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David Steinberg

David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.
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Unreal: Stephanie Cutter Links Anti-Romney Piece from China’s State-Run Media

Friday, September 14th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Presented without comment (but feel free to add your own below):


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Stunner: ‘The Security People Just All Ran Away’

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

From The Independent’s breaking story, which focuses on the U.S. failure to heed a 48-hour warning of threats to the embassy:

According to security sources the consulate had been given a “health check” in preparation for any violence connected to the 9/11 anniversary. In the event, the perimeter was breached within 15 minutes of an angry crowd starting to attack it at around 10pm on Tuesday night. There was, according to witnesses, little defence put up by the 30 or more local guards meant to protect the staff. Ali Fetori, a 59-year-old accountant who lives near by, said: “The security people just all ran away and the people in charge were the young men with guns and bombs.”

Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the Tripoli government-sanctioned Libya’s Shield Brigade, effectively a police force for Benghazi, maintained that it was anger over the Mohamed video which made the guards abandon their post. “There were definitely people from the security forces who let the attack happen because they were themselves offended by the film; they would absolutely put their loyalty to the Prophet over the consulate. The deaths are all nothing compared to insulting the Prophet.”

Note he does not say: “They believe the deaths are all nothing … “, I take it from Buhmeid’s wording that he agrees.

No matter though, the statement is a farce. If the guards hold this belief, that they would just as soon turn their guns on the embassy should an American utter a blasphemy, then the Americans would have been dead long ago. (The existence of the embassy itself could be construed as blasphemy!) The film would not have been the final straw for all 30 guards at once, at the proper time for the start of the attempted breach.

The guards were involved with the raid. They left their posts on the signal. Say something about this act of war, President Obama — as the alliance with al-Qaeda elements in Libya was your decision, your folly. You extended a hand, foolishly, and they took the whole body.

Sandmonkey, a PJ Media contact in Egypt, tweeted the following earlier today. I told him I wasn’t ready to buy it yet, but if this is how events occurred in Benghazi, I am certain he sources are good regarding what happened in Cairo:

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(UPDATED: Richard Landes, ‘Pallywood’ Expert, Weighs In) Nakoula a Copt, Says … Nakoula?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

UPDATE: After having suspicions regarding the “Copt” problem, I contacted Richard Landes: Boston University prof, Augean Stables proprietor, and the best source around on “Pallywood” — he invented the term, and did excellent work on the Mohammed al-Dura film.

Here’s his take on Innocence of Muslims, and my “impersonating a Copt” (forgive me) suspicions:

First of all, the footage is comical, like so much Pallywood footage. Just so obviously terrible that no self-respecting person would produce it — and certainly not for $5 million. It’s obviously intended to incite. It’s bathroom humor.

Second, the package is certainly a “lethal narrative“: namely, something aimed at accusing Israel/Jews of deliberately doing things that will harm non-Jews (in this case, to the Muslims whose feelings will be offended and to the U.S., whose ambassadors/representatives will be killed). In this sense, it is like Gaza Beach and the Ghalia family: real events (deaths from bombings, movies that provoke) turned against Israel and the Jews by a narrative that turns out to be false.

Third, the media jumped all over it without even checking to see if Bacile is registered as a real-estate agent, much less an Israeli (Bacile? Never heard this name, certainly not for a Jew), much less a real person.

The media’s eagerness to tell stories about Israelis/Jews behaving badly is as intense now as it was 12 years ago, and as with al Dura, this thirst for lethal narratives has dire consequences for everyone. They can’t resist stories of moral schadenfreude about the Jews. They’re killing their reputations, but it tastes too good to stop.

As this story progresses, that “Sam Bacile” was intended to be a Jew will be the pivotal element. Be just as sure that as soon as this becomes clear, the media will either lose interest, or become terribly interested in what specific offenses the Israelis committed to anger poor Nakoula.


Despite this report by the AP that rather definitively zeroes in on Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as the creator of Innocence of Muslims, the question of motive has not yet been reasonably addressed. The article includes this:

Nakoula told the AP that he was a Coptic Christian and said the film’s director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.

The article further reveals that Nakoula was convicted in 2010 of bank fraud:

Nakoula, who talked guardedly about his role, pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

He has also employed various identities:

Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cellphone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula’s aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.

The AP presents a portrait of a career criminal, one who additionally had an ethical blind spot large enough to lead some 80 actors and crew to believe they were involved in a generic dramatic film to avoid revealing its blasphemous-to-Islam intentions.

So — all we currently possess as evidence that Nakoula is a Copt: the doggedly dishonest Nakoula has proclaimed himself to be a Copt.

Prior to which, he proclaimed himself to be a Jew.

His Copt-ness is also the only point given that would possibly define a motive — he supposedly wanted to draw attention to the vileness of Muhammad’s life as recorded in the Koran … to draw support for Copts, which strikes me as unreasonable, bizarre behavior. An Egyptian Copt would certainly know that the actual effect of blaspheming Muhammad is murderous rage towards the perpetrators — Danish cartoons, etc. — and deliberately referring to himself as a Jew, and a rich one at that?

Then, of course, we have an issue with timing. The film was only promoted online in the days leading up to 9/11 by “Sam Bacile” — why would the Copts cause benefit from such timing?

Don’t accept that Nakoula is a Copt until further notice, there is certainly not any evidence for that assertion.

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(UPDATED: The ‘Replace Biggs With Steinberg’ Drive) Jason Biggs: My Doppelganger Goes Full Bigot

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by David Steinberg

UPDATED: Customer pressure appears to be mounting on Nickelodeon, Biggs’ current employer — he is the voice of Leonardo on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Interesting fact: I briefly worked for Nickelodeon in my twenties, and a confused intern actually thought Jason Biggs was the new Administrative Assistant.)

So — I’m in, I don’t want to go down with this ship. The “Replace Biggs With Steinberg!” movement commences now. Any readers able to design some t-shirts?


In certain lighting and following a reasonably stiff drink, strangers start to inform me that I look like that actor who had erotic relations with an apple pie. This has resulted in a few evenings of fun for me over the years, as when we notice people whispering “is that the guy?” and pointing in dark restaurants, my wife and I pretend to be having an emotional conversation about a wayward friend named “Stifler”.

After last night’s performance, this is not a person I ever wish to be associated with, even mistakenly. He revealed himself to be a classic jerk, a careless, dehumanizing, misogynist bigot pushing the worst sort of Leftist demonization. Twitchy has compiled the filth to read; I’d rather not repost it here. But you should see it, if only for a glimpse at what a Hollywood Leftist feels he can safely get away with if the target is conservatives or Christians.

My guess is even Hollywood will respond negatively to this — but only for the misogyny. Perhaps Biggs will be needing a new agent by this evening. I’ll be at home, dyeing my hair.


Cross-Posted at PJ Lifestyle.

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Obama, MSM Tacking to ‘Foreign Affairs and National Security’?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

If there is an area of Obama’s oeuvre in which he appears weaker — and more prone to attacks he simply cannot defend against — than the economy and unemployment, it is the epochal rise of Islamism and neo-Sovietism that occurred on his watch and with his blessing.

Uh, cue the TelePrompTer? The following went up at 11:35 p.m. on Thursday, moments after the GOP convention wrapped up. Note that the editorial is titled “Mr. Romney Reinvents History”, yet the html link reads “http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/opinion/the-hidden-subject-in-tampa.html”. The “Reinvents” part refers to Romney’s inference that the country was willing to unite behind the newly elected Obama in 2008. This is the lede on the editorial, though it seems like a quick add-on, as the rest of the piece focuses on “foreign affairs”, which was apparently “the hidden subject in Tampa”, prefab.

