The Bookworm Beat 11-1-15 — the Daylight Saving Time edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I like to Fall backwards, since it means I rise with the sun, which is a lot easier than getting up in the deep of night. Still, I’ve been discombobulated today, my computer has been balky, and my brain sluggish. Both the computer and I seem to have Daylight Saving jet lag. Jet lag or not, though, I have articles to share:

Should anyone in America ever be too big to jail?

I was absolutely horrified when a McClatchy article suggested that Hillary is just too darn important to prosecute for her myriad, deliberate, and quite damaging national security violations:

But most who spoke to McClatchy say it’s unlikely the former first lady, senator and Cabinet secretary will face charges because of her high profile and the hurdle to prove she knew the emails contained classified information when she sent them to others.

“She’s too big to jail,” said national security attorney Edward MacMahon Jr., who represented former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling in 2011 in a leak case that led to an espionage prosecution and 3½-year prison term. He cited a pattern of light punishments for top government officials who have mishandled classified information while lower level whistleblowers such as Sterling have faced harsh prosecutions for revealing sensitive information to expose waste, fraud or abuse in government.

Is this what our democracy has come to — the claim that Hillary Clinton, whose public career has been marked by corruption since her debut at Watergate — gets a pass because she’s just too darn elite and special?

Of course, that’s not the only problem with the McClatchy article. As my friend Wolf Howling wrote me,

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The Bookworm Beat 10-27-15 — “it’s just another day” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve been going through my emails, with 200 down, 300 or so yet to go. Even though I’m only less than halfway through, I’ve discovered marvelous articles hiding in my email box thanks to friends from all over.

Did Merkel unilaterally doom Europe?

We no longer subscribe to the great man or great woman school of history. We’ve also abandoned the notion of high tragedy arising from the hubris of said great men or women. Perhaps, though, it’s time for us to revive that genre.

Daniel Greenfield convincingly argues that Germany’s Angela Merkel, with her mad plan to replace her country’s shrinking, aging population with Muslim refugees, will have single-handedly done to Europe what generations of Muslim conquerors have tried to do, which is to turn it into a part of the global Caliphate:

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The Hillary hearings

Hillary who cares if I'm a liarI wasn’t able to watch the Hillary hearings (and doubt if I could have stomached them in any event), but one of my friends followed them on and off throughout the day, and had this to say:

I was able to stomach bits and pieces of the Hildabeast hearings, but only in a few minute increments.  A few very important points came out of the hearing.  In the year prior to the attack, Amb. Stevens and his crew forwarded to the State Dept. over 600 requests for increased security.  Hillary said she received none and left all security decisions in the hands of “trained professionals.”

That testimony begs several questions:  Who made the decisions.  Who supervised those persons?  What was the basis for not only refusing the requests, but reducing security during the year prior  (the answer, as I have been opining since 2013, has to be politics in an election year combined with criminal negligence)?  And how is it that Hillary did not deem it important enough to inquire about the security of the Libya mission as public reports of rapidly declining security mounted, Britain pulled out its mission, and the Benghazi mission had at least one dry run attack?

None of the Republicans asked those specific questions. Nor did they ask anything about the risk assessment undertaken a month prior to the attack and forwarded by address to Hillary in which the State Dept. personnel on the ground determined that any sizable attack – precisely what happened a month later – would overrun the compound.

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Understanding just how serious Hillary’s server problem really is — BY SCOTT, MY GUEST BLOGGER

Hillary-Jail-copyWill Hillary Clinton survive this e-mail scandal criminally and politically? It is tough for me to see how, given the revelation that she had retained on her private server e-mails containing classified information. This is all dripping out slowly – the worst possible thing for Hillary. Her trustworthiness rating in the polls is already Nixonian and it will only continue to drop as more information – or more stonewalling – comes to light.

And rightfully so. Every single word Hillary has said about her email system has turned out to be likely false, demonstrably false, or ridiculous spin:

She complied with all regulations – false.

She wasn’t subject to a subpoena for documents when she unilaterally disposed of over half of her e-mail as private — false.

She didn’t send or receive classified information – false.

The information in her e-mails wasn’t classified at the time it was sent – false.

She didn’t send the classified information stored on her server, someone else did – meaningless.

The information was not marked classified – meaningless.

I’ve compiled a time line, below, and these facts tell the tale. Regardless of why Hillary set up a private server, there is no question that she used it to hide from lawful subpoenas and FOIA requests. She didn’t turn over a single document until it became clear that Trey Gowdy was being so persistent in forcing the issue that she had to. She had no right, under State Dept. regulations, to unilaterally decide what was and was not a government record, nor could she destroy records knowing that they would be part of an ongoing investigation. We know that some emails she received from Sydney Blumenthal were not provided in the documents she submitted to the State Department in December, 2014 claiming that they were a comprehensive production of all government records on her private server.  Thus it is reasonable to assume that she in fact destroyed government records relevant to a subpoena.

Hillary’s conduct amounts to obstruction of justice (18 USC 1519) and comes with a jail term of up to 20 years. To put this in perspective, the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson was put out of business by the DOJ in 1992 for obstruction of justice when it destroyed records relating to its accounting of ENRON.

I would imagine that, criminally, the Obama DOJ, which is perhaps the most politicized in our nation’s history, would simply ignore Hillary’s obstruction if that is all there was. And given the complexity of the facts, most people would just tune it out. Clinton would do one of her well-practiced shameless squeals of victimized outrage, complain of a vast right wing conspiracy, and her minions would do the rest in the press and the Sunday morning shows. Obama’s DOJ certainly showed no rush to intercede in this matter, just as it already has countenanced obstruction of justice and destruction of government records from the IRS and Lois Lerner without any sort of criminal investigation.

But obstructing justice is far from all. Hillary’s email scandal reached critical mass when the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community found classified information in four of forty documents Hillary Clinton produced from her private server. That is when this private e-mail travesty went from obstruction of justice to a threat to national security. And what we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg.

The government takes little more seriously – among the peons at least – than maintaining the security of our classified information. People are prosecuted all of the time for mishandling classified information (18 USC 1924). By mishandling, that means that the defendant took control of and secured classified information in a place or manner that was not authorized. Notably, both David Petraeus and Sandy Berger were prosecuted for that offense. Hillary Clinton’s private server was not an authorized conduit or receptacle for any classified information. The presence of classified information on her private server would seem a clear violation of the applicable statute.

