Unexamined Premises

Unexamined Premises

They Never Stop, They Never Sleep, They Never Quit

May 24th, 2015 - 9:08 am

The hallmark of all fascist systems is their relentlessness. Like the Terminator, they cannot be satisfied, they cannot be negotiated with, they cannot be persuaded of the evil of their cause (in fact, that’s a feature, not a bug). They just keep coming until either they are destroyed — or they destroy you. Case in point:

A different health care issue has emerged for Democrats, in sync with the party’s pitch to workers and middle-class voters ahead of next year’s elections. It’s not the uninsured, but rather the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for people already covered. Democrats call it “underinsurance.”

After paying premiums, many low- and middle-income patients still face high costs when trying to use their coverage. There’s growing concern that the value of a health insurance card is being eaten away by rising deductibles, the amount of actual medical costs that patients pay each year before coverage kicks in. ”I think it’s going to be the next big problem,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., a congressional leader on health care.

“We’ve got some 17 million more people covered … but they can’t access the care they seem to be entitled to,” McDermott said. “It costs too much to use the care. That’s the deceptive part about it.” Since virtually all U.S. residents are now required to have health insurance by President Barack Obama’s health care law, McDermott said Democrats have a responsibility to make sure coverage translates to meaningful benefits.

In other words, having achieved their thug victory with Obamacare, they’re now ready to move on to the “next big problem,” because for these people there is always a next big problem — another expansion of government, another bite at your freedom. Now they’ve come up with the word “underinsurance” as they discover that their magic bullet of Obamacare is — wait for it — flawed and, with a brutish hack like McDermott in the lead, needs to be “fixed.”

But this is always the way things are on the Left: there is nothing wrong with “reform” that more “reform” won’t cure, until the thing or institution being “reformed” bears absolutely no resemblance to what it once was. None of this has anything to do with “health care,” of course; rather it is simply another way to expand government and subordinate the people using the bogus Leftist “virtue” of “compassion” — an expansion of the federal governments powers far beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. It is therefore unconstitutional and, worse, un-American.

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The Real Stephanopoulos Scandal

May 19th, 2015 - 6:27 am
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No, it’s not his blatant partisanship, his ties to the increasingly thuggish Clinton Machine, or even his complete lack of journalistic ethics. It’s that ABC should never have hired him in the first place.

Back in the Stone Age, before reporters became “journalists” and before “journalists” became politically motivated Fifth Columnists masquerading as members of the Fourth Estate, there was a cardinal rule: a reporter could leave a newspaper and accept a job as a public-relations flack, but under no circumstances could he or she then return to reporting. Ever. In other words, once having forfeited any pretense of objectivity, and having accepted payment for advocating a particular point of view, that guy’s career in real journalism was finished.

Recall the horror that greeted the New York Times when it hired the late William Safire as an op-ed columnist. That horror was due not only to Safire’s previous employment working as a speechwriter for the disgraced Richard Nixon — a president the Left loved to hate, with a visceral passion that would not be surpassed until Ronald Reagan — but also to his background in public relations. The Times‘ hire of Safire violated every previous tenet of journalistic procedures. But –

Safire never became managing editor of the Gray Lady, nor did he have any editorial function beyond the opinion pages (he later wrote a widely loved column, “On Language”). He did what he was hired to do — provide some much needed balance and invigorated writing to a stodgy, dull and stupefying editorial page — and nothing more. Still, in retrospect, the Times was wrong to hire him, and I say this as a fan.

ABC, of course, promised that Stephanopoulos would have nothing to do with news selection, in large measure because he wasn’t really a journalist; a fact that was evident to all his colleagues there:

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.”

Byron York, in fact, noted that at the time. As he wrote the other day:

George Stephanopoulos was one of the most partisan of partisan warriors ever — just look at “The War Room,” the documentary from the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign. So it was something of a surprise in 1996 when ABC News hired Stephanopoulos, fresh out of the Clinton White House. And there was some confusion about what the deeply partisan Stephanopoulos’ role would be: Analyst? Pundit? Straight news reporter? At the time, I asked ABC about it and was assured Stephanopoulos would be a pundit — like William Kristol, who was then with ABC News — and would not do any news reporting. Here is the opening of a piece I wrote in December 1996 for the Wall Street Journal editorial page:

Last week ABC News announced it has hired departing presidential aide George Stephanopoulos as a contributor to “This Week,” “Good Morning America” and other programs. The network seemed delighted with its catch. Mr. Stephanopoulos is “one of the best known and most articulate presidential advisers this country has ever seen,” news President Roone Arledge said. “His vast knowledge of Washington politics and policy will be an enormous asset to ABC News.”