So the NY Times goes with a prewritten editorial published moments after a speech, and it focuses on topics that were hardly mentioned during the speech.

Folks, this is a PR rollout, not editorializing.

But seriously — this is the next play? Are we in the “NBA garbage-time” phase already, with Coach Axelrod pulling his starters? “Checking in for Race Card and White Misogyny … it’s Foreign Affairs, and National Security. Give it up for Race Card!”

Here’s the piece, in full:

Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.”

The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.

Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.

It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.

For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively.

Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy.

Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria.

Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money.

Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war?

She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling.

Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world.

The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently.

But after watching the Republicans for three days in Florida, that comes as no surprise.

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Tom Morello? You Guessed It, Lives in Giant L.A. Mansion

Friday, August 17th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

According to VirtualGlobeTrotting.com, aging socialist/anarchist/whatever guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello — who today expressed his displeasure at Paul Ryan being a fan of his music, and also referred to Ryan as being the embodiment of the “Machine” he rages against — either now lives in or used to live in this L.A. palace:

Morello is also worth an estimated $60 million dollars.

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MSNBC’s Toure No Match For 23-Year-Old Republican Guest

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

In case you have forgotten who the Toure is, recall he’s the man who was deemed a fraud of a journalist by … Piers Morgan a few weeks back, and who also has expressed his disbelief in the “official” version of 9/11.

Today, he made the unfortunate mistake of assuming he was both more prepared and a more talented debater than a young guest, ridiculing a young Republican as being a “strange breed” and in need of being “saved”. Said young man responded by savaging Toure like a budding Winston Churchill. Alex Schriver has himself a heck of a resume-building clip after today (yes, he’s on our radar). Enjoy:

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Hmm: Obama Lit Agent Has Repped Weatherman Terrorist Mark Rudd Since 1980s

Friday, May 25th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Jane Dystel, Barack Obama’s literary agent from 1990 until 2004, has represented former fugitive and Weatherman terrorist Mark Rudd from some point in the late 1980s until today. Rudd has published two books: the 1990 memoir Truth and Consequences: The Education of Mark Rudd, and 2009’s Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen.

In 2009, Dystel posted the following to the Dystel & Goderich Literary Management blog:

I absolutely love seeing that final book and the thrill of the author as he or she holds it in his or her hand. Just the other night, Mark Rudd whom I have known and worked with since the mid ‘80s celebrated the publication of UNDERGROUND and I was able to see his joy and feel the thrill of being a part of this achievement.

As Team Breitbart discovered and published last week, from 1991 until 2007 Dystel employed a promotional biography for Obama that claimed he was born in Kenya. The biography had been edited several times during that period, but the statement regarding his birthplace was not altered until after Obama declared himself a candidate for the presidency.

Yesterday, I noted here that the 1990 New York Times article about then-Harvard Law student Obama — which reportedly spurred Dystel to seek out Obama as a client — stated that Obama was born in Hawaii, the implication being that both Dystel and, of course, Obama were likely aware of the inaccuracy of the Kenya claim when they first used it.

Does Obama’s former agent’s professional relationship with Rudd — which according to her predates her relationship with Obama — suggest taking a further look at the timeline of this pivotal moment in Obama’s life?

Who introduced whom to whom, and when? When did Obama meet Bill Ayers?

This I don’t know, yet I do know that Rick Perry had a close brush with a racist rock in the early 1980s that may or may not have involved seeing it; that Congressman Darrell Issa, lead investigator of Fast and Furious, works from an office suspiciously close to land that once was a golf course, giving him an excellent taxpayer-funded view should he also have access to that wormhole thing from Contact; that Ann Romney totally digs horses, and horses are expensive, man; that John McCain was friends with a woman (a woman!); that 150 years ago some Mormons committed murder and Mitt Romney is a Mormon; that Sarah Palin utilizes an email account; and that George Allen said “Macaca,” the Slur That You Dare Not Speak As You Are Not Familiar With Its Usage Or Existence.

In related news, CNN has recorded its worst ratings in two decades.

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Q: How Many Occupiers Live on Less Than 66 Cents a Day?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Yes, rural India may sound like a difficult place to survive, but you simply do not comprehend how difficult it is for the average 30-year-old to pay for recreational sex these days, and to make student loan paym- FREE MUMIA ONE PERCENTWARONWOMENRAAAAACIST.

From today’s Times of India:

60 per cent of India’s rural population lives on less than Rs 35 a day

About 60 per cent of India’s rural population lives on less than Rs 35 a day and nearly as many in cities live on Rs 66 a day, reveals a government survey on income and expenditure.

“In terms of average per capita daily expenditure, it comes out to be about Rs 35 in rural and Rs 66 in urban India. About 60 per cent of the population live with these expenditures or less in rural and urban areas,” said Director General of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) J Dash in his preface to the report.

Rs 35 equals $o.66 cents.

According to the 66th round of National Sample Survey (NSS) carried out between July 2009 and June 2010, all India average monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE) in rural areas was Rs 1,054 and urban areas Rs 1,984.

The survey also pointed out that 10 per cent of the population at the lowest rung in rural areas lives on Rs 15 a day, while in urban areas the figure is only a shade better at Rs 20 day.

“The poorest 10 per cent of India’s rural population had an average MPCE of Rs 453. The poorest 10 per cent of the urban population had an average MPCE of Rs 599″, it said.

The NSSO survey also revealed that average MPCE in rural areas was lowest in Bihar and Chhattisgarh at around Rs 780 followed by Orissa and Jharkhand at Rs 820.


In historical terms, I would have trouble being convinced that a political movement ever existed in the history of Man that had a greater sense of entitlement, ingratitude, and a more profoundly relativist interpretation of “suffering” than the current American and European Left. Elizabeth Warren checks off a box to embrace her inner victimhood and to meet other high-cheekboned who suffer like her; she earlier claimed to be the ideological impetus behind the Occupy movement.

College graduates who received quarter-million dollar loans — that’s Rs 13,350,518.18 — with deferred payments demanding debt forgiveness? Their grandparents fled the Cossacks to live; the Left won’t relocate to South Dakota, with more $100,000 jobs than applicants, because it’s South Dakota, man. And they would never dirty their hands with oil money.

Interestingly, dirt-cheap energy and capital are precisely the two things needed to bring prosperity to rural India. Hey! I’ve got an idea …

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#Julia, and Leftism’s New Media Problem

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 - by David Steinberg

The Obama 2012 campaign released the epic government-fueled travails of “Julia” today, a slideshow supposedly relating how an Obama presidency can benefit the life of the average American woman. “Benefit”, as in pay for each of her progressive-approved hipster doofus life-choices (“Age 22: She starts her career as a web designer”).

Right off the bat, “#Julia” trended to the top of Twitter as the second-most popular current hashtag in the United States; to the horror of David Axelrod and the increasingly dated tacticians of the Obama campaign, virtually every mention of #Julia was a conservative mocking the slideshow. Our Vodkapundit nailed it with:

Also, David Burge (Iowahawk):

The most distressing problem this latest new media “organizing” tactic presents for the Obama campaign is the same problem that new media — ahem, PJ Media — presents for leftism in general. On my count, the last five hashtags introduced by Obama’s campaign have been instant public relations disasters; another smear tactic backfired into the legendary #ObamaEatsDogs. They keep trying, however, and that’s because propaganda, sloganeering, and various issues for rallying the rabble are the only weapon in the progressive toolbag. Alinsky’s toolbag. Lying, and cliches — hey, everyone go buy Jonah Goldberg’s new book, by the way — are the means of pitching doomed-to-fail ideology as successful. And the lying works wonderfully when the effort needed to combat and debunk the lies is great: when we couldn’t get a word in if we couldn’t get Walter Cronkite to say it, “Julia” was a winner of an idea.

