Trifecta: Everybody knows you never go full Nixon.
Day camp. Nine years old. Armed only with an incredible amount of sort-of blond hair and an avocado green handheld AM crystal radio. So sensitive it could pick up clear-channel stations in neighboring ZIP codes. So powerful you could very nearly hear it when pressed firmly to the side of your head. Maybe I should have changed the nine-volt more often.
The camp councilors (stoned college kids who somehow weren’t getting dismembered by masked killers) had boom boxes. I was on a Friday overnight stay there, when Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” played for me for the first time.
Played. For me. I was certain of it.
My small self spent the rest of the summer calling the KSDK disc jockeys and asking, “Could you play ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty?” Eventually, they stopped picking up the phone during certain hours. Jox will do that. As a recovering one myself, I can tell you that for a fact.
Anyway, I’m not even sure I knew what a saxophone really was. But I knew that whatever that was, I had to hear it again and again.
Rafferty was an odd cat and amazingly talented, but didn’t record very much. He didn’t want fame, he didn’t want to tour, he didn’t even want his real face on the album covers. Eventually it killed him — he drank himself to death.
You should pick up the whole album, because City To City is filled with great tracks — this just being the first of many. It’s the opening percussion and guitar that lure you in, but it’s the sax that keeps you coming back for more — even after almost exactly 35 years.
And in this case, it’s not even a reasonable dodge. Apparently the answer to the question, “What did the President know and when did he know it?” was already answered — by Don Henley.
“Everything, all the time.”
Impeachment isn’t the answer. It’s a naked political act, and the naked political truth is that it wouldn’t go anywhere in Harry Reid’s Senate. Trying to impeach a moderate like Clinton turned into a disaster for the GOP. This would be worse.
So what’s the answer? Again, let’s go to Don Henley: Give us dirty laundry.
We need to hear it all, and we need to hear it in an orderly, sane, and thorough way.
Sorry, ladies (and a few guys I could name) — but it’s not the volleyball scene from Top Gun.
It’s the end of an era.
Of course, the Air Force has been trying (and failing) to get rid of the A-10 for a couple decades now, and I’m not sure they ever wanted it in the first place. It’s slow, it can’t dogfight, why it’s practically an Army jet — if those mud-on-their-boots types could be trusted with jets.
But nothing tears up tank armor quite like the Warthog, or does it with such clunky-looking panache.
• Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant. People in the survey were most likely to embrace a racially diverse neighbor in the United Kingdom and its Anglo former colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and in Latin America. The only real exceptions were oil-rich Venezuela, where income inequality sometimes breaks along racial lines, and the Dominican Republic, perhaps because of its adjacency to troubled Haiti. Scandinavian countries also scored high.
• India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong by far the least tolerant. In only three of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians, 51.4 percent of Jordanians and an astonishingly high 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers and 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis.
The bit about Venezuela is telling, I think, given the political and economic appropriations of the Chavez era. Latin America has always enjoyed a decent reputation for relaxed racial relations, due in no small part to there not being much of a choice. There’s a lot of troubled history in that part of the world, but it’s been racially so mixed up for so long that there’s no one dominant racial group.
But Venezuela has been harvesting the, uh, fruits of socialism for so long, that increasing racism comes as no surprise. When people become collectivized, when the lose their individual rights, then they tend to group together for security. In the Middle East, people tend to sort themselves by clan. In India, by caste. And in Venezuela now, by race. People made insecure by rapacious government need easy and obvious ways for sorting themselves into “safe” collectives.
So what about the English and Scandinavian countries? Well, we’re rich. And money can paper over a lot of differences. I wouldn’t be surprised if Americans were more concerned about race today than we were ten years ago, because of increased insecurity and an increasingly rapacious and corrupt government. But ten years ago was probably worse than the Go-Go ’90s. And the ’80s and ’90s were certainly better in racial terms than the ’70s were. Part of that is a cultural process, the norming that happens after segregation is ended. But mostly, it’s the money. When we’re making it instead of taking it, that’s one big reason not to bother with hate or fear of “the other.”
