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Stephen Green

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.
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Begun the Code War Has

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

Amidst rumors that President Obama prefers Elizabeth Warren to carry the Democratic banner in two years, former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has an …interesting… op-ed in the New York Times. There’s some scathing stuff in there about the “erosion” of American leadership around the world:

When the Berlin Wall fell and the nations of central Europe and the former Soviet Union needed to transform their economies, when financial crisis struck Asia in 1997 and when debt burdens stunted Africa’s growth around the turn of the century, the United States, working with its allies and the international financial institutions, crafted strong if imperfect responses to restore growth and hope. No comparably large and generous effort is visible today with respect to the Middle East or Ukraine, even as China is emerging as a greater presence in much of Africa and Latin America than the United States.

A failure to engage effectively with global economic issues is a failure to mount a strong forward defense of U.S. interests. That we cannot do everything must not become a reason not to do anything. While elections may turn on domestic preoccupations, history’s judgment will turn on what the United States does internationally. Passivity’s moment has past.

Summers opens with a warning against sitting on a lead, making “a strategic error,” and “excessive caution.” What’s curious though is what he never says: President Obama.

But we all know who he means, don’t we?

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Ah Don’t Feel No Ways Unpopular

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

It wasn’t even three weeks ago that Hillary Clinton’s approval rating slipped to 54%, when I wrote:

Sitting atop one of the best-run political machines in the business can only take a questionable resumé and a tin ear so far. And while Clinton’s book launch hasn’t quite been a disaster, it has certainly been overshadowed. Her two comforts are the Clinton Machine and that she still has quite a ways she can fall.

And today from Zogby:

In his latest Zogby Analytics survey taken June 27-29, for example, her commanding leads over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have shrunk greatly and she doesn’t even receive 50 percent of the vote. Worse, her support among married and wealthy voters has plummeted.

Zogby told Secrets, “Even more than her dwindling leads over GOP contenders is that while she is pretty much running against herself, in a very high profile book tour, she is losing ground.

Sorry, Hill — America just isn’t that into you.

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Confidence in Congress Drops to New Low

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

Rasmussen:

More troubling for incumbents is the continuing downward trend on two other questions. Just 20% now think their representative in Congress is the best person for the job. That’s down only slightly from 22% in March, but it’s the lowest finding in surveys since November 2009 when 33% felt this way.

And yet less than 20% of the 435 Congressional races this year are considered to be at all competitive.

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Meghan McCain: What If Sushi Was Pizza?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

OH MEGHAN

Meghan McCain deleted this tweet, but not before I screencapped it.

Please, I beg of everyone, leave the drunktweeting and drunkblogging to those of us who know what the hell we’re doing.

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VIDEO: Feinstein Doesn’t Believe Obama Claims

Monday, June 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

The senator who was left out in the cold:

“There is no house arrest,” Feinstein said. “They have the country, which is very small, to be about in. Secretary [of State John] Kerry made a very strong statement this morning, saying, ‘Oh, we have ways, and we will see that they do not defect, move, speak, whatever.’ And we’ll see.”

“You’re not as comfortable about that as he is,” host Bob Schieffer asked.

“Well it’s hard to be comfortable when you haven’t been briefed on the intricacies of carrying out this agreement,” Feinstein said.

This administration has never played well with Capitol Hill, and they’re finally starting to pay the price.

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The Burden of Abdication

Friday, June 6th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

Obama-Tired

Matthew Continetti reports on a recent dinner President Barack Obama enjoyed in Italy, keeping his hosts up damn near all night because he wouldn’t quit talking:

The next morning, during a briefing, the president—whose office holds a burden of responsibility matched only by its power—regretted that his job involved duties other than pretentious conversation with extremely wealthy famous people. “One aide paraphrased Obama’s response: ‘Just last night I was talking about life and art, big interesting things, and now we’re back to the minuscule things of politics.” You know, minuscule things like the maskirovka invasion of Ukraine, the implementation of Obamacare, scandals at the IRS and Department of Veterans Affairs, negotiations with Syria and Iran, withdrawal from Afghanistan. These subjects are far too small and mundane for our president. He prefers contemplative and thoughtful and nuanced symposia on philosophy, quantum mechanics, and how best to spend inheritances—all accompanied by Tuscan wine.