Now, conservatives get their retaliation halfway around the world while Julia is still getting her shoes on. For an administration raised on Alinsky, the growing evidence that Alinsky is outdated should not sit well.

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Outing Hollywood Conservatives: The New ‘Is He Gay?’

Monday, April 30th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

That an industry exists in this country wherein holding a majority political persuasion is something to be hidden from scrutiny is not new; indeed, part of PJ Media’s mission is to destroy the liberal stranglehold on Hollywood and news media. Of course the following should not be “something” in any industry, but it still is:

BLIND GOSSIP 04/23 **#2** In Hollywood, it’s popular to be socially liberal and a Democrat. This handsome American actor is an industry leader in supporting Democratic Party candidates. He has donated his time and money and creative fundraising ability to many Democratic causes. However, he has a secret about the way that he votes that only his close friends know. He publicly talks like a Democratic Party loyal. But he actually votes Republican. A lot.

The same nugget appeared elsewhere. With the way rumors spread in Hollywood, this post likely refers to the same guy:

POPBITCH 04/26 Which Hollywood megastar is very keen to keep one story out of the media — that they’ve become a strident, libertarian Neo-Con?

I know, there isn’t actually such thing as a “libertarian Neo-Con”, but at least the author is trying to convey that “the Right” is not a monolithic block of homophobic zombies. Baby steps. Or maybe not. “Libertarian Neo-Con” may just be too stupid to read anything into.

I don’t care what an individual chooses to expose about private belief (recall “the personal is the political”, the liberal fascist chant), and “outing” is pretty repugnant. Nothing wrong with guessing and then going about your day, though. So Robert Downey Jr. is already too well-known as a conservative, and “megastar” generally refers to the Brad Pitt crowd. So … hey, maybe Brad Pitt?

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On Twitter, Michael Eric Dyson Defends His Bigoted Remark to PJ Media

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

In case you missed Bryan’s post: on Friday, Michael Eric Dyson appeared on MSNBC and fashioned a joke regarding the residents of Tennessee, saying that his experience living there led him to believe evolution perhaps hasn’t occurred within its borders.

Dyson has a history, perhaps a career, of repeatedly hitting conservatives with vague, unsupported charges of racism — see here and here, plus note his contribution to the dumbing down of university culture here, which you kinda need to click to believe. Yet, in responding to me, he precisely threaded about four needles to keep his own bigoted remark from receiving that characterization.

Following Bryan’s post, I took to Twitter to see if he would defend direct criticism of his remark. He replied with some prototypical Alinsky-style answers. I cannot know if he believes them, or if he simply choose to defend his name with the whole magazine of leftist cliché.

















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Help Jay Carney Spin the NYT Poll!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Best 140-character-or-less spin wins. To get you started:

#waronwomen resulted in more women leaving Obama to join #waronwomen. Women — just like those Islamist islamophobes. #helpcarneyspintheNYTpoll

‘We have a minority movement of misogynist women perverting the great religion of feminism’ — #helpcarneyspintheNYTpoll

‘just because they’re women doesn’t mean they aren’t foot soldiers in the #waronwomen#helpcarneyspintheNYTpoll


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Nine Points: Was L’Affaire de Fluke Obama’s Tipping Point?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Or was it gas prices?

I’m tempted to believe it was the Fluke campaign — wherein an administration managed to violate the First Amendment, demand perhaps the silliest “right” in the history of leftism, and offend adult women by implying they have the priorities and life skills of a middle-schooler — and the subsequent call from Obama that allowed a flood of damning double standards into the debate, like a clumsy lawyer whose question allows back in evidence previously barred by the judge.

Obama’s lost nine points in a month, and gas has been climbing steadily, I’m not convinced $4.00 was the penny increase that sent one in five of his supporters fleeing.

I think it was Fluke, a K Street mistake for the ages.

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BREAKING: Radical Cronyism? Sit-In Leader Nominated as Judge by Pres. Obama

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

(Also read: More Obama Tapes: Michelle Obama a Race Agitating Occupier?)

The leader of the occupation in the video — Robert L. Wilkins of the Harvard Black Law Students Association — was nominated by President Obama on May 20, 2010 to be considered for judge of the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia. He is now a sitting judge in that position.

From the White House press release:

President Obama Names Three to United States District Court

WASHINGTON- Today, President Obama nominated Judge Anthony Joseph Battaglia, Judge Edward J. Davila and Robert L. Wilkins to seats on the United States District Court.

“These distinguished individuals have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice throughout their careers,” said President Obama.  “I am grateful for their decision to serve the American people from the District Court bench.”

Robert L. Wilkins:  Nominee for United States District Court, District of Columbia
Robert L. Wilkins is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Venable LLP, where he practices primarily in corporate defense/white collar, technology, and commercial litigation.  Previously, Mr. Wilkins was an attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he was chief of special litigation from 1996 to 2000, and where he has served as a trustee from 2002 to 2007 and as vice chair from 2007 to 2008.  The Legal Times has named Mr. Wilkins one of the 90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years.  He was a founding member of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission and he has served on the D.C. Advisory Commission on Sentencing, the D.C. Truth-In-Sentencing Commission, and the D.C. Juvenile Justice Advisory Group.  As president of the National African American Museum & Cultural Complex, he helped to plan and create the National Museum of African American History and Culture within the Smithsonian Institution.  Following law school, Mr. Wilkins clerked for Judge Earl B. Gilliam of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.  Mr. Wilkins is a native of Muncie, Indiana.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989 and his B.S. from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1986.

Not mentioned in the press release: that Wilkins once led an illegal occupation of a law school building to demand the school hire based on skin color, a protest primarily focused on supporting the actions of radical bigot Derrick Bell.

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Iceland’s Recovering? Without Bailouts? Hmmm.

Friday, February 17th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Quick, important post at Zerohedge makes an observation the administration would prefer you avert your eyes from:

While Greece and Europe continue sinking ever deeper into the colonial quicksand of Pax Goldmania, Iceland, which blew up, pushed its banks into bankruptcy, and arrested its corrupt bankers, is well on its way to being the world’s only normal country.

To save Mr. Krugman the effort of a column, a summary of his probable analysis:

Iceland is a nuanced situation. Like Wisconsin and Texas and Germany.

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Summer 2012: Yes, They’re Planning To Riot

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Adbusters, the Canadian magazine credited with starting Occupy, is exhorting lefties to break things at the May Chicago G8 summit.

While the Occupiers have dwindled, don’t believe that a lost media narrative eliminated either the number of potentially violent lefties or their desire to riot this moment, or that bad press and law enforcement alone precipitated Occupy’s current failure.

Frankly, I think they’d be looting today if the East Coast was above 50 Fahrenheit.

Springtime violence is the easiest prediction of Campaign 2012. Judging from the generally iron-deficient response to Occupy, I’m not convinced any city government is prepared — or preparing — to crush it before good folks get hurt.

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You Already Knew, but Here’s What They Think of You

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Over at the DailyKos, doctrinaire fascist Jesse LaGreca pops a blood vessel all over his Ministry of Truth blog (HT Newsbusters):

I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn’t call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn’t call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.

You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don’t know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.

Please take a moment to hit Jesse’s tip jar, and be sure to follow @JesseLaGreca!

Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.

You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.

Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don’t like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that’s not what I am here to tell you.

Is he still talking? I think he’s still talking.

Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn’t worked you are panicking. Obama’s approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America’s recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its’ debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You’ve used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don’t you, it’s that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950′s musical.

Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.

Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.

I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn’t exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.

I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars.

Sorry, back — had to run out to the bank, dry cleaning, supermar — f***, is he still talking?

on’t even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn’t get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn’t your country, you don’t own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn’t approve of it. Rick Santorum isn’t running for America’s fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can’t because he has nothing else to run on.

Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They’ve got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.

But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren’t so sure.

Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.

So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like “family values”, especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don’t think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn’t exactly like you.

You should think about that, and maybe get some help.

And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don’t hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

And … scene.

Hey, who’s up for a Tea Party?

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What’s Missing From Gallup’s Party Identification Numbers

Monday, January 9th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

If the 63-seat House swing in 2010 — accompanied by the rise of the Tea Party and the obliteration of the Blue Dog/Lindsay Graham contingent — didn’t already make this abundantly clear, party affiliation or independent status is not sufficient information to capture the leanings of the electorate. Gallup has found that a record 40 percent of Americans identify as independents, which is interesting, but we can’t and shouldn’t draw responsible conclusions based on this data alone.

The $63 trillion in unfunded entitlement programs in the room? Whether the independents consider themselves to the left or right of either party, and Gallup’s follow-up “lean Democratic/lean Republican” question is still insufficient as a useful figure. Without clarification, Mitt and the GOP will never stop upholding “appeal to the center” as the all-important approach for the general, though this may be a useful tactic for the Democratic nominee.

What chunk of the electorate is “independent/right of GOP”? I wager this group comprises the majority of independents, a large enough group that “Republican” plus ”independent/right of GOP” gets you to 51 percent.

“Independent/center”, or perhaps “independent/leans Democratic from the right” and “independent/leans GOP from the left”, is game-changer data which would require that media put a more accurate face on the electorate. And “independent/leans Democrat from the left” would be a useful figure for alerting Dem leadership of just how small Obama’s base is.

Marginally useful figures like “40 percent – independent” are why Rove and Carville still get to work in Washington. Better numbers trump “expert” opinion.

Why don’t we have these figures?

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Kim vs. Henry VIII: Who’s the More Accomplished Wife Killer?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 - by David Steinberg

This, I didn’t know:

Yun Hye-yong was a woman beyond the reach even of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Yun, the lead singer of Kim’s former favorite band Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, was brutally executed after she spurned Kim’s persistent advances and fell in love with another man.

Or so claims Chang Jin-song, an author formerly affiliated with the North Korean Workers’ Party, in “Kim Jong-il’s Last Woman.” Published in May, it is an epic poem that details Kim’s private life and inside story of his regime based on the true story of the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble.

According to the book, Kim ordered Yun Hye-yong’s songs to be used for the mass gymnastic performance “Arirang,” and attended a concert with her on his birthday. Although many women had found the dictator’s favor before, none had ever merited a place next to him at a public event. Kim even sent officials to Europe to buy her stage costumes and accessories. Yet Yun loved the band’s pianist. When Kim’s agents discovered their relationship by tapping her phone, Yun jumped from the roof of Mokran House, an official banquet hall, with her lover. Although the man died instantly, Kim ordered his men to kill Yun after resuscitating her by any means. She was eventually executed at the end of 2003, while still in coma.

Most women with whom Kim was involved were celebrities. It is widely known that he moved in with the actress Song Hye-rim after abandoning his fiancé Kim Yong-sook. Hong Yong-hui, who was bestowed the title of “distinguished actress” at the age of 18, or Woo In-hui, an actress publicly executed for openly speaking about her relationship with Kim, were among many celebrities who had become Kim’s paramours.

Your move, “Peace Network“.

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South Korean Libs Just Like Ours. Who Knew?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

From today’s Korea Times, an article titled “Civic Groups Split on Condolences“:

Civic groups and bloggers are divided over whether to offer condolences on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Liberal groups claim it is necessary to express sympathy for humanitarian reasons, with some already announcing their own messages of condolences, while conservative groups claim it is nonsense to sympathize with the death of a dictator who killed thousands of his people.

As the government tendered sympathy to the North Korean people Tuesday, progressive groups generally welcomed the move.

Peace Network said in a statement; “Controlling the situation on the Korean Peninsula stably and ensuring peace will benefit all countries including the two Koreas and the United States.”

The nation’s two umbrella labor unions, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, sent telegrams of condolence to their North Korean counterpart.

Yes, “Peace Network” and the trade unions, engaged in “smart diplomacy.” If only Kim had lived long enough for them to release a statement with just the exact right wording to melt his totalitarian heart.

So what do the South Korean conservatives think?

Conservative groups, however, not only oppose sending condolences but also welcomed Kim’s death.

Some 150 members of six conservative civic groups said in a press briefing that Dec. 19 will be the first day of a new Korea.

“As human beings, we may have to express sympathy over a person’s death. But we won’t. How many people have to die in pain because of Kim Jong-il? During the time of the Arduous March, millions of North Korean people died. As a leader of a state, he committed countless crimes against the North, the South and the world,” they said in a statement.

“South Korea’s No. 1 enemy is dead, and it is absurd that the government expresses sympathy. If anybody wanting to visit the North to offer condolence, we’ll fight to stop them,” they said.

Another group, Right Korea, said, “The death of dictator Kim, who suppressed his people and starved millions of them to death, is nothing to be mourned. Most South Koreans welcome his death, regarding it as a signal for North Korea’s democratization.”

Conservative critic Cho Gab-je said, “The government should not tender condolences. It is a lasting regret that we ourselves couldn’t get rid of the slaughterer.”

Yes, I am requesting Cho Gab-je post at the Tatler, in case you’d like to hear more from him.

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Napolitano Warned Us! No, Wait …

Friday, October 14th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

With the least surprising news of the day — that the Occupy movement has turned violent, and “G-d bless them” — it is worth revisiting the despicable report on “rightwing extremism” released in 2009 by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.

The report, which was first disclosed to the public by nationally syndicated radio host Roger Hedgecock, makes clear that the Homeland Security Department does not have “specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence.” It warns that fringe organizations are gaining recruits, but it provides no numbers.

An objective observer would have come to the conclusion that nothing in the conservative/libertarian rise pointed to a penchant for or intentions of violence, whereas leftists not only have had violence on the table, but have literally been shouting it through megaphones.

Even without the blaring evidence, the objective observer would have deduced the difference in behavior expected from those desiring a return to the rule of law versus those desiring limitations on liberty.

The government should have been prepared for leftist violence, and now it’s here, and they are not ready because resources were devoted to harassing the law-abiding.

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Wall Street Protester Demands Gov’t Help With Numbers One and Two

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

No, I’m not making this up.

New York’s CBS 880 AM aired an interview with protester Gene Wagner this morning, during which Wagner aired his frustration with Mayor Bloomberg’s announced cleaning of Zuccotti Park. Said Wagner:

“There’s a lot of stuff we wouldn’t have to clean up if the city provided basic human rights, like a Port-A-Potty,” said demonstrator Gene Wagner. “If you would’ve given us a Port-A-Potty 30 days ago, we would’ve maintained it ourselves.”

Rugged individualism, indeed.

This appears to be Gene, with some of his art.

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GOP Debate Liveblogtweet (Follow: @DavidSPJM)

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

Ok, we’re done.

Newt won this thing hands-down, and surprisingly, I think that matters. He just moved into first place for the VP slot. Cain certainly didn’t help himself and likely hurt his chances, which was the most likely scenario for him coming in. Perry is not worth discussing anymore.

Romney is going to come away with this nomination unless tea partiers make a stink, which better happen soon.