There was an episode I’ll never forget of Will & Grace from back when that was funny. Will had bought a country home in what he had thought was an up-and-coming gay neighborhood in Vermont or one of those places. But it turned out to be the wrong town, and it looked like the hick neighbors were coming after the New Gays on the Block with pitchforks. Actually, the locals were bearing gifts, because at long last some trend-setting gays had come to gentrify the neighborhood and increase everybody’s property values.
Yeah, it’s a lame sitcom premise, and we’ve gotten away from talking strictly about race. But there’s more than a germ of greater truth in there, too.
Money papers over a lot of differences. It’s time we got back to the serious business of making it again.
UPDATE: There’s a more permanent solution at hand, too.
Former CIA chief David Petraeus on those heavily-edited talking points:
“No mention of the cable to Cairo, either?” Petraeus wrote in an email. “I’d just as soon not use this, then…”
Petraeus punted, however, writing that ultimately it was the National Security Staff’s (NSS’s) “call” to use the edited talking points.
He punted, eh? This was just a few weeks before he resigned for having an affair with his biographer — which the FBI (I think it was the FBI) had known about for quite some time. Was White House pressure, via FBI leaks, used to get Petraeus to punt, or did he do it on his own?
The man who achieved Internet fame as Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker when he struck a driver accused of attempting to run over a Pacific Gas & Electric work in February, is wanted on suspicion of murdering an attorney in New Jersey.
Kai is being sought for the killing of Joseph Galfy Jr., an attorney found dead in his home Monday afternoon, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said Thursday morning, as reported by the Star-Ledger in New Jersey.
The whereabouts of the 24-year-old suspect, whose real name is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, are not known, Romankow said.
Romankow said McGillvary, who he said cut his hair in an attempt to alter his appearance, was last seen at a light-rail station in the Haddonfield area. The prosecutor said McGillvary is considered armed and dangerous, the Star-Ledger said.
I find it difficult to believe that a young man known as the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker has found himself in such a situation.
This comes from Jim Pethokoukis, who adds:
In 2009, Strategas Group realized there was going to be a lot more government intervention into the economy, and stocks of companies that exhibited “the greatest lobbying intensity” might outperform the broad market. So the firm created a 50-stock “lobbying index.”
As the above chart shows, they have done just that with the index outperforming the S&P 500 by more than eight percentage points over the past five years. “This consistent outperformance suggests that investors do not fully incorporate the value of company lobbying activities,” the firm concludes.
When companies make money by pleasing government instead of their customers, their customers lose. And government, greedy beast that it is, likes it that way.
I remember in the mid-’90s, Microsoft was justifiably proud of the fact that it spent almost nothing, zilch, on Washington lobbying. Was it a coincidence then that the Justice Department came after the company with both barrels blazing?
And is it yet another coincidence that since settling with Justice, Microsoft has become a timid player unable to compete profitably in new markets?
You make the call.
Android is now the mobile-platform target for malware. I mean, there really isn’t a second place. Here’s the chart via Apple Insider based on data from F-Secure Labs.
I’m not even sure Nokia even produces Symbian phones for the first world anymore, so that small spike might just represent Nigerians scamming one another. Stranger things have happened, especially in tech.
The situation is worse than even the raw numbers suggest:
While researchers say the number of malware types is rising significantly, of greater concern is the rise of “highly specialized suppliers” who “provide commoditized malware services” that specifically target weaknesses in the Android platform, resulting in a situation where the “Android malware ecosystem is beginning to resemble to that which surrounds Windows.”
Scammers single out Android users with cons that prompt them to update components like Adobe Flash, or direct them to services or job offers that request installation permissions from the user. Once granted, the malware installs code to either make a series of paid calls when the user is sleeping, or install SMS spyware designed to intercept the user’s banking details over what appears to be a secure connection.
I’d love for you to tell me how awesome your Android anti-virus and anti-phishing apps are — you are using them, yes? — but I can’t hear you over the sound of my unmolested iPhone.
Oh, NBC News, you do amuse me so.
That’s sitting at the top of my Google News page right now. The story is a Chuck Todd report from last night, which I’m not going to watch even for the amusement factor of watching Todd the Goateed and Powerful pretend to go all apestuff on the Administration. But the teaser says:
NBC’s Chuck Todd examines the White House’s attempt to take control of the IRS scandal, saying if the public thinks the government has lost control on the IRS front, then the Obama administration will have more difficulty in implementing new policies.