According to Politico, Obama’s Italian dinner party illustrates the paradox of his second term. “Stymied at home and abroad, Obama recognizes that he is less in control of the Washington agenda than ever in his presidency,” write Budoff Brown and Epstein. “Yet his newfound realism has also given him a palpable sense of liberation.” I find nothing paradoxical about Obama’s recent pattern of behavior, nothing mysterious about the golfing, partying, traveling. It is quite obvious: Obama has given up.

It must be very frustrating.

Put yourself in Obama’s shoes. All your life you’ve gotten ahead without ever having to do very much, with doors opened for you because of your race, or your eloquence, and because of your willingness to allow others to do some very dirty electioneering on your behalf. Your first two years as president, thanks to supermajorities in both houses, are a simple exercise in doing pretty much whatever the hell you want to this country you don’t much like. But then came the GOP House and foreign leaders who have had enough time to figure you out, and suddenly you find yourself stymied at every turn, and giving a nice speech or getting some opponent’s divorce records unsealed is no longer enough to get you what you want.

Being president, some internet jerk once said, is hard.

It’s enough to make you wonder if Obama went to such damaging lengths to rescue Bowe Bergdahl because he feels protective of the young soldier who managed so completely to ditch his duties.

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Potential New VA Chief: ObamaCare Will Lead to Single-Payer

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

Chuck Ross reports:

The Wall Street Journal reported that Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, who heads the Cleveland Clinic, is being heavily sought by the Obama administration to replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, who was forced out last week amid the VA wait list scandal.

In a 2012 interview, also with the Wall Street Journal, Cosgrove predicted that Obamacare would dismantle the employer-based insurance system and would eventually lead to a single-payer system.

In the interview, Cosgrove was asked if he thought employers would stop providing health insurance despite being penalized under Obamacare.

Cosgrove indicated they would.

“The first ones will be the small companies,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “Every CEO I’ve talked to knows how much he’d save between insuring his people and paying the federal penalty.”

“The first time some big player does that, it’s going to fall like dominoes,” he continued. “What that does is drive everybody to the exchanges.”

Asked what that meant in the long-term, he said, “it’s going to be a faster move towards one payer.”

For what it’s worth, I read that as a prediction rather than as an endorsement.

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This Deal Is Getting Worse All the Time

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 - by Stephen Green

Eli Lake reports on the arm-twisting that went on behind the scenes between the White House and the intel community:

James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, according to three U.S. intelligence officials flat out rejected the release of the five detainees, saying there was too high a risk these Taliban commanders would return to the battlefield and orchestrate attacks against Americans.

Clapper was not alone. Leon Panetta, who was then the Secretary of Defense, declined to certify that the United States could mitigate the risk to national interests of releasing the Taliban commanders.

A lot has changed since 2012. To start, President Obama won reelection. Panetta is gone, and in his place is Chuck Hagel, a Republican former senator who has been much more in sync with Obama’s views on the war on terror than his predecessors.

But current U.S. intelligence and defense officials who spoke to The Daily Beast on Monday say the process for exchanging Taliban for Bergdahl this time was rushed and closely held, in some instances leaving little room for any push back against a policy clearly favored by the White House.

This White House gets what this White House wants.

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Coal Miner Speaks Out on Proposed EPA Curbs

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Green

The White House will make literally everything more expensive but achieve only a tiny reduction in global emissions.

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War, War Is Better Than Jail, Jail

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Green

Mark Thiessen remembers what happened when the Bush Administration let go “medium risk” Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir in 2007:

When he returned to Afghanistan, he quickly became one of America’s fiercest enemies, directly responsible for the deaths of U.S., coalition and Afghan forces. In 2009, Zakir was appointed as the Taliban’s “surge commander” in charge of countering Obama’s new strategy to deny the Taliban safe haven in southern Afghanistan. According to the Times of London, Zakir instituted a campaign of “increasingly sophisticated [roadside] explosives attacks” that killed British and U.S. forces as well as many Afghan civilians. He waged relentless war on the United States and presided over unspeakable atrocities before stepping down from military command in April. To this day, he remains a top member of the Taliban leadership council.