9:46 Good lord — Karen Tumulty brought up an income inequality question straight from an occupy Wall Street sign. She is an unrepentant radical who thinks she has some blockbuster soundbite that will smack down any conservative, not realizing she’s a caricature.

9:42 Newt smashes another one, gives a rather inspiring answer about America being able to get back on the right track if it decides to.

9:40 Solyndra question from Karen Tumulty a wolf in sheep’s clothing — she follows up a swipe about Solyndra with a question about Perry’s record on giving to businesses in Texas. It’s the type of disingenuous journalism you get from, say, a Martin Bashir.

9:31 Paul: Greenspan was a disaster.

9:30 Who’s your favorite Fed chairman? Cain: Alan Greenspan. Ugh.

9:26 Dead.

9:23 Perry campaign is dead, by the way.

9:22 Santorum strong on TARP question. Yes, four of these candidates supported TARP, and they should be held to it.

9:20 Romney decides to question Bachmann, which is bizarre. How could he possibly think picking on her is a good use of his time?

9:16 Perry gets to Romneycare. Good move, since he’s otherwise flailing.

9:14 Ron Paul Federal Reserve fed depression abolish evil fed. Free Mumia.

9:12 Huntsman went from funny drunk uncle to the guy no one wants around with that question. Nasty.

9:10 Newt takes on Romney rather than Cain. Smart guy.

9:10 Cain goes after Romney, wins. The point being that Romney is a classic ruling class type who thinks you need the most complex bill created by the brainiest folks he can find to cut the deficit. Just stop spending!

9:07 Bachmann ties Perry to Gore. It’s like the consolation game at the World Cup with these two.

9:05 They should make Bachmann and Perry leave for the final segment, like that espn show that boots a commentator every break.

9:03 I think my pre-debate prediction is holding — Perry never had a chance here, as he’s already lost his conservative credentials. Cain can only hurt himself unless he’s perfect.

8:59 Commercial break, after which the candidates are to be allowed to question each other. This sounds like a slightly worse idea than letting Charlie Rose question them.

8:57 “Repeal Obamacare” first uttered by Mitt.

8:55 Even Santorum seeming more dynamic than Perry.

8:53 Perry back on energy. He’s falling flat with this approach here because he’s a crummy debater, which is a shame because energy is integral to a jobs discussion.

8:48 Bachmann just tried a folksy Palin approach that fell flat. Plus, associating Cain’s 999 plan with satan can’t be good for her image as a bit unhinged, entirely formed by the gardasil stance.

8:47 Great answer from Cain, he did a decent job covering a wonky subject with a short soundbite. He hasn’t hurt himself here.

8:45 Cain: “The problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect.”

8:44 Cain gets his own video clip displayed. Huh?

8:42 Newt! “Stupid!” Awesome.

8:39 Misleading video clip of Reagan claiming he would accept tax increases in exchange for spending reductions. Perry points out the obvious, historically accurate point: Reagan never saw those reductions from Congress. Also, Reagan was talking about a decrease in tax cuts.

8:36 First commercial break. Any reasonably unbiased observer without knowledge of the campaign would assume Newt Gingrich is the frontrunner. This thing is about more than debating though, and I simply don’t believe he can get over his popularity issues and standing as a pre-Tea Party establishment guy, fair or not.

8:35 Perry can feel his run draining as he sits there. Debatin’ ain’t easy.

8:30 We know who Romney is now — another “there’s a crisis, must act now” guy. I have no doubt that Romney would rush to spend a few billion rather than wait out the news cycle whenever a situation arises.

8:25 Romney does not rule out another bailout. Bad bad.

8:23 Cain is using tonight to focus on 9/9/9, which is a bit too wonky for a debate setup. He simply doesn’t have the time here to elucidate a plan like this.

8:20 Huntsman is a little too into this dinner table setup. I think he actually believes he’s in some guy’s dining room with these avuncular answers. Someone get him a snifter.

8:19 The questioner just presented herself as being pro-death panel, and Gingrich called her on it, actually using the term “death panel.” Newt!

8:16 Huntsman! He’s speaking in Clintonesque platitudes, as is his wont.

8:15 Santorum also doing that “shake-off the catcher” thing. “My jobs is different than the other ones proposed here because my plan will pass.”

8:15 Newt wins the first 15 minutes, hands-down.

8:10 Newt: “The first person to fire is Bernanke, the second is Geithner.” Whoa — want to put people in jail, the first people to look at our Barney Frank and Chris Dodd!”

Newt just started a real campaign here.

8:08 This question approved by Occupy Wall Street. Seriously, this is a bush league question she just pushed at Bachmann, and Bachmann is doing a tremendous job of explaining.

8:07 Would like to hear Gingrich here. Pipe in, Newt.

8:05 Perry points out that he has been good working with people on both sides of the aisle. Not what we’re interested in. Also, he will lay out his plan over the “next three days.” Huh?

8:03 Cain mentions the 9/9/9 plan within the first three words of the debate. He also claims revenues will equal spending during his first year as president.

8:02 And we’re off.

7:50 Goolsbee has a permanent “shaking off the catcher” face.

7:50 I close my eyes, and this anchor sounds exactly like Marty Funkhouser.

7:45 Goolsbee: “Small businessmen do not mention high taxes and regulations as their biggest problems.” Son of a …

7:43 The protesters have quieted, but “Stop the War on Women” signs have taken up residence in the background. The signs all say NARAL.

7:42 Austin Goolsbee! Hide the silver!

7:41 Interview with a local furniture maker/retailer: he claims he has to constantly be pricing his products at 20-25% off his regular retail, whereas a 5% sale used to be enough to spike his profits. Yikes.

7:36 I am truly excited to hear Cain speak tonight. Contrary to Perry, Cain has made his name as job creator in the private sector, rather than Perry’s work facilitating a free-market atmosphere as a politician. I prefer Cain’s experience in this regard: a job creator in the private sector like Cain is very likely to successfully follow Perry’s path once in office. A politician headed to the private sector is starting from scratch as a businessman, lest his contacts.

7:30 Good lord, it’s Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway. He wants to know how the candidates are going to encourage innovation. Supposedly so our kids don’t fall behind the world in making prohibitively expensive scooters for mall cops and Gob Bluth.

7:12 Protesters are overwhelming the anchors, but I can’t make out what they are chanting about. “More free s***” or something.

7:10 Candidates will be seated at a round table. I suppose this is intended to make us think they are more approachable, perhaps … human. But it makes me think Benihana.

7:05 I simply don’t see this as a big opportunity for Perry, I see a greater likelihood that his chances are done. This is the Economy Debate, yes, which should seemingly provide Perry with a window to play to his greatest strength, his undeniable success with creating a free-market business atmosphere in Texas that has kept the country from a possible depression. However — this campaign season has shown only one noticeable trend: the candidate viewed as most conservative rockets to the top, and falls back in the pack when their bonafides are tested.

Perry is simply not going to convince the electorate that he’s a solid conservative at this point.

Which opens up tonight’s likely storyline: Cain is considered a strong conservative already. He can only hurt his image tonight — perhaps if guns come up — though not particularly help it.

6:30 Newt reportedly getting fired up backstage by doing the Ray Lewis dance.

5:00 Off to pickup son from daycare. Twenty-one month-old Jack, who by the way has already mastered the nuanced political sloganeering of the Democrats: he’ll have a plate full of food, but he’ll still point at whatever on the plate he finds to be the yummiest item and shout: “Moooooooooore!”

