]. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.

As Steve Hayward notes, “Hough is not backing down, sending a follow up comment to a local TV station:”

“I am strongly against the obsession with “sensitivity.” The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident. I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as “colored.” They pushed ahead and achieved. Coach K did not obsess with all the Polish jokes about Polish stupidity. He pushed ahead and achieved. And by his achievement and visibility, he has played a huge role in destroying stereotypes about Poles. Many blacks have done that too, but no one says they have done as well on the average as the Asians. In my opinion, the time has come to stop talking incessantly about race relations in general terms as the President and activists have advocated, but talk about how the Asians and Poles got ahead—and to copy their approach. I don’t see why that is insensitive or racist.”

Sadly, those two statements read as remarkably truthful words concerning the last 70 years of assimilation and advancement and the lack thereof, so naturally, the left are already attempting to devour Hough for his comments. But at age 80, presumably with a fabulous pension, what can they do to him? As Glenn Reynolds writes, “Even being an old commie apologist isn’t enough to keep you from being savaged over this badthink. But if you can’t say what you believe is true when you’re an 80-year-old professor, when can you?”

‘Why Does the Left Kowtow to Islam?’

May 19th, 2015 - 6:27 pm

In the 1930s as a result of a rival faction of socialists having seized control of post-Weimar Germany, the founders of the leftwing Frankfurt School fled to America. By the fall of 1941, several of the Frankfurt School big boys eventually wound up in southern California, as a New York Times writer noted in 2010, in a passage much beloved for its deadpan irony by the late Andrew Breitbart:

The Frankfurt School of philosophers emigrated from Nazi Germany and became dyspeptic critics of American culture. Several landed in Southern California where they were disturbed by the consumer culture and the gospel of relentless cheeriness. Depressive by nature, they focused on the disappointments and venality that surrounded them and how unnecessary it all was. It could be paradise, Theodor Adorno complained, but it was only California.

Just as a reminder, this was at very pinnacle of the film industry’s studio system, a period in which Hollywood was routinely cranking out such titles as Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Stagecoach, Citizen Kane, the Thin Man movies, and dozens and dozens of other classic audience-pleasing films.

“But it was only California.”

As Andrew Breitbart wrote in his 2011 book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World:

We always feel that our incredible traditions of freedom and liberty will convert those who show up on our shores, that they will appreciate the way of life we have created—isn’t that why they wanted to come here in the first place? We can’t imagine anyone coming here, experiencing the true wonder that is living in this country, and wanting to destroy that. But that’s exactly what the Frankfurt School wanted to do.

These were not happy people looking for a new lease on life. When they moved to California, they simply couldn’t deal with the change of scenery—there was cognitive dissonance. Horkheimer and Adorno and depressive allies like Bertolt Brecht moved into a house in Santa Monica on Twenty-sixth Street, coincidentally, the epicenter of my childhood. They had moved to heaven on earth from Nazi Germany and apparently could not handle the fun, the sun, and the roaring good times. Ingratitude is not strong enough a word to describe these hideous malcontents.

If only they had had IKEA furniture, this would have made for a fantastic season of The Real World.

Brecht and his ilk were the Kurt Cobains of their day: massively depressed, nihilistic people who wore full suits in eighty-degree weather while living in a house by the beach.

And the socialist Frankfurt School set about in earnest poisoning the idea of freedom and democracy in America, despite America having taken them in from National Socialist totalitarianism in Germany.

Nearly a decade later, as Mark Steyn noted last year, “a young middle-class Egyptian spending some time in the US had the misfortune to be invited to a dance one weekend,” and like the emigres of the Frankfurt Institute, was similarly “horrified at what he witnessed,” in which another Hollywood product again inadvertently played a leading role, causing our “young middle-class Egyptian” to feverishly write:

The room convulsed with the feverish music from the gramophone. Dancing naked legs filled the hall, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips . . .

Where was this den of debauchery? Studio 54 in the 1970s? Haight-Ashbury in the summer of love? No, the throbbing pulsating sewer of sin was Greeley, Colorado, in 1949. As it happens, Greeley, Colorado, in 1949 was a dry town. The dance was a church social. And the feverish music was “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” as introduced by Esther Williams in “Neptune’s Daughter.” Revolted by the experience, Sayyid Qutb decided that America (and modernity in general) was an abomination, returned to Egypt, became the leading intellectual muscle in the Muslim Brotherhood, and set off a chain that led from Qutb to Zawahiri to bin Laden to the Hindu Kush to the Balkans to 9/11 to the brief Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt to the Islamic State marching across Syria and Iraq. Indeed, Qutb’s view of the West is the merest extension of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” — America as the ultimate seducer, the Great Satan.

I’m a reasonable chap, and I’d be willing to meet the Muslim Brotherhood chaps halfway on a lot of the peripheral stuff like beheadings, stonings, clitoridectomies and whatnot. But you’ll have to pry “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from my cold dead hands and my dancing naked legs. A world without “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” would be very cold indeed.

I know it’s taken me a while to get there, but I wanted to set the stage for Robert Tracinski’s new article at the Federalist, in which Tracinski asks The question of the 21st century West, in both America and Europe: “Why Does the Left Kowtow to Islam?”

You might suspect that the question answers itself. They kowtow to Islam precisely because it is a real threat, a macroaggression that trumps all of the microaggressions. So you could say that it is simple cowardice. They protest against people they know are extremely unlikely to harm them, and they shut up about the fanatics who might actually follow through on their threats.

But I don’t think that’s the fundamental cause. After all, most lefties are not being called upon to take any personal risk, because somebody else has already stuck his neck out. Drawing or publishing a cartoon of Mohammed might get you put on an al-Qaeda hit list. Simply saying that you support the cartoonist’s defiance of that threat won’t get you on anybody’s list.

In fact, a running theme of the left’s arguments, repeated with a great deal of apparent sincerity, is the notion that it is irrational to fear Islam, that describing the religion as violent and dangerous is “Islamophobia.” They seem to have largely talked themselves into believing that they have nothing personally to fear from Islam. Jihadists may throw gays off of buildings in Syria, but it can’t happen here.