See? The problem isn’t that a gargantuan and abusive executive branch can be used for years by secretive cabals to harass and intimidate ordinary, patriotic Americans. No, the problem is that people might lose faith in their gargantuan and abusive executive branch, so that they won’t want it to become more gargantuan and abusive.
Everything — everything — coming out of the MSM must be framed to show how government is the real victim when government goes “rogue.” Where are the sob stories about the IRS’s victims? Why do we know next to nothing about the people responsible, except that one of them retired in so much disgrace that they get to keep their pension?
Bad people have done bad things, and we haven’t heard their stories. Good people have suffered needlessly, and we haven’t heard their stories either. Because the MSM exists in the DC Bubble, where nothing counts except for the MORE! MORE! MORE! of ever-expanding government.
And to think it was just this week that Todd looked right into the camera and demanded that the White House release all those secret/semi-secret/modified-limited-hangout emails. That Chuck Todd, however briefly, was doing his job. But now we’re back to the old Todd, the one who looks at the rapist in court and worries that the jury might convict.
Poor Washington. Poor, poor Washington. Chuck Todd knows who’s really hurting — the hand that feeds him.
Rebel fighters have launched a massive assault on the prison in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, reports say.
The rebels apparently detonated two car bombs to blast through the walls of the prison, which holds 4,000 inmates including anti-government activists.
The opposition said government forces had counter-attacked using tank shells and air raids.
I don’t trust rebel reports of anything, but if they do take this prison, it could be a big deal.
From the VodkaPundit Mail Bag:
Here’s the thing that I think pisses me off more than anything else: All of these scandals are hitting critical mass now, when basically it’s too late. But if you look at the track record, it was plain as day that the Obama administration stank from the head down:
• They tried to marginalize Fox News by portraying them as “not really a news organization”;
• They dug up “dirt” on Romney, and had Dingy Harry smear him from the Senate floor;
• They dug into Sarah Palin’s past and smeared her;
• They dug into “Joe the Plumber’s” tax history and smeared him;
• They cast multiple aspersions on the Tea Party movement;
• Fast & Furious was recast (with a great assist from the MSM) as the continuation of a failed Bush policy;
Had the MSM one whit of integrity to it, as a group, they’d have been paying attention over the last few years and actually dug into some of these stories in a timely manner. If you look at the cumulative mass of horrors perpetrated by Obama and his cronies, the 2012 election should have been a bloodbath, but in favor of Romney. Simply because the antiseptic of sunlight brought on by a truly free press would have exposed the emperor for the naked fool that he truly is.
Benghazi would merely have been the coup de grace. Two months of honest scrutiny leading into the General Election would have left Obama completely disemboweled and powerless to stop Romney from storming into office.
But that didn’t happen. And now it’s too late. We may see the Republicans take the Senate in ’14, although I doubt we would really benefit from such an event, even if they prove themselves capable of capitalizing on this mess. And Hillary is pretty much toast at this point. But we’re stuck with ObamaCare. There’s no way that the EPA gets shoved back in its cage. The regulatory behemoth that is the federal government is rampaging through our economy at a devastating rate. The State Department has really and truly eviscerated any rational foreign policy that may have still existed. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Let it burn doesn’t even come close to what needs to happen in order to undo the damage heaped on the soul of this country.
And it really comes down to the absolute failure of the MSM as an institution. Politicians are who they are. It’s genetic. Which is why the architects of the Constitution gave it its particular design. But none of the checks and balances are worth squat if the press won’t do its job. Period.
And they didn’t.
And we all are going to pay for it as a result.
There aren’t enough lampposts available to string up all the bastards who deserve it.
Not expecting you to, but anonymous if you decide to quote any of this.
I can’t think of anything at the moment that needs adding.
Stocks vs Copper, via Zero Hedge:
Copper is great at predicting economic growth. Stocks are not. And the major divergences between the two tend to be resolved sharply (notice the sharp correction in Copper in late 2011).
With that in mind, either Copper needs to ERUPT higher as the world economy comes roaring back… or stocks need to drop BIG TIME.