The five Taliban leaders Obama released will now take up where Zakir left off. According to our own military, they are all “high risk” to return to the fight.

But the “high risk” is to American troops, from whom the President holds no real affection — and vice versa.

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Skyrockets in Flight

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Green

That clip never gets old, because the President keeps it so fresh with his determination to make you and me pay more for — everything. And he’s so cool and cavalier there about applying the screws to American consumers. So here’s the latest:

The Environmental Protection Agency will ask existing plants to cut pollution by 30 percent by 2030, according to people familiar with the proposal who shared the details with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, since they have not been officially released.

The draft rule, which sidesteps Congress, will go into effect in June 2016, following a one-year comment period. States will then be responsible for executing the rule with some flexibility.

They are expected to be allowed to require power plants to make changes such as switching from coal to natural gas or enact other programs to reduce demand for electricity and produce more energy from renewable sources. [Emphasis added]

Sidesteps Congress? Of course it does — El Jefe knows best.

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Your Friday Doom & Gloom

Friday, May 30th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

TWOFER

Sometimes Google News finds my stories for me. First up — er, down? — consumer sentiment:

U.S. consumer sentiment fell 2.2 points to 81.9 in the final May reading from the University of Michigan survey. That shaves off about half of the 4.1 point increase in April to 84.1, and it’s little changed versus the preliminary May reading of 81.8. Most of the weakness was in the current conditions index which fell to 94.5 from April’s 98.7.

That slip is mirrored nicely by our next story:

Personal consumption—which captures spending on goods and services—fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1% from March, the Commerce Department said Friday; that was below the 0.1% growth forecast by economists. March’s growth was revised up to 1%, the fastest rate since August 2009, from the 0.9% previously reported.

In a worrisome sign for future spending, the strong income gains of recent months slowed. Personal income—which measures income from wages, investment and government transfers—rose 0.3% in April, down from 0.5% in March. Wage growth slowed to 0.2%, is lowest rate this year.

We were promised a return to robust growth (or something not entirely unlike it) following last quarter’s GDP shrinkage. But April is the first month of the new quarter, and if consumer spending — 70% of the US economy — actually shrank, then growth is likely to be as feeble as ever.

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Karl Rove: Christie Is ‘What We Want in a Leader, Somebody Who Steps Up and Takes Responsibility’

Monday, January 13th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

ROVE ON

Here’s the man himself on Fox News Sunday:

“There are reasons why conservatives had disagreements with Chris Christie, I don’t think that the tea party is going to seize upon Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge as their defining difference with Christie,” Rove opined. “In fact, I think his handling of this, being straightforward, taking action — saying, ‘I’m responsible’ — firing the people probably gives him some street cred with some tea party Republicans, who say that’s what we want in a leader, somebody who steps up and takes responsibility.”

The scandal doesn’t prove anything one way or the other, except perhaps to confirm what people always suspected about New Jersey politics. Or politics in general — everybody knows it ain’t beanbag. What we do know for sure is that Christie has put himself on a tightrope which the MSM and/or DNC (but I repeat myself) will be happy to knock him off of. There is no net.

Conservatives and Tea Party types would probably help with the push, if it turns out that Christie is lying about not knowing until last week what was going on. But Rove is right when he says it’s not our “defining difference.” Christie is probably as conservative as anyone who could get elected in New Jersey, but unless he and his donor base buy his way to the GOP nomination, he is simply too far to the left to win it. Christie makes Mitt Romney look like Ronald Reagan and that is our defining difference with him.

******

Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

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An Honest Answer

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 - by Stephen Green

In reply to my question about Darren Aronofsky directing Noah, our own Dave Swindle says, “Darren Aronofsky Should Direct Everything.”

Well, if you’re going to go that far… yeah, I can’t argue.

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The Question in Need of Asking

Monday, September 16th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

I need to be blunt.

What the hell is wrong with us?

Did we learn nothing from Fort Hood? (Apparently at CNN they did not.)

We send our men and women overseas armed to the teeth with miniature drones and smart rifles and stealth fighters and guided-missile destroyers and armored fighting vehicles.