A far more serious offense comes when you take classified information and destroy it or transfer it to other people not authorized to see it (18 USC 793). That carries a jail sentence of up to ten years per act and the standard of conduct is gross negligence. Under the Obama administration, Bradley Manning was convicted for violating this statute and jailed for 35 years. State Dept. contractor Stephen Kim was given 13 months for discussing arguably non-classified information with Fox News’ James Risen. Former CIA officer Jefferey Sterling was recently sentenced to 42 months in prison while former CIA officer John Kiriakou served 30 months, both for providing classified information to a party not entitled to see it.

The IT company Hillary hired to control her server beginning in 2013, River Platte, has no security clearance. Neither do any of the attorneys Hillary tasked with reviewing all of her e-mails and selecting those that she was willing to produce to the State Dept. on December 5, 2014. Those would appear to be clear violations of the statute at issue.

So what remains to be answered:

  1. How many more of the 30,490 emails contain classified information? We are at four out of forty at this point. At some point, these documents will be evaluated by the IG for the Intelligence Community.
  2. Who precisely has had access to Hillary’s server and e-mails because of her “gross negligence?” What are their security clearances, if any?
  3. Are the 31,000 “personal” documents Hillary claims to have wiped clean from her server backed up on any other medium. This is very unclear. River Platte claims that it transferred all data on Hillary’s server to one or more servers in 2013, then wiped her original server clean. The FBI has taken control of the original server. Where did River Platte transfer the data and where is it today? What about backups and archives?
  4. If Hillary’s emails were sanitized and 31,000 emails wiped clean, who precisely did the document review and what criteria were they instructed to follow? When did they do it?
  5. What are the actual contents of the 31,000 emails Hillary erased?
  6. How much damage has Hillary done to our national security?

None of the answers to the above questions bodes well for Hillary. This is not the typical Clinton scandal. It is not Travelgate, White Water, the Rose Law Firm, Vince Foster, nor Monica Lewinsky and the bimbo eruptions. This isn’t even about Benghazi now. And as the fact pattern below suggests, this is on a trajectory to get far worse for Hillary in the coming months. I don’t think she survives this. What say you?

Background Information & Time Line:

Applicable Laws

  • 18 USC 793Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information. Felony with fines and imprisonment up to ten years.
  • 18 USC 1924Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. Misdemeanor with fines and imprisonment up to one year.
  • 18 USC 1519Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy. Felony with fines and imprisonment up to 20 years.

Clinton Timeline

13 January 2009 – (CW) Hillary registers

21 January 2009 – (RT) Hillary sworn in as Secretary of State and immediately begins use of her private e-mail system to conduct all her duties as Secretary. For the first three months Hillary served as Secretary of State, her private email server had virtually no security. It was not encrypted.

29 March 2009 – (Wired) Hillary finally begins to use run-of-the-mill, commercially available security on her system. This decision to use a private e-mail server and commercial security left her highly vulnerable to hacking. We may well never know if or how often her e-mail was hacked by individuals or foreign agencies.

20 Sept. 2012 – (Wash. Ex.) The House sends a document request to Sec. of State Clinton requesting all documents relating to Benghazi, putting Clinton on formal notice for the purpose of federal law governing Obstruction of Justice that the House “contemplated” investigating the Benghazi incident. The State Dept. responded to this request by producing some responsive documents, but did not produce any of Hillary’s e-mails.

1 February 2013 – (NRO / NRO) Hillary resigns as Sec. of State. She does not follow any of the internal State Dept. Procedures for turning over records. Moreover, Hillary never had the authority under State Dept. regulations applicable to all employees, “including political appointees,” to decide unilaterally what was and was not a government record on her e-mail account. Per those regulations, she was supposed to make a list of proposed items she would retain.  A reviewing official would then inspect both the list and the items.  If they passed inspection, the official would then certify that the material removed or retained did not “diminish the official records of the Department” or “violate confidentiality required by national security . . .”

2013 – (WaPo): “After she left government service in early 2013, the Clintons decided to upgrade the system, hiring Platte River as the new manager of a privately managed e-mail network. The old server was removed from the Clinton home by Platte River and stored in a third-party data center, which are set up to provide security from threats of hacking and natural disaster, [Barbara J.] Wells [a lawyer for Platte] said. [¶] Platte River Networks has retained control of the old server since it took over management of the Clintons’ e-mail system. She said that the old server ‘was blank,’ and no longer contained useful data.”

(Daily Caller reported 14 Aug 2015) – “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entrusted her email server to an IT firm [Platte River] that was not cleared to handle classified materials, according to the chief spokesman for the Defense Security Service. The DSS is an arm of the Defense Department and is the only federal agency authorized to approve private sector company access to sensitive or confidential material.”

1 August 2013 – (Wash Ex) The House issues two subpoenas to the State Department, one for documents the House had requested but the State Dept. still had not produced, and a second for documents related to Secretary Clinton’s internal, self-exonerating State Department investigation, known as the Accountability Review Board.

17 April 2014 – (Wash Ex) The State Dept. completes its production of documents allegedly responsive to the House subpoenas. None of the documents include e-mails by Hillary.

8 May 2014 – (Wash Ex) A new House Select Committee is formed under Trey Gowdy to investigate the Benghazi incident. Gowdy attempts to “reset” relations with the State Dept and asks them to comply fully with prior subpoenas.

11 Aug. 2014 – (Wash Ex) The State Dept. produces documents to the House. The production includes approximately ten emails to or from Hillary showing her private email address. This is the first time the House becomes aware that Hillary was conducting her duties as Sec. of State using a private e-mail account. Gowdy’s committee against presses the State Dept. to comply with the subpoenas.

October 2014 – (Wash Ex) The State Dept. formally requests that Hillary provide all government records still in her possession, including e-mails. It does so in response to pressure from the House. In order to make this seem as if it is in the normal course of business, it sends out similar requests to the previous three Secretaries of State.

Late 2014 – (LI) According to documents Hillary’s lawyer filed in federal court, Hillary Clinton directed her lawyer to review the e-mails on her server in order to provide all “federal records” to the State Department. Her lawyer has no security clearance.