4:55 Bold debate prediction: Milwaukee, Texas take Game Threes

4:50 Bold debate prediction: Newt offers Contract With America IV: The Wrath of Khan

4:45 Bold debate prediction: Jon Huntsman claims able to “see both sides” of an issue

4:30 Romney and Christie doing tremendous job of invigorating Perry’s campaign today.

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Holder Caught Lying Under Oath on Fast and Furious?

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 - by David Steinberg

CBS News has the goods, in the form of two documents and an email. And that’s not even the worst of his problems this evening.

Tomorrow is zero hour for Eric Holder and the DOJ.

Check back in with PJ Media at midnight Pacific.

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Liveblogging the Anti-Durban Conference

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 - by David Steinberg

I believe we’re all done here. Huckabee was excellent.

To wrap up: Upon arriving at the conference, I got a sense of rote, habitual behavior about it. “Sigh — Ahmadinejad again. Let’s hold another counter-conference, so they don’t think we’re growing weary of it all.”

Couldn’t be further from the truth, as it unspooled through the afternoon. Be confident that the face of your cause here is the most determined, studied, driven group of leaders you could hope for at this time of farce across the street. This is a tireless, eloquent group, and the Durban folks, already waning in influence considering their poor international PR for their conference, can never match it. Not the energy, nor the unity of message.

5:30 p.m. — Syria is now addressing Durban. No need for comment.

Huckabee, in a great contrast, is at the same moment discussing his frequent visits to Oskar Schindler’s grave with the tours he goes on. He points out that Schindler was a scoundrel in his private life, but his grave has the most rocks placed on it, because his faith was more evident by the things he did saving the Jews. He did great things, while others who are rather pious don’t take the risks he did.

5:20 p.m. — Huckabee has the best tie of the day. Masculine, yet pink.

He’s giving the “What if Canada shot Katyushas at the U.S.” analogy. “We cannot ask other nations to tolerate what we would be unwilling to tolerate.”

The room just went silent at the mention of the Fogel family, slaughtered with knives in the West Bank.

“If what Israel does is racism, we need more racism.”

Suck it, Olmert: “Jerusalem must remain undivided … so it can remain a city where people can go and worship whoever they may be.” The point being, A Jerusalem divided is soon Judenrein. And Christianrein.

He calls for an acceleration of construction in the West Bank — it draws a standing O, the biggest applause of the day.

5:16 p.m. — It’s hot in here, everyone’s tired, but the attention span of the crowd isn’t waning in the slightest. Just more repositioning in our seats, rolled up sleeves, etc. This is a serious, dedicated crowd, and I’m heartened having heard these leaders and knowing we have a strong crop fighting the UN at this pivotal time.

5:10 p.m. — Huckabee.

For the first time all day we hear the word “Obama.” Honestly, I don’t think anyone here even noticed the absence of talk about him, and I’m taking that as a sign that Obama’s relevance to the Jewish community is simply on the wane. Huckabee just mentioned NY-9 and its relevance to Obama’s treatment of Israel, to great applause.

Obama has been an afterthought here, and possibly at Durban as well.

5:02 p.m. — “Only at the UN could rearranging an acronym be considered major reform.” He’ll be here all week.

On an irrelevant sidenote, I often get my son to fall asleep at night by humming “O Canada.” I don’t know the words.

4:56 p.m. — Just noticed that Kenney’s title is Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism.

I assume Kenney takes issue with his title, judging from his talk — he’d trim that M-word.

4:50 p.m. — Canadian Jason Kenney now. He’s discussing Canada’s decision to drop out of Durban — the UN Human Rights chief was “shocked and dissappointed” with them, apparently. He says the chief lives in “an upside-down world.”

The Russian Federation is now addressing Durban, one of the few nations whose words should be taken seriously here. I fear the return of airlifting Jews out of Russia is not far off.

4:43 p.m. — “America should discontinue aid to the U.N.” Big applause.

“Zionism is philanthropy, a belief in helping others, a belief in freedom.” When Voight speaks, he gets this reverb in his voice like he’s got a subwoofer hidden in his pants. I would pay to hear him read the legal exceptions on my Roomba warranty. Anything. It’s really cool.

4:41 p.m. — “If Simon can survive what he went through, and come here and speak this truth … all will be well.”

4:38 p.m. — “America should stop funding Israel’s enemies.” Voight thinks Douglas Murray is a “comic maestro.” Is CAA here?

4:35 p.m. — Jon Voight! He looks genuinely shaken from hearing Simon Deng.

4:33 p.m. — His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Abdellahi Ould Khatra, Commissioner for Human Rights from Mauritania, is now educating Durban III on the problems of tribalism, water scarcity, and some Jewess he knows named Shana.

4:32 p.m. — “I have been to Israel five times visiting Sudanese refugees … they had hoped to find refuge in Egypt. They were wrong … they realized that the Arab racism was the same, whether Khartoum or Cairo. … They looked for a different refuge, they found it in Israel.”

“They said that compared to Egypt, Israel was heaven to them.”

4:30 p.m. — “Khartoum declared jihad on my people. … We believe that up to 200,000 were abducted and sold into slavery.”

“I was a slave for 3 and a half years.”

4:20 p.m. –  Simon Deng is speaking now. From his Wiki:

“… I was a slave. … When I was nine year’s old, my village was raided by Arab troops in the pay of Khartoum. As we ran into the bush to escape I watched as childhood friends were shot dead and the old and the weak who were unable to run were burned alive in their huts. I was abducted and given to an Arab family as a “gift”.

He is speaking about how the Palestinians are hijacking the international human rights issue, while his people are actually suffering, dying, at the hands of Islamists.

4:11 p.m. — Murray just pointed out that Ahmadinejad opened his speech with an exhortation to hasten the arrival of the 12th Imam, and how that would be front page horror at the NYT if Bush had started a speech with religious talk. But when an Islamist does it — and to a genocidal messiah, no less — no one notices.

(I did though! Scroll down.)

Meanwhile, over at Durban III, Ecuador is very concerned about racism, poverty, and also Jews.

4:05 p.m. — “At Durban, the countries that were first to abolish slavery are now getting attacked by the countries that are still practicing slavery.”

“In the last 20 years, the life expectancy in Zimbabwe has dropped by a third.” Just because of Mugabe. I didnt know that.

4:00 p.m. — Douglas Murray is the British Dave Barry. Watch the PJTV feed when you get a chance. He just referred to “Idi Amin, the wife-eater.”

3:56 p.m. — Douglas Murray: ” I picked up the NYT this morning … actually, the hotel gave it to me. That’s the only reason I have it.” Heh.

“Every day, the UN maintains this fiction that all states and all governments are essentially equal.”

3:45 p.m. — “We need to create a narrative that is not poetic, but literal … that the problem in the Middle East is not white supremacy, but the end of white supremacy.”

He’s addressing a psychological bent here, which we haven’t heard yet today: the problem of a newly freed man having to address his condition at the bottom of the totem pole. When freedom doesn’t bring prosperity, people choose to readopt the narrative of victimhood rather than address their difficulties and failures.

While it’s just a contributing factor — obviously, as all the Islamists across the street are bloody wealthy — I’m glad that Steele is bringing this up. Switch over to the Durban livestream to hear how dead on he is about the narratives.

3:30 p.m. — Shelby Steele, who looks great behind a podium. I’m calling a casting director.

“We have done a poor job to offer a narrative to combat the narrative on the other side.” That might be the first criticism towards this side of the aisle here, I’m curious where he goes with this.

“Racism no longer prevents to forward progress of blacks in the U.S. Yet it remains the centerpiece of what we talk about regarding this country.”

“Racism is about the 25th thing on the list of things affecting blacks today.”

