I originally, and accidentally, entitled this post “Friday afternoon round-up.” It’s been that kind of week. And scanning the headlines, I can see that it’s been that kind of week not just for me, but for a beleaguered America beset on all sides by Clowardly-Pivenly-esque disasters.
I usually like to think that, as a blogger, I help disseminate information (with a conservative spin) that will make for a more intelligent and reactive population. On the other hand, I could just be another Josephus, recording a Kingdom’s end.
Whatever my purpose in writing, here I go….
John Hinderaker, at Power Line, is one of my favorite writers because he’s very grounded. Indeed, that’s true for all the Power Line guys — good lawyers that they are, they advocate their positions with tightly argued facts, rather than hysteria and wild conspiracy theories.
That’s why, just as people sit up and take notice when someone who normally doesn’t swear suddenly hurls an obscenity, I sat up and took notice when Hinderaker published a cri de coeur lamenting the modern media’s appalling dereliction of its intended duty, which is to monitor America’s political scene. It’s a powerful indictment that should shame the media, except that the media has no shame left.
You do get the occasional whine from a DemProg, as happened when reliable Obama shill Dana Millbank complained that Obama plays too much golf, but that’s the extent of it. At a very fundamental level, the media supports the entire Obama agenda. While it may complain about a few obvious incidental issues, it will never attack the problem directly. That would be too much like suicide.
My friend Ed Driscoll, who is one of the most astute media observers around, has the perfect coda to Hinderaker’s political/existential anguish: The Palace Guard MSM Drops the Mask. There, you can get a few chapters and verses illustrating the rot at the heart of America’s fourth estate.
Some of my liberal friends were much taken with a PBS Independent Lens documentary explaining that Uganda’s anti-homosexual laws, which mandate prison or even death for homosexual acts, are the fault of “conservatives” in America, especially conservative evangelical Christians. I wasn’t impressed. First, I saw it as a case of “If you can’t prove that evangelical Christians are racists, then you have to prove that they’re deadly in some other way.” Second, I felt that the “documentary” failed profoundly by focusing exclusively on Christians, without mentioning the deadly homophobia that is a standard feature of Islamic states.
Chad Felix Greene suggests that, in Uganda’s case, the problem is African culture, not the Christian faith. I agree, and that’s yet another reason to sneer at this shoddy excuse for a documentary . . . and at those who buy into it’s premise.
I love — loooove — those moments when environmentalists are caught in hypocriticus flagrante (and yes, I made up that grammatically appalling faux Latin phrase). The latest hypocrite is Pascal Husting, Greenpeace International’s international program director, who has spent the last 18 months commuting to work by airplane. That would be bad enough, but he was doing so when Greenpeace was specifically targeting air travel as environmentally unsound. Heh!
You’ve already heard it from everybody else today, but you may as well hear it from me too: When Lois Lerner accidentally received an invitation intended for a GOP Congressman, and that invitation offered to fly the Congressman’s wife to the same vent, Lerner tried to get the Congressman audited — never mind that she was improperly viewing someone else’s email or that there was no evidence that the Congressman had received, solicited, or agreed to the invitation.
No wonder then that Americans have found a rare unanimity in their disdain for the IRS. When polled, 76% of them said that they thought the IRS was lying when it contended that it had lost emails that are now the subject of a congressional investigation.
It’s not just the IRS that’s acting with the arrogance of a bureaucratic class that feels that nothing can stop it. The EPA is getting into the act too.
“The computer ate my emails” is now the go-to excuse now for government agencies. If you want to visualize what’s going on, think of an old-fashioned high school movie, the one in which the cool kids in high school knew that their parents’ power in the community makes them invulnerable to any discipline.
Then imagine one of those cool kids sneering at a frustrated teacher who is asking why, once again, the cool kid didn’t get the assignment done. Then imagine that this movie, unlike all the cheesy Hollywood versions, doesn’t end with the cool kid getting his comeuppance but, instead, sees him striding off triumphantly into the sunset. That’s how our federal agencies are acting now . . . and getting away with it.
And yes, of course Iowahawk has the perfect tweet:
Apparently, the leading cause of hard drive failures is subpoenas.
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) June 25, 2014
Roger Kimball has a good solution that may not end the problem, but that may spell the beginning of the problem’s end: de-unionize the IRS (and, I would add, all other federal agencies).
Sometimes, anarchy actually seems like a better alternative than government. I mean, how stupid can a local government be to go after a 9-year-old boy who put up a book sharing box in his family’s front yard as a gift to his mother?
By the way, it’s not just that the DemProgs have bad ideas. It seems that at least some of them are also catastrophically stupid.They scatter that stupidity about like a pigeon spreading droppings on a once well-tended park.
Here’s another one that you’ve probably seen before, but just in case you hadn’t, did you know that the U.S economy shrank more in the first quarter of 2014 than it has in the last 5 years?
The limousine liberals have missed this, of course, since they keep their eyes firmly on the stock market, which has been artificially inflated thanks to years of quantitative easing. On the ground, though, where real people live, jobs are scarce, money is tight, and life is getting much, much more expensive.
I’m not optimistic that House Republicans will be successful in their lawsuit against Obama for abuse of executive power, but it’s better than nothing. The problem, of course, is enforcement. Obama heads the executive branch, and is charged with enforcing federal law and federal judicial decisions. He and Eric Holder aren’t going to enforce any order against themselves. It should be an interesting constitutional moment.
It turns out that the VA crisis is significantly worse than anyone first realized. More than a thousand veterans died as a result of the VA’s deliberate neglect. Not all the relatives of those who died departed quietly. Some sued, costing taxpayers $845 million in medical malpractice costs.
The real issue, of course, is that the VA is the ne plus ultra of socialized medicine on America soil. Its employees were financially rewarded for killing patients because — as Americans will eventually learn to their great cost — socialized medicine serves the government, not the patient.
I wrote earlier today about the DemProg who doesn’t want to admit that Islam is the problem. Even when he sort of conceded that Islam just might, maybe, possibly be the problem, he said that we couldn’t do anything about it because you can’t distinguish good Muslims from bad. Well, in fact you can. The bad Islamists want to kill us; good Muslims (for want of a better phrase) stand with us.
And it’s no excuse to say that ordinary Muslims don’t agree with the Islamists, but keep quiet out of fear. I know that’s true for many, but definitely not for all. Poll after poll in the Muslim world reveals that the hoi polloi agree with the Islamists. They just don’t want the actual blood on their hands from their passively expressed will.
Meanwhile, while DemProgs wet their pants worrying about anthropogenic global warming — never mind that every passing year proves the errors and fraudulent data in their studies — at least a few people are paying attention to the fact that it’s not just radicalized Muslims we need to fear. We also need to worry about the very real risk of electromagnetic pulses which, in the wrong hands (North Korea? China?), could send America back to the pre-industrial era in a few minutes.
To that end, Congress is giving the Director of Intelligence six months to report on EPM and other cyber and electronic threats to the US and its allies. The reality, though, is that the nation that once geared up for WWII in a matter of months will putz about the EMP threat for years to come, meanwhile leaving us completely vulnerable to attack. We’ve gotten too big, too diffuse, too culturally distant from each other, and plain ole too stupid to take care of ourselves as a nation anymore.
I have an assignment for you guys, since you’re all much more clever than I: How would you describe the news that the EPA has had to send out reminders to its employees not to poop in the hallway?
If you know people like this, avoid them at all costs. Unfortunately, because of consanguinity, I can’t, but at least I can go into each interaction with my eyes open.
(I’m with Allen West. Whenever I see an Obama bumper sticker, that’s exactly what I think too.)