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“Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels shitty.”

She also brought up the difference in wages between her and “Iron Man” co-star Robert Downey Jr.

“Look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth,” she says. “But if I told you the disparity, you would probably be surprised.”

Wow, who knew that the Obama-voting Democrats who control Hollywood boardrooms were so sexist? (Of course, perhaps they’re simply taking their cue on this issue from Obama himself.)

Of course, as the proprietor of the Celebslam gossip blog snarks:

Gwyneth, contrast these two sentences:

“I saw Iron Man because of Robert Downey Jr.”

“I saw Iron Man despite Gwyenth Paltrow.”

Who should be paid more? If you want the same amount of money as Robert Downey Jr., you should have threatened to pull out of the fil–annnnnnnnd you’re replaced. See how easy that was? Robert Downey Jr. makes a shitload more than you because he puts asses in the seats, while you’re just a tiny interchangeable part. STFU.

No — let her scream as much as possible. Gwyenth’s rant is a reminder that the reason why so many Hollywood lefties have a particularly skewed view of capitalism is largely a result of the economic distortions and rapaciousness inherent in their own highly idiosyncratic profession.


Wait’ll Slate discovers his boss’s mixed record on this topic; which they’ll likely get to sometime in late January of 2017.

(As Ron Fournier tweets, “These David Brock oppo dumps just might bait @VP into the race.” By the way, will Biden surrending his @VP address in January of 2017?)

SO ANOTHER OBAMA PRONOUNCEMENT TURNS OUT TO BE CRAP: Zero correlation between state homicide rate and state gun laws. Correlation isn’t causation — but here there’s not even correlation.


This Changes Everything, the movie version of Naomi Klein’s bestselling book by that title, is a moment of astonishing candor on the environmentalist left. For decades, conservatives have argued that environmentalism is a cover for centrally managed economies, wealth redistribution, and intrusive government regulations. Klein comes out and says that indeed, environmentalism is exactly that. Conservative critics, she says in so many words, “are right.” Climate change is an opportunity to write “a new story.”

Jettisoning millennia of accumulated knowledge and “Starting From Zero,” to coin a phrase — hey, it’s sure to work this time.

Related: “It’s becoming springtime for dictators,” Joel Kotkin warns in the Orange County Register, referring to Jerry Brown, Barack Obama and other leftists who love radical environmentalism as a useful mechanism to end-run the checks and balances of democracy.

WELL, DUH: The Results Are In: Obama Never Intended to Enforce Immigration Laws.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: AP Reporter Exposes Obama Admin Hypocrisy Regarding Israel in Wake of Afghan Bombing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: FORGET WHERE’S WALDO — WHO’S HILLARY? “But the real question is not whether she’s corrupt. Duh. The question is: Who the hell is she when she’s at home? What does she believe, aside from appeasing this portion of the base or that? What’s her vision, aside from herself in the Oval Office? What’s her pitch to America, aside from the fact she’s female? Really. I can choose between the Republicans on the basis of their policies and their characters. But when it comes to Hillary….  Who the hell is she?”

Want a serious answer? The last half-dozen chapters of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism — written during the period when it was assumed that Hillary had the Democrat nomination for 2008 in the bag, and not some unknown junior Midwest rookie senator named, as Teddy Kennedy would have said at the time, Osama or Obama, or whatever it was, give an excellent insight into her worldview and its sources.


Contrast SNL producer-creator Lorne Michael’s kid glove treatment of Hillary with how Gerald Ford’s press secretary Ron Nessen was demolished when he stupidly volunteered to host the show in its first season. Michaels’ then-wife (and a writer on the show) admitted afterwards, the goal of the show’s writers was “The President’s watching. Let’s make him cringe and squirm” — and he certainly did.

A big difference though: despite many of them being Democrats, NBC’s elite old guard upper management were genuinely shocked by the tone of Michael’s then-new show; for that same reason, Johnny Carson would have little to do with them, despite sharing virtually all of their politics.

These days, Lorne Michaels, as the producer of both SNL and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is NBC’s upper management, and the tone he instilled via SNL is the tone of NBC-MSNBC-Comcast.

But then, as original Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts liked to quip, “you can only be avant-garde for so long, before you become garde.” Or palace guard, in the case of Michaels, who last year was accused by one of his writers of giving Mr. Obama veto power over SNL jokes. Wouldn’t want the president cringing and squirming or anything.

AN ARMY OF MCCLELLANS: The Syria Mess and the Pentagon’s Serial Failures.

The U.S. is running a vast, multi-country war effort that has become unhinged from any serious strategic vision, and we have a military system in which the commanders who see the futility and try to do something about it (and there are plenty) are sidelined. Go along to get along is the way things work in Obama’s Pentagon, and both the White House and the Congress are more interested in making the military look pretty on the parade ground than making it perform effectively in the combat zone.

The President and the political overseers in Congress have made their priorities clear: You can persist with strategies that don’t work for years and still get steadily promoted up the ladder as long as you jump through hoops about integrating women and gays into more military roles. There’s nothing wrong with those goals. Integrating the armed services racially was once attacked by traditionalists as a step that would destroy military cohesion, but it’s made both the U.S. and our armed services much stronger over time. But the essence of military leadership (and effective civilian oversight) is to get the combat missions done with the lowest possible cost and loss of life.

Perhaps choosing between successful military operations and reshaping the makeup of the military doesn’t have to be either/or, but under President Obama we have opted for the latter and tanked the former.

It’s almost as if a strong America isn’t a priority for him.

WELL, GOOD. IT SEEMS LIKE MORE CORPORATIST CRONYISM: Obama’s Trade Deal Under Fire From Right And Left.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: U.S. military struggles to explain how it wound up bombing Doctors Without Borders hospital. Note that it’s a “military” error, not one attributed to President Obama. I don’t remember President Bush being treated quite the same way.


Hey, from the Obama administration’s perspective, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter — and sadly, from Reuter’s perspective as well.

HER ADMINISTRATION SHOULD REALLY FINISH OFF THE ECONOMY: Hillary Hits Obama for Being Too Strict on Illegal Immigrants on Telemundo.

The L.A. Times put the phrase “funemployment” into wide circulation to Orwellianly describe life in the Obama economy; what phrase will they popularize to disguise the lack of jobs in Hillary’s?

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: The Coming Cultural Shift On Guns, Take 45.

The headline on the Daily Beast in the wake of the shootings at a community college in Roseburg, Ore., didn’t exactly come as a surprise. “The New Crusade for Gun Control: The Brady Campaign hopes we’re about to see a cultural shift in the debate over guns —and has a plan to capitalize on that change.”

What is somewhat surprising is that the press falls for this claim over and over again.

After every gun tragedy, gun control advocates talk about how this latest one is the one that will change American minds about the prevalence of guns in the U.S. And every time, journalists write about it as though it were a real prospect.

But then, sure enough, gun sales go up after each shooting, and nothing, or next to nothing, gets achieved.

After the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the press ran numerous stories about how the scale and horror of that tragedy opened the door to serious gun control laws.

The New York Times, for example, concluded that the massacre “appears to be profoundly swaying Americans’ views on guns, galvanizing the broadest support for stricter gun laws in about a decade, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.”