The announcement created some confusion about Mr. Stephanopoulos’s role. A press release issued by ABC last Wednesday stated that he “will serve both as a political analyst and as a correspondent.” Vice President of News Joanna Bistany now says Mr. Stephanopoulos will be just an analyst; he will not report news or question guests on “This Week.” Ms. Bistany says his role will be similar to that of ABC contributor William Kristol, who was Dan Quayle’s chief of staff. “We want a mix of voices,” she says, adding that Mr. Stephanopoulos “won’t do anything that has any appearance of conflict.”

Ha ha ha! Remember, there is no lie the Left is not willing to tell in the furtherance of its aims (“by any means necessary”) and no amount of incrementalism too small for them to enjoy. The minute ABC crossed the line with Stephanopoulos, it was not just a little bit pregnant, it was destined to give birth to a bouncing baby boy.

The network had hoped their golden child would weather the storm, but as his unluck has it, his old (current?) boss Hillary! is being sucked into the vortex of the Clinton scandals, thanks in large part to the New York Times, which has been relentless in trying to take her down (going back to Whitewater, the Times has always loathed her), and Stephanopoulos is melting in the radioactive glare.  As the New York Post gleefully recounts, Steffi is on the ropes:

ABC has plenty of reasons to be freaking out over the George Stephanopoulos scandal — $105 million, to be exact. The “Good Morning America” and “This Week” anchor renewed his contract last year for $105 million, TV-industry sources told The Post Monday. The seven-year deal — which dwarfs the five-year, $50 million contract scored by since-suspended NBC rival Brian Williams — was supposed to keep Stephanopoulos in front of ABC’s cameras through 2021.

But now his credibility, and future, have been called into question since he admitted Friday that he had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation since 2011, just as the presidential race gears up with Hillary Rodham Clinton the leading Democrats. In a mea culpa delivered Sunday on “This Week,” Stephanopoulos, who was also a top aide in Bill Clinton’s White House, said the gifts “were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the foundation.” It was his second on-air apology in less than a week.

He can apologize all he wants, but he’s apologizing for the wrong thing; he’s apologizing for a breach of ethics as if he were a real journalist in the first place. But he’s not — never was, and never will be. Which is exactly the reason ABC hired him in the first place, and why they’ll defend him ’til the last dog dies.

NYT to HRC: Your Family’s Fair Game

May 11th, 2015 - 4:47 am
Loot, plunder, lie, and steal

Loot, plunder, lie, and steal

The war between Pravda and the Clinton Crime Family has taken an ugly new turn. In a big Sunday takedown, the Paper of Progressive Record turned its big guns loose on another of Lady Macbeth’s many soft spots: her idiot brothers. The headline serves both as an appetizer and a warning:

Tony Rodham’s Ties Invite Scrutiny for Hillary and Bill Clinton

The heavyset 60-year-old man who walked with a cane seemed an unlikely speaker at the glamorous launch party for a cosmetics company held in Santa Monica, Calif., in March. But Tony Rodham appeared at ease among the special guests and well-heeled investors, offering them encouragement as well as an invitation. “If there’s anything I can ever do for any of you, let me know,” Mr. Rodham said. “I’ll be more than happy to do it.”

A promotional video of the party that the cosmetics company later released identified the speaker as “the youngest brother of former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton,” a relationship that has been Mr. Rodham’s calling card since the days of the Clinton White House.

On and off for two decades, the affable Mr. Rodham has tried to use his connections with his sister and his brother-in-law, former President Bill Clinton, to further a business career that has seen more failures than successes. The connections to the Clintons have given Mr. Rodham, a self-described “facilitator,” a unique appeal and a range of opportunities, like addressing Chinese investor conferences and joining an advisory board of a company seeking permission to mine for gold in Haiti.