18 November 2014 — (Wash Ex) The House sends another request to the State Department asking for emails to and from Clinton relating to the Libya attack. This time, committee staffers include instructions specifically demanding emails that were sent or received on any account.

2 December 2014 – (Wash Ex) The House sends a letter to Clinton’s attorney asking for all emails to or from that relate in any way to Libya. Clinton’s attorney would later respond by directing the House to to the State Dept’s previous production.

Dec. 5, 2014 – (LI) Clinton’s attorney delivers to the State Dept. 30,490 e-mails hard copied onto 55,000 pages, claiming those to be the sum total of all federal records in Hillary’s possession. He retains thumb drives with those e-mails in their electronic form.

2 March 2015 – (NYT) The NYT breaks the story about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system to conduct her duties as Sec. of State.

4 March 2015 – (Fox) Trey Gowdy issues a subpoena directly to Clinton demanding responsive e-mails on her private server.

7 March 2015 – (Daily Caller) It becomes apparent that the State Dept. intentionally mishandled Numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests going back to 2012, all of which should have elicited emails from Hillary’s private email.  These requestse included one in in 2012 that specifically asked the State Dept. to identify all email accounts Hillary used to conduct her State Dept. duties.

10 March 2015 – (WaPo) Hillary holds a press conference at the UN before mostly foreign journalists to address her e-mails. She makes no mention that her server has been wiped clean, stating only that she will not submit it for inspection. She states that what she did complied with all relevant rules and that it was custom and practice to to so, a claim an  AP Fact Check disputes the next day:

  1. “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” (See NYDN article showing Hillary bragging about managing three different email/electronic devices in her daily life)
  2. “[T]he vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.” (That would not been the case with her assistant, Huma Abedin, nor her Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, both of whom likewise maintained email accounts on Nor would it be the case as regards correspondence outside of the State Dept., such as to heads of state or Sydney Blumenthal)
  3. “[A]fter I left office, the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work- related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them.”
  4. “QUESTION: Were you ever — were you ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using — using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president? CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. . . . So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

19 March 2015 — (Pdf) Congressman Trey Gowdy, in a letter to David Kendell, Hillary’s lawyer, all but accuses Hillary and her team of being dishonest by omission in regards to Hillary’s emails. Moreover, Gowdy notes that the emails that Hillary had already produced show a significant gap in time around the Benghazi disaster. Gowdy asks Hillary’s attorney to agree to give Hillary’s private server to the State Dept.’s IG or a neutral third-party so that all of her emails can be reviewed for compliance with the latest and prior subpoenas.

27 March 2015 – (Politifact) Hillary’s lawyer responded to Trey Gowdy’s letter. This from Polifact: “’During the fall of 2014, Secretary Clinton’s legal representative reviewed her account for the time period from Jan. 21, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013,’ Kendall wrote. ‘After the review was completed to identify and provide to the Department of State all of the secretary’s work-related and potentially work-related emails, the secretary chose not to keep her non-record personal emails and asked that her account (which was no longer in active use) be set to retain only the most recent 60 days of email. No emails from for the time period Jan. 21, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013, reside on the server. Thus, there are no e-mails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate and legally authorized.'” (This statements begs the question of precisely when the server was wiped clean and whether there are any archived back-ups. If this is accurate, then the server was wiped clean sometime between 5 December 2014 and 27 March, 2015. Moreover, as noted at Hot Air, this meant that Hillary wiped clean from her server over 31,000 e-mails from her time as Sec. of State, claiming them to be wholly personal. That is more documents than she produced. She would have had to have been sending an average of over 21 personal emails a day each day while she served as Sec. of State.)

15 June 2015 – (Politico) Responding to a subpoena, the State Dept. produces documents to the Benghazi Select Committee. The production does not include at least 60 e-mails Sydney Blumenthal sent Hillary at her private e-mail address discussing national security and foreign policy matters. It appears that they are among the ones Hillary never turned over and subsequently destroyed.

7 July 2015 – (Youtube) Hillary gives her first, and to date only, national interview. She states that all the questions and accusations about her email are a vast right wing conspiracy. She further claims that the House never subpoenaed her documents and that she had no legal obligation to provide her e-mails to the State Dept., adding that they all would have been captured when she sent the e-mails to .gov addresses.

8 July 2015 – (Hugh Hewitt) Trey Gowdy appears on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show to point out that Hillary’s documents have been under multiple subpoenas since 2013, with the most recent directly addressing her private e-mail account served on her attorney on 4 March 2015.

31 July 2015 – (Powerline) It is revealed in Court for the first time that Hillary’s two closest associates at the State Dept., her “special assistant” Huma Abedin and her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, also maintained their work email addresses on, thus shielding their emails from production just like Hillary’s. Hillary later certifies that only Huma Abedin maintained such an email address.

1 Aug. 2015 – (Politico) Approximately 30 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits seeking documents that would have been kept on the server are ongoing or have been reopened following revelations about Hillary’s private server. On 1 Aug, Fed. Dist. Ct. Judge Emmet Sullivan asked the State Dept. to have Hillary, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills each certify under oath, subject to penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive documents.

11 August 2015 – (Fox) Charles McCullough, Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, informs Congress that, of the 40 random e-mails the State Dept. provided to him for review, four contained classified information from five different intelligence agencies. Two of those e-mails contained information classified Top Secret at the time of its production. Further, the Top Secret information in one of the e-mails consisted in part of “operational and geospatial intelligence from the CIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which produces satellite images.” He has been denied further access to any of Hillary’s documents. The State Dept. is currently producing tranches of documents that Hillary turned over to the State Dept. on 5 Dec. 2014, some with significant redactions. It is unknown as to whether these redactions hide classified information relating to national security or foreign policy.

11 August 2015 – (Breitbart) Hillary makes a partially non-responsive declaration under oath to Judge Sullivan, stating in part that she does not understand what documents are required in this law suit. Further, she states that Cheryl Mills did not have an email account on but that Huma Abedin did. Neither Mills nor Abedin submitted a declaration under oath.

11 August 2015 – (Clinton Campaign / and see Ron Fournier’s response at National Journal) Hillary’s campaign issues an op-ed length series of talking points, recycling some of her old defenses along with a few new ones. One, they claim that any classified information on Hillary’s server was not marked as such at the time. That is a red herring as it is meaningless to the statutes at issue. Two, while they admit to an investigation of the classified information on the server, they claim that it is not an investigation of Hillary. As Jonah Goldberg points out at NRO, that is like saying you’re investigating a car in a hit and run accident but not the driver.