This is nonsense, of course, but it is revealing of the mindset. They actually talk themselves into believing that “censorship of LGBT artists” is an equal or even greater threat, far more urgent than anything having to do with Islam. For the left, the main source of evil in the world always comes from within America and from within the West, never outside of it.

Read the whole thing, which traces the weird twists of the leftwing history from its original “Progressive” era at the dawn of the 2oth century to today. And to bring this post full circle, note that as Glenn Reynolds wrote in response to photos of Iranian and Afghani women pre-Ayatollah and pre-Taliban strutting their stuff in mini-skirts, high-heels and uncovered Liza Minnelli-inspired hairdos, “In the 1950s Western culture was confident, and thus widely imitated. Our cultural leaders soon fixed that.”

Sayyid Qutb, Osama bin Laden, and the Ayatollah Khomeini couldn’t have “fundamentally transformed” the Middle East without them.

Update (5/20/15): “Confirmed: Bin Laden was into conspiracy theories, including 9/11 conspiracy theories,” Allahpundit writes today at Hot Air:

That’s the choicest morsel from this morning’s kinda interesting but not terribly newsworthy document dump by the feds of what they found in Casa Osama. The SEALs reportedly took more than one million documents from the compound in 2011, including evidence of Al Qaeda’s relationships with Iran and Pakistan, but all the White House is comfortable with Americans knowing is the fact that Bin Laden read Noam Chomsky. Which we already knew, as if we couldn’t have guessed. (Chomsky returned the compliment after Bin Laden was killed, calling the operation a violation of international law and absolving Bin Laden of any role in 9/11.)

And as the Washington Post noted on October 1st 2010, “Osama bin Laden embraces his inner Al Gore” as well:

The al-Qaeda chief’s recorded messages are ordinarily calls to arms against the West, warning of apocalyptic consequences for enemies of his puritanical strain of Islam. But the latest message, released Friday, is instead devoted to the consequences of climate change.

But of course. He certainly worked hard to reduce lower Manhattan’s carbon footprint.

“Remember the protests (and riots) in Ferguson last summer? It looks like at least some of the protestors were told they would be paid to show up and now they’re upset the checks haven’t arrived yet,” Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall. “Weaselzippers has the full story and the screen shots showing “protestors” using the Twitter hashtag #cutthecheck in response to non-payment. Based on tweets, Organize Missouri is responsible for issuing payments:”

On May 14, protesters, upset with not being paid their promised checks for protesting, protested outside MORE, Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment, an ACORN organization which had received funding through George Soros to fund the protests.

To understand how we got here, it’s worth flashing back a few decades. In 1970, Tom Wolfe’s publishers packaged his classic lengthy New York magazine “Radical Chic” article, on Leonard Bernstein allowing the Black Panthers to fundraise in his opulent Park Ave. duplex, as a double-feature with his lesser-known article “Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers,” which captured seething leftist protests on the other end of the wealth spectrum in San Francisco. While it lacks the star power of “Radical Chic,” “Mau-Mauing” offers several key insights into what made the Great Society years and their aftermath hell for millions of Americans, and possibly the first appearance in print of the phrase “community organizing,” our current president’s erstwhile former occupation:

It was a truly adventurous and experimental approach [Johnson-era bureaucrats] had. Instead of handing out alms, which never seemed to change anything, they would encourage the people in the ghettos to organize. They would help them become powerful enough to force the Establishment to give them what they needed. From the beginning the poverty program was aimed at helping ghetto people rise up against their oppressors. It was a scene in which the federal government came into the ghetto and said, “Here is some money and some field advisors. Now you organize your own pressure groups.” It was no accident that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale drew up the ten-point program of the Black Panther Party one night in the offices of the North Oakland Poverty Center.

To sell the poverty program, its backers had to give it the protective coloration of “jobs” and “education,” the Job Corps and Operation Head Start, things like that, things the country as a whole could accept. “Jobs” and “education” were things everybody could agree on. They were part of the free-enterprise ethic. They weren’t uncomfortable subjects like racism and the class structure—and giving the poor the money and the tools to fight City Hall. But from the first that was what the lion’s share of the poverty budget went into. It went into “community organizing,” which was the bureaucratic term for “power to the people,” the term for finding the real leaders of the ghetto and helping them organize the poor.

And how could they find out the identity of these leaders of the people? Simple. In their righteous wrath they would rise up and confront you. It was a beautiful piece of circular reasoning. The real leaders of the ghetto will rise up and confront you … Therefore, when somebody rises up in the ghetto and confronts you, then you know he’s a leader of the people. So the poverty program not only encouraged mau-mauing it, it practically demanded it. Subconsciously, for administrators in the poverty establishment, public and private, confrontations became a ritual. That was the way the system worked. By 1968 it was standard operating procedure. To get a job in the post office, you filled out forms and took the civil-service exam. To get into the poverty scene, you did some mau-mauing. If you could make the flak catchers lose control of the muscles around their mouths, if you could bring fear into their faces, your application was approved.

And by 2014, Ferguson as a media event existed as pure kabuki for the network mini-cameras. (Never mind the innocent businesses looted and burned — the networks sure didn’t.) In August, NBC allowed Al Sharpton to jet out there to organize the protestors, which his network colleague Andrea Mitchell Orwellianly referred to as Sharpton being “on a peace mission.” The protestors which Sharpton had ginned up threw rocks as part of their “peace mission,” narrowly missing his network colleague Chris Hayes, who was on scene. Hayes took it all “unexpectedly” well — as  Larry O’Connor wrote at the Washington Free Beacon, “MSNBC Wouldn’t Be This Calm If Tea Party Protesters Threw Rocks at Their Hosts.” Camera crews working for MSNBC “endangered lives by shining its lights, spotlighting police officers in the crowd of Monday night’s violent racial protests,” the Daily Caller reported back then. CNN trotted out Spike Lee, last seen in 2012 attempting to publish the home address of George Zimmerman’s parents, who blurted on the air to Anderson Cooper, ”I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”

Lee got his wish, and then some, as we’ll explore right after the page break.

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“Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who has carried a mattress around campus as part of an art project for the past year, has graduated. And she carried that mattress across the stage during the ceremony — to much applause,” Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner. That stunt could end up being a very costly one for Columbia:

Paul Nungesser, the man she accused of raping her, and who was cleared by a campus hearing and the police, was forced to watch, having walked across the stage just a few minutes earlier.