But his business dealings have often invited public scrutiny and uncomfortable questions for the Clintons as Mr. Rodham has cycled through a variety of ventures, leveraging his ties to them and sometimes directly seeking their help.

For the Clintons, of course, “uncomfortable questions” are just part of the cost of doing Family business, and to which they always have a ready answer: “You can’t prove it!” But the Times, which has been sending warning shots over the bow of the sinking ship Hillary! for months now, is clearly losing patience, and is almost ready to start putting two and two together and declaring them, definitely, four — which just so happens to be the same as the number of letters in the word RICO:

  •  When Mr. Clinton worked as a co-chairman of Haiti’s earthquake recovery commission, Mr. Rodham and his partners sought a $22 million deal to rebuild homes in the country. In court proceedings three years ago in an unrelated lawsuit, Mr. Rodham explained how “a guy in Haiti” had “donated” 10,000 acres of land to him and described how he had leaned on Mr. Clinton to get the rebuilding project funded amid bureaucratic delays. I deal through the Clinton Foundation. That gets me in touch with the Haitian officials,” Mr. Rodham said, according to a transcript of his testimony. “I hound my brother-in-law, because it’s his fund that we’re going to get our money from.”
  • When Mr. Rodham was short on cash in 2010, Mr. Clinton helped get him a job for $72,000 a year raising investments in GreenTech Automotive, an electric car company then owned by Terry McAuliffe, an old friend of Mr. Clinton’s and now the governor of Virginia. “I was complaining to my brother-in-law I didn’t have any money. And he asked McAuliffe to give me a job,” Mr. Rodham said during the court proceedings, which were the result of a lawsuit over unpaid legal bills filed by his lawyer in a child support case.
  • Mrs. Clinton’s other brother, Hugh Rodham, stumbled through an unsuccessful campaign for the Senate in Florida during Mr. Clinton’s first term. Roger Clinton, the former president’s brother, served a year in federal prison on a cocaine distribution charge. And all three were involved in lobbying Mr. Clinton for pardons for their associates as he left office, prompting a congressional inquiry.

Because having close family members go to jail and “lobbying for pardons” is something every family experiences– every crime family, at least. (Hillary defended her brother at the time by saying he had not been paid for the lobbying effort, so it was perfectly okay.) And how do Clinton apparatchiks like the Ballerina react to this?

“They’re all colorful,” Rahm Emanuel, a former Clinton aide who later became mayor of Chicago, said in an interview in 2001. “They’re all living large.”

Wel, ha ha ha! “Colorful,” certainly, in the sense that Al Capone and Owney Madden (Bill Clinton’s mentor in Hot Springs, Ark.) were colorful. “Colorful” the way Sandy Berger was “colorful” when he got caught stealing and possibly destroying incriminating documents from the National Archives relating to the Clinton Crime Family. “Colorful,” in other words, as in “criminal.”

But then the Democrat Party has long been a criminal organization masquerading as a political party, home to murderers, presidential assassins, mountebanks, curs, cads, enemy agents and garden-variety liars and thieves. The Clintons, who have made government “service” into their own private, lawless fiefdom, from which they have enriched themselves even beyond Bubba’s boyhood dreams of avarice back in Bubbles, are only its latest capos.

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Wha’ happen?

Word is out, as Harry Reid might say, that the soon-to-be-former senator’s explanation of the serious injuries he sustained in an “exercise accident” on New Year’s Day is bunk. One prima facie proof is that the soon-to-be-former senator has yet to identify the maker of the equipment that robbed him of the sight in one eye, busted him in the mouth and damaged several ribs. Nor to my knowledge has he sued the alleged manufacturer, which is normally the first thing a Democrat would do; additionally, the soon-to-be-former senator has given varying and contradictory accounts of what happened to him, and why he suddenly decided not to seek re-election. It’s all very hinky.