12 August 2015 – (WaPo) FBI takes custody of Hillary’s e-mail server from a data center that Platte River Communications maintains in New Jersey. Reports are that the server is “blank.”

12 Aug 2015 – (WND) The State Dept. refuses to turn over any further of the 30,460 emails produced by Clinton to the IG for the Intelligence Community.

13 August 2015 – (Breitbart) In the State Dept.’s latest production of a portion of Hillary’s e-mails, Hillary requested a book on e-mails that included a chapter on how to permanently delete them. (You can’t make this stuff up)

14 August 2015 – (McClatchy) According to an analysis of 6,000+ documents released to date, at least 86 influential private citizens and foreign leaders corresponded with Hillary on her personal email. It is noteworthy that none of those emails would otherwise have been captured by the State Dept. for their records absent voluntary production by Hillary.

14 August 2015 – (McClatchy) The FBI and the House Homeland Security Committee have both begun investigating Platte River Communications, including such interesting as (1) whether they were authorized to handle classified communications (per today’s DC, linked earlier, they are not), (2) who would have been able to access information on the server, and (3) whether and how they backed up Hillary’s server.

14 August 2015 – (Legal Insurrection) The State Dept. files a response to Judge Sullivan’s Order, stating that they do not intend to search Hillary’s private server for responsive documents to a FOIA request, claiming (1) that they are under no legal compulsion to search for documents not under their control and (2) that Hillary’s certified claim that she already produced all government records in her possession obviates the need for them to act.

15 August 2015 – (Fox) At a speech in Iowa, Clinton addressed the e-mail issue: “Hillary Clinton defended her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks and her use of a private email server as secretary of state, dismissing the controversies as ‘partisan games’ in a speech in Iowa on Friday. [¶] ‘They’ll try to tell you it’s about Benghazi, but it’s not,’ Clinton said, pointing to Republican-led congressional inquiries that she said had ‘debunked all the conspiracy theories.’ ‘It’s not about emails or servers either. It’s about politics,’ she said. ‘I won’t get down in the mud with them. I won’t play politics with national security,’ Clinton said at the annual Wing Ding, a Democratic fundraiser in northern Iowa that attracted three other presidential candidates.” (This woman is beyond shameless. And if that is the best she can do, Democrats are right to be very worried about her future electability.)

Trey Gowdy schools the media about its abysmal lack of curiosity regarding Benghazi

Bloody fingerprints in BenghaziIf you had been at my house when I first saw this video, you would have seen me stand up and cheer.  And then cheer some more.

Usually, I find it very boring when members of Congress give speeches and press conferences. They’re not orators and they’re often very bad at communicating facts, making ideological arguments, or scoring political points.

Trey Gowdy is different. Not only is he an orator, he was doing something much more important than just scoring political facts or making a noise: He was reminding a recalcitrant media that facts are stubborn things. Because reporters ignored its special protections and privileges under the Constitution, and refused to hunt down the facts, Congress is going to have to do their job for them.

Using a series of — for the media — shamefully unanswerable rhetorical questions, Gowdy undercuts them from the get-go, leaving the path clear to an honest investigation into the facts about Benghazi. It’s brilliant. It’s a tour de force.  It’s worth every second of your time:

Hat tip: CainTV

Monday mid-day round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesLooking at the headlines lately, I have the feeling we’re at a tipping point in America. I’ve had this feeling before, and it’s been an icky feeling, because my concern was that the slippery slope we were about to slide down would land America in the ditch. Now, though, I have a sense that what’s going to end up in the ditch, rather than being our whole nation, might just be is the Progressive agenda, as more and more Americans look at Progressivism unmasked and don’t like what they see.

Of course, until we have a strong conservative movement, all that will happen is that America will pull back just a little from the edge; it’s not yet heading in an entirely different direction. Moreover, events that are already in motion are still going to happen, so it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Still, today, for the first time in a long time, I actually think things might get better.

And now, the interesting stuff:

George Orwell understood that one of the primary ways in which the left works is to pervert language. Case in point:  the demand for same-sex (or gay) marriage. For the entirety of human history, no matter the time, place, government, or religion, “marriage” has been a union of man and woman or, sometimes, man and women. The core nature of the word marriage is the societally-sanctioned coming together of male and female. To extend “marriage” to persons of the same-sex effectively strips the word of meaning. It can now mean anything. Humpty-Dumpty has taken over.

You’ve heard me on this point before, but it seems appropriate to repeat it here, after having read that the first openly gay Episcopalian Bishop is divorcing his husband after only four years:

“My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate,” Robinson wrote. “Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot.”

You’ll notice that God and gospel don’t figure anywhere in this ordained bishop’s New Age homage to love.

I don’t think it’s any stretch to say that Robinson fully understood that what he entered into four years ago was not a “marriage.” It was, instead, a Leftist effort to destroy the church from within by leaching the sacraments, including the sacrament of marriage, of any meaning. And without sacraments, you don’t have a church.  And without a church, you have no morality and rules, creating a nice vacuum that the Progressive state can rush to fill.

Let me say again that I don’t have a big problem with civil gay unions, because it’s quite reasonable to extend certain civil benefits to long-term partnerships, regardless of their sexual makeup. I do, however, have a huge problem with the gay marriage movement, which sets out to destroy the meaning behind words as a predicate to destroying the existential meaning necessary to maintain very useful cultural institutions.

(For another example of the linguistic march through institutions, pay attention to the fact that the U.N., which is “investigating” the Vatican regarding it’s truly shameful sex abuse scandals, has included in its mission statement the claim that banning abortion constitutes a form of sexual abuse.)


Thomas Lifson explains why Democrats are getting nervous about Benghazi. It seems to me that the Dems’ only hope is that, because the scandal isn’t about sex, the media can run interference by alternating burying it or claiming that it’s nothing but a partisan ploy. I remember back in 1998 the media’s claim (which I, a credulous Democrat, believed) that the Lewinsky scandal was a fake product of the vast right wing conspiracy. Unfortunately for the media, though, the sex factor in the scandal made it impossible to bury.  When the truth behind the little blue dress came out, the best that the media could do was to say that Clinton’s peculiar, immoral sex practices had nothing to do with his being president. That option isn’t open this time around.  Obama’s Benghazi passivity and lies have everything to do with his being president.