Nungesser is now suing Columbia for facilitating a harassment campaign against him. He alleges in his lawsuit that by allowing and even praising Sulkowicz’s mattress project, the school was complicit in defaming him.

On Monday, Columbia circulated an email banning students from bringing large objects to graduation. It appeared at the time that Sulkowicz was being disallowed from carrying her mattress across the stage. But evidently, that was not the case.

Allowing Sulkowicz to carry her mattress may have helped Nungesser’s case in court, as the school made clear that large objects were banned but then did nothing to stop Sulkowicz.

Nungesser’s lawyer, Kimberly Lau, told the Washington Examiner that Columbia’s acceptance of Sulkowicz’s graduation stunt was “absurd” and would help her client’s case.

“This goes beyond mere facilitation; they have now granted a special exception,” Lau said.

Meanwhile, Samantha Power, the ambassador to the United Nations for America’s self-proclaimed “blank screen” of a president praised Sulkowicz’s wacky primitivism in her Sunday commencement address to Bernard College, Paul Mirengoff writes at Power Line, quoting a Daily Caller report that “Power also suggested that Afghanistan is superior to the United States in at least one way in terms of women’s rights because women currently hold 28 percent of the seats in Afghanistan’s parliament.” * As Mirengoff writes:

For context, the Daily Caller’s Owens reminds us that the Barnard students whom Power addressed have just received an education that costs $250,000. This does not include four years of off-campus expenses in New York City or the expenses incurred during jaunts in exciting study-abroad locales such as France and Spain.

In war-torn Afghanistan, gross national income per capita is approximately $1,960, according to Owens.

But maybe college campuses are war zones for females students. Power suggested as much when she invoked the case of Emma Sulkowicz, a student across the street at Columbia University who carried a mattress around campus on her back all year to protest the school’s handling of her rape allegation.

As I discussed yesterday, however, Sulkowicz’s allegation is almost certainly false. A campus tribunal found no merit in it.

Moreover, the cleared male student has produced numerous text messages and social media conversations from before and after the night when Sulkowicz claims he raped her. The messages undermine her claim by showing that Sulkowicz made comments about having anal sex with the male student before the night when she says he anally raped her. She also messaged him several times after that night suggesting that they should meet up.

Is Power aware that Sulkowicz’s rape allegation has been discredited? One hopes not.

Mirengoff describes Power as “the poster child for the smear America, moral equivalence brand of leftism,” but there are plenty of others who vie for that award in Mr. Obama’s far left, radical chic-obsessed administration.

* Shades of HSBC’s ad campaign praising Iran’s pro-feminist film industry!

al_sharpton_daughter_hiking_5-19-15-1

Like Al Sharpton himself, his daughter Dominique has a plan to stick to the man — and like Al himself, she’s her own worst enemy in implementing it:

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s island-hopping, mountain-hiking daughter — who is suing the city for $5 million after purportedly injuring her ankle on a Soho sidewalk — posted more damning Instagram pics Monday of her frolicking in Indonesia as legal experts said her social-media activity could cost her big bucks.

“#Balidays on the Gilis!!!’’ Dominique Sharpton, 28, wrote with two snapshots of herself at what looked like a posh Gili Island retreat.

The new entries came the same day The Post revealed others in which the supposedly hobbled Dominique boasted of climbing a mountain there.

Since allegedly spraining her ankle in October, she has also been pictured in high heels at a hippie party and climbing the dicey terrain of Red Rock Canyon in Nevada.

The photos kill even the slightest chance Dominique had of collecting big bucks from the city, legal experts said, even as the de Blasio administration has been shelling out more money than ever to settle lawsuits.

The New York Post quotes a legal expert who predicts that as a result of her photos undermining her case, Sharpton’s daughter would collect only $5,000 to $7,500. “That would leave her with a net gain of about zero after paying off expert witnesses and her lawyer, he said.”

No word yet on when NBC will be forcing her father to pay his tax bills; “Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses,” the Gray Lady reported last year in a rare moment of journalism from the former newspaper.

Like millions of other voters, I rolled my eyes at the news last night the State Department would be releasing Hillary’s emails, albeit likely in heavily redacted form, in January of 2016, just in time to make maximum trouble for Hillary’s election bid.

“So, why *did* John Kerry pick January 2016 to roll out the Clinton emails?” Interesting theory by Moe Lane:

Remember 2004?  Remember how, just after the end of the Democratic national convention, suddenly Bill Clinton went to the hospital? I remember it quite well: it pretty much had the effect of sucking out all the media oxygen that would have normally followed a political convention. And while it did not cost the Democrats the election, per se, the utter lack of Bill Clinton on the post-convention campaign trail was certainly a factor in George W. Bush’s reelection, and said re-election meant of course that Hillary Clinton would effectively be able to run for President in 2008, and not have to wait for 2012*. And, hey! The Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004 was… John Kerry!

[pause]

What goes around, comes around.

Moe Lane

PS: I am not entirely wedded to this theory, to put it mildly. But I do think that it should be noted that there’s no particular reason for John Kerry to like Hillary Clinton. Or vice versa.

By the way, will any reporter ask Kerry his take on Clinton fixer Sid Blumenthal’s role in Libya, before Benghazi broke? Nahh, didn’t think so. As the aforementioned John Nolte likes to say, Democrats sure got it good.

48 Reasons to Distrust & Despise the Media

May 19th, 2015 - 12:15 pm

“I’m With the Media, Screw You,” the late Newsweek bureau chief Ginny Carroll publicly admitted on C-Span to wearing at the 1992 GOP convention, neatly summing up her industry’s attitude to conservatives, their audience, and the truth. At Big Journalism today, John Nolte has a must-read “Scandal Rap Sheet: 48 Reasons to Distrust & Despise the Media,”  a chronological look back at how the MSM as lied about some of the biggest events of the last two decades.

From NBC News rigging a pick-up truck in 1992 to explode on impact with another vehicle and Newsweek spiking the Lewinsky scandal in 1998, to the L.A. Times assisting Barack Obama by  burying the Rashid Khalidi tape a decade later, and George Stephanopoulos burying his contributions to his former employer’s slush fund earlier this month.