Acting on a phone tip, John Hinderaker of Power Line wrote that the culprit behind the beatdown might have been the soon-to-be-former senator’s brother, Larry Reid. (In the course of citing Larry Reid’s recent arrest for assaulting a cop, I referenced Hinderaker’s post here, since I too believe that the soon-to-be-former senator has not come clean about what really happened that night.) That report, however, turned out to be “prank” by a man using a false name, according to the Las Vegas Sun, Reid’s home-town newspaper — one designed to highlight the gullibility of the conservative media, especially Rush Limbaugh:

A Las Vegas man claims he started a false rumor that the injuries suffered by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid several months ago were the result of an attack by Reid’s brother, not an exercise accident.

Larry Pfeifer, a 50-year-old former consultant in the nightclub and entertainment industry, said he fabricated the story after becoming appalled that right-wing political blogger John Hinderaker published a rumor that Reid’s injuries stemmed from an assault by a Mafia enforcer. Pfeifer said he pitched his fake story about the Reid brothers’ supposed fight to Hinderaker, author of the Power Line blog, to test whether the blogger would publish it, as well. When Hinderaker reported it and the rumor was subsequently spread by others in conservative media, Pfeifer says he began plotting to self-report it as a lie to show the lack of credibility and journalistic standards among partisan media figures.

“It was just so outrageous,” he said. “The fact that someone can say something completely false that can destroy somebody’s life, it’s just wrong. Where’s the moral compass?”

Pfeifer, who describes himself as a motivational speaker who is involved in addiction counseling, said he completely concocted the story that Reid’s brother, Larry, showed up intoxicated at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on New Year’s Eve in Henderson and claimed to have beaten up a relative.

He might better address that “moral compass” question to himself. Hinderaker clearly labeled the account of “Easton Elliott” (the false name Pfeifer provided) of the AA meeting, which was offered in apparent good faith, as speculative: “I, of course, couldn’t vouch for the veracity of Elliott’s story, and I didn’t. In the linked post I wrote: ‘That is Easton Elliott’s account. I can’t vouch for it, of course….’ Later, I said: ‘Is Easton Elliott telling the truth? I have absolutely no idea.’ But I did check him out to the extent reasonably possible. Among other things, that included spending a couple of hours with him in multiple telephone conversations. He told his story consistently and with seeming sincerity, and swore repeatedly that it was true.”

You can read Hinderaker’s complete pantsing of Larry Pfeifer here.

The Sun has a little more background on Pfeifer and his aims in lying about Larry Reid. Note, by the way, the strangely sympathetic, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone the newspaper takes on Pfeifer’s behalf:

In coming forward, Pfeifer said he expected to encounter skepticism about whether he truly was the source of the rumor and whether he made up the story. A convicted felon who was sentenced to prison for financial crimes in the early 1990s, he offered dozens of emails and recordings as verification of his claim. He said he was not pressured to debunk the rumor and had never met Harry Reid or anyone in his family.

A rumor that Pfeifer himself started…

Pfeifer said he felt guilty for bringing unwanted attention to Larry Reid and for any harm he might have caused to the Reid family. “I would really like to apologize to Harry Reid and his brother. What I did was (expletive) up,” Pfeifer said.

Pfeifer said he encountered several reporters who acted responsibly, both while he was spreading the rumor and after he decided to blow the whistle on himself. The Sun demanded that Pfeifer reveal his legal name and show his driver’s license, then ran a public records check on him to verify his identity.

One might here note that the Sun demanded proof of the “former consultant in the nightclub and entertainment industry’s” identity only after he had outed himself:

Pfeifer said he tried to get on Limbaugh’s show, where he planned to admit he’d made up the story. “I thought the whole thing would be over in a day and a half,” he said. “I wasn’t after 15 minutes of fame. I wanted a platform where I could present this as what it was and 2 million people would pick up on it.” He said he decided to present the truth after Limbaugh rejected him as a guest but repeated the rumor April 15 on his talk-radio show. Neither Limbaugh nor Hinderaker presented the story as fact, and both told their audience to take it for what it was worth…

Now, Pfeifer is hoping his story goes viral and leads to appearances in national media to speak out about irresponsible partisan media. “Why are people so bloodthirsty?” Pfeifer said. “We’re all supposed to be good neighbors. Harry Reid’s a human being. If a complete stranger we knew was injured, wouldn’t we be concerned?

Gee, I dunno. Let’s ask Harry Reid.