“Who would the Palestinians be if they weren’t the supposed victims of white supremacy? They would just be poor people. It’s the source of their self-esteem. … The idea that the problem is Israel protects them from having to confront their societal inferiority.”

I like Shelby Steele.

3:20 p.m. — Further, the International Olympic Committee will be speaking at Durban today, to discuss how the scourge of Zionism affects the greater luge community.

Representing the IOC will be a man named Mr. Sithole.

3:10 p.m. — Roger looks to be grabbing a few words with Zuhdi Jasser and perhaps Shelby Steele and Ruth Wisse. Again, if you have a chance to listen to Ms. Wisse sometime, it will be time well-spent.

Claudia has left us, headed back to that sinkhole across the street.

3:02 p.m. — Alert: Liechtenstein will be addressing the Durban conference this afternoon. I repeat: Liech. Tenstein.

Liechtenstein has a population of 35,000, is primarily Catholic, and is apparently terribly concerned with the danger of an encroaching Zionist regime.

2:42 p.m. — Coffee break, PJTV off to grab some interviews.

2:37 p.m. — So Jesse Jackson is sitting with the South African delegation, as a stream of South African reps take to the microphone. Not sure why he’s sitting there, but pleased he couldn’t attend as a U.S. representative.

2:24 p.m. — Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse: “Durban III is the time to ask whether the remedy of the United Nations is worse than the condition it came to cure.” (Note to self: ask Ruth Wisse to get on PJM. Watch her on PJTV now — this is a public speaker.)

“Hitler had to quit the League of Nations to carry out his intentions. Not so with the Islamist countries and the UN.” Well, there’s your answer to Wisse’s question.

2:12 p.m. — JESSE  FREAKING JACKSON is now addressing the Durban conference!

Actually, now that I’ve settled down from the shock, I don’t know why I was so surprised he was attending. I suppose it’s not the discovery that he might feel sympathy for such views — we knew that — but that he would be so careless as to walk into such a publicity nightmare.

2:10 p.m. — Zuhdi Jasser slams the Dalai Lama! I did not see that sentence coming when I woke this morning. The Dalai Lama was apparently a signer of a statement equating criticism of religion with hate speech.

He states that there are in fact groups in Islamist countries holding signs clamoring for separation of mosque and state, but they do not garner respect at the UN because they are bereft of petrodollars.

“I’m offended that Durban III is taking place near Ground Zero.”

1:55 p.m. — “Every other person I meet in the West Bank says their dream is to become an Israeli citizen and move to Israel. It’s not because they’re Zionists, but because they are not stupid.”

“Every morning I say ‘Thank G-d I am an Israeli citizen.’”

“Sometimes I feel safer talking to members of Fatah and Hamas then I do on a U.S. university campus.” He isn’t kidding, he needs security detail when he speaks here.

1:45 p.m. — “When I try to alert my fellow journalists to the presence of monetary corruption in the P.A. my colleagues ask: Are you being paid by the Jewish lobby? … Others tell me: How can we report negatively on the PA, and return to Ramallah safely?”

He says: “If you guys are afraid to cover a conflict, what are you doing here covering a conflict? Go home and cover sports.” Heh.

“These stories play into the hands of Jews”, he was told by diplomats and foreign media.

He relays a story of making up ridiculous anti-Israel stories, just to see if foreign media will try to cover it. They do.

1:40 p.m. — Khaled Abu Toameh takes the stage, and I realize that for the past half hour, I’ve been sitting next to Khaled Abu-Toameh.

1:35 p.m. — A round of applause for her call for the UN to protect Muslim women from honor killing. “What has the UN done to stop this appalling trend? Mr. Ban Ki Moon, we take notice and we are outraged.”

“All these supposedly “progessive” leaders have allowed this to continue.” She’s speaking our language now.

Standing ovation as she finishes.

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The Communist Revolution Will Be Televised. By Toshiba!

Saturday, September 17th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

The streaming video of today’s anti-capitalist Day of Rage in Manhattan requires that you watch a fifteen-second ad before the video starts. Mine was for Toshiba notebooks.

When the ad finished and the video began, the player ran a continuous pop-up ad for Blue Cross Anthem Health Care.

Ever watch the X-Games, where the “counterculture” snowboarders have a sponsor label on every item of apparel?

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Geoengineering: Will It Ever Stop Being So Funny?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

Next to the Gore Effect, the only joy I take from the Anthropogenic Global Warming movement is that it birthed the fad of Geoengineering. It’s kind of like sixth-grade social studies — “we should drag icebergs from the South Pole to Africa to end thirst!” — but it involves adults: soft scientists masquerading as the real kind competing to devise the largest Rube Goldberg device, extra points awarded when the project looks likely to run into the quadrillions, winner gets a mention in the NY Times Freakonomics blog.

My previous favorite was the Fertilize the Ocean! project, in which plankton food would be spread across the waters, stimulating the mildly erotic sea creature, the salp, to come to the surface and feed, during which time it would consume some carbon, following which it would take a s***. The carbon would fall to the bottom of the ocean, thus saving Earth from something or other at a cost of Germany’s GDP in plankton food.

But last week, Freakonomics gave us the wonderful headline: “Finally: A Garden Hose to the Sky”, a title that doesn’t make sense for, like, four reasons:

Well, it’s actually happening. An idea reported extensively in SuperFreakonomics has come to fruition, and some mad scientists are getting their way (and a little government funding) to build a garden hose to the sky — and potentially save the world by cooling it down.

A team of British researchers called SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) is trying to pump particles of water into the atmosphere as a test run before moving onto sulfates and aerosols that would reflect sunlight away from earth, mimicking the aftereffect of a massive volcanic eruption. SPICE is building the garden hose at an undisclosed location, with £1.6 million in U.K. government funding and the backing of the Royal Society.

Check out Steven Levitt’s interview with Jon Stewart from 2009, where he discusses the idea (beginning at about the 2:20 mark).

(Raise your hand if you sensed that somehow, by the grace of … leftism, the words “Jon Stewart” would show up in that piece.)

Take a look: the article includes some helpful illustrations, including an artist’s rendering of what is described as the “very long hose.”

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What This Economy Really Needs: Humongous Teacher Raises

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 - by David Steinberg

As pointed out by Ira Stoll this morning, the most popular article on Yahoo! News currently bears this headline:

“Should the starting salary for a teacher be $60,000?”

This wisdom emanates not from a teachers’ union, although I’m sure it does somewhere, but from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. His logic, which of course is not actually definable as logic:

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proposed last month that a significant boost in teacher salaries could transform public schools for the better by luring the country’s brightest college graduates into the profession.

“Flaw A: There Is No Money For This” dwarfs the other deficiencies with this plan. Flaw B rests with the false assumption that subpar teachers are the cause of our public schools cranking out ninnies without marketable skills (a profound distinction from our private schools, which crank out ninnies without marketable skills who can quote Richard Hofstadter).

Nevermind that Duncan is explicitly insulting all of the wonderful teachers who understand the necessary salary structure of their chosen profession and do it anyway as not being the best and brightest, although I’m certain they do mind. The most galling concern here is this being the latest example of how the shining lights of leftism always arrive at the same conclusion, all the Ph.Ds and weekend conferences and breakout discussions inevitably arrive at the same conclusion after having falsely identified the same problem: we haven’t been “investing” enough.

Stoll points out the key passage from the article:

The Yahoo! News article reports: “smaller raises of 20 percent or less have been ineffective, and one New York City school that embraced much higher pay has so far underperformed on state tests.” It also says there were certain tradeoffs, like larger class sizes.

No kidding.