Plus 44 other examples of media malfeasance, from some of the biggest names in news, many of whom still hold themselves out as being “objective,” a reactionary vestigial boast held over from the FDR-era, during the the days where there were only three national radio networks.

These days, as Elizabeth Price Foley wrote this morning at Instapundit, “Mainstream media has died.  RIP.  All that’s left now is a bunch of progressive/liberal zombies out for ideological flesh. Most people know better than to listen to them anymore.”

Well, except for those millions of everyday hard working voters who get their only news from TV at 6:00 or 11:00 PM.

Which is why the lies go on:

(And yes, the far left Salon did eventually add an “alleged” to its headline, but only after being called out.)

The 1.6 Percent Versus the World

May 18th, 2015 - 5:14 pm

“No one knows the exact figure, but a decent estimate tells us that there are about 900,000 police officers in the United States,” Richard Epstein wrote earlier this month at the Hoover Institute, after the radical left’s latest attempt to wage war against them, in Baltimore.

In a post titled “Police and Transgenderism” on his personal blog, Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard noted what else that number allegedly corresponds to:

The reason [Epstein's quote] jumped out at me is that in writing about the transgender debacle at Smith College I took a brief detour to look at the estimates activists give us for transgender numbers in the United States. The line they push is 0.3 percent of the population. That may seem small, but keep in mind that gay-rights activists spent a generation insisting that 10 percent of the population is gay, but the real number turns out to be 1.6 percent.

So in order for us to believe that 0.3 percent of America is transgender we’d have to believe that there’s one transgendered American for every five gay Americans. Or, to put it in another context, we’d have to believe that there are as many transgendered Americans as there are police officers.

About a decade ago at NRO, Jonah Goldberg explored the radical contrast between today’s “Progressives” and how their New Deal/postwar equivalents defined the words “reasonable man” when it came to shaping society:

Today that corrosion takes a predictable form: the overthrow of the reasonable man. Now, I’m not talking about liability or torts or any of that stuff, because I don’t know much about it. I’m talking about the larger societal standards that come with the erosion of authority and how they creep into our law and our culture. The reasonable man was a composite, a statistical average of the aggregate human decency necessary to sustain a society. The reasonable man’s behavior was the group average of moral conduct in a very moral country. Today, all of our arguments are about how much the society must bend to the behaviors and attitudes of the man of the fringe, the outlier, the arrow that sails farthest from the bulls-eye. Schools are paralyzed by the question of what to do about the atheist, the homosexual, the handicapped, while the average kids–i.e., most of them–are given short shrift. Abortion has stalemated the political system for a generation because the debate must be over what to do in the extreme circumstances; the famously horrible trinity of abortion legalizers everywhere: rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Roughly 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas in one way or another, but every year we must haggle about what to do for the thin-skinned atheist who withers from the glare of a nativity scene.

* * * * * * *
Now none of this should be interpreted as a stirring defense of conformity or a denunciation of anyone who might be a square peg in my ideal society of round holes. What a decent, prosperous, historically Christian Anglo-Saxon liberal society should do to accommodate gays, atheists, Jews, Muslims, foreigners, the handicapped, et al. are entirely appropriate questions to spend time and resources on. After all, there is no American who perfectly incarnates the external standard of the average American. We are all scattered plot points on the cluster graph. Groups are made richer by their diversity.

But, as liberals are wont to do, they are once again smashing their own accomplishments. The story of liberalism, after all, is the story of intellectuals building castles and then destroying them a generation later because they believe something new–and therefore more exciting and “better”–can be made with the rubble. Today’s heirs to the Pragmatists want nothing to do with “reasonable men” and “community norms.” For Holmes the norm and the ideal were roughly synonymous. For today’s liberal they are antipodes. The deviant are the role models, the outliers the heroes. And we never could have replaced the old morality with this new stuff if we hadn’t thought we could do without fatty, flabby morality in the first place.

But hey, how else can the left stay in power, except by constantly moving the goalposts, causing the Stupid Party to constantly refight battles on their terms?

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

“Today, I can announce that our review is complete, and that the United States will pursue a new strategy to end the war in Iraq through a transition to full Iraqi responsibility.

This strategy is grounded in a clear and achievable goal shared by the Iraqi people and the American people: an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant.

[W]e will work to promote an Iraqi government that is just, representative, and accountable, and that provides neither support nor safe haven to terrorists.”

“Obama in 2011: ‘We’re Leaving Behind A Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq,’” IJ Review, June 18, 2014

The fall of the critically important Iraqi city Ramadi to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a “terribly significant” event that shows the need for more U.S. forces on the ground, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday.

“I think it’s, unfortunately, terribly significant, capital of Anbar Province, the deaths of hundreds, the displacement of thousands and thousands,” he said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Not the 82nd Airborne, but we’ll have to have more people on the ground and this is really serious, the fall of Ramadi,” he said. …

McCain said fault lay with former Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki, for firing competent military leaders. But he also blamed President Obama’s administration for withdrawing all U.S. forces in Iraq in 2011.

“I hate to be repetitious, but the fact is that thanks to the surge, we had it under control and this is another consequence of the failure of this administration and this president to leave a residual force behind,” he said.

“Total collapse: ‘Elite’ Iraqi units routed in Ramadi counteroffensive,” Hot Air, today.

Update: “Time for Military to Admit ISIS is Winning.”

“In my experience, people argue identity when they don’t want to argue policy. And the reason they don’t want to argue policy, usually, is that they’re wrong,” Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today:

But in arguing that everyone who disagrees with them is a racist, or a sexist, or a tool of Big Money, or whatever, the Democrats run the risk of self-destruction. This is basically what happened to the the Labour Party in Britain: A reliance on easy tropes that please the base but alienate other voters.

As Daniel Hannan notes: “When leftists attack the Tories, they’re not just having a go at 300 MPs, or 100,000 party members: They’re scorning everyone who has contemplated supporting the party. … How do you think this sort of thing goes down, not only with anyone who has ever voted Conservative, but with moderate people who, though they haven’t voted Tory themselves, have friends and family who have? When you adopt a bullying tone, you find that 1) voters don’t like it; 2) you solidify the other side’s core support; and 3) some people hide their voting intentions.”