After spending zero time on gun control during his reelection bid, President Obama made it a top priority of his second term.

But a year after, a Pew Research Center survey found that attitudes were little changed from before the Newton killings. Obama’s plans had fizzled.

And now, a long-term Roper survey finds that public support for gun control laws is lower than it was in 1989, when 65% backed stricter laws. In fact, more now oppose stricter laws than support them.

It’s like the whole gun-control thing is really just virtue signalling for clueless lefties.

THANKS, BARACK! In Obama era, selling guns has been as good a bet as selling iPhones. “If you’d bought shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co. in 2009, they’d be worth about 10 times as much today. That’s a slightly better return than if you’d bought Apple.”

I wish I’d bought Ruger stock in 2008. And business has been good for my former students’ online ammo company,, which they were, er, lucky enough to start in the summer of 2008.

TO BE FAIR, ACKNOWLEDGING THIS REALITY WOULD ENTAIL WRONGTHINK ABOUT WOMEN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR SEXUAL CHOICES: Obama Ignores the Obvious in Oregon: Yet Another Fatherless Killer. “From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedia’s ‘list of U.S. school attacks’ involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place.”


Four companies — Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple — are all jockeying to control as much of our technology experience as possible. A legal expert that I interviewed a few years back called it “the war of the APIs,” but it goes well beyond that. Each company is trying to leverage the dominance it has in one area to push into as many other areas as possible, while simultaneously trying to undercut the other firms that are already there.

So when Apple announced that its mobile devices would finally permit ad-blocking apps, that was a win for consumers — and also a blow for Google, which makes its money off of those ads. Google, of course, has already challenged Apple where it makes its money, on pricey mobile devices. And now Amazon would like to force both of those behemoths to support its streaming video service — or steer consumers toward devices, like Roku, which already do.

This is exactly the sort of activity — leveraging a quasi-monopoly to gain dominance in another market — that caused the Justice Department to go after Microsoft in the 1990s. And indeed, one already hears rumblings about applying net neutrality rules to content providers (providers who, ironically, supported net neutrality as a way to keep cable companies off their turf). If Comcast can’t give preferential treatment to XFinity over Netflix, then why should Apple TV be allowed to favor iTunes content over Amazon Video?

A smart Republican would run a populist campaign against the out-of-touch oligarchs of Silicon Valley. A decade ago that would have been absurd. Now, not so much. And Democrats would be hamstrung because these are their funders.

WELL, FABLE-PEDDLING IS WHAT HE’S BEST AT: Hans Bader: Obama Peddles Gun Control Fable.

SYRIA IS OBAMA’S WATERGATE, Michael Goodwin writes:

What did he know and when did he know it? The immortal question about Richard Nixon and Water­gate should be posed to Barack Obama about Syria. What and when did he know about Vladimir Putin’s axis-of-evil coalition?

The significance is not limited to Syria. The question goes to the heart of the Iran nuclear deal, especially the timing of the congressional votes.

Imagine Obama trying to sell the Iran deal now. With Russia, Iran and Iraq working together to muscle the United States aside and defend Bashar al-Assad, the president couldn’t possibly argue that the nuke deal would help stabilize the Middle East. Nor could he argue that Russia could be trusted to help enforce ­restrictions on Iran.

The strong likelihood that Obama would have lost the Iran vote if Congress knew then what the world knows now suggests the possibility the president concealed the Russian plan until the Iran deal was done. That view fits with his single-minded determination to get a deal at any price, including making key concessions and downplaying Iranian threats to Israel and the United States.

After all that, what’s another lie?

Don’t think of Obama’s approach to the Middle East as a lie — think of it merely as a series of promises reaching their expiration dates.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Australia’s 1996 Gun Confiscation Didn’t Work – And it Wouldn’t Work in America.


As they say at Red State, “Embrace the healing power of ‘And.’”

HANS BADER: Obama Peddles Gun-Control Fable. Peddling fables is his stock in trade.

DAVID FRENCH: In the Zombie World, Only the Conservative Survive. “The Obama era is the era of the zombie. It is a strange irony that the politician of “hope and change” has presided over a pop-culture world dominated by shuffling, moaning, undead cannibals who mindlessly rule a post-government apocalyptic landscape. In theaters, we’ve seen zombie blockbusters, zombie comedies, and even sweet zombie romances. But the zombie colossus, the rotting king of this macabre world, is AMC’s The Walking Dead franchise. . . . If government is — to borrow Barney Frank’s memorable definition — the ‘name we give to the things we choose to do together,’ then in zombie fiction like TWD, the things everyone chooses to do together include panicking, lying, and displaying breathtaking incompetence. To be fair, zombie fiction would be boring indeed if the first undead outbreak were promptly squashed by a squad of bureaucrats from the Centers for Disease Control. Yet even relatively government-friendly fiction, such as the bestselling book World War Z, features a series of catastrophic mistakes before the ship of state finally rights itself. In brief, in zombie world, the man who relies on the government for his safety will be zombie chow in short order. So who lives? Well, it’s not Pajama Boy. In zombieland, there are three kinds of people: those who know how to use guns, those who learn how to use guns, and zombies. . . . The groups that survive are the ones whose members understand that trust is hard-earned and there is no such thing as a ‘safe space.’ In other words, man is fallen, and you either remember that fact or you die.”

I had no idea zombie fiction was so realistic.


OH, COME ON.  AFTER OBAMA, WHO DOESN’T DESERVE IT: No Bad Deed Must Go Unrewarded: A Nobel Peace Prize for Angela Merkel?

THAT… THAT’S A CURIOUS SPIN, MR. PRESIDENT: Obama: Putin Sent Military Into Syria ‘Out of Weakness’. I think Obama actually believed that claptrap about how not standing up to the bully proves you’re stronger.


JOE PAPPALARDO: 3 Things the U.S. Could Do About Syria, And Why They’re All Bad Choices. I kinda like #1, but I think it’s a no-go for Obama, who seems not to much like the Kurds for some reason.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: U.S. Navy Prepares Confrontation in the South China Sea.

The United States is preparing to maneuver naval warships and aircraft close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, in what would be the Obama Administration’s toughest response yet to Beijing. Reportedly, the White House is readying plans to send warships within twelve nautical miles of several of the islands—a move that China claims would be an illegal violation of its sovereignty. Citing a U.N. treaty, the United States argues that man-made outposts cannot be construed as legitimate territory. . . .

President Obama has been under increasing pressure from, for example, Arizona Senator John McCain to be more assertive in the South China Sea, and in the run-up to last week’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House promised to address the South China Sea disputes. Yet although Obama and Xi made some headway toward resolving other issues, their meeting concluded without any agreement about this issue, and China expert Bill Bishop remarks that these Defense Department comments may indicate the Xi–Obama meeting didn’t go as well as Chinese media outlets (and some American journalists) have been reporting. If the U.S. follows through on sending the ships, that could very well open a new, and more aggressive, chapter in recent Sino-American relations.

It’s like we’re giving ground to our adversaries everywhere at once.

ROLL CALL: Senate Economist Warns Debt Limit Fight Could Raise Interest Rates.

