Thursday afternoon round-up (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesYesterday, I was in a blogging frenzy.  Today?  Not so much….  I’m a little depleted after having spent more than an hour trying to reach someone at the Social Security administration to resend my mother’s tax info, which had gotten lost in the mail.  The first half hour was spent trying to figure out how to connect to a human.  The rest of the time was spent waiting to speak to the human.  If this was a business, I’d cease doing business with it.  But it’s not.  It’s a government monopoly and I was trapped.  Sheesh!

I wish I had known beforehand that, today and tomorrow only, I could download for free Dennis Koller’s The Oath. At least I would have been able to while away pleasant my time on hold (although it was hard to concentrate on anything because the SSA has the worst, most crackly, most poorly chosen “hold” Muzak ever created).

***

One of the hallmarks of tyranny is the attitude that “the end justifies the means.” With this attitude, you give yourself a carte blanche to do anything you like, far from petty little things such as due process, rule of law, morality, decency, etc. That’s why Jamelle Bouie thinks it’s just fine that D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray engaged in unabashed campaign financing corruption — it was for the greater good. If I ever get stopped by a cop for rolling through a stop sign, I’m going to tell him it was for the greater good, since hypermiling, which includes using as few stops and starts as possible, helps save the environment. Yeah, that should get me out of a ticket.

***

Harry Reid’s increasingly unhinged attacks on the Koch brothers are disturbing at two levels. First, as I mentioned, they’re unhinged. Reid has gone from malevolent and corrupt (only corrupt career politicians become multimillionaires, as he did) to insane. Someone ought to reach out and help him before he needs a straitjacket and padded room. Second, no one is going to help him, because his insanity is representative of the Democrat party as a whole. The whole party has run itself off the rails — and since the lunatics are in charge of the asylum, the madness just keeps rolling. It’s not “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez,” it’s “Laissez En Temps Fous Roulent.”

***

I’m impressed that American businesses still have the capacity to be “stunned” (The Hill’s words) by Obama’s announcement that he’s going to create a rule mandating overtime pay for management level employees, something that will devastate American productivity. (No kidding. I’ve worked in enough offices to know that the energy in the offices comes from striving mid-level management and executives seeking bonuses, promotions, pay raises, and fame through overtime work.) Obama has attacked businesses from his first day in office. Wouldn’t you think that they’d be used to it now?

***

The only difference between Obama and Nixon is that Nixon had a hostile press corps — something that arguably saved America as a constitutional republican democracy. Our generation isn’t so lucky.

Obama also has the advantage of an utterly compliant Congress, with complete Dem control in the Senate and complete RINO/Dem control in the House.

***

In my blogging frenzy yesterday, I wrote that I no longer believe uncorroborated stories about incidents, either positive or negative, involving gays. Too many hoaxes, I said. And right on time comes another story about another hate-crime hoax.

***

The sexual revolution came about because of the baby boom, the Pill, and antibiotics. The baby boomers are now old and wrinkled, the Pill is being handed out to 12 year olds, and antibiotics no longer work. Regarding that last one, the CDC says gonorrhea is on the verge of going pre-modern and becoming untreatable once again.

***

There are two problems with the Associated Press. The first is that it’s ubiquitous, providing “news” content for just about every outlet in the world. The second is that it’s almost laughably partisan and dishonest. The only problem with that “laughable” part is that the joke is on American political discourse.

***

And why not put transexuals in the military? We’ve done everything else we can think of to make it an uncomfortable place for the vast majority of troops who, like most Americans, espouse a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to people’s sexual orientation, but are much less comfortable with being placed at the front line of the culture wars. Our president has made it increasingly obvious that he doesn’t view the military as our defense in a dangerous world; instead, it’s an institution that he can manipulate to his heart’s content to make it conform to his ideas about what an appropriately PC society will look like. It’s not a military; it’s a sociology experiment.

***

I think the new “nagging mom” meme that the Department of Health and Human Services is using in an effort to encourage young people to enroll in Obamacare is perfect. It’s the visual embodiment of the Left’s belief that American citizens are perpetual children who must be bribed, managed, bullied, and cajoled by their wise parents in the Democrat Party.

***

My kids have already been watching “The Story of Stuff” in high school. It’s times like this that I’m grateful that they’re not perfect students, paying attention to everything in class.