Likewise, to many prominent Democrats and supporters have spent the past six years calling everyone who doesn’t agree with Obama a racist. Now some of the same folks are gearing up to call everyone who doesn’t support Clinton (or, perhaps, Warren, the backup-Hillary) a sexist. For instance, one group of Hillary supporters makes the preposterous claim that saying she is “out of touch” or ‘insincere” reflects a sexist worldview. This technique worked pretty well so far for Obama’s presidency, but it now seems to be wearing thin, even within the Democratic Party.

The 2016 election is still more than a year a way. It’s not too late for the Democrats to start arguing policy. But if they want to stick with shouting about identity, well, the Republicans may be happy to let them.

Have at it with gusto, boys and girls on left — but for the rest of us, remember that the American left argued identity politics amongst themselves in 2007 and 2008 as well — recall Obama and his allies declaring Hillary’s primary voters — their fellow Democrats –as racist bigoted white males and even smearing Bill and Hillary themselves as racists. Many of the same leftists who wrote the most vicious attacks against Hillary in 2008 are wildly supporting her today in classic Oceania versus Eastasia versus Eurasia fashion. In other words, pass the popcorn — but wait until mid-November of 2016 before assessing just how damaging the left’s internecine struggle has been to its presidential election chances.

Related: “If you replace ‘men’ with ‘Jews,’ a huge percentage of Tumblr becomes Nazi propaganda.”

Unexpectedly.

“Writing in the New York Times this weekend, economist, author, and blogger Tyler Cowen says that we might need to get used to the idea that the economy will continue to underperform our expectations,” Yahoo reports, as spotted by Ace of Spades:

Rush Limbaugh was just talking about this article, which had been published in the New York Times. His take was that as it had been excerpted at Yahoo News, Low Information Voters and Millennials (but I repeat myself) would actually see it when they came to Yahoo to read about “Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez and her butt.”

The economy might stink for a while.Writing in the New York Times this weekend, economist, author, and blogger Tyler Cowen says that we might need to get used to the idea that the economy will continue to underperform our expectations.

Cowen says that right now there are two core outlooks on the economy, both of which are inherently optimistic.

One says that things like low wage growth and low interest rates are phases that will pass, and the other is that we merely didn’t appreciate how long it would take to recover from the financial crisis.

But is it a foregone conclusion that things will just get back to “normal”?

In February of 2009, back when I was still doing my Silicon Graffiti videos, I produced a clip titled “Rendezvous with Scarcity,” in which I concluded, “Ronald Reagan began his political career as an FDR supporter. Beginning in the 1960s, he took to using FDR’s iconic ‘Rendezvous with Destiny’ phrase in many of his most important speeches. But these days, it’s looking like the next few years—maybe even a big chunk of the next decade—could very well be a rendezvous with scarcity.”

A couple of months prior, Time magazine described Obama as the next FDR. Curiously, they meant it as a compliment.

Was the Iraq War a Mistake?

May 18th, 2015 - 11:36 am

“It’s become the gotcha question for Republicans seeking to win their party’s nomination for the 2016 presidential campaign: Knowing what we know now, would you have ordered U.S. forces into Iraq?,” Michael Rubin writes at Commentary:

Would the Islamic State have existed if the United States had not gone to war? Saddam Hussein turned toward religion and privileged radical clerics in the wake of his defeat in Kuwait. That’s the time when he put “Allahu Akbar” on the Iraqi flag and commissioned a Koran made from his blood. According to the State Department Human Rights reports, Fedayeen Saddam was rampaging through Baghdad beheading women it accused of loose morals in the years before the U.S. invasion. And then, of course, there was the case of Laurence Foley, a U.S. diplomat assassinated in Amman in 2002 on the orders of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man responsible for Al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of the Islamic State. Foley’s assassination shows the group to have been active before the war.

It is embarrassing that Governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, and others are so ill prepared for the Iraq War question, but it is also embarrassing that the media also conflates so many decisions about the Iraq war into one. First, there was the decision about whether to use military force to oust Saddam. (My take: the right call). Second, there was the decision about whether to replace Saddam with a more democratic structure or his sons or a strongman general (My take: Bush made the right call). Third, was the decision about whether to spend tens of billions seeking to reconstruct and develop Iraq (My take: huge mistake). The world is better without Saddam. Most of the Iraqi deaths following the invasion were caused not by the United States but by the terrorists and Iranian-backed militias whom American forces were fighting. George Bush understood that the proper course of action, as the “Iraq war mistake” question implies, was not to give those terrorist free reign over Iraq. It is sad that so many Democrats and now Republicans give in to what amounts to a journalistic auto-da-fé in which candidates accept a twisted and inaccurate narrative imposed by journalists guided more by politics than fact.

Why don’t we have candidates smart enough to respond to the question, “Was the Iraq War a mistake?”, with something a reply along the lines of, “Certainly, the current war is a mistake; as the New Yorker noted last year, Barack Obama was solely responsible for American troops leaving Iraq in 2011, which created the vacuum that ISIS quickly filled.” And if pressed, respond, “Wait, you’re asking if a war we won is a mistake? A war that Hillary approved? a victory that Joe Biden celebrated?”

Or as Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, after watching “Chris Wallace [spend] three minutes trying to get Rubio to say whether the Iraq war was a mistake,” Rubio “had a better answer available if he wanted it:”

Sure, he could have said, the war was a mistake in hindsight because we naively assumed Bush’s Democratic successor would finish what he’d started with nation-building in Iraq. If Obama had insisted on a residual force of U.S. troops, if he’d been quicker to pull the trapdoor on the ruinous Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq might be relatively stable and ISIS-free today. As it is, the country’s falling apart. In hindsight, it was a mistake for Republicans to launch a war whose successful conclusion might eventually be entrusted to Barack Obama. How come he didn’t give that answer?

Why, oh why, can’t have we candidates who can play the media soundbite game?

Update: Nolte knows how to play the game:

Kurt Schlichter of Townhall runs down the myriad scandals and what they tell us about the “objective” pose of the legacy media:

So, do we really need to rehash the litany of the mainstream media’s recent follies, foibles and fiascos? Oh, hell yes.

