YOU WENT FULL JOHN LEWIS, NBC. NEVER GO FULL JOHN LEWIS:
(Classical reference in headline.)
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, today was quite the dumpster fire at NBC and its subsidiary networks. Chris Matthews “unexpectedly” dialed the Godwin meter up to 11 and then some — throwing in Mussolini murdering his own son to boot:
“But I’m thinking when he said today ‘America First’ it was not just the racial, I mean the, um, I shouldn’t say racial, the Hitlerian background to it. But it was the message I kept thinking, what is Theresa May thinking this morning, when she picks up the papers and goes ‘My God, what did he just say, he said America first, what happened to the special relationship,’” Matthews complained.
* * * * * * * *
MATTHEWS: [B]ut Mussolini had a great solution to that. He had him executed. So, it’s —
MADDOW: Jesus, Chris!
MATTHEWS: So, if I were Jared, I’d be a little careful.
MADDOW: Well, all the people who are waiting for the reference to Mussolini have just started drinking.
And for others keeping score at home, Chris has now compared Republicans as diverse as Trump, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul to Hitler. And in 2012, when faced with the patrician Mitt Romney as the GOP’s presidential candidate, declared words such as “golf” and “Chicago” to be racial dog whistles.
But if Trump is Hitler, why didn’t Matthews warn the NBC brass while the 45th president was still on their payroll?
UNEXPECTEDLY: ABC, NBC Skip White Chicago Man Being Tortured Live on Facebook by Four African-Americans, while shouting “fuck Trump” and “fuck white people.” Equally unexpectedly, CBS’s coverage left out those last two details:
With ABC and NBC choosing to keep their audiences in the dark on this (at least until Thursday morning), the CBS Evening News was the lone network left to cover it. However, fill-in anchor Josh Elliott could only muster a 27-second news brief that only vaguely described the situation.
“Well, Chicago, which just had one of its most violent years ever, was the scene of another horrifying attack this week. A young man, described as law enforcement sources as developmentally challenged, was beaten, kicked, and tormented for half an hour,” Elliott explained.
He concluded by alluding to the assault being broadcasted on Facebook and how the victim “had been reported missing from his home in the suburbs” but “is now in the hospital and four suspects are in custody.”
CBS’s blackout on the details of this story, and their competitors’ embargo of the story itself, dovetails perfectly with Iowahawk’s observation that “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving,” and Jim Treacher’s line that in the 21st century, the profession “is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”
Related: “The Left’s insane hatred of Donald Trump has spun out of control, and there have been far too many instances of this sort of depraved violence,” John Hinderaker writes at Power Line. “I don’t want to hear another damn word about ‘hate crimes’ against minorities supposedly inspired by Donald Trump’s campaign or election, not unless they equal this level of depravity.”
The problem with these mea culpas and modified, limited hang-outs is that anyone familiar with the history of The New York Times has seen this movie before. Baquet may think putting people out on the road is the answer, but the paper has been there and done that in 2004. David Kirkpatrick spent a year in the field, covering mostly the socially conservative tribes of Jesusland. Yet here is the NYT, right back where it started.
The pre-election lack of balance Spayd identified continues in the paper’s current coverage. The NYT has visited flyover country from time to time after the election and occasionally included comments from Trump supporters in other pieces. But as before, such stories are drowned about by the flood tide of Times coverage serving progressives’ parochial appetites.
Immediately after every presidential election, the MSM promises to improve their coverage, even in November of 2008, when the DNC-MSM went all-in to successfully elect Obama.”Unexpectedly” though, it only gets worse during each successive presidential election. You almost wish they’d run an Onion-style headline instead: DON’T WORRY COCOONED READERS, WE’LL STILL BE TOTALLY IN THE TANK FOR THE NEXT DEM CANDIDATE AND WE’LL STILL HALF-ASS IT IN 2020. At least they’d get points for being honest Democrat operatives with bylines for a change.
MICHAEL WALSH: In the Wake of Trump’s Election, Consumer Confidence Soars.
Unexpectedly!, as Obama’s hagiographiers at Bloomberg would say. Around this time in 2008, Time magazine and other leftists were busy describing BHO as the next FDR, but as Amity Shlaes, the historian of the Depression that FDR prolonged by eight years warned, business and consumer uncertainty during a regulatory-obsessed socialist regime is a great way to keep a stagnant economy from catching fire.
UNEXPECTEDLY: CA Gun Sales Surge Ahead of ‘Assault Rifle’ Ban.
The man suspected of deliberately ramming a large truck into a Christmas market in Berlin is a refugee from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, two German intelligence officials and a police official told CNN.
The sources said the suspect in Monday evening’s attack, which killed 12 people and injured dozens more, arrived in Passau, a city on Germany’s border with Austria, on December 31, 2015, after traveling through the Balkans.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a press conference on Tuesday saying it would be “especially disgusting” if the suspect turned out to have been given asylum in Germany.
Welt via Google Translate:
The allegations of the alleged perpetrator had been examined and considered to be correct. “We have the wrong man,” says the Berlin police. “And thus a new situation. For the real culprit is still armed at large and can cause new damage. “The capital’s preparedness police and the special forces were informed.