The White House push for a debt limit hike got some ammunition Friday from the chief economist for the Senate Budget Committee, who warned failure to increase the limit soon could cause interest rates to rise on newly issued federal debt.

In a budget bulletin, economist William Beach, who formerly worked at the Heritage Foundation, warns the nation risks higher borrowing costs if it even gets close to exhausting the extraordinary measures used to avoid hitting the debt limit, now pegged by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew as occurring on or about Nov. 5, about a month earlier than expected.

The new date has the effect of making it a must-do item for outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, as he goes about cleaning up a “dirty barn” for his successor. Options for Boehner include passing a straight-up debt limit hike, attaching it to a must-pass deal on transportation due by the end of the month, or some other combination. Tying it to anything opposed by President Barack Obama risks a default crisis given that Obama has repeatedly warned he will not pay a ransom again after agreeing to hand Boehner north of $2 trillion in spending cuts for a debt limit hike in 2011.

Even a momentary failure to pay the nation’s debts could cause long-term increases in borrowing costs, Beach said, warning a mere technical error in 1979 caused a 60-basis-point hike in interest rates that persisted for nearly a year.

I dunno, these days it seems as if nothing can increase interest rates. But if interest rates do go up, it’ll help relieve the Senior Squeeze.

AMERICA, BEFORE THE FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Houston:

It was September 16, 1989 and Yeltsin, then newly elected to the new Soviet parliament and the Supreme Soviet, had just visited Johnson Space Center.

At JSC, Yeltsin visited mission control and a mock-up of a space station. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location.

Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”

Of course he was right — but alas, eventually there was a revolution in both countries. As one blogger warned in 2006, “Americans Hate Their Fabulous Economy.”

It was great — literally the envy of the world — while it lasted.

Related: With a hat tip to the Gipper, Mark Steyn writes, “There’s a Bear in the Sand:” “Obama isn’t leading from behind, he’s leaving from behind: America is departing the world stage.”


I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): Congress will impeach IRS’ John Koskinen:

This Congress will impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Oversight Committee, told a group of students from the Young America’s Foundation Saturday.

“It is something that has to be done,” said the Ohio Republican. “If we don’t hold some people accountable in the executive branch for the executive overreach we’ve seen in [the Obama] administration, then they’ll never get the message.”

The audience applauded his call for removing Koskinen, the IRS chief presiding over the aftermath of the tax agency’s conservative targeting scandal.

The House is going to pursue impeachment because there needs to be consequences for the egregious behavior of the IRS and “we think it’s critical to preserving fundamental freedom, fundamental rights,” said Jordan.

As Glenn asked last month in USA Today (in an article focusing on Gina McCarthy of the EPA, the head of yet another out-of-control punitive federal bureaucracy), “Is impeachment the answer to lack of accountability in the executive branch? If it isn’t, what is?”

INDEED: Why Conservatives Mistrust Even Modest Efforts at Gun Control: Liberals tend to blame the gun lobby for blocking new regulations, but they dismiss firearm owners’ fear of government at their own political peril.

While Obama has repeatedly called for new gun controls, those attempts have hit a wall in Congress. Furthermore, of the gun laws enacted at the state level since the Newtown massacre, more have actually loosened restrictions than tightened them. Firearm production and sales have also increased since Obama took office.

The common liberal explanation for why this has happened is the entrenched power of the gun lobby—the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. This isn’t wrong. The NRA’s power is considerable and it is carefully and effectively wielded. But focusing exclusively on the lobbying angle overlooks the very real fear and distrust with which many gun owners regard the government that drives much of the opposition to gun laws. Many of them simply don’t believe that enhanced background checks—or whatever other modest changes are proposed—are what they appear to be.

Well, that’s because gun control has always been sold on lies, and enforced based on broken promises. People do catch on after a while.

THIS IS SOMETHING LESS THAN A SURPRISE: Clinton Runs on Obamacare Benefits, Not Costs.

WHY OBAMA WANTS US TALKING ABOUT GUNS, CONT’D: CIA pulls staff from Beijing following a cyber attack on government employees.

Related: OPM Says Way More Fingerprint Data Stolen than Reported.

WHY OBAMA WANTS US TALKING ABOUT GUNS, CONT’D: Record 94,610,000 Americans Not In Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest In 38 Years.

HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Top Obama Cyber Security Adviser Quietly Leaves Post at White House.

One of President Obama’s top cyber security advisers has left the White House after two years, a move that the administration has barely acknowledged.

The Federal Times reported that Ari Schwartz, who served as the National Security Council’s senior director for cybersecurity, left his post Wednesday after working in the Obama administration for a two-year term.

The White House has been quiet about his exit, but an Obama official said that Schwartz had planned on leaving after two years. The administration also confirmed Schwartz’s exit to The Hill.

Schwartz first served as Obama’s director for cybersecurity privacy, civil liberties, and policy when he joined the administration in 2013. In March of the following year, he ascended to his latest role.

The move comes as the United States endures increased cyber security risks, especially from attacks originating in China and Russia.

Chinese sources were responsible for the large cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management computer systems that compromised personal data of about 22 million Americans. Russia recently launched a sophisticated cyber attack on the Pentagon’s unclassified email system used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sources in both countries have also waged cyber attacks on commercial targets.

While the Obama administration has hinted at sanctioning entities for the cyber attacks, no sanctions have been announced.

But wait, there’s more: Over the last 10 days, Obama’s top advisers on cyber-security, ISIS, and Russia have all resigned. Luckily for them, there are so many failures that that no single debacle really stands out.

CHECKMATE: THE ECONOMIC CHESS MASTERS PLAY A LOSING GAME: “Barack Obama & Co. represent the very freshest and most imaginative thinking of the 1930s,” Kevin D. Williamson writes. “Stimulus, public works, monkeying with the minimum wage, political favoritism for union constituencies, the ancient superstition that simply putting money in somebody’s pocket makes the nation richer through the miraculous power of the economic multiplier, etc.”

Hey, Time magazine promised voters that Obama would be the reincarnation of FDR in November of 2008 — curiously  though, they meant their comparison to be a compliment.

IT’S NOT SO MUCH LIKE SOLVING A PUZZLE: More like watching a train wreck, or one of those nightmares where you want to scream, but no sound comes out. Neo-neo con on Richard Fernandez and the puzzle of Barack Obama.

WHATEVER YOU THINK OF THE EMBARGO, THIS LEAVES A BAD TASTE: President Obama’s threatened UN vote against America.

WHY OBAMA WANTS US TALKING ABOUT GUNS, CONT’D: International monitors say they have spotted a deadly new Russian rocket system in Ukraine.

WHY OBAMA WANTS US TALKING ABOUT GUNS: Iran reportedly sending ground troops to Syria. Welcome to the post-American world.

HEY, THAT’S FUNNY, OBAMA WAS JUST HOLDING AUSTRALIA UP AS AN EXAMPLE: Australian police say Sydney shooting ‘linked to terrorism’.

CRIMINOLOGIST JAMES ALAN FOX: Umpqua shooting – a tragedy, not a trend. “I certainly don’t mean to minimize the suffering of the Oregon victims and their families, but the shooting spree is not a reflection of more deadly times. Consider the facts. According to a careful analysis of data on mass shootings (using the widely accepted definition of at least four killed), the Congressional Research Service found that there are, on average, just over 20 incidents annually. More important, the increase in cases, if there was one at all, is negligible. Indeed, the only genuine increase is in hype and hysteria.”