We have NBC News paying talentless Parental Lotto champ Chelsea Clinton $600,000 a year to interview ferns. She does deserve some credit, though – she yet to lie about her courage under fire like her fellow NBC newstool Brian Williams. And, for that matter, like her mother.

We have ABC News hiring the Clintons’ tiny human dustpan George Stephanopoulos not as a commentator but as a “newsman,” and thereby lying twice in one word. Then ABC decided he should host the GOP debates, which he did carrying a cheat sheet full of Democrat talking points about such burning issues as the phantom campaign to ban birth control. And then ABC decided that the perfect guy to interview the painstakingly thorough gentleman whose book chronicles Hillary’s vast corruption was the same guy who is not only Hillary n’ Bill’s lil’ minion but who handed over $75K to their slush fund.

And when caught, the MSM doesn’t even bother to try to tell convincing lies anymore: “Oh, yeah, it sorta happened that I gave her money but I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it and I guess I … oh well, whatev. Uh, glass ceiling.”

Subjects of MSM utter disinterest include foreign potentates handing millions of dollars to the Secretary of State.

Subjects of MSM curiosity include what Scott Walker thinks of Adam and Eve.

Chatty Candy Crowley? Human Latino-meter Mark Halperin? What about that lying wench from Rolling Stone? How are we to ever again believe a positive review of a Mumford & Sons album?

No, members of the mainstream media are presumptively hacks, and the pain and misery they endure as their organizations convulse and die should inspire laughter and joy. Sure, there are honest reporters out there, but that’s only a fluke of statistics. There have to be some, if only because of the random vagaries of chance. They can get real jobs with the new media. But in general, MSM members’ pain is our gain.

Remember, they hate us. Hate us. They don’t merely not care about us. They don’t simply misunderstand us. They hate what we think. They hate how we live. They hate what we believe. They hate us.

Fortunately, as Schlichter’s examples illustrate, enough masks have dropped in recent months that nobody believes the objectivity lie any more. Now if only the Stupid Party could get smart articulate politicians who can play political jiujitsu with the MSM’s bias.

“It has been a rough weekend for ABC News’s embattled chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, and an even worse Sunday,” Lloyd Grove writes at the Daily Beast:

If ABC’s chief anchor thought two apologies over his undeclared Clinton Foundation donations would be enough to pacify his critics, he was wrong.

It has been a rough weekend for ABC News’s embattled chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, and an even worse Sunday.

On CNN’s Reliable Sources media criticism program, Stephanopoulos’s former ABC News colleague, Carole Simpson, unloaded on the former top aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton that she said she likes and respects.

“There is a coziness that George cannot escape,” said Simpson, who toiled for two decades at ABC News, notably as the weekend anchor of World News Tonight from 1988 to 2003. “While he did try to separate himself from his political background to become a journalist, he really isn’t a journalist.”

Thus Simpson attempted to obliterate Stephanopoulos’s claims of impartiality as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up, featuring Hillary Clinton’s status as the prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

Like Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter and another former ABC News colleague, Jeff Greenfield, Simpson said she was “dumbfounded” by Thursday’s revelation that Stephanopoulos failed to disclose $75,000 in recent donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation—this, as he conducted a confrontational April 26 interview with Clinton Foundation critic Peter Schweizer.

“I wanted to just take him by the neck and say, ‘George, what were you thinking?’ Clearly, he was not thinking. I thought it was outrageous,” Simpson said. “And I am sorry that again the public trust in the media is being challenged and frayed because of the actions of some of the top people in the business.”

Simpson added that despite Stephanopoulos’s alleged lack of journalistic bona fides, “ABC has made him the face of ABC News, the chief anchor, and I think they’re really caught in a quandary here. While ABC says this was ‘an honest mistake,’ they don’t feel that way. Secretly, they are hopping mad, I am sure.”

How far to the left is Carole Simpson? This far. And if she (and Grove at the left-leaning Daily Beast) can see Stephanopoulos’ enormous conflict of interest, perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope that even the brass at ABC can, particularly if the issue doesn’t go away. (Keep up the pressure, conservative Blogosphere.)

Mad Men Blessedly Comes to a Conclusion

May 17th, 2015 - 9:00 pm

On Sunday, I watched an overlong, over-budget, exceedingly pretentious production about insensitive, inarticulate men in dark suits, fedoras and skinny ties whose upbringing left them unable to cope with the fast-changing urban milieu in which they toiled for their living.

But enough about the Blues Brothers movie, which I saw at the local Cinemark theater as their weekly revival showing. I think this was the first time I saw it on the big screen, after seeing it on TV a zillion times.

At two and a half hours long, The Blues Brothers was a huge, over-weighted Hindenburg of a film, but filled with terrific music numbers, a killer band, and in retrospect was the last great movie John Belushi made before substance abuse on a massive scale did him in.

As for Mad Men, having watched it religiously from its very first episode, it has been the most frustrating TV series I’ve ever consumed. Loved the concept, loved the setting, loved the production design, loved the costumes, and loved the cast, but the glacial pacing of the series and the missed opportunities have made it so painful to watch. With traditional TV fare, the writing and the series were inseparable. But I would have loved to have seen a series in which this cast and this setting were better employed.

Mad Men could have been the perfect show to comment on what drove the fast-paced radical change of the 1960s, just as Oliver Stone’s Wall Street explored the financial industry of the 1980s, but instead, producer / creator /primary writer Matthew Weiner was far more interested in the interpersonal relationship of his characters rather than social commentary. Which seems odd, since an ad agency by its nature would have to know what’s driving the changes in the media overculture in order to exploit the current trends with effective advertising for its customers.

But on Mad Men, particularly once the show left the comparatively cool and exotic early JFK-era ‘60s for the Beatles-era ‘60s that Boomers have made the history of the decade, what drove that era was virtually ignored.

Take the Beatles themselves. When they touched down in New York in early 1964, this Newsweek description summed up the conventional American wisdom of the times:

Visually they are a nightmare: tight, dandified, Edwardian-Beatnik suits and great pudding bowls of hair. Musically they are a near-disaster: guitars and drums slamming out a merciless beat that does away with secondary rhythms, harmony, and melody. Their lyrics (punctuated by nutty shouts of “yeah, yeah, yeah!”) are a catastrophe, a preposterous farrago of Valentine-card romantic sentiments.