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What the hell was she thinking?

What the hell was she thinking?

That the Hillary! candidacy is doomed is now a foregone conclusion. Madame Defarge has no aptitude for the job, only a taste for it, and a venomous certainty that it is somehow rightfully hers. But when you’ve lost Jon Chait:

The qualities of an effective presidency do not seem to transfer onto a post-presidency. Jimmy Carter was an ineffective president who became an exemplary post-president. Bill Clinton appears to be the reverse. All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.

The news today about the Clintons all fleshes out, in one way or another, their lack of interest in policing serious conflict-of-interest problems that arise in their overlapping roles:

There follows a list of the various Clinton disasters we have lovingly been chronicling here for weeks now. Still, it’s instructive that the default mode on the Left is to attribute to “disorganization,” “greed” and “sloppiness” (hello, Sandy Berger!) what is almost certainly outright and overt criminal behavior, undertaken in the belief that no one would ever be held accountable.

When you are a power couple consisting of a former president and a current secretary of State and likely presidential candidate, you have the ability to raise a lot of money for charitable purposes that can do a lot of good. But some of the potential sources of donations will be looking to get something in return for their money… And yet the Clintons paid little to no attention to this problem. Nicholas Confessore described their operation as “a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.” Indeed, as Ryan Lizza reported in 2012, Bill Clinton seemed to see the nexus between his role and his wife’s as a positive rather than a negative:

Regardless of Bill Clinton’s personal feelings about Obama, it didn’t take him long to see the advantages of an Obama Presidency. More than anyone, he pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State. “President Clinton was a big supporter of the idea,” an intimate of the Clintons told me. “He advocated very strongly for it and arguably was the tie-breaking reason she took the job.” For one thing, having his spouse in that position didn’t hurt his work at the Clinton Global Initiative. He invites foreign leaders to the initiative’s annual meeting, and her prominence in the Administration can be an asset in attracting foreign donors. “Bill Clinton’s been able to continue to be the Bill Clinton we know, in large part because of his relationship with the White House and because his wife is the Secretary of State,” the Clinton associate continued. “It worked out very well for him. That may be a very cynical way to look at it, but that’s a fact. A lot of the stuff he’s doing internationally is aided by his level of access.”

Well, duh. Throughout the entire Clinton period, the media has done its best to ignore the organized-crime roots of Bill Clinton’s political career, from his early apprenticeship at the feet of the legendary Prohibition-Era gangster, Owney Madden, to the criminal nature of the town of Hot Springs, Ark., where Bubba grew up, to the quid-pro-quo gangland tactics both Clintons have always employed in their dealings with the wider world beyond the Ouchita mountains. Exactly none of what the Clintons now stand revealed as having done, both politically and through their phony “charity,” should come as a surprise to anybody who’s been paying the slightest bit of attention for the past twenty years.

The Obama administration wanted Hillary Clinton to use official government email. She didn’t. The Obama administration also demanded that the Clinton Foundation disclose all its donors while she served as Secretary of State. It didn’t comply with that request, either. The Clintons’ charitable initiatives were a kind of quasi-government run by themselves, which was staffed by their own loyalists and made up the rules as it went along. Their experience running the actual government, with its formal accountability and disclosure, went reasonably well. Their experience running their own privatized mini-state has been a fiasco.

And yet, the fact that it is coming as a shock to some die-hard Democrats is a tribute to the remarkable power of the Clinton-friendly media, which (as Glenn Reynolds has pointed out) sees its job not so much as deciding what to report, but what not to report, especially when it comes to its beloved Democrat party, famously described by your truly as a “criminal organization masquerading as a political party” — which of course it is. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this comes about in part from the fact that elite liberal journalists and politicians naturally gravitate toward each other — they all attended the same schools and live in the same neighborhoods — and also from the journalists’ nagging sense that they really should have been Southern Poverty Law Center lawyers, rather than the oxpeckers they actually are.

What’s an oxpecker, you ask?