Hillary’s got an email scandal that won’t go away. Obama has a series of Mideast debacles of near-Bibilical proportions. Naturally, they — and their loyal allies in the press — would rather we be hysterical about something else.


But why is the post still cheerleading for the arrival of socialism, when at the start of the Obama administration, via their then-subsidiary publication Newsweek, the Post assured “We Are All Socialists Now”?

(Say, whatever happened to Newsweek? It seemed too big to fail, to coin a socialist phrase.)

WHY OBAMA WOULD RATHER TALK ABOUT GUNS: The labor force participation rate dropped to 62.4%; the lowest point during the Obama Administration.

Then there are his Middle East debacles. . . .

THIS COMPLICATES THE NARRATIVE: ‘You’re going to see God’: Oregon shooter asked hostages if they were Christians, witnesses say. So crazed gunmen target Christians, and Obama’s answer is to support disarmament. Uh huh.

I WISH I THOUGHT THIS WERE TRUE: Putin, The Indispensable Man? But just because Obama is incompetent or worse doesn’t mean that Putin is doing good, for Western civilization or even for Russia.


“I just want to be absolutely clear. Alright, So I don’t want any misunderstanding when you all go home and you are talking to your buddies and you say, ah ‘He wants to take your guns away.’ You’ve heard it here, I’m on television so everybody knows it. I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.”

Barack Obama today:

President Obama delivered an angry statement on the Thursday shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR. “Each time we see one of these mass shootings,” he said from the White House briefing room podium, “our thoughts and prayers are not enough.

In a 15-minute statement, Obama stressed that the US is “the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every couple of months.” He praised the gun control efforts in Australia, a nation that conducted a mass confiscation of firearms from its citizenry.

As Ben Shapiro adds, “President Obama was having a bad political day on Thursday:”

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had humiliated him in Syria, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had excoriated his Iran deal before the United Nations, and his Secret Service had been caught leaking information about a Republican congressperson.

Then the clouds parted for the deeply cynical president – the same president who routinely ignores shootings in inner cities across the country, or attributes them to generalized American racism. News broke of a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon. And before waiting to find out all the facts, he leapt directly into political controversy, redirecting the national conversation once again toward useless gun control measures.

And the palace guard MSM are all too happy to play along.

OBAMA’S SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY IN AFGHANISTAN: “World events in the last few years have a habit of making President Obama look foolish,” Eli Lake writes at the Bloomberg View, in perhaps the understatement of the century.


WELL, IF THEY CAN’T TAG HIM AS A TEA PARTIER, THIS STORY WILL DIE FAST: Oregon gunman singled out Christians during rampage.

Because violence against Christians doesn’t interest Obama, or help his narrative. And the press is all about helping his narrative.

OREGON: Another mass shooting in a gun-free zone.

As I wrote several years ago, now, People don’t stop killers. People with guns do.

Prediction: The press will talk about this endlessly for the rest of the week so as not to have to talk about Hillary’s email scandals and Obama’s Mideast debacle.

PUTIN’S MIDDLE EAST: “It’s been more than two years since Longtime Sharp VodkaPundit Readers™ were first warned of the Russo-Iranian Axis that would come to dominate the Middle East — and now here it is in action,” Steve Green writes:

Anyone who can read a map — this definition would seem to exclude most senior members of Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom’s administration — isn’t at all surprised by Russia’s airstrikes. Senator John McCain “said he could ‘absolutely confirm’ that members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who had been funded and trained by the CIA, were among those targeted.” The Syrian rebels, our supposed allies, hold the areas closest to Damascus and the coastal regions still held by forces loyal to Assad. The ISIS-held areas mostly lie far to the east, closer to Iraq.

So of course Russo-Iranian forces are concentrating on defeating the rebels, who pose the most immediate threat to Assad. And yet Obama negotiated in good faith with Putin on Monday, with some sort of expectation that Putin would attack our enemies rather than his own.

Naiveté. Idiocy. Madness. As though anybody in the Middle East cares about Kerry’s “concerns” while Moscow and Tehran are actually taking strong action.

Read the whole thing.

PROGRESSIVES’ CAUSE DU JOUR: HATING ISRAEL: The Progressive Left and Israel’s Right to Exist

A small incident during Bernie Sanders’ recent talk at the University of Chicago reveals how the progressive left has turned against Israel. The venue was the largest on campus, and it was packed with enthusiastic supporters. During a Q&A, one student said that he and his friends liked Bernie’s progressive politics but didn’t much like his views on the Middle East. Bernie’s response, and the crowd’s, are worth pondering.

First of all, Bernie said, Israel has a right to exist. It was supposed to be an applause line, but it fell flat. There was only a smattering. That changed when he said he strongly favored a Palestinian state. For that, the applause was loud and sustained.

It’s only a small incident, but it captures a movement that has been developing for years at elite universities and is now spreading to cultural and media institutions. Their views are surely encouraged by President Obama’s diffidence toward the Jewish state. But he is less a leader than an accurate weather gauge. The left loves Israel about as much as it loves fracking, the Keystone pipeline, Goldman Sachs, voter IDs, Clarence Thomas, and deer hunting.

Actually, progressives would probably prefer to go deer hunting with Clarence Thomas than admit that Israel is a democratic ally whose existence is, in large part, the product of a Holocaust that killed an estimated six million Jews and rendered hundreds of thousands more refugees.  Indeed, it is not unusual to still hear “history deniers” disclaim that the Holocaust even happened, or believe it is greatly exaggerated.

Jewish “victimhood” after the Holocaust is irrelevant to the progressives, who only acknowledge the “victimhood” of Arabs. The covert anti-Semitism is patent, but progressives will never admit it, lest they lose the political support of American Jews.

Haters gonna hate, I know, but progressives lack self-awareness of their hatred, and instead project it onto others with whom they disagree.

ED MORRISSEY: Democrats Begin the Long, Tortuous Retreat from Obamacare.

OUR POLITICAL/JOURNALISTIC CLASS: MORE INCESTUOUS THAN THE HAPSBURGS. Press Ignoring Blatant Conflicts of Interest Exposed in CBS Benghazi Coverage. “This one’s a joint effort involving Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, a recently deceased former CIA operative named Tyler Drumheller who worked with Blumenthal — and CBS News. . . . Hemingway presented evidence that Drumheller influenced CBS’s coverage of the Benghazi, Libya attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others, coverage which “just so happened” to protect the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton and discredited a story a year later presented by 60 Minutes’ Lara Logan.”

OBAMA’S TALK AND PUTIN’S BLITZ: Claudia Rosett presents A Russian Middle East Coup in Three Acts.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: The Economist: Putin dares, Obama dithers, Syria suffers.

If only someone had warned us.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria. Attempts to? The last time someone attempted to seize the initiative like this, they were marching through Paris a few weeks later.