And then we bring them home and we force them to disarm.

We learned on that September morning 12 years ago that the front line in this war isn’t over there, it’s over here.

Yet we insist — insist — on making our fighting men and women sitting ducks here at home. We ask them to defend us, but refuse to allow them to defend themselves. We treat them like criminals, or even worse, like residents of Chicago.

Twelve are dead today who shouldn’t be. And they must be the last who die this way, warriors unarmed.

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Death by a Thousand Whispers

Monday, September 16th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom isn’t just losing control of his own caucus on Capitol Hill — he’s losing control of his own staff. Mark Thiessen explains:

In today’s Wall Street Journal, senior officials leak how they desperately tried to talk Obama out of his “head-spinning reversal” on airstrikes and his decision to go to Congress. “He received swift — and negative — responses from his staff,” the Journal reports. National security adviser Susan Rice, we learn, warned that “he risked undermining his powers as commander in chief.” Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “also raised concerns.” But Obama ignored their advice and “took the gamble anyway.”

Such loyalty.

One of the Democrats’ historic strengths is that they don’t tell on their own. We still haven’t gotten the definitive insider account of the Clinton years, and likely never will. But you have to wonder if this will hold true for Wiggleroom, because stories like these indicate that a lot of people are wanting to put a lot of visible space in between themselves and their feckless, amateur boss.

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REPORT: Teens Are Kinda Dumb About Stuff

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Shocker:

Picture warnings on cigarette packets depicting the dangers of smoking make little impact on teenage smokers, a study suggests.

The UK introduced the images, which depict things such as diseased lungs and heart surgery, in 2008.

But the Stirling University study, which involved 2,800 children, found the images have had almost no effect on deterring 11 to 16-year-old smokers.

Smoking used to be seen as cool, and lots of young people (who became older people) smoked. Now it’s seen as kind of sad, and far fewer young people smoke. So do a lot fewer older people. In certain subcultures smoking is still seen as cool, and more of those people smoke. It’s pretty much that simple. Cultural change works, hectoring and nannying don’t.

As for gruesome images, kids do think those are cool. I filled my teen years watching classic movies like I Dismember Mama and The Incredible Melting Man precisely because they were gruesome.

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How About Some Good News?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

And here it is:

The U.S. auto industry has shifted into high gear with new-car buyers snapping up vehicles last month at a pace not seen since before the financial crisis.

Low interest rates and slow-but-steady job growth are encouraging consumers to trade in cars and trucks that average about 11 years old, say auto makers, which are adding production capacity and overnight shifts to satisfy demand.

The age of the fleet is a big driver (ahem) here, after the recession killed new car sales and Cash for Clunkers drove up prices for used cars.

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BREAKING: Lamar to Get Primaried?

Monday, August 19th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Looks like Lamar Alexander just picked up a major Tea Party primary challenger in the person of popular Tennessee radio host Ralph Bristol.

Look for the official announcement tomorrow morning.

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POLL: Americans Really Sour on Egypt

Monday, August 19th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Rasmussen:

As the death toll continues to rise in Egypt, most voters don’t think the United States should continue to provide military and financial aid to the country. Belief among U.S. voters that Egypt will become a peaceful and democratic nation in the near future has diminished since the Arab Spring in 2011.

Just 18% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the United States should continue providing military and financial aid to Egypt, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifty-four percent (54%) say the United States should not continue this aid.

What are the odds the White House, or even Congress, will listen?

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ObamaCare Just a Stop on the Road to Single-Payer

Monday, August 12th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Here’s the Majority Leader on Las Vegas television:

Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”

“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.

When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

Translation: All your care belong to us.

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Drug War Time Out

Monday, August 12th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

You’ve got to give credit where it’s due, even when its due to the most criminally negligent (or just plain criminal) and corrupt Attorney General in decades. So here’s a tip of the hat from me to Eric Holder:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is set to announce Monday that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with no ties to gangs or large-scale drug organizations will no longer be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory sentences.

The new Justice Department policy is part of a comprehensive prison reform package that Holder will reveal in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco, according to senior department officials.

How does that save lives? By not putting decent, salvageable kids into the prison system, where they learn how to become career criminals. Assuming they live that long.