***

My friend Rob Miller (aka JoshuaPundit) has appropriately unkind words about Palestinian premier for life Abbas.

AP engages in the most despicable kind of media manipulation

A few years ago, a graphic went around that perfectly illustrated the way in which photographs can be used, not only to capture the moment, but to distort the moment:

Media Manipulation

That graphic popped into my head the moment I read a story about a really evil act by the hard-Left Associated Press:

Associated Press photo fraud of Trail Life

“I was horrified,” said John Stemberger, chairman of the board of Trail Life USA, a new, rapidly-growing scouting organization that doesn’t allow openly gay members.

Stemberger was referring to an Associated Press photograph that accompanied an in-depth story about Trail Life. The image showed a group of young boys gathered in a circle with their hands raised at an unusual angle. The AP’s original caption on the photo said they were reciting the organization’s “creed” during a meeting in North Richland Hills, Texas.

[snip]

The photograph ran last Sunday in newspapers across the nation and generated hundreds of angry emails and some threatening telephone calls to Trail Life headquarters.

But it turns out that the boys were not saluting Hitler and contrary to the first Associated Press caption, they were not reciting a creed. The boys were singing “Taps,” a longtime Boy Scout tradition that the Texas Trail USA troop had adapted as their own.

The boys had gathered in a circle with their hands raised straight into the air. They gradually lowered their hands as they sang the song. It concludes with their hands flush against their side.

What’s even more despicable is that the AP, having published this gross calumny, initially refused to correct it:

But what really infuriated Stemberger was the Associated Press’ initial reluctance to remove the photograph and correct the caption. The Trail Life leader provided me with email correspondence he had with Nomaan Merchant, the writer of the story.

Eventually, the AP did correct the photo, and remove it from its archives, and Merchant (who was not responsible for the photo) apologized, but the whole thing smells bad — that the AP did that in the first place and that the AP took so long to correct its libel by implication that the implied message from the photograph took on a life of its own. As Churchill (or Mark Twain, or someone else entirely) said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on,” a situation made worse when a major media outlet promulgates the lie onto the internet and then takes its own sweet time correcting it.

Friday this and that, with a little what-not thrown in

I could have done this as myriad small posts, but I was in the mood for something big.  I’ll separate the different ideas and issues with asterisks (after all, Obama’s promise with his unspoken asterisk has made asterisks the hot new thing in writing).

My friend (I like say that — my friend) Sally Zelikovsky has written rules for Republicans who want to win elections.  They are very pragmatic rules which state that the time for internecine cherry-picking, purging, and warfare should wait until after the Democrats no longer control Washington.  I’m just giving the rules.  Please go to her post to see her intelligent support for many of the less obvious or more challenging rules:

(1) Duke it out in the primaries and whole-heartedly support your candidate of choice.

(2) Do not support your preferred candidate by stooping to Democrat levels.

[snip]

(3) Never forfeit a “sure thing” candidate for a high risk one.

[snip]

(4) Unless an incontrovertible liability, never abandon a viable candidate especially in an important race.

[snip]

(5) In extreme cases, when a candidate is hurting other races, it’s okay to withdraw support.

[snip]

(6) Do not use outliers to formulate strategies for the entire country.

[snip]

(7) Make protest votes a thing of the past [snip]

(8) Think of the end game.

[snip]

(9) Social conservatives and tea partiers should hold any elected Republican’s feet to the fire.

(10) Moderates should expect social conservatives and tea partiers to hold their feet to the fire.

(11) Do not air our collective dirty laundry.

[snip]

(12) Always anticipate the leftwing response, think through your story, then stick to it.

[snip]

(13) In politics, as in life, there are people in any group or organization who have varying degrees of commitment. [snip]

(14) Use the media to communicate with the PEOPLE. This is your chance to be a PR person for conservatism, even though the press is never on your side.

[snip]

(15) Always promote the improved quality of life in Republican-run states andcontrast this with the diminished quality of life in true blue states.

(16) Speak with one voice on the issues where there is consensus.

(17) Where there is no consensus, speak to the fact that we are a diverse party that welcomes debate but, in the end, we are all guided by time-tested conservative principles that promote freedom.

Some of the suggestions are hard to swallow, because they continue to provide political cover for checkbook Republicans, meaning those who support a Democrat agenda, but who make loud noises about “we have to be able to pay for it.”  Read Sally’s whole article and, if you feel like it, please get back to me.