Earlier Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) had informed that the arrested suspect denies a complicity . According to him, he comes from Pakistan. He was submitted to Germany on 31 December 2015 and registered, said the minister. His asylum procedure has not yet been concluded after several attempts at a hearing have not taken place.
In the cab of the truck was found according to information of the news agency dpa blood-smeared clothes. In the case of the suspect who was later arrested at some distance from the crime scene, on the other hand, no clothing stained with blood was found, according to security circles.
According to de Maizière, “there is no longer any doubt that the terrible event last night was an attack.” The semitrailer was consciously controlled in the human population. “We are dealing with a brutal assassination attempt,” said the minister. An official confession of a terrorist group does not yet exist, but indirect assurances.
Did they simply arrest the wrong man, or was he acting as a decoy?
Fortunately for the Times, unlike his pose during the previous eight years, I doubt Glenn Thrush will be feigning much boredom during the Trump administration. (Perhaps a little ignorance of history, though.) And I doubt he’ll dub their worst decisions as “badass.”
Just think of him as a Democrat operative with a byline, and you’ll rarely go far wrong.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Trump’s Popularity Rising Post-Election.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Grand Rapids’ worker-run, no-tipping restaurant closes.
Not only was the menu unconventional, so was the business model. Bartertown was a collective, which meant there were no bosses, according to Cappelletti. The inspiration for the worker-owned restaurant was based on Cappelletti’s own restaurant experience.
“Because of our economy, people are working 12- to-15-hour shifts, servers take home $200 to $300 a night in tips, the cooks are making $10 an hour and the owner takes whatever he takes, ” Cappelletti told MLive in 2011. “We’re going to have equal pay and equal say across the board. Everyone working together.”
Employees would be expected to join the union, Industrial Workers of the World, he said.
In keeping with the worker empowerment theme, he commissioned a mural depicting Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and other provocative leaders tackling restaurant duties.
In the end, the restaurant failed to achieve the employee business model it envisioned.
THIS JUST IN: ‘Secular’ Syrian Rebels Don’t Believe in Secularism.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Trump set to take sharp right turn on immigration.
RIDE THE LEFT’S TRUMP AS THE POLITICAL EQUIVALENT OF 9/11 RECURSION! One of the memes the left seems to have coalesced to explain how they feel (and it’s always about the feelz with the left) about Trump winning the presidential election is that Donald Trump heading the federal government is the political equivalent of September 11th, 2001, which according to lefty blogs back in 2007, 35 percent or more of Democrats believe was caused by the head of the federal government.
And yet, as Kathy Shaidle has memorably pointed out, if you really did believe that the president ordered 3,000 Americans killed by slamming planes into the World Trade Center, and Pentagon, and/or by “controlled demolitions” to gin up war in the Middle East, you’d want to get the hell out of the country at once, and/or you wouldn’t feel comfortable openly discussing your conspiracies at the local Starbucks. (See also: Brutal Nazi and Soviet crackdowns on those who questioned Hitler and Stalin’s actions.) Similarly, Democrats seem to not get the disparity between comparing Trump to Hitler, and yet nothing at all happening to them.
Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison was among friends Sunday — in this case, a gathering of atheists — so his support for a fistful of hot-button opinions, including the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, brought enthusiastic nods of approval and standing ovations.
As he was introduced to the eclectic gathering, which included one man wearing a black T-shirt that read “Investigate 9/11,” Ellison was told that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslims had joined atheists at the bottom of popular opinion polls.
“You’ll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want,” Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress, said in a speech to more than 100 atheists at the Southdale Library in Edina. As Minnesota’s first black member of the U.S. House ends his first six months in office, Ellison did not disappoint a crowd that seemed energized the more pointed he made his opinions.
On impeaching Cheney, which the Minneapolis DFLer supports: “[It is] beneath his dignity in order for him to answer any questions from the citizens of the United States. That is the very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship.”
* * * * * * * *
On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.”
To be fair though, Ellison’s crusade for the DNC chair seems to be enjoying “unexpectedly” wide support on both sides of the aisle.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Separation of Powers Is En Vogue Again.
UNEXPECTEDLY! As Ratings Plummet, N.F.L. Considers Reducing Ads and Length of Games. As unexpected as Hillary losing.
Sing it: If you live in this world, you’re feeling the change of the guard.
CTRL-F “Kaepernick” and CTRL-F “National Anthem” brings up zero results until the comments section. Unexpectedly.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Leaves Israel With a Security Nightmare.
As Richard Fernandez noted in September, “The Era of Hope and Change has been one prolonged act of suicide. If anyone had said that Obama would manage to alienate Israel and the Philippines, lose Turkey, pay Iran a hundred billion dollars, preside over the loss of a won war in Afghanistan, lose billions of dollars in military equipment to ISIS, watch a consulate burn, restart the Cold War with Russia, cause Japan to re-arm and go the knife’s edge with China would you have believed it? If someone had told you in 2008 millions of refugees would be heading for Europe and that the UK would leave the EU after Obama went there to campaign for them to remain would you not have laughed? He promised ‘smart diplomacy’ and the restoration of American prestige in the world. How did it come to this?”