In 2014, with Trey Gowdy in charge of the House’s Benghazi investigation committee, and with the internet there to expose things the media wants to hide, Democrats may find it a bit harder to bury this scandal than when they tried, unsuccessfully, to do the same thing with Clinton’s erotic escapades.

I expect Gowdy to make good hay out of the White House’s threatened refusal to cooperate. The lawyer in me knows that when the other side refuses to play, it’s got something to hide.

Or maybe, per Michael Ramirez, there really was a video — a very specific video — driving what happened before, during, and after the Benghazi massacre.


Today is Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli version of Memorial Day, on which Israel remembers the many men and women who have died in the service of that brave and beleaguered country. Today is also the day that something peculiar happened:  Britain’s hard left Guardian newspaper ran a long article sympathetically retelling the story of the massacre Kfar Etzion, when Jordanian troops killed 127 civilians on May 13, 1948. Writing at Commentary, Tom Wilson points out how peculiar the Guardian’s article is:

“Massacre that Marred the Birth of Israel” reads a headline in theGuardian, and your heart sinks. This is the last thing one feels like reading as Israel enters into forty-eight hours of commemoration, celebration, mourning, and remembrance; today is Israel’s memorial day for fallen soldiers and terror victims, tomorrow Israel’s independence day marking sixty-six years since the reestablishment of the Jewish state. Yet, on closer inspection the headline might be thought a little misleading.

This column by the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont turns out not to be just another hit piece laden with the usual allegations of Zionist crimes against forlorn Palestinians. In a newspaper typically more inclined to give over its pages to stories about what Israel’s opponents call the Nakba—the catastrophe of Israel’s creation—it is rather disorienting, if refreshing, to find a piece so sympathetically recounting the macabre events of the Kfar Etzion massacre.

The Guardian’s uncharacteristic behavior goes back to that “tipping point” feeling I mentioned.  I’m wondering if some of the saner Leftists, peering into the abyss towards which they led us, are realizing that the West won’t tumble into some socialist paradise but will, instead, find itself in a poverty-stricken, sharia-compliant world.  And while the hard-core Leftists might not mind this, or are continuing to deny it, others may be troubled by that vision and may attempt to put the brakes on.


A long time ago, I did a post called “Remembering when Jews were popular.” I’m not well-informed about Jewish culture, but I’ve definitely noticed how American popular culture has changed since I was a child, in the 1960s, when so much of the entertainment world was composed of Jews or was friendly to Jews. James Loeffler, more informed and erudite than I, sees the same changes, not at the overall cultural level (which was what I noticed), but amongst the Jews themselves.


Yet another moment of tipping in the right direction? The head of a local teacher’s union is embarrassed to have been involved in administering Common Core tests to the students at his school.


Read and enjoy Nigel Lawson’s splendid, truly humanist, take down of climate alarmism.

And while we’re on the subject of biased, bad “science,” it is absolutely fascinating to read how Ancel Benjamin Keys, the man who made us afraid of saturated fat, deliberately set up a biased study and then compounded that bias with ignorance and flawed research techniques. I love meat, and eat way too little of it since Mr. Bookworm, in thrall to “science,” gets agitated when meat enters our house. Just know that, if you ever come to town and want to join me for lunch or dinner, I’ll suggest a burger or other type of meat place, since those are my go-to dining out options.


Considering that the Constitution gives Congress the sole authority to pass laws, it would seem to me that Congress has standing to sue when the chief executive usurps that power by unilaterally changing those laws. But then again, I’m not a constitutional scholar, nor am I a Progressive federal court judge, so my opinion doesn’t matter, does it?


And a song I like, which expresses my feeling on a day when the tipping point might finally be tipping in the right direction:

The administration’s puppets engage in Obama’s familiar pattern of lies when trying to avoid the smoking gun Benghazi email

Bloody fingerprints in BenghaziThis post is about the administration’s new tactic to get out from under the painful weight of the Ben Rhodes Benghazi email which establishes pretty definitively that the administration immediately began a cover-up after Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods were murdered. But before I get to the administration’s new tactic, let me quote at some length from a May 2008 post I wrote about Obama’s unique approach to lies, which I think of as the “affirmative defense style of lying.”

Obama is also a fairly compulsive liar, something that highlights myriad other problems. That is, whenever he’s caught in a problematic situation (ah, those friends of his), rather than making a clean breast of it, or a good defense, he instead engages in a perfect storm of ever-spiraling affirmative defenses, with the common denominator always being that it’s everyone’s fault but Obamas.

For those who are not lawyers, let me explain what affirmative defenses are. A complaint contains allegations that the defendant committed myriad acts of wrongdoing. In response, the defendant does two things. First, he denies everything except his own name, and he’d deny that too, if he could. Next, he issues affirmative defenses, which concede the truth of the accusations, but deny that they have any legal or practical meaning.

As an example of how this plays out, imagine a complaint alleging that I smashed my car into a fence, destroying it. I’d start by saying, “No, I didn’t.” Then I’d begin the affirmative defenses: (1) “Okay, I did bring my car into contact with the fence, but I didn’t actually hurt the fence.” (2) “Okay, I hurt the fence, but I didn’t hurt it badly enough to entitle its owner to any damages.” (3) “Okay, I destroyed the fence, but it was falling down already, so it’s really the owner’s fault, so he gets no damages.” And on and on, in a reductio ad absurdum stream of admissions and excuses.

These affirmative defense patterns have shown up with respect to some of Obama’s nastiest little pieces of personal history. When Jeremiah Wright’s sermons first surfaced, Obama denied knowing anything about them. When that denial failed, he claimed that he only had one or two exposures to this deranged level of hatred, so he didn’t make much of it. When that denial failed, he conceded that he’d heard this stuff often over the years, but wasn’t concerned about it, because he knew his pastor was a good man. (Which makes Obama either complicit in the statements or a fool.) Indeed, he even made a much-heralded speech about what a good man his pastor is. He then promised that he’d never abandon his beloved pastor. But when his pastor became dead weight, Obama dropped him so hard you could hear the thud.