***

Lee Smith has a brilliant analysis of what John Kerry and Barack Obama are doing in the Middle East:

So how did we reach a point where the United States is working with the Islamic Republic of Iran, while longtime U.S. allies are not only outside the circle but trying to block an American-Iranian condominium over the Middle East? A pretty good idea can be gleaned by taking the advice given by Politico in an article detailing Obama’s habit of meeting with prestigious reporters and columnists to test-drive his ideas: “If you want to know where the president stands on a foreign policy issue .  .  . read the latest column by David Ignatius” or Thomas Friedman, another frequent sounding-board for the president.

Read the whole thing and weep.  What they’re doing is every bit as bad as it sounds, and there will be terrible repercussions.

***

Fouad Ajami says that Obama’s magic is gone.  I like his article but I have to disagree with the core premise.  Obama never had magic.  What he had was a complicit media.  It’s easy to win the game when the referees have determined in advance that you’ll win.  At a certain point, though, the spectators begin to think that the fix is in.

***

Up until this past Wednesday, I tended to side slightly with the government regarding Edward Snowden — namely, that he was a traitor who stole America’s secrets.  And indeed, he seems to have stolen lots and lots of secrets.  What I learned on Wednesday, though, when I heard Mary Theroux, of the Independent Institute, speak, is that the government’s spying on American citizens is so enormous we literally cannot comprehend its scope.  The data collection (which is in the multiple zetabytes) grossly violates our inherent Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.  NSA employees before Snowden tried to blow the whistle on this beginning around the year 2000, and got ferociously persecuted by the government because of their efforts.  Snowden’s spectacular leak broke that log jam.

But here’s the really important thing that Theroux said:  The government gets so much data, it’s useless for the stated purpose of crime and terrorism prevention.  As it comes in, it’s simply so much white noise.  It certainly didn’t stop 9/11 or the Boston bombing.  In this regard, think of England, which has more CCTVs per capita than any other country in the 1st world, and maybe in any world.  Nevertheless, these cameras do nothing to prevent crime.  As the number of cameras has increased, so has the crime rate.  The data is useful only after the fact, to help (sometimes) apprehend the criminal.

Well, one can argue that ex post facto apprehension is a good thing — but it’s a good thing only if there’s been a clear violation of a pretty well known law (e.g., don’t beat people to death or don’t rob a jewelry store).  We’re looking at something much more sinister here.  Think of the volume of law in America and, worse, think of the staggering volumes of rules interpreting those laws.

As Theroux noted, Stalin’s chief of police famously said (and I’m paraphrasing) give me the man and I can find the crime.  We Americans have a government that’s sitting on data that can be used to criminalize us after the fact the current government (Republican or Democrat or Third Party) doesn’t like us.  It’s like a landmine under every American.

Since Obama is quite possibly the most inept national security president in the world, it’s arguable that Snowden’s revealing secrets along those lines (e.g., that we’ve been eavesdropping on allies) leaves us in no worse shape than we were before.  After all, as Lee Smith notes above, Obama has already turned our allies into enemies.  What Snowden did do with his escapade was to remind us that, when government begins collecting every bit of information simply because it can, every citizen becomes a potential criminal.  We’re not at the Stasi stage yet, but our government is laying the groundwork for a Stasi society.  That’s an utterly terrifying thought.  We still can stop it now.  Once it’s in play, stopping it gets much, much harder to stop that fascist juggernaut.

***

Given the debacle that Obamacare is proving to be for Obama, the Democrats, and Progressivism generally, a reader sent me an email saying that we should be grateful for Chief Justice Roberts for allowing this disaster to unfold.  That email reminded me that, back in June 2012, when Chief Justice Roberts managed to salvage Obamacare, I wrote a post looking for lemonade in Roberts’ opinion and, once again, I was a bit prescient.  (And yes, I am mining many of my old posts as real-time events are showing that I predicted with a fair degree of accuracy everything from Obamacare, to the shifting alliances in the Middle East, to Obama’s meltdown when the real world intruded on his little narcissistic dream.)  It’s a long, wandering (and, of course, fascinating and insightful) post, but here’s the Chief Justice nub of it:

Roberts wrote the decision at the end of a 90 year continuum holding that Government fixes problems and the Supreme Court fixes Government.  This approach makes “We, the people” unnecessary.  Rather than elections being the corrective, the Court is the corrective — except that the Court’s make-up is controlled by the Government.  (Remember the Bork debacle?)