Of course, things could get even worse after Obama leaves office, but his legacy — a nuclear-armed Iran — continues steaming forward.
COMMUNIST RULE RETURNS TO COMMUNIST CHINA: China Ousts Finance Minister Lou Jiwei in Surprise Reshuffle.
Shortly before Lou Jiwei was appointed China’s finance minister in the spring of 2013, the outspoken Communist Party veteran expressed a wish to Premier Li Keqiang: to let him serve his full five-year term.
Mr. Lou’s pitch, according to people with knowledge of the matter, was that he had a plan to overhaul the country’s creaky fiscal system and tax code and needed time to carry it out. The chat with Mr. Li helped launch him as the highest-profile finance minister China has had in years and a voice for market-oriented changes in China.
On Monday, with nearly two more years to go before his term ends, the 65-year-old Mr. Lou was unexpectedly removed from his position and replaced by a relatively low-profile bureaucrat.
President Xi Jinping is apparently trying to make himself into China’s most powerful leader since Mao.
TIME-WARNER-CNN-HBO SPOKESMAN BILL MAHER PRETENDS TO APOLOGIZE FOR CRYING WOLF AT BUSH, McCAIN AND ROMNEY:
This is a remarkable mea culpa from Bill Maher on how he treated Republican nominees before Trump. pic.twitter.com/xIzt9Rj91S
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 5, 2016
In response, Iowahawk adds:
For anybody who can’t understand why their attacks on Trump just won’t stick:https://t.co/FldVcvSExh
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 5, 2016
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 5, 2016
Fun with Twitter searchhttps://t.co/wAKKGpiWVj
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 5, 2016
But then, long before Trump came along, the previous president or GOP candidate, who received brickbats and worse from the left is magically rehabilitated to bash the current nominee. Rinse and repeat, going back to Eisenhower and Goldwater.
This past July, Jonah Goldberg explored “How the Media’s History of Smearing Republicans Now Helps Trump.”
Last night, responding to Maher, Stephen Kruiser wrote, “As he points out [in the above clip], Maher gave a cool million to the Obama campaign in 2012 to prevent Mitt Romney from being elected. In the last few weeks before the election, Democrats were portraying Romney (the man they now describe as honorable) as a sexist animal abuser who gave a woman cancer. Check back in four years to see if they’ve really learned anything about crying wolf.”
Similarly, file this prediction from Twitter user Chris Antenucci away for future reference: “Bill Maher and most liberals in 2020: ‘This year’s nominee, Rubio, is making Trump look like a moderate. He’s a radical on abortion.’”
That’s a remarkably safe bet. We’re seeing lots of mea culpas from the media and its critics about how badly it blew its reporting this year and how deeply it was in the tank for the Democratic nominee. But they could virtually be rewrites of the same faux apologies we’ve seen at the conclusion of every presidential election since at least 2004. And yet, “unexpectedly,” the MSM just never seems to learn from them, do they?
Just think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.
UNEXPECTEDLY: NYC millennials are crawling with STDs.
UNEXPECTEDLY! The NFL Was a Sure Thing for TV Networks. Until Now.
NONSENSE, VOTING FRAUD IS A MYTH: State raids Delco offices, seeking evidence of voter registration fraud.
Pennsylvania state police have raided a Delaware County political field office seeking evidence of possible voter-registration fraud, according to court records.
In a warrant filed late last week in County Court, investigators said they were seeking documents, financial information, and lists of employees at the Norwood office of FieldWorks LLC, a national organization that often does street work for Democrats, records show.
The warrant did not specify the nature of the probe, but said agents also were looking for “templates . . . utilized to construct fraudulent voter registration forms” and “completed voter registration forms containing same or similar identifying information of individuals on multiple forms.”
It’s cronyism and collusion all the way down.
CBS: Poll: National Anthem Protests Leading Cause For NFL Ratings Drop. “The NFL has long been one of the country’s most popular forms of escapist entertainment, and the injection of social and political issues into the broadcasts has turned a number of fans away.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Offering Poor Value, Obamacare Exchanges Have Become Medicaid-like Ghettos. “To moderate premium spikes, insurers have done what Medicaid managed-care plans do: Narrow networks. Consultants at McKinsey note that three-quarters of exchange plans in 2017 will have no out-of-network coverage, except in emergency cases. And those provider networks themselves are incredibly narrow: one-third fewer specialists than the average employer plan, and hospital networks continuing to shrink. In short, exchange coverage looks nothing like the employer plans that more affluent Americans have come to know and like.”
NEWS FROM THE VENEZUELAN SOCIALIST WORKERS’ PARADISE: With hospitals suffering a catastrophic lack of supplies, the country’s babies are dying at a rate higher than Syria’s.
Infant mortality is rising fast here, at a time when it is falling in almost every other part of the world, in one of the most alarming signals that Venezuela’s social and state structures are unraveling.
“I think it represents a very serious social problem, where the basic functions of governance are breaking down,” said Janet Currie, an economist and expert on infant mortality at Princeton University.
Venezuela’s overall infant mortality rate—defined as deaths within the first year of life—is currently 18.6 per 1,000 live births, according to the most recent government statistics. That is well beyond the upper range of 15.4 Unicef estimates for war-torn Syria.