Besides, mandatory sentencing was always a bad idea. It sure seemed smart back in the ’80s, when we were still reeling from liberal judges letting hardened criminals off with a slap on the wrist from a damp Kleenex. But judges are supposed to judge, to use their judgement — not just act as automatons for politicians who have long since left office. If you don’t like how a judge is using his judgement, either vote them out (where applicable), or vote out the idiots who appointed them. That’s our duty as citizens, just as judges are supposed to have their duties when it comes to sentencing.

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Selling ObamaCare

Friday, August 9th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Ben Domenech was one of three conservatives he managed to find at a 500-person ObamaCare seminar, and here’s a little something from his report:

The concern over rate shock is tangible and real. My presentation focused on this issue, and the attendees responded with an outpouring of personal stories about how skeptical they are that young and healthy people will sign up. Two mothers, both liberal health policy activists, described how hard they had to work to convince their 25 and 26 year old sons to sign up for insurance at all (“but mom, it’s more than $100 a month!”). The audience laughed when I quoted from the recent piece from Timothy Jost suggesting that young and healthy people would sign up out of a sense of social obligation.

Third, there is an abiding sense of frustration that the work of implementing has been difficult and is behind schedule, but the real problem is the public relations side – for which they blame the administration. Descriptions of PR failings and frustration among the law’s supporters are everywhere. John Iglehart, founder of Health Affairs, described last night his frustration that the Obama administration has not approached the promotional efforts for the law with the same degree of investment and verve as the president’s campaign for re-election, and openly questioned whether this could prove to be the law’s undoing.

The reason Obama has given up trying to sell the American people on his health care law is that we aren’t buying. We weren’t buying it during the big push to get it passed in 2009-10, and we haven’t bought it since. The laughter from the crowd at the event indicates that not even Democrats are buying it. They’ll tell pollsters they support it — weakly — but then they laugh at the idea that young people will actually buy in.

And that’s all before next year’s sticker shock really hits home.

Read Ben’s whole report, but the feeling I get is that Hillary will run in 2016 as the right candidate to fix what Obama broke. Of course, she’s the one who couldn’t get her own massive health care takeover bill passed in 1993-94, which ought to detract from her message.

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VIDEO: Weiner Roasts Reporter

Friday, August 9th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

File this one under “He Knows He’s Going to Lose and Just Doesn’t Give a D*** Anymore.”

The real fun starts about 46 seconds in, when Weiner says, “It’s hard to take you seriously.”

Pot? Meet pantsless kettle.

And what do you want to bet that when the camera was turned off, Weiner tried to get her Twitter handle? “Hey, I’m running for Mayor of New York City. Maybe you could DM me for a scoop or two.”

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Hasan May Remain His Own Counsel

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

They say a person who represents himself in court has a terrorist killer for a client, or something like that:

The military judge presiding over the court-martial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan ruled Thursday that he can continue to represent himself, denying a bid from his legal advisors to take over his defense amid concerns the former Army psychologist is trying to sink his own case to get the death penalty.

The lawyers assisting Hasan, called “standby attorneys,” claim he is trying to get the death penalty and have said it would be “morally repugnant” to help him achieve such a sentence. Hasan admitted in his opening statement that he was the shooter, appearing to be trying to get himself convicted.

If Hasan really wants the death penalty, he ought to be able to simply cop a plea, and I’m sure the UCMJ would be happy to oblige him. No, what he wants is to put on some fancy legal theater and then get put to death. Which is more important? Probably the theater.

I’m reminded of Lee Harris’s classic 2002 essay, “Al Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology.” Here’s the relevant bit:

The terror attack of 9-11 was not designed to make us alter our policy, but was crafted for its effect on the terrorists themselves: It was a spectacular piece of theater. The targets were chosen by al Qaeda not through military calculation — in contrast, for example, to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — but entirely because they stood as symbols of American power universally recognized by the Arab street. They were gigantic props in a grandiose spectacle in which the collective fantasy of radical Islam was brought vividly to life: A mere handful of Muslims, men whose will was absolutely pure, as proven by their martyrdom, brought down the haughty towers erected by the Great Satan. What better proof could there possibly be that God was on the side of radical Islam and that the end of the reign of the Great Satan was at hand?