Roberts refused to play this game.  He slapped back the Democrats’ hands when it came to the Commerce Clause, telling them that the federal government cannot legislate inactivity.  And he held — quite correctly — that if there’s any possible way for the Court to salvage a law, it must do so.  His salvaging was to say that, this particular law, written in this particular way, with these particular controls over the people, can be salvaged by calling it a tax.  It’s an ugly decision, but probably a correct one.  And then he tossed the whole thing back to the American people.

I can just see Roberts’ thought-process (although he might have thought in more polite terms):  You idiots elected a Congress and president that used every kind of political chicanery known to man in order to pass the biggest tax in American history and one that, moreover, completely corrupts the free market system.  It’s not the Supreme Court’s responsibility to correct that kind of thing, provided that the judges can, as I did, find a smidgen of constitutionality in it.  There’s an election coming up in November.  Let’s hope you’ve wised up enough to figure out that my Supreme Court is returning power to “We, the people.”  We will not pull your chestnuts out of the fire.  We will not legislate from the bench.  We will construe things as narrowly as possible.  If you, the people, don’t like it, you, the people, elect different representatives.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, Ace wonders if Obama just gave the Supreme Court another bite at this rotten apple.

***

Power Line brought this AP headline to my attention:  “In Reversal, Obama to Allow Canceled Health Plans.” Who knew that a constitutionally appointed executive had the power to “allow” canceled health plans?

It was an especially interesting headline to read because, last night, I attended a panel discussion with AP reporters, photographers, and the editor in chief of the AP photograph department.  The purpose was to promote a new book of photographs that AP employees and stringers took during the Vietnam War:  Vietnam: The Real War: A Photographic History by the Associated Press.  It was an interesting event, although I’m sorry to say that they were boring speakers.  (It seems like an oxymoron, but they were boring speakers who offered some interesting content.)

One of the things the panelists kept saying is that they have so much integrity and are devoted to even-handedness in their subject matter and presentation.  We know that’s a joke when it comes to written coverage about domestic politics.  AP has been a Democrat shill since at least George W.’s administration.  But it’s also been a shill when it comes to photographs. Given their record, I have to admit that it was a bit difficult to listen to the panelists’ smug satisfaction about their higher calling, integrity, and even-handedness.

***

I like Deroy Murdock’s writing, so I liked his analysis of the Obamacare debacle.  It’s fun to read.  It doesn’t have the soaring schadenfreude of Jonah Goldberg’s instant classic, but it’s still darn good.

***

Speaking of good writing, Megan McArdle is at it again, this time pointing out in very polite, analytical language that Obama has taken on the behavior of a tyrant (not a word she uses, but it’s the gist):  The law is what Obama says the law is.  It’s probably worth thinking about the Snowden revelations as you read McArdle describe the way in which Obama usurps power.  The media is clucking, but not with any force; the Democrats are running or enabling; and the Republicans are in-fighting.  We’re seeing a weird, passive (even Weimar-ian) anarchy that creates room for a tyrant to breathe and grow.

***

I’m pleased to say that I never liked Oprah, so I’m not surprised to learn that she’s a race-baiting phony. Incidentally, to those who have mentioned in the comments that liberals are like beaten wives who keep coming back for more, Oprah is Exhibit A.  She destroyed her TV show by endorsing Obama, and he rewarded her by freezing her out of the White House.  So what does Oprah do?  She keeps crawling back, defending the man who used her and abused her.  I’m not sorry for her though.  Her racist venom makes pity impossible.

When it rains it pours (and that’s bad for the Obamites)

Obama sweating

In the past four years, conservatives have felt disheartened by the Obama deluge.  Since he first took office, conservatives have been playing defense on so many things:  ObamaCare, changes in the military to allow gays to serve openly and women to serve in combat roles, attacks on Israel, a non-declared war in Libya, caving in to Iran, announcing defeat in advance in Afghanistan, attacks on Second Amendment rights, far-Left political appointees, etc., etc.  You know that I’ve frequently blogged about feeling disheartened and overwhelmed.  The only victories that have come down the pike are Obama’s having to retreat from his attacks against Israel (but a little more on that later) and the Democrats’ recent gun control loss.  The first came about, not because of anything conservatives did, but because reality interfered with Obama’s grand plans.  The second seemed to come about because of conservative efforts, but it also happened because it turns out that Obama’s second term is not going to be as shiny as the first.