Lots of bad luck going around there — unexpectedly.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Hillary’s Never Asked by Media About Broaddrick.
It wasn’t always this way. In 1958, when the American National Election Study first asked Americans to gauge their trust in government, a healthy 73 percent said they could trust the government just about always or most of the time. The slide began under Lyndon Baines Johnson, hit a brief peak during the Ronald Reagan years, and has been falling ever since.
Simply put, we are in the Era of Mistrust, and there are no exit signs.
It’s an interesting paradox for the left – who see no limitations on the size of the government – and yet, as the above passage illustrates, the bigger and more powerful the scope of the government, the less it’s likely to be trusted. And as Salena Zito goes on to note, while the left launched Watergate to destroy Richard Nixon, the discovery by the American people that, as Victor Lasky accurately noted at the time in his book titled It Didn’t Start With Watergate, did much to make the distrust of government an “unexpectedly” bipartisan affair in the 1970s.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Hacked emails reveal MSNBC producer fawning over Hillary.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Clinton Campaign Helped Script Steve Harvey Interview.
Flashback: Email Reveals Hillary Clinton Was Fed Questions Before Meet The Press Appearance. And a few additional examples of DNC-MSM collusion also in that post.
OH, THAT LIBERAL FASCISM: “Do not make yourself a target for the Clintons. This has been a rule for as long as we’ve known them. If you get in their sights, bad things happen to you. The latest case in point is Scott Adams, writer of the Dilbert comic strip who has turned his thoughts to blogging about the Trump phenomenon.”
To paraphrase Tom Wolfe, according to the media-academic complex, fascism is forever descending upon the American right, but it always seems to land rather far left of the target. (Unexpectedly.)
PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:
As I understand your use of this term, “the media” is essentially shorthand for anything you read, saw or heard today that you disagreed with or didn’t like. At any given moment, “the media” is biased against your candidate, your issue, your very way of life.
But, you know, the media isn’t really doing that. Some article, some news report, some guy spouting off on a CNN panel or at CrankyCrackpot.com might be. But none of those things singularly are really the media.
Fact is, there really is no such thing as “the media.” It’s an invention, a tool, an all-purpose smear by people who can’t be bothered to make distinctions.
—“Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing,” Paul Farhi, the Washington Post, Friday.
Thousands of conservatives and even some moderates have complained during my more than three-year term that The Post is too liberal; many have stopped subscribing, including more than 900 in the past four weeks.
It pains me to see lost subscribers and revenue, especially when newspapers are shrinking. Conservative complaints can be wrong: The mainstream media were not to blame for John McCain’s loss; Barack Obama’s more effective campaign and the financial crisis were.
But some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt are valid. Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.
—Button worn by the late Ginny Carroll to the 1992 Republican convention. Carroll was a bureau chief for Newsweek, then owned by the Washington Post.
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Farhi has tried to play these semantic games: As Tim Graham of NewsBusters paraphrased a similar Farhi column in 2012, “WashPost Writes The Public Be Damned: They’re Biased If They Think We’re Biased.”
Perhaps Iowahawk has the best response to Farhi’s latest column, and its smug headline, “Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing.” “Okay, how about we just call you assholes,” he tweeted yesterday.
Or Democrat operatives with bylines. Often the two phrases are quite interchangeable. (Unexpectedly.)
All of which is why, as Kurt Schlichter writes, “We’re Laughing at the Self-Destruction of the Media Gatekeepers.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Craft Breweries Abound in States with Fewer Regulations.
Here’s to freedom – as Amnesty International used to say, before their own style of fundamental transformation.
UNEXPECTEDLY: NFL’s TV ratings still falling?
Whatever could be the reason?
AND NOW, SOME THOUGHTS FROM COLIN POWELL ON THE 2016 ELECTION:
Related: “Unexpectedly,” the news division of CBS, run by Obama advisor Ben Rhodes’ brother, censors Powell’s accusation that Clinton is still ‘d***king bimbos,’ after editing Bill’s Monday admission that his wife “frequently” suffers from fainting spells. It’s like Dan Rather never left his old office.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low, Gallup reports, “with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year:”
Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.
Republicans Fuel Drop in Media Trust
While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press. Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14% from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years.
Why on earth would that be? Paul Krugman assures me his fellow DNC-MSM operatives with bylines are “objectively pro-Trump.”
(Classical reference “unexpectedly” in headline.)
HEY, REMEMBER HIM? Barack Obama, the incredible shrinking president:
While presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump loom horrifyingly larger, can we spare a little horror as U.S. President Barack Obama looms ever smaller? No, I’m not sorry he’s leaving. I’m alarmed at a series of recent foreign policy humiliations showing just how badly the incredible shrinking president has damaged America’s standing in this turbulent world of ours.
First, emerging from the back door of Air Force One at the G20 in China after local functionaries literally denied him a red carpet. Second, begging Russian President Vladimir Putin for help on Syria and getting chlorine gas. Third, being told off by the president of Turkey over American support for Kurds in Syria. Fourth, being cussed out by the president of the Philippines.