OBAMA’S FAUX SOPHISTICATION: Heather Wilhelm, writing at Real Clear Politics, notes, “If you reside on the political right, you’ve probably experienced the subtle condescension that occasionally erupts from a “sophisticated” sort who realizes you’re not on their side of the aisle. The left, in the eyes of many, is the correct and educated political alliance to choose: They have ‘nuance,’ you see, and ‘worldliness,’ and ‘science.’” Or a wise man once wrote, eminence front – it’s just a put on:

No one can claim easy solutions to the Syrian debacle. But it’s helpful to remember one particular 2012 presidential debate, when Obama mocked Mitt Romney for calling Russia our nation’s number one geopolitical threat. “The 1980s are now calling,” he said dismissively, “to ask for their foreign policy back.”

Amazingly, here we are, with Russia poised to steamroll the Middle East, while our president spouts Fukuyama-inspired platitudes before the U.N. Mr. President, don’t look now, but the 1990s are calling. They want their copy of “The End of History and the Last Man” back. There are some corrections to be made.

Related: Ann Romney: People keep asking Mitt to jump into the race and “we are assessing.”

Romney slogan is ready-made: See, I told you so. (Though being a gentleman, I doubt Romney would use the Kingsley Amis extended cut version, sad to say.)

HUMA, DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER: Oh how the mighty have fallen:

In a don’t-push-the-red-button Cold War-esque maneuver, Hillary Clinton released this ad during the 2008 primary season, asking voters who they would want to lead the country during a world crisis. Sleeping children, a ringing telephone, the undertone of grave importance heard in the speaker’s voice, it’s all there — and frankly, kind of creepy.

Time magazine’s description of Hillary’s infamous “3:00 AM” ad from February 2008.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Benghazi will be an major issue for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she failed to pick up the “3 a.m. phone call.”

The jab was a reference to Mrs. Clinton’s own 2008 campaign TV attack on then-Sen. Barack Obama, which questioned whether he would be ready to answer a emergency 3 a.m. phone call to the White House.

“I think Benghazi was the 3 a.m. phone call that she never picked up,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton missed ‘3 a.m. phone call’ on Benghazi,” the Washington Times, April 12, 2015.


Click to enlarge.

“STITCHES: So, this is embarrassing: Hillary Clinton can’t turn on phone. No, really [screenshot],”, yesterday.

KYLE SMITH: Wacko Dan Rather movie still insists forged Bush-National Guard documents were real:

Blanchett’s Mapes tells the committee that the documents had to be genuine because they contain military acronyms and jargon and show knowledge of Bush’s military service (which had been extensively covered in the media). It beggars belief, she claims, that anyone could go through so much trouble and then produce fake documents using Microsoft Word. She even insists she’s been persecuted for her political leanings (though she won’t admit to any): “You mean, am I now or have I ever been a liberal?” she asks the committee. At one point she declares, “Our story was about whether the president fulfilled his service. Nobody wants to talk about that. They want to talk about fonts and forgeries, and they hope to God the truth gets lost in the scrum!” Except Mapes couldn’t prove the president went AWOL without the documents.

I think the real-life Mapes admitting that even though she was holding herself out a news producer, she didn’t know who any of the players on the starboard side of the Blogosphere were in 2004, and then writing a column for Huffington Post in late October of 2008 on its alleged demise titled “The Monster is Dying” clears up where the legendarily “objective” producer’s political allegiances lie.  (As for Dan, his headlining at least one $200 a person fundraiser for the far left Nation magazine in 2009 is a clue to his own worldview.)

But as Smith notes, the line in Redford’s film that will likely cause it to be remembered as a 21st century camp classic is when Blanchett’s Mapes barks:

“Our story was about whether the president fulfilled his service. Nobody wants to talk about that. They want to talk about fonts and forgeries, and they hope to God the truth gets lost in the scrum!” Except Mapes couldn’t prove the president went AWOL without the documents.

“Our story was about whether the president fulfilled his service. Nobody wants to talk about that.”

Fair enough — but then those same rules apply regarding investigations of the youthful activities of the candidates running against the president as well; it was rather nice of Robert Redford & company to finally exonerate the exploratory efforts of the Swift Vets in 2004 and the late Andrew Breitbart and his associates in 2012.

By the way, in 2013, Redford was defending William Ayers’ Weathermen bombing the Pentagon. (Redford’s film bombed in theaters right around the same time that the Tsarnaev brothers were bombing the Boston Marathon in a macabre bit of synchronicity worthy of the New York Times’ own defense of Ayers.) This year, Redford is defending Dan Rather lying to millions of viewers. What far left institution will the 79-year old Redford champion next in his dotage?

A SILVER LINING: Court slams Team Obama on Westchester ‘racism’ charge.

IF ONLY THIS WEREN’T PARODY: Breakthrough Memory Implants Make it Possible to Forget Obama Was Ever President.  Wonder if they offer a package deal for Hilary/Bernie/Trump!

DOG WHISTLE: Becoming Putin’s Poodle.

‘SEVERELY TRAUMATIZED’ CLOCK KID AHMED MOHAMED WILL GO TO QATAR FOR SOME REASON: “I scoffed at this at first,” Jim Treacher writes, “but I’m starting to warm up to the idea. I really want to see Obama and Clock Kid smiling and posing with… this.”

Texas Muslim Student Clock

“This test run succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of Clock Kid’s dad. I look forward to the next one. When a guy in traditional Muslim garb is detained by TSA for joking about a bomb on a plane, what will the White House serve at his banquet?”

AT THIS POINT, ISN’T THE REAL QUESTION WHAT PRESIDENT BIDEN WOULD DO? Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Mess Up Prescription Economics.

Hillary Clinton thinks drug development should be riskier, and less profitable. Also, your health insurance premiums should be higher. And there should be fewer drugs available.

This is not, of course, how the Clinton campaign would put it. The official line is that Americans are just paying too darn much for drugs, and she has a plan to stop that. . . .

Eliminating the side payments seems eminently sensible. (Yes, yes, you can strip my libertarian card, but market-rigging contracts shouldn’t be enforced.) It also seems reasonable to require some sort of comparative effectiveness research. Other provisions will certainly drive down drug prices, at the risk of also driving down innovation.

Still other provisions, however, are simply bad economics. In what other market do we worry about having a second product available that’s merely just as good as the first? Should we really only have one antidepressant, one statin, one blood pressure medication, and so forth? Might there be variation among patients so that drugs that are statistically about equally effective in large groups are nonetheless individually more or less effective for different people? Might one drug’s side effects be better tolerated by some patients than another’s? Might having two drugs in the category help keep prices down?

Then there is notion that we should force pharmaceutical companies to spend a set percentage of their revenues on R&D. This seems to me to be … what’s the word I am looking for? Ah, I’ve got it: “insane.”

For one thing, compared to virtually any other industry, pharmaceutical companies already spend an enormous fraction of their revenues on R&D. Why assume that it ought to be higher? Or even more risibly, exactly the same at every company?

Because you’ve never run a business in your life? Related: Obamacare’s Nonprofit Insurers Are Failing, Predictably.


Three American women who have been branded as “anti-Muslim” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) spoke out against the threat of Islamism in the United States at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit on Saturday. Contrary to the rhetoric SPLC and others, these women are not “Islamophobes.”