This time around, Obama is on the receiving end of the “if it rains, it pours” expression.  In the last week, all the straws he thought he’d gathered neatly in his hands have been scattered to the winds.  Here’s my list of the last two week’s worth of scandals and mishaps.

1.  The most recent round of Benghazi hearings revealed that Obama’s hand-picked Secretary of State bungled affairs in Libya so badly that four men, including an American ambassador, died on a teeny plot of U.S. soil, at the hands of terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda.

2.  Those same hearings revealed that a significant part of Hillary’s failure resulted from her need to align with Obama’s officially stated policy position on al Qaeda:  It was decapitated when Barack Obama, practically single-handedly except for a small assist from some expendable Navy SEALS, killed Osama bin Laden.

3. Those same hearings revealed that, while the attack was going on, both the President and the Secretary of State got some much-needed sleep to prepare for the next day’s campaigning.

4.  Those same hearings revealed that Obama absolutely refused to send help, whether because it would have interfered with his political narrative, or because he was afraid of “coming on to strong” in the Muslim world, or because that would have interfered with his beauty rest.  We don’t know the motive; we just know the fact.

5.  Those same hearings revealed that Obama and Hillary (and by using that term I mean the entire chain of command that ends with them at the top of the heap) worked frantically to create a cover-up pinning the attack, not on al Qaeda, but on an obscure, slightly shady Christian film-maker, who languishes in prison even today.

6.  Obama’s Justice Department, headed by Eric “Fast & Furious” Holder, tapped 40 different phone lines at Associated Press, including it’s official line in the House of Representatives.  Associated Press, which has been an untiring water carrier for the administration — touting its agenda, hiding its troubles, attacking its enemies — might just have been mugged by reality.

7.  The families of the 17 SEAL Team 6 members who died on August 6, 2011, when a Taliban rocket took out their insufficiently-armed helicopter (and killed 21 other military personnel) are on the warpath.  They claim that it was Obama’s and Biden’s boasting about SEAL Team 6′s role in the Osama bin Laden killing that paint a target on their sons’ (and brothers’ and husbands’ and fathers’) backs.  To rub salt in the wound of seeing their brave men die, not in the service of their country, but as necessary sacrifices to Obama’s political ambitions, Obama’s Pentagon, when it conducted the official memorial service at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, refused to allow these men’s Judeo-Christian God even to be mentioned, but invited a Muslim Imam whose invocation, of necessity since it was an Islamic prayer, cursed them for being infidels.

8.  News broke that the IRS deliberately audited conservative groups who were seeking tax exempt status because their primary goal was education.  Any groups with giveaway words in their names such as “Tea Party,” or “Patriot” or “Constitution” were swept up in the effort.  In addition to audits, the IRS also asked intrusive questions aimed at eliciting information about donors. Although the IRS tried to claim that the problem was a local office, it quickly became clear that the directive came from Washington and that the IRS has known for years what was going on and denied it.

9.  The dust had scarcely settled on this IRS revelation when it emerged that the IRS had also targeted pro-Israel groups, who advocated policies different from Obama’s “get Israel at all costs” approach to foreign affairs.

10.  And the dust was still floating on the IRS’s attack on pro-Israel groups (and do keep in mind that Israel is America’s ally), when it emerged that the IRS had leaked to a Leftist advocacy group tax information about organizations on Obama’s political enemies’ list.

11.  Obama’s EPA granted almost all waiver requests from friends of Obama and denied almost all waiver requests from Obama’s political opponents.  Coincidence?  I think not.  This isn’t a huge scandal — yet — but it could develop in interesting ways.  I mean, we all understand that the EPA is filled with far-Left political hacks.  That’s why it’s not as shocking as the IRS scandal.  We’ve always assumed that the IRS is an equal opportunity money grabber.

11.5  It’s not really an administration scandal, but the verdict against Kermit Gosnell, which came from a jury that was 3/4 pro-Choice, shows that the Leftist pretenses about late-term abortion, and life-birth baby care (which Obama opposed) is starting to float into the public awareness.