In order to play up his own part in this fantasy, Hasan must be seen — in his eyes and in the eyes of his al-Qaeda comrades — to be the master, the conductor of his own trial. He will put on a glorious show, culminating in a glorious death for Allah. This has little to do with suicide-by-courtroom, and everything to do with an agent of radical Islam bending a Western institution to his will. Again.

My completely unsolicited advice to the judge is to keep a tight rein on Hasan’s antics, and to order a media blackout on the trial.

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Charges Filed Against Benghazi Attackers

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

United Liberty has the report:

Ahmed Abu Khattala, who is suspected to have led the attack, has been charged with murder, though prospects of arrest and negotiations with the Libyan government over where he will be tried seem tenuous.

Ya think? Kadhafi had been (quietly) cooperating with the US on hunting down al Qaeda, after we pulled Saddam from his hidey-hole. The new Libyan government, such as it is, may or may not prove as cooperative.

In any case, what I’d like to see are some charges filed against some Administration officials for the negligent deaths of four Americans.

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Feds Can’t Protect Their Own Secure Data

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

From this morning’s WSJ:

Law-enforcement officials found “a number of operational vulnerabilities” involving “black boxes” used by several departments to control the release of sensitive economic data such as the monthly unemployment rate, according to a report by the inspector general at the Commerce Department.

The report said it was possible to subvert the system, which was designed to prevent media companies from sending economic data to traders early.

But don’t worry. Your medical records will be all like totally safe with the completely secure and non-partisan IRS.

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WaPo Sold to Bezos for $250 Million

Monday, August 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

That’s the word on Twitter right now anyway.

Details as they become available, but this seems a strange move for the Amazon founder — unless he’s thinking an exclusive new Kindle app.

Hmmm…

UPDATE: Full press release follows.

The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) announced today that it has signed a contract to sell its newspaper publishing businesses, including The Washington Post newspaper, to Jeffrey P. Bezos.

The purchaser is an entity that belongs to Mr. Bezos in his individual capacity and is not Amazon.com, Inc.

“Everyone at the Post Company and everyone in our family has always been proud of The Washington Post — of the newspaper we publish and of the people who write and produce it,” said Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company. “I, along with Katharine Weymouth and our board of directors, decided to sell only after years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post (after a transaction that would be in the best interest of our shareholders). Jeff Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”

“I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, DC and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change,” said Mr. Bezos. “Our duty to readers will continue to be the heart of the Post, and I am very optimistic about the future.”

Mr. Bezos has asked Katharine Weymouth, CEO and Publisher of The Washington Post; Stephen P. Hills, President and General Manager; Martin Baron, Executive Editor; and Fred Hiatt, Editor of the Editorial Page to continue in those roles.

“With Mr. Bezos as our owner, this is the beginning of an exciting new era,” said Ms. Weymouth. “I am honored to continue as CEO and Publisher. I have asked the entire senior management team at all of the businesses being sold to continue in their roles as well.”

The transaction covers The Washington Post and other publishing businesses, including the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing.

Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy are not part of the transaction and will remain with The Washington Post Company, as will the WaPo Labs and SocialCode businesses, the Company’s interest in Classified Ventures and certain real estate assets, including the headquarters building in downtown Washington, DC. The Washington Post Company, which also owns Kaplan, Post–Newsweek Stations and Cable ONE, will be changing its name in connection with the transaction; no new name has yet been announced.

The purchase price is $250 million, subject to normal working capital adjustments, payable at closing later this year.

Allen & Co. assisted the Post Company in the sale process.

Of course, the one thing that has escaped Bezos is showing much of a profit. We’ll see if he’s able to save the paper from itself.

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Weiner Pursues Vital Ecuadoran Vote

Monday, August 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

So Anthony Weiner had been reduced to this:

Serial sexter and mayor wannabe Anthony Weiner appeared to be embracing his embarrassing online pseudonym and encouraged crowds that chanted, “Carlos!” and “Carlos Danger!” while marching in the Ecuadorian pride parade yesterday.