“Americans need to know the threat is here. So many people, when I say ‘the Muslim Brotherhood,’ they say ‘that’s an Egypt problem.’ It’s not — it’s in every state of this country,” declared Cathy Hinners, a law enforcement instructor and founder of the website

Hinners was joined by Clare M. Lopez, an intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, and Sandy Rios, director of government affairs for the American Family Association and Fox News contributor. All three women were attacked in the SPLC’s “Women Against Islam” pamphlet, which has been described by many conservative outlets as a “hit list.”

“This is dangerous because there is a basic principle of Islam which can turn every Muslim into a potential vigilante,” Lopez declared, citing the doctrine that Muslims must “forbid the evil and enjoin the good.” She, Rios and Hinners see the SPLC “hit list” as marking a target on their backs. When Rios declared, “By the way, we all carry,” the crowd erupted in applause.

Related: Obama Admin Granted Asylum to 1,519 Foreigners Tied to Terrorism.

IT TAKES A POTEMKIN VILLAGE TO PROP UP HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN: What Was a Member of Clinton’s ‘Secret Spy Network’ Doing While Working for CBS News?

According to WEEKLY STANDARD sources, Drumheller was active in shaping the network’s Benghazi coverage. His role at the network raises questions about what went wrong with the retracted 60 Minutes report on Benghazi that aired in October 2013. Despite his former life as a high ranking CIA official, Drumheller was laden with political baggage, making him a curious choice to be consulting with a major news operation—especially so given that he was working directly with Sidney Blumenthal, whose primary occupation appears to be manipulating media coverage on behalf of the Clintons.

And note that “David Rhoades, the current president of CBS News, is the brother of Ben Rhoades, a White House national security advisor. If Ben’s name sounds familiar, that is likely due to his reported role in the editing of the now infamous Benghazi talking points.

Meanwhile, on a lighter ghost note: Hillary’s ‘Spontaneous’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Question Came From Former Staffer.

It’s Potemkin Villages all the way down, to coin a phrase. Or as Iowahawk quips, “DC media: more incest than Appalachia’s trashiest hillbilly trailer park.”

HILLARY, LIKEABILITY AND THE LENS: At City Journal, Matthew Hennessey writes, “even with a quarter-century of ‘public service’ under her belt, Hillary can’t seem to connect with the average American:”

All politics is performance, but presidential politics is performance art. The successful candidate adjusts each appearance—whether on stage or on camera—in order to come across as knowledgeable, sincere, reasonable, diplomatic, and, above all, presidential. An actor used to working on stage alters his performance when he appears before a camera. Auditoriums are big; they need big voices and oversize personalities to fill them. Like stage actors, politicians working a live audience need to play to the last row. When a politician speaks from a podium, hosts a town hall meeting, or presses the flesh, the goal is to have each member of the audience leave thinking the performance was delivered directly to him.

Television screens, by contrast, are smaller, and demand a different type of performance. You don’t have to work so hard to get someone watching you on television to think that you’re talking directly to him. Close-ups reward subtlety, honesty, and true emotion. A camera is like an X-Ray machine. “[T]he camera looks into your mind, and the audience sees what the camera sees,” writes the actor Michael Caine in his book, Acting in Film. You can’t lie to a camera; it will expose you. Ronald Reagan understood this better than anyone.

The good news for Hillary is that coming across as genuine on camera is a skill that can be taught. Of course, it helps if you have talent. It’s even better if you take the job seriously, which, according to Klein, she did not. “I decided I had enough with the camera and the recordings and the coaches,” Hillary allegedly said. “I got so angry I knocked the f- -king camera off its tripod. That was the end of my Stanislavski period.” (It’s perhaps worth pointing out that Constantin Stanislavski, the Russian actor and director credited with pioneering an approach to acting eventually known as “the Method,” worked in live theater, not in film.)

Of course, when it’s focused on politicians, the TV camera lies all the time — just explore how made-for-television Barack Obama was in 2008; his on-air skills will serve him well when he leaves office at the end of next year, but meant nothing in terms of allowing voters to predict that the global disaster of his presidency. The same could be said to a lesser extent with Hillary’s own husband, who was remarkably telegenic in 1992, and then preceded, at least for the first two years of his presidency until a Republican Congress could prop him up, to forget virtually all of his campaign promises.

But there’s no doubt that Hillary, like Al Gore in 1999, comes across stiff, robotic and elitist when on TV – even to the most sympathetic of interviewers. But then, maybe that’s the problem – Ronald Reagan knew he was in a hostile media environment virtually every time he walked into a TV studio, and yet had the skill to project his charisma past the interviewer, to the viewers at home. In contrast, as Nick Gillespie writes at Reason on Hillary’s interview with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokeswoman Lena Dunham:

The interview is worth reading in its entirety, especially against the backdrop of Hillary Clinton’s falling poll numbers and her obvious interest in mounting something like a charm offensive. Dunham is clearly a willing co-conspirator in humanizing the candidate, as when she brings up a favorite “cold shoulder” dress of Clinton’s:

It was a design of my friend Donna Karan. And like everything I do, it turned out to be controversial. I’m hardly a fashion icon.

In moments such as these, Dunham’s (and Clinton’s) starfucking side undercut any pretension to reaching the average man or woman. Beyond the utterly unconvincing humblebrag declaration that she’s not a fashion icon but only a beleaguered gal trying to make it in a heartless world, Clinton can’t not place herself in the world of New York couture and high fashion. These are precisely the sorts of moments when Clinton loses the little people.

That’s a far cry from how her (now vegan!) husband chose to present himself to the world when running for the White House against the patrician George H.W. Bush — as a sort of cigar smoking, pot-smoking (but not inhaling!) Big Mac chomping new age good ol’ boy in 1992.

But then it could be worse — Hillary could be crying poverty again.

PROVE THAT WASN’T THE INTENTION ALL ALONG: Obama has turned Putin into the world’s most powerful leader.  After all, he did say he wanted to be the anti-Reagan.

ANNALS OF SMART DIPLOMACY: After Four Years of Failure in Syria, Obama Looks to Russia and Iran for Help.

TOM MAGUIRE: Obama And Saddam: No Foolish Consistency Here. “So getting rid of an evil dictator with no credible plan to replace him was not so great an idea in Libya. Nor was it a great idea in Iraq, but it would be just the thing to do in Syria. An arguable difference was that Saddam was not actively quashing a rebellion at the moment in time we invaded – that was earlier, after which we imposed no-fly zones over parts of the country, something Obama refuses to do in the course of opposing Assad. Still, if our friends on the left are only willing to support military action under their ‘responsibility to protect’ concept, they might want to assess the impact of providing the rebels we back with nothing more than pretty speeches support, creative hashtags and ineffectual handwringing. Encouraging rebels to fight when they lack the means to win is not doing them a favor.”


KEN CUCCINELLI: “Yes, Hillary Clinton Broke the Law.”

Since there has been much evasion and obfuscation about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email use, it seems appropriate to step back and simply review what we know in light of the law. It’s also instructive to compare Clinton’s situation to arguably the most famous case of our time related to the improper handling of classified materials, namely, the case of Gen. David Petraeus.