The same pattern appeared when word got out about Obama’s connection with two self-admitted, unrepentant, America-hating terrorists. (That would be William Ayer and Bernadine Dohrn, for anyone out of the loop here.) When caught, Obama again engaged in a perfect storm of affirmative defenses. (1) I don’t know them. [A lie.] (2) Okay, I know them, but not well. [A lie.] (3) Okay, I know them well, but we’re just good friends, not political fellow travelers. [A lie.] (4) Okay, we’re more than just good friends, because we served on a Leftist board and I sought political advice from him. And on and on. With every lie, Obama concedes, and then comes forward with a new lie.

The same pattern emerges with Rezko, with Obama freely ranging from “I didn’t know him,” to “I never took favors from him,” to “I didn’t take big favors from him,” to “I took a big favor from him, but I didn’t know it was a big favor.” It just goes ad nauseum, as if Obama is a machine, programmed to spew forth this endless flow of denial and concession. The guy is pathological in his inability to admit wrongdoing and his ability to prevaricate.


The question then becomes whether American voters will be happy with the constant barrage of Obama lies, and will be willing to travel Obama’s incremental pathways to unpleasant truths, or if they’re at last going to rebel and say “Who and what are you?” And if they finally get the truth, and it’s pretty sure to be ugly will it matter?

I’d like to think that the truth will matter, just as I’d like to think that, for many Americans, the mere fact that he lied so compulsively will matter too. After all, that is one of the reasons they’ve grown to hate Hillary. My dream is that, no matter how perfectly polished and highly functional the Obama political machine is, the fact that Obama is still the core of that machine will be, in and of itself, an insurmountable problem for him.

In sum, Obama tells a whopper of a lie, and then backs off of it incrementally, always preserving some little space of credibility where his lie really doesn’t, or shouldn’t, matter.

With that in mind, please enjoy Ace’s summary about the way in which the White House’s Pravda-MSM press is trying to spin that smoking gun Benghazi email today:

We saw this script change in the case of Bill Clinton, after the revelation of the Blue Dress.

We saw this script change much more recently in the case of Obama’s “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance lie,” when the script flipped from “You’re stupid and crazy to doubt Obama” to “Of course you can’t keep your insurance, that’s at the heart of the program’s cost-control measures; you’re stupid and crazy to have not realized this sooner!”

And now reliably thoughtless yabbering baboon Donnie Deutsch executes the pivot on Benghazi.

“What about the cover-up for the White House?” Scarborough interjected. “I’ve got everybody here apologizing for the White House. What about a cover-up, Donnie?”
“Why are you jumping to political strategy?” he continued. “So, tell me, what’s the politics of the White House lying about something that we all know they’re lying about?”

“You see the White House spokesperson lying on national television. You see an ABC Newsperson shocked that he’s lying and treating the press corps like they’re stupid. He says it’s not about Benghazi. Republicans and conservatives have been called fools for a year now for saying this happened. They don’t release it with the original the documents. They finally, reluctantly are forced to release it. Then you have the White House lying about it, saying it’s not about Benghazi, and you’re only reaction is, ‘Hey, Republicans better not overreact to the cover-up?’”

“We, as voters, understand both Republicans and Democrats are political animals and are going to manage a crisis to their favor,” Deutsch contested before he was interrupted.

“So, when Democrats cover something up, it’s politics,” Scarborough interjected. “When Republicans cover something up, it’s a scandal.” He closed by calling his co-hosts reaction to the White House’s behavior a “disgrace.”

So Scarborough says “we all know they’re lying,” and Deutsch finally — finally — does not dispute that, but instead chooses to recharacterize the acts of serial lying and cover-up as just some understandable political-animal crisis management.

For eighteen months the line from Obama — and therefore the line from the White House’s communications shops at ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN — has been that Obama was not a “political animal,” and certainly not on a matter of national security.

Now that the Blue Dress Proof of the emails are released, the defense changes to “Of course, this is all obvious, how stupid are you are for dwelling on obvious things.”

Read the rest here.

Please remember:  Malignant narcissists never lie.  Whatever they need to say at a given moment is the truth at that given moment.

Please remember also that a greater is probably never in greater danger than when both the government and the media are either narcissistic or have embraced narcissistic tactics as standard operating procedure.

So, for many reasons — to avenge our dead, to strengthen our national security, and to purge our government of sociopaths — in answer to Hillary’s timeless question about what difference this all makes, let me just say that it makes a Hell of a lot of difference.

Donald Sterling is the Left’s desperately needed “wag the dog” moment, distracting from their myriad failures

Wag The Dog-01Wag The Dog was a clever black comedy about a president hiring a Hollywood producer to trick the public into believing there was a war in Albania in order to distract the public from a sex scandal right before an election.  The movie came out in 1997, and became forever cemented in the public’s consciousness when, in 1998, Bill Clinton bombed a few pharmaceutical factories right around the time Monica Lewinsky and blue dresses were becoming a big deal.  Donald Sterling is the Left’s new “wag the dog” moment — a racial one, this time, not a martial one, because we live in the age of Obama.

If you think about the Sterling scandal without the attendant hysteria it’s pretty pathetic:  desiccated, insecure, ugly, rich, old man fears that his black/Latina girlfriend’s palling around with handsome, successful, young(ish), black men will make him look like what he really is:  a eunuch with a gold digger on his arms.

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)

— “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.” (5:15)

— “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)

— “…Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don’t bring him to my games.” (9:13)

But for the fact that there are a few other racist incidents in Sterling’s past (refusing to rent apartments to blacks or Latinos, and making nasty comments), what you really see here is enormous sexual insecurity. Sterling doesn’t view these black men as inferiors.  Instead, he sees them as a threat to his virility and his relationship with a young woman who, because of her own background, could easily be seen as preferring them to this desiccated, pot-bellied, mean-spirited little man.

Nevertheless, the story overnight mushroomed in an hysteric denouncement of racism, with special emphasis on the fact that Sterling, being old, rich, and white, must be a Republican, a fact that makes him representative of all Republicans.  It was irrelevant that, while Donald Sterling’s official political affiliation is the subject of much debate, it’s pretty clear that he’s been pouring money into Democrat causes, including making very nice with the NAACP for years, resulting in his receiving an NAACP lifetime achievement award in 2009.  It’s also irrelevant that the vast majority of America’s Republicans and conservatives are neither rich nor old, that many aren’t white, and that Sterling’s closest demographic relatives (rich, white, and racist) live in the Democrat party.  (I’m talking to you, Harry Reid.)