It is literally impossible to imagine any of these things happening to former presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush or Richard Nixon. Jimmy Carter? Maybe one or two. But Obama managed all four. While he did cancel his meeting with the appalling Filipino president, he seemed to treat the rest as no big deal.
As Glenn noted, “When Jimmy Carter Is your best-case scenario, you’re in trouble.” That was written back in 2011, but alas, voters didn’t heed the warning. Which is why our semi-retired president’s last months in office aren’t exactly occurring “unexpectedly,” even to his most die-hard loyalists.
WORLD TO END TOMORROW—WOMEN, MINORITIES HARDEST HIT:
—The London Guardian*, Tuesday.
—James Delingpole, Breitbart London, yesterday.
* Funny how lefty Websites never volunteer to reduce global warming by turning off their air conditioned offices and server farms. Unexpectedly.
(Classical reference in headline.)
As Jim Geraghty quipped in December:
Apparently, Merkel winning that Time magazine “Person of the Year” cover story last year wasn’t worth the massive upheaval it inflicted on her countrymen.
UNEXPECTEDLY: “‘CNN is so supportive of Clinton, network honchos acted like the Mafia when confronting [Dr. Drew Pinsky]’ a source told me. ‘First, they demanded he retract his comments, but he wouldn’t.’ What followed was a series of nasty phone calls and e-mails. ‘It was downright scary and creepy,’ a source close to Pinsky said.” Which is why “Dr. Drew loses show after discussing Hillary’s health,” the New York Post reports*.
Flashback: David Shuster suspended at MSNBC in early 2008 — a channel that was then at the height of its raucous Keith Olbermann slurring Bush nightly phase — for uttering the innocuous phrase, “Doesn’t it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?” by the Clinton foundation. Chelsea was then 27 years old, and on her way to be being paid $600,000 by MSNBC’s parent network for filing less than two dozen stories, one of which was a hard-hitting take no prisoners interview with…the Geiko gecko.
OBAMA FINDS AN ALLY IN WAL-MART, WHOSE STORES HE ONCE SHUNNED, Bloomberg notes. And since it’s Bloomberg, it’s worth adding the “Unexpectedly!” — or as Scott Lincicome of the Cato Institute tweets, Bloomberg’s article is “A classic of the ‘corporatism, how does it work?’ genre:”
As a freshman senator with his eye on the presidency, Barack Obama said he’d never shop at a Wal-Mart and held the company up as an emblem of corporate greed.
Today, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is one of Obama’s most reliable corporate allies, a go-to partner that’s backed the White House on more than a dozen business initiatives, particularly Obamacare and climate change.
And speaking of “unexpectedly,” a flashback to 2011, when Wal-Mart went ‘Back to Basics’, which Richard Pollock, then with PJM dubbed “A Cautionary Tale for the Left:”
The failure, in large part, can be pinned to Leslie Dach: a well-known progressive and former senior aide to Vice President Al Gore. In July 2006, Dach was installed as the public relations chief for Wal-Mart. He drafted a number of other progressives into the company, seeking to change the company’s way of doing business: its culture, its politics, and most importantly its products.
Out went drab, inexpensive merchandise so dear to low-income Americans. In came upscale organic foods, “green” products, trendy jeans, and political correctness. In other words, Dach sought to expose poor working Americans to the “good life” of the wealthy, environmentally conscious Prius driver.
Dach’s failure should be a cautionary tale for President Obama: last week he scolded a blue collar man in Pennsylvania for driving an SUV, and he has previously admonished Americans to get out of their gas-guzzlers and into electric cars. Dach’s failure should also put Michelle Obama on notice; she has been pushing her White House organic vegetable garden as a model for working Americans.
Like other real-world experiments, the Wal-Mart story exposes the failure of progressivism in the marketplace, as the Dach strategy has been a fiasco: the merchandising turned off low-income (and largely Democratic-leaning) customers. Says former Wal-Mart executive Jimmy Wright:
The basic Wal-Mart customer didn’t leave Wal-Mart. What happened is that Wal-Mart left the customer.
First being in bed with Hillary, then Al Gore, then Obama. I’m not sure how those associations help Wal-Mart stay focused on its core business, but I guess it’s worth it for the cocktail parties and the protection from what Michael Walsh has described as a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Enrollment drop from Mizzou protests worse than feared.
Inconceivable, as legendary SJW Mr. Vizzini would say.
THAT MEANS IT’S WORKING: Even Left-Leaning Econ Writers Are Impoverished by Obamacare.
“We’re Hiring Economics Writers,” says the headline of a post at the web site FiveThirtyEight.
Good for them.
Then they write:
“This is a part-time staff position (up to 29 hours per week) and does not offer benefits.”
Any idea why they chose 29 hours?
UNEXPECTEDLY! I dumped my fiancé for a Jamaican lover but he fleeced me of £10k and turned out to be a love rat: Louise Chesney, 24, was set to marry her perfect man when a local hotel worker caught her eye on holiday. The “perfect man” dodged a bullet, I’d say, especially after seeing photos of her pale, tubby, and tattooed self. And I love the “I can’t believe this happened” bit, as if it was something that just happened, instead of something stupid that she did.