Instead of turning his journals — so-called “black books” — over to the Defense Department or CIA when he left either of those organizations, Petraeus kept them at his home — an unsecure location — and provided them to his paramour/biographer, Paula Broadwell, at another private residence. . . . On April 23, Petraeus pled guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials under 18 USC §1924. Many in the intelligence community were outraged at the perceived “slap on the wrist” he received, at a time when the Justice Department was seeking very strong penalties against lesser officials for leaks to the media.

According to the law, there are five elements that must be met for a violation of the statute, and they can all be found in section (a) of the statute: “(1) Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, (2) by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, (3) knowingly removes such documents or materials (4) without authority and (5) with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location [shall be guilty of this offense].” . . .

While it’s possible for a private residence to be an “authorized” location, and it’s also possible for non-government servers and networks to be “authorized” to house and transfer classified materials, there are specific and stringent requirements to achieve such status. Simply being secretary of state didn’t allow Clinton to authorize herself to deviate from the requirements of retaining and transmitting classified documents, materials and information.

There is no known evidence that her arrangement to use the private email server in her home was undertaken with proper authority. . . The intent required is only to undertake the action, i.e., to retain the classified documents and materials in the unauthorized fashion addressed in this statute. That’s it.

But of course laws are for the little people, or at least (in the case of Petraeus), people whom the Obama Administration finds inconvenient or threatening.



The Cocked Fist Culture has turned into an ouroboros, except the snake is well past swallowing its own tail. It’s eaten its way clean up to mid-sternum. Recent books across the political spectrum have extensively documented this turn, notably Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson’s End of Discussion on the right and Kirsten Powers’s The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech on the center-left. Though the outrage industrial complex shows no sign of shrinking, some thought a high-water mark had been reached earlier this year when Jonathan Chait, a New York writer and reliable liberal, broke ranks, accusing his own team of ideological repression through all the thought-and-speech policing. He charged that the hijacked left had adopted the modus operandi of old-line smash-mouth Marxists, who’ve always been contemptuous of mainstream liberalism’s tendency to enshrine dissent. The present left merely swaps Marxist preoccupation with economics for race-and-gender-identity fetishization.

While some on the right gave Chait a swat for sniffily arriving a quarter-century late to the anti-p.c. party, his comrades lined up to steamroll him. Amanda Taub, Vox’s self-described “senior sadness correspondent,” responded that there’s no such thing as political correctness. Even using the term is just a way “to dismiss a concern or demand as a frivolous grievance rather than a real issue,” a device “often used by those in a position of privilege to silence debates raised by marginalized people.” A sentence that sounded suspiciously like it had been written by a political-correctness meme generator. The kind that Orwell described as prose consisting “less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a pre-fabricated hen-house.”

But the senior sadness correspondent must’ve grown even sadder when several months later, Vox itself ran a piece by a professor bylined Edward Schlosser. He complained of students’ claiming grievous harm over every imagined affront. Of his and his colleagues’ having to adjust their teaching materials so as not to trample the fragile buttercups, for fear of losing their jobs. Of being afraid to teach the likes of Upton Sinclair and Mark Twain at the risk of triggering sensibility-offending IEDs. Of cultural studies and social-justice writers enabling these attitudes in popular media by attempting to make complex fields of study as easily digestible as a TGIF sitcom, which has “led to an adoption of a totalizing, simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice.”

The piece’s headline, incidentally, was “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me.” One is tempted to reply to Professor Schlosser (not his real name, he was too afraid to use it): How do you think the rest of us feel? Especially as the students being taught—if “teaching” is actually what happens in the trigger-warned, hermetically sealed safe spaces that higher-education classrooms have become—move into the workforce. There, they can further the debate, which no longer remotely resembles a debate, since a debate is something too unsafe-spacey to have.

“The Cocked Fist Culture: Crossing the Microaggressions Minefield,” by Matt Labash, which appeared online this past Thursday at the Weekly Standard.

Chaser: “Awful: Somebody made a video of Dana Loesch shooting herself in the head.”

—, yesterday.

No word yet when Paul Krugman, Chris Matthews, Brian Ross, CNN and President Obama will be condemning this disgusting bit of eliminationist artwork and its excoriating effect on the culture as a whole.


In 2008, NBC waited until Obama was securely in place as the Democrat nominee before beginning their search and destroy mission on Hillary. That culminated in Keith Olbermann’s violent eliminationist rhetoric in late April of that year, demanding “Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.”

If not Hillary, which Democrat has NBC’s corporate backing this time around?

Related: “Every GOP candidate better have their contingency plan ready for when Hillary isn’t the nominee. We weren’t in 08 and it screwed us.”

JOHN O. MCGINNIS: The Association of American Law Schools Needs More Political Diversity.

In the week that a new organization, Heterodox Academy, was established to press for more ideological diversity in academic life, the learned association in my own profession showed how much it is needed. The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) sent around a notice of its prospective annual meeting, highlighting its most prominent speakers. Of the thirteen announced, none is associated predominantly with Republican party, but eleven are associated with the Democratic Party. Many are prominent liberals. None is a conservative or libertarian.

Five are judges, including Stephen Breyer, all appointed by Democrats. Another is the incoming Senate leader of the Democrats. Three others contributed predominantly to Democrats. One for whom no contributions could be found held a fund raiser for President Obama. Another worked for the Democratic side of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Clinton.

It is true that Michael Bloomberg is also speaking. He has been at various points a Democratic and a Republican and is now an independent. Perhaps the AALS thought that a single person could create diversity through his many political avatars! But seriously, Bloomberg, who has crusaded for gun control and limitations on permissible ounces in a sugary soda, does not resemble a conservative or libertarian. He ran as a Republican in 2000 for Mayor of New York City because it was the nomination he could acquire.

Now my point is not to disparage the highlighted speakers. They are all eminent men and women. Some have even take positions friendly to ordered liberty. Deborah Rhode has made excellent arguments for the deregulation of the legal profession. But when everyone shares largely convergent premises, intellectual discourse is stunted. And the lack of diversity is particularly embarrassing in the legal academy.

Yes, it is.

Plus: “The obliviousness of the AALS to need for political diversity stands in stark contrast to its relentless push for gender, racial, and ethnic diversity.” Yes, it does.

IT’S A FLACCID AND UNCONVINCING WEAPON: Macho talk is Obama’s only weapon against Putin.


The 2008 Obama campaign assembled a large pan-ethnic coalition of young, non-affluent, and non-white voters. But as his first term failed to deliver on the promise of rapid economic improvement, many of those 2008 voters fell away. Beginning with Andrew Jackson, every twice-elected president has seen his vote total rise at his second appearance on the ballot: Lincoln, Grant, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton. Barack Obama was the first and to date only exception. He received almost 3.6 million fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008. Where did these votes go? Not, mostly, to his Republican challenger. Mitt Romney won only 900,000 more votes than John McCain. Nor was there any significant exit to third- and fourth-party candidates. Rather, some 2.5 million 2008 Obama votes just … didn’t show up in 2012. . . .

For the black voters who saved Barack Obama in 2012, the Great Recession and the slow recovery have been one long continuing catastrophe. Between 2007 and 2009, black homeowners were 70 percent more likely to suffer foreclosure than whites. Higher-earning black families were 80 percent more likely to lose their homes than their white counterparts.