I haven’t looked at the headlines in the past half-hour, but I suspect that more sordid scandals are popping up now that the dam is breaking.  Conservatives find all four corners of these scandals (Benghazi, IRS, Navy SEALS, and AP intimidation) disturbing.  Leftists, predictably, care only about the IRS and the AP intimidation.  Whatever.  As long as the media starts taking corruption in the Obama administration seriously, it’s all good.

Here are some good links for more information about the scandals.  (You’ve probably noticed that I was too lazy to hyperlink any specific facts, because I had opted for this end-of-the post data dump.)

Richard Baehr talks about the President’s silence as his lies are revealed.

Leftists may be right to pretend Benghazi is not a problem, because the public doesn’t care.

Barry Rubin explains why Obama will not be getting any further mileage out of attacking Israel.

The Anchoress has a perfect visual to explain Jay Carney’s role in life right now.

Richard Fernandez asks whether the breaking wave of scandals is just a cosmic coincidence or if we’re witnessing a breaking p0int.  I think it depends on how angry the media is about the AP story, and how fearful they are about a politicized IRS.

Bryan Preston helpfully sums up the four major scandals (no, make that five major scandals) currently plaguing the administration.

Michael Ramirez has the perfect cartoon.

And my friend Wolf Howling has two great posts summing up precisely what’s wrong with the whole Benghazi debacle:  the lack of a military response (which goes straight to Obama) and the reason, contra Obama, that there is a “there there.”

The MSM: Telling a story in reverse chronological order so as to harm Israel

With a few stellar exceptions, the best way to tell a story is in chronological order.  This is because, in the real world, cause and effect matter.  I suspect that the AP knows this is true, which is why they had their latest report from the Middle East start with the effect (Israeli airstrikes) and the loop back, very reluctantly, to the cause (Hamas terror attacks on civilian centers):

Israel pounded Gaza for the second day in a row Saturday, trading airstrikes and rocket fire with Palestinian militants and killing 15 of them as the deadliest Gaza violence in over a year showed no signs of abating.

Despite Egyptian efforts to mediate a cease-fire, Palestinians fired more than 100 rockets, some striking major cities in southern Israel and seriously wounding an Israeli civilian. The military responded with more than a dozen airstrikes and the targeted killings of Palestinian militants from various Gaza organizations.

Israel’s lauded Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted more than 25 projectiles. Still, residents were told to stay close to home and the cities of Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon called off school for Sunday.

Tit-for-tat exchanges between Israel and Palestinians have been routine since the 2009 war, but a flare-up of this intensity is rare. The Arab League called the Israeli attacks a “massacre.” The United Nations and the State Department condemned the violence and called on both sides to exercise restraint.

Relativism and dishonesty are normative in the media.

Obama is Israel’s friend the same way a wife beater is a loving husband

A video that examines the vast chasm between Obama’s rhetoric at AIPAC gatherings and his actions towards Israel:

And because actions have consequences, I thought you’d find interesting the way in which Obama’s attitude towards Israel is reflected in the way the media covers that nation — not even in big ways, but in subliminal ones:


I bet you didn’t know that the Golan Heights was a country, right?  While the Palestinians are fighting over Gaza and the West Bank, the AP has liberated the Golan Heights from Israel’s clutches.

Are the headline writers dumb or malevolent? *UPDATED*

As you already know, I’m sure, the Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem are fighting hard to segregate men and women in public spaces in Jerusalem.  I posted about the fact that Mr. Bookworm analogized this small group, which is fighting against a democratic, egalitarian government, to the sharia law that exists across large segments of the Muslim world.  I doubt Mr. Bookworm arrived at this thought by himself.  I haven’t been reading the New York Times lately, nor listening to NPR, but I’m willing to bet that their coverage implies that this comparison is real and valid.

Today, the AP managed to state outright that the Ultra-Orthodox are aping the Nazis.  Here’s the AP headline:

Ultra-Orthodox Jews use Nazi images in protest

The implication, of course, is that the Ultra-Orthodox Jews outfitted themselves in swastikas and jackboots.  What the Ultra-Orthodox really did was to dress themselves up in concentration camp garb, thereby sending the message that they are helpless prisoners of a Nazi-style Jewish government:

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered Saturday night in Jerusalem to protest what they say is a nationwide campaign directed against their lifestyle. The protesters called Israeli police officers Nazis, wore yellow Star of David patches with the word “Jude” – German for Jew – dressed their children in striped black-and-white uniforms associated with Nazi concentration camps and transported them in the back of a truck.