SCIENCE CONFIRMS: MILLENNIAL MEN HAVE PANSY HANDSHAKES. Gosh, that bit of news has arrived so “unexpectedly.”
UNEXPECTEDLY! The Target boycott is costing more than anyone expected.
I think it’s more of a case of the cultural left being exhausted and having overreached on a variety of issues that have badly cheesed off the American public, but hey, even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eventually turned the corner on their 0 and 26 record. But let’s check back in November before getting too excited on this one.
In the meantime though, note this item in Jim Geraghty’s post:
Enrollment at the University of Missouri is expected to decline by 2,600 students in the fall, aggravating a bad budget situation and making it likely the pain will extend for several years as the shrunken fall freshman class filters through to graduation.
Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler, in an interview ahead of a campus budget forum Wednesday, said campus divisions have been told to plan for 2 percent cuts to general fund budgets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 in addition to 5 percent cuts ordered for the year that begins July 1…
The latest enrollment figures point to a decline of 1,400 first-time freshmen, to about 4,800, and 1,200 other students, Gibler said. For every 100 fewer Missouri undergraduate students who are on campus, the university loses $1 million in tuition revenue. That rises to $2.5 million for 100 fewer undergraduates from outside the state.
Related: “New York is again the least free state in the country,” the Cato Institute reports in its annual survey of “Freedom in the 50 States,” adding, “Its huge, glaring weakness is fiscal policy. If New York were to adopt a fiscal regime closer to that of California, New Jersey, or Connecticut, its overall economic freedom score would be close to theirs. As it is, New York looks set to remain the least free state for many years to come.”
What’s the second least free state in the country? Let’s just say you can’t spell the phrase “Catch-22” without the letters CA.
UNEXPECTEDLY! U.K. Unemployment Falls After Brexit.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Black Lives Matter Accuses Israel of Genocide.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Early Returns From Seattle’s Minimum Wage Experiment. “So what did they find? People are getting paid a higher wage — and yet, earnings didn’t rise much, because people are also working less.”
PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:
—John Nolte, Big Journalism, December 21st, 2013.
— Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed, yesterday.
As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon tweeted yesterday, guess whose name is “unexpectedly” omitted from Warzel’s article.
“Irony is wasted on the stupid.” This quote, attributed to Oscar Wilde, seems fitting in light of the Obama administration’s new campaign to block two blockbuster mergers between the health insurers Aetna and Humana and Anthem and Cigna. (It is also fighting hospital consolidation in many states.) The administration is rightly worried that this will lead to higher health care costs through reduced competition, yet it ignores the fact that its signature law, the Affordable Care Act, was specifically designed to foment such consolidation.
The central planners behind the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – were convinced that consolidation in health care would lead to decreased health care spending by eliminating duplication, standardizing treatment protocols and incentivizing better utilization. As three of Obamacare’s primary authors wrote in The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2010, the law was designed to “unleash forces that favor integration across the continuum of care.” No part of health care was supposed to be spared – doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and others were given regulatory and financial incentives to merge.
This prediction panned out. In the six years since Obamacare’s passage, there has been a surge in health care consolidation.
All together now: Unexpectedly!
Will Smith, hardest hit.
Shades of the story of Julian Simon versus the enviro-doomsday religious left. As Jay Nordlinger once wrote, “Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist. He was at some environmental forum, and he said, ‘How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?’ Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, ‘Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?’ Nothing. Again: ‘Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?’ Not a stir. Simon then said, ‘Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.’ I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.”
PEASANTS AND PITCHFORKS: A Wake-Up Call For Western Elites.
It is easy to get caught in the tidal wave of pessimism that has gripped the West’s chattering classes and op-ed writers. The list of real problems confronting Europe and the United States is long, and getting longer still: slow growth, exploding jihadi terrorism, uncontrolled immigration, the hollowing out of NATO, and the weakening of the European Union. Region by region, the global security equation looks equally menacing, with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on fire amidst a Sunni-Shi‘a civil war, the fragmentation of Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and fighters flocking to the Islamic State intent on brushing aside the remnants of the Sykes-Picot system. The risk of armed conflict is growing in Asia and Europe, with China and Russia pressing their advantage, while Americans, weary of losses in what is now a 15-year War on Terror, look in vain for a viable strategy. Within the West itself events are approaching an inflection point; the liberal, globalist notions of the past two decades have suddenly (if only in hindsight not unexpectedly) run into a rapidly rising wall of popular resistance.
The forces that are reshaping the erstwhile globalist consensus are not, as critics would have it, simply “populism,” “racism,” or “lower class obscurantism,” but a 21st-century popular rebellion across the democratic West, which—warts and all—is readying itself to imprint the will of the modern demos onto what not so long ago many considered to be a progressively de-nationalized, postmodern consumer society. Steeped in resurgent nationalism, this public wave has crashed into the breach between the notional reality, which maintains that on balance Europe and America are still doing fine, and the perceived reality of high unemployment, high immigration rates, and segmented communities. It is amidst this sense of fragmentation and decline that latter-day peasants on both sides of the ocean are rising up, pitchforks in hand, against an increasingly denationalized aristocracy.