I’m not denying that Sterling’s remarks were couched in racial terms, are nasty, and are therefore racist.  But let’s get serious here: Are the privately-stated rantings of an old, insecure man so important that they should result in thousands of news stories, headlines, tweets, Facebook posts, magazine articles, analyses, etc.?

No, his rantings aren’t important at all.  Contrary to what many Americans are being made to believe, this isn’t really about a rich, powerful sports team owner saying mean things about black people. Instead, the Donald Sterling story is about sucking the oxygen out of the news cycle so that people who don’t pour over it as obsessively as you and I do aren’t paying attention to a few other important stories.

What’s important to know is that most people can’t hold that many thoughts or sensations simultaneously.  That’s why, with a few exceptions, multitasking is an illusion and, quite often, especially when cars are involved, a very dangerous one.   A million years ago, my Lamaze teacher told me the human mind’s inability to process more than three, maybe four, disparate bits of information at the same time is the real secret behind Lamaze. The breathing doesn’t change anything in the birth process. What’s important is to drag the woman’s focus away from the pain and put it somewhere else.

In today’s political world, if you’re busy fulminating about a pathetic 80-year-old gnome, you’re not going to have room in your brain or your emotions for myriad news stories that are infinitely more important.  These stories include:

1.  The revelation that there is concrete evidence proving that the lies about the Benghazi attack originated in the White House and were a deliberate effort before an election to hide the fact that the administration knew that Al Qaeda was resurgent and that, despite this knowledge, it failed to protect Americans before and during the attack, leaving four Americans quite horribly dead.  Apparently the administrations fraudulent lies to the American public weren’t limited to Obamacare.

2.  The fact that Secretary of State John Kerry botched the Middle East peace talks so terribly that the Palestinians threw themselves into Hamas’s arms, with Kerry blaming Israel for this failure, before using PLO-esque language to announce that Israel is turning into an apartheid nation. Kerry is either evil or a fool. Who knows? What we do know is that Kerry’s never been either an honest or unbiased broker in the peace talks, and he’s certainly been an incompetent negotiator.

3.  The embarrassing reality that what was once the most powerful nation in the world is now so manifestly weak that, from Russia to Venezuela, with stops at all points in between, including Syria and Afghanistan, every bad actor in the world thumbs his nose at Obama, even as that actor cuts a bloody swath in his wake. I’m not saying that Obama has any ability now to remedy the situation in Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, the West Bank, etc. He doesn’t. He knows, the American people know, and the bad guys know that America will not, and therefore cannot, fight. The problem is that Obama got us into this situation in the first place. He radiated weakness like a badly wounded Wildebeest lying in the noonday sun on the African plain. He turned America into hyena bait.

4.  The recent admission that America had another “unexpectedly” slow growth in the first quarter of 2014 (a mere 0.1%), something the MSM-Pravda media immediately blamed on the weather. As Sadie helpfully pointed out to me, the extreme winter, although it hit China too, didn’t slow China’s economy at all. (But do keep in mind that China’s supposedly glowing economic numbers are probably on the extreme end of lies, damn lies, and statistics. The rule of thumb is that data from leftists always lies.)

5.  The ongoing, extreme, exponentially growing disaster that is Obamacare.  At the end of the day, Obamacare’s only success will have been that it managed to use government coercion, threats, and penalties to force 8 million people to sign up for insurance through government exchanges. Wow! Government bullying works. What government bullying couldn’t do was make 20-30% of the new enrollees pay for this insurance; make the enrollment balanced, rather than weighted in favor of the old and sick; get doctors and hospitals to agree to sign onto low-paying networks; lower costs for the middle class people forced off of their good policies; keep deductibles low, etc. Those of us who never drank the Kool-Aid knew in 2009 that only delusional people could believe that you could mandate more coverage and sweep in more people who can’t pay, all the while lowering costs all around.

6.  America’s vanishing privacy.  Sterling may be a stinker, but he thought he was having a private conversation.  Americans should be outraged that they no longer have zones of privacy.  (Although if these zones of privacy really are gone, let’s just banish birth control too.  After all, the main reason the Supreme Court used to justify striking down laws banning birth control was that Americans have an inherent right to privacy.)

All of which gets us back to the ginned-up national outrage about Donald Sterling.  Donald Sterling is a nothing. He may be rich and own a sports team, but the fundamental truth is that he’s a creepy old nebbish whose world views were formed in 1940-something. He’s a relic. He’s meaningless. He’s every old Leftist who goes around mouthing stupid things about black people. (Like Harry Reid, for example.)

Sterling matters only as cover. He’s the fake war in Albania from the movie “Wag the Dog.”  He’s the bombed pharmaceutical factories when people were getting too close to the Lewinsky’s blue dress.  America!  Forget Sterling.  Pay attention to the real stuff!

Tuesday evening round-up

Victorian posy of pansiesJust a few deserving links, before real life catches up with me.

StandWithUs, which may well be the most effective pro-Israel group I know, is sending around an emergency alert asking people to protest the newest front in the BDS movement:  getting Israeli architects expelled from international organizations:

On March 19, the Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA] voted to call on the International Union of Architects [UIA] to boycott Israel and suspend it from the prestigious international union because of Israel’s allegedly “illegal” activities in the West Bank.   The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), RIBA’s sister organization, passed a similar resolution.  Both were engineered by RIBA’s Angela Brady.

In short, RIBA backed BDS (the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement) whose goal is to demonize Israel, isolate it as a pariah, and eventually eliminate the Jewish state.

This resolution is irrational and fundamentally anti-Semitic.

Read the rest (and take action) here.


You’ve already read it elsewhere, but I’ll reiterate it here:  What was first a supposition is now backed by proof — the Obama White House orchestrated the Benghazi cover-up.  The administration’s — and especially Hillary’s — fecklessness left Americans in Benghazi vulnerable to attack; the administration’s political cowardice led to any attempt to defend our ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi during the attack; and the administration actively engaged in a cover-up to hide its myriad failings, not the least of which was lying to the American people about Al Qaeda’s growing presence in the Middle East and Africa.