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Terrorists Kill Seven, Injure at Least 25 in Israel

Thursday, August 18th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

First reports imply that the attack was made possible by Egypt no longer controlling the Gaza border, an outcome of Mubarak’s ouster.

Israel claims knowledge that the attackers came from Gaza via Egypt, and Netanyahu has already vowed to respond. Per Netanyahu’s previous behavior, “respond” should be taken to mean military action.


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I See A Pattern, Part 2583

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

Rasmussen has Rick Perry, who has spent roughly the length of an Obama lunch break campaigning, up 11 points on Romney. This is apparently a Gamechanger! moment, according to the media sources whose promos declare “The Coverage You Can Depend On” while a news chopper circles a glass tower.

That Perry has jumped to the lead, with Bachmann in the neighborhood, constitutes surprising news only to the remaining members of our political class.

Perry is in the lead because he appears to be the most conservative GOP candidate. For the duration of the 2012 campaign — should Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan opt in, and one of them will — and looking backwards even to Trump, the candidate perceived as the most solid conservative (Trump wasn’t, of course) has and will spend some time as the frontrunner.

I wrote the following back on March 21, and I’m reposting it here not because I claim to have some preternatural ability to divine the will of the country, but precisely the opposite: this is a pie-in-the-face obvious observation and the majority of Americans not named F. Chuck Todd have already made it:

The self-evident truth regarding running as a conservative — an identity which overwhelmingly comprises America’s biggest voting bloc — is that conservatives do not care who wins the GOP nomination. They are happy; they are self-sufficient and will fight on their own. If the party gets onboard with the base, good for the party, but the base is aboard with the Constitution first and the GOP second or never.

This has been evident since the Founders; this was demonstrated truth during the 2010 elections. How can you not know this yet?

We want statesmen, not Miramax thugging around for Best Picture. We truly don’t concern ourselves with who you are, your face, your alliances, what state you were raised in. We don’t care about your name. Seriously — don’t even tell us your name. We want John Doe, the vessel of Constitutional originalism, who understands natural rights are the way of nature and not the Founders’ trendy theory, and that natural rights are most threatened now by a weak border, Islamism and Communism, and — above all — the biggest government to ever exist, and that’s what he’s going to spend the next four years working on, and eight if we so honor him.

We’re begging for truth, not Rovian theory. Be American, or keep diddling and lose the West.

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(Updated) Paul Ryan … Reconsidering?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

He will be the next president, because that’s what the market is dictating. I told you this weeks ago. Just sayin’.

Says the Weekly Standard:

Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign – and perhaps a presidency – on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.

“He’s coming around,” says a Republican source close to Ryan, who has been urging the 41-year-old to run.

“With Paul, it’s more about obligation than opportunity,” says another Wisconsin Republican. “He is determined to have the 2012 election be about the big things. If that means he has to run, he’s open to it.”

Ryan hinted at his thinking during a candid interview Friday with Charlie Sykes, an influential talk radio host in Milwaukee, telling Sykes that he was unsatisfied with the current crop of Republican candidates.

Sykes asked Ryan about state of the Republican presidential campaign. “Looking at the Republican field right now, are you confident that the candidates there are able to articulate the issues of the debt and the deficit and the need to reform entitlements in the way that you want to see done?”

Ryan laughed. “Why did you ask me that?”

“You know exactly why I asked you that question.”

“I know. We’ll see. I didn’t see it last night. I haven’t seen it to date. We’ll see. People’s campaigns evolve – they get better. So we’ll see.”

UPDATE: The Hill now says he “denies he’s considering 2012 bid”, but that doesn’t seem to be an accurate description of the new statement from Ryan’s spokesman:

“While grateful for the continued support and encouragement, Congressman Ryan has not changed his mind,” spokesman Kevin Seifert said.

That’s not a denial of consideration, it’s a carefully worded response pointing out that Ryan has not entered the race. My take is that Ryan went a tad further than he intended in his appearance with Sykes, and that if he does choose to run, it won’t be a wink-wink affair in the days prior as happened with Huntsman’s clownish meta-campaign. Ryan is a Tea Partier: no Roveian PR, just an announcement when he is ready.

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Tomorrow’s Journolist S&P Memes

Friday, August 5th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

Rumors of Unfair Labor Practices at S&P Surface

The S&P Cabal: How White Accountants Downgraded the First Black President

Bought and Paid For: Prominent GOP Fundraiser Lunches with S&P VP

Murky Past, Questionable Present: Did S&P Fund Nazi Empire?

How Israel Benefits From S&P Downgrade

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You: Mad As Hell

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 - by David Steinberg

Just two minutes before discovering Jonah Goldberg’s piece today, I had posted the “I’m Mad as Hell” pic on Roger Kimball’s featured PJM article. Because Kimball, too, appears mad as hell, and I’ve been there for a while, and I know you guys and you’re mad as hell.

I could enlist a sociology grad student to find the exact Malcolm Gladwell tipping point, but I’m comfortable with pinning it on the four or five prominent instances of “terrorist” that just got thrown about: Washington and the MSM just sparked a prairie fire. Expect this week to be recalled as the moment we stopped tiptoeing in polite company.

Here’s some Jonah:

But think about this for a second. The Giffords shooting sent the media elite in this country into a bout of St. Vitus’ dance that would have warranted an army of exorcists in previous ages. Sarah Palin’s Facebook map was an evil totem that forced some guy to go on a shooting spree. The New York Times, The Washington Post, all three broadcast networks, particularly NBC whose senior foreign affairs correspondent — Andrea Mitchell — devotes, by my rough reckoning, ten times as much air time to whining about Sarah Palin as she does about anything having to do with foreign affairs, flooded the zone with “Have you no shame finger wagging.” A memo went forth demanding that everyone at MSNBC get their dresses over their heads about the evil “tone” from the right. Media Matters went into overdrive working the interns 24/7 to “prove” that Republicans deliberately foment violence with their evil targets on their evil congressional maps.

Everyone “knew” the shooter was a tea partier. Except he wasn’t. He wasn’t even a conservative. He was a sick, demented, nutball. And it still didn’t matter! More bleating and caterwauling about the “tone” followed. More chin stroking and tut-tutting from Meet the Press roundtables and “very special segments” on the Today Show. More pizzas were ordered for the Media Matters galley slaves.

Finally, president Obama, our national-healer gives a speech. It was good speech. Indeed it was one of the first speeches in a long while that got anything like bipartisan support. Civility. New tone. No more martial metaphors. These were the takeaways.

So flashforward to this week. Tom Friedman — who knows a bit about Hezbollah — calls the tea partiers the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP bent on taking the country on a “suicide mission.” All over the place, conservative Republicans are “hostage takers” and “terrorists,” “terrorists” and “traitors.” They want to “end life as we know it on this planet,” says Nancy Pelosi. They are betraying the founders, too. Chris Matthews all but signs up for the “Make an Ass of Yourself” contest at the State Fair.  Joe Nocera writes today that “the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests.” Lord knows what Krugman and Olbermann have said.

Then last night. on the very day Gabby Giffords heroically returns to cast her first vote since that tragic attack seven months ago, the Vice President of the United States calls the Republican Party a bunch of terrorists.

UPDATE: Malkin’s had it, too.

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G-d Bless Her

Monday, August 1st, 2011 - by David Steinberg

Gabby Giffords is the new Chuck Norris. Except she’s real, of course.

As anyone who has witnessed someone facing death and disease will tell you, luck about the “bullet just missing” such-and-such vital organ tissue is just one element of survival. People will themselves to live for a wedding or a new grandkid all the time. Quite literally, Mrs. Giffords is alive because she decided to be.

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