You can, by the way, purchase pitchforks from Amazon.com. With next-day delivery!
Not exactly “unexpectedly,” as this Reason TV video on federal government spending dates to April of 2009:
She’s plunged Europe into years of violence and chaos, but she’s always have that Time magazine “Person of the Year” award for 2015. I’m sure she thinks that’s a fair trade.
UNEXPECTEDLY! “College Students Protest, Alumni’s Fondness Fades and Checks Shrink,” the New York Times reports, with an actual sighting of the U-word:
Scott MacConnell cherishes the memory of his years at Amherst College, where he discovered his future métier as a theatrical designer. But protests on campus over cultural and racial sensitivities last year soured his feelings.
Now Mr. MacConnell, who graduated in 1960, is expressing his discontent through his wallet. In June, he cut the college out of his will.
“As an alumnus of the college, I feel that I have been lied to, patronized and basically dismissed as an old, white bigot who is insensitive to the needs and feelings of the current college community,” Mr. MacConnell, 77, wrote in a letter to the college’s alumni fund in December, when he first warned that he was reducing his support to the college to a token $5.
A backlash from alumni is an unexpected aftershock of the campus disruptions of the last academic year. Although fund-raisers are still gauging the extent of the effect on philanthropy, some colleges — particularly small, elite liberal arts institutions — have reported a decline in donations, accompanied by a laundry list of complaints.
Yes, who on earth could have seen this coming?
As Jim Treacher would say, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats” — and their Continental equivalent.
RECOVERY SUMMER: Construction spending falls to one-year low in June.
Construction spending declined 0.6 percent to its lowest level since June 2015 after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent dip in May, the Commerce Department said on Monday. Construction outlays were up 0.3 percent from a year ago.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.5 percent in June after a previously reported 0.8 percent drop in May. Their June estimates were largely based on the government’s assumptions for private residential and nonresidential construction spending in the advance GDP report.
The anticipated downward revision will come unexpectedly.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Talked More About Himself Than Hillary.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Draft Dem platform doesn’t even mention nuclear power.
As Glenn has noted on numerous occasions, if you don’t support nuclear power, you don’t care about carbon emissions.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Papa John’s upgraded on belief civil unrest is encouraging more pizza delivery:
Papa John’s International Inc. was upgraded to overweight from sector weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets with analysts expressing the surprising* view that diners, concerned about political and civil unrest, are choosing to stay home for pizza delivery rather than head out for a meal.
Papa John’s price target is $80, or about 16% above its current trading level.
“After speaking with several large operators and industry contacts, we believe the recent decline in casual dining restaurant segment fundamentals—traffic down 3% to 5% the past several weeks—may be the result of consumers eating more at home amid the current political/social backdrop, which we believe could last through the November election,” KeyBanc analysts wrote in a note published Tuesday.
Shades of Faith Popcorn’s “Cocooning” thesis from her much-hyped 1991 book, The Popcorn Report, written, not at all coincidentally, at the perigee of the Dinkins era in New York. Cocooning as a trend seemed to go a bit by the wayside after Rudy Giuliani began revitalizing New York law enforcement, and crime in general began to fall in the US during the Contract with America mid-1990s. I wonder if the post-Obama era will experience as quick a turnaround?
* AKA, Unexpectedly.
What we need is a law against unintended consequences.
GOSH, IT’S ALL HAPPENING SO UNEXPECTEDLY: “A document obtained by The Associated Press shows that key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Venezuela’s inflation is set to top 1,600% next year.
A shortage of medical supplies means infants and other sick patients are dying of treatable illnesses. Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars by the planeload.
As Caracas extends its declared state of economic emergency, it’s no wonder many economists say the nation will soon have to ask the IMF for a bailout. It’s gotten so bad, the government this week handed over control of food stocks to the military, ceding even more power to the armed forces.
Thursday. My day of the week to buy staples. I head over to the local supermarket just after 10 a.m. Sixty people or so are waiting outside. They’ve come from all over the city, especially the poorer neighborhoods where food is scarcest, to stand in line. No one knows anything: what time the regulated goods will be put up for sale; which items, if any, will be offered; nothing. They just wait, doggedly, under the blistering Caribbean sun.
“This is the line of hope,” one woman says to me. “We are hoping they have something to sell us.” Nice. A little bit of gallows humor. I laugh. A couple hours later, though, with the line still at a standstill, I’m out of hope. I abandon my spot and walk away.
Socialism is about caring.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Coal Miners Exit Democrat Party.
A double-dose of “unexpectedly.”
Other than pretty much everyone, who saw this coming?
UNEXPECTEDLY: Iran Violates the Deal. Now What?
The report from the German FBI—the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution spoke of Iran’s support for terrorists inside Germany including Hezbollah and Hamas. But just as alarming was the finding that Iran made at least nine recent attempts to acquire technology for nuclear arms development. Though it claimed the majority of those attempts were thwarted by German intelligence, the agency said there was no doubt the Islamist regime would continue “its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
The implications of this report cannot be overestimated.