Sporting bright blue pants, a bullhorn and an Ecuadorian flag, Weiner repeatedly shouted, “Que viva Ecuador!” to the crowd as he energetically ran down Northern Boulevard in Queens with his loyal interns following.

He still has loyal interns.

Kids these days.

Tonight, he’ll attend a Cub Scout weiner roast in his honor.

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Late Night Comics Turn on Obama

Monday, August 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

At long last laughs:

“People always say to me, they say, `Hey, Letterman,’ they say. `Why don’t you make jokes about Obama?’ And I say, `All right, I’ll tell you why. I don’t make jokes about him because I don’t want the FBI tapping my phone,”‘ he said.

Leno tapped into the same idea with a different story: “I was going to start off tonight with an Obama joke, but I don’t want to get audited by the IRS, so forget that.”

Obama plans to make his own appearance on Leno’s “Tonight” show on Tuesday.

Democrats were the target of 713 jokes between January and June 2013, compared to 417 gags about Republicans, the study said.

That’s a big change from 2012, but then there was an election that year.

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Israel Sued for Death of Jesus

Monday, August 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

You can’t make this stuff up, and in today’s over-lawyered culture you don’t have to:

Israel is being named as one of the defendants in a new lawsuit over the wrongful execution of Jesus filed at the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ).

Prominent Kenyan lawyer Dola Indidis argues that the evidence provided by the Bible demonstrates that Jesus was subjected to “selective and malicious prosecution” that “violated his human rights through judicial misconduct.”

The lawsuit targets Roman Emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, numerous first century Jewish elders, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.

Calling witnesses may prove the most difficult part of the trial.

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Newspaper Editor Fired for Anti-Obama Headline

Thursday, August 1st, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Sad:

Chattanooga Times Free Press officials said Thursday that Free Press editor Drew Johnson has been fired “after placing a headline on an editorial outside of normal editing procedures.”

The newspaper said, “Johnson’s headline, ‘Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough,’ appeared on the Free Press page Tuesday, the day President Barack Obama visited the city.

“The headline was inappropriate for this newspaper. It was not the original headline approved for publication, and Johnson violated the normal editing process when he changed the headline.

OK, so he operated outside of procedure — but an editor’s job is to make these kinds of judgement calls, isn’t it?

Besides, it was clever enough to warrant a pat on the back, not a pink slip.

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Snowden Granted Temporary Asylum in Russia

Thursday, August 1st, 2013 - by Stephen Green

There he goes:

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden left transit zone of a Moscow airport and entered Russia after authorities granted him temporary asylum, his lawyer said Thursday.

Anatoly Kucherena said that Snowden’s whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons. The former NSA systems analyst was stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.

When you fear persecution by a president un-shy about killing its enemies by remote control, it’s the right thing to do.

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Bloomberg Anti-Gun Group Committing Fraud

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Brian Maher has a report up at Misfit Politics that you should read all of, but here’s the gist:

I’m the mayor of Walden, NY, just starting my third term. In 2009, while attending a statewide mayoral conference, I was asked to sign a “petition” affirming my support for safer communities. I signed, because who would not be for safer communities? What I found out later is that my name was being used in anti-gun propaganda to further the personal agenda of Mayor Bloomberg.

The organization never asked for permission or asked for approval to use my name to promote their agenda. Never was any information disclosed to me about the organization being in favor of gun control or that they would use my position as Mayor to spend millions of dollars to try to take away the rights of legal gun owners. I, like several other Mayors around the country were defrauded by Bloomberg and MAIG.

The vile progressives will use any means, fair or foul, to disarm law-abiding Americans.

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Civilian Deaths on the Rise in Afghanistan

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Here’s what Obama’s Afghanistan surge has bought us:

The number of civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan rose by 23 percent in the first six months of 2013, according to a United Nations report on civilian casualties, reversing a decline last year and signaling the challenge Afghan forces face as they take over all combat duties from American soldiers.

The Taliban continued to cause the majority of casualties as it stepped up attacks this year through the indiscriminate use of roadside bombs and suicide attacks in major population centers, according to the report, released on Wednesday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

These are the folks we’ll probably negotiate right into the Afghanistan government.

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