The Ultra-Orthodox’s stunt was tacky, offensive, ugly, distasteful, and inappropriate.  But the more correct description of this tasteless bit of street theater would be that “Ultra-Orthodox Jews use Holocaust-era Images in Protest.”  For the AP to have implied otherwise adds one more layer of indecency to the whole protest — and, worse, it’s a layer of indecency that dovetails perfectly with the Leftist (especially the European Leftist) effort to paint Jews as Nazis.  It’s bad enough when radical Jews describe each other as Nazis, without having the media pile on too.

UPDATE:  Somehow, this post seems apropos, insofar as it explains that the OWS add-on to the Rose Bowl Parade relied on Nazi imagery to depict the Jews’ alleged influence on world finances.

Another MSM report on NPR that manages to hide the anti-Semitism, but does reveal funding lies

[Between kids and phone calls, it took me way too long to write this post, although that proved useful at the end, as it was the AP's republished news report that contained the real gem. Rather than re-write this post, I'm simply highlighting the explosive little factoid hidden in the AP's execrably written article.]

This morning, I noted that the New York Times, in reporting on the NPR debacle, managed to ignore the anti-Semitism issue.  I speculated that this was to protect its Jewish readers from getting suspicious about the whole Progressive/Democrat structure.  What I forgot is that the MSM (especially the Times) also likes to keep from its readers the fact that Islamists are violently (in deed, not just word) anti-Semitic.

The AP’s coverage (as of 3:00 PST) displays exactly the same elusiveness when it comes to anti-Semitism.  Also, interestingly, the AP was unable to find any conservatives to talk to about the sting and its implications.  It got quotations only from NPR sources.

What the AP included and what it omitted are both telling, as are quotes from the players.  Here’s the sum total of what the AP has to say about the O’Keefe video’s content:

NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday under pressure, a day after an undercover video showed one of her executives on a hidden camera calling the tea party racist and saying the news organization would be better off without taxpayer money.

[snip]

On Tuesday, conservative activist James O’Keefe posted a video showing NPR executive Ron Schiller bashing the tea party movement. The video shows two activists, working for O’Keefe, posing as members of a fake Muslim group at a lunch meeting with Ron Schiller, who is not related to Vivian Schiller. The men offered NPR a $5 million donation and engage in a wide-ranging discussion about tea party Republicans, pro-Israel bias in the media and anti-intellectualism.

“The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It’s been hijacked by this group that is … not just Islamophobic but, really, xenophobic,” Ron Schiller said in the video, referring to the tea party movement. “They believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting — it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

[snip]

[And buried in the article's very last paragraph] Another NPR executive, Betsy Liley, was at the lunch with Ron Schiller. She said little in the video, although she can be heard laughing when one of the men says his group referred to NPR as “National Palestinian Radio.” She has been placed on administrative leave.

The article makes no mention of the way in which the stingers boasted about their Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah connections; no mention of their openly stated desire to bring Sharia law to America; no mention of Schiller’s contentions about Jewish control over print media; etc.  Instead, the report limits itself to having Schiller attack a group — Tea Partiers — that the media assumes everybody wants to attack, and for precisely the same reasons Schiller did.

The report also helps Vivian Schiller look like a victim.  As you noticed, O’Keefe is not described as a citizen journalist, or a muckraker, or even a provocateur in the Michael Moore mold.  Instead, he’s a conservative activist.  The article has more to say about O’Keefe, little of it complimentary.  While it passes as lightly as possible over the way in which he brought ACORN down, it packs the highest number of details into describing his arrest:

O’Keefe, best known for wearing a pimp costume in hidden-camera videos that embarrassed the community-organizing group ACORN, posted the NPR video on his website, Project Veritas. The group said the video was shot on Feb. 22.

O’Keefe also pleaded guilty last May after he was accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. He pleaded guilty misdemeanor charges of entering federal property under false pretenses and was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine.

Not only is Schiller (per the AP) being hounded by a criminal activist, she and NPR are coming under “pressure” for what are apparently the most innocuous of sins — offending anti-liberal conservatives and using poor judgment in firing tactics (not, please note, in the decision to fire in the first place):

The shake-up comes at a critical time. Conservative politicians are again pressing to end congressional funding for NPR, money the organization said it needs to keep operating public radio and television stations in some of the nation’s smallest communities. The White House defended the funding, saying there remains a need for public broadcasting.