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Let us please stipulate that in a rational world, a woman like Hillary Rodham Clinton would have absolutely no chance of being nominated for, much less elected, president of the United States. She has achieved nothing, accomplished nothing (unless you count the four dead Americans at Benghazi, for which she will ultimately be held responsible); she is an exremely poor public speaker, full of annoying verbal and physical tics; she is legendarily dishonest; she is a hard-core Alinskyite; and in general a wretched human being. By rights, she should be laughed off the stage, the same way the smart set laughed at Lurleen Wallace, who succeeded her husband George Wallace, the racist Democrat, as governor of Alabama back in 1967.  She has no natural political constituency, except the manufactured “women’s vote,” and no rationale for her candidacy except that it’s “time” for a woman president, just as it was “time” for a part-black African, part-Arab, half-white, paternally cultural Muslim to pass for a traditional African-American Christian and be elected president in 2008.

And yet, even after the comically disastrous and transparently phony launch of her new “campaign,” she’s considered the “inevitable” Democrat nominee for 2016 and, very likely, the next president of the United States. For the sake of democracy in America, she needs to be defeated and politically destroyed. Break Hillary and you have begun to break the power of the Mainstream Media, a fifth column masquerading as the Fourth Estate whose mission it has been for decades to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America.

For the only reason an HRC candidacy is even plausible is the influence of the legacy media, which has simply declared, by fiat, her suitability and her inevitability. You may recall that the MSM did the same thing in the run-up to 2008, until their dreamboat, Obama, came along and gave the aging Baby Boomers, who had dreamed of exactly this moment since 1968, a reason to push the female candidate to the back of the bus in order to celebrate the only kind of “diversity” they advocate, which is racial.

It didn’t matter to the Racialist Left that Obama had exactly nothing to do with the authentic black American experience — he was not from a slave background, he grew up in largely racially colorblind Hawaii where his skin color matched that of the vast majority of the island’s population, and his mother was as white as, well, Kansas. (Like Obama, I grew up in part in Hawaii, and can relate from first-hand experience that the only people actively discriminated against in those days were “white” people.) But in choosing to send young Barry to the Punahou School — where the Anglo elite had long sent their progeny — his parents, or handlers, found the one school in the islands where he could feel racially aggrieved.

In short, his “blackness” was essentially manufactured in order to sell him to the media and then to a good-hearted American public as a plausible black candidate in a way that, say, Jesse Jackson was (in their view) not. Harry Reid inadvertently let the cat out of the bag away when he remarked that Obama had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” In other words, Obama was not threateningly black, a racist view Joe Biden endorsed when he called him “articulate and clean.”

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In case you missed it, Joe Biden is now the vice president of the United States.

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Eight times, in the back, for a busted taillight

Eight times, in the back, for a busted taillight

The man was stopped for a broken taillight. Then he was dead, shot eight times by a South Carolina cop. And now the cop has been charged with murder:

A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The shooting came on the heels of high-profile instances of police officers’ using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. The deaths have set off a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men.

Leave it to the New York Times to instantly racialize the incident; after all, the Narrative must be advanced at every opportunity. But this story is larger than that. Because, in this era of militarized, trigger-happy police, what officer Slager did to poor Walter Scott could happen to any of us:

The shooting unfolded after Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight, according to police reports. Mr. Scott ran away, and Officer Slager chased him into a grassy lot that abuts a muffler shop. He fired his Taser, an electronic stun gun, but it did not stop Mr. Scott, according to police reports.

Never a good idea to run from a cop. Especially when, as Scott did, you have a rap sheet:

Mr. Scott had been arrested about 10 times, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for court hearings, according to The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston. He was arrested in 1987 on an assault and battery charge and convicted in 1991 of possession of a bludgeon, the newspaper reported. Mr. Scott’s brother, Anthony, said he believed Mr. Scott had fled from the police on Saturday because he owed child support.

“He has four children; he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record,” said Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Mr. Scott’s family. “He had a job; he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

But let’s start at the beginning: the traffic stop.

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Conservatarian Manifesto

For years, mainstream conservatives and libertarians have eyed each other warily, circling; they know on some level they should be natural allies, but for various reasons can’t quite bring themselves to admit it. Along comes Charles C. W. Cooke, an English-born writer for the conservative magazine National Review, with a provocative new book entitled The Conservatarian Manifesto that seeks to unite the two principal strains of thought on the Right and eliminate the crazier aspects of both.