This means that despite all the happy talk from the United States and its Western allies about compliance with the terms of the nuclear pact, their confidence is unfounded. Instead of merely reaping the enormous benefits that have accrued to it from the ending of sanctions and waiting patiently for the pact to expire in ten years before resuming their push for a weapon, Iran has never stopped working to achieve its nuclear ambition.
A nuclear-armed Iran seems to have been Obama’s goal all along. The US, not so much.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama and company decline to speak honestly about Dallas.
Related: In sharp contrast, An Ex-Cop Organized a Black Lives Matter Protest — and Protestors Got More Than They Bargained For.
THIS IS KNOWN AS BAD LUCK: Venezuela’s democratic façade has completely crumbled, the Washington Post reports.
Note the photo atop the article, which is captioned, “A national guard member patrols a supermarket in Caracas in February of last year.”
Well, that’s the usual endgame when a nation declares “We Are All Socialists Now,” as the Washington Post trumpeted at the dawn of the Obama era, via its then subsidiary, Newsweek.
Related: Freedom Is Receding Around the World.
Unexpectedly. Or as Stuart Chase, the socialist advisor to FDR who coined the phrase “A New Deal” asked in his 1932 book by the same name, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking a world?”
(Classical reference in headline.)
UNEXPECTEDLY! Leaked German police report CONFIRMS surge in child rapes by migrants in swimming pools and admits: ‘We have grave cause for concern.’ “Refugee officials have pleaded for calm after the publication of the Duesseldorf memo and have stressed they are making more efforts to educate young immigrant men about the rights of women and children in Germany.”
GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Federal Lab Cooked the Books for Two Decades and No One is Being Punished.
NBC HAS TOP MEN WRITING THE NEWS. TOP. MEN.:
But then, this is the logical endpoint of NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who by then had over 40 years as a journalist and teleprompter reader claiming the week before the 2008 election that he didn’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is. “We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy,” Brokaw told Charlie Rose. “Unexpectedly,” as the kids say at Bloomberg, neither man was horrified at the implications of that statement. Both what it says about Obama himself, and the DNC operatives with bylines (such as Brokaw and Rose) who not only failed to vet him, but covered for him every step of the way.
THIS IS MY NOT SURPRISED FACE OR PERHAPS “UNEXPECTEDLY”: America Is Awash In Guns, And Crime Is At Record Lows.
The long march through the institutions continues.
PAGING MR. ORWELL: “It’s hard to recall a moment when the American Justice Department has looked so ridiculous as in its censoring transcripts of the 911 calls from the gunman at Orlando. George Orwell couldn’t have made it up.”
Malcolm Muggeridge famously said that there is no way any satirist can compete with reality for its pure absurdity. This administration has been a toxic combination of Orwell meets Muggeridge’s Law right from the start.
And its media enablers are thrilled to play along! “AG Loretta Lynch: Orlando gunman’s motive may never be known,” CBS reports with a straight face.
“Unexpectedly,” considering that the president of its news division is David Rhodes, brother to Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, the now infamous “Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru” before adding to this pitiful administration’s ongoing woes.
Related: When Terrorists Can’t Be Muslims.
DWI arrests are up 7.5% in Austin, Texas since the city banned Uber and Lyft. 🚗https://t.co/iw6e3m5xU5
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) June 21, 2016
Apparently, saving lives and preventing needless arrests is less important to the Austin City Council than staying in bed with entrenched business and labor interests.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Britain: Exclusive poll: EU support falls after Jo Cox murder. Well, Britain has become a more violent place, with less civilized politics, since it joined the EU. People may rationally conclude that Brexit might reverse that trend, or at least limit it.
More thoughts here.
ARE DEMOCRATS HAPPY TO BE A PARTY OF GOONS?, asks Scott McKay of the American Spectator:
The mayor of San Jose is a Democrat. Sam Liccardo, who prior to last week was known mostly for the fact that he’s in his mid-40s and white and actually got elected to something as a Democrat, gave us a great example of how atrocious his party actually is.
Donald Trump may have his problems, and Trump’s supporters may have theirs, but Trump held a rally in Liccardo’s city — as is his right as a presidential candidate — and Liccardo’s police department provided grotesquely inadequate security given the relatively open effort by political activists sharing his party denomination to fill the streets outside the Trump rally venue with violent thugs.
This was anything but an unknown. Craigslist was full of advertisements looking for protesters willing to disrupt Trump’s rally in San Jose, and it’s hard to believe Liccardo’s police department wasn’t aware of what was coming. And it isn’t like Liccardo, and the rest of the Democrat establishment, don’t know about the effort to disrupt Trump rallies nationwide.
* * * * * * * *
Here’s a bit of advice for Remsin, and Liccardo for that matter: watch out what you wish for. You might find a few takers to bust up a rally here and there, but the vitriol and anger you think you’re entitled to is nothing compared to what you’re stoking in the people your paid thugs are brutalizing at those rallies. And if you keep it up, while deluding yourself that your rent-a-riots are justified, those people are going to respond.
And when they do, it won’t just be San Jose that looks like Weimar Germany. It’ll be the whole country. And it’ll be your fault.
But in answer to McKay’s query, as Michael Walsh would say, just think of the Democratic Party “as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party,” and you won’t go far wrong.