Inside the cocoon they quickly built to protect them from their crazed fans, the Beatles were four remarkably talented young musicians with an equally gifted record producer. They didn’t simply magically parachute in one day to then-newly-renamed JFK airport; as Kathy Shaidle recently noted, Capitol records spent “$50,000 in New York City alone to promote their first American visit — ten times the amount usually budgeted for new bands.” That’s the equivalent of $375,000 in today’s money, “which buys a lot of Beatle wigs and bobble heads.”

How significantly did Capitol get behind the Beatles? Mark Steyn tells the story of Nat “King” Cole, who helped put Capitol on the map as an American superstar in the 1950s, calling up his record label in 1964 and recoiling in disgust when the receptionist answered the phone, “Capitol Records, home of the Beatles.”

That would be a great advertising story, but instead, the Beatles and Stones simply magically begin to appear in the Mad Men universe once Kennedy is shot.

(And Kennedy’s Cold War assassination was the signature moment of the 1960s, which the series dealt with in surprisingly rote fashion with one of their most conventional episodes, instead of exploring the ripples of change and cognitive dissonance amongst America’s left his death at the hands of a Marxist true believer set in motion.)

Another advertising story never told occurs in one of the series’ last episodes, set in 1970, which revolves around Betty Draper learning that a neighbor’s son, who had a serious crush (and a seriously creepy one) on Betty in the show’s first season, is now of college age and about to serve in Vietnam.  The episode ends with Betty’s youngest son running through the kitchen playing with a plastic toy machine gun, which she grabs and throws into the garbage bin in anger and disgust. As a metaphor, that shot reflects the early political correctness that the toy industry was wrestling with at time — knuckling to leftwing activists, Mattel stopped producing its toy version of the Army’s M-16 rifle. And while Hasbro’s GI Joe action figure got to keep his guns, the toy manufacturer recast him and his sidekicks from patriotic pro-American fighting men, to paramilitary adventurers and a rescue force largely absent from the battlefield, lest young children thought that helping President Nixon fight communism in Southeast Asia was a good thing.

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Stephanopoulos Has Got to Go

May 17th, 2015 - 6:26 pm

ABC News isn’t an understaffed, under-capitalized small town newspaper, “ABC News can hire whomever it wants,” Kevin D. Williamson writes at NRO:

But Washington, too, is a small town, with a substantial overlap between journalism and politics. And hiring George Stephanopoulos wasn’t a terrible idea: He’s smart, he’s articulate, he knows everybody. He was a Clinton functionary with deep ties and longstanding loyalty to all things Clinton. Is that a problem? Sure, of course, but it’s a problem that can be addressed in no small part with simple disclosure.

Which is to say, the one thing that ABC News and Stephanopoulos needed to do is the one thing that they failed to do.

That $50,000 donation that has since grown to $75,000 may be chump change for Stephanopoulos — it certainly is for the Clintons — but if it were 20 bucks, you’d still want to disclose it if you were, to consider a random, implausible, and crazy hypothetical, overseeing highly critical coverage of a book alleging wrongdoing by the Clintons through the instrument of their family foundation.

Stephanopoulos has offered a half-hearted apology: “I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict.” But “extra mile” assumes a previous mile, and he did not really hike an inch to disclose this conflict — not an “appearance of a conflict,” but an actual conflict. The Clintons’ relationship with the eponymous nonprofit organization is a legitimate public issue, and Stephanopoulos has significant relationships with both family and foundation.

It is impossible to see how Stephanopoulos could do his job with any integrity in an environment in which the Clintons and their foundation will be central to the political news for the foreseeable future. Certainly not after concealing his relationship with the foundation. ABC News owes it to itself to live up to at least the standards of a small-town weekly newspaper. It owes them a lot more than that, in fact, but it cannot deliver the goods with Stephanopoulos at the desk.

But that assumes that ABC News is actually still in the news business. Arguably, in the 1960s and ’70s, when they owned a third of the real estate on national commercial television, and there was no Internet to turn for breaking news, they still were, but does anyone believe that ABC News is anything but activists for the Democrat party today? Nobody but the lowest of low information voters buys their pose as  objective dispassionate dispensers of information in 2015, and George Stephanopoulos, former and current Clinton fixer is the logical endgame of DNC-MSM revolving door journalism. Or as Mark Steyn told Hugh Hewitt this past Thursday:

You’re up front about who you support, and who you advise your listeners to donate to. George Stephanopoulos purports to be something closer to the media equivalent of a Supreme Court justice, that he is dispassionate and simply distributes media justice fairly. And that’s the difference… One of the signs of decay in free societies and civilized societies is that you have the outward signs of apparent normalcy, but in fact, their meaning has been utterly hollowed out. So when you talk about the Schweizer interview, if you were just a casual… low information voter, as someone says, and you switch on ABC and you happen to see this interviewer interviewing a fellow who’s written a book about the Clintons, you assume it’s an honest interview. And this is not an honest interview any more than that was an honest question four years ago in New Hampshire. And that’s the issue. You’ve got the forms of normalcy, but underneath, all has been perverted.

The avuncular star reporter or TV newsreader who spends his entire career claiming he’s utterly objective, and then the day he retires from his beat or puts down his microphone and begins writing op-eds and giving speeches that sound like they’re straight out of Pravda is one of the oldest cliches of American journalism — see also Walter Cronkite, Dan RatherHelen Thomas, Katie Couric, and countless others. At a still boyish-looking 54, Stephanopoulos simply jumped the gun on that phase of his career; but unlike most newsmen, at least given his background, the rest of us all knew it was a charade anyhow.

Blog Comment of the Day

May 16th, 2015 - 7:18 pm

Responding to a Time article titled “Terrorists’ most powerful recruiting tool: Boredom,” which significantly downplays the role of The Religion that Must Not Be Named, a commenter at Hot Air writes:

1. Most twentysomethings in the region are like teenagers in the West; they think they’re immortal, they’re easily bored, and they have chips on their shoulders. They are also poorly educated- even the ones with university degrees, which are worth about as much as one from an Ivy League school today.