Cooke, who has quickly established himself at NR and elsewhere as one of the brightest young conservative minds in the country, comes to the American argument with an admirably balanced and, as befits his English upbringing and education (Oxford), emotionally restrained view in his new book. Not that he isn’t an enthusiastic new American, of course — he grew up as one of those rarities, an Americanophile in England and voted with his feet when he joined the staff of America’s flagship movement conservative magazine. But Cooke’s dispassion (not to be confused with disinterest) serves him very well in this, his debut book. Nobody sees a country, for good or ill, quite like the newly arrived foreigner. Especially a perceptive and literary one.

This question, of the essential nature of man, is at the very root of the disagreement between the Left and the Right — the Right’s skepticism [of big government] resting heavily upon the presumption that human beings do not change when they accorded great power and that, if anything, we should be more and not less suspicious of anybody who seeks out influence; the Left takes the opposing view.

The Right’s acknowledgment of the limitations of man and of the state that he has created is imperative. It is often asserted that free markets perform better than does central preparation, and that governments are unable to achieve by design what a free people may spontaneously. But it is rarely explained why this is the case. The answer is refreshingly simple: Because so much that the state does it is not designed to do well, however ingenious are the men and women we put in charge. Brilliant as our bureaucrats may be, they are simply incapable of running a country this size.

The reality — the joke — of course, is that they are far from brilliant or even functionally capable. The manifest ineptitude, corruption and incompetence of Leviathan is, in fact, the thing that drives many not to the conservative cause (for Bush-era “conservatives” are anything but when it comes to their love of Big Government) but to the libertarian one. In the name of “progressivism,” the nation is being fleeced, re-ordered and “fundamentally transformed” from a Euro-centric representative republic grounded in the Enlightenment into a Third World kleptocracy whose administrators feign a concern for the poor out of electoral necessity but are really only in it for the money and the power. And so the libertarians flee, wrapping themselves in the time-honored American cloak of Leave Me Alone, but abandoning the muscular foreign policy and sense of cultural confidence that has always marked the United States at its native, conservative best. At the same time, however, the fixation in some precincts on the “social issues” bogs movement conservatives down in a series of pointless cultural engagements with the Left (the Memories Pizza story is one such) that feed directly into the media narrative of conservative troglodytism: the movie Footloose, writ large.

Cooke limns the sins of both sides as he sets out his synthetic argument. What’s wrong with conservatives? “Despite all of the Right’s energy over the past fifty years — and a good deal of electoral success to boot — the basic assumptions of the American government have in no meaningful sense been reversed.” As if to emphasize this sad but basic truth concerning what I have called the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, the elections of 2014 returned large Republican majorities to both house of Congress and yet the forward (perhaps downward would be a better word), destructive march of Obamaism has not only not been slowed, it has picked up its pace, since the president, unchained in his final two years in office, no longer has to even pretend that he cares what anybody else thinks. “When was the last time you heard an aspiring conservative politician say, ‘I’m a George W. Bush conservative’?” asks Cooke.

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Lemme see your warface

Lemme see your warface

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics has a devastating indictment of the Coward-in-Chief and his deliberate thumb in the eye to the honor of the American military:

Travel back with me, dear reader, to a magical and sunny time. It was only 10 months ago, on a glorious June morning when President Obama called the White House press corps together in the Rose Garden. There, our smiling president proudly announced that the United States had secured the release of an American serviceman held captive in Afghanistan for five years.

Flanked by the grateful parents of returning Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the president lauded his administration’s “ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home.” The soldier’s father, Bob Bergdahl, read a prayer; the young man’s mother, Jani, hugged the president. It was a story that could please all Americans: parenthood (quite properly) trumping partisanship.

Yet even as White House image-makers touted the picture of a concerned commander-in-chief looking out for the troops, a nagging bit of foreshadowing interjected itself into the narrative. For starters, the senior Bergdahl’s prayer was delivered in Arabic and began with a blessing from the Koran. While his son was in captivity Bob Bergdahl had grown his hair and beard long, Taliban-style, and now he also sprinkled his remarks from the White House lectern with a few words of Pashto, the language of Bowe Bergdahl’s captors.