The evanescence of black homeownership explains why post-recession the wealth of the median black family tumbled to 1/13th the wealth of the median white family—a disparity wider than any at time in the past quarter century.

The black middle class depended more than other groups on the state and local public-sector jobs that vanished in post-recession budget cutting. The income of the median black household dropped 9.2 percent between 2007 and 2013—as against 5.6 percent for the median white household.

Despite three years of supposed economic recovery, black children were as likely to be poor in 2013 as in 2010—and more likely than at any time since the early 1990s. Almost four out of 10 black children are now growing up in poverty, as against one in nine white children. More than 25 percent of the black poor now live in areas of concentrated poverty, triple the rate for poor white people.

The uniquely harsh African American economic experience since 2007 has divided black opinion further from that of other elements of the Obama coalition. Only 29 percent of Latinos under age 30 think illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans—but 48 percent of African Americans under 30 think so.

Sounds like a . . . Trumpportunity!

DEAR JOHN: “Far be it from me to interrupt the Trumpian chest-beating on the right at Boehner’s announced resignation,” Andrew Klavan writes, “but I still can’t help having some sympathy for the guy:”

I can’t help but notice that under Boehner — and largely because of Boehner, because Boehner outsmarted President Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations — federal spending has declined over a five year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. And because of this, as the economy has struggled to a sputtering recovery despite Democrat mismanagement, the deficit has been sharply reduced…

Also under Boehner — and also largely because of then-minority leader Boehner (and the likewise much-maligned-by-conservatives Mitch McConnell in the Senate) — the disaster of Obamacare is 100% attributable to the Democrats. It hasn’t got a single Republican fingerprint on it.

Serious question: without control of the White House and without a veto-proof majority in the Senate, what would you wanted to have seen from a GOP Speaker?

Related: Boehner: Conservative critics follow ‘false prophets’ with empty promises.

More: Responding to my question at the end of the post, Steve Hayward of Power Line emailed me a link to his recent post, “What’s Next for the House?”

THEN WHY NOT CO-ED SPORTS: Obama’s dangerous drive to make US combat troops co-ed.

JOURNALISM: Dave Weigel Reminds Us Of — And Minimizes — Hillary 2008 Strategy Memo “Otherizing” Obama. “I dare any fair-minded person to read this and conclude that Penn wrote this ‘as a warning, not a strategy.’”

Plus: “Kudos are due to Weigel for unearthing the memo, but not for his characterization, which is so hyper-charitable that it is not really accurate. Weigel’s piece highlights the critical need to read source documents and not accept Big Media’s characterization of those documents.”

FACING THE TRUTH: Neo-Neocon writes:

Take Obama. I think many things about him are now obvious—and should have been obvious even during the 2008 campaign. I’m happy to be able to look back at my posts from then and see that, although I certainly didn’t perceive everything about him, I perceived plenty. That’s not because I’m such a psychic or a genius, it’s because I think it was obvious to any intelligent person who was paying attention. And yet, plenty of seemingly intelligent people don’t see it, even today. Is that a failure of courage? Information? Judgment? Imagination? Is it in many cases a reluctance to admit one was wrong (I wouldn’t underestimate that motivation)? Or party loyalty? Or a fear of being accused of racism, even at this late date? I think it must be different for different people. But at this point, people do know or should know that something is very, very wrong.

I’m not a relativist. I do not think that truth is completely “constructed” and exists only in the mind of the beholder. I think there really is an objective truth. But I also think we can only see it through a glass, darkly.

Read the whole thing.

WHY WALKER FAILED AND WHY FIORINA IS IN FOR TROUBLE: “The Democrats see Fiorina as Mitt Romney in a dress, and can’t wait to tear her apart. After all, by their lights, she’s not a ‘real’ woman, is she?”, Michael Walsh writes.

Building on their dehumanizing hatred for black conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice, that was the rule the left established for both Hillary in early 2008 – when she was an obstacle for Obama – and then for Sarah Palin.

THIS SEEMS SO OBVIOUS, AND YET SO UNLIKELY: Larry Kudlow, “Every Now and Then, the GOP Should Disrupt the Status Quo.

Nobody really likes government shutdowns, including me. But sometimes you have to make a point. Send a message. Show voters what you really believe. Take a stand.

With John Boehner set to resign at the end of October, many believe the outgoing speaker can team up with House Democrats to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1. Daniel Clifton, partner at Wall Street research firm Strategas and ace Washington watcher, reports, “The risk of a government shutdown next week has been eliminated.” And he expects Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution that will fund government appropriations through December 11.

That would be a clean bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood. More Democrats than Republicans would support it. And Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell stands ready to pass a similar clean resolution. . . .

I am not arguing for a constant series of budget shutdowns. And I will always oppose any expiration of the U.S. Treasury debt ceiling. That would be a harmful global economic event. No good. But it is worth remembering that there are no catastrophic political or economic consequences attached to these shutdowns.

Surely, shutdowns are a cumbersome way to make a point. But the GOP base is clamoring for a more aggressive Republican Congress. The grassroots are angry and frustrated that the Republican House and Senate have not passed a series of large-scale bills.

There’s been no repeal and rewrite of Obamacare. There’s been no corporate tax reform, at a minimum, or overall personal tax reform. There’s been no energy bill — neither to build the XL pipeline nor to end limits on oil and gas exports and drilling on federal lands.

Immigration reform is a hot topic on the presidential debate scene. But there’s been nothing on this from Congress. And the huge issue is the Iran nuclear deal, which in addition to being unverifiable would give Iran $150 billion to kill more American soldiers and advance its domination of the Middle East. But the congressional GOP response has been weak and confusing.

And the fact that legislative hurdles — such as the filibuster, 60-vote rule in the Senate — prevents these reforms is unsatisfying to the GOP base.

Of course, the arrogant and ideologically stubborn President Obama would veto all these reforms if they ever got to his desk. But if I read the grassroots properly, they know this and believe these vetoes would set the stage for a big Republican victory in 2016.

Well, yes. But the GOP establishment is kicking and screaming while its base takes it to the woodshed.

WELL, THIS IS JUST GOING SWIMMINGLY: Syria crisis: US-trained rebels give equipment to al-Qaeda affiliate. “Congress has approved $500m (£323m) to train and equip about 5,000 rebels to fight against Islamic State militants. But the first 54 graduates were routed by al-Nusra Front, the military said. Gen Lloyd Austin told US lawmakers last week that only ‘four or five’ US-trained rebels were still fighting.”

The Obama-Clinton-Biden Mideast Debacle continues to get worse.


When the Department of Education unveiled its new College Scorecard earlier this month, a number of schools were missing from the list — not low-ranked or misrepresented, just missing. Many are conservative schools, well-known for their independence from the federal government.

Hillsdale College, a small Michigan liberal arts school which receives high marks in national rankings – U.S. News & World Report ranked it the 67th best liberal arts college in the nation and #1 for veterans — was notably absent from the Obama administration’s list of colleges. So were Grove City College and Christendom College. All three of these schools do not accept federal funding in order to maintain independence from government control.

Were the conservative schools left off the scorecard because they reject federal funding or because they oppose government control of higher education?

I know which I’m betting — how about you?