2. They are nurtured in a culture which rejects modernity, considers blood feuds a duty, is somewhat more superstitious than the average New Age crystal-gazer, and has an almost infinite set of rules imposed by society, the infraction of the least of which generally results in mutilation or death.

3. They are constantly told that all the ills they see around them are caused, not by their culture, which is Perfect, but by other cultures, which are Evil.

4. Their culture also teaches that any normal sexual urge toward a woman is unclean, and since the woman is at fault, she must be punished for “tempting” the Holy Male.

5. On top of all this psychosis, they learn that by becoming jihadi “holy warriors”, they can make the entire world Perfect. And incidentally, instead of being stoned to death for looking at a girl the wrong way, they can do the stoning. Especially stoning women. And oh yes, that rape (of women, girls, boys, etc.) is perfectly OK as long as it is an “act of Holy War” outside the Faith, and absolutely OK inside said Faith because as “holy warriors” they are a privileged caste.

Put it all together, and becoming a “holy warrior” looks entirely reasonable. Among other things, if anything pisses you off, for any reason, you just kill somebody. Anybody. Immediate catharsis.

NB; The similarities between Islam, progressivism in general, deep-ecology progressivism in particular, and progressive-approved minority gang “philosophy” specifically, are almost too obvious to note.

And both religions maintain seemingly moderate public fronts who work very hard at hiding their radical ideology’s true agendas.

Investor’s Business Daily looks back at Stephanopoulos’ early days, and how one of the Clintons’ young thugs transitioned to a media talking head:

But he really made his reputation in Bill Clinton’s 1991 campaign. In “The War Room,” a 1993 documentary of that race, Stephanopoulos comes across as politically ruthless. At one point, he menacingly tells someone on the phone: “I guarantee if you do this, you’ll never work in Democratic politics again.” He was 30 years old.

Once in the White House, Stephanopoulos became a spinmeister par excellence, dealing with Clinton’s so-called “bimbo eruptions” and the many other scandals that surfaced — Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Nannygate, coptergate, and so on — too many to number.

When former FBI agent Gary Aldrich wrote “Unlimited Access,” an unflattering expose of the Clinton White House, Stephanopoulos attacked. He called Aldrich a “pathological liar” and, with others, pressured ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN’s “Larry King Live” and “Dateline NBC” to cancel Aldrich appearances.

Even liberal journalists came to distrust Stephanopoulos. As we noted in 1996, Clinton’s first press spokesman in 1992 was moved to another job within just months “because everyone in the White House press corps quickly learned not to believe a word he said.”

So how did Stephanopoulos the fact-challenged operative become Stephanopoulos the objective journalist?

A little tap dancing is all it took. After losing a bruising battle to become Clinton’s chief of staff, Stephanopoulos quit in 1996. The highly partisan aide “portrayed himself as nonpartisan after leaving the White House and was hired by ABC News in 1997 as a news analyst,” wrote Shirley Anne Warshaw in “The Clinton Years.”

In 1999, he completed his self-rehabilitation with a political confessional titled, “All Too Human: A Political Education.” In it, he offered mild criticisms of the Clintons, and bemoaned his own lost political innocence.

That did the trick. In 2002, he became anchor of ABC’s Sunday news program, “This Week.”

Ahh, the power of magical thinking among the corrupt: ABC likely came to trust Stephanopoulos as being “objective” in much the same way that Al Pacino’s mob boss trusted Donnie Brasco not to be a cop.

Related: “George Stephanopoulos’s Clinton Foundation Hypocrisy Is Staggering,” our own Victor Davis Hanson adds at the Corner. Read the whole thing.

…But I Doubt He’s Holding His Breath

May 16th, 2015 - 2:36 pm

“Peter Schweizer: ABC Should Redo Our Interview After Stephanopolous Admitted to Clinton Donations,” Katie Pavlich writes today at Townhall regarding the Clinton Cash author after ABC’s most prominent Democrat operative with a byline failed to disclose his $75,000 donation to the Clinton slush fund before the interview:

Now, in light of Stephanopoulos’ donation revelations, Schweizer wants ABC News to do another interview.

“What ABC could do is let’s do another interview on the Sunday morning show to talk about the contents of the book so we actually get a chance for viewers to hear what’s in the book. That’s the first thing I would ask,” Schweizer said in an interview on Hannity Thursday. “Looking at Stephanopoulos’ past, the question to me is really, going into that interview I assumed the relationship with the Clinton’s was in the past, that he had made this transition into the media and it was a different chapter in his life. These donations, the fact that he’s going to these events, it raises all kinds of questions about that and I think it’s legitimate for people to look into it. If this was any other political candidate and a reporter doing this, you can bet there would be serious consequences for it.”

Yes of course, but ABC either doesn’t realize how badly Stephanopolous is making the network look, or simply doesn’t care.

Related: But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Sister.

Spike Lee Defends ‘Chiraq’

May 16th, 2015 - 12:56 pm

Well, it’s an interesting premise for a movie, but see if you can spot some of the flaws in the reasoning here:

The title of Spike Lee’s new movie might not sit well with some, but the filmmaker was not backing down from calling his upcoming film on Chicago’s gun violence “Chiraq,” as he defended his controversial work on Thursday.

Lee plans to set his movie in Englewood, one of several violence-plagued neighborhoods that have earned the nickname “Chiraq.” Some feel that name—a blend of Chicago and war-torn Iraq—furthers negative perceptions about the city.

The label has been slapped on the city by rappers and spread through social media because of gun violence in some Chicago neighborhoods including Englewood, where Lee plans to set his movie.

* * * * * * * *

Lee said his film will hold a mirror up to reality, like the spate of violence on Wednesday, when more than a dozen people were shot, three of them fatally.

“We have to stop the madness. This is insane,” he said. “This is nothing to do about Chicago losing tourism. This is not about Chicago losing business. Let’s not put the loss of property and profit over human life.”**

He said, like early critics of his film “Do The Right Thing,” those who have criticized “Chiraq” will “look stupid and be on the wrong side of history.”

But Chicago has had draconian gun control laws for decades that prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves, and (not coincidentally) has had a monolithic block of Democrat mayors since 1931.* What would Spike do differently?

* Which is probably why critics loathe the title of his film.

** Let’s not dox innocent people, either, eh?