Imagine that: just over a decade after the atrocity of Sept. 11 — the Koran is being read aloud from the White House Rose Garden. Let that sink in: the Koran, the enemy’s “sacred” text and how-to manual. It would have been as if Henry Morgenthau had read excerpts of Mein Kampf from the FDR White House during World War II. Of course, it is, for the moment, Barry Hussein’s residence, so perhaps our part-Arab, disgracefully Islamophilic president was just following his heart.

More disconcerting still were the terms of the deal securing the soldier’s release, which the president referred to only fleetingly. “As part of this effort, the United States is transferring five detainees from the prison in Guantanamo Bay to Qatar,” Obama said. “The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security.”

A lie, of course. The Taliban commanders will be back in the field soon, while the pathetic little pansy Bergdahl is now facing desertion charges — something everybody knew he would be doing at the time the trade was made. So that meant that the odious Susan Rice, who lies with a facility that might make her boss envious, had to lie some more:

Rice assured those watching on national television that Bergdahl had served the United States with “honor and distinction.” This claim only invited scrutiny—and was immediately challenged by members of Bergdahl’s unit, the 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Regiment.

Naturally, the painfully stupid Jen Psaki has leapt to the defense of her derelict boss:

“Was it worth it? Absolutely,” Jen Psaki told Megyn Kelly on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “We have a commitment to our men and women serving in the military, defending our national security every day, that we’re going to do everything to bring them home if we can, and that’s what we did in this case.” Psaki’s comments were the first from a top administration official since the charges were announced earlier Wednesday.

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Nothing our president, Barack Hussein Obama, does at this point in his benighted administration should come as a shock to anybody who heard him utter the words “fundamental transformation” back in late 2008, once he knew the McCain fix was in and the election was in the bag. But his suggestion a few days ago that voting should be mandatory needs to be studied by all to see the pure essence of Obamaism — and then beware of it.

Like everything Obama and the Left propose, this crackpot idea is couched and masked in all the usual “progressive” disguises. It’s “fair,” and about “equality.” When in fact it’s neither of those things. But how far the Alinsky ball has been moved down the field is evident from the fact that the Left keep using buzz phrases like these, and keeps getting away with it. By now, one would think that the Left’s promises would be seen for the threadbare lies that they are; black America in particular has suffered for more than half a century while awaiting the coming of the Promised Land, which never quite arrives. But the Left has an out, and it knows it — the old communist bleat that their system will work, but that “it just hasn’t really been tried yet.” And a new generation, particularly the one raised on non-judgmentalism and lunatic egalitarianism, nods and falls for it.

In the president’s current proposal, the red-flag word is “mandatory.” No surprise here; the Fascist Left loves bossing people around. Ban it! Outlaw it! Make it mandatory! Their shopworn bag of social nostrums could never be fully accepted, even when the social poison is sugar-coated up the wazoo, without both deception (Obamacare) and blunt force (Obamacare). Once they’ve enticed the schoolkids into the windowless white-panel truck with a bag of candy, the hammer drops and the populace (judging by how long the Soviet Union lasted) is in for nearly a century of misery before the human spirit reasserts itself and a few finally escape and call the cops. By then, however, the country that previously existed is dead.

Here’s the story about America’s very own Il Duce and his latest foray into establishing a permanent Democrat majority in American electoral politics:

President Obama, whose party was trounced in last year’s midterm election due in part to poor turnout among Democrats, endorsed the idea of mandatory voting Wednesday.

“It would be transformative if everybody voted,” Mr. Obama said during a town-hall event in Cleveland. “That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”

“Transformative” (note Obama’s fondness for the word) it would be.  Despite their losses in the past two congressional elections, the Democrats sense that on the presidential level the Party of Take has outgrown the Party of Give, and that if they could force the dependent class to the polls the donkeys would never have to relinquish the White House again. Doesn’t matter whether Congress is controlled by the “opposition party” — it would be easier if it weren’t, but Obama has shown repeatedly lately that Congress doesn’t matter, and perhaps not even the Supreme Court. Just seize the White House and then, backed by your constitutional authority as commander in chief, defy the other “co-equal” branches to do something about it.

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