Vivian Schiller also faced criticism for her firing of analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims. She told The Associated Press that the recent remarks made by her fellow executive Ron Schiller were outrageous and unfortunate, and her staying on would only hurt NPR’s fight for federal money.

“I did not want to leave NPR. There’s a lot of pressure on NPR right now,” Vivian Schiller told AP.

NPR has long been a target of conservatives who claim its programming has a left-wing bias. The budget bill passed by the House last month would end funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports programs distributed on NPR and PBS.

Vivian Schiller was criticized for last year’s firing of Williams after he said on Fox News that he feels uncomfortable when he sees people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes. She later said she was sorry for firing Williams over the phone and that he deserved a face-to-face meeting.

“We took a reputational hit around the Juan Williams incident, and this was another blow to NPR’s reputation. There’s no question,” she told AP.

Schiller said she and the board concluded that her “departure from NPR would help to mitigate the threat from those who have misperceptions about NPR as a news organization.”

Vivian Schiller is not the only one to offer laughable statements to defend her position.  In this wired age, Dave Edwards, who chairs NPR’s board, makes it sound as if this is 1932 all over again, and the federal government is desperately needed to bring electricity to the Tennessee Valley, not to mention news to those dark corners of America without electricity, cable, computers and television:

“It is absolutely true that without federal funding, a lot of our public radio and public TV stations in the system could go dark, and that will happen in some of the smallest communities we serve,” Edwards said. “In some cases, public broadcasting remains that community’s primary connection with the outside world.”

Ron Schiller doesn’t do much better in his own defense:

“While the meeting I participated in turned out to be a ruse,” Ron Schiller said, “I made statements during the course of the meeting that are counter to NPR’s values and also not reflective of my own beliefs. I offer my sincere apology to those I offended.”

Let me see if I can translate: If Schiller, is not, as he appears in that video, an anti-White, anti-Semitic, anti-Conservative, pro-Muslim hater, he is instead a whore who will say anything to anybody to get money. That’s the kind of guy we need working on the federal dime.

(3:45 PST) You get the news in real time at this blog. As I’ve been working on this post, AP, without any acknowledgment that it did so, just republished its article, with substantial changes. The new version of the article isn’t much better than the old.  While keeping, albeit in somewhat different form, the points I noted above, it adds a few new gems.  For example, it helps make Chairman Edwards’ case that, without just a wee bit of federal funds, all sorts of local stations will have to close their doors:

The CPB is receiving $430 million in the current fiscal year and will get $445 million in fiscal 2012. It CPB handed out nearly $94 million in grants to more than 400 public radio stations — not all of which are NPR affiliates — in fiscal 2010.

NPR itself typically gets only about 2 percent of its budget from CPB grants, but many of its 268 member stations rely heavily on them. NPR affiliates get an average of 10 percent of their funding from CPB, and some small and rural stations receive more than 40 percent of their funding that way, although NPR could not provide exact figures.

About a third of NPR’s $161 million budget in fiscal 2010 came from its affiliates in the form of programming fees. NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher said it’s difficult to say how a loss of CPB funding would affect stations’ ability to pay.

A cut in funding to CPB would hit public television stations harder than radio stations. By law, 75 percent of CPB’s grant money must go to TV stations.

AP then proceeds to undercut entirely both its and Edward’s claim that federal funds are the only thing keeping the pathetic little affiliates going to serve the poverty stricken in 1932′s Tennessee Valley time warp. You see, it turns out that those member stations were already in trouble — not because of funding, but because of Schiller herself.  Notwithstanding Edward’s claim that NPR television is the only thing connecting Americans in the outback to civilization, it turns out that Schiller was busy trying to destroy local affiliates in favor of funding NPR’s national website:

Howard Liberman, a longtime broadcast communications attorney who represents NPR affiliates, said many stations were unhappy with Vivian Schiller and the release of the video was the last straw. He pointed to the Williams controversy and other moves by Schiller that have alienated stations, such as shortening the organization’s name from National Public Radio to NPR and trying to drive listeners toward NPR’s website.  (Emphasis mine.)

Bottom line: NPR was planning on killing its own (and isn’t that what Leftist revolutionary entities always do?)

I very much look forward to the next batch of videos O’Keefe promises to release.  They should be interesting.