Yesterday, I blew a gasket about John Kerry’s reprehensible statement likening Israel to an apartheid state.  Sadly, he is not an anomaly within the Obama administration.


I need to coin a new word, because I’m not homophobic. What people do in the privacy of their own lives is their business, not mine and, as long as they’re not aggressively making it mine, I wouldn’t presume to judge or even care very much. What I am is homo-politics-phobic, meaning that I cannot stand the way gay activists have intertwined themselves with Leftism, which I do hate, and announced that, if you don’t like their Leftist politics, than you’re a homophobe.

My strong suspicion is that I’m not alone. Certainly, the NRA cares only about people having the opportunity to exercise their constitutional freedoms. That’s why they’re perfectly happy to make room in their big tent for an Asian gay man who strongly supports the Second Amendment.

Incidentally, on the subject of privacy, Dennis Prager has something very important to say about Donald Sterling’s rant. The rant is certainly ugly, not to mention psychologically fascinating (Sterling sounds as if he’s terribly afraid that his decidedly meager charms will be inadequate to entice his black/Hispanic girlfriend if she finds herself in the company of men who are not only as rich and famous as Sterling, but who are also attractively black). There’s a bigger societal problem though, says Prager, that no one is talking about, and that’s the loss of privacy.

This is consistent with what Prager has always said, which is that people must be judged by their acts. In that regard, I’ve often pointed out to the kids that the Democrats’ darling Harry Truman was a racist who integrated America’s Armed Forces and an antisemite who supported the creation of Israel.


And finally, one of the reasons I came to be a big fan of Castra Praetoria is the periodic “Heard in the Clear” posts.  Always funny and often profound.

A short, sweet Easter afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesIt’s Easter Sunday, and that means all family all the time.  No complaints here, though.  It’s been a lovely day so far and I anticipate an equally pleasant afternoon and evening.  Full blogging will not happen today, but here are a few (a very few) links that intrigued me:

I’ve long known in a vague sort of way that Egypt is one grain of wheat away from a famine.  Having read David Archibald’s article, though, I now know in a very specific way precisely what kind of famine may be facing the world’s most populous Muslim nation.  While the Western world seems to have managed to stay one step ahead of Malthus, that’s not the case in Egypt, where bad things — overpopulation, underproduction, lack of diversification, political upheaval, and probable drought — are coming together to create a Perfect Storm of advanced hunger.


One of my favorite non-fiction books is Thomas Cahill’s The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels. In authoring the book, Cahill has no ego. To the extent that he’s vastly well-informed, he wants to share his knowledge with people, not overwhelm them with his erudition. The result is a book that is simultaneously scholarly and accessible. I mentioned it here because Shmuley Boteach has written what could be the short version of that same book, describing how the Jews have contributed to the world’s well-being.


Two very specific things in the early 1980s taught me that socialism cannot work. The first was the fact that, when my father visited his sister in East Germany, shortly after she retired from her decade’s long career as a high level Communist Party functionary, he discovered that she had lived for nine years with a broken and unusable kitchen sink. Not to worry, this true believer told my father.  She was “on the list” and was confident that the glorious Communist Party would one day get around to fixing her sink.  I suspect that it was still broken when the wall came down.

The second thing that taught me that socialism cannot work was the story of two hip replacements. Back in 1974, my father got his hip replacement two months or so after he was told that it was the only way to keep him from spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He walked, albeit with pain for the next twenty years of his life, until his death.

Meanwhile, in 1981, while I was living in England, I met a woman who had been told back in 1979 that a hip replacement was the only thing that would keep her out of a wheelchair. When I met her, she’d been barely functioning for two years, although she’d avoided the wheelchair. After I left, she went into the wheelchair. I lost contact with her about two years after a left England (i.e., four years after the referral for hip surgery), at which time she was still in that wheelchair. I don’t know whether she ever got that hip.

Keep those realities in mind when you read about Sweden’s socialized medicine, which works wonderfully only if you live long enough to benefit from it.


The DiploMad may not be in the State Department any more, but he has friends who are. He’s learned from these friends that the State Department has a new initiative to ensure that something like Benghazi never happens again. Let me just say that I’m with the DiploMad in thinking that the movers and shakers in State are delusional — and to despair that they’re pursuing their delusions using our dollars and American lives.


A lawyer friend of mine is brilliant, informed, and an incredibly good writer.  I hope those are adequate reasons for you to check out his post about the Free Speech (and Association) implications of the attack on Brendan Eich.

Benghazi is not news at the Times; Michael Sam’s sexuality is

Michael SamI know this is a politically incorrect thing for me to say, but I couldn’t care less about Michael Sam’s sexuality.  If it were up to me, it wouldn’t be news at all, or it would be at the bottom of page three in the sports section. I’m not homophobic; I’m homo-disinterested.  Peculiarly enough (nowadays), I measure people by attributions other than their sexual orientation.

The New York Times, however, considers Sam’s announcement that he is gay to be major news, not non-news, and has given him lavish coverage (which I haven’t bothered to read, because I really don’t care).  As far as the Times is concerned, a gay college football player is front page news:

New York Times on Michael Sam

Think about this:  in the world of the New York Times, it’s minimally newsworthy that (a) the Secretary of State failed to provided necessary security for an Ambassador in a tremendously dangerous region, where he and three others subsequently died; (b) that the Secretary of State and the President both seem to have been AWOL while the Ambassador and three others were dying; (c) that the Secretary of State, the President, and the entire administration lied about events leading up to and including these four deaths; and (d) that the Secretary of State loudly proclaimed that none of this mattered.  The New York Times also thinks this same Secretary of State would make a stellar president.  (And maybe that’s true, if you like your presidents to be utterly unprincipled and un-accomplished.)

Considering that the New York Times styles itself the paper of record, wouldn’t you love to ask the petty, squabbling, arrogant staff there, “Just what record are you talking about there?”

Europeans look at Hillary and Obama through the Benghazi lens

The American media won’t touch Benghazi with a ten foot pole, since there is no way that either Hillary or Obama come out of it looking good.  The Europeans, however, are not so squeamish.  (Hat tip:  Snoopy the Goon, a fellow Watcher’s Council member who blogs out of Israel at Simply Jews.)

Benghazi cartoon 5

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