Here’s a hint: Industrials were off again, dropping .5% last month instead of the consensus expectation of -.2%. In other words, we’re discovering (again) the limits of pursuing the “wealth effect” of inflated securities. Real wealth is either manufactured, grown in the ground, or dug out of the ground.
It isn’t a bunch of bits flying around a trader’s desk.
Dana Milbank, opining in today’s WaPo on the IRS’s Targetgate:
The president “found out about the news reports yesterday on the road,” he added.
And now that Obama has learned about this extraordinary abuse of power, he’s not doing a thing about it. “We are not involved at the White House in any decisions made in connection with ongoing criminal investigations,” Carney argued.
Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason asked how Obama felt about “being compared to President Nixon on this.”
The press secretary laughed. “People who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history,” he said.
Carney had a point there. Nixon was a control freak. Obama seems to be the opposite: He wants no control over the actions of his administration.
First, I’d like to apologize for having even thought of, much less typed out “Targetgate.” And secondly I’d like to say that when a Vile Prog has lost Dana Milbank, then you can safely bet this is the scandal that will cleave the MSM from being permanently on its knees for Obama.
But now let’s get to the meat.
Milbank is having a little fun here at the President’s expense, and he certainly sounds like he’s upset over the whole thing — but he hasn’t really thought this one through.
“Plausible deniability” is called that because the deniability is plausible, not because it’s true. The President doth protest too much, don’t you think? But even if Obama really is so far out of the loop on this one (and all the other ones), this Administration certainly enjoys a Nixonian tone. And where that tone comes from is the question Milbank hasn’t asked. But anyone who has ever worked for a large organization (a major newsdaily, just as an example) knows that underlings take their cues from the top. The Boss doesn’t have to say, “Bug these particular reporters at this particular news organization.” But he shouldn’t have to, either. People know what the Big Boss likes — particularly when it comes to the nasty bits.
So when Milbank writes that Obama “wants no control over the actions of his administration,” he’s really taking on Jay Carney’s job of providing public cover for Obama, even if this once it’s minus the lip service. Carney needs to paint a picture of a clueless President, just for appearances sake, because that’s his job. He’s Obama’s press flack, and a particularly offensive one at that. Milbank is a political reporter and columnist at the newspaper that brought down Nixon. There’s a difference between the two, or at least there’s supposed to be.
Instead, Milbank seems to have bought fully into Carney’s excuses that everyone in the Executive Branch is lawless — except for the President himself.
Really? That’s an awful lot of deniability you have to find plausible, month after month, in a series of crises spiraling up in number and in seriousness.
Repeating Carney’s talking points is still repeating Carney’s talking points, even if it’s done with Milbank’s knowing sneer. He should instead be asking the tough questions about why Obama seems content to be a passerby in his own Administration. Because either we have another President who is every bit much as power-hungry and vindictive as Nixon, or we have a thuggish community organizer who has been way out of his depth since Day One.
Which is it, Dana?
White House Press Weasel Jay Carney today in that squirmingly awful press briefing today says he believes in an “unfettered” press. But, you know, with exception. Like when the Attorney General’s office has to tap the phones at AP. So I have some questions for Carney, and I’d like to see at least one or two of these get picked up by some sharp White House Steno Pool reporter.
That’s the Drudge headline above. Here’s the story:
The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday.
“The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year,” according to the ProPublica report.
Breitbart was right; this is war.
Larry Connors, a veteran local news anchor at KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis, says that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting him since an April 2012 interview he conducted with President Obama — a fact that he dismissed as coincidence until the recent reports about the IRS targeting conservative groups.
“Shortly after I did my April 2012 interview with President Obama, my wife, friends and some viewers suggested that I might need to watch out for the IRS. I don’t accept ‘conspiracy theories’, but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me,” Connors wrote on his Facebook page late Monday night.
Connors did not specify how the IRS has been “hammering” him. He did not immediately respond to a request for calrification.
Keep spinning, Politico. Keep spinning — you may get your Savior out of this yet. But don’t count on it.
Incidentally, Connor is a St. Louis institution. He’s been anchoring the news there at least since I was in middle school, and I have zero clue what his politics are or might be. You know, the way it’s supposed to be done. The idea that the IRS would go after him in this way is offensive